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Monday, March 31, 2008

Insane drummers on the keyboard

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Obviously years of piano playing does not mean that I can play drums using a keyboard as well as the pros... and the amateurs

The Pro: Huston Singletary on Ableton 7

The Amateur: The Asian Drum solo Travis Barker

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rapping on Web Standards

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Never seen this sort of thing before: rap music on web standards and design. Pretty nifty:

Lyric highlights:

easy to look at with a nice navigation
when you can't find what you want it causes frustration
a clear Call to action to increase the temptation
use appealing graphics they create motivation
if you have animation
use with moderation
cause search engines can't index the information

when you use CSS, you page will load quicker
client satisfied like they eating on a snicker
they stuck on your page like you made it with a sticker
and then they convert now that's the real kicker
make you a lil richer, your site a lil slicker

The full lyrics of this song by The Poetic Prophet (aka The SEO Rapper) can be found on YouTube: Design Coding

Source: James A. Reeves (aka KinoSport), via email

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Go Creative Commons!

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Ever since I switched my Flickr stream to Creative Commons, I noted that my photos are starting to pop up on various sites. The license requires the articles to provide a link back to the original post, and in turn the credits transformed to an interesting PR link that drive traffic to my stream.

A photo I shot during gay pride got used in a German blog called yesterday. I don't read German so I don't really know what it's about, but what I do know is that it threw 1000+ views to that photo in a single day: Nicht alle befinden sich im Krebsgang / 2008-03-26 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

To be exact, Flickr Stats reported that 1,565 visits came from that article, which amounts to 92% of its overall traffic. This was surprising to me considering that the link to the photograph appears at the very end of the article.

Needless to say, my original fear where of losing control is all gone. I am quite happy with the decision to switch.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

GoCrossCampus = Massively multiplayer game built on your social networks

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GoCrossCampus is the latest online game swiping across the college dorms on the internet.

Built as a massively multi-player online strategy game similar to board games like Risk, this online gaming venture created by four Yalies and a Columbia undergrad is being compared to Facebook by the New York Times.

It's not another social networking site (thank goodness) but the game play that's easy to pick up reminds me a little bit of the snowball-throwing apps that made Facebook successful (and consequently annoying), and consequently helps you maintain the weak ties (and thus by network theories, strong connections) in your social network.

I tried it out today playing on the Yale alumni game:

GoCrossCampus: SML controlled by Morse / 2008-03-25 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Friends of the SML Universe would note that according to this screenshot, SML is currently controlled by Morse. SML, in this case, refers to Sterling Memorial Library, and should not be confused with yours truly.

In a gist, each participant represents a member of a larger team, each has a captain which can give private orders to its team mate. Participants made their own move for each turn (which lasts for a day?) following the masterminds of their team leaders (or not). Over time, teams conquer territories which resembles real physical location of the place.

I had fun so far, and during the visit spotted some old friends from college.

The games online currently are targeted to students and alumni of selected universities, but they are open to organizations who may wish to play.

Source: Jim Orsi via IconSpam

Related SML Universe
+ SML Wiki: Go Cross Campus

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Design and the Elastic Mind

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Design and the Elastic Mind is the latest exhibition at MoMA with a focus on "the ability of designers to grasp momentous advances in technology, science and human behavior and convert those changes into objects and systems that people can understand and use." ...Huh?

Don't get it. No problem, fire up your browser and get an overview of the exhibit on the project's site to check out the projects together with an innovative navigational model that link you to related projects. Pretty nifty.

MoMA: Design and the Elastic Mind / 2008-03-25 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Source: Andrew Carlson, via email


Here's one video shot by David Oyler at the show: Shadow Monsters is a piece that was created by Philip Worthington using Processing

Source: David Oyler, via email

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Color Wars 2008

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As reported by Mashable, the color war on Twitter is the latest collaborative fun to show your support for your favorite color.

Apparently how this thing works is you go through the list of color teams that exist, decide which one you want to back, and then follow that color. You get to choose between red, green, yellow, blue, orange, pink, gold, off-white, plaid, fuscia, clear, white, purple, stripe and puce (and Ze Frank is seemingly heavily supporting the green team)

See a list of all the teams at

Color Wars 2008 / 2008-03-22 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

SML Universe, in association with SML AIDS and SML Life, is fully supporting the rainbowteam, because life celebrates diversity.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Improving Interface Design / Garret Dimon

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An interesting presentation by Garret Dimon on interface design, filled with quotes and examples. Presented originally at the Web Visions 2007 Improving Interface Design Workshop.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

UI Junk must die


This is a quick post because Twitter has now become my number 1 English killer: my sentences are malformed and I can no longer write beautiful proses that Mr Herz can manifest.

That said, I am becoming increasingly annoyed by what it appears to be the end of an era of transparent UIs: there is not just an explosion of sites in "beta" but also sites filled with rounded corners and gradient-ware that I believe is stealing the audience from the content and function that a webapp is trying to do.

While Tufte held his flag against the chart junk that's obscuring the presentation of chart data, I proclaim the that UI junk must die: they are adding more visual stuff to adjust which adds no value to your app.

An interface, like well-set typography, should be transparent: that is, that the user should not be made aware that its existence. As soon as you attract users to look at how beautiful your tabs and buttons are, your content is nowhere to be focused. Surely your content is more important?

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.