Countdown of Awesome
Welcome to the Countdown of Awesome. UM's Tom DiSapia and Robert Bellamy bring you a lofty and overly-ambitious attempt at a chart that subjectively counts down the most interesting stuff from the last week.
Plenty of juicy awesomeness this week including Age UK’s thermal print ads, Google’s impressive Ingress ARG and a brilliant MIT music hack to play your favourite tunes infinitely.
Number 5) Communitree
Communitree is the “world’s first Christmas Tree decorating party” offering the planet the opportunity to operate a remote “tree-trimming robot” to decorate a single rotating Christmas tree.
You’ve got to log to Facebook for your turn to control the robot and add an ornament – each one costing you $5 which goes towards Toys for Tots. At the time of writing they’d managed to raise nearly $8k of the $20k target but there’s still another day to go so hopefully they’ll get a little closer.
Referred by Tordy
Number 4) Thermal Print Ad
In a lovely articulation of their ‘spread the warmth’ campaign, Age UK is creating a thermal print ad with The Telegraph Magazine. The image consists of a photo of Age UK’s celebrity ambassador Lynda Bellingham in a dull and grey living room. It will be printed in thermal ink so that when readers put a finger on one of the grey items in the picture it will turn orange, demonstrating how older people can be made warmer through reader donations.
Number 3) Gmail lie detector plug-in
Similar to the brilliant Super PAC app (featured 30 August) and also from MIT, LazyTruth alerts you to political baloney within your email. It’s an inbox extension for Gmail that aims to combat emails full of political myths and urban legends by checking the claims to tell you if what you’re reading is true or bogus. Developed by MIT Media Lab graduate Matt Stempeck and others, the Chrome extension scans your emails and checks the information in PolitiFact and FactCheck.org.
Number 2) Google Ingress
This week, Google launched an alternate reality game (ARG) called Ingress which sounds pretty impressive:
“The concept is something like World of Warcraft, where everyone in the world is playing the same game,” says John Hanke from Niantic Labs, a start-up team wholly inside of Google. Players are on on one of two teams: “The Enlightened,” who embrace the power, or “The Resistance,” who fight the power. Anyone can play from anywhere in the world, though in more densely played areas there will be more local competition for resources.
His description makes it sounds pretty frantic “You’re like a rat in a maze on the phone”…
Via All Things D
Number 1) Infinite Jukebox
What’s better than listening to your favourite track? Having it play infinitely of course... "It stems from a very selfish thing: A lot of times I’m listening to a song and I just wish it were longer" says Paul Lamerre MIT. So he created a brilliant music hack in which you can upload any track on to the Infinite Jukebox web site where it analyses audio loops within the song, and allows you to play your favourite tracks ad infinitum. I can see it might get a lot of infinite Gangnam Style usage…
That’s it for this week. If anything screamingly awesome has been missed out, let us know in the comments below. Or feel free to ping any recommendations for next week to @jamescfilmer.
Chief Innovation Officer