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Archive for August, 2009

Announcing Archive Binge

Monday, 31 August, 2009 | Posted in Good Ideas, News by David Morgan-Mar

A while back we had an idea that was so cool, we decided to fully bake it ourselves. After some beta testing, it’s now ready for launch.

First, the problem: There are lots of webcomics out there. And many of the best ones have been going for a long time, so have extensive archives. So if you look for cool new comics, you might find something like Wondermark, with over 500 strips, or Arthur, King of Time and Space, with nearly 2000 strips.

The standard way to catch up on these is an archive binge – spending hours or days trawling through the archive to catch up to the latest strip. This can be gruelling, takes a lot of time in big chunks, and you run the risk of losing your place when you inevitably need to stop to use the toilet, eat, or sleep. There must be a better way!

Archive Binge is a site which constructs custom RSS news feeds for webcomics. Not normal RSS feeds (which deliver the latest new comic a few times a week), but custom feeds which deliver strips from a webcomic’s archives, at a rate of 1, a few, up to 10 strips a day. So you can use your feed reader to keep track of the comic for you, read at a rate faster than the comic updates so you can catch up, but without investing hours at a time. And you can pause it if you go on vacation.

It’s like a digital video recorder for webcomics. Check it out. Tell us what you think.

Negative Currency

Wednesday, 19 August, 2009 | Posted in Bad Ideas by David Morgan-Mar

Here’s an idea we came up with over lunch: Negative currency.

As well as having coins and notes for various positive denominations of cents and dollars (or pence or pounds or euro, or whatever), also have them for negative amounts. So if you forget to bring cash to buy your lunch, the sandwich shop can just hand over notes and coins worth minus $3.70 (or whatever). You take them, put them in your pocket, and keep them nice and safe, just like regular currency.

Later, if a friend still owes you $2 for something and it seems like he’s never going to pay you back, you just go and give him a minus $2 coin! And – here’s a really cool thing – unlike regular currency, if you ever accidentally lose a negative coin or note, you win! It’s almost like finding regular money!

What a great idea! Something that enables monetary transactions in cases where you’d normally just be unable to do anything, and which doesn’t have the disadvantage of being a bummer when you accidentally lose it. We’re still trying to think of any unforeseen problems.