So the New York Times is looking for a Design Director to lead the redesign of their flagship site, nytimes.com. Wow. Talk about a dream position.
If I didn’t love Seattle and what I’m doing right now so much, I’d be talking to them in a heartbeat. A chance to lead one of the world’s all-time most respected newspapers in an all-encompassing redesign and live in of one of the greatest cities on earth? What more could one ask for?
If you or anyone you know fits the bill, head on over to the Times job site and check it out. We need more good people running more major news organizations’ web sites these days.
Hat Tip: Mark Hurst of Good Experience
It’s released! A long effort of several months is finally complete. sIFR 2.0 is here.
I’m all worn out from writing the official sIFR landing page so I’m going to keep this entry short, but I’ll just say that this release is the realization of everything we’ve always strived for in sIFR: rich, accessible typography for the masses with no pitfalls under any reasonable browsing conditions.
Release Candidate 4 was pretty solid, but this final release adds two improvements to the already rich feature set: the ability to show browser text while Flash text is loading (if desired) and graceful degradation to HTML text if users have FlashBlock installed. We’re particularly jazzed about working through the FlashBlock issue because it was the only circumstance where we felt sIFR wasn’t degrading perfectly, but thanks to the FlashBlock folks’ willingness to work with us and upgrade the FlashBlock extension, all is good in Flash-blocking land now. :)
I’d like to give a final thank you to the following people for the following reasons:
Alright, now go check it out already!
While playing poker last night, I was telling a friend from Microsoft how excited everyone is about the coming release of OS X 10.4 (Tiger). He asked me when it was coming out. I told him April 29th, but apparently it was already beginning to make its rounds on P2P networks.
To which his response was “Why didn’t Apple just release it on P2P networks?”
To which my response was “How would they collect money from the sales then?”
To which his response was “Require activation.”
To which my response was “Umm, yeah. I’d already have it by now then, wouldn’t I?”
What a great idea. Distributing something like a song or a movie on P2P where you want people to voluntarily pay you a few bucks is a tough proposition because of the extra effort involved for the sake of a few bucks, but Tiger is $100-$130 and people are already planning on making the same payment to Apple or Amazon or whoever for a mailable copy of the OS, so what’s the extra effort here? There isn’t any. Combine that with the fact that by using BitTorrent, it wouldn’t even cost Apple any bandwidth to distribute, and you have a winning proposition in my opinion. I’d gladly “activate” my copy of Tiger were it made available to me in this way. How many of you would?
Every month, I end up with several items I’d like to post about, but none is particularly worth dedicating an entire entry to. Rather than let these little things go unposted, I figured I’d just aggregate them into one post per month, and perhaps together, they are worth one post. Here goes:
I’ve used this site for years but I don’t think most people know about. It is a huge repository of logos from various companies, mostly in vector format. If you’ve ever found yourself doing mockups involving corporate logos you may not have easy access to, check out logotypes.ru before trying to grab badly compressed web versions from production sites. Is it legal? I don’t know. But the .ru means Russia, and I doubt our comrades overseas really care about such formalities.
Dave Hyatt announced the release of Safari 1.3 today, which uses the same codebase as the version of Safari (2.0) that comes with Tiger. I just downloaded it and I’m quite impressed. Aside from the 35% speed improvement, Safari 1.3 adds support for such features as getComputedStyle and contentEditable (yay!). This version of Safari also squashes the long running bug whereby Safari would need an innerHTML “kick in the ass” in order repaint elements which had been changed via the DOM. As you can imagine, all of these under-the-hood improvements benefit sIFR greatly. In fact, we used sIFR to help Dave and Apple squash a DOM bug a couple of months ago. I personally can’t wait to begin using contentEditable on some of my projects. I’ve always loved how it works in PC IE, and now finally Mac users can use it too. Firefox, where are you?
Did you know you can’t even buy Levis at most department stores anymore? I walked into my local Macy’s last week to buy some Silvertabs and was shocked to find no Levis whatsoever. The salesman told me that barely any department stores carry them anymore because most Levis are now sold through discount warehouses like Costco and Sam’s Club. Turns out that in order for Macy’s to sell Levis at a competitive price, they’d have to take a loss on them. I know there are plenty of other jeans around these days, but I have to wonder if Levis’ decision to whore their jeans out to discounters might bite them in the long run. In the short run, I’ve been reduced to shopping at J.C. Penneys (ouch!) in order to get a pair of Levis… they still sell them for now.
There seems to be a practice lately of relaunching sites before they are ready. It’s mainly blogs, but I’ve noticed a lot of relaunches lately with disclaimers like “try not to pay attention to the navigation” and “the comment system doesn’t work yet” and all sorts of other warnings. Maybe I’m just old school about design, but I would never dream of launching anything that was less than about 90-95% ready. If you have a few chunks of invalid code or a couple of enhancements which aren’t ready yet, fine…. but if the state of your site requires a disclaimer of incompleteness, it probably isn’t ready to be launched. And if it isn’t ready to be launched, then don’t launch it.
I have never come close to buying a Pontiac. I’ve never seen one which had any appeal to me whatsoever. Being a European/Japanese car snob my whole life, I’ve pretty much tuned out American cars as being anything I’d ever want to own. Pontiacs, to me, have done nothing to dampen this sentiment. They are often rental cars, and they are just never fun or attractive (apologies if you own one). But wow… have you seen the new Solstice??? It was featured on The Apprentice this week and I am just completely taken aback by how beautiful it is. Take the emblem off of there and you’d think it was an exotic car. The Apprentice has really set the new standard for product placement on TV, and I must say, whatever Pontiac paid for that placement was well worth it. I’m still not big on two-seaters, but the Solstice’s appearance on The Apprentice is enough to at least get me out to the lot.
If you’re at all interested in the power of persuasion, check out some of Derren Brown’s tricks of the trade. Interesting, and a tad scary.
Did you play with your food as a kid or perhaps as an immature adult? If so, you’re in luck, because the first episode of the Mike Industries iPod-A-Month Creativity Competition™ starts today, and it involves perhaps the least appreciated of the culinary arts: recreational food sculpture.
Conceived by Jason Anderson of Columbus, Ohio, this first competition involves the construction of an iPod Shuffle using nothing but food. Jason wins one Shuffle for thinking of the idea, and whoever posts the best photo of their shufflicious creation in the comments for this entry wins the other Shuffle. Jason’s idea was inspired by the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” where Roy Neary makes the Devils Tower out of mashed potatoes.
Even though there are already plenty of great ideas (over 200!) for the iPod-A-Month competition, I will keep the submission pool open through the end of the year. I’m trying to do a good mix of design-related, photography-related, writing-related, and music-related competitions, so don’t feel bad if you don’t feel particularly suited for any given one.
Others will follow.
Also, it’s very possible that you’ve already submitted an idea for a contest and that I plan to use it… in which case, you’ve already won a Shuffle. I just can’t reveal that stuff in advance for fear of giving people a head start on preparing entries.
So here are the guidelines for this first contest:
Note: The technical name for this competition is “Best Interpretation of iPod Shuffle as Food”, so if people want to get super-creative with that and break all of the guidelines I’ve set forth above, go ahead. Nothing is out-of-bounds here. If your submission is creative enough, you might win.