Monday, November 26, 2007


High Definition Blog: Avid Announces Major Shift in 2008:
“We are always evaluating the most effective ways to build closer relationships with our customers and keep pace with the ever-changing media market. Over the past few months, we’ve been collecting data from all of our constituents, and the findings have been clear – we need to connect with users in new ways,” said Graham Sharp, vice president and general manager of Avid’s Video division.

For which read: "Our customers don't understand what we're doing, and they're moving to Final Cut Pro".

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IM on iPod touch

And on the iPhone too obviously. I finally got around to checking out meebo yesterday, and boy am I glad I did. Finally I have a single web-based interface that lets me log in on MSN, Yahoo, AIM/iChat and Google Talk all at once. It gets through the university firewall (it's just port 80 http), has a decent AJAX interface, and a lovelier mobile Safari optimised version. With the iPhone/iPod predictive text I can manage a decent chat speed too. Lovely, lovely, lovely. If only it handled Skype messaging too. Ah well, let's wait for the SDK and the real Skype client.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Scourge of Arial

This is old news, but it's worth revisiting. The Scourge of Arial:
Despite its pervasiveness, a professional designer would rarely—at least for the moment—specify Arial. To professional designers, Arial is looked down on as a not-very-faithful imitation of a typeface that is no longer fashionable. It has what you might call a "low-end stigma." The few cases that I have heard of where a designer has intentionally used Arial were because the client insisted on it.

Why am I quoting this now? That'll be because a recently rebranded local institution's marketing department has just specified Arial for all its output, on PC at least. Go figure.

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A nice white wine and a fresh corpse

This approach to finding a partner will never work down the pub on a Saturday night. Well, maybe in Scruffy Murphy's:
Carrion beetles need a tiny corpse, such as a dead mouse or vole, in order reproduce. When they find one, they use pheromones to attract a mate. After mating, the male and female stay together until their young are raised.

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Post Brands

There's a lot of talk about brand value, especially when you're surrounded by design educators, and I've always been suspicious of it. Never more in fact than this week, when I'm party to lots of discussions about the future branding of academic courses. This then from Dim Bulb is very timely and very welcome:
So who needs brands when you have ubiquitous information?

Branding was always shorthand that existed to fill the information gap inherent in a marketplace where customers were separated by time, space, and experience from sellers, and from one another. 

In the PC-everywhere society, that gap no longer exists.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

The Mobile Web is the Only Web

Pete Ashton on Simon Winnall's new iPhone optimised portfolio site:
The photographer Simon Winnall came to my attention because he’s set up an iPhone specific version of his web gallery which I’m rather conflicted about (for nerdy reasons of cross-platform compatibility and the like - nothing for you normals to worry about) but saved himself from pretty much anything by having some serious concrete action on there.

Pete, I understand your inner conflict, after years of sites coded for IE. Yes, surely the advantage of mobile Safari is that it works with regular websites, not ones coded especially. However it’s hard to argue when a bit of optimisation results in a site as lovely as Simon’s: usable on any standard browser and perfect for the palm of your hand. None of the silly ‘next’ slideshow stuff his regular site has, just scrolling photographic deliciousness. He should dump the regular site and make his iPhone site his only site.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

I love this stuff

I'm always snapping pictures of tits-up public computer systems, but this one takes the biscuit. If only our beloved despised Birmingham Big Screen would take a leaf from this; at least we'd have a few day's peace and quiet.
At one of Toronto's locations of The Bay department store, four giant screens have suffered from the infamous Blue Screen of Death for days. You'd think that someone would, I dunno, turn off the freakin' screens.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

iPod Touch gets Update

As of this today, and coinciding with the UK/Germany iPhone release, the iPod Touch firmware jumped to 1.1.2. With it comes support for adding new events in Calendar, more language options, the inevitable security holes plugged, and the option to manually manage music by dragging it to the icon in iTunes. Can we have Mail app now please?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Post Resolution

Not in exactly the way I've been thinking about, but amazingly significant in any case:
Naked light throws away antiquated concepts like pixels; layers; 8-bit color; and destructive, non-re-editable filters and operations. Instead, compositions in Naked light represent a sort of Platonic ideal—with infinite resolution, an astounding 590 quintillion colors, and perpetually re-editable nodes.

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Google's Horse/Camel Phone OS

Steven Frank has it squarely nailed:
What a travesty this Android announcement is. A 34-company committee that's going to oversee the development of a currently non-existent suite of open-source mobile applications to run on as-yet-unspecified hardware. I've never seen so much hot air, and honestly I'm kind of shocked that it came out of Google.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Lisa Meyer & Jenny Moore: Bringing balance to the Force

Brummie of the Year 2007:
Lisa Meyer & Jenny Moore of Capsule. The Capsule girls, for it is they, have become mainstays of the Birmingham gig scene bringing some fantastic artists to the city. They also promote cake, and everyone loves cake.

If these two don't win there's no justice, and the balance of the Universe will have been upset for a generation. You have been warned.

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