This is cool – very well done! Madeline Schichtel took a video everyday of 2011 and stitched this timeline video together. Enjoy!
I shot a little video every day of 2011 on my Canon Powershot, then I edited it all down to a little over a second each. It’s interesting to be able to look back on my year and remember these little moments. I love living in LA. I love the friends I’ve made. And I love seeing how much has changed over just one year being here. Sure, I guess now that I see it, I got sick and worked a lot this year (lots of driving, running around doing errands all day). But oh well, it’s motivation for 2012!
All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
EDIT:: I wanted to add a few notes up here to say THANK YOU to the amazing response this video has received. I’d made this video for myself as a way to keep my usually shy-self active and lift my spirits when I’m down about work, paying rent, figuring… everything out. I thought the finished product would only be seen by my friends and family. All your kind words and support have blown me away and made me more and more grateful for the life I’ve been dealt.
I feel so insanely blessed, so thank you for quite honestly changing how I see my life and thank you for motivating me to do more and do better.
I hope this video inspires you to treasure every day you get and find the good, beautiful moments in even the worst days (even if it’s just going for a walk, taking a drive, or spending time with a pet).
One more important note: So much of this video is thanks to the amazing and inspiring friends I’ve made in LA. A number of these clips (some of my favorites) come from days when I got the honor of working on my friends’ very ambitious and wonderful web kids’ show Googy as a part of Channel 101. I hope you will check it out here: vimeo.com/channels/googy#19370996
This is actually pretty cool! It’s kind of like having Siri as your shopping assistant! Whole Foods (one of my favorite stores!) is prototyping adding a Kinect powered shopping cart – take a look at this video from GeekWire (I especially like the part around 0:50 seconds ):
Whole Foods prototype puts Kinect on shopping cart, follows people around store
Microsoft showed the very early prototype, being developed for Whole Foods by a third-party developer, Austin-based Chaotic Moon, during an event on the Redmond campus today, hosted by Craig Mundie, the company’s chief research and strategy officer.
The company says the project is literally weeks old, and that was apparent in the demo, which included a couple of false starts where the sensor didn’t precisely the shopper. The technology will need to be ironed out before it’s deployed, lest our shopping trips turn into destruction derbies.
But it’s an interesting application that shows what outside developers can do now that a Kinect software development kit has been released for Windows, expanding the sensor beyond the Xbox 360 game console.
Microsoft says more than 300 companies are working on commercial applications for Kinect on Windows. Other demos today included an application that gave an immersive virtual tour of a new vehicle, and another that let kids interact with a wildlife show.
This would be cool if the rumored new AppleTV 3 arrives next week! I love my AppleTV’s! From Gizmodo:
Is a New Apple TV Coming Next Wednesday?
9to5mac says it has sources claiming a new Apple TV will arrive alongside the new iPad next week, and that it will feature a variant of the A5 processor capable of handling 1080p video. Can you say full HD AirPlay Mirroring?
Furthermore, those same sources claim that Apple will release three iPad models again, and that the low end model may not have the same color options this time around. And they offer up some model numbers to bolster their claim.
This J1 iPad is likely the WiFI-only model, and the J2 and J2a are likely different cellular-data-enabled versions. GSM/CDMA/LTE have all been rumored cellular-date types for the new iPad, so those two J2 models are likely some technical combination of the three.
Interestingly we’re hearing whispers that the J1 may only come in one color – at least at launch.
And finally, 9to5mac claims that a new accessory is on the way, which may or may not be some sort of advanced Bluetooth remote accessory for the AppleTV. With just over a week until the big event, we won’t have to wait too long to find out if these rumors are true or not. [9to5mac via Electronista]
I’m a huge fan of all things “crowd” based:
America’s Best Weather Forecast
It’s on Weather Underground, and you should start using it now.
If you start at the Bay Bridge and head west along most major streets in San Francisco, you’ll eventually get to a magical land of misery known as the Sunset. The name is a joke, and perhaps even a way to trick tourists: The sun rarely visits the Sunset, not even when it sets. The primary weather element in the Sunset is fog—thick, endless, depressive clouds of it that wash up from the ocean to completely saturate the land. I lived in the Sunset for a single, terrible year. Before I moved there, I used to be one of those snobby city-dwellers who’d look down on suburbanites who couldn’t handle San Francisco’s famously capricious climate. I’d heard the Sunset’s weather wasn’t great, but hey, how bad could it be?
It was bad. Too bad for me; after our lease was up, my wife and I moved to the suburbs. Looking back, what bothered me most wasn’t the terrible climate—though I did hate it—but the vast difference between the Sunset’s weather and the weather everywhere else. Whatever meteorological patterns applied in normal parts of San Francisco didn’t seem to apply to the Sunset, which meant that forecasts for the city held no sway there. If the weatherman said it was going to be 80 and sunny, it was probably 55 and cloudy at my house.
San Francisco’s weather is an extreme example of a common phenomenon in forecasting: microclimatic variances. We like to think of the weather as being one thing, but it’s not—the weather across town is often different, usually much better, from the weather where you are. It’s this disconnect that makes us hate weather forecasters, and it’s what makes forecasters hate the weather.
Now, finally, meteorologists have figured out how to deal with this variance. Last week Weather Underground, a pioneering weather site, launched a new forecasting algorithm that takes local variations into account. The site has been working on the new system for many years, but until last week the site’s default forecast for American locations still came from the National Weather Service. But now when you type in your zip code, you’ll get a forecast from Weather Underground’s proprietary system, called BestForecast, that’s tailor-made to where you are. There’s a good chance it will give you a more accurate picture of what next week will look like, and how much better it will be for your friends who live in better parts of the city.
Why is Weather Underground’s forecast better? It relies on more data. To tell you what’s going to happen next week, meteorologists have to know what’s going on today. Over the last few decades the National Weather Service and other agencies worldwide have built up a robust system of weather stations. There are about 1,000 National Weather Service weather stations in the United States, mainly at official locations like airports. A spokesman told me there are an additional 100 locations around the country where the NWS launches weather balloons twice a day. And finally, the service relies on volunteer reports from the public—a network of 11,000 “cooperative observers” who provide their data to the service, plus 300,000 people who’ve been trained to spot severe weather events and report what they see.
Weather Underground’s system takes most of this NWS data into account, and then it adds even more. In particular, the site has assembled a huge network of constantly updating automated weather stations. These stations are owned and maintained by weather enthusiasts—people who love to track precipitation in their own backyards. They agree to share their data with Weather Underground because the site offers free archiving; you can see what your station was reporting months or years ago, easily, from anywhere. And weather enthusiasts are a generous bunch—they love the weather so much that they want to share it with everyone, and they’ve been pestering Weather Underground for years to incorporate personal weather station data into its forecasts.
The site has complied and now has 16,000 personal weather stations in its network in the United States and 8,000 more internationally. On top of that, it incorporates 26,000 extra weather stations from the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA is the parent agency of the National Weather Service, but the weather service doesn’t use every MADIS station in its forecasts.) John Celenza, Weather Underground’s meteorologist and lead developer, told me that the site has the largest network of weather stations in the world. In the Bay Area, for instance, the weather service has just 18 automated weather reporting stations. Weather Underground has those 18 plus 488 more personal stations and 269 MADIS stations. That means WU has an order of magnitude more data. What’s more, many of its stations provide data in real time—as a result, Weather Underground can update its readings and forecast every two seconds.
Over the past few years, Celenza’s team worked to incorporate all this data into a better weather-prediction machine. As they developed BestForecast, they constantly checked their predictions against reality—if yesterday’s Weather Underground forecast said that it would be 72 degrees near your house tomorrow, was it right? And did the National Weather Service’s forecast do better? The company’s decision to replace the weather service with BestForecast was precipitated by its own improving results. “We just saw that we were getting really good—there were so many positives, so many places where we were doing so much better,” Celenza says.
How much better? That’s hard to quantify. Because the weather varies so much from place to place, the quality of Weather Underground’s forecasts—and its relative performance compared to NWS—depends on where you’re talking about. “It’s probably 1 or 2 Fahrenheit degrees better overall,” Celenza says when I press him to give me a ballpark figure, but he notes that that’s just an average—in some places BestForecast could be significantly better than the weather service (and, in some places, it could be worse; the weather is unpredictable, after all). But Weather Underground is transparent about its performance. If you scroll down the page on any forecast, the site will tell you how well BestForecast has performed for your area over time, and how well the Weather Service has as well. Near my old house in the Sunset,BestForecast’s recent record is rated “Excellent” (meaning it predicted the high temperature to within 1.5 degrees Celsius) while the NWS is only “Good,” meaning it was up to 1 degree worse. Near my current address in Palo Alto, Calif., BestForecast is Good while the NWS is Fair, which means it is sometimes off by 3.5 degrees Celsius. If you like the NWS forecasts more than BestForecast’s, there’s a toggle switch to get that data instead.
BestForecast has other advantages besides better accuracy, though. By incorporating so much data, Weather Undergroud can now provide longer-range forecasts—while the Weather Service only goes out to five days, Weather Underground now provides a 10-day forecast. As Weather Underground’s data network grows—they’ve added a few thousand stations in the past year alone—the site could do even better. “In 10 years, we might get to a place where we can get a pretty good 15-day forecast,” Celenza says.
Celenza—who is, naturally, a weather obsessive—says that switching over to BestForecast made him a little sad. For years, he’s considered the National Weather Service to be the world standard in forecasting. And, indeed, the Weather Service is still the nation’s preeminent forecaster of severe weather. According to a spokesman, the agency has significantly improved the lead warning time for tornadoes. In the 1980s, you might only get five minutes of warning before a tornado, but thanks to Doppler radar and storm watchers, the weather service can now warn residents 20 to 40 minutes before a storm.
For terrible weather, then, you’re still better off relying on the government. But in clear times, you’re better off trusting the crowd.
What took them so long?!? Ha! This is awesome: you can now watch how to assemble IKEA furniture! Those printed instructions have always been less than desirable, but these videos are pretty cool (and fun!) and will vastly increase your chances of success. Check it out from L.A. at Home:
Anyone who has ever assembled IKEA furniture — or had to disassemble something put together incorrectly (those pesky sliding doors on a Pax wardrobe, perhaps?) — will be pleased to learn that the purveyor of flat-pack furniture launched a series of how-to-assemble videos Tuesday on YouTube.
Designed as a visual complement to IKEA’s much-parodied printed instructions — all the rudimentary pictures, the arrows, the umlauts — the videos feature IKEA co-workers walking the Allen-wrench-phobic through the assembly process from start to finish.
In the first video, about four minutes long, a man and a woman assemble the Malm bed frame in 10 steps. Helpful tips pop up on screen, as do pictures of the required tools for each step. You can pause or rewind at will. (And if you find yourself needing to rewind frequently, let us suggest muting the music, lest you completely lose you mind.)
New videos are planned weekly, including ones on the Pax Lyngdal wardrobe and Galant corner desk. No word yet on whether the series will include IKEA’s popular kitchen cabinets.
I am a big advocate of personal (or professional) landing pages. Kind of a virtual business card or resume even. Cool and easy and always up-to-date. Here are some great tips from Lifehacker readers on creating your own and making it stand out from the rest:
How to Make Your Personal or Professional Landing Page Stand Out
Earlier this week we asked you how you make your personal landing page stand out when there are so out there that mostly look alike and you wrote in with great ideas and examples. Here are some of the best and the processes behind them.
To get started, just click through the gallery above. Each image shows one landing page and a little bit about how it came to be. After the showcase, we summed up what we felt worked best about all these pages and how you can use the same principles to make a great one for yourself.
Marc’s approach to his landing page is a pretty straightforward design, letting you scroll down the page to find out more. It also features a handy menu to jump around more quickly if desired. Marc explains his process:
As my professional landing page, I didn’t want to make people work to hard too figure out what I do (and have done) and why it matters to them. I’ve start by introducing myself with a simple infographic, to get a quick smile out of anyone who might view the page. Overall, kept it simple and to the point-just enough to entice people to contact me if they want to know more!
Rather than the large, single image-centric designs you often see on landing pages, Brandon opted for something a little more interactive and animated:
I wanted a basic page that showed all the necessary information, was aesthetically pleasing and just a little bit different. I looked around the web for inspiration on design then played around with the code to get it to work in a funky but not overly gratuitous way. Have a look and hopefully you will see what i mean.
When you check out his site you’ll see how its interactivity and simple animation make a huge difference.
Paulo created a simple page that expands as you interact with it, but one of the best parts is watching the background illustration change its style while you wait. Paulo offers a little insight into his approach:
I wanted a K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) approach, full screen slider up to three images showing off three different styles: vector, photo manipulation and traditional pencils (with a little Photoshop). Plus a few lines introducing myself.
Check out Paulo’s site in action.
Matt’s page has a lot of personality, complete with some fun little secrets. For example, when you scroll all the way down the page it reveals a hidden photo. Matt explains his process:
Well first of all, HTML5 is so yesterday it’s not funny so enough already! I said to myself, hey, let’s take it up a notch ok? So I DID and now I’m pretty much 10 years ahead of the curve so I’m gonna just keep making my beer and drinking with all my free time.
Step 1: Get an awesome photo
Step 2: Sketch out a layout in MY small moleskin notebook
Step 3: Photoshop
Step 4: Tumblr + Code up some CSS 1.2 and HTML9
Step 5: Validate that [ISH...or] don’t, I don’t care and nether does my Aunt who likes my websites.
Step 6: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Rob’s page takes a similar approach to Marc’s, in that it’s a long design where you scroll down to learn more. It also uses omnipresent navigation to help you jump around, but displays it in a top row rather than in a menu. Rob explains a little bit about what he feels is important in a personal landing page:
As for a good personal landing page—most important are: Typography, color scheme, and white space. Responsive design is great as well, if you know the CSS to do so.
There’s a lot more to Rob’s page than you can see above. Check it out.
The benefits are Sahas’ page are really best experienced by using it, so go check it out.
What can you take away from these examples? Here are the three most important similarities that make these pages great:
- The creators chose an aesthetic that feels personal to them.
- Rather than simply making an attractive landing page, each creator thought about how the user would interact with the page. Some kept it simple and others offered a lot of interaction, but everyone thought about how their page would be viewed and used before putting it together.
When you’re putting your page together, you’ll want to keep these things in mind. While design sense, talent, and lots of practice are necessary as well, the above principles will help your make a landing page that stands out.
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