Algarve is precious

Algarve, in Portugal, is really a beautifull place. Went there for 10 days and it was great. Here are some photos I took during this vacations.

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The Cigarette of This Century

Today, all our wives and husbands have Blackberries or iPhones or Android devices or whatever—the progeny of those original 950 and 957 models that put data in our pockets. Now we all check their email (or Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, or…) compulsively at the dinner table, or the traffic light.
Now we all stow our devices on the nightstand before bed, and check them first thing in the morning. We all do. It’s not abnormal, and it’s not just for business. It’s just what people do. Like smoking in 1965, it’s just life.

Ian Bogost

Source: the Atlantic

Geometric Porn App

Geometric Porn is a mobile application created by Luciano Foglia, a multidisciplinary visual artist based in the United Kingdom, and it was refused by Apple and Google. The application uses visual geometric forms containing the non-explicit description of sexual organs or activity.

Reasons for Rejection:
16.1: Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected. We found that many audiences would find your app concept objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

Apple’s App Store review policies have been notoriously inconsistent. Why some geometric red and pink shapes are considered “objectionable or crude” and fart sounds apps are not? There is nice comment on the Geometric Porn video page telling the author for keep submitting increasingly abstract versions until it gets accepted. It would be funny to see the evolution until the application is accepted.

Source: Geometric Porn App Preview from Luciano Foglia.

Simplicity isn’t Simple

Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That’s not simple.

Our goal is to try to bring a calm and simplicity to what are incredibly complex problems so that you’re not aware really of the solution, you’re not aware of how hard the problem was that was eventually solved.

Jonathan Ive

Read the full interview at the The Telegraph

Father and Son

Source: Father and Son from William J. Meyer
Soundtrack: Cat Steven’s – Father and Son

Casino games and computer games

Last week went to a casino and noticed that people feel very engaged at casinos. As a computer game player I feel like loosing that king of engage on games. So I started wondering about ideas to bring the concept of the casino games into casual computer and mobile games. So what really motivate that people at casinos? The answer is simple: the change to win more money than the money they invest. I started thinking that traditional computer games should use a similar reward system when the player achieve some level or finish the game. Below are some ideas I had about business models.

  • Put some money on the player’s credit card;
  • Give credit on the store where the player bought the game (Apple store, Google Play, Steam…) so the player can buy other games;
  • Give access to other games, or software, from the same software company;

There are also computer games that mimic casino machines. One example is partypoker that has two options. One is a free-for-play option where users can go and play without deposit real money, and other where players deposit of real money and play with it. Why not bring also a similar real money reward to the traditional computer game players? I think if I had a reward system that keep me motivated for playing I will feel a lot more engaged on playing computer games.

My Mac Menu Bar

I try to keep my menu bar clean and simple, those are the applications that normally are there.

  • Twitter: The best twitter app, simple and with a nice interface.
  • Adium: Like to have a little duck looking at me and telling me I’m online.
  • ClipMenu: A great clipboard manager with very useful keyboard shortcut mechanism.
  • f.lux: Makes the color of your display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Good for your eyes.
  • Caffeine: Little app for preventing the Mac from sleeping.
  • DoublePane: Manage windows positions using keyboard shortcuts.
  • Cobook: Contacts management made easy.
  • Dropbox: The best cloud service, use it either for backup, share or sync stuff.
  • Fantastical: A great way to manage iCal. With automatic alarms and a search engine for events.
  • Airport Networks: To see that I’m connected to the world.
  • Clock: To use time wisely I must see it.
  • Watts: Shows remaining battery life time and warns when battery calibration should be made.
  • Spotlight: Since I use Alfred to launch applications and search files don’t use Spotlight that often.

This article was inspired on the Mac Menu Bars site.

Screw the Power Users

We’ve all built stuff for ourselves, even though the vast majority of software users aren’t like us.

We’re the ones who made computers so hard to use. And we’ve done it by catering to power users – by building software for people like us instead of for people who don’t know and don’t care about all the geeky little details.

So if you’re just starting to build something, make your mantra “screw the power users.” Unless power users are your primary customers, catering to them will only hurt your product.

Nick Bradbury