Subject: RE: [IP] Re: Jay-Z, Starbucks Symbolize China’s Real Problems

Subject: RE: [IP] Re: Jay-Z, Starbucks Symbolize China’s Real Problems

… Actually, according to the web site of Starbucks in France… there is indeed one: Starbucks Musée du Louvre – Allée du Grand Louvre – 75001 Paris. Open and close at the same time as the museum…

And I for one is happy about that.

Yes, differences in cultures and individuals is something to be cherished and nurtured (says the Norwegian living in the UK working with Russians).

But you know what, in a real sense, there is also something quite beautiful about stepping into a Starbucks somewhere – at Starbucks we are all the same.

Not all the same as McDonalds with paper diets that are unhealthy, but all the same in coming together over a cup of invigorating coffee, often talking to each other (I met my girl friend at Starbucks and quite few, now good, friends).

Travel to a ‘strange’ country. See the culture. And if you need to, go to the nearest Starbucks and remind yourself that we are all people with more in common than anything else.

That has to be worth something as well.    🙂



Says it all really. Our first challenge of 2007, make the web as simple and elegant on mobiles and music is on iPods!

Response to Mikhail’s email 5 mins ago:

On 3 Jan 2007, at 21:06, Mikhail Seliverstov wrote:
Please try again with the updated one.


We are working on something new ans exciting. Not in isolation, with someone who might be able to put it to good use. And it’s just a great opportunity.

But we can’t get the damn buttons named right! It’s an annoyance that’s driving me mad. Well very irritated. And iritable. And I miss Emily with a ravenous hunger. She’s in Panama. For a week!

IQ, IQ & CI.

An article in the Times earlier this week on IQ and how we have apparently leveled off in increasing our intelligence was profoundly disturbing.

“We are about as smart as we’re going to get, says IQ pioneer”,,2-2509459.html

The way the article discussed intelligence is as if intelligence is like an athletic ability where someone can just practice and get more intelligent like they can get faster at running for example and that this in isolation is important.

The definition of intelligence can be argued for ever, I won’t waste your time with my personal definition of intelligence. However, I can say that when I seek advice from, say, a hospital, I care not a whit about the doctors intelligence. I care about getting the right answers. A high IQ doc who can’t tell me what I need to know is not very impressive or useful even though she might be impressive on Stephen Fry’s QI.

Intelligence is required, sure, but modern knowledge work also requires a high level of teamwork and increasingly useful tools.

Augmenting the collective IQ of an organization to use Doug Engelbart’s term, is a useful metric: How does an organization as a whole deal with its environment, it’s challenges and opportunities? How does it contribute to the world around it? These are worthwhile questions. Not how high the IQ of it’s individuals are.


For a few years now I have wanted to solve ne of the main Hyperwords interface issues: putting the commands within reach without making them too obtrusive.

The solution I felt was best for most cases was to have a small icon come up when users select text, instead of the whole menu.

Some people like to select text for other reasons than to use Hyperwords, for example to show someone a selection of text.

This has been outside of our reach technically for quite some time. I have blogged about this and built mock-ups but we just couldn’t make it real. The Mikhail discovered GWT and bookmarklets and it’s all coming together.

At the same time, we have been approached by a large US charity to put Hyperwords on their site. Mikhail put together a demo and it has a small icon that comes up when you select text! I designed a simple green, blue and white ‘i’ in a circle for this, since on this site it’ll be used mostly to provide more information. We then made a version for a pitch to a UK organization (haven’t heard back ye). This time I designed a white ‘i’ inside a white circle on a blue glass sphere. It’s large, friendly and ‘pretty’.

But we are not moving towards having this icon on all Hyperwords versions. And here we are providing commands, not just further information, so what should the icon look like?

I designed tests, all of them grey – I don’t want this to be too obtrusive. Some were spheres, some with our icon, some without. There was * and + and all kinds of symbols. I played around with making nice metallic or glass spheres – which I am finding quite hard to do. Then I remembered I have one in my iProject folder. I couldn’t find it but there was a screenshot of a normal arrow cursor. I played with it. Made it part transparent, lost the tail. And tried it live on our mockup.

It worked. It worked very well. It feels like, instead of a new icon coming up, the cursor sticks with the selection. This gives the feeling on it being an extension of the cursor and not something new. And it encourages inspection. I reall, really like it. What do you think?

Try it here.


Ramadan is offensive to Christians as it unfairly punishes restaurants in business areas which loose sales. Ridiculous claim? Definitively. I just made it up. It’s not hard to find someone who feels slighted by someone else though, so the story about Muslims being offended by the shape of the Apple Store entrance in New York really should be taken with a pinch of salt. If the present issues were not around Christians and Muslims, but for example, with Jews, I am sure one could find someone offended by the Millennium Dome: It looks like a skull-cap!  🙂

Aiport Security

A good point in the Independent newspaper here in the UK today. Page 8, headline: “Security at airports ‘increase risk of terror'”. Couldn’t find a URL, sorry.

The first point that is made that there is a bigger risk of a rocket or mortar attack from outside the airport than someone with a bomb, now that they are looking for this.

But the second point made me feel a little dumb. And scared. Because it’s so obvious and quite scary: Security lines are long and of course, they are by definition not secure – they are there to make the area after them secure. This makes them a very attractive target: Bomb in a briefcase in a security line. Lots of people killed and the terror and chaos that would ensue would be phenomenal. People would be very uneasy about standing in long security lines after that.

Winning Hearts & Minds.

Worth a look.

Worth reading the captions.

Can’t send kids with guns to re-build a country. Hey, I wouldn’t have been any better. I was in the Army when I was younger.

This is what the world gets when the US invades, rips out the current infrastructure (police, army and so on), gets shot at, gets surprised (hey! we are the hollywood heros!) and shoots back. With bigger guns.

Read the captions.

How can this ever be ‘won’?

Had potential victory in Iraq even been defined at this point?

Would we know it if we saw it? If we don’t know what it would be, how could we possibly hope to get there?

Not with bigger guns.


American’s may be treated the same as other people by the Bush administration soon:

From The LA times:

“BURIED IN THE complex Senate compromise on detainee treatment is a real shocker, reaching far beyond the legal struggles about foreign terrorist suspects in the Guantanamo Bay fortress. The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights”

Thursday, September 28, 2006 at 2:19 PM EDT,1,138419,print.story

The Future of the Newspaper?

In response to

The Future of the Newspaper is as a 2.0 Platform

I am all for the future of the web. My professional future is all about the web; creating a more interactive information space.

But newspapers are physical objects, they are not just passive carriers of information.

You cannot skim the web like you can a large page of newsprint.

You cannot read on a laptop as easily as you can a a newspaper. A study I was involved with about 2 years ago found that people move, or change their position while reading, noticeably more when reading form paper media than from a laptop. It was quite a casual study of people reading in Starbucks, carried out over a month, but revealing. Have a look at the way people read next time you enjoy a cup.

Of course, eBooks will bridge the gap to a degree, but it will still lack the expanse that a paper offers, the real estate.

It all comes down to the quality of reading. Today we can zoom through the web with – among other things, our Hyperwords Firefox extension – but nothing beats reading a long, in-depth opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune on paper with good lighting. It is so much more suited for deep reading.

An exciting potential is of course when we have eInk of a quality resembling newsprint with foldable, large paper – as seen in countless Sci-Fi movies. This is one area I think Hollywood has got it right 🙂