Sunday, September 17, 2006

YouTube videos with ten seconds of every song?

A website with ten seconds of every song

Most surely doable in some form on YouTube? Here's some ideas for video medleys that could be available:

A medley with ten seconds of every Beatles song (or any other group)
A medley with ten seconds of every song in the top 40 now
A medley with ten seconds of every number one hit of the 60s (or other era)
A medley with ten seconds of every song from an album

(Where no footage is available the screen would just show the name of the song.)

And a slightly different tangent:

A medley with ten seconds of all the music featuring in current TV commercials.
(The medley would also display the name of the track and the artist.)

Any ideas out there for other possibilities?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blogs for busy people

I was thinking how it would be great if busy people like Sir Tim Berners-Lee or the Queen could blog in some way. Here's the idea: someone like TBL would be able to 'call' their blog on the phone -- there would be a number they could call to contact their blog. The blog (by some arrangement) would record their message on the blog (in some format) and visitors would be able to listen to the messages. Also, the blog could employ a volunteer who could type-up the recorded message on a daily basis.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Three ideas

The problem with theme parks and fairgrounds

I always worry about the same thing at fairgrounds and theme parks: will my wallet/money/keys fall out of my pocket while I'm on the ride? The solution as a youngster was simple: 'dump everything with mum'. My other worry is that my glasses will fall off; if you remove them for the ride then the blurred vision makes the ride less enjoyable.

If I were a theme park boss I would manufacture cheap - flimsy even - bags that can be attached simply to a belt or belt loop. The idea is that the bag would contain all the 'pocketables'. The bag would also contain an elasticated cord that can be attached to the ends of a pair of glasses.

Of course, these problems are preventable with a little foresight, but how many realise the problem when it's too late?

A new type of athletics record?

I've been thinking about the wind resistance in Roger Bannister's four-minute mile. To a certain extent, an athletic performance is in the 'hands of the gods' - wind resistance is a factor, as is altitude. I would like to see a perfect environment created that is conducive to good athletic performance. This enviroment would consist of a chamber where there is no wind resistance (or assistance) and a constant supply of oxygen. An important factor in running races -- pace -- would be considered, with the environment providing constant feedback on the pace needed to break a record.

The new record would be known as a 'cell record' - with the perfect environment created taking place in a chamber known as a cell. These records would not compete with existing athletics records, but would exist to prove that human performance can be improved with perfect conditions.

A museum with simulations of extreme weather conditions and natural phenomena

I would like to see a museum created where visitors can experience simulations of extreme weather and natural phenomena. Visitors would be able to:

Experience the temperature of the Sahara
Experience increasing Richter magnitudes in an earthquake simulator
Experience the hardest rainfall recorded on earth
Lift weight-accurate models of the largest hailstones
(Briefly) enter an environent at the temperature of the poles
See the effect molten lava has on different objects
See models of giant icycles
Create artifical lightning

There could also be areas with simulations of extreme weather conditions recorded in each country.

Monday, April 11, 2005

When the mobile goes for a walk...

Yeah yeah yeah. I am still sulking. Actually not, but the mention of the word mobile is not really cheerful anymore.
Anyway, I thought of a few thing that we could use in mobile phones:

1. GPS that can be enabled remotely
2. Mobile shutdown remotely
3. Mobile detonation remotely (forget it, I am just plain frustrated here. If a kid found it, I would rather s/he kept my mobile phone and enjoyed it)

For both 1 and 2 I think the International Mobile Phone body (if there is something like that) should mandate the inclusion of a single chip in every phone. Hence, the protocol is independant of the manufacturer. Once the chip is included it is essentially disabled.
If the mobile is lost then one can call a common international number and provide the IMEI to them and option 1 and/or 2. The mobile will be tracked down or will shut off permanently.
Currently I am not sure about the GPS thing being available, but the 2nd thing seems available albeit to partial completion. The current mode, I believe, gets the service provider to disable the phone from being used on the network, but changing the SIM card would let you use the phone. A mobile shutdown doesn't let you use the phone at all: you can't switch it on.

Once the mobile is returned, these can be undone.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A forum for the dissemination of ideas by creative generalists?

I'm reluctant to give myself (or anyone, for that matter) a label, but I suppose I am very much a creative-generalist. I would like to contribute ideas to the worlds of advertising and television. However, to do this, I very much have to 'walk the walk': in other words, I have to have gained a significant chunk of knowledge about the particular industry. In the area of television to submit an idea I have to submit ideas in a set template including details about costs and other specific details about the project. As a creative generalist I don't have time to research this.

This week I have seen no less than four of my ideas actuated by someone else (two TV show concepts, one invention and one social invention).

Here is my idea: we devise an organisation/forum dedicated to the dissemination (and championing) of ideas devised by creative generalists. We would be able to submit ideas to organisations under the aegis of the organisation. I would like to do this sooner rather than later.

Any thoughts?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Will this happen?

This is a wonderful flash presentation I happened to see. I know this seemingly has nothing to do with the intent of this blog, but I would like you to listen to it completely and then read over some of our earlier posts.

Flash Presentation at Gatech - ols-master

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Focus and creative hit-list

Interesting post on the de Bono website this morning:


I would like to make a creative hit-list for this blog. This would begin a collaborative effort to create as many ideas as possible for the 'target'. I would like to start with the Olympics as the target. I have already posted some Olympics ideas here:

Ten Ideas For The Olympics

Any more ideas for targets?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Great Idea...the alarm clock that cares!

I found this great idea on the Ninja Monkeys blog: an alarm clock that decides when to wake you up.


Thursday, March 31, 2005

"Ban if you spam"

Would this work?

The problem

I've been contacting a few companies lately by email. Sadly replies are very rare. I expect these companies receive so much spam and irrelevant emails that my email disappears in a mountain of unwanted mail. So I've devised a 'ban if you spam' idea:

How it works

An individual would state - in their email account- that they agree to send no more than ten emails a day. If they exceed this number then their account is disabled (permanently?). In all their outgoing email the title line indicates that the sender has signed-up to the 'ban if you spam' agreement. Thus the recipient knows that the email is not from a spammer.

Any thoughts on this?

Take Home Digest

I always wonder what I should read over this weekend, or any weekend for that matter. I surf the net speedily and find myself some nice article(s) to read and feel happy about the 2 S's that I need to enjoy.
Wouldn't it be good, if we had a a site that lets me generate a digest for myself to read over the weekend? Think about it.
I go to this site and am presented with a range of subjects (gardening, pottery, management, law, medicine, space technology, etc.) and a link alongside each to let me know the kind of stories that are showcased this week. Wait, wait, wait. Let's go through this slowly.

I launch the webpage of this site. Nice presentation. Not too jazzy and loaded with flash, but soft and mellow and visually preparing me for the weekend. I login. The site welcomes me personally and asks me whether I liked the articles (the articles are listed with a set of radio buttons beside each, allowing me to let the site know whether an article was interesting, ok or not to my taste). I can choose to ignore this query and let the site know that I wish to proceed with creating my digest. I am now presented with a list of my earlier templates of digest designs (each one of them is given a name like "Hobbies", "Adventure activities" or "Management and Knowledge"). I can choose any one of these templates or specify a new one. Let's assume that I go ahead and specify a new one. I click on the new Digest Collection and am taken to a page which list topics (based on the history of frequency of choice, i.e. if over the past few digests, I chose "Carpentry" more often than any other topic, then Carpentry will at the top) in a very interesting format. Its not a simple tabular list of topics but in a colourful and attractive format. A large number of Post-Its (with small thumbnail pictures) or like a magazine rack or something similar.
So I get to choose a few topics (max, say, 9) for my Take Home Digest, and then click on the compile button. The site builds a magazine for me full with TOC and allows me to download it as a full colour PDF document. All I need to do is download it and maybe print it out and take it home.
That is one happy weekend ahead for me.

There is a lot more that can be done once we have this idea in place. We could add a list of links which are related to the main article. We could highlight a few key phrases and link them to a search on Google or Vivisimo. We could have the feedback facility built into the document itself, so that, once the reader is done reading an article he can click on the relevant feedback icon (represented as fresh flowers, dry flowers and brickbats). The site will use a neat algo to keep polishing its compilation algorithm.
Money? Yeah, we need to think of that as well. Maybe the site could create different levels of memberships:
Only free articles
50-50 free and paid articles
No restrictions
Preference based (member can choose to receive articles from N Magazines + free articles)

These logisitics can be decided later. I am more concerned about the idea.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

A new kind of industry

This happened way back last year (suddenly "way back" takes you about 5-15 years and "last year" zips you back!! ;-). 2 friends of mine and I were having a conversation. I had had a dream 9no, usually my dreams are nicer and saucier, but once in a while...) about a company started and run me one of them and me. This company basically had a different structure and went ahead to surpass all other companies in their revenue and stock value. But all that was basically to make my dream happy (I believe I was half awake and hence, manipulated part of my dream to make it happy). I was discussing this dream with my friends and telling them how I loved the structure, and they went ahead to tell me that it was a hopeless case and such a company would never thrive. I took their word for it and decided to shelve my company (no, I never throw any of them away). I was so disappointed for the next few days!! :-(

A few weeks later, I read this article and was jumping all over the place. It doesn't totally parallel my idea but it definitely was a sort-of proof of concept. And, when MIT says something I dreamt of is hot, boy, I am all over the place hugging and kissing people I hardly know!!!

So, here is my dream.

My company basically had 3 tiers.
Tier 1: Implementors
Tier 2: Analysts and Management
Tier 3: Inventors
Cool, we can call it the IA-MI (ayaamee) structure (no, this wasn't part of my dream then).

So back to my dream structure. I like to invent, but am not always driven to carry it to completion. I am usually happy with the thought that I was able to solve a problem wonderfully cleanly and with different possibilities. I would go ahead and implement it too but not always (like the charge-cum-signal idea below). Anyway, so Tier 3 was for people like me. We simply keep solving problems and coming up with new gadget ideas and the like. We do not restrict ourselves to a domain although we take no measures to hide our area of interest.

With the entire range of ideas (with clear specifications in place) on the table, the erudite members of Tier 2 start thinking. They look at the spread on the table and say, "Hmmm, nice stuff. So, this is the kind of stuff we can do, huh? Neat. Now, let us look at where the market is going," and they take out their laptops and reports and pens and stuff and soon talk to each other in hushed tones and well practised seriousness. Then they finally tell us (and themselves), "We can go ahead and implement exhibit A, G, K, R, X and Z. We need to investigate F, L, S and Y. The remaining stuff we'll go ahead and patent." Next, they go ahead and create plans and schedules and estimates for A, G...Z and conduct discussions and brainstorming sessions with members of Tier 1 and 3. A separate team will look into the lucre one can associate with F, L..Y. The remaining stuff are sent to the legal department for patenting.

Tier 1 members are specialist. They know how to get the job done. They discuss details (technical as well as project management related) with memebers of Tier 3 and 2 and finally go ahead and implement some of the ideas. Mind you, Tier 1 is a heterogenous mix of people and skills. There are software engineers, mechanical engineers, electronic engineers, chemical engineers, et al. There would also be craftsmen like carpenters, painters, etc. (but let's not lose our focus right now). Once they are implemented, the products are marketed (by people in Tier 2 and their teams) to the customer base like any product is.

Tier 2 might convert some of the investigated ideas (F, L, S or Y) into implementable ideas and the remaining go to the patenting department.

The patenting dept. aggressvely goes ahead and files patents for all the ideas that are not implementable (not implementable because we do not find sufficient resources within the company and the ROI might not be worth it). Once the patents are ready, we sell/lease the patents to other companies. The details of the lease/sale contract are details that I shant get into. E.g. a Tier 3 member might have come up with a wonderful idea for a refrigerator compressor design. The company doesn't find it lucrative enough to enter the home appliance segment and hence, files a patent for this (patents are filed even for the implementable stuff). Once the patent is ready, we might lease this technology to the big players in the refrigerator market.

So the company revenue is derived from product sales and licensing as well as patent sale/lease and renewals.

But, honestly, this what not what I was trying to solve (unconsciously) in my dream. I found many people not satisfied with their jobs. Some love to implement things and see it out in the market. Some love to invent. Some love to study markets and make sharp and shrewd decisions. I wanted to construct a company which lets people do what they love the most. If a Tier 3 hits a dry patch (inventor's block?) then s/he can move to Tier 2 or 1 based on her/his capabilities. Similarly a Tier 1 can also move around. I was targetting creating a structure for complete job satisfaction (at least as far as possible).

Hope you liked my dream. In case you didn't, please know that at the end of the dream we had bought enough top name companies (don't want to name them ;-) and were minting truck loads of money!!! ;-)

For those interested in a relatively new concept of Idea Management, please visit (requires a free registration) this site.