Archive for the ‘by Dan Waber’ Category

unfinished stories

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

A website where people can send unfinished stories and make them freely available for others to complete.

Custom Boxes While You Wait

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

A store in a strip mall with a computer aided machine to custom cut boxes to order. You bring in what you want to ship, it gets 3D scanned, and then your box options appear. You’d have stacks of sheets of cardboard in various weights/colors, and the machine would know how to scale basic designs to suit. There’d be a piece price and a sheet price, depending on if you want one or as many of your design as can be cut from the sheet.

An ink-jet could custom print the boxes to order, as well.

Adult Nook

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

There’s a market, I think, for adult nooks. Instead of being made of safe plastic for baby mouths, make them out of things like Gran Marnier, nicotine, bacon, jerky, you get the idea.

Cell Phone Paradigm Shift

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

When a teenager would rather downgrade to a less damage-prone cell phone than her iPhone, it gets me thinking. Why would a person rather deal with a feature-deficient version of a device? Because they value something different about that device.

There is a whole class of cell phone users who want something the current crop of cell phones isn’t addressing directly. They want dependibility, durability, reliability. It’s become their lifeline of communication to their friends and they’d rather NOT be able to use the top half of their touch screen than give it up for a couple of days to be fixed. They’d rather do without the internet entirely if it means never doing without text messaging.

The Indestructophone has a market.

Smartphone App

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Mount a series of wireless cameras at significant points along major commute routes. Make a smartphone app that charges for access to realtime views from those cameras.

Cat Food Packaging

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Soft cat food packaging could be hugely improved. None of the ones I’ve tried is simple to get out of its container, they all require a lot of futzing or the dirtying of a utensil. And none of them make portion control easy if you want to dispense less than a full container (because you have one cat that doesn’t eat a whole one, or, multiple cats that you want to share a single container).

I’d pay twice what I pay now for cat food if I could pop-out thirds, as needed, quickly and without the need for a utensil or washing my hands afterwards.

Free Band Name

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Watching Fish Fight

A Limitless Supply of Great Character Names

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

This wasn’t always the case, but, I noticed that lately the names showing up as the “Sender” in my Spam folder have evolved away from the ridiculous and towards the pretty kick-ass if you’re writing a book, short story, or play and need character names. Here’s what I have in there right this second:

Elizabeth Haskins, Leroy Whittaker, Mavis Darling, Brian Bergman, Rosetta Moore, Rachelle Burkett

All prime candidates for characters, I think.

Visual Metaphor Maker

Friday, April 24th, 2009

There are a few metaphor generators out there that exploit the fact that one form of metaphor can be abstracted to:

the [adjective] [concrete noun] of [abstract noun]

It’s a trivial matter to drop in lists of words of each type and then randomize them for fun and profit. I was thinking yesterday how fun it would be to convert the words to images, or visual properties, and instead of making an exquisite corpse sort of generator, make an animated image that fuses (or layer flattens) all the elements into one complete image.

Peripheral Vision Highway Advertising

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Tollroads could be subsidized by selling advertising space on the center concrete barriers if the advertisements were optimized for 65mph peripheral vision either:

by being streeeeetched to the proper distortion amount


it might work to make flip book style animation frames

Not that I want more advertising in my peripheral vision, but, hey, the ideas come and the genie can’t be put back in the bottle.