Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

jul
08
2005

ff05: day two, part two

Internet connection has been dicey in the hotel room, so I’m playing catch-up now… Using a PC with a Mac OS X skin, Aral Balkan offered a spirited introduction to object-oriented programming, and offered the quote of the day: Polymorphism. …

jul
07
2005

ff05: day two

Day two of the Flash Forward conference in New York. The first session of the morning was the Macromedia keynote, which featured a stunning demo of the new Flash 8 Player and authoring environment. Lots of cool video and image …

jul
06
2005

ff05: day one

At the moment, I’m sitting in a conference room at the Flash Forward conference in New York. The current session is about object-oriented programming, which I’m pretty fuzzy on, but I want to learn more about. However, the presenter lost …

jun
24
2005

typographical zoo

Cute site of the day: BemboZoo, a Flash-based site today that creates animals based on letterforms for every letter of the alphabet. For example, if you click on the letter “K,” the word “Koala” appears, and then the letters that …

jun
23
2005

working with your designer

Fast Company has an interesting article offering advice for non-designers (mainly, business and marketing types) in working with designers. (“Be Cooler by Design” - 06/05) One piece of advice in particular struck on one of my client “pet peeves:” People …

type personified

Online type merchant FontShop.com has a fun little section on their site featuring user-submitted badges of themselves and their favorite typefaces. (Because I’m a sucker for penguins, I’ve borrowed a badge featuring one of the well-dressed birds, credited to Magnus …

jun
18
2005

photo printing made not-so-easy

So much for technology making things easier. AP reports that some amateur photographers are being turned away from photo printing labs because their photos are too good. The problem: Copyright law requires photo labs to be on the lookout for …

jun
14
2005

skin of the times

I recently upgraded my copy of the NetNewsWire RSS reader to the 2.0 “lite” version, and was toying a bit with some of the new features. Among those new features that I discovered this evening: The display of the windowpane …

jun
09
2005

eppy eppy

washingtonpost.com won for “Best Overall Design of an Internet Service over 1 million” in the 2005 Editor and Publisher EPpy Awards, beating out azcentral.com and seattletimes.com. By strange coincidence, I worked on azcentral.com’s fall 2004 site redesign just before I …

jun
07
2005

copycat

I followed a “Buy 1 Song, Get 5 Free” promotion link for MSN Music this morning, and was a bit surprised to see that the site was aping Apple’s old glassy button style for its “buy” and “confirm” buttons — …

may
11
2005

photomat

Michaela pointed me toward Bowman Photos, a fantastic online photo gallery put together by Douglas Bowman (of design group Stopdesign). I’m impressed both by the very clean, attractive design and by the ingenius backend Bowman set up to make it …

may
10
2005

new times

Looks like it’s been a busy week for the folks at Los Angeles Times Interactive: The online arm of the L.A. Times launched a redesign of latimes.com (screenshot) and entertainment guide CalendarLive (screenshot) and removed the paid subscription barrier for …

may
05
2005

webby

The 2005 Webby Award winners have been announced, recognizing Web sites in genres from activism to personal sites. I was very happy to see that McSweeney’s won for best copy / writing in voting by both the Webby judges and …

may
04
2005

nyt: now stretchified

It looks like nytimes.com is rolling out a new article template this afternoon. And it’s stretchy. Old article template | New article template I’m not really keen on the liquid layout, particularly at wide screen widths that stretch the story …

may
02
2005

the flyout flies away

MSNBC.com has dropped its “flyout” menu, where users could access sections and individual stories from the side navigation bar, in favor of something more static (but possibly more usable). An editor’s note explains that the change had a lot to …

apr
18
2005

buy, buy, buy

This was a bit of a shock to read this morning: Adobe to Buy Macromedia in $3.4 Billion Stock Deal By Terence Neilan Published: April 18, 2005 The document-design software company Adobe Systems Inc. said today that it had agreed …

feb
24
2005

daily ephemera

Continuing my new lazy habit of just listing my daily reading highlights as bullet points, rather than fleshed-out separate entries…

jan
28
2005

paragons of design

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has on its Web site a fantastic showcase of good design, featuring its 2004 Year in Design winners. The featured work, which runs the gamut from brand identities to book covers, is great …

dec
13
2004

mixed messages

Ah, the language of color. Take, for example, the many meanings of the color yellow… “Live Strong” is a popular cancer research fundraising effort that has embraced yellow as its primary color. However, the St. Petersburg Times reports that some …

dec
07
2004

minimal road rage

I came across a story in Wired today that just blows my mind. A possible new trend in road design: removing traffic signs, lights and other traffic flow cues to slow traffic and make roads more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly. (“Roads …

dec
02
2004

Unfortunately, much of the Web is like an anthill built by ants on LSD.

— Jakob Nielsen, on web standards (source)