Sunspots: The knife skills edition 37signals 05 Jul 2006

10 comments Latest by rajwec

Video of Swedish health expert using information design to debunk myths about the "developing" world
Compelling presentation brings health/finance data to life.
Behind the design of Google's new headquarters
"After examining the ways that employees actually used their space, the architects came up with a list of 13 different zones and arranged them from hot ('clubhouse': pool table and lounge area) to cold (closed workrooms), depending on the level of interaction they encourage."
The world of big business favors extroverted sensors and they can make the place "hell for task-oriented introverts"
"We introverts prefer to work alone, or with trustworthy individuals, or in small groups where the purpose is plain. This essay contends that big companies are the worst place to look for those factors."
Inconvenient Art
Cape Farewell project brings artists, scientists and educators together to raise awareness about climate change: "Through photography, film and video, sound and painting each artwork is a personal response to the effects of changing weather patterns, disappearing ice, rising sea levels, alterations in biodiversity and the build-up of toxic chemicals in the seemingly pristine landscape of the Arctic."
Contrasting Concepts of Harmony in Architecture
1982 Debate Between Christopher Alexander and Peter Eisenman where Alexander said Eisenman was "fucking up the world" in a public forum. "Alexander is presenting his basis for the New Paradigm in Architecture at the same time as Eisenman presents his competing, diametrically opposed, deconstructivist claim for such a Paradigm." discussion of Christopher Alexander, Peter Eisenman, and Minimalism
"I think many designers want to like minimalism because it is flattering to believe that the stimulation of one's mind is more important than one's physical or emotional pleasure...But I've always thought that good minimalism wasn't ascetic at all, and that the best minimalists weren't minimal at all."
The long tail may lead to bigger cities since that's where small niches flourish
"The logic of the long tail will favor urban environments over less densely populated ones...Subcultures thrive in big cities for this reason as well: If you have idiosyncratic tastes, you're much more likely to find someone who shares those tastes in a city of 9 million people."
The Long Tail book comes out on July 11
Doesn't it feel like this book was already published years ago?
Instant Usability...How Freshbooks.Com Turns Learners into Users on Every Page
"I recently came upon an online application,, that absolutely epitomizes how to make a system self-training." Includes lots of screenshot examples of embedding instruction right into the interface.
Charlie Rose's favorite interview? A: Susan Buffett
"The man who has interviewed heads of state, business leaders, famous athletes and other celebrities said his favorite interview was with the late Susan Buffett, wife of famous Omaha investor Warren Buffett."
The best photography book ever written acc to American Photo's Editor-In-Chief
"It's called Looking At Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art...The kind of book you'd want if you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one guide to the art of photography." (book at Amazon)
Ruby on Rails Podcast: "RailsConf 2006: Marcel Molina and Sam Stephenson"
Discussion of integration tests, optimization, and tumblelogs.
Lead Program Manager on Windows Live Mail discusses Getting Real at conference
"One of the telltale moments of the day was hearing Omar Shahine, the Lead Program Manager on Windows Live Mail, quoting the 37signals guys from Getting Real on releasing software often in an iterative style as being the way to build the best software. One doesn't expect to hear that kind of development style being evangelized at Microsoft, but it's good to see."
The "inventor" of the waterfall model process -- aka analysis/design/implementation -- himself advocated an iterative approach to software development
"In his 1970 paper, Royce proposed what is now popularly referred to as the waterfall model as an initial concept, a model which he argued was flawed. His paper then explored how the initial model could be developed into an iterative model, with feedback from each phase influencing previous phases, similar to many methods used widely and highly regarded by many today. Ironically, it is only the initial model that received notice; his own criticism of this initial model has been largely ignored."
Photos of Papa John's next generation door flyers
"The new version is a STICKER placed in front of your peephole to help you visualize the use of the service advertised."
The evolution of the knife, the fork, and the spoon
"Feeding Desire: Design and Tools of the Table, 1500–2005 examines the evolution of European and American dining through the design and function of eating implements."
Knife skills
Photo tutorials for chopping garlic, onions, chickens, etc.

10 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dan Grossman 05 Jul 06

In a recent interview with Time, CEO Eric Schmidt said, �We try very hard to look like we�re out of control. But in fact the company is very measured. And that�s part of our secret.�

Truth or lie? Google appears, from the outside, to be wasting time and resources on beta project after beta project without ever tying them together or bringing them to profitability. Are they planning to one day complete the buggy and useless Google Accounts system to bring their various services together in a meaningful way?

Fresh Mike 05 Jul 06

Jack did a heck of a job with the FreshBooks usability review…totally unsoliticed…he just loved our service….it’s amazing to get such detailed and postive feedback from an expert in the field.

We’re going to post some more tricks and trips soon on our blog (link above)…if you liked Jack’s article, you’re bound to like those.

Dan Grossman 05 Jul 06

I totally agree that it’s a good direction to be going in. If anyone has the resources to offer hosted applications, it’s Google. They already have the platform to run it all on.

But they’re sure taking their time putting it all together. They’ve got a word processor, a spreadsheet app, a calendar, an e-mail app, a chat app… but where’s the Google Office Suite? Where’s the integration? Even the unified login system (Google Accounts) barely works.

nursegirl 06 Jul 06

That Hans Rosling world health video is extraordinary. Wow!

Bryan C 06 Jul 06

I think those Papa John’s foldy stickers are the door-flyer equivalent of a late-90’s Flash web intro: Irresistable to the self-absorbed designer and his admiring fans, but universally hated by the actual customers.

They stick to my door, and I don’t like stuff stuck to my door. They block most of the view through the peephole, which defeats the purpose of being able to see outside without opening said door. Finally, they only work as intended on doors which have a peephole, and many homes just don’t have peepholes. Bah, I say. Bah.

Shakeer 11 Jul 06

also, those Papa John’s stickers are really going to freak people out when they see them through their peep hole for the first time.

timb 20 Jul 06

holy balls, the ‘contrasting concepts of harmony in architecture’ link is awesome. thanks.

rajwec 30 Sep 06

please sign up into windows live mail beta 2 gb storage