Idea: Star sign matcher

Some time ago I heard a guy that was into The Game and studied astrology. He had found that every star-sign was related to another star-sign in one way or another. There’s compability, moon date, and a bunch of stuff I don’t remember. The point was that you could always clame you were destined together regardless what star signs you both have.

The idea is to have a handy little app (or website) that you enter your birthdate, to configure it for your star sign. Then you just pull upp the page and ask the person what star sign they have, tap it, and see how you’re connected in the stars!

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Idea: A reason to eat cake – every day

As I recently posted, we’ve starting pooling together a fun Entertainment calendar at work (putting in release dates where movies and games we look forward to). I started thinking what more could be added. Co-workers birthdays would be the obvious one. Project milestones could be fun too.

Let’s go back to birthdays. High on my list of favourite non-work-activities-at-work is “fika“. So a reason to eat cake gets a pretty high importance in my calendar. Which leads me to: what’s a good reason to have cake today? Christian Feast Days almost makes it too easy. I’d prefer funnier reasons, like Teddy Bear Day on September 9. There’s an interesting website with various holidays, but I basically want a simple site like this one that just says some information about today – right there on the front page in big letters. And a button to get it into your calendar.

Now if you excuse me, I’m off to celebrate Stephen Hawkin’s birthday with some cake.

Idea: Entertainment launch-dates calendar

I still find it surprising how it’s not extremely easy to know or get notified when a new video game comes out. It’s the same with books and movies. “Fall 2011”, “Q2 2011”, “2012”… I completely understand why publishers and others can’t give an exact date way up front, but with so much info online surely this can be improved.

At work me and a colleague have started an Entertainment-calendar. We mark down all the cool games and movies we know the launch dates of, so it can be shared and enjoyed and maybe even spark a few spontaneous after-work activities. So far I’m also surprised how hard it is to create a shared calendar in Outlook that several people can admin and have a consistent view (category colors aren’t shared for example). Doesn’t companies that use MS Exchange want to mark out release dates for their products, milestones or even birthdays so all employees can see without hassle?

Anyway, as a little helper I’ve made a small bookmarklet that will grab the release date if you’re looking at a product that has one while surfing Webhallen (a popular store in Stockholm) and format the data into iCalendar-format. But for Outlook to pick it up it has to be saved to a file and downloaded, which means I have to host a dynamic file and if I’m already doing that I can make the bookmarklet a bit more advanced by having it include a .js-file and calling a function – allowing me to update and extend the bookmarklet without people having to update anything manually. I’ll post it if/when it’s done.

VG Releases and others are a nice try but it can be a lot better, which I want to make (my target audience is just Sweden for now). I’ll have Outlook integration in mind, but if the response is big enough I’ll make support for Google Calendar. First is finishing the bookmarklet, then making a small site that spiders the supported websites and creates a big calendar with everything. I think this will be my first Google App Engine and Google Web Toolkit project…

Idea: New Year’s resolutions

It’s almost New Year’s eve. As customary, I’m thinking through what I’m going to promise myself to do. I thought I’d add a little twist for 2011. I’m going to … wait for it … actually fullfill those resolutions. Groundbreaking, isn’t it?

Every year people promise to quit smoking, to work out, etc, but some keep it a secret. That in my opinion just makes it even easier to chicken out.

You should select no more than three things, and have it somewhere public where your friends can motivate you to do it (or make fun of you for not doing it, depends on your friends).

Maybe it would work better as a Facebook app, if having your friends helping you is the main feature.

If you’re having trouble coming up with some resolutions, try this generator.

Update: It would be odd if I didn’t write my resolutions here, wouldn’t it?

  1. Learn more. I’ve just started a bookclub at work, but beside that I want to fill my weeks with some learning activity. Primarly it would be taking a few software development certifications but since that is highly dependent on my work, I’ll supplement it with dance classes (starting with salsa).
  2. Eat healthier. I’m not going to fool myself with the typical “get in shape” resolution. I’ve decided to put my extra time on my brain, so the gym will just have to wait a bit more, so that leaves me with something simpler: eat less junk.
  3. Finish the living room. It can take forever for me to find the furniture I like, but I’m really close to finishing the living room and now it’s time to put that last bit of effort to pick the last things.

Idea: Achievements guides for mobiles

I almost always use this website when I’m playing a Xbox game. (Yeah, I love achievements) Some games have various collectables and sometimes people create interactive maps for them. Such as Dr Mong’s Bioshock 2 guide. It’s great to have on your cell phone because it’s easier to have with you on the sofa while playing console games.

I’m a bit amazed that there isn’t an app for X360A or PS3T. According to their forums it’s most likely due to resource constraints. It would be perfect to track your Achievement progress and have the guide available on the phone.