Archive for February 2007
Am wondering why the technology to convert hyperlinks to useful linked-up text seems completely lost on Twitter.
Am thinking about hitting up <a href=””>Rex</a> for Bill Gates’ phone number.

The worst college mascot ever

The Evergreen Geoduck, also known as "the guy who looks kind of like a giant condom".

Introducing swfIR

I’m a rule breaker… and when other people break rules in the name of good design, I stand up and applaud.

That is why, I’m happy to point Mike Industries readers to a new creation by Messrs Dan Mall, Jon Aldinger, and Mark Huot: swfIR.

“But I already have a swfIR!”, you say. “I use it to shine my beautiful linoleum floors.”

This swfIR isn’t a disposable mop, though. It’s a new Flash replacement technique in the tradition of sIFR. While sIFR uses Flash to replace boring browser text with interesting custom-rendered Flash text, swfIR uses Flash to replace boring browser images with more interesting custom-rendered Flash images. So instead of settling for plain, rectangular jpegs and gifs, you can now apply borders, rounded corners, shadows, opacity, and more to your images… dynamically, without having to edit your images or muddy up your beautiful code.

Flash for images?

I can hear screams coming from the ivory towers where the validatorians and standardistas live. I like those screams. I live for those screams. I will sleep well tonight with thoughts of prettier imagery on the web.

The audio from my talk at The Future of Web Apps

"What Will The TV Spot Look Like?"

I was meeting with our investors today about Newsvine and the subject of product “explainability” came up. It seems that every time we think about adding a new feature to Newsvine, it becomes progressively harder to explain exactly what Newsvine is. This is a fairly common problem in product development, and if not dealt with swiftly can lead to consumer confusion and adoption issues.

One of our investors then proceeded to tell me how it works at Apple (he was behind a lot of Apple’s successful product marketing and development). He said:

“The answer to every product question that comes up at Apple is ‘What will the TV spot look like?'”

In other words, if you can’t think of a 30-second spot that neatly and efficiently explains your company, your product, or whatever other consumer-facing thing you happen to be working on, you aren’t building the right thing.


Convert Fonts to sIFR SWFs Remotely

A cool little web app which lets you send a TrueType font via a web form and receive a .swf file suitable for sIFR in return!

10 Most Embarrassing Geek Photos

Why grown men pose naked in steamrooms and hottubs I'll never know.

The Ocean in 185 Lines of Javascript:

Mesmerizing. Try tweaking some of the variables in the “sea” section of the code.

“"Design had been a vertical stripe in the chain of events in a product’s delivery; at Apple, it became a long horizontal stripe, where design is part of every conversation.””
Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away:

A great essay about how toxic everyday distractions can be.

Humanity's deep future:

A group of researchers at the Future of Humanity Institute talk about where our race may be going and how artificial intelligence could save or kill us all.

Steve Jobs speaks about the future at the International Design Conference in 1983:

31 years later, it’s safe to say this is one of the most prescient speeches about technology ever delivered. Jobs covers wireless networking, tablets, Google StreetView, Siri, and the App Store (among other things) many years before their proliferation. A fantastic listen.

How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.


A fantastic app for prototyping your design work onto real world objects like billboards, book covers, and coffee cups. This seems like just as great of a tool for people learning design as it does for experts.

50 problems in 50 days:

One man’s attempt to solve 50 problems in 50 days using only great design. Some good startup ideas in here…

How to Do Philosophy:

If you’ve ever suspected that most classical philosophy is a colossal waste of time, Paul Graham tells you why you’re probably right.

TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us:

Stephen Brill follows the money to uncover the pinnacle of corruption that is the U.S. Health Care system. A must-read article if there ever was one.

DIY Dot Org:

A beautifully designed site full of fun and challenging DIY projects. I could spend months on here.

The Steve Jobs Video Archive:

A collection of over 250 Steve Jobs videos in biographical order

Self-portraits from an artist under the influence of 48 different psychoactive drug combos.

Water Wigs are pretty amazing.

David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.