The Evergreen Geoduck, also known as "the guy who looks kind of like a giant condom".
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.
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.
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!
Why grown men pose naked in steamrooms and hottubs I'll never know.
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.
If you’re wondering what a excellent blueprint for a modern media company looks like, look no further than Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti’s latest email to his employees. In it, Peretti explains a lot of his company’s virtues, the most important being a relentless focus on always providing what’s best for the user. Vox Media (operators of The Verge) is the only other company I can think of which approaches this level of reform and execution.
I love this so much: a cross-referenceable database of cover songs, searchable by song or artist. Slowed down, acoustic covers — no matter the song — are so enjoyable to me that I wish it was a requirement to play one at every show. If you like them as much as I do, make sure to check out M. Ward’s Let’s Dance or Sun Kil Moon’s entire album of Modest Mouse covers.
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror
The precision and innovation that is required for space exploration just blows my mind. I did not realize that Curiosity will have to basically land on Mars completely unaided by man, but it’s so much more complicated than that.
Very cool interactive infographic showing you what percentage of homes in your area are underwater (mortgage-wise, not wetness-wise).
A well reasoned, extremely pessimistic outlook on where Facebook is going and how much of the ad-driven web it will take down with it (hint: all). Lots of great quotes in here, and lots of warning signs to heed. Part of me thinks the end of low rent display advertising on the web might be a good thing, however.