FITC day 2

Steven | multimedia,Random Thoughts | Sunday, 01 March 2009

Still had to report from the second day of Flash in the Can Amsterdam. The report of the first day can be found here.

Highlight of the day was definitely Sakri’s session :)
No really, it was pretty good. He only rushed trough it a bit too fast, and was finished in 30 minutes. For me the timing was ok, but it’s kind of a bummer because he worked so hard on it. We’re still looking for other occasions where he can give this presentation, so if you now something let me know. Basically he wrote a framework for doing easy (yet cool) text effects in flash. He’s going to release it as soon as he finished off some stuff. You can read more about it at Sakri’s own blog.

Than the session that made most impression on me was the Mario Klingemann‘s one. He’s just a mathematician who happens to have an interest in flash. So this results in cool stuff. He started by dividing triangles until it became really arty. Then took the theory to the next phase and ending up with creating arty impressions based on pictures. Cool shit!

The rest of the sessions I attended were kind of inspirational.
Tools and Techniques at Nanika (by Andreas Muller) was interesting because it was actually about using flash and other techniques in a real world context. Like a fashion show, or a store. Lot’s of experiments and using flash in ways it hasn’t been used before.
Gmunk is doing cool stuff with 3D mostly and they showcased some projects. Although 3D isn’t really my thing it was pretty nice and inspiring.
And then there was the cool shit session where they showed off some stuff. Good formula: they had some speakers and a short amount of time, so they just had to keep themselves to the highlights, which worked out pretty good. I think such a session is something I want see on more conferences.

After the sessions we first had some Duvel with Keith Peters and some crazy Texan with a badass laptop the size of a desktop, and joined the Adobe VIP dinner later on. Thx Bert, great food!

Picture of Keith and Sakri having a Duvel, taken from Keith’s blog.

Here are some links you might wanna check out

  • Demofone, an application to stream your phones display to a web page. Just tested it, works fine
  • De Monsters. Were featured in the keynote. They’re building a project documentation tool and delivered some debugger for flash and flex.
  • Flash lite fund. I shouldn’t be sharing this, because we’re going to enroll ;) But this fund might be an extra push to start developing flash lite applications. By Adobe and Nokia.
  • Powerflasher. They promised a kick ass website coming up, so it better be good :) – If you speak German you can follow their blog.
  • Papervision blog. Get inspired by this framework that makes it possible to do 3D stuff in flash.
  • Hi-res. Keep an eye on their work! Also enjoy these classics, brings back memories!
  • Joshua Davis. Well, what can I say. He’s an artist using scripting. Fantastic work!
  • Sakri’s blog. Just do it! :|
  • Nanika, you’ll find lot’s of experiments here!
  • Quasimondo, aka Mario Klingemann’s blog.
  • Hobnox Audiotool (featured in the cool shit session) because it’s a fucking great audio tool that really shows what’s possible with flash. It’ll make all this expensive audio equipment superfluous.

I had fun! Hope to be there next year again!

Twitter rankings – sense and sensibility

Steven | Random Thoughts,twitter | Sunday, 01 March 2009

Everybody loves ratings, especially if you’re in there. Most of the time you know it’s crap, but it’s a vanity thing I guess :)

Twitterholic is doing an automated hitlist, and you can filter by location. Here is the top 100 for Belgium. It’s bogus to start with because it only filters out these people who have “Belgium” as a location in twitter. People using like a city are left out.

What always bother me is that it’s just a rating by followers. Sure, this means something, big time. But it’s not the only thing that matters. If Stephen Fry is followed by almost 250k people, that’s big!  Same goes for a lot of other people as you can see on the overall top 100 on Twitterholic.

What I think has some value as well is the following/followers ratio. And there’s 2 ways to look at. 1/ you can start following back people who start following you (polite) or 2/ just start following lots and lots of people and hope they’ll start following you back (or at least a decent chunk).


Don’t get me wrong, you obviously can follow as many people as you like, and there is absolutely no judgment. And I know there are people out there we live by it, and want the biggest possible gap between followers and following. Live and let live, but I don’t play these games. If somebody follows be I usually check that person shortly. If it’s somewhat interesting (for me) I might follow back. But I’m kind of picky because I simply can’t focus following too many people at once. Other than that, if I meet people, or I see them speech or something, and they have a twitter account, big chance I’ll follow them. I guess this is more or less how most people do it.

Because of this, I do think the ratio has some kind of value. I did some kind of experiment with it, and used the twitterholic numbers to calculate a different list.

1/ followers – following
Just a simple subtraction. Theory is to take only the number of people into account that are following you on top of the people you’re following yourselves. Here’s the new top 10 (Belgium)


who site followers following difference


Veerle Pieters Blog 7313 192 7121


Paddy Donnelly Blog 1231 182 1049


Bart De Waele  Blog 1447 403 1044


Robin Wauters Plugg 2717 1748 969


Serge Jespers Blog 1040 166 874


Kris Hoet Blog 1009 206 803


Clo Willaerts Blog 1198 722 476


Steffest 765 373 392


Imke Dielen Blog 648 285 363


Security4all Blog 615 253 362

Since this is dynamic I pasted the numbers in here as well. So this is a snapshot, and it will change for sure.

2/ followers/following ratio
Divide the numbers of followers by people that person is following, and you get a number indicating that for every people he/she follows, he’s followed back by x people. I left out the accounts that aren’t following anyone (this is just push, no conversation) and as well the radioo accounts (again, push).


who site followers following ratio


Veerle Pieters Blog 7313 192 38,09


Jan Van Boghout Macrabbit 160 9 17,78


Paddy Donnelly Blog 1231 182 6,76


Serge Jespers Blog 1040 166 6,27


De Standaard Online  Standaard (newspaper) 180 35 5,14


Steven Pauwels Blog 394 79 4,99


Kris Hoet Blog 1009 206 4,9


Bart De Waele  Blog 1447 403 3,59


Appelogen Blog 242 70 3,46


Juan Pablo Domain reactivator 353 121 2,92

(I left out Christophe Logiste as well. Although in the Belgian list he seems to be French)

I think this worked out quite well. It’s not perfect though. How do you think this “algorithm” can be improved. Must be something with standard deviation I guess, because there are a few results that are kind of twisted.
It’s hard to determine, but there is like a number we have to take into acount. For example if you go over 500 followers this must mean something. On the other hand, following over 500 (even less) people can’t be efficient. Again: no judgment! But it is my believe that if you are following over 500 people it’s more to get your message out, over communication. Sure you can use tweetdeck or something else to structure the people you’re following, but this kind of just proves the point.

It’s just an open question: how can we optimize?

In any case, we can be pretty sure the most influential Belgian twitterer is Veerle Pieters. Totally deserved, she made herself count in the global design world.
I’m also pretty pleased I know more than a few of the people listed above quite good and in person. They’re people that definitely move things forward, and I praise them for that!

How am I doing?
In the original twitterholic list I’m number 44
Using the first tweak brings me to place 39
The second tweak puts me at 35

Going in the right direction, but still some work to do :)
You can follow me on twitter at

Nokia N96: great phone, sucky battery!

Steven | multimedia,Random Thoughts | Sunday, 01 March 2009

image I love Nokia. Have been using it for years now, pretty loyal. I think they make great phones: good looking, functional, solid, right size, good OS ..
Anyway, I was thinking about the iphone, but I’m very glad I got myself a brand new N96 at the beginning of this year. It’s my best phone so far .. except for the battery, that’s just a pain in the ass :(

At first I thought something was wrong with my particular battery, but I did some research, and it’s a global problem. Nokia are you listening? Just Google “N96 battery” and you’ll see what’s going on.

In short, the battery just isn’t powerful enough! I’m no battery expert, but what I learned is that they used a 950 MAh battery, and this should be at least 1200 or even 1400 MAh.

The N96 product manager explained the early concerns by saying they used a smaller battery to keep the device small + the the device would work more efficient. They say it would be ok for most users, but perhaps not for heavy users. as you can see in this movie.

What? I guess if you buy a device like the N96 you might be considered a heavy user in the first place don’t you think? More efficient working: I don’t see this. The phone underperforms my previous N95 big time (which had a better battery). And sure, it might be optimized for music playback (in offline modus) but I guess this is not what is most important, at least not for me.

Then about the size, that’s absolutely bollocks as you can see in this video

What they did is use the 1200 MAh battery of the N78. This almost fits, is only just a bit to big. This can be easily fixed with a new back cover. The better solution would obviously be that it was designed the right way, or that they would create a 1200 or 1400 MAh battery that would actually fit. I’m sure this must be possible after seeing that video.

So to conclude: I still think the N96 is a fantastic phone, but I just can’t recommend it to you because of this limited battery live. If you use your phone somewhat more heavy (calls, wifi, bluetooth, gps, ..) it won’t survive the day. This is extremely annoying when traveling.

What I would like to see is Nokia responding to this. We as consumers (an brand lovers) can ask a solution from them I recon!? What can we do: well just make some noise about it, it’s the social media age remember. Blog about it like I did, put it on twitter, create some Google juice. I discovered a Facebook group called “Nokia N96 Owners needs a better battery from Nokia” what I joined. If you have a N96 yourselves I’d like you to join this group as well. It’s just another way to put some pressure. Let’s see if Nokia is listening, and picking this up. Let’s see if they are serious about this, and respond to us. Let’s see if they treat us with the respect we deserve.

It’s an experiment. But it’s a demand as well.