Yet another celebrated, but unimpressive Task Manager - Wunderkit Todo List App

I've tried the first iteration of the Berlin based startup called Wunderlist and I wasn't impressed. After Remember The Milk, Any.Do and the 1 million other task managers I tried I'm pretty spoiled. It seems to me that 6Wunderkinder didn't do their research work properly, as with many "new" products coming from startups solving "new" problems. They solve problems already solved - often times more cleverly or they don't solve them at all.

And Wunderkit has the same problem as ALL software has - it starts out nice and clean with just the minimum functionality because someone felt, that the current solution is too clunky and overloaded. In a second step they add functionality because the minimum set of features just meets the demands of a minimum set of customers - if you want to be sustainable and grow you need more customers and you have to meet their needs - by adding new features.

After a couple of versions you end up just as clunky and feature rich as the solution it was replacing.

As for Wunderkit the addition of social features is one that breaks the whole "get something done" principle and honestly the design is not readable not practical. It's nice to look at - if you don't care about design in it's real sense and I'm sure it fits nicely in the Apple world of "undesign" that all the iPhone Apps are famous for.

#taskmanager #startup #design

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How to avoid the "Lock in Effect" in Wordpress Themes and Plugins

How to avoid the "Lock in Effect" in Wordpress Themes and PluginsWordpress is a great open source platform ... but open might turn into closed by using certain plugins and themes that prevent you from moving on ... here is a good guide on what to look out for.

#wordpress #guide #themes

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Google+: View post on Google+About the “Lock in Effect” in WordPress Themes and Plugins The WordPress themes and plugins market is huge these days. With all that wide range of products available, we sometimes stumble into situations where we’d like to change our mind, i.e. use a different plugin or theme instead of the one we’re currently using. Eventually we figure out that it’s incredibly tough to replace some of the themes and plugins, because as soon as they’re deactivated, all (or part) of our data is lost, and the new theme or plugin that was supposed to replace the old on...

Real design is not...

about making something good looking, oder elegant or "uncrappy" or emulating real things in a digital way. It's about re-imagining - re-combining and make it financially viable. It should make you say wow - or simply go out of your way. Here is an example of how "folding" is applied in a unique way.

#productdesign #chair #creativity

Reshared post from +Peter McDermott

Folding Chair 3.0

The last folding chair I shared with you was pretty cool, but this one takes the cake!

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Do we need to label photo retouched portraits?

Every year the discussion about labeling retouched photos of women (mostly women) in media arises. It my eyes the whole discussion misses the point in the sense that it assumes that "common people" are too stupid to recognize that the photos on the covers are fake. Especially for celebrities I cannot see the danger of highly retouched photos - why? Simply because while on one side the cover photos of magazine show highly stylized versions of persons who will be thrown under the bus by the yellow press showing shocking "paparazzi" photos where we can see them un-retouched.

Interestingly enough the audience for both photos is the same. So I don't really see the danger.

On the other side I hear more often how someone is surprised to see that a celebrity actually looks like on TV when they see them on the street ... doesn't that tell you that we "know" what is real in what not?

#retouching #photo

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Researchers Create Way to Measure Photo Retouching Faced with an increasing backlash against portrait retouching, researchers have crafted a program to quantify just how much the picture has been tweaked.

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Net neutrality - aka the internet as we know it

I love to see that the European Parlament embraces net neutrality. While we sometimes point fingers to Europe for their overbearing privacy laws etc., but Europe is also the place where the User is more important then any corporation or state (exception may apply). Regarding net neutrality I just want to add one argument why we need it - Net neutrality should be renamed in Net preservation, because it preserve the status quo ... the internet as we know it now. It has become as big and important because it was neutral and there has be no differentiation between services and content. This must continue to not halt the innovation and the growth of this important media.

#media #internet #neutrality

Reshared post from +Kol Tregaskes

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European Parliament adopts net neutrality resolution Net neutrality should be enshrined in European Union law, says the European Parliament, which adopted a resolution calling for net neutrality on 17 November.

Network neutrality is a principle that states that internet service providers to not give any content preferential treatment. Any given video, article, web page should get just as much bandwidth as another. Supporters of net neutrality warn that if it is abandoned, ISPs will create fast lanes for web traffic, where content from paying p...

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Beyond the big four in Google Music - Self publishing Music tracks

As usual the small details count and the self publishing aspect for independent artists is a big deal. If you are not part of the publishing associations you are cut out of airplay revenue etc, but you also give up most of your rights to publish the music yourself - it's not only the media companies hurting artists.

Google Readers redesign is the right direction

I found it very interesting reading all the reactions to the redesign of Google Reader (http://brianshih.com/78073742). What an outcry. It remembered me the times when Digg launched their big redesign last year. Just like then we had the two camps The Superfans/Superusers: the one's who think they can't live without the "social" aspect the old features brought to them The journalist/blogger/designer/social media expert: who claimed that RSS and Google Reader is dead anyway and therefore deprecating features of Google Reader just confirms that.

They both agree that Google Reader is a niche product and "normal" users don't care anyway, because they discover content on Twitter, Facebook or Newsreaders like Flipboard, Feedly, Pulse. Well they are both wrong.

1) The superuser myth I'm honestly a little bit sick of hearing all the time that "we are the superuser" and "the rest" of the users are not tech savvy and don't care about technology. I can say that there have never been so many tech savvy people around like now - just they don't even address it, because it's second nature to them. I don't even want to start to talk about "young" people and the emerging countries where the population is generally younger and has a different approach to technology all-together. In short - people use technology a lot and they use it the way it makes sense to them.

2) The RSS Feed consumption is a niche myth RSS consumption is growing generally and the user base of Google Reader has grown almost exponentially in the last couple of years - and already last years discussion about the death of RSS where dismissed by the numbers (http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2010/09/rss-dead.html).

While content discovery on social networks (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter) is great - it's also random. You have to take extra steps to see what are the big news you don't want to miss - you have to go to Techmeme etc. Google Reader is the source of "do not miss" news. I know that important tech news will be featured on more than one of the big outlets (GigaOm, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, TUAW, ...) so I just need to subscribe to a couple of them. On Twitter I will not see these posts - they fly by in the stream of yet another free icon Photoshop tutorial free download check-in.

One of the great drivers of the user growth are the mobile devices and the News-Reader Apps - they use mostly Google Reader to synchronize the subscriptions (http://alexking.org/2010/07/13/imap-for-feeds). Podcasting Clients use a similar approach. You can also see that this use case is prominent in the redesign - the subscribe button is clearly the most visible functionality on the site - which means that this is the most used function in Google Reader: Adding a feed source

3) Deprecating features is a evolution and good How many times do we complain about feature overload and bloated software. Trimming features is better than a complete redesign from ground up - it's like trimming branches of a Tree. The good thing about a web application is, that you (as a developer) can really see what features are used and by how many. The social features where messy, clunky and weren't easy to use. The actual number of users who used this specific feature must have been a relative tiny number (even if 10,000 people have signed a petition and where supposedly using the features).

Concluding I think I will continue to use Google Reader as before - as a gateway for news I don't want to miss. The new interface doesn't bring me back to reading content on it, but if I do now I can share it easily to Google+, and no I don't mind +1 something I want to share even if I don't have anything positive to say about it.

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Judging an Corporate Identity by the logo

I love identities - I've designed several big ones and love most the "system" aspect of it. A corporate identity is not only a logo, but the combination of typography, logo and graphical elements applied to many different media and form factors. Most of the time you don't even know all the applications of the identity when you start or deploy it. I find it ridiculous to judge an identity by only seeing the logo and maybe one more application - whatever application might be. But it's often done - like in this article on creative review where close to 200 "designers" mock an advertising agency and their work without knowing the background or the briefing for the redesign and by seeing only one tiny little piece of the work.

#CI #Identity #review #britishgas

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Creative Review - New British Gas logo: a sign of the future? The best in visual communication

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When a cover pays tribute

Achtung baby is not my favorite U2 Album, but it might have inspired more musicians than the others. The free cover album released a couple of days ago is filled with great and popular artists. And as a preview some of the tracks are available to listen at Consequence of Sound. Nice

#nin #u2 #killers #cover #music

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Check Out: Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, The Killers cover U2 « Consequence of Sound Consequence of Sound is a New York- and Chicago-based, worldly influenced music blog that seeks to cover the music world as it has never has been covered before. Features news, reviews, mp3, and festi...

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Do Camera Phones finally take photos that match the memory

Every time I change phone I hope I can forget about my point&shoot. I hoped it in 2005 when I've got the Sony Ericcson K750i (K is for Kamera = Camera) - and later with the first Nexus One. The improvements where there, but slow and I couldn't really see why the evolution was so slow and the quality so bad even compared to a $50 Point&Shoot from the electronic gadget store around the corner. My main problem is that the shots don't live up to the memories. If we take the pictures to keep on the memories, I want them to be on par with my memories - or even better. I want them to be the aid to remember more vividly how beautiful, fun or dull that moment was. I don't want them to distort my memory or change it.

Within the latest releases of smartphones I've seen (at least from the publicized shots) that the technology is going to be there - soon. This video is an example of the images you can shoot with the latest Google Galaxy Nexus Phone (with some technical help to make it more engaging). It really looks promising, just like the Samsung Galaxy SII and the new iPhone 4s. Maybe this time we can really forget about our Point and Shoots.

#photography #smartphone #memory

Reshared post from +Romain Guy

Rockaway Beach, by Galaxy Nexus #android #galaxynexus #timelapse

This is a slightly longer version of the video showed during the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 launch event.

You can also watch the video on YouTube: Rockaway Beach by Galaxy Nexus

The video was shot on Rockaway Beach, near Pacifica, California. The final video is a compilation of video and time-lapse clips shot with a Galaxy Nexus phone. Everything was shot in 1080p and the final video was edited in Adobe After Effects CS5. The only processing done on the original footage was to speed it up in the first clip.

The video clips were shot without the help of a tripod and shake a little bit. The time-lapse clips were shot using a Stage Zero Dolly from Dynamic Perception (www.dynamicperception.com). If you haven't seen them before, check out the photos of the rig I used by opening the album linked below.

This video was my very first try at shooting video (including time-lapses) with a phone. It is also not what I had planned on doing when I went to Rockaway Beach that night! My Canon 5D Mk II remained untouched as soon as I got the idea of using the Galaxy Nexus. This first experiment was very interesting and I already have many ideas of other videos and time-lapses I would like to shoot with this phone.

You can watch the video in full 1080p resolution and I highly recommend you do so on... a Galaxy Nexus! The gorgeous 720p screen at 315 dpi is amazing.

Enjoy!

In album Photo Gear (5 photos)

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Mapmaker now available in Canada

Mapmaker is the the tool from Google Maps where you can add information - much like you can in Open Streetmaps. By looking at the list of countires and regions where this tool is available I can see a pattern - regions with low density of population or available data. But to be honest - there are areas even in high population density countries like Italy and Germany where Google Maps still lacks. While I hope they will release this tools for those areas as well I will try to make the map of Canada better :)

 

Reshared post from +Daniel Mabasa

Woohoo! The magic of Google Map Maker is now available in Canada!

Read about it here: http://goo.gl/RG7Gl

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Animate your Website Elements the easy way

CSS3 has introduced easy animations to webdesign ... but what if you are new to animating and don't know what looks good or want to see a couple of examples? Here is a cross-browser CSS Animations that look really good and will help you make you website look more animated. I can already see them in use on forms and sliders.

#CSS3 #Animation #Free #Resource

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Animate.css - a bunch of plug-and-play CSS animations

Animate.css. animate.css is a bunch of cool, fun, and cross-browser animations for you to use in your projects. Great for emphasis, home pages, sliders, and general just-add-water-awesomeness. Create ...

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Google Rail/Street View - or the never ending Deja-Vue

I love that the Swiss rail is embracing the new technology instead of demonizing it (like it was in Germany). I love StreetView to check out a neighbourhood before renting a place and get an idea how a certain area looks like before I book a vacation, but sometimes then when I get there I have a feeling of Deja-Vue. Have I've been here? Yes - virtually. There is still a difference in experiencing the real thing - especially nature, but still sometimes I wonder if I should scale down on my peaking before travelling.

On the other side I'm deeply related to the Swiss Alps, because I grew up exactly next to them in the italian Alps and the Dolomites. Seeing them in Google Streetview makes me feel a little bit closer to home whenever I want.

#StreetView #Switzerland

Reshared post from +Vanessa Schneider

Too, too cool.

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Google+ soon with Google Apps

This is definitely great news and I wonder if this will also coincide with the launch of Brand Pages - as many Google Apps Accounts are actually small to medium businesses. #google #apps #GooglePlus #integration

Reshared post from +Ben Parr

Yup, Google Apps Support. Finally.

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Google+ To Support Google Apps in Next Few Days Google has announced that Google+ will support Google Apps accounts within the next few days.

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Occupy Wall Street has it's grassroot visual language

This website aims to build the visual language for the 99% movement, also known as Occupy Wallstreet. I find the idea interesting, and the icons are functional and the designs clear. But it also conveys that the 99% is a dull nameless mass - which is in my opinion in conflict with the diversity of opinions and goals of this heterogenous movement.

The website states that they try to unite the movement with an unified graphic language - but at the moment the language is not very unique. I think that the lowest denominator is not the best approach and there might be need for more thought and variety.

#OWS #design #Identity #style

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OccupyDesign Building a visual language for the 99%, grassroots style. Infographic + other protest signs, logistical signage, and universal icons to support the Occupy Together movement.

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Google Analytics visualizes data the "Napoleon's March" way

Google's Analytics tool provides many insights - if you know what to look for. The new visualization reports should help people to understand more easily what is going on. It's basically a revamped path visualization like the one found in funnels, but available to all pages. Looking forward in using this tool. Reshared post from +Danny Sullivan

If you do graphics, you'll know about the famous Napoleon's March illustration from 1869 that shows how his army was wiped out. Now, Google Analytics lets you do the same charts for your own site, but hopefully with a better ending!

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Google Analytics Gains "Napoleon's March" Flow Visualization Charts Google Analytics announced a new set of reports that should help marketers and website owners to understand how users behave on their websites. The feature was presented this morning during Web 2.0 Su...

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Government Spending Explained in Household Terms

While there are enough Families with problems in their own household finances, the US Government really is in bad shape if you apply a "normal" view. #government #spending #data #visualization

Reshared post from +Joseph Pred

Here is why S&P downgraded the US credit rating.

• U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 • Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000 • New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000 • National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 • Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Now let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget.

• Annual family income: $21,700 • Money the family spent: $38,200 • New debt on the credit card: $16,500 • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710 • Total budget cuts: $385

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Is Amazon losing it's open source privileges?

I'm interested to see if this really plays out this way. They had for sure some lawyers looking over this issue beforehand. In my opinion they made a new launcher which skinned the whole operating system (just like other phone manufacturers do) and closed sourced that part. I can't see anything wrong with that.

Will stay on top of this topic.

#android #opensource #kindle

Reshared post from +Henrý Þór Baldursson

Hey Amazon. Will we have to sue you to get access to the source for Amazon's Kindle Fire operating system that you stole based off Android? If you don't provide source for GPL code that you use and have modified for your tablet, then you'll lose the copyleft permissions granted to you by the license. Hence, you'll be unable to release software based on Linux and the other GPL'd bits of software in Android.

http://kdk.amazon.com has a form to request "beta developer" approval, that I've applied for. If anyone gets denied that access, and there's no other way to get the SDK and the source for the GPL'd licensed software, then I certainly hope the FSF sues Amazon's asses off.

GPL doesn't just mean "Ooh, free stuff I can appropriate into my own product and sell for gobs of money", that's the BSD License. GPL means you can redistribute and modify software, as long as you provide the sourcecode with any modifications.

Failure to do that results in loss of privileges to the original source. If that happens, then have fun trying to keep your Kindle Fire ecosystem alive.

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Kindle Development Kit for Active Content Build innovative active content for Kindle, Amazon's wireless reading device. The Kindle Development Kit (KDK) provides rich APIs, tools, and documentation to help you create active content for E ...

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Jeff Jarvis interviewed live on Facebook

I'm just listening right this moment to the audiobook of +Jeff Jarvis Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live- so will switch my headphones to hear this talk :)

Reshared post from +Jeff Jarvis

Please come join the Facebook talk I'll be giving this afternoon at HQ about Public Parts and privacy. They're streaming live at 3p PT, 6p ET. It's public, of course.

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Facebook Live with Jeff Jarvis, Author of Public Parts | Facebook

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