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  • Momento Is Perhaps The Perfect Passive Diary App

    To me, one of the most interesting thing about Foursquare is the History tab. It transforms the service from a “where you are” app, into a “where you were” log. In a way, it’s sort of like a diary. I wish Twitter was better at this idea as well. Because what I tweeted a year ago says something about how I was feeling, or what I was doing back then. In fact, a lot of the web services we use on a daily basis would be perfect for this type of passive diary writing. And that’s exactly what Momento, an iPhone app, makes happen.

    At its core, Momento (made by the UK-based d3i) is a straightforward diary app. It allows you to easy write “Moments” (diary entries) to express what you are doing or feeling on any given day. It takes the process a step further by allowing you to tag friends (from you iPhone contact list), places, events, and add photos to these entries. But the real killer feature of the app is that it also allows you to import bits of information from a number of services including Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Digg, and any RSS feed. The result is a brilliant log of almost everything you’re doing online.

    Other services have tried to do similar things before, but Momento works because they’ve nailed the user interface and experience. The entire app looks like a journal, which is broken down by days in descending order from the current day. In this view, you get a snapshot of any given day, including the most recent items (tweets, check-ins, etc). Clicking on any of these days takes you to a detail page which shows you all of your activity for that day. All your tweets, check-ins, blog posts, pictures, etc, are here.

    There’s also a calendar view which allows you to quickly hop to any moment in the past. Clicking on a date will again take you to a specific day page with all of your info with what you did that day.

    Another view allows you to see entries broken down by tags. From here, you can choose to see only entries with certain people tagged. Or you can see only entries that you gave a high rating to (when you make your own Moments, you can rate them if you want).

    There’s also a way to see just certain types of elements, such as tweets. Again, these are broken down by the day they were sent. And what’s really awesome is that you can search all of this stuff if it has been imported into Momento.

    The key to Momento is that all of this information is for you and you alone. You import social items, but it never sends anything out. It’s simply a way for you to log and keep what you did on any of these services in a given day. And it’s all presented in a very nice, easily accessible package.

    It’s another of the anti-social social apps, like OhLife and the newer Path, which seem to focus more on what experiences mean to you (or a very small group of friends), rather than to strangers and the larger web as a whole.

    With the personal approach in mind, Momento also comes with an impressive way to both backup and export all of your data (this is accessed through iTunes file sharing).

    Momento also comes with some nifty importing options to better tailor you data. For example, you can tell it to leave out tweets with a certain hashtag. Or you can tell it to only import tweets with a certain hashtag. You can tell it to leave out @replies and/or retweets, etc.

    Momento actually isn’t a new app; it first came out about a year ago. But version 2.0 was recently released, and with it comes a huge number of excellent improvements including all the geolocation service integration and the video service integration. Both of these features are pretty key for a full and interesting social service diary.

    Simply put: I love this app. I think it’s a near-perfect execution of a very compelling idea: passive diary writing. The downside is that it currently only works with the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad. But if you have one of those devices, this app is well worth its current $1.99 price (that’s a limited-time price). Find Momento in the App Store here.

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  • Dancing with Invisible Light: portraits shot with Kinect's infrared structured light

    Shown here, images from Audrey Penven's photography series "Dancing with Invisible Light: A series of interactions with Kinect's infrared structured light." From her description of the project:


    With these images I was exploring the unique photographic possibilities presented by using a Microsoft Kinect as a light source. The Kinect - an inexpensive videogame peripheral - projects a pattern of infrared dots known as "structured light". Invisible to the eye, this pattern can be captured using an infrared camera.

    The Kinect uses the deformation of this dot pattern to derive 3D information about its subjects (an ability which has already spawned an explosion of incredible digital art).

    As a photographer I am most interested in the nature and quality of light: how light behaves in the physical world, and how it interacts with and affects the subjects that it illuminates. For this shoot my models and I were essentially working blind, with the results visible only after each image was captured. Together, we explored the unique physicality of structured light, finding our way in the darkness by touch and intuition. Dancing with invisible light.

    View the full set here (prude alert: contains both portraits and nudes). To purchase a print, contact the photographer at 11x14 for $60, 16 x 20 for $120.

    Dig the crazy lens flares the Kinect light creates in the shot below!


    Related coolness at


    Models: qtrnevermore, C. King, Mike Estee, Sloane Soleil, Helyx, Star St. Germain, Ian Baker, Annetta Black, Josh St. John.

    Assistants: Aaron Muszalski, Ian Baker, Mike Estee

    An earlier photo set is also online here.

    (Thanks, sfslim!)

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  • Daniel Radcliffe Geeks Out, Bites My Steez

    If you've ever hung out with me past the third gin and tonic, you know that I only have one party trick: I know all the words to Tom Lehrer's The Elements song. (My dad taught it to me in fourth grade so I could perform it at the Camp Orkila talent show. I learned the song but was too shy to do the show. Ha!) If you've ever hung out with me past the sixth gin and tonic, you know that I FANCY MYSELF A WIZARD. I love any stupid shit that involves wands and cauldrons and quests and women who sometimes turn into cats or whatever.

    So that's why I feel like this adorable clip—of Harry Potter (NOTED WIZARD!) singing The Elements—was basically uploaded to YouTube directly from my brain's uterus:

    Via Movieline via tippers Clinton & Bryan.

    [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

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The Design Planning Commission of the City of Seattle posted this on the side of the MAcGuire Apartments recently. Seems it's one step closer to it's eventual demise. And only 10 years after completion.

  • Mick and Keith: A love story

    Eric often sends me links that crack me up, so my first response on Friday when I saw he forwarded me a parody response by Mick Jagger to Keith Richards's recent autobiography was to prepare for a good laugh. The alleged response, called "Please allow me to correct a few things," is, in fact, written by ace rock critic Bill Wyman, who has the novelty of sharing a name with the Stones' two-decades-gone original bass player. Wyman, who once received a legal demand by the bassist to change the name he was born with, seemed uniquely positioned to write a cutting fake retort.

    Then I began reading and realized this was No Joke. As a longtime Stones devotee (read Late night thoughts about the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world for one recent example), I've often wondered what the surviving original members really think about each other, how they work together, what their work means to them as they're aging. Wyman has clearly spent way too much time pondering this, too. I've never talked to Mick, but Wyman's faux-Mick response feels true to my imagined Jagger. The tone of the essay veers from hurt to self-righteous, apologetic to withering, the voice always taut. Fake Mick hates Keith as much as Real Keith hates Mick; this essay shoots down Richards's book Life but doesn't forget to point the gun inward from time to time.

    Yet, more than anything else, Wyman's version of Jagger is full of love for Richards, regretful that money, drugs, and narcissism tore them apart, grateful for what they had together before they devolved into mere business partners. He knows how much he owes Keith ("Without him, what would I have been? Peter Noone?") and how Keith's work can still touch him, no matter how far they've both fallen ("When a song is beautiful -- those spare guitars rumbling and chiming, by turns -- the words mean so much more, and there, for a moment, I believe him, and feel for him.") This is idealized stuff. It's unlikely that Real Mick's response to Keith's book, if there ever is one, will be as tough-minded and vulnerable. Wyman conjures up the Stones as we want them to be at this late age, but even we diehards know that's just our imagination running away with us.

    UPDATE: Wyman has written a postscript to his terrific piece.

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  • Calling the (live) Time Lady in 1950

    Via the BB Submitterator, Boing Boing reader Pea Hix says,

    "This is an excerpt from a recording I found on an old wire spool (pre magnetic tape recording medium). On April 23rd, 1950, a New Jersey man by the name of Fred Weber was setting his wire recorder up to record a phone conversation, and to test the signal he called the local Time Bureau. On the surface this would appear to be a rather mundane recording, but it isn't until you hear the time lady sneeze that you realize - this is a LIVE person reading off the time in 15-second intervals! "

    Video link, and there are links to more recordings of this kind here in the video description on YouTube.

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