Vertical Forest

An interesting project is underway in Milan, Italy where architect Sefano Boeri designed a pair of highrises that incorporate trees on the exterior of every floor.

The concept of reforestation within the city context intends to minimize the expansion of established urban fabric for additional green spaces while still increasing biodiversity which has been lost during development. the implementation of this project serves as a model for contemporary european cities for linking a building with nature within city limits.

The design of the buildings incorporated how the plants and trees would produce CO2 for the building and the area around it. Practically speaking, I’m wondering who is going to trim those trees on the higher floors.

via Designboom

Twitter Impacts TV Ratings

From a presentation this week at the Social TV Summit (Yes, I too didn’t know this conference even existed):

The correlation with ratings [and Tweets] is much stronger. “When you look at the volume of same-day Tweets about a show, it’s a significant factor in explaining that show’s ratings.” “If Nielsen’s our blood pressure, I’d like you to think of Twitter as our heartbeat. It’s the EKG of attention around a show.”

This is just another example of why Steve Jobs and so many others have been obsessed with distrupting the TV industry. The Neilsen ratings model of TV measurement has always been fundamentally broken. Digital TV services (Apple TV, Boxee, Roku, etc.) and services like Twitter and IntoNow now give marketers, advertisers and media companies the opportunity to mash up data sources and extract a level of insight never before seen.

Twitter alone can deliver a depth of knowledge at the aggregate level is pretty staggering and this is just another example of that. Services like DataSift and Gnip enable you to tap into the Twitter firehose and dig into some pretty amazing insights that can help inform so many business decisions.

Tipping Point

Is it safe to say that the decline and fall of Malcolm Gladwell is well on its way, if not complete? It was announced today that Gladwell will be receiving paychecks from Bank of America to help them woo Small Business owners to use BofA for their banking needs. I never really saw or bought into all the hype around his books Tipping Point or Outliers. And is he really a big name in the Small Business community? It hasn’t been the best few years for Gladwell as his recent work has received few nice words:

Gladwell’s work has been widely criticized from the pages of New York Magazine (“The bigger criticism of Gladwell is not that he’s unoriginal but that he’s unserious”) to the New York Times (“Mr. Gladwell has conflated fraud with overvaluation.”) to the Columbia Journalism Review (“Of course Gladwell lacks rigor – he’s a feature writer, not a brain scientist.”) — which also notes that he is rather well-remunerated through corporate speaking fees — and beyond. Many of those criticisms note that his biggest works are more often than not distillations of other people’s research and ideas… and that they tend to almost exclusively support a consumerist, elitist philosophy.

And BofA has had its recent share of PR disasters as well with its TARP bailouts, mass layoffs and $5 bank fee fiasco. Seems to me BofA needs a hell of a lot more than Malcolm Gladwell to get its ship in order, while I will be interested to see how a BofA paycheck will influence Gladwell’s perspective on future books and stories.

Get Rid of Huge Files in Gmail

If you are pushing the limits of your alotted Gmail disc space, here is a handy widget that can make finding those huge emails easy. Find Big Eamil is a simple web based widget for Gmail to help you get rid of those 3 year old emails with EPS attachments that are collecting digital dust.

Basically, you just submit your Gmail address to the site and Find Big Email does a one time scan of your Gmail account email account. From a security POV, it doesn’t ask you for your password. I don’t know the technical way it is able to scan your Gmail account, but I have not had any issues. More details on security questions related to the service can be found here and here.

Anyway, the one time scan then creates a set of labels based on the different file sizes of your emails and it creates some custom labels (Biggest, > 2MB, > 500kb, > 100kb) using Gmail’s advanced label/search functions that then populate your label list. Go to those labels and all the emails that meet those size criteria are listed right there for you to see. From there, delete away and clear out your digital email attic. The nice thing is that if you ever start to encroach on your disc space limitation sometime in the future, just click on one of these labels (“Biggest” emails or emails over 2MB) and all of those emails will be there to pick off and delete.


Who The Hell Is Ken Dahlberg?

Overshadowed by the passing of Steve Jobs, Kenneth Dahlberg also died on Tuesday October 4th.

“Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?” President Richard M. Nixon asked on June 23, 1972, his voice captured on tape in the Oval Office. He would find out soon enough. Without Kenneth H. Dahlberg, Nixon might not have become ensnared in the Watergate scandal and been forced to resign.

Mr. Dahlberg, who died on Tuesday (October 4, 2011) at 94, became the unwitting link between the Nixon re-election campaign and the five men who, only days before Nixon’s remark, were charged with breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington.

He had been a fund-raiser for Nixon’s re-election campaign, and his name was on a $25,000 cashier’s check that had been deposited in the bank account of one of the burglars, Bernard L. Barker. The money was to help cover the burglars’ expenses, and Mr. Barker had withdrawn that amount in $100 bills. He was carrying more than $5,000 when he was arrested on June 17 (1972).

If Woodward & Bernstein don’t uncover the connection between Dahlberg and the Committee to Re-Elect The President (Nixon), the whole Watergate connection between Nixon and Watergate may not have been made. Or, it would have been exceedingly harder to uncover the connection.

As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money”.

I’ve said it several times, but to me, the unraveling of the Watergate scandal is still one of the most fascinating stories in history.

via The NY Times


The Human Scale of Apple Stores

Really interesting and insightful article about the architects that have designed many of the Apple stores around the world, and their relationship with Steve Jobs.

I remember when Steve first hired us, he said: ‘I hired you because you’ve done very good large buildings, and you’ve done great houses.’ If you’re doing houses, then you’re thinking about the subtleties of a building.’

As is legend now, Jobs’ laser focus on the user experience within Apple’s products also extended all the way to the retail experience, to the point where Jobs perceived retail as simply an extension of the overall Apple product line.

via NY Times