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=”http://twitter.com/fimoculous”>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.

Refreshing.

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.

Shared
How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.

LiveSurface:

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.

Jonah Peretti's letter to BuzzFeed’s employees:

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.

The Covers Project:

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.

“More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.”
- Tim Kreider’s denunciation of the cult of busyness is excellent. (via jimray)
The iPhone and Disruption: Five Years In:

Take your pick of about 20 great quotes from this Daring Fireball article. My personal favorite:

The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone. The iPhone is to cell phones what the Mac was to typewriters.

sirmitchell:

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.