Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday Top 5

Christmas Decoration Win
From Failblog: “Good news is that I truly outdid myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after two days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever. Great stories. But two things made me take it down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by. Second, a 55-year-old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn’t realize that it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of the many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn’t take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard.”

White House iPhone app
With the announcement of the first-ever official White House App, the Obama administration to pursue technology and communications as a means for public engagement, in stark contrast to the previous administration. Among other things, the app reportedly delivers live video streaming for the president’s public events. Browsing the App Store, there are several other White House and Obama related apps, although some of them appear outdated (originating pre-election), or just plain lame. One other that caught my eye, however, was the White House Photostream app (will open iTunes), which is probably pretty cool. I’ve mentioned before that the White House’s photos are available on Flickr.

Dear American Airlines
Fascinating story in which a solo designer decided to redesign American Airlines’ crappy home page and publicly call out their design team. Then a member of the AA user experience design team responded. Shortly thereafter, that employee was fired.

Sea Shepherd vs. the Japanese research whaling fleet
It’s terribly interesting to read the press releases of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society regarding the January 5 ramming of one of their vessels by a Japanese whaling ship, and the ensuing battles in the Antarctic Ocean. There’s no dispute that the Japanese ship rammed the $2 million speedboat that looks like it comes right out of a Batman movie — the smaller craft wasn’t even running its engines and there’s video evidence from at least two angles showing the impact.

The Third & The Seventh
Watch this short film ( would definitely suggest watching it in full screen at least, if not HD), then afterward, hover over this link to learn a secret about it.

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most notable, interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 07, 2010

“Find my iPhone” function = mixed results

Having returned from a short getaway trip to Orr Hot Springs last week with the redhead, I panicked for a few minutes when I couldn’t find my phone in my backpack.

When we arrived there, I had turned it to Airplane Mode and put it in my backpack, since there was no cell reception. When we returned home a couple days later, it wasn’t there. Begin to panic.

Since Orr Hot Springs has no locks on lockers or rooms, I was definitely thinking there was an iPhone thief. I logged in to Mobile Me to use the “Find my iPhone” feature, and it didn’t work. Deepening panic.

A minute later I thought of one other place where the missing phone might be, and there it was! I’d forgotten that I’d slipped it into the bag of cables and chargers that accompany us on trips.

I went back to try “Find my iPhone” again, making sure Airplane Mode was off and even Googling the setup process to make sure finding was enabled. It still didn’t locate my phone, which was now sitting right next to the computer, about 4 feet from the wifi connection. Meh.

Sadly, I don’t know whether to blame AT&T or Apple.

Update: I tried it again a couple days later, and this time it worked. Hmmm. Leads me to blame AT&T, since my cell signal is notoriously flaky at home. Doesn’t explain why it didn’t work over my Wifi connection, though. Still meh.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Building Black Rock City
Dozens (hundreds? I don’t even know!) of volunteers and staff spend several weeks, in advance of Burning Man, turning a desert of nothingness into out a city that will grow to ~50,000 inhabitants (!!!) within the week before Labor Day. It’s an incredible feat in and of itself, and one that never ceases to simultaneously amaze me and make me well up with tears and an awesome sense of gratitude.

Holograms iPhone app makes your pictures appear 3D
Pretty inventive.

AT&T is a big, steaming pile of...
Consumer revolt via YouTube.

Simon’s Cat: TV Dinner

How Wings are Attached to the Backs of Angels
A very strange but lovely animation by Craig Welch.

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Thursday Top 5+2

Last night of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
I haven’t watched Leno for years, and he was never my favorite, as I preferred the wacky ’80s and early ’90s era of Letterman, but Leno’s not bad at all. Last week was his final night on “The Tonight Show” before Conan takes over the reins in L.A., so I decided to watch it for history’s sake. They did about ten minutes of “Jaywalking,” the man-on-the street comedy segment where he just asks simple questions of normal, everyday Americans on the streets of L.A. (assuming there is such a thing in L.A., I suppose), such as “Who was the first president of the United States?”. This segment has always struck me as funny and excrutiatingly painful at the same time, as it shows just how terribly stupid Americans are. Worse yet, on this last show Jay tells us that they don’t even have to work hard to compile the funniest/dumbest moments after each outing. They only go out for about an hour, he says, they talk to a dozen or so people, and they use nine or so. That means over half the citizens of the republic are so retarded they can’t tell you which countries border on the U.S. or name any of the Founding Fathers. Oh, cry for our future! [43:29, 5 commercials]

First night of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”
Meanwhile, across town at the Universal Studios lot, the finishing touches have been put on a new studio for Conan, who took over the reins from Leno the very next week. Andy Richter returns as the show announcer, Max Weinberg and the band now get to call themselves The Tonight Show Band, and Conan was in fine form for his first time hosting the legendary show that’s been around since 1954. Musical Guest was Pearl Jam. [43:31, 5 commmercials]

Schwarzenegger answers real people’s questions
The member communities of’s iReport and Digg Dialogg teamed up to interview CA Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger on May 27. In an unusual example of democracy, the Republican actor-turned-guv answers questions posed by and voted on by the Digg and iReport users. Showing a little more moxie than even the traditional press can sometimes muster, there were a few hard-charging queries, leading off with “Do you support same-sex marriage and do you think the GOP should become more gay-friendly?” Of course, there were some softies too, like “Does the term ‘Governator’ bother you?” All questions and video here [30:31 min].

BART swingers
Apparently a few weeks ago somebody surreptitiously installed swings on a BART train. And thus the fun did ensue. More pics...

New Yorker cover created on an iPhone
Artist Jorge Colombo painted the cover illustration using the Brushes app on his iPhone.

Beatles come to Rock Band
Apparently Microsoft has been able to make inroads where Apple hasn’t, since the two remaining Beatles and the widows of the other two members joined various tech and gaming notables to announce that the Beatles are coming to Rock Band this fall. The animation sequence at the beginning is cool enough to merit watching in HD, but the rest of the long presentation isn’t probably interesting to you unless you’re into gaming. I watched the whole thing, though, and as a non-gamer I’m always impressed at the continually-improving, nearly-cinematic quality of the visuals in today’s games. In fact, if you’re really into seeing where the entertainment and social media technology is going in the next few years, there are some pretty amazing things unveiled in the last 25 minutes or so; look for Steven Spielberg’s appearance to tip you off.

“We Didn’t Start the Flame War”
Warning: nsfw. Gotta hand it to the CollegeHumor folks, they nail the ridiculousness of the internets (including self-satire) in this one. [2:44 min]

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Top 5

TED Talks: Bill Stone: Journey to the center of the Earth...and beyond!
Stone goes to the depths of the Earth, and the reaches of the sky. 17:43min

Forbidden Lego
A book featuring a candy catapult, a continuous-fire ping-pong ball launcher, and more. More about Forbidden Lego: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against!.

Please Fix the iPhone
Hate that you can’t X with your pricey Apple gadget? Ask for it here, or just peruse what other people want changed/added/fixed.

Iron Maiden, “The Trooper” (cover) By Gauchos
I love the little headbangin’ girl! lol! She has her own mic, but I think it’s a flashlight : )

Nerd Merit Badges
There’s no way I’m every going to earn the Inbox Zero badge.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How icons are born

Felix Sockwell walks through the creation of the custom icons he designed for the just-out New York Times iPhone App.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Sublime surf art by Wolfgang Bloch
[via Jason]

Superhero Fashion Emergency
Yep, pretty gay.

Jyoti, the smallest girl in the world
She stands just 1ft 11in tall and the average two-year-old would tower over her. But Jyoti Amge is 14 years old.

iPhone TV ad spoofs

The Big Picture
The Boston Globe's website,, has started a new photoblog with amazing, large-size news photos from around the world. So much better than the tiny front-page photos you see on most news sites.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Mural Mosaic
Interesting large murals made by putting together squares painted by numerous artists.

Fake Ben Folds
The piano man teams up with Improv Everywhere to pull some fast ones on his fans.

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Science Fiction
Proving how geeky the truly geeky can be.

Philip K. Dick wrote a young adult novel?

iPhone's magic apps

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Air America Radio on iTunes and iPhone

March 2010 update: Air America is reportedly going off the air.

October 2008 update: A reader called Mr tells us about FStream (free download), which allows you to listen to Air America on your iPhone (he says you need to update your firmware if you’re using a first generation iPhone). Here’s an FStream review/how-to at Mac360.

May 2008 update: A reader alerted me today in the comments below that Air America is no longer listed in iTunes (I confirmed this by looking myself — I have no idea why it's gone). However, the link to the stream, described in the March 2007 update below, still works.

March 2007 update: Air America has changed the location of their stream, and now if you click on it in iTunes, you'll probably get a "loading" bar forever, like I did.

Per Alan's comment at the end of this thread, you can solve this by selecting "Advanced > Open Stream..." in iTunes and paste this URL into the dialog box: (see screenshots below).

You can also just download the .m3u (right-click and save as...) and open it in iTunes.

October 2006 update: Air America is available in iTunes under "Radio > Talk/Spoken Word". In iTunes 7x it'll look like this picture. See Rob's comments at the end of this thread for more info. (Thanks Rob!)

March 2006 update: It appears that the WKIZ playlist file is no longer viable. Air America is apparently now charging for their podcasts (info here, tutorial here), and I haven't been able to find an iTunes stream anymore. There are, however, various radio stations listed on this page where you can still listen to free streams using Windows Media Player or RealPlayer.

Original post: Thanks to bitter-girl (hey Velms, and she has a knitting blog [!] ), I learned that WKIZ radio in Key West, FL, has an iTunes feed of Air America Radio. Finally, I don't have to listen on RealPlayer anymore!

So, to use it, download this .pls file (.pls = playlist), then drag and drop its icon onto your iTunes, and voila, you're listening to the radio.

Labels: , , , , ,