April 2010

The Washington Post election maps

Washington Post election '10 map

The Washington Post kicks off its 2010 election coverage with a well designed interactive map. I like the races to watch panel on the left side that gives you a good overview of what is interesting. Clicking on one of the races brings up more information and highlights the race on the map, which is nice. However I wish I could deep link to a particular race.

Click here to view the map

How would you spell a fart noise?

Depends. There is more than one kind, you know. Myself, I’ve mastered the “SBD” so you wouldn’t spell it at all. You’d just smell it. (In case you were wondering, SBD = Silent but Deadly.)

Then there is the little flower – a polite “tooooooooot” in a high pitch that resembles the odeur of skunk cabbage.

Of course, there is the rolling thunderclap – involving the noise of the “verbal raspberry” – pbtpbtpbtpbtpbtpbtpbt

Via The_Doc_…

How much time do americans spend on elevators? A ton

Elevator time

In a study of building efficiency, the folks at IBM have compiled data based on a survey of 6,486 office workers in 16 U.S. cities. The questions dealt with issues including building security, office temperature, use of alternative energy sources, environmental and conservation issues, and, of course, elevator time. The company organized its elevator results into the graph shown above…

Head over to INFRASTRUCTURIST for other interesting findings.

Thanks, Tiff.

Steve Jobs on Flash

Jobs explains why Adobe Flash is no longer relevant:

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Ouch! Although I agree with most of what he said, I still think that Flash is not going away anytime soon. On a side note, it appears that the next version of Google Android will support Flash.

Axis Maps releases indiemapper, a web-based thematic map application

indiemapper overview

From the creators:

Indiemapper is in part a reaction to the frustration, confusion, and difficulty we (as cartography students, teachers, and practitioners) have encountered in using GIS for thematic mapping. Our most important principle, which I hope is visible in the image above, is simple clarity—being easy to learn, easy to understand, and easy to use. Ben Sheesley and Mark Harrower have worked tirelessly to design an interface that fits that bill. Notice that the whole thing consists of only a half dozen or so components, the most complicated of which is the layers panel on the left side (which is a real feat of Flex/AS3 wizardry by Zach, I must add), and even that can be mastered with minimal effort.

Head over to Andy Woodruff’s blog to learn more.

Cooking an MVC framework for data visualization: Hello World!

For the last few years MVC frameworks have become a hot topic in the developer community. Many people love them and for a good reason. They make writing code much easier and more fun to do. The programs written in MVC are more scalable and easier to maintain. One of the biggest benefits is that if you learn one, you can probably learn others pretty quickly.

A few words about my background

I am a web developer and designer who specializes in data visualization. I have been using a few MVC frameworks such as Django, ASP.NET MVC and more recently iPhone SDK for my work and I can tell you, they are very similar. Since I am still learning these concepts myself, please let me know if I don’t make sense or I am completely wrong. I promise I won’t feel bad about it :) .


In this series of tutorials I will introduce you to the MVC world. You will learn how to make your code cleaner and your applications more modular. Along the way you will learn a few useful design patterns, one of which is MVC, and how to apply them to your work. Although the main focus is on building a data visualization framework, many techniques are applicable to any kind of work.

These tutorials assume that you have general knowledge of object oriented programming and understand AS3 syntax. If you are not familiar with these, please go here and here.

Continue reading »

Introducing the wallet walker

I never know what I want for my birthday until I found this:

Money’s enough of a burden without having to carry it.
If you have a wallet you need a Wallet Walker. Sturdy nylon straps hold any wallet in place. The Wallet Walker works with any wallet, billfold, money clip or credit card holder. Even purses! That’s right ladies, the Wallet Walker is also a purse walker! And it comes with a free lipstick holder attachment. Carrying your wallet is so 1985. Use a Wallet Walker and let the ground carry your wallet for you!

Here is another good one if you find it too hard to feed yourself.

Getting food to your mouth can be hard work.
But not with the Food Lift! Simply place your favourite food in the convenient food hopper, turn it on and let the Food Lift do the rest. Now you can enjoy all the foods you love without the chore of using a knife and fork. The Food Lift works with burgers, pizza, lasagna, corn, chicken wings, fish sticks, salad and so much more. Plus the Food Lift is also simple to clean. You can take it apart in seconds, rinse it out with warm soapy water and reassemble it in seconds. Its that easy! Order your Food Lift online at www.theweakshop.com and well include the Super Bib absolutely free. What a deal!

You can watch more hilarious videos from The Weak Shop here

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