Wednesday, August 15, 2007

That's Not Fare

We've all been there. Digging at the bottom of your purse and/or pockets to see if you have enough money to get you from Bar X to your nice comfy bed after a long night out is pretty standard. And so the internal monologue begins: "Will it be...$10? What about tip? I think I got home for $8 last time...or was I coming from Bar Y that night? Which route will they go? What if the streets are blocked off and they have to take a long way around? Hm, another dollar. Yes, $11 should cover it ...and that's where my Chapstick has been this whole time!!"

Fret not, my loyal readers, as is coming to your rescue! It is a fare finder that operates based on distance from Point A to Point B (as specified by the user). But wait, it gets even better. There is a mobile version too, for those of us who need to look up this info on our phones.

The bottom line is: I love mashups! There is unlimited potential for people to meld all the content they could ever want into one useful application. And of course some geeks (much like myself) are following these beauties already, which you can read about on this blog: Google Maps Mania

Monday, August 13, 2007

Are You Cereal?

When I lived in San Diego, my uncle would request boxes of French Toast Crunch cereal since the grocery stores in the Bay Area had stopped stocking it. Of course, this was back when it was originally shaped like little pieces of french toast; now they just look like your typical sugary cereal. You'd think that with so much other good food at my disposal, he would have requested things like California burritos or fish tacos.

Lucky for us, San Diego (more specifically, La Jolla) is also the home of some healthy eats. Kashi, a company that is known for its "seven whole grain" foods, was founded there back in 1985. 50 products later, they are a key part of many hiking trips, breakfasts and afternoon snacks across the country. Their next project is a bold venture into the social networking space. Jeff Johnson, Senior Brand Manager, said that the company acknowledged the growing need for consumers to share health information/tips online.

Functionality on the site includes participation in daily health challenges, such as taking 30-minute walks or skipping coffee, all based on user-interaction with each other. There is also more robust content available to visitors, such as articles and recipes. While many brands have failed at adding similar tools to their sites, Kashi can capitalize on the huge segment of users researching health information online.

I highly doubt that there will be any French Toast Crunch networks built anytime in the near future, but I sure would enjoy anything based around waffles (anyone remember Waffle Crisp?).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shoppin' All Over the World

The last time I went shopping at Banana Republic, I scored the trench coat I had been lusting after for a while. I slung it over my arm while I continued to peruse the racks of jersey wrap dresses and cotton chinos when suddenly a woman stopped me dead in my tracks.

Crazy lady: "WHERE did you find that trench coat???!!"
Scared Lindsay: "Up by the the main entrance..."

I'm not sure she even heard the last part of what I said because apparently the glossiness of the black buttons on the coat took over her and whisked her away. It's a known fact that we all like to check out what other people are buying. Whether it's at the grocery store (I particularly enjoy the people that buy diet soda and piles of frozen TV dinners) or a fancy little boutique, watching real-time purchases around us could ultimately impact on our decisions as well., a "social shopping site," recognizes this consumer pattern and has tapped into it with their ThisWorld shopping activity map. Based on registered users (and visitors!) and their browsing patterns on ThisNext, bubbles will pop up in real-time, showing what people are shopping for in certain areas. Genius. Following somewhat in Twitter's footsteps, who paved the path for micro-blogging, ThisWorld is an interesting peek into popular products around the globe.

Now, I'm just waiting for it to get chilly enough to wear my trench coat.

Grid Lock

Today's obsession with perfecting images is almost exhausting. Make them crisper. Adjust the printer calibration. Too much cyan...too much magenta. In a world where 7.1 megapixel cameras are the norm, shouldn't we appreciate those little dots that help make them possible? I happen to really enjoy pixelation. I think there is some nostalgia that lives within any pixelated image; almost a slight homage to Super Mario and his original 8-bit self.

A contemporary German artist, Gerhard Richter, is showing off his own appreciation for pixels in the Cologne Cathedral. Based on his 1974 painting 4096 Colors, the window is made of 11,500 four-inch "pixels" cut from antique glass in 72 colors. Because some hues in his original design were "historically inaccurate or too pale," the artist modified the entire palette to make each piece stained glass-friendly.

This convergence of technology, religion and art is fascinating and unexpected. While most people are used to seeing cherubs and religious references in every corner of churches and cathedrals, this is a modern update that true geeks can appreciate.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Time to Go

I'm not typically a jumpy person, but when my cell phone suddenly vibrates on my desk while I'm in the middle of working, it's often startling. I then get this feeling of anticipation, guessing for a fraction of a second who possibly could be texting me during normal business hours.

At 2:21 pm this afternoon, Yahoo! texted me to let me know that their new Go service (mobile internet) is now available for my BlackJack. And, since I am always one for new/nerdy technology, I downloaded it immediately. The interface is clean and very easy-to-use. It's centered around what they call a "carousel," which you can use to scroll through various Go widgets (Flickr, Mail, Finance, etc.)

It's probably going to suck up a significant amount of data to use, but it will definitely come in handy when I'm...well...on the Go.