Top 10 Posts of 2010

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This year was a big one for me. I quit the previous company and started freelancing in July, which was one of the toughest decisions in my life, but I’m very sure I made a right choice. Or rather, I should have chosen this path earlier. The jobs I love, wonderful people and companies I’m working for, great business relationships, etc. etc. I can’t be happier. And I’m so honored to have a chance to work for SOFTBANK this year.

On top of that, there’s one big and exciting project I was involved in, which will be released in January at the earliest. I’m really excited but I can’t reveal it now yet.

Doing the freelance work is part of the reason why I’m making fewer posts on this blog this year; practical and promising ideas go to my client companies. I’d appreciate your understanding on that.

Any way, here are the top 10 posts made this year.

1. Funny USB Memory Stick #6 Final

2. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: January 2010

3. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: November 2010

4. World Cleanest Graffiti— iPhone App Concept

5. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: April 2010

6. Hungry Batteries: Rechargeable Battery Concept

7. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: May-June 2010

8. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: February 2010

9. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: March 2010

10. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: August 2010

The calendar wallpapers have been unexpectedly popular, so most of the top 10 posts are about calendars. Dew and Frostie did good jobs, but are out of the running a bit.

As for wallpapers, I have been using famous quotes since last year, but I’ll change the style (not because I don’t like wallpapers with quotes but using a quote is kind of practice for me to get closer to my ideal wallpapers).

I thank all of your support and interest. I’ll be having fun again next year so come visit petitinvention regularly. I’ll also keep tweeting my thoughtsand Flickr!ing my photos.

In 2011, I’m planning to visit the U.S. (January?) and Europe (March or April). I’ll make time to meet lots of people from 2011, so if you’re there, let me know.

Thank you very much! I wish all of you a very happy new year.

December 31st 2010 blogging

Lifehacker’s Biggest Australian Stories Of 2010

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As the year draws to a close, here’s the 10 biggest local stories on Lifehacker in 2010, ranked in order of popularity. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings! (more…)

December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

BarMax, The $1,000 App (That’s Actually Worth It), Hits The iPad

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It was just about a year ago that we first wrote about BarMax, an iPhone application meant to help law student pass the Bar exam. But if you’ve heard of the app, it’s more likely because of its price: $999.99. And now you’ll be able to part with the $1,000 at the click of a button for the iPad too.

BarMax, which, believe it or not, actually seems to be a good deal at $1,000, has just launched the iPad version into the App Store this evening. Specifically, the California (each state has different Bar exams) version is ready to roll.

Last month, we did a preview of the iPad version and noted that the company had racked up over $200,000 in sales from the California and New York versions of their iPhone app. And the iPad version looks to be even more useful as it has been re-built from the ground-up to take advantage of the new form factor and larger screen.

Here are the key features of the iPad version from the company:

  • Native iPad app that has been built from scratch to take advantage of the iPad screen size.
  • Larger screen eliminates the need for books that some users still had.
  • Students can buy a new iPad if they don’t have one and the course for just $1,500, which is still more than 50% off from other leading courses.  We expect a spike in iPad purchasing among law students.
  • Enhanced outline reader layout with quick page scroller.
  • Ability to highlight text, create notes, and bookmark pages.
  • Redesigned Multiple Choice section with explanations of correct and incorrect answer options.

The reason the $1,000 price (the max you can charge in the App Store) is reasonable for this app is because of both the massive amount of data included — just about 1 GB — and because the course that students typically take for Bar exam prep, BarBri, usually costs something like $3,000 to $4,000 for the same type of information prep.

More importantly, the app appears to actually work. The data from the last Bar exam results showed students who used BarMax fairing well above the average pass rate.

To celebrate the iPad launch, BarMax is also giving away one copy of the $1,000 app to a lucky soon-to-be-lawyer TechCrunch reader. Simply email info@getbarmax.com with “TechCrunch” in the subject and your law school and graduation year in the email by January 5, 2011. They will select a winner at random from those who email.

You can find BarMax for iPad here in the App Store.


December 31st 2010 ipad

Get A Programmable Remote For Easier DVD Operation

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A footnote to our recent discussion about user friendly DVD players for older relatives: if you don’t like the remote that comes with the DVD or think it will be difficult to use, it’s pretty straightforward to swap it for a kid-friendly programmable remote control. (more…)

December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

OpenInvo: A Marketplace For Innovation

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Have a great idea, but don’t have the time or money to actually bring it to market? A new startup called OpenInvo wants to help you turn it into a nice chunk of change by selling it to existing businesses that are looking for an extra dose of innovation.

Now, there are other platforms for sharing business ideas — you may be familiar with Kickstarter, which has gotten attention for projects like the iPod Wristwatch. But Kickstarter is for people who want to bring their ideas to fruition and just need funding — OpenInvo is for people who have an idea and are willing to put the time in to flesh it out on paper, but don’t want to have to deal with actually starting a company.

For most users, the setup is pretty simple: you log into the site, agree to a fairly lengthy legal document, and then outline your ideas using diagrams and other supplementary material as necessary.

Established businesses eager for some outside inspiration can then come along and browse through OpenInvo’s directory of ideas (after paying for access, of course). At this point the tools for browsing this directory are still fairly nascent, but founder Emily Lutzker says that the company plans to build it out once it raises additional capital.

So how much can you expect to make should a business decide it likes one of your ideas? This varies a lot — Lutzker says that the service gauges a variety of factors, like the potential market size, how much work you’ve put into fleshing out your idea, and whether or not there’s an existing relevant patent in order to establish a fair price. But she says the range could be anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. There’s also an option for the idea creator to collect a percentage of revenues generated by the idea, though the purchasing business would obviously have to agree to those terms.

There are a lot of IP issues involved here, and Lutzker says that the site has been vetted by lawyers to make sure that things are up to snuff. New idea submitters have to agree to an online contract indicating that they accept OpenInvo’s terms, and companies that wish to browse the ideas have to sign a contract of their own. To help prevent abuse (for example, companies simply taking ideas without paying their creators), OpenInvo tracks each page that a business visits.

OpenInvo is still in a very early state. Lutzker says that the service has some large companies who are eager to browse through the site’s directory, but that the service is waiting for the marketplace to fill out with more submissions before it opens the floodgates to these ‘Idea Seekers’. In the future, the service will also flesh out its collaboration tools, and it will eventually offer real-time brainstorming sessions that businesses can use as online focus tests.

There are plenty of other online platforms for sharing ideas, including Kickstarter and Quirky. The latter has its community vote on submitted ideas, and it brings them to market with the original creator getting a cut of the proceeds. There’s also Innocentive, which sets out to solve ‘problems that really matter’.


December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

Another Holiday Gift For The Practitioner

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As you may know, you can create your own reports within Google Analytics. Here’s a help article from our blog explaining how. In Avinash’s typical style, he makes powerful analysis techniques accessible and understandable, and the best part is that he’s created the reports for you allowing you to take action right away. You can click on a link that populates the report template right within your Google Analytics profile. Thanks for the holiday gift Avinash.
To give you a sneak peak and get you salivating to read Avinash’s post, the three reports are:
  • Page Efficiency Analysis Report
  • Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis Report.
  • Paid Search Performance Analysis Micro-Ecosystem!
If you’re doing web analytics, these reports will be of use both educationally, and practically. Enjoy, and stay tuned for one more gift from Avinash.

December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

Moffsoft FreeCalc Offers On-Screen Calculation Tracking

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We reckon the calculator in Windows 7 is pretty neat, but it’s not to everyone’s taste. If you prefer your calculations displayed as you make them, Moffsoft FreeCalc is a pretty handy option. (more…)

December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

How Cool Would It Be If Google Became A Carrier?

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The end of the year is the time when people feel more free to make wacky statements and dubious predictions. Whether it’s the season, too many rich desserts or the additional alcohol people consume it’s not clear. But one such prediction is that Google might seek to become a…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

With all the iPad 2 cases comi…

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With all the iPad 2 cases coming out already, I hope someone can design a case where I don’t have to take off the case to dock it!

December 31st 2010 Uncategorized

Centro Media Rakes In $22.5 Million

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According to an SEC filing today, the Chicago based Centro has just raised a whopping $22.5 million (rounded up) in equity only funding. Listed on the SEC form are Centro CEO Shawn Riegsecker and FTV Capital Partner Eric Byunn as Director.

Centro is a digital media and technology services company founded in 2001, serving over 350 ad agencies world wide . The company’s recently launched platform Transis automates and centralizes the media buying and selling process so agencies can save time and money.

This looks to be the first major funding round for Centro; The company had also raised a much smaller $276,247 round back when it was called Intergent.


December 31st 2010 Uncategorized