Websites which caught my interest this morning.

Quite often I am convinced that Internet, along with inherent madness and information age anxieties, is also a medium to experience and communicate newer thoughts and imaginations. This morning I spotted three interesting reads over the internet. The first one shows Impressive Driftwood Horse Sculptures by James Doran-Webb. Doran is a british-born artist who makes driftwood life size horse sculptors. One should definitely watch these horses coming live with oceans waves. The second one is a compilation of photographs taken by a russian women. She captures moments of engagement of her kids with animals on her farm. The pics are simply amazing and I really loved the one where one of her kid leans against the shoulders of a mastiff dog. The third one is a little specific to me as a designer. It belong to Wired News Archives. It is a commentary on the film her‘ suggesting how interestingly the movies is not about technology but about people. 

 

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Not so often!

It is not so often that one comes across a set of works which isn’t simply inspiring but also challenges the usual notions of what is possible and what is not. I realized this few minutes ago when I came across the site of someone called ‘Adam Magyar’. He is a photographer of a different kind one who writes codes to cleanup the noise from his pictures to create an extraordinary imaginary. You can read more about him by clicking here and can see what he does on this link.

Telephony; What else does it bring with itself?

May be things aren’t the way I observed but nonetheless I must tell what is making me to even write so. I am seeing a lot of people around me spending hours entertaining  calls. Either they are answering calls or many a times are making calls to all different sort of people. And with an oxygenated penetration of mobile telephony, people aren’t simply making calls to all different sort of people; they are making calls from all different sort of locations as well. Finding people with earplugs and talking to gods and demons while they walk on road or virtually at any place, no matter how bizarre the place itself is, isn’t such a spectacle any more. No doubt we are connected better than ever before perhaps in the history of human race but what about the clarity of communication. What is it that drives these conversations? Does it compose of statements followed by further set of statements or by an endless clarification of the anything being spoken of? Does it include more of confusion or clarity? Although I have no access to what people talk about on their phones but with some inquiry and with couple of persons who shared their experiences of talking at length, few interesting things seem to be emerging.

It is off course subjective to an extent to see a connection between clarity of communication and the communication medium i.e. mobile telephony in our case. However the agencies, the people who are talking, which drive communication do have an effect on the clarity of communication. Whether one is able to communicate to the other, does depend on one’s ability to articulate his thoughts. No doubt about this but the case doesn’t simply rest here. What about the loss of signals during a mobile conversation or a sudden disappearance of battery power? What about the continuous noise that disrupts our talk sometimes? And what about an accidental push on the ‘red button’ when you are trying to switch between your ears? All of these and similar others random factors do affect our perception of the caller or of the subject being talked of. I have come across people testifying how they have been mistaken for someone who is arrogant or egoistic when for reasons, similar to the ones mentioned above, a call broke at some critical point in the conversation. And even when they resumed the call back, how hard they had a time clarifying their stand or explaining the reason for the ‘break’ in communication. This might happen between two people fixing a deal on phone, or between duos who are on the verge of resolving a crisis. And this might be worse between a couple.

Apparently none other than script writers or storytellers have made a note of any such behavior, truly spontaneous and random, but many a times critical. We can accept this! We can term these as ‘misunderstandings’  and can assume that these have ever existed between people, and can conclude that communication technology can’t really handle it. However I do feel somewhere that technology isn’t simply mean to enable communication between peers but rather it is there to sustain it in an intended form; in a form which humans decide.

Few more Interesting links

Today’s subscription letter from Communication Arts is really interesting. They have featured four different links. Three of these are really worth mentioning. The first one is about 100 best cameras. These are arranged to form a poster titled “A Visual Compendium of Cameras“. The second one features top 10 poster designs in the past 50 years. And the last one is about FS Emeric, a new font hosted by Fontsmith.

I love this idea of seeing numbers over a timeline. Extremely engaging and interesting work.

ICTs for Development

I’ve entered the ITU data on mobile phone penetration for all countries from 1998-2008 into a Google Docs spreadsheet, and then added the Motion Chart visualiser (the same engine made famous by Hans Rosling and TED, though they use the Gapminder Trendalyzer version).

Unfortunately, WordPress scripting rules mean I can’t post the active chart here. To access the spreadsheet data and Google Motion chart, you need to go to:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tUzZsw5SoG_jXRDl6p8tRCg&single=true&gid=0&output=html

Screenshots below give an indicator of how you can visualise the data. The chart offers three main means to visualise (bubble, bar chart, and line graph) via tabs at the top right. You can change the axes and element colouring/size, and highlight individual countries. For bubble and bar, the main point of the chart is that you can click play (bottom left) and show how things change over time. (Note playback speed variation control, and also the ability to drag…

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Awesome, Truly Awesome!

This morning I got to know about the Start Up revolution in Israel. A dear professor and also an experienced designer, Iko Avital, told me that Israel has fastest growing Start Ups in the world. After googling for few, I came across this awesome start up called Wibbitz. They convert text into videos and kind of believe that they could turn readers into viewers. An amazing idea indeed. I tried the same for my blog and voila!! It worked and my blog posts are now appearing as news headline in a video. It’s really an experience.

For some reasons it seems that embedding the video isn’t yet working with wordpress. So my readers have to wait to see that. But DO TRY Wibbitz.

Few links which would be fun to explore are here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-growing-israeli-startups-to-watch-in-2012-2011-12?op=1
http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/16/35-israeli-startups-making-virtual-sim-cards-emotion-sensing-bracelets-and-more/