Friday fun: ClipDis turns your text messages into video mashups

Well, this is silly: iPhone video app ClipDis turns your ordinary text messages into short video clips that are entirely compiled of snippets from movies. And by snippets, I mean just that: One word from Maleficent, another from Family Guy and maybe the next from Breaking Bad.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMH1iIHX7Go]

The results are clips that are as rough as it gets when it comes to automated mashups, and not just because there is simply no rhythm to any of this. Sometimes, when ClipDis can’t find a phrase, it even generates a clip with a computer voice and some more or less fitting clip art. But it’s still fun. The app is fast and unpredictable — and you can always get a do-over that mashes up different clips.

There’s also a ClipDis website, capable of generating messaging mashups right in your browser — which really means that there is no excuse not to try this, and annoy some of your friends in the process.

Netflix’s secret cult hit

A few years back, Netflix produced some test footage for its device partners. The company simply added the footage to its regular catalog, where customers turned it into a cult hit, rivaling Internet memes like the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.

Meet Frstee, the snowman built from Twitter

Want to give Christmas a bit of a technological twist? Forget buying gadgets and doodads as gifts: why not dangle a 3D printed, data-crafted bauble from your tree instead?

Netflix looks to kids to make its UI more fun

Netlix recently posted a job opening for a UI designer specialized on kids websites and online games. Does the video giant plan to launch a separate website dedicated to its large library of kids content, or will the entire Netflix UI become a bit more kid-friendly?

5 reasons why side projects are good business

Side projects can be businesses or just-for-fun efforts that we do in our nonworking hours. While there are some risks with taking side projects, I strongly believe that most of the time they benefit both the individual and the employer.

Fun: The Key to Better Team Collaboration

An important but often unacknowledged issue surrounding collaborative business is that while companies will focus on choosing tools, prescribing acceptable network policies and measuring ROI, the easiest way to get staff to collaborate is to make it fun. But what makes collaboration fun?

Halloween Costume Ideas for Web Workers

jack_o_lanternAll Hallow’s Eve is nearly upon us, and like many others, I’m scrambling to come up with last-minute costume ideas for the weekend festivities. I can always pull out the old tickle trunk, replete with the bits and pieces of costumes past, but where’s the fun in that? If possible, I like to repeat as little as possible.

Instead, why not embrace my web working identity as a source of costume idea inspiration? These costumes may not be instantly recognizable by everyone, but those who do recognize them will make it all worthwhile, especially if you travel with a web-savvy crowd. Please note that any ribbing that follows is of the good-natured variety. Read More about Halloween Costume Ideas for Web Workers

Weekly App Store Picks: September 19, 2009

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It’s the end of another week and so it’s time for me to scour the latest releases in the App Store for the hottest new iPhone apps. As ever, I’ve selected four hot picks released in the last seven days for you to check out.

This week I’ve plucked our picks from across the globe. Hailing from Japan, my top pick this week is Brain Controller.
I’ve also checked out Finland’s Pajatzo, France’s Adrenaline Golf and Germany’s Vinyl DJ.

Brain Controller ($2.99)

app_icon_brain_controllerCreated by the apparently twisted minds at Motion Portrait Inc. over in Japan, Brain Controller might not be the most useful app to add to your collection but, it may well be the strangest. If you’re looking to drop some jaws and raise some eyebrows while showing off your iPhone, this is the app for you.
After shooting a photo of your friend, the app will work its truly impressive magic on your unsuspecting cohort. Brain Controller creates a Men In Black-style video, featuring a small alien emerging from your friend’s cranium before delivering a personalized message.
Those that still need convincing can check out some of the videos, uploaded directly from the app to YouTube, or even try out mpChange, an excellent little site that uses the same technology to mess with your face in a variety of utterly weird ways.
Read More about Weekly App Store Picks: September 19, 2009

Now Boarding: Airline Tycoon Gaming

NowBoarding Icon

Though no gaming platform has a shortage of “simulator” tycoon style games, few have enough engaging gameplay to really stand out among the crowd. Now Boarding, a tycoon style game revolving around routing passengers at an airport, is one of these little treasures and a great game to help you relax and escape from the real world.

The basic gist is that you are the owner of an airline and its home terminal, in charge of the amount and placement of seats, stores, and snacks (among other unlockable treasures). Your mission is simple. Ferry passengers from your airport to others. As your business grows, you can take on other destinations, more passengers and larger aircraft to handle the traffic.
The game is laid out as five “episodes” spanning various regions across the northern hemisphere. Individual cities within each episode have their own unique characteristics, such as Orlando being busier during the summer (due to its amusement parks). Strategy is essential as you grow your fleet of aircraft and choose which destinations to expand your airline service to next. Read More about Now Boarding: Airline Tycoon Gaming