Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Image editing in Firefox via Jetpack and Pixlr

Jetpack Menu API Tutorial from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

I have to admit this is pretty cool from a couple of standpoints. First, an easy Menu API is something Jetpack has needed from the beginning, and this API strikes me as 100% spot-on: logical, intuitive, powerful. Secondly, Pixlr itself is just kick-ass. (That's my nomination for understatement of the year.) And the measly 14 lines of integration code needed to get Pixlr operating on a web image from a right-mouse menu command is (dare I say) one of the nicer parlor tricks I've seen this year. In The Year of the Parlor Trick, that's saying something.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hadoop for Bioinformatics

Protein Alignment - Paul Brown from Cloudera on Vimeo.

About 15 minutes into this video, there's an interesting 3D visualization of a running Hadoop job, showing processor nodes as cubes in a spinning pyramid: green nodes are working normally; a node turns black and falls down to the bottom, signalling a failed job on that processor. I thought it was an interesting visualization. But I also found the presentation interesting overall, since I studied molecular biology in grad school and have an interest in bioinformatics. Beyond that, I have an interest, lately, in all things related to scalability. (Let that be a hint of things to come in future blog posts!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Stop Searching: Find! from salsadev on Vimeo.

The killer UI experience here is:
  1. Highlight an arbitrary piece of content on a Web page. (Select some text in your browser window.)
  2. Let go of the mouse.
  3. A panel appears automagically, containing contextually appropriate webfinds.
The user has essentially created a "query" through the simple gesture of click-dragging across some text on a page.

This ought to give anyone in the Search business an awful lot to think about.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Web as Persuasion Platform

I was surfing Vegard Sandvold's excellent blog, reading his 3 Quick Design Patterns for Better Faceted Search (well worth a look if you're in the business of designing or implementing web apps of any kind), when I came across the above slideshow. I found it thought-provoking. We're all, in one sense or another, in the persuasion business. The best ideas are always actionable. Why not make it easy for people to act?