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Weather Reports, Streamlined October 14, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction, Task Unification.
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In an example of subtraction and task unification, this site has taken away the time it takes to sit through daily weather reports, and combined it with the real question on everyone’s mind. The result? A fantastically simple site called, “Umbrella Today?“.


A Better Direct Connect August 4, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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What happens when you subtract the conversation from a phone call?  You get slydial – “a voice message service that connects you directly to someone’s mobile voice mail.”  All you have to do is dial 267-SLYDIAL before placing your call, and then leave your message after the beep.

The slydial website has a rather tongue in cheek list of possible slydial Situations, which coincidentally, also subtract the awkwardness from certain unpleasant social situations.  Our favorite;

You go to a week long convention for work in Las Vegas and blow $5,000 the first night at the roulette table. You need to call your wife and tell her why she should hold off on making the monthly mortgage payment. Her voicemail will be much more understanding than she will.

Restaurant For Rent July 2, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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Inventive thinking may not save your business, but it will always make a statement.  Check out this clever moment of Subtraction from Restaurant Florent;


(via Gawker)

More Hands-Free Technology June 17, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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The Hands-Free Umbrella is a great idea, not to mention a great example of Subtraction.  It’s also kind of interesting to note that it’s invention was preceded by the need for a hands-free mobile phone. Legislation can speed up the process of Inventive Thinking, but that even a 4,000 year old product can be improved by applying one of the Five Patterns.

(via swissmiss)

Like Pulling Teeth March 12, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Multiplication, Subtraction.
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Though we wouldn’t necessarily trust the care of our pearly whites to a dentist who advertises on a telephone pole, we are willing to acknowledge a creative take on the traditional format;

What’s bit disconcerting about this instance of Multiplication though, is that the mouth looks decidedly worse for the wear as more people extract (Subtract?) teeth.  Usually its just sad when there are no takers for free firewood, or the services of a tri-lingual nanny.

A New Garfield Spin Off February 28, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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This blog titled “Garfield minus Garfield” speaks for itself as an instance of Subtraction, but here’s a description from the site anyway;

“Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.”

While Jon doesn’t come off so well without Garfield, the reader benefits from the Subtraction by gaining a new perspective on a beloved comic strip.

Simple As Possible, But Not Simplistic January 23, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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The Eazzzy USB Camera was invented with this blog in mind, as evidenced by Gizmodo’s post on the design;

“What do you get when you develop a digital camera that lacks one of the most important benefits that digital cameras provide? This EazzzY USB camera concept from designer Sungwoo Park that’s what. The device is stripped down to its bare functions—only one button, a pinhole sized viewfinder, and USB connectivity.”

Apparently this camera is intended for the consumer nostalgic for the mystery and suspense afforded by a traditional film camera, and the time consuming photo development process. Seeing as it comes standard with a built in USB port, the “thrill” of not knowing how your shots came out is subject to the same effects of Subtraction as the design and functionality.

Subtracting the LCD display from the digital camera restores some of the guesswork to traditional photography, and simultaneously refines the process of transferring digital data from one device to another. We also think the Happy Meal aesthetic of the Eazzzy USB camera makes it the perfect accessory for the OLPC Laptop (One Laptop Per Child).

An Apple TV Remote? January 22, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency, Subtraction, Task Unification.
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Universal remote controls were a nice idea in theory, but proved to be less than practical as an all-in-one device management system.  It’s a shame really, as entertainment components and peripherals have continued to multiply at an alarming rate.  The cynics among us might interpret the commercial failure of the Universal Remote as defining the limits of Inventive Thinking.  We say, wanna make a bet?

Just because Task Unification didn’t take, doesn’t mean the conventional remote control is immune to creative design that will benefit the consumer.  Combining poker’s persisting popularity with a hint of Wiimote functionality and an iPod inspired interface,  produces a winning example of Subtraction through Attribute Dependency;

“The Game Card remote enables you to control volume and change channels all via card playing like gestures. Sliding your thumb up and down in the center raises/lowers volume. Sliding the top card over a tad changes channel. Sliding it all the way takes you on a wild channel surf.” (via Yanko Design)

The Universal Remote tried to get away with an age old accounting shortcut; “subtracting” the number of necessary peripherals by transferring the remaining balance of buttons to a single device.  The Game Card subtracts buttons from the equation altogether, indirectly addressing the original problem of “where is the %*#@ remote?”

Thus, we consider the Game Card remote a welcome addition to an already extensive collection of “clickers,” because its unorthodox design will no doubt make it easy to find.  Well, assuming you don’t get it mixed up with your iPod…

Free Air January 9, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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free air

If you’ve already ponied up the cash for a subscription to satellite radio, this advertisement for a local terrestrial radio station will make you reconsider your commercial free ways.  Posing as the standard giveaway contest, 96.3 Rock Radio uses Subtraction to make passerby take pause and ponder the connection between broadcast airwaves and air guitar.  Both are free, with no peripherals required.

(via ad goodness)

Viva la Revolucion November 29, 2007

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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We suppose stranger things have happened, but who could concieve that the very men who brought us AOL would eventually provide a much needed update to the traditional payments industry business structure.  Word on the street is that the RevolutionCard better reflects consumer credit card use in online transactions.  Long live chairman Case!

It’s a simple case of Subtraction to be sure.  Revolution Money Inc has removed the name and account number from the physical card, a move that increases security and minimizes the risk of identity theft.  The RevolutionCard is PIN based, so a lost or stolen card is pretty much useless. 

Removing sensitive information from a credit card is a step in the right direction and accurately reflects consumer reality.  Yet the RevolutionCard also wisely accounts for the economic reality of the retail industry.  Subtraction can be applied to create a powerful incentive for merchant adoption, minimizing a harmful convention of the payments industry; the interchange fee

Charging a mere .5%  per transaction, compared to the industry average of 3-5%,  will help promote widespread acceptance of the RevolutionCard by merchants.   A lower interchange fee increases profit margins, and accepting the card requires no initial infrastructural investment.