For years, Google Maps has been the map of our world in a historically unprecedented way. The new Google Maps (announcement) will eschew the uniformity of the old Maps and instead customize the map experience based on a user's behavior. Some are concerned how this artificial narrowing will affect the way we experience places and relate to our urban spaces. Others believe the customization makes the new maps more honest. Most, however, will probably just want to comment on the huge overhaul to the interface.
Supermarkets are attempting to customize prices for different shoppers. At a Safeway in Denver, a 24-pack of Refreshe bottled water costs $2.71 for Jennie Sanford, a project manager. For Emily Vanek, a blogger, the price is $3.69. [more inside]
Many people are familiar with computer case modifications, thanks to the photogenic nature of mods. On the software side, most operating systems feature some potential for customization, though this is often limited to tweaking the colors and sounds. For some, this isn't enough. Enter "skinning," the casual term for interface customization. To a degree, the history of the media player Winamp (YT, 7:03; transcript with pictures) mirrors the history of skinning. From a version 0.2, a visually dull app in June 1997, to easy user customization in version 2 in September 1998, and the complexly customizable Winamp3 in August 2002. Wired captured something of the excitement at its peak in an article from 2000, before computing began shifting to more closed devices. Now approaching a post-WIMP (windows, icons, menus and a pointer) era, where skinning is done with alternative launchers. But for those still using traditional computers of one sort or another, it's not too late to modify your interface. [more inside]
Whether it's trailer hitches or complete rebody customizations; Ford, GM and Dodge all provide guides to body builders or upfitters to make safe and reliable modifications to light and medium duty trucks and vans. The guides contain wiring diagrams; dimensions and specifications (eg: how much weight can you put on your van's roof); emissions information; and information on areas to avoid mounting equipment in for safety. [more inside]
GrifBall! Red Vs. Blue's Sarge and Caboose introduce the rules. A sample match: Bungie Vs. RvB. Context: Since the release of online multiplayer first-person shooter Halo 3, Bungie have allowed players to customise maps with the placement of objects, weapons, spawn points etc. using the Forge feature. Combined with customisable rule sets, unusually innovative custom games are possible. [more inside]
4Sale. 2002 Recreation Vehicle. 40,000 miles. $400,000.
Timbuk2 is a webshop which lets you build your own messenger bags online. Customatix does the same for sneakers (and I believe Nike does too). What other products are available for customization (and purchase) online in the same manner?
Google adds languages to interface including Pig Latin, Hacker and Elmer Fudd. And Bork Bork Bork has been supported for a few months! Just customize your display.
The August 2000 issue of Wired points readers to Tokyo Motor Trenz (site doesn't appear to be working at the moment), a small store in SF that will "trick out" your Nokia cell phone for you. Glow-in-the-dark buttons, clear plastic cases, LCD "tattoos", funky antennas, etc.