"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

Hide In Plain Sight

Posted: June 8th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Interaction Design | Tags: , | No Comments »

Glasgow has decided to take on illegal fly-posting in a new way. Instead of scrapping off the posters from every inch of space they take up, a time consuming and messy process, they are simply sticking ‘cancelled’ notices of their own over gig posters! Then the venue owners have to deal with hordes of irate fans calling up to demand refunds. Clever indeed, so it will be interesting to see if more cities follow their lead. Or if venues start offering confirmation/cancellation info over text message instead – a new business venture for someone? [From BoingBoing].

Subtitling Videos

Posted: May 12th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Internet Life | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Earlier tonight I was watching some hilarious sketches from ‘Smack the Pony‘, an overlooked British comedy show from the late 90s with classic sketches such as this:

Once I’d stopped laughing I realised there was something interesting going on here – the subtitles. This sketch had been recorded off a French channel so the video stream had subtitles in it, but what if I wanted Spanish subtitles? Then it struck me, that if you could put an overlay onto any video from a service like youTube that embedded subtitles you could extend the reach of any video. Maybe you could even help world peace… Maybe.

I filed this idea away for later, then about an hour later I was looking at metafilter and came across someone trying to do just this – dotSub. D’oh, beaten to the punch again. But then having reviewed the dotSub offering I still feel like there’s potential here for someone else to do a lot better. For example it doesn’t look like dotSub overlays videos from other sources, they stream them directly and embed their own pre-structured English subtitles to work from. They also don’t seem to offer a rating system for thei subtitles, which given they’re done by free from their audience seems a bit risky.