Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Patently Silly - The Humor of Invention

During the recent RIM court fight over their patent, I started wondering why the Patent Office was so busy. Research does take time. Understanding the intent of the patent application could be a challenge. Then this week I found a news article about a patent issued for a cordless jump rope.
Yes, cordless jump rope.
But doesn't jump rope imply there is indeed some sort of cord or rope there?
Yes, but there are those who get tangled in the rope and would prefer to get the exercise without getting tangled.
Ah, so the cordless jump rope!
Yes, there is such a thing: Patent # 7037243
and Alcoholic Beverages Derived from Animal Extract: Patent # 7037541
and Magic Bean Wishes: Patent # 7024817
If you would like to explore the silliness of some patents that have been issued, check out this site.
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Wingedpig - Mark Fletcher's Blog

Somewhere along the GEL 2006 trail I found out about Mark Fletcher and his blog at The bread crumbs have been picked up already so trying to figure out how and where the twists and turns and clicks occured is too much effort. The short of it is that Mark is someone folks probably should know. if they do not already.
In 2003, Mark started Bloglines, a free web-based news aggregation service. Using Bloglines, users can search, subscribe to, share and publish blogs and RSS feeds. With the goal of becoming the Universal Inbox for average Internet users, Bloglines is the most popular news aggregator on the Internet.
I am a Bloglines user so I am thankful for the work Mark has done. Bloglines suits my needs nicely.
Mark is not a frequent poster to his blog but he does have good links to follow. Who knows what you'll find when you go exploring?
Read Mark here.
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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Smart Mobs - Howard Rheingold

A slight deviation from the GEL 2006 trail to note this cool site I found this week. Howard Rheingold wrote Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution in 2002. In much of my own explorations of the blogosphere, I have been developing an understanding of how to use the net to foster collaboration, teamwork, the "Power of We"... it is not surprising that this has been forecasted.
I need to get the book.
I need to keep up with the blog.
You might be interested in doing so as well!
Check it out here.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

TrueTalk Blog - Tom Guarriello

Next stop along the GEL 2006 path, we come upon Tom Guarriello writing at TrueTalk Blog. I met up with Tom briefly during the Google party on Thursday night during GEL.
Tom is the Chief Idea Officer at TrueTalk, a management consulting firm specializing in connecting people for results.
He writes on design:

We need to get used to the fact that this process isn't creating "artificial needs," it's part of the great evolutionary process which makes one bird more attractive than another; one flower bring on more bees. We are attracted to beauty and wired to acquire things that attract us. What could be more "natural" than that?

Read the full post here.

He writes on the Microsoft Mini blogging efforts:

So, an anonymous blogger, expressing ideas that must have resonated deeply with a significant portion of Microsoft's workforce, plays a major role in helping his company adopt practices that will make it a better company. More competitive. More focused. More employee-respectful. HR pros: What on earth is keeping you from opening up this kind of dialogue within your company?

Read the full post here.

If you like what you have thus far, put TrueTalk in your RSS reader and keep up with Tom.

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Berkun Blog - Scott Berkun

Continuing the hitchhiking along the GEL 2006 path, I find Scott Berkun writing at the Berkun Blog. Scott lead the Thursday afternoon session at GEL touring Sacred Spaces and writes about it on his blog.
In my studies of architecture, especially sacred architecture, I realized that churches, shrines, and temples are all designed by people. There are no blueprints, and few descriptions, for them in most bibles or holy texts - so what you see in them is an expression of design imagination and talent, as much as anything else. I’m confident that most people can appreciate these buildings and designs in a non-religious way, if they choose too.
In the "What is this blog" section, Scott writes:

This weblog started to log the making and release of a book. Well, the book is out and doing well - But what to do here now?

Here’s the plan:

Weekly short pieces on:

  • Management, teams and leadership.
  • The making of good things.
  • Design, technology and creativity.
  • Highlights from the pmclinic and uxclinic discussion lists.

Monthly pieces on:

  • As new book projects come together I’ll be writing about them here, bringing you into the process.
  • Longer essays once a month will be posted here along with other book news, meetups or tour dates.
Read more of Scott here.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Personal Democracy Forum - Blog

Continuing the tour through GEL 2006, I wrote about the Personal Democracy Forum as founded by Andrew Raisej. There is a blog on the PDF.
Justin Oberman posted about a new ringtone "Call connected through the NSA" today.
Participant comments from the recent PDF event were summarized by one of their interns.
And if you would like to hear some of the podcasts from the PDF event, check them out.
Bookmark, load to your RSS reader, do whatever to check in on this site periodically. Is suspect it will be very important for all Americans to be fully informed as the November 2006 elections approach.
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Learning Lab - Annette Kramer

The trail through GEL2006, also brings to light some other attendees who blog. I found out about Annette post conference, so next year I'll have to look for her.
Annette writes at Learning Lab. She says that she is:
a consultant and research professional living in New York City. Her work focuses on the tendencies, talents, conversations, and perspectives that lead to successful learning and innovation. For businesses, Annette specializes in identifying and building strategic alliances to leverage resources, expand brands, and develop markets. For teachers, she offers innovative ways to teach critical thinking.
She wrote about GEL 2006:
She also writes at As Annette Sees It:

Life is so much fun that it's worth noting as frequently as possible. Therefore, this blog is reserved for musings on all subjects that don't really belong in my Learning Lab a blog on sustainable innovation and creativity across contexts.

So, go forth and discover some hidden potential in both of Annette's blogs!

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Online Bubbles

Continuing this hitchhiker trail through GEL 2006, I wrote about Ji Lee's Bubble Project here. He has an online version of it as well.
He finds a picture from current media and posts it allowing all visitors to enter a comment on what they think the bubble should say about the picture.
Truly an interactive site!
You can visit it here.
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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Seth Godin and This is Broken

Continuing the hitchhiker trail through the sites associated with GEL 2006, I find two more to talk about today. One should need little introduction, Seth Godin's Blog. If you have not found this one previously, do not pass Go, do not collect... just go there, add it to your reader (he has a nice Bloglines button to make this easy) and listen to what he has to say.
The other site, This is Broken, is not so much a blog in the traditional sense (can a blog be considered a tradition?) as an interactive site around things that are found to be broken.
Like: This ATM that will only dispense in multiples of $50
Or like: an unfortunate sign with one letter out
Or like: this unreachable balcony
So if you find something that is broken, you can submit it following these instructions:
Send us your submission: E-mail us a picture of what's broken, and a message explaining why, in an e-mail (broken at
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Friday, May 12, 2006

Avant Game - Jane McGonigal

Like many games if you play correctly, you get a bonus. Well, this stretch of hiking has turned up a couple of really good blogs.

Jane is writing her disertation and blogging about the best sentence of the day. For example:
#51 - In the field of ubiquitous computing games research, these playtests are conducted on site; they are field tests as much as they are play tests.

#48 -
This design concept, then, effectively performs the anxieties ubiquitous computing has about the balance of power between users and technologies, displacing these anxieties onto the relationship between two different classes of users.

#44 -
But how do you make invisible computing visible?

In the mean time, Jane also writes at Avant Game

Jane writes here:
an open letter to going and doing

Mostly, I think and write and design and talk... and really mostly, I just think.

Sometimes, however, I go places and do things. I like those times.

I already have a pretty good record of the thinking and writing and designing and talking that I do.

So this is a new record.

For the going and doing.

And the cookie rolling.

And you have two for one going today!


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Monday, May 08, 2006

Craig Newmark's Blog

Continuing the hitchhiker trail through the GEL 2006 Conference references, I present to you Craig Newmark, of craigslist fame, who also writes on his own blog.
He writes:

I probably shouldn't shoot my mouth off, but I've talked to a coupla cops, and done some reading.

What cops, firemen, teachers and other civil servants need is good quality, affordable housing.

I understand the former World Trade Center area is available, and mostly office space is planned for it. Does NYC need more office space? Seems to me that it's more practical, and safer, to disperse financial institutions.

It's late in this game, but maybe if you want to honor people who do the heavy lifting, every day, give 'em a break. Is there some smart architecural team that could propose housing for people there that would be very livable? It'd need to be profitable for the land owners, maybe not as profitable as big office towers. Is it doable? or am I being a pain in the butt?

Read more of Craig here.
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Douglas Rushkoff Weblog

The Hitchhiker's trail has been full of twists and turns; work, family committments and some travel but this week will bring a special focus on blogs related to the GEL 2006 Conference.
Douglas Rushkoff, who had the honor of opening the full day of presentations on Friday, May 5th writes:
In my comic book Testament (now in a first collected edition!), I look at the same passages as a first and second draft of creation. My "god" characters try it one way, don't like how it turns out, and then start over. I'm hoping by re-introducing readers to the Bible as it was actually written and understood at the time (to the best of my ability) while showing how its stories apply to our current military, technological and economic fiascos, I can bring its power to a new generation. All while dispelling the hardened belief sets of True Believers. I'm going to show how the Bible was intended not to give people religion, but to get people over their obsessions with religion and the fictional character, God. (Obviously, the Bible hasn't worked out as planned. At least not yet.)

Read the full posting here.

For more of Douglas, check out his blog here.

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