Idea: Tripple-A it!

As VG Cats pointed out a few (4!) years ago, HD games are realistic because they use bloom effects and a brown/green palette (mostly brown).

VG Cats comic on Gaussian Blur

Some iPhone apps already do bloom or other effects, but the idea here would be a “AAA-feature” that takes any photo (or video?), drives up the brown, and blooms the hell out of it. Making it feel like a first class HD video game screenshot or trailer!

Maybe Zack Snyder wants to use it for his next movie?
Sucker Punch movie poster "300" Movie poster

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Comic review: The Watchmen

Watchmen – Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons

(Note: I read this comic book in 2008, and this is a repost of a review I did then in Visual Bookshelf on my Facebook)

I saw the movie before reading the comic. The comic itself was extremely well done and a blast to read. It also made me appreciate the movie even more as it was a perfect adaption. Things that work better in a comic, like long monologues or background stories, are there. Fights and other action scenes that don’t work as well in comics are short. The movie was a bit opposite there, fitting the media type perfectly.

Conclusion: Read the comic. See the movie. It’s really worth it.

Idea: Warning, that page is old!

As I scour the web for info I often come across blog and forum posts. There’s nothing more irritating than getting swept up in what seems to be exactly what you were looking for, just to find out it’s outdated after reading half the bloody thing.

Google’s search filter for when the results were updated is probably the best approach, but I’d still like a big flashing red light when I’m entering a page older than a year. That’s practically an internet fossil.

Book review: The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason

(Note: I read this book in 2008, and this is a repost of a review I did then in Visual Bookshelf on my Facebook)

A collection of common sense. I’d recommend this as the first book for personal finance one should read. It’s overall short and explains the concepts in short stories that stick. It’s hard to find a book that explain these simple basic concepts without rambling for hundreds of pages. Although it could’ve been even shorter, the actual message could be in 2-4 pages. Still a nice read on a trip!

Conclusion: Read it, it’s super short.

Eating your own dog food

I’m a big believer in using your own product. If you don’t want to use it, why would your customer? (Salespeople: don’t answer that)

Google Labs recently released a nifty little project called Page Speed Online. You enter the URL for your website and it gives you a “Page Speed Score” out of a 100. The best part though is it gives you specific tips on how to increase your score! The tips are categorized in three priorities (High, Medium and Low) and complemented with “rules without suggestions”.

So the obvious question is: What’s the Page Speed Score for various Google products? Let’s find out!

Google

Page Speed Score of 97 (out of 100).
Low priority: Make landing page redirects cacheable

GMail

Page Speed Score of 97 (out of 100).
Low priority: Leverage browser cachingMinify HTMLPut CSS in the document headRemove query strings from static resources

Page Speed Online *snicker*

Page Speed Score of 95 (out of 100).
Low priority: Leverage browser cachingMinify HTMLSpecify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header

Picasa

Page Speed Score of 89 (out of 100).
Low priority: Optimize imagesMinify HTMLSpecify a character set

YouTube

Page Speed Score of 88 (out of 100).
Medium priority: Leverage browser caching
Low priority: Specify a cache validator, Defer parsing of JavaScript, Minify HTML, Serve scaled images, Minify JavaScript

Chrome

Page Speed Score of 80 (out of 100).
Medium priority: Minimize redirects
Low priority: Leverage browser cachingInline Small CSSOptimize the order of styles and scriptsPrefer asynchronous resourcesOptimize imagesMinify HTMLMinify CSSSpecify a character setSpecify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header

Wasn’t that interesting? Picasa the image site gets tips on optimizing images, and Chrome which puts speed in the tagline gets the lowest speed score.

One of my hobby projects is done in Java on Google App Engine with Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and gets two tips on JavaScript (one being “Minifying the following JavaScript resources could reduce their size by 10.5KiB (100% reduction).”, which sounds really positive!). The funny bit being that I can’t affect how GWT creates the JS… I’ll post when I finish the project and follow the tips.

What are your scores? Are you better than Google at their own game? Did you get any useful tips for your site?

[Updated 2011-05-16: Fixed some links and added YouTube]

Idea: FaceNotes

As a part of Getting Things Done, you have your waiting-for list. When working in an office environment a lot of those people you’re waiting for pass you by in the corridor. The kitchen can be a great place to get a quick update on things. “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools“, but man do I love to use the latter to improve the first.

I really like the Silverlight PivotViewer and I can just imagine having something similar on an iPad when attending meetings. Just being able to connect tasks to people and having that data accessible in a fluent way would be a great tool to review tasks in a lot of different ways. Who should you talk to today to make sure things are done by tomorrow? Who has the most stuff to do, that you might be able to help? What do the people attending the meeting already have on their plate?

Writing the above paragraph I notice how it would be extra powerful it would be if everyone’s tasks could be tracked, but I’d be happy just having my own lists for people and being able to sort out who to view really easily and quickly.