Tag Archives: Technology

Interview with Twitter Fail Whale Artist, Yiying Lu

A short interview with Yiying Lu, the Australian artist behind the image, now popularly known as the “Fail Whale” that is displayed on Twitter whenever there is a service outage. Lu originally uploaded her whimsical creation to a stock image site from which Twitter founder Biz Stone purchased it for a few dollars (!!!) and since then it has become “as iconic as any corporate logo, and far more beloved.”

1) What was the inspiration for the whale and birds illustration?

It was initially created as a birthday e-card for an overseas friend of mine when I was in my last year study at University – expressing my: Sorry I am failed to be there across the ocean, but here is a little console from my heart. The whale is a self metaphor. Hence the original name I had for that artwork was “lifting a dreamer”.


18k Gold Atari Ring

Japanese artist Sakurako Shimizu created this 18 karat old ring from a cast of the original 1981 Atari computer chip. Nerd bling at its finest!


Cosby Sweater for your Mac

Protect your precious Apple laptops in style with these sleeves made from re-purposed sweaters.

$20 here.


Saying Goodbye to Google

Google’s first visual designer Douglas Bowman explains his reasons for leaving and critiques the company’s over reliance on data and reductive philosophy which he argues handicaps Google, “paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.”

I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.

It seems to be the classic tension or dichotomy between the quantitative and the qualitative. Anyway, it’s an interesting read that pulls back the curtains a bit.


Viral Ad Spotlight: Fun with Sheeps

In this viral video for Samsung some guys have their way with a herd of sheep. On second read, that actually sounds disturbing if not illegal in most countries.

Correction: Some guys string up a herd of sheep with LED lights in this fun “viral” video for Samsung. Start paying attention around the 1:09 mark for the payout.

E-mail Hack

Brilliantly evil suggestion by Digg founder and former TechTV guy Kevin Rose.


More stuff like this will make me re-follow him on Twitter, especially if he has a suggestion on tackling my personal inbox clogged with 5,313 unread e-mails.


World’s Shortest Escalator

This escalator located at Kawasaki More’s department store in Japan was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989 as the world’s shortest (and most pointless) escalator.

[Via - Thanks Chris!]


Countdown until the epoch time is 1234567890.

What is epoch time? Nerd answer: This refers to the number of seconds since midnight on January 1, 1970, and is widely used by Unix based operating systems. 


Pogue’s Twitter Experiment

As a follow up to his recent column on belatedly introducing Twitter, a communication and social media vehicle that I’ve become infatuated with, David Pogue (the New York Times tech guru) shares the anecdotal results of an experiment he ran demonstrating the immediacy of Twitter.

Yesterday, I spoke at a conference in Las Vegas. The topic was Web 2.0, with all of its free-speech, global-collaboration ramifications. At one point, I figured that the best way to explain Twitter was to demonstrate it, live, on the big screen at the front of the ballroom.

So I flipped out of PowerPoint and typed this to my Twitter followers: “I need a cure for hiccups… RIGHT NOW! Help?”

I hit Enter. I told the audience that we would start getting replies in 15 seconds, but it didn’t even take that long. Here are some of the replies that began scrolling up the screen:

* florian: Put a cold spoon on your back – that’s what my grandfather would do for hiccups.

* megs_pvd: Put your head between your knees and swallow hard.

* bethbellor: Packets of sugar.

* jfraga: BOOOOOOOOOOO! (How many of those did you get?)

[Answer: about 20.]

Read rest here.

You can follow my Twitter at twitter.com/mattrod.

Rubik’s Cube Solver

This iPhone application CubeCheater, using the Kociemba algorithm, will show you how to solve that dang Rubik’s Cube in just a few moves.

Watch the amazing demo: