Book Christmas Tree


The lovely physical book. Four days before and I am just only realizing that it’s the Christmas season …. everywhere but here. I need a snowball fight and red cheeks from the cold. Unfortunately here in Silicon Valley east all we get is grey skies and work. A bit of homemade eggnog and the excitement of our kids should be more than enough to make p for the general lack of cheer here.


Goodnight iPad, Ann Droyd


This book was a big part of our nightly ritual for a long long time. Great parody. Almost poignant in it’s exaggeration of reality.

Modern life is abuzz. There are huge LCD WiFi HD TVs and Facebook requests and thumbs tapping texts and new viral clips of cats doing flips. Wouldn’t it be nice to say goodnight to all that? Like the rest of us who cannot resist just a few more scrolls and clicks, you may find yourself ready for bed while still clinging to your electronics long after dark. This book, which is made of paper, is a reminder for the child in all of us to power down at the end of the day. This hilarious parody not only pokes loving fun at the bygone quiet of the original classic, but also at our modern plugged-in lives. It will make you laugh, and it will also help you put yourself and your machines to sleep. Don’t worry, though. Your gadgets will be waiting for you, fully charged, in the morning.

Goodnight iPad – a Parody for the next generation. Via Brainpickings (lovely write up).


Brian Fling: A Brief History of Mobile

mobile design
Brian Fling’s book Mobile Design and Development is not available online for free via a nicely designed web view. I’ve read the ebook version and I still think much of what he has written is largely relevant today. The web view reads well on an iPhone and looks great on a tablet.
I always like to be reminded of where we have come from:

Thinking of mobile devices more as personal computers and less as telephones is a difficult shift in perception. The mobile industry of today has somewhat of a split personality–each side with its own conflicting interests: the first half being the telecom infrastructure and the people who run it, required for everything to work but only focused on the network; and the other consisting of the devices we carry, focused on how and when we interact with the network. And yet a third personality is the Web, the repository of the world’s knowledge that we seek to use in the context of our daily activities.

Even the Web is divided within mobile, consisting of the “regular” or desktop web and the mobile web. The desktop web is made up of the sites and web applications designed for a browser running on desktop or laptop computers. In other words, the desktop context involves information that we access typically while stationary and sitting at our desk. The mobile web contains the sites and web applications designed for mobile devices, or the mobile context, which we can access anywhere at any time.

Technically speaking, it is all one Web, at least in terms of the technology that we use to publish information and knowledge. But these two mediums are very different and offer different value to the end user, based on their context

A Brief History of Mobile

Mobile Design and Development: Practical Concepts and Techniques for Creating Mobile Sites and Web Apps


100 Legendary Trunks


The video for the book.
Trains and steamships transformed transportation in the mid-19th century and opened the world to a new breed of traveler. Louis Vuitton understood the need for more practical luggage, and strove to create products that were adaptable to all situations–and the travel trunk was born.On my wish list for Christmas.
100 Legendary Trunks


iPhone Picture Book


Laudable work from Japan’s Mobile Art. I love how it gives greater dimension and context to what appears on the iPhones small screen. More game than book, it’s cute and fun.
Reading need not be made interesting by making it a physical experience. Ultimately children read because it engages their mind and sparks their imagination. Large beautiful illustrations supporting compelling stories shared with and told by their parents, were my children’s introduction to books. Books that attempted interaction never lasted long.
PhoneBook. Via Swissmiss.


Karl Lagerfeld: Mobile Art

karl lagerfeld mobile art
The Chanel Mobile Art Container is a traveling exhibition space built by Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid at the invitation of Karl Lagerfeld. This book collects Lagerfeld’s black-and-white photographs of the container, taken during its tour of Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York in 2008. The fluid architecture of this mobile, collapsible exhibition pod is echoed in Lagerfeld’s images, which abstract the structure into a series of white curves and grey planes silhouetted against a black sky. The art inside, by some 20 international artists–including Yoko Ono, Stephen Shore and Sophie Calle–was inspired by the elements that give the Chanel bag its identity. Sylvie Fleury, for instance, lined an entire room in leather, creating the sensation of being able to walk inside the iconic purse. Included are three DVDs with amazing footage of the container against the backdrops of Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York.
The website and Karl Lagerfeld: Mobile Art book


5 books for designers to help you sleep

Though on many recommended reading lists for designers of all types, the following list of books are sure to clear any bad case of insomnia you may have. If it wasn’t for the fact that I actually believed I was learning something I may never have finished them (their academic nature is part of the problem). For some reason many books written about Information Architecture tend to turn out dry and far less exciting than the discipline itself.
5 books for designers to help you sleep:
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Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things – George Lakoff
“Its publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal.”—David E. Leary, American Scientist
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Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology) – Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star
Is this book sociology, anthropology, or taxonomy? Sorting Things Out, by communications theorists Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, covers a lot of conceptual ground in its effort to sort out exactly how and why we classify and categorize the things and concepts we encounter day to day. But the analysis doesn’t stop there; the authors go on to explore what happens to our thinking as a result of our classifications. With great insight and precise academic language, they pick apart our information systems and language structures that lie deeper than the everyday categories we use. The authors focus first on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a widely used scheme used by health professionals worldwide, but also look at other health information systems, racial classifications used by South Africa during apartheid, and more.– Rob Lightner
books-meta.jpgMetaphors We Live By – George Lakoff, Mark Johnson
The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are “metaphors we live by”—metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them. Perhaps I’m unduly harsh on this one, I loved this book.
books-semiotics.jpgA Theory of Semiotics (Advances in Semiotics) – Umberto Eco
‘Eco’s very erudite and provocative book draws on philosophy, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and aesthetics and refers to a wide range of scholarship, both European and American. It raises many fascinating questions which merit considerable probing.’-Language in Society
Like Roland Barthes, Eco starts from the foundations of semiotics in Saussure (Course in General Linguistics: who developed the idea of sign-systems and the sign/signified distinction, as well as the distinction between langue/parole – language and speech) and Claude Levi-Strauss (Structural Anthropology). Yet Eco surpasses this tradition to move into new territory, recognizing the limits to structuralism and Saussure’s ideas. He recognizes, for example, that meaning is not merely governed by structure, but also interactively constructed by the reader/interpreter, who often inserts or fills-in missing meaning to construct a coherent picture. – Nessander
books-task.jpgUser and Task Analysis for Interface Design – JoAnn T. Hackos, Janice C. Redis
User and Task Analysis for Interface Design helps you design a great user interface by focusing on the most important step in the process -the first one. You learn to go out and observe your users at work, whether they are employees of your company or people in customer organizations. You learn to find out what your users really need, not by asking them what they want, but by going through a process of understanding what they are trying to accomplish.
Repost from kelake.


Read books via email and rss

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Dailylit is an interesting service which I am giving a try. It delivers books in installments, via email or RSS. One per day. They have over 950 titles available, of which I am struggling to find something I am interested in reading. Many are free or available on a Pay-Per-Read basis.
Since I unfortunately spend most of my day in front of a screen this might be a good way to read something of value vs. the crap I read on blogs and news sites. It’s portable too, allowing you to read on your iPhone or Blackberry.
DailyLit: Read books online by daily email and RSS feed


Porter Bags

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I’m in Taipei looking to gear up for an excursion to a few different cities through out the region. I don’t buy anything in the way of 3c gadgets these days – nothing that has appeared really presents much an improvement over what I already have. What I still have a weakness for is good bags to carry about my old gadgets. Here in the Xinyi district Eslite store they have a small of collection Porter bags – I briefly mentioned this before – and I have my eye on the Porter Labor collection. Pictured above is a book for lovers of Porter bags, book might be a stretch as it’s more of a catalogue. You can purchase via Amazon.jp but they may not ship to where you live. Thank you again jean snow.


Improve your Cubicle

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You haven’t quite made the leap from office cubicle to home office let alone splitting your time between your office on the beach and your office in the city. Your idea of being mobile is getting email via your blackberry. We all can’t work in the surroundings of our dreams but we can may be able to remove the blandness of our office cubicle. Interior designer Kelley Moore shows us how in her book Cube Chic. Available from Amazon for $16.00US.


88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day

Being mobile and leading a truly portable lifestyle requires that you at least try to cut out some of the inefficiencies in your life. Increased productivity gives you the time to focus on the things that truly matter – would rather be working in your hotel room staring at the beach or relaxing on the beach after completing your days tasks in record time? This book presents 88 of the best life hacks from the Lifehacker.com web site archive. A website indispensible to finding new ways to refine personal productivity by tweaking, modding, mashing up, and repurposing web apps, desktop software, and common everyday objects. Order Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day from Amazon ($16.49US).


The t Shirt Book

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Despite adding a slew of t-shirts to my Christmas wish list I didn’t manage to receive any as a gift this year. Perhaps this is due to the overflowing drawers in my bedroom – some full of t-shirts’s I have yet to wear. What I did receive is books. One of the many books that made it’s way to my bookshelf this Christmas, Charlotte Brunel’s “The t Shirt Book” chronicles the myriad uses and images of the T-shirt. It’s not enough to wear them, we have to read about them too.
“This 400-page book features hundreds of colorful examples of the T-shirt at its legendary best, from its humble origins as an undergarment to its current star status as a classic piece of clothing worn by billions around the world.”
You can pick it up at Amazon.