Multitouch will revolutionize your computer

Giles Turnbull at O’Reilly has a short update om Jeff Han, who makes the amazing multitouch interface. Jeff has founded the Perceptivepixel company. The website is just a front page (with lamp graphics in multitouch) and not much else.

O’Reilly also has this video that shows how much cooler multitouch has become in just a year. Go back to my original multitouch post and have a look at the video there. Now, Multitouch is a whole wall.

(Click through too se the video)

Continue reading Multitouch will revolutionize your computer


November 15th, 2006 ago I posted about Tynonym:

Tynonym: Definition. So what is a tynonym? It’s a word that you get as a suggestion on your mobile phone when you spell a word with T9 on.

January 10th, 2007 “Ksimsarian” made a new entry in Wikipedia, about T9onym:

A T9onym is a word that shows up on mobile phones that have T9 text entry that is equivalent through T9 to other words. T9onyms appear by pressing number keys while in T9 mode. For example, Bus and Cup are T9onyms. Other examples are If and He, Book and Cook, Sophie and Roshi. T9onyms can usually be reviewed and selected by placing the cursor at the end of the word and pressing the * (star) key to select an alternate T9onym. T9onyms are slang for those words generated through T9, in general these are referred to as textonyms.

(History for the Wikipedia page here.)


The T9onym page on Wikipedia has been deleted by The_Epopt. Oh, well. I don’t bother to ask why. Some Wikipedia people are really stubborn, and I really don’t care. If you have the time, ask him why. And feel free to comment her if you figure out why… Now back to the original article…

I’m just curious: Did anyone hear about T9onyms before it showed up on Wikipedia?

Jason Kottke writes about it today:

As books are decidedly uncool, you might wonder how this usage came about. Book is a T9onym of cool…both words require pressing 2665 on the keypad of a mobile phone but book comes up before cool in the T9 dictionary, leading to inadvertent uses of the former for the latter.

Hey, Jason. Didn’t you get my tip in November? ;-)

Update 1: Google research

Found a couple of links in Google when searching for T9onym, and yes, in in this messy post, quite a bit down, there’s this:

Hi Guys,
I wanted to know if there is word for ‘like-typed’ words on a mobile phone using T9.

For example, to type Cool you need to press 2665. This combination also gives you Book and Cook.

Also, certain combinations give you antonyms. For example, to type Reject, you need to press 735328. This also results in Select. Is there a word for this?

Can we call these words T9onyms?


Great word: T9onym. It’s easier to say Tynonym, but I guess T9onym makes it easier for (at the least for the more nerdy) people to understand what it is. So I credit Mayur for the word.

Update 2: Coudal

On Coudal today:

Lovely coinage. T9onyms. Pronounced “tynonyms,” two words made by texting the same numbers on a cell phone pad. jc-today

(link to archived post and screenshot on Flickr)

Great idea: Write it T9onyms, pronounce it “tynonym”. Although English teachers will go bananas…

iPhone, my new book shelf?

1) The new Apple iPhone has a 160 ppi screen, when you flip it 90 degrees, the screen flips too, it can show pdfs… And you have it with you all the time…

2) The iTunes store has sold two billion tracks or so, has a system that works, and has their frontend (iTunes) installed on the majority of computers sold the last couple of years…

Add these together, and you have the perfect portable book reader. Here’s what Booksquare thinks:

We’ve noted in posts past that that an unheralded feature of the iTunes store is the ability to serve up PDF files. Go back and read that sentence again because one key element of the iPhone is its tight integration with iTunes (in retrospect, woefully misnamed). See, if you can browse the web and use iTunes, you can, theoretically, download PDF files. Not a heralded feature, but we have faith in Steve Jobs and his design team.

In other words, you can read lengthy texts. Articles. Short stories. Novellas. Books. Compendiums. On your cell phone/miniature computer/portable media player/killer device.

Setting aside the comfort issues, the iPhone could either kill the nascent e-reader business or take it to new levels. We’ve been saying just about forever that the problem with dedicated e-reader is the fact that the consumer isn’t seeking a device that does only one thing. With its “smart” orientation features, the iPhone could usher in the mass market e-book era.

E-reader to new levels

I have bought quite a few books for my (now retired) Palm Pilot. has over 17 000 titles, but reading books on the sharp, but way too small screen on my Sony-Ericsson K800i doesn’t cut it. The Palm had a bigger screen. A lousy screen, but a bigger.

The books are DRM’ed, which of course is a nuisance. But I can live with it. If i WANT to, I get the texts out of the books, but I seldom do.

Tie text and audio together = killer app

Booksquare’s idea is brilliant. If I could buy books for the iPhone in the iTunes store, I would. What if Apple made an app for the iPhone that let you have the same book in both text and audio together? They already sell thousands of audiobooks in iTunes, and if I – for a slightly higher price – could get both audio and text at the same time, that would be a killer. The text could follow the audio when I listen to it, and if I read the text, and later were in my car, the audio version would know where I left reading the text. Let me have a way to set bookmarks with my voice when I listen to the audio version, and let people copy smaller passages and send them by e-mail or by bluetooth. That will help spread the word, and good books will sell more.

The next thing Apple should do with Google: Get all those Google-scanned books into the iTunes store. Let me use Spotlight to search all my books, and give me the most amazing e-reader ever made.

Help me decide

Recently I came over two posts on Flickr, where people asked for advice on what to do. First it was Jason Kottke that wanted an opinion on his new glasses. (original post on Flickr here).

Helpmedecide Jason's glasses

Then Matt Mullenweg wanted some advice on which dress his girlfriend should wear in an upcoming wedding:

Helpmedecide dresses

(original Flickr posts here and here.) And the winner was the dress on the left. The jury is still out on Matt’s tie…

This is the new web: Communicating with others, and letting you decide. Just as Time Magazine have figured out too too:

In 2006, the World Wide Web became a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.

The “help me decide” tag

What if we tag all posts like this “helpmedecide” – in one word and no spaces? Tag your posts for Technorati (tag: helpmedecide), your bookmarks for (tag: helpmedecide) and your pictures for Flickr (tag: helpmedecide) (and similar services).

I’ve created a Flickr group for this. So if you want the world to help you decide, just take pictures of the different choices you have, and make a new thread in the Flickr group. Buying a house? A car? A dress? Can’t decide on the christmas presents? We’ll help you decide!

And feel free to post links to posts and pics in the comments. I’ll promise to vote!

Apple home server

Tom Rowley says the same thing I said some months ago: We need an Xserve home edition (only that he says it about a zillion times better):

Automatic syncing of household digital content. Any device on the network that buys a song, TV show, or movie from the iTS will inform the server of its purchase; a specialized iTunes iServ app will make a copy of all content purchased on authorized household systems. This copy will serve as both an archive, as well as a source for streaming or copying the file to other authorized devices.

Exactly. I said:

It is used as a central for all media of the different Macs in the house. It stores backups of all pics in iPhoto, all music in iTunes and everybodys documents in general. When someone enters new music on their Mac, it’s sent to the family Xserve so others can use it, both in iTunes and on their iPods.

Just this evening I have been IMing Eirik for a long time about solutions for sharing thousands of pictures between several computers. This is a quite common scenario in modern families. You have parents and kids who all have photos that belong to several groups:

  • The ones all in the family would like to have on their Macs all the time, both on portable and not portable machines.
  • The ones that you just want to keep for yourself.
  • The ones that you want to share with just one other.

And so on.

As far as I know, there are no solutions that does this. Add backup that works flawlessly and syncing between machines, and you have a huge project that I really hope half of Cupertino is working on (the other half, please keep working on FCP 6 please). Add music, video and recorded tv, and you need a very clever system to keep this clean and simple.

What features would you like to see in the Xserve Home? Or iServ?


Today Jason writes about “The Cupertino effect”, described as “… incorrect spellcheck suggestions that make it into finalized documents”. He links to this post at the Language blog.

Which made me think of a new word I’ve made up: Tynonym. I googled it and found only two hits, both of which I think is just spelling errors.

Tynonym: Definition

So what is a tynonym? It’s a word that you get as a suggestion on your mobile phone when you spell a word with T9 on.

As you may know, T9 is a system that most mobile phones use, that make it easier to type words faster. You don’t have to press “8-7-9-9-9-4-4-4-6-6-4″ to spell “typing”, but just “8-7-9-4-6-4″ and T9 figures out that it was “typing” you were going to write.

When I type “typing” with T9 on, I also get a second suggestion, the word “typhoi”. Which makes typhoi a tynonym for typing. Get it?

My built-in OS X dictionary doesn’t know typhoi, there’s no entry at Wikipedia, but Google has 3,200 hits and also suggests “typhoid”, which is a word I know. So T9 thinks I’m about to write typhoid but not pressed the final “d” yet.

Some other words and their tynonyms:

Dog. Tynonyms are fog, eng, doi, enhl, emi, foi and eni.
Cat. Tynonyms are act, bat, abu, cau, cav, acu and bau.
Mobile. One tynonym: Mobilf. ???
Web. Tynonyms are yea, wea, zea and zeb. Lots of odd words!
Sex. Tynoyms are sew, pew, rew and rey.
Apple. No tynonyms!
Microsoft. Ditto: No tynonyms.
Internet. Tynomyns are intermet (what is intermet??) and governet!

Obviously some of the tynonyms for the shorter words are only the first three letters of longer words. It’s also interesting to see whether a word is first in the list or not when you type it. Like “cat”, which was only second in the list, while “dog” were first. This will change from phone to phone and person to person as the T9 software (I think – does anyone know for sure?) notice if you choose a word further down the list all the time, and then move it up the list.

Your suggestions

Do you have some examples of funny tynonyms? Maybe tynonyms that mean the opposite of the word you’re trying to type? Post them in the comments below.

Finally: When I type “tynonym” on my phone, I get no suggestions. So tynonym doesn’t have a tynonym…

Connect RSS feeds to people

Now you can assign RSS feeds to people in AIM messenger. Great idea. It only works in Trillian for Windows so far, but I think features like this will come everywhere pretty soon. I have been writing about similar ideas for some time. In June 2005, “How about RSS feeds in the Address books?:


Note the little RSS icon after the URLs (I should probably make a better mockup with the new feed icon).

Now, in Mac OS X 10.5, coming early 2007, there’s an dedicated API for RSS inside the OS X. Which means that every app in OS X can get and display RSS feeds, if programmed right.

Having a display in my IM program that shows new posts for my contacts is a great idea (I use Adium X – you’ll find my nick on the about page). But I want to manage these feeds in my Address book. That way, all programs using the people in my Address book can use the feeds associated to each person.

Waiting for spring 2007 takes to long. I would like David Watanabe that makes NewsFire to make a new function for NewsFire. Scan all contacts in the Address book, find all URLs, load up these URLs and find the feeds for these pages, make a special folder in NewsFire called “Contacts”, then make a sub-folder for each contact, and put the RSS feeds for each contact in the right folder. That sounded a lot more complicated than I think it would be, but I’m not a programmer. So how about it, David?

RSS feeds in Leopard Address Book?

When Tiger came out, I wrote that I wanted RSS feeds in the OS X Address Book:

Lots of my friends and contacts use sites sites like Flickr, or LiveJournal. They have blogs, Amazon wishlists, and Upcoming pages. All this is possible to enter in the Addressbook app in Mac OS X 10.4. As of this version (or was it 10.3?), you can assign as many webpages to a user as you like.

Now, checking all my friends and contacts blogs, new pictures, fresh bookmarks etc. takes time. And what better are computers for, than doing the boring stuff that you don’t want to do yourself? What I would like is to add a RSS button to all of these links.


Today HardMac has posted lots of screenshots from the coming 10.5 Leopard. On page 4 you can read this:

Leopard integrates a RSS engine which can be utilised by every application (dedicated API). Thus mail has also become an RSS reader.

This is interesting. What is stopping Apple from adding RSS inside the Address Book too? Have a look at it and tell me what you think. I would love to have this functionality. Since I wrote the original article it seems like everyone has got a blog, a Flickr account, a photocast, podcast or videocast. Having all this info tied to persons makes sense to me. If Apple doesn’t make this, maybe someone else could make it? As a plugin for the Address Book?

9 months in 30 seconds

Matt Pressnall took a picture of his wife Carlin every day for 9 months, edited it together at put it on Google video. Excellent idea. Next for Matt would be to take a picture of his daugher Ella every day, and post at Google Video in 20 years or so. Put the kid on a big white sheet, with enough space to grow above, and take the pictures from above. And later, when she can stand on her own feet, let her stand against a wall with the same white sheet behind.

One picture every third day for 20 years is about 2 000 pictures. 66 seconds in NTSC, about 80 in PAL. I’m looking forward to see the first one… ;-)

Matt explains at Digg how he did it:

I plugged the digital camera (power) in to the wall socket, placed the camera on some books on the dresser, and then used to some other books (always the same ones) to square the bottom books / camera up with the dresser so that it was always in the same position…it was actually a two person job. Because you are right, we ended up bumping it (no matter how careful we were) and needing to take the camera down because sometimes we’d know folks would be coming over and might see the camera set up (we hadn’t told folks at this point) and either figure out Carlin was pregnant.

We basically dedicated the camera to sit there for this project. I used my old SLR to take normal photos and later on the digital video camera we bought could also take decent stills.

Eirik did something similiar some time ago, just with the view outside his window.

Update A Digg user tells that this has been done before – in the 1998 short movie “7 seconds to Sophie” watch on Atom films), and even used in the beginning of the movie Amélie. Still: This is Matt’s wife and HIS daughter growing in there. What a lovely memory to keep.

Write in your books

Kottke links to a new series from Moleskine: City guide books with lots of blank pages for your notes, adresses, stories and drawings. Great idea!

Moleskine City Guides

I wish more books came with blank pages. More space for notes. Books like “Blink” and “Freakonomics” – books that triggers tons of ideas as I read them.

Maybe Moleskine could do some research: Which books would be popular with their biggest fans? Wouldn’t it be cool to have “Blink” with the Moleskine black binding, and lots of extra blank pages? Two extra blank pages after each big idea. Six extra pages after each chapter. And tabs included to mark those special pages. I would buy it. All my books are full of notes and drawings. Books are to be used.

BBC gets it

BBC will redesign their site,, to focus on three concepts: Share, find and play.

The site should be bulit up around usergenerated content like blogs and videos, hoping to become the public service version of BBC also plan to their entire programme catalogue online.

Ashley Highfield, BBC director of new media and technology says the new site will allow users to “create your own space and to build around you”, according to Guardian Unlimited.

At any time you will be able to download any programme from the eight BBC channels and watch it on your PC and, we hope, move it across to your TV set or down to your mobile phone to watch it when you want.

Either the BBC plans a new clever DRM model, or they simply drop the whole DRM thing and let their users do what they want with their programs. If the latter is true, it will be a whole new way of thinking from a major broadcasting company. And a way of thinking that will challenge other public service channels and also commercial channels.

See what other quality sites say about this at TailRank.


BBC today also unveiled a search engine with everything they made: Their own words: “Info about every single BBC programme, ever. It’s a vast catalogue, but it’s not comprehensive. A guarantee of accuracy. We’re very proud of it, but we know there are mistakes.”

Creative future

Now, imagine if all DRM and copyright rules were dropped for one month. All over the world.

Just copying others work and selling it would still be illegal. But making your own versions… Editing it. Adding. Subtracting. Changing. Mix. Fix.

What would happen?

The world would see the most creative month in the history of the world.

Yes, lots of money would be “lost” for the people holding copyrights.
Yes, it would be impossible to change the rules back after a month. Because the results would be mindboggling.
Yes, it would the legal mess the size of Jupiter.

But if I’m elected “One ruler of all humans and planets orbiting the sun”, I would gather the wisest women, men and dolphins on the planet and have them think how this can be done – letting creative people still make lots of money. And at the same time let you and me explore and find new ways to use all the signals surrounding us.

Gyms get computerized (but only halfway there)

Technogym is a big maker of training machines and systems. They have now developed the “Wellness System”:

The Wellness System is made up of hardware, software, and cutting-edge technologies linked to exercise equipment. It enables health and fitness facilities to deliver a rich wellness experience to their members. A comprehensive, modular network, the Wellness System works with exercise equipment.

Wellness System

Using a special TGS key, you “log on” to the equipment you use at the gym. The Wellness System then keeps track of what you do, burned calories, how much you run, how much you lift or pull, and your progress. You can also check your progress online.

Wellness System

Only halfway there

As far as I know the first time you can see your progress in hard numbers, and not just what you think your progress is (and DO people fool themselves? Yes, they do.)

There are however some shortcomings:

It can store “only” 365 workout sessions. I guess that means several years of workouts for most of us, but for athletes it will soon be too little.

Is there a way to measure your pulse? I couldn’t find that on the Technogym site.

You can’t take your data with you. And you can’t use the data from the gym with the data from outside the gym. Let me explain: You run, bicycle and lift in the gym. And your data is stored in the Wellness System. Then you run and bicycle outdoors, and maybe you store your data on a Garmin Forerunner.

Garmin Forerunner 305

How do you combine the data? You can’t. There aren’t any standards. And most of the people busy making new cool standards for the online world are so busy using their computers that they wouldn’t care less if you can’t take your Wellness System data, your Forerunner data and mix them at home. Or online.

We need EMIL

A year ago, I wrote “Running and training online”:

I’m always frustrated with the lack of open standards in the computer world. So to keep up competition, we make a standard for the data that the training machines collect when we train. I call it EMIL – Exercise Machine Interchange Language. It sounds like “e mill” (electronic mill) when you say it. And it’s my little homage to Astrid Lindgren’s wonderful character Emil.

So how about it, Marc? Phil? (who had supercool “/run” but still makes cool stuff at “Make:”. Or Robert?: Your boss seem to understand that we need microformats. We need a format for training! Get people out of their chairs! Hightech training for everyone!

And finally: The view

The next version of Windows is called “Vista”:


1) A distant view or prospect, especially one seen through some opening
2) A site offering such a view

(from Wiktionary)

I want something to look at when running the mill. Ok, at SATS where I workout, they have placed the step machines right in front of the running mills. But everywhere else. I would like to bicycle through Italian wineyards or downtown Sydney. I want to run the streets of Tokyo or the hills around Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Or the landscapes in Halo.


Make a system that takes data from the bicycle or the mill, feed it into my Xbox (or a PS3) and give me the view. Track how fast I go, my pulse, put it online. Let me race my friends all over the world. Give me EMIL support in all chat clients: “Status: Oyvind is bicycling – race him now”. Click and your system give you the same track I see, real time and online. And it works whether I’m at the gym or at the spinning bike at home.

How cool would that be!


There are three pieces missing:

Data collection
Technogym has started to adress this, by taking data from all machines in gyms, and saving them to a personal profile. Garmin also does it with their Forerunner line, where you store both pulse, elevation, speed, GPS data etc. on the Forerunner.

There are several other areas where this could be done:

  • A very light device to put on your arm while playing tennis
  • A device for golfers that takes GPS data, how you swing etc. (I would guess this exists already? Anyone?)
  • A device for skiers, both Nordic and Alpine. A GPS with customized software would cover most of what you need. I think lots of people would like to see their speed in the slopes, which could be done with GPS. Not too accurate, I guess but good enough. If there was a standard, the Alpine devices could talk to systems in the slopes, feeding them other metadata about the slopes (green, blue, red, black etc.)
  • Swimming. Are there heart rate monitors that are waterproof?

Can you think of other useful areas?

A standard for the data
There should be an easy way to move data between devices and systems. It’s lame that my Polar heart rate monitor store it’s data in a different format than Garmin’s heart rate monitors. They should be compatible with each other.

There should be a way to put all the data from Technogym’s Wellness System on a USB stick.

Someone should sit down and define all the data possible to connect: GPS positions, heart rate, how much you lift or push, how far you run/bicycle/ski and so on. And then define a data format for it. Like MIDI for training machines and monitoring.

Using data to control other devices
And finally: When the data is in a format that all kinds of machines and gadgets can understand, it should be possible to use it to control other devices. Example: When I run on a mill, that data should be possible to send to any PC/Mac/Xbox/PS to control things. Anything. It should be built right into the OS. Yes, OS X and Windows Vista should have supoort for this. So that if I want to “disconnect” the return key on my keyboard, and the only way to get a “return” is to hit a punching ball next to my display, I should be able to do it.

And when I’m running on a tread mill, in a gym or at home, I should be able to control any game I have. Or much better: The game developers should make special versions of the games, with “only” the landscapes and buildings, letting users run or bicycle them.

There is a device for alpine, showing vertical speed etc.

I’ve written Training microformat after Apple and Nike presented iPod+Nike in May 2006.

More “Africa” in your computer

Eirik posted about a Wired article from 1995, that we talked about a loooooong time ago. Brian Eno says (about computers):

“What’s pissing me off is that it uses so little of my body. You’re just sitting there, and it’s quite boring. You’ve got this stupid little mouse that requires one hand, and your eyes. That’s it. What about the rest of you? No African would stand for a computer like that. It’s imprisoning.”

Africa is still far away…

And now it’s 2006. Still no Africa in your computer. Maybe even worse than before. People sit still for hours and hours, using four fingers and their eyes locked at 45 cms. Bad bad.

So StepUI from Microsoft is a step (pun intended) in the right direction.


There are lots of dance pads and alternative input devices out there. But the OS need to be able to use them in an effective way, or nobody will use them. I hope Microsoft and Apple will implement these things, and not just make fun projects of them.


Also have a look at what I call EMIL – Exercise Machine Interchange Language, a new standard for storing data from exercise machines (treadmills etc.) and moving them between different machines and online storage.

Broadcast vCard

I was in a (very interesting) meeting today. And at the end we were doing the usual business card swapping. Since all of us were doing notes on our Macs and PC laptops, this seemed like a bit oldfashioned way of doing it. Yes, we could of course e-mail vCards to each other, but how would that happen if you don’t have the other person’s e-mail adress yet?


So I got an idea. And if it already exists, feel free to tell me in the comments below! Here’s the idea: My Mac has an Adress book with my contacts, and my own adress data. I can export any person as a vCard and e-mail that to someone. When the person who receives my vCard clicks on it, it will open the default contact manager and put my data in there.

my vCard

This works on any modern OS, Macs and PCs. Most modern laptops also have 802.11. Or WiFi. Or Airport. Many names.

Broadcast it!

I would like to have a meny item under the Airport icon in OS X. It should read: “Broadcast vCard”.


What it does is to listen for other’s sending me their vCards, and also sending out mine. When it finds them, the OS show me a list of who else did this around me, and let me check off which ones I allow to get my card. The others in the room do the same. This is to prevent anyone else around to get all our vCards without our permission. Like this:

Broadcasting vCard

It’s crude, but you get the picture. What do you think? Would this be useful? Would it be hard to put this on OS X or XP/Vista?

Now this is “almost” possible. See Bonsoir, here’s my vCard.

What if every video was tagged?

Basketball blog True Hoop writes about Synergy Sports Technology, a company that will record and tag every miunte of NBA basketball played. The C|Net article they refer to, has an interesting point:

In an e-mail interview, Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and the co-founder of, said he has been impressed with Synergy but was “only surprised that it took this long” for a service like this to emerge.

True. Why did it? The concept of tagging things is amazingly simple and still very effective. Now coaches in NBA teams can search any tag and combinations of tags and get video of their team up on their screen. Find “3-point lastminute leftside” or whatever.

Tagging tv

Now let us take this a step further. What if you could search for anything a broadcaster (like NBC in the USA, or BBC in the UK) broadcasts? Search for “laughter” and you get every good joke that made people laugh, in a talk show, a movie, a sports programme etc. Search for “shot”, “goal”, “kiss”, “man”, “woman”, “joke”, “sad” and so on.

Is it possible? Is there a business in this? Why would someone want to do this? Sales? Reuse of material in new programmes? I just find it fascinating, and I would like your comments on what this could be used for.

Tagging movies

What if videos had a system where people could tag them? Ok, let’s say that (Internet Movie Database) made a system where every scene in a movie were listed under the movie. And the movie companies let them do this. They were not to whow the actual movie, just a picture illustrating the scene. Then people could add tags to that scene. “Carchase”, “man”, “sun”, “orange”, “horse”, “Kim Basinger” etc. I’m pretty sure that lots of people would tag their favourite movies in no time.

What could we use these tags for later? Sales? Rentals? Dating? Any ideas?

This database then could be used for rentals, and soon internet downloads. has added tagging of the products they sell, but you can only add tags to the whole product. Would it be useful if you could tag chapters in books?