Cyanometer

Cyanometer

This 18th century instrument, designed to measure the blueness of the sky, is called a Cyanometer. The simple device was invented in 1789 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who used the circular array of 53 shaded sections in experiments above the skies over Geneva, Chamonix and Mont Blanc.

The Cyanometer helped lead to a successful conclusion that the blueness of the sky is a measure of transparency caused by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.

Cicada Invasion 2013

After 17 years underground, the cicadas are about to have their time in the sun. Millions of these root-sucking insects will come out into the open and spend four to six weeks calling for mates, mating and then laying eggs for the next generation.

Delete All Mail on iOS 6+

iOS6

It always frustrated me that you have to delete POP3 messages individually on iOS 6+. If you have IMAP set-up for your accounts, they’ll automatically delete with each deleted message on your PC or other devices, however,POP3 doesn’t sync in the same way that IMAP does.

Naturally, Google implemented the easy and obvious option of deleting all mail on your phone with the click of a button. Apple, however, is a company that consistently thinks they know what’s best for you. Deleting emails individually is a surefire way to ensure you’re not accidentally deleting an email you need or haven’t yet read,  spam included. I think of this as Apple’s version of eating your vegetables.

After much searching and tinkering, however, I’d nailed down the process of clearing my inboxes at the end of the night, an arduous task that used to involve 100+ clicks while sitting on the train-ride home. This process has reduced the number of clicks substantially to just five.

Note that I’ve added an additional step to clear the badge from the home screen mail icon, which taunts of phantom messages if this step is excluded.

  1. Click the Mail icon and go to “All Inboxes”
  2. Press the “Edit” button and select the first message.
  3. Hold down “Mark” and, with it still depressed, deselect the first message.
  4. Release the “Mark” button and click “Mark as Read”
  5. Click the “Edit” button and select the first message.
  6. Hold down “Move” and, with it still depressed, deselect the first message.
  7. Release the “Move” button and click the Trash folder.

That’s it, you’re done!

Update: 04/01/2013: Well, it truly is April Fool’s Day. Apparently, using the above method, the emails are deleted from the inbox and moved to the trash until you switch mailboxes and return to the “All Inboxes” folder, where they  mysteriously return. Bah, Apple. You’ve done it again. Either way, you can still use the above method to “Mark as Read” all messages, removing the badge from your home screen mail icon. But, you’ll still see the “read” messages in the list when visiting “All Inboxes” and the folder size will continue to grow until you manually delete the messages one-by-one. Frustrating, innit?

It’s ugly so it doesn’t work.

The Thickness of Napkins

The Thickness of Napkins
“What does a napkin tell you about a restaurant? Quite a lot. A restauranteur friend told me about a survey that showed a massive correlation between category of napkin and customer satisfaction. That’s not to say you can hand out deliciously thick napkins in a shitty burger joint and immediately win customers over. It’s a cause and effect thing. The napkin represents a degree of care, preparation and devotion that goes above and beyond asking if they want fries with that.”

This brief, but poignant article by Des Traynor, COO at Intercom, reminded me of a lesson I learned in developing Lyrek CEMS for the Fashion & PR industries back in 2007.

I sat down during a training session with a woman that ran the PR for many industrious fashion designers and started walking her though the product, then called Reserve-U. Her response:

“It doesn’t work.”

I rebutted with confidence that the product had been thoroughly tested and I assured her there were no bugs in the system.

“You don’t understand,” she said. “It’s ugly, so it doesn’t work.”

Read the rest of the article on ERA404’s web site, here:
http://www.era404.com/press/building-a-better-mouse-trap/

Read the rest of “The Thickness of Napkins” on Contrast:
http://www.contrast.ie/blog/the-thickness-of-napkins/
(via @raf)