Andrew Bell, Robert Hodgin, and The Barbarian Group just released LibCinder, a creative coding framework in C++.

It’s a cross platform, open-source project, very similar to Processing or OpenFrameworks, but with better memory management and OpenGL support. Features include standalone applications and screensaver creation, Cocoa touch support (iPhone, iPad), OpenGL texture classes, webcam capture support and full Quicktime support. Besides the tech specs, what can it really do? The most famous example is probably the Augmented Reality cover on Esquire but there’s lot of video goodness by Robert Hodgin (aka flight404) below.

Yes, there’s a big connection. Just watch. And share with your designers, developers and clients.

An analogy, by John Boykin, seen at Johny Holland

One of the last chapters of 37 Signal‘s book Rework is titled “Inspiration is Perishable”. Not only this matters here but it has long been how i feel about sharing ideas. Or quoting my current Twitter background:

Do not worry about people stealing an idea. If they're any good you'll have to ram it down their throats — Howard Aiken

With that in mind, and considering i had my share of great ideas ignored only to see them later featured on The FWA, each month i’ll share 3 new ideas that you’re free to use and improve. They’re mostly rough thoughts (probably a few of them already exist), but in the right hands or brand could be more useful than on a used notepad.

  1. Travel Connect

    An App for a railway company,  using Facebook’s Graph API that when booking a ticket allows you to see who’s siting next to you, or allows you to follow them on Twitter. A conversation break, from online to offline.

  2. News of My World

    With Google making available old covers of the newspaper News Of The World, how cool would it be to have a News Of The World Cover Generator. An alien invasion of your coworkers, the kid next door with three hands or your best friend on a freak show.

  3. Music Cam

    A site with webcam tracking, that while listening to a music track detects your head banging and generates different visualizations, adjusting the bass/treble accordingly.

Because it’s all about the execution.

If you happen to be in Algarve this afternoon, it’s a chance we could meet at ExpoEventos.org. Don’t forget to check-in on Foursquare. Or Gowalla.

I’ll be giving the talk above, on how the new web has changed the event industry and how to use the new platforms and services.

Because it takes two to build trust.

A Red Bull film, tip by Marco.

We’re almost there: the 2010 Do It Yourself SHiFT conference is starting this week. The next 16th and 17h at Teatro Aberto, Lisbon,  we meet again to discuss and share Social and Human Ideas For Technology, after the 2 previous successful editions.

Tinkerers, thinkers, hackers, technologists or curious people by nature can find something of their interest on the several talks and workshops. Here’s a preview:

The 2 day event is more than a tech conference: it’s about how technology can be used to be achieve a positive change in society. The casual setting is a great chance to meet other people and learn about new things. Better yet, not only learn, but Do It Yourself.

Come and meet us in Lisbon next Friday an Saturday, as tickets are still available !

Disclaimer: i’m a  symbolic last minute helper of the fantastic team organizing the event.

It felt quite appropriate for this season a post that has been in draft for a few months, after collecting several examples of one feature that is rarely highlighted on interactive design. Let’s find some virtual Easter eggs!

Easter eggs (as in virtual, not the seasonal ones), are secret messages left hidden on objects/websites to be found by users. The first historical appearance of a virtual Easter egg was on Atari’s Adventure in 1979, later popularized by the NES series Contra with their Konami code.

Lately there has been a renewed interest on providing such hidden treats, either connected to Alternate Reality Gaming or as a simple way to surprise passionate users on web applications.

Ninja Mode for Google Reader

For instance, Matt Cutts, head of web spam team, showed us their Konami code that activates Ninja Mode:

UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT RIGHT,LEFT, RIGHT, B,A = Ninjas appear on the left sidebar + 30 unread items + heart power 🙂

Extra Lives for the Globe

The same Konami code was hidden on The Globe’s website redesign last October, with Mathew Ingram creating fun for their readers using the popular Contra keyboard.

Konami’s Code

You can find lots of other examples at Konamicodesites.com (to enter, use the konami code) or on Wikipedia, with other large scale websites using the famous keyboard combo :

  • The popular Javascript framework JQuery also rocks
  • Shaun Inman’s Mint web analytics software, revealing a way to control Stan (aka Jason Santa Maria) singing a metal song in Middle Earth.
  • Social Network Netlog gives us a hungry green dragon.
  • The geek webcomic XKCD couldn’t help to also feature a Konami code, right on their unix version.

“I’m feeling Lucky”

Just type the words and press “I’m Feeling Lucky Button”

  • Hacker-speak: “google l33t”
  • Klinkgon: “xx-klingon”
  • Pirate: “xx-pirate”
  • Pig-Latin: “xx-piglatin”

Search gems

Similar to Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” is the idea of showing special search results to particular keywords. If you search for a one-way flight on September 22, 2010 on Kayak, it will “show” the tickets for the Sydney-LAX Oceanic 815 flight, the one from TV series Lost. And you can even try to book it. (via Adverlab) Referencing popular culture on a discrete but ingenious way might just be the modern form of easter egg.

Also on Facebook

I was quite surprised to find out that Facebook actually enjoys this kind of surprises.

Besides the Konami code (showing a flare), Facebook programmers are known to place messages hidden messges. After selecting all text on a friend Friend’s list, at the bottom there’s the message: “What doesn’t kill a quail tour turkey only makes it stronger”. Or in the same page, try selecting one of the “—” on the dropdown box to get a grid view of all friends. Another easter egg is on Facebook Chat, were writing :putnam: gets you an emoticon of a man�s head.

Source Code Delights

One of the best examples of easter eggs i found was this one used on the FujiFilm binoculars, where what seemed just like an ordinary, web design non-standart HTML code was actually the silhouette of Mount Fuji, a clever way to pay homage to a country but also highlight the main feature of their products.

Website Scavenger Hunts

A bit more complex than the simple easter egg, they are used to some mail markets extent on marketing, but it’s hard to ensure success unless you have the kind of passionate users like Moo.com,that launched in 2008 a multi-site easter egg hunt across several websites.

One of the best examples of this playful interaction is Disney, and their self-referencing of characters and objects, on a such discrete way that we don’t even notice, but when finding out, we just love it. Copyright 2003 Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved The comic book being read at the Incredibles is the then upcoming Finding Nemo

Easter eggs give connectors a social object, a exciting story to spread among their network and make a brand webmaster team more human and more memorable. Building curiosity in brand experiences is not only fun but a response to our human nature: we are discoverers.