All Posts in The Internal Mechanism

December 17, 2012 - Comments Off on Merry Mistletoe

Merry Mistletoe

Hanukkah may now be over but there's still Christmas to look forward to! So hide the menorah and break out the Christmas tree---see I grew up with both holidays. While such a practice can lead to some strange gift-giving situations, the joy of celebration and family was never diminished by this time-share arrangement. We all celebrate these special events differently. Such traditions are comforting in their familiarity, so much so in fact that not following them often leads to an unsatisfying holiday experience. And while tradition may be known for stifling change, it also provides the basis for much of our thought and action. It is one of those fundamental common threads that allow us to relate with one another, helping our creations to be understood by others. In other words, the very foundations of inspiration.

This past week our very own Dave took some time to create this lovely sweater pattern for the Mechanism's holiday season. Enjoy.

This past week our very own Dave took some time to create this lovely sweater pattern for the Mechanism's holiday season. Enjoy.

All artists are intimately familiar with tradition. One of the most common tools available to any creative is to take the traditional and subvert, reuse, and remix it. This is often the procedure I try and follow in creating this very blog. Art movements from the Medieval to the Pop, Christ to Campbell, have loved exploring traditional themes and symbols. There are few places that have seen conflicts of tradition greater than those of Latin America where ancient and complex native cultures came into violent conflict with the alien influences of Europe. Chilean artist INTI integrates many of his region's traditional patterns and themes into his massive graffiti pieces.

"SACROSUDAKA" Acrilico.INTI WhiteWallBeirut 2012

The Christmas tradition is quite unique, at least in America, in that almost everyone is familiar with it even if they don't celebrate the holiday itself. Not only have huge corporations been built around Noel, but strange and fun observances such as Secret Santa and now apparently Christmas GIFs have grown from it as well. One though has always baffled me: the Advent Calendar. The joy of counting down to that magical day with sub-par chocolates stored in a calendar shaped container baffles me. However I can most definitely get behind this slick reinterpretation of the ritual by Shape Design Studio in Manchester. In this beautiful site, the crummy candies are substituted for scrumptious morsels of design. The only thing that baffles me is the strange order of the dates.

Shape Christmas

Finally, while you might want these guys on your team if there ever truly was a war on Christmas, the video holiday card below by Jacques Khouri is simply too charming to skip. His New Year's resolution is to be more colorful, what's yours?

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

July 26, 2012 - Comments Off on The Many Eyes of the Internet

The Many Eyes of the Internet

Scary Smash

Another month, another Google Tech Talk. I first have to gratuitously thank Google for these great free talks. The quality and variety of speakers is truly astounding. This month's talk was The Distributed Camera: Modeling the World from Online Photos , where speaker Noah Snavely went over the work he and his team have done at Cornell involving 3D reconstruction of scenes using crowd-sourced photos. The project will be quite familiar to anyone who saw the TED talk on Microsoft's Photosynth awhile back. However, being a technical talk, Snavely roughed out how his team's feature recognition algorithm worked.

In effect, the idea is to grab hundreds to thousands of photos from sites like Flickr of a single landmark. An algorithm then defines features within each photo that are unique using a keypoint detector technology called SIFT. Each photo is then compared to every other photo for similar features. Now that the feature points have been matches between photo, the algorithm can begin solving for the camera position and angle computing the 3D point from the 2D projection provided in each photo.

The algorithm does not use any camera GPS or time data since both can be quite inaccurate depending on the conditions under which the photo was taken (bad GPS signal, indoors v. outdoors, etc.). The output of all this hard work is a 3D point cloud where each camera is shown as a small pyramid representing the camera position and angle (if you want more technical details on the algorithm see Snavely's paper here).


One can easily see the benefit of such technologies. If you watch the TED talk on Photosynth you'll see how it can allow for a Google Maps-like zoom of landmarks by using the multitude of different photos taken by people for different angles and levels of detail. Moreover it gives a fairly accurate 3D model of a building. Such a model can be used for many tasks. For instance imagine automatically updating street views, associating new photos with existing models, or even annotation. However, the system isn't quite perfect.

How could such a model cover the uninteresting and banal parts of cities when the number of photos is small to nonexistent? Snavely's solution was to turn the task of generating this data into a crowd-sourced game as has proven so successful in recent projects (think FoldIt). The inaugural competition between the University of Washington and Cornell led to a narrow Cornell victory--after they discovered how to game the system by taking extreme closeups of buildings generating extra 3D, and thereby in-game, points. There are also other sorts of data one could potentially pull including satellite imagery, blueprints, and more.

Another major weakness is inherent to the algorithm itself; since the computer simply compares similar features, any building with symmetry can lead to egregious errors. For example, given a dome with eight-fold symmetry the algorithm can mistakenly think each of the eight sides is the same, duplicating and rotating all the camera positions and points about the dome! Such a short coming can be overcome by giving the algorithm a basic understanding of symmetry making matching less greedy, possibly by comparing multiple features in each photo to see if an angle is different or not.

Lastly the algorithm is slow, O(n2m2), where n is the number of photos and m is the average number of features per photo, by my estimates (though I haven't computed big-O in years so don't take my word for it). Snavely admitted that even using up to 300 machines, it can take them days to process a couple thousand of photos.

The talk was incredibly interesting and informative. Such technologies leverage crowd-sourcing as a natural extension of our new data-infused world. As the amount of data out there continues to go beyond our abilities to sort it into meaningful models such automated systems will become increasingly important. I'd like to thank Google and Snavely again for giving us a peak into this fascinating future.

June 25, 2012 - Comments Off on Mouths of Marrow

Mouths of Marrow

 Fitness Tips To Help You See Impressive Results

MARCH 23, 2020

Being fit has many physical and mental benefits for your health. However, many people may not understand what it fully requires to fully reach their goals. Follow these 5 fitness tips to help you see impressive results. Read more about profit singularity ultra edition.

1. Stay Consistent

Consistency will lead you on the road to success the quickest. It doesn’t matter what your goals are. If you have consistency and develop a routine that you know that you can rely on, it will lead to you reaching your goals quicker.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you should be consistent in your cardio exercise regimen. This consistency cannot just stop at your physical exercise, though. This consistency has to extend into another important part of your routine, which is your diet.

2. Watch Your Diet

Maintain a good diet to reach your fitness goals.

Many people only focus on the gym and exercise component of attaining fitness goals. As mentioned before, your diet is one of the most important parts of your fitness regimen, but having a great diet, regardless of your fitness goals, will impact whether or not you are successful in your goals as much or more than actual exercise. This is because your body will reflect what you eat and your diet can either progress your goals further or set you back.

It may be helpful for you to keep a log of what you eat and determine which foods you need to eliminate and which foods you need to add. In addition, you also want to be mindful of when you are eating, because it can also affect your performance in the gym.

For those who are bodybuilding or looking to build muscle, it’s recommended to incorporate some kind of carbohydrates before a workout session, and then have a protein-heavy meal once you are finished to speed up the recovery process. Protein shakes are a popular commodity in this regard. However, different protein powders can have different vitamins, minerals, and ingredients that can be more effective for men or women.

Ladies can check out a variety of protein powders to see what’s available for their needs. There tend to be more protein powders available for men that already have the extra minerals and vitamins included to help them get gains. So when guys are searching for the best protein powder, it’s better to decide if they’re trying to get lean or gain weight.

3. Have Realistic Expectations

Having the right mindset is imperative to achieve the fitness goals of any kind, and it starts by having realistic expectations. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, then you have to work hard to see a change. However, if you are looking to shed some pounds and reduce your waistline, you can’t expect it to be done within a week.

Realistic expectations directly correlate with being consistent. Gaining weight means you will need to take the time to increase the amount of food in your diet and the number of weight-bearing activities that you engage in.

Losing weight will take a gradual amount of time with you engaging in vigorous cardio and making healthy choices. Your body cannot adapt to the changes that you plan to make overnight.

Published by: benchirlin in The Internal Mechanism
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June 20, 2012 - Comments Off on Below The Surface: The Linked Mechanism –  Benefits Of Word Of Mouth Marketing To Businesses

Below The Surface: The Linked Mechanism –  Benefits Of Word Of Mouth Marketing To Businesses

Competition is fierce in the modern world, being successful nowadays requires a great strategy and making the most out of opportunities when they present themselves. Word of mouth marketing is an area many businesses forget about or don’t take seriously. Word of mouth is essentially free advertising or promotion of a brand or their products. Marketing tactics and best practices (that can be seen in site) can trigger positive word of mouth for businesses. Here are 5 benefits of word of mouth marketing to businesses. This is the best customer service experience.

5 Benefits Of Word Of Mouth Marketing To Businesses

1: Sales

In today’s connected digital world, a single recommendation can have a far greater impact than anything else which a business might do to increase their sales. 83% of people are more interested in buying a product or service when they’ve gotten a verbal recommendation from their friend or family member.

2: Costs Nothing

Word of mouth is free, you don’t pay people in conversations who discuss their experiences with your company with others. In comparison to paid advertising and promotion where you could spend hundreds or even thousands of euros to run a campaign in print, on the radio, on television or social media.

3: Credibility

One of the strongest benefits of word of mouth is its credibility. Hearing about something positive about a company or product from a friend or family member carries more impact and importance to you rather than hearing it from the company itself. Word of mouth acts as proof and lets people know your business is credible to do business with.

4: Long-Term Value

People who purchase products or services based on a referral tend to stick with your company longer than people who find your business by other means. This is because they trust your business and are loyal. Happy customers will direct their friends and family to you over time making the value and growth of the first referral huge.

5: Builds Your Brand

Building your brand is vital in business, this is how you get bigger in size and increase profits. Word-of-mouth marketing helps generate talk about your brand and increases your sales which build your company’s brand. A strong brand image will influence your current and potential customers to positively respond to your products and services.

Is your business struggling to recruit? Whatever the size of your business and regardless of whether you have a human resources department or not, there are often many signs that might be telling you that you need to work with headhunters in Utah.

Word of mouth marketing can be a strong force in increasing sales for a business. It doesn’t matter how good your website is or how efficiently you run your business, if you don’t provide a quality customer experience then you won’t generate positive referrals and exposure. To see how we can help you grow your business online, visit us online today and book a consultation.

June 11, 2012 - Comments Off on Managing of Media

Managing of Media

While we may be living in the information age, our increasing dependence of data also means an equally increasing dependence on interface. When I pause to think how much interface has evolved over my lifetime alone, it is truly mind boggling. I remember lying on the floor changing channels on the TV with my feet when our remote broke as a kid yet today I can control my computer from my couch with a touchscreen device. And as technology and art become more closely intertwined, the impact of interface on art and vice versa is inescapable making interface undeniably inspiring.

French design studio Zim and Zou celebrate our interface history with a joyful series of paper-craft facsimiles. While modern gadgets may be slick, it saddens me that today's kids will never know the (near) endless joy of pulling the tape out of a cassette and draping it about the room as impromptu confetti. Likewise the magic of an instant Polaroid will be lost on them as digital cameras make photos instantly viewable, no shaking necessary. Then again, they do have touch screens in their pockets so let's not pity them too much.


Yet not all interfaces have to be intuitive. There is something to be said for the joy of exploration and discovery through interaction. The studio Blacknegative creates just such an experience with their delightfully confusing website. Beyond the basic sliding page action, each individual page contains its own visual and interactive vocabulary unto itself making each a wonderful game of interactive discovery. Each click promises to reveal new tidbits making for a very engaging web experience. Add to this the superb use of HTML5 technologies like full page video and adaptive design and you get a riveting modern site.


Blacknegative manages to push how we perceive current interactive experiences while others are eagerly trying to define entirely new ones. This fascinating mini-documentary showcases new point cloud camera technology which combines traditional cameras with the affordable depth camera of the Microsoft Kinect. The interviewees address not only what makes the tool itself interesting, but how it is so unique that it requires a complete redefinition of the visual language in film. While I doubt such devices will take over Hollywood anytime soon, I can foresee their 3D ability becoming ever greater to the point of allowing true telepresence and other immersive virtual experiences.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

May 2, 2012 - Comments Off on Emerging: The Linked Mechanism

Emerging: The Linked Mechanism

Some interesting links we are talking about right now:

And lastly, this is so cool, on Monday May 7, The Empire State Building is shining yellow and orange in honor of James Beard Foundation's 25th Anniversary. It is also the night of the JBF Awards, which you can see live on the website we developed for them at


A mid-week treat of assorted links. 




Published by: antonioortiz in The Internal Mechanism
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May 1, 2012 - Comments Off on I Am The Emperor of the Sidewalk

I Am The Emperor of the Sidewalk

If you think the Mayans and their wacky prophesies are a "Gas, Gas, Gas", then you'll also be undoubtedly impressed by my recent conclusion... I hereby decree that we've come to the point in our evolutionary slog from amoeba to bigger, sloppier amoebas - that human beings must universally hate each other.

What else could rationally explain the malaise and disinterest that slips over us, whether we're on the subway, in our vehicles, sitting in our offices or in our living rooms? We don't communicate face-to-face anymore. And the lessening of any primordial desire to do so can only indicate that we despise each other so much, that we'd rather become lost in our small selves than actually be part of society at large.

Thanks to powerful little smartphones that entertain us significantly more than another human ever could, we tragically meander through life shackled to tiny devices that really don't love us (no matter how many times Siri tells me she does). With our newfound ability to fully check out of society, we no longer have to even acknowledge the poor buffoon sitting next to us on the subway who simply wants to use his vocal chords to connect with a fellow human by uttering some reverberating jibber-jabber through the twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across his larynx.

Where neanderthals used to enjoy each others' company by carelessly uttering nonsense about their meaningless lives and pursuits, now thanks to some noise-cancelling Beats and Vimeo, our private entertainment bliss is endless. Put your head down, tune out and bury yourself in bright, sparkly pixels. Enjoy the blissful ignorance of your surroundings.

I am the magnificent Emperor of the Sidewalk. Don't mind me, I'll be that asshole typing a text message while walking headfirst into a monstrous, deadly bear...

Dave Fletcher is the Executive Director at The Mechanism. No humans were ignored or harmed during the creation of this piece, despite the fact it was written on an iPhone during a subway ride. Dave has never texted while walking, running, driving, walking into bears or thinking about Mayans.

Published by: davefletcher in The Internal Mechanism
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November 18, 2011 - Comments Off on The Mechanism’s Dave Fletcher on the Mobile Web: PRSA 2011 International Conference

The Mechanism’s Dave Fletcher on the Mobile Web: PRSA 2011 International Conference

Thanks to patient and inquisitive Amy Jacques for once again, preserving my mobile ramblings for all of eternity...

Also a big thank-you to the Public Relations Society of America for being excellent hosts in Orlando this year.

Published by: davefletcher in The Internal Mechanism, The Thinking Mechanism

September 14, 2011 - Comments Off on The Mechanism and The James Beard Foundation Prepare to Cook Up a Delicious Online Presence

The Mechanism and The James Beard Foundation Prepare to Cook Up a Delicious Online Presence

The Mechanism, North America
Sharon Terry
+1 212 221 3444

NEW YORK, NY September 14, 2011 — Nonprofit culinary arts organization The James Beard Foundation has hired The Mechanism to help them establish a modern and effective web experience through powerful back and front-end development and online marketing. This fresh approach will allow The James Beard Foundation to utilize robust social media tools to better reach and expand their audiences. It is imperative to get hold of an agency that can add value to your marketing strategies because there simply is no way around buying youtube likes for a beginner other than seeking the assistance of a social media agency. It will also encourage site visitors to not only connect with the Foundation, but to connect with fellow food and wine lovers around the world, enhancing their culinary and social experiences. Additionally, the site will offer improved online benefits to members.

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America's diverse culinary heritage and future. Their programs run the gamut from elegant guest-chef dinners, to scholarships for aspiring culinary students, to educational conferences, to industry awards.

“We are delighted to partner with The James Beard Foundation to take their online presence to the next level,” said Dave Fletcher, Founding Partner, The Mechanism, New York City. “The Mechanism and The James Beard Foundation teams are working hand-in-hand to create the ultimate foodie experience for their members as well as future members.”

“The James Beard Foundation is excited to be working with The Mechanism to take our online presence to the next level,” said JBF vice president Mitchell Davis. “Food is such an important part of why people engage with digital media. We are looking forward to enriching the breadth and depth of the experience the Beard Foundation brings to the table.”

The Mechanism is a full-service digital agency founded in 2001 with offices in New York, London and Durban, South Africa. They provide a distinct brand-focused approach, demystifying and guiding the use of technology in a highly strategic manner.