It’s unfortunate that a ‘climate of sensitivity’ was enforced so heavy-handedly. It’s unfortunate so many other players had to get involved to re-establish common sense. Especially at a campus that – at least when I was there – had gun lockers in the dorms for students. I trust the administration and police will be more sensitive in the future.
“Much of what made Twitter useful in the first place – Hashtags, @user and many other little Twitter specific conventions are hacks that were first adopted by users because Twitter didn’t support several key functions like groups or addressing a note to a specific user. Twitter has made the colossal mistake of trying to integrate these workarounds into the base DNA of their service.” – Ross Rader
I just notice two things:
- I haven’t written here in a while
- My browsers’ URL autocomplete for ‘garr’ defaults to the sub-domain of a mostly unannounced project I’m very excited about.
On a related note – my next project is targeting left-handed squirrels.
After losing the fight with a native build-from-source multiple times, my currently recommended method of installing fontforge on the Mac OS X Lion is:
brew install fontforge
sudo brew link fontforge
Update: 23 January 2012
Austin Sabel emailed, “I was having trouble getting an old cairo font document working in Lion. This saved me. However I ran into a few problems that it looks like some other users had too. The default compiler causes an error while installing fontforge on os x Lion 10.7.2. If you change the install command to the following command it will installed without throwing an error.”
brew install fontforge --use-gcc
Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still take some ecstasy, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.- Mat Honan
This my response to OccupyWallStreet.
I’ve got three kids. A house in the burbs. Working for myself.
And not that long ago, society, and my student loan provider said, “we don’t believe in you.”
Even then I had no idea what that meant.
Today, I don’t have time to camp out in a public park – I’ve got work to do.
As a follow up to my “Tomorrow It’s Amazon & Mozilla & Samsung” – a little self-promotion from your friends at Mozilla Firefox.
Back at the beginning of my career, my then creative director decided the best way to bring in new business to our nascent agency was to win design awards.
Not knowing any better – we all cheered and put our collective nose to the grindstone. Developing the concept, the interactions, the flow, all for a award-winning, self-promotion piece. I was responsible for programming the Director-based CD-ROM (yes, that’s how long ago it was). Once we all sufficiently tested the CD-ROM, it was duplicated and entered.
And, to all but our creative director’s surprise – the piece was included in the design annual (‘bronze’ or ‘notable mention’ or something like that). Yet – the phones didn’t start ringing and the desperately-needed new business didn’t materialize. I left about 6 months later. Then the creative director left. The shop itself folded by year’s end.
Remembering that project brings a stale and empty taste to my mouth. Like finding out a joke you’ve been retelling was offensive. It changed how I measure winning and the types of projects I take on.
To this day – it pains me to see so many professionals distracting themselves with contests rather than the hard work of making something meaningful that lasts.
Notice, the animal in the top cartoon is a chicken and the animals, stuck in the barn are pigs.
This is an update to John Utell’s 2009 post with the same title.
If the Google embedded Calendar URL something like:
The iCal feed is
Now you know.
(It should be – https://www.google.com/calendar/GOOGLE-USERNAME%40gmail.com – If only Google cared about good URL design)
“This means that Twitter has the ability to even track surfing habits (on Tweet button enabled websites) of users that have no Twitter account and have never visited a Twitter website before. When using the same browser to create an account at Twitter afterwards this collected data of the past can theoretically be linked to the freshly created profile then.” – Christian Schneider
- Read the whole thing.
- Delete your cookies
- Tell your favorite website publishers you resent being opt-ed into multiple third-party behavior tracking programs without a way to opt-out.
Now at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
First off – sleep pods were part of the dystopian future I was promised so I’m super excited they’re a reality.
Airports are a great first deployment for these – lots of people with hours of unexpected time on their hands – but the potential deployments are fascinating.
- Create a cluster of them on corporate campus (Google, Apple, YCombinator) for summer interns
- Install one next to each rental storage space for instant apartment complex
- Put a bedroom in your spare closet
- Slightly more upscale accommodations at summer festivals, state fairs, etc
- Start a drop-in-sleep franchise like SnapFitness/Curves/etc for out of town travelers
- Create a cluster of them on a Google or Apple campus for summer interns
- Have the smallest cabin on the lake
- Combine with shipping containers (and a little plumbing) for an instant house
As you may know – I’m working on an email-based project that’s sending me into the bowels of email.
In my research tonight, I discovered ‘Sup’ – an email client that is clear and explicit about it’s point of view.
“Should an email client have a philosophy? For many people, email is one of our primary means of communication, and email archives are an integral part of our long-term memory. Something so important ought to warrant a little thought.”
Makes me want all projects included a Philosophy.txt file along with the README.txt and License.txt. It’s far more useful and people-oriented than humans.txt
15 or 20 years ago, when you needed to trade stocks or fly somewhere – you contacted an agent. Most likely over a landline phone.
Those agents existed because they had access.
They’re nearly extinct now because access is ubiquitous.
So ubiquitous that it’s nearly impossible navigate the options without being paralyzed by choice.
I don’t have the desire to be an expert in the nuances of global airline pricing and scheduling – I just want a cost-effective, worry-free, family vacation in Europe.
There’s not a checkbox for that in any of the travel sites.
And to really understand what that means to me – requires at least an email, but most likely a phone call. The value is no longer in the access. It’s in the expertise and the ability to more effectively navigate the choice architecture. The need isn’t just in travel.
It’s in all significant purchases.
Real Estate agents still exist. Their value was always in navigating the selection and purchase processes. There’s even a word for this type of purchaser-oriented representation: Buyers Agent.
A few venues where a domain-specific buyers agent isn’t yet obvious; healthcare, auto sales, travel.
Now, roll in an evolving notion that the more important/busy/valuable/highly-paid you are – the less direct interaction with technology you’ll have and the more direct interaction with people you’ll have. And the further down that scale you go – the more direct interaction with technology, less with people.
Put these 2 notions together and I foresee an increased demand for what looks an awful lot like the yesterday’s secretaries.
Seems to me, if you name your company ‘Netflix’ and it’s not a streaming movie service – then the company is horribly misnamed.
On the flip side, Netflix has taken years to build a highly efficient distribution pipeline optimized for USPS. And they’ve trained their customers to have high expectations for and quickly report any disruptions in that distribution channel. That’s still an asset, there’s still value there – even if it’s no longer applicable to the core business.
There’s only one other internet-based company so experienced in optimizing the delivery of physical goods: Amazon. But Netflix has done Amazon better – they’ve optimized both the delivery and the return.
When Amazon realized they had excess capacity – they created a new product offering: Amazon Web Services – web hosting, data storage, etc, etc.
Netflix spun off their excess capacity and their physical distribution/return expertise into a new company: Qwikster. There’s nothing specific about movies, entertainment, the internet, in the name. There’s nothing really – except some vague suggestion of ‘quick’ and an even more vague reference to a social network.
Which means – there’s no expectation of just movies. In fact, the Qwikster site suggests a video game rental offering, a product Netflix never provided. And without a concrete expectation in their name – Qwikster could send anything through their channel they think will fit.
Netflix optimized the physical distribution channel for hard-to-find, items generally used infrequently. The real question is – what will Qwikster do w/ Netflix’s unused capacity?
Finding that space between your local library and Amazon.com.
Need some non-offensive (or offensive) artwork for the walls in your office or a home you’re trying to sell? Just visit the ‘Decor’ tab in Qwikster.com
Qwikster acquires U-Haul?
- make it run
- make it right
- make it fast
- make it small
Today, Patrick Rhone and I challenged each other to imagine our respective projects as rooms in our homes.
What color are the walls?
Is there furniture?
Are you sitting? Standing?
How does the room make you feel?
What do you do (an not do) in this room?
I found it a quite interesting and insightful exercise and was reminded of two other projects that came out of sitting in a room different than the one your are in now.
“Cage entered the chamber expecting to hear silence, but he wrote later, ‘I heard two sounds, one high and one low. When I described them to the engineer in charge, he informed me that the high one was my nervous system in operation, the low one my blood in circulation.’ Cage had gone to a place where he expected total silence, and yet heard sound. ‘Until I die there will be sounds. And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music.’”
“I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any sem- blance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.” [15:23 (1969, original recording @ http://www.ubu.com/)]
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, our region has had the 6th largest year-over-year percentage increase in GDP and yet we’ve a lower employment percentage.
I know you’re all anxious to show how valuable you are, but just stop. At this point your work ethic is obnoxious.
Just stop being productive.
1. Twitter adds ‘Promoted Tweets’ to everyone’s ‘stream’
2. Facebook introduces the ‘Subscribe’ button
What’s missing in both these product announcements?
Any mention of the social graph. Any notion of bi-directional digital relationships.
In fact – both of these announcement are completely counter to the interaction model that allowed both of these companies to gain the trust of their account holders.
The giant sucking sound you hear is the ‘social’ being removed from ‘social media’.