@danhung has got a sick view (at Gotham West)

at Timehop

Love this part: “I love this combination of “that thing I’m wearing” paired with “the thing already in the room” – it makes for the richest and most meaningful interactions.”


A Jetsons home

Time: The very near future. AKA, 2015. Maybe even late 2014, you guys.

6:30am. Good morning.

I wake up to the vibrate of my Misfit Shine / Jawbone UP / smart mattress (choose your own adventure).

I get out of bed and pick up my phone. It’s already synced my sleep data to the cloud before I know what’s what (that Bluetooth LE magic). Perhaps this has happened through my iPhone. Perhaps it’s happened through my new Apple TV. It doesn’t matter; it’s so smooth. I love this combination of “that thing I’m wearing” paired with “the thing already in the room” – it makes for the richest and most meaningful interactions.

Oh, it knew when to wake me up because it knew my first event in the morning was a 7AM bike ride. It knows my calendar too, obviously.

It’s a warm summer day in New York City. So Nest has already picked up on this and woken up with me at the appropriate time with the right temperature. It’s no longer that cool night, so it turns up the aircon, as the weather is already getting a bit muggy out.

I go out for a ride on my Specialized, which is my bike that has been plugged in and syncing and downloading new training paths for me via Strava. It suggests a new route for me to hit: it knows my training plan, after all. The wheels automatically track my distance and cadence and power output and, paired with my phone, tracks GPS paths. My Apple headphones, of course, track my heart rate. I head back home, lean my bike up again the wall - of course, she syncs automatically to my “home”.

I get showered and ready and iPhone has already pulled up the weather report to show me. I’ve not been touching the phone for the last 20 minutes, so it already knows from habit that I’ve been away on the shower and shave in the morning.

As soon as I leave home, my phone automatically informs the other devices that want to know I’ve left. My Apple TV pauses music that was playing. Apple TV turns off all the lights and draws the shades. Separately, Nest knows I’m gone and goes into Away mode to conserve energy.

If anything should happen during my day at work that needs my attention, Home.app will send me a notification. Otherwise, I head home after a long day and the home system, knowing I’m there, automatically warms all systems up. When I walk in, my phone connects to WiFi and BLE, so all systems know it’s me and turn on all appropriate services.

I sit on my couch and listen to some Beats situation directly from an Apple TV app (after all these years, we have streaming music as an app right on Apple TV).

Then, I pick up a game controller and play a few circuits worth of racing on my Apple TV, which has all the games I purchased on iOS (yes!–where I finally get to race on the big screen that R8 I picked up on my iPhone).

It’s late.

I fall asleep on my couch.

Apple Watch already knows my heart rate’s in sleep mode and falls asleep with me (Oh wow, I love this idea of devices “falling asleep with me”).

Of course, it already knows when to wake me up the next morning, so I need not worry about setting an alarm.

Good night.


Submission - Aerial Photo of New York City with Rail Lines Superimposed 

Fantastic work from Transit Maps reader Arnorian showing the New York Subway, PATH and NJ Transit Lines on top of an aerial photograph of central New York City. When you view a transit system like New York’s through the limitations of a small printed or on-line map (be it the official map, the Vignelli diagram or even the hybrid Kick Map), it’s easy to forget just how big and complex it is. A representation like this shows that complexity and scale to full effect, and also looks quite breathtakingly gorgeous.

(via buzz)


Write-only interfaces. / A write-only interface.

A write-only interface, which I totally just now made up, is one where the primary (and often the only action you can take) is one where you can “add” to a collection but not view what’s already in said collection.

For frequent interactions and in the interest of simplicity, I wonder if I need to see all emails before I send one? All Asanas before I create one (see: Jotana)? All transactions before I send money (see: Square Cash)? All check-ins before I make one (see: Checkie)?

All photos before I take one?––Wait.––This is exactly how Camera.app works.

at Battery Park City



I found myself saying,

"You can look at what they have and critique it and come up with all these ideas of what they should have built instead, but how about finding out why they ended up with what they have?”

I think there is this gap in product understanding. You can…


Nobody lives here: The nearly 5 million Census Blocks with zero population

A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.

Green shading indicates unoccupied Census Blocks. A single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from shading

Quick update: If you’re the kind of map lover who cares about cartographic accuracy, check out the new version which fixes the Gulf of California. If you save this map for your own projects, please use this one instead.

Map observations

The map tends to highlight two types of areas:

  • places where human habitation is physically restrictive or impossible, and
  • places where human habitation is prohibited by social or legal convention.

Water features such lakes, rivers, swamps and floodplains are revealed as places where it is hard for people to live. In addition, the mountains and deserts of the West, with their hostility to human survival, remain largely void of permanent population.

Of the places where settlement is prohibited, the most apparent are wilderness protection and recreational areas (such as national and state parks) and military bases. At the national and regional scales, these places appear as large green tracts surrounded by otherwise populated countryside.

At the local level, city and county parks emerge in contrast to their developed urban and suburban surroundings. At this scale, even major roads such as highways and interstates stretch like ribbons across the landscape.

Commercial and industrial areas are also likely to be green on this map. The local shopping mall, an office park, a warehouse district or a factory may have their own Census Blocks. But if people don’t live there, they will be considered “uninhabited”. So it should be noted that just because a block is unoccupied, that does not mean it is undeveloped.

Perhaps the two most notable anomalies on the map occur in Maine and the Dakotas. Northern Maine is conspicuously uninhabited. Despite being one of the earliest regions in North America to be settled by Europeans, the population there remains so low that large portions of the state’s interior have yet to be politically organized.

In the Dakotas, the border between North and South appears to be unexpectedly stark. Geographic phenomena typically do not respect artificial human boundaries. Throughout the rest of the map, state lines are often difficult to distinguish. But in the Dakotas, northern South Dakota is quite distinct from southern North Dakota. This is especially surprising considering that the county-level population density on both sides of the border is about the same at less than 10 people per square mile.

Finally, the differences between the eastern and western halves of the contiguous 48 states are particularly stark to me. In the east, with its larger population, unpopulated places are more likely to stand out on the map. In the west, the opposite is true. There, population centers stand out against the wilderness.


Ultimately, I made this map to show a different side of the United States. Human geographers spend so much time thinking about where people are. I thought I might bring some new insight by showing where they are not, adding contrast and context to the typical displays of the country’s population geography.

I’m sure I’ve all but scratched the surface of insight available from examining this map. There’s a lot of data here. What trends and patterns do you see?


  • The Gulf of California is missing from this version. I guess it got filled in while doing touch ups. Oops. There’s a link to a corrected map at the top of the post.
  • Some islands may be missing if they were not a part of the waterbody data sets I used.


©mapsbynik 2014
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
Block geography and population data from U.S. Census Bureau
Water body geography from National Hydrology Dataset and Natural Earth
Made with Tilemill
USGS National Atlas Equal Area Projection

NYC at dusk (at Manhattan Bridge)


I gushed about The Raid a few weeks back, and just last week saw The Raid 2: Berandal at a local theater. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I think it’s the best action movie I’ve ever seen.

The Raid was as high-concept as can be, with more guns and punches than plot or dialogue. The Raid 2, to the contrary, is an ambitious crime epic, rich in both violence and story. It’s 150 minutes but never feels even slightly long. I immediately wanted to go watch it again.

I can’t remember the last time I was as in awe with a director as I currently am with Gareth Evans.

Watched this last night and totally agree. I didn’t want it to end and was sad when it did. Storyline was solid, but extraneous at times.