August 2006 Archives

Fuse Kit Update - 1.1z

By Michael Mulvey on August 30, 2006 10:54 AM

Fuse Kit

Mosessupposes.com has dropped a new Fuse Kit on his site. Go get it!

Why do you need The Fuse Kit in Adobe Flash? Do you like the motion on Leo Burnett? Billy Harvey Music? Any of the work of Seraph.nl? How about Group 94? Kurt Noble? Firstborn? TCC?

Now I'm not saying every one of these sites uses the Tween class (mine does), but if you want to achieve the seemless motion and transitions that these sites achieve, using the Fuse Kit would be a step in the right direction.

Beautiful Evidence

By Michael Mulvey on August 30, 2006 10:19 AM

Looks like Edward Tufte has a new book out, new to me at least:

Beautiful Evidence - Cover

Beautiful Evidence, by Edward R. Tufte

Friday Inspiration

By Michael Mulvey on August 25, 2006 10:18 AM

Women I, Willem de Kooning

Women I, 1950-52, Oil on canvas, 75 7/8" x 58"

There's a dimension that we don't understand. In other words, if you have a landscape or and interior you have a space. You can deal with it in terms of images and what-not. But you can't really understand what paint is doing. Paint is doing something that you ask it to do in order get the nose on somebody's face. The paint also does something that isn't the nose on the face. What is does is fascinating. It's a new geography.

- Willem de Kooning, from de Kooning: An American Master

CTRL + Z

By Michael Mulvey on August 24, 2006 4:24 PM

I might have to pick this shirt up:

CTRL + Z t-shirt design

Presstube Screensavers for OS X

By Michael Mulvey on August 24, 2006 4:01 PM

I've had these screensavers for a while, and I figured I'd post them because they're so damn great, created by James Paterson of Presstube. Click on the images below to download:

Presstube Screensaver

Presstube Cloudy Screensaver

The first screensaver can also be found at Presstube for Mac and PC.

OK GO

By Michael Mulvey on August 24, 2006 10:33 AM

Good Sources of News

By Michael Mulvey on August 24, 2006 10:17 AM

Newsvine - "We believe in turning news into conversation, and every page on Newsvine.com is designed to do precisely that."
Gawker - New York-centric News
Overheard in New York - What New Yorkers are saying
The Superficial - so I like the occasional tabloid news. Sue me.
Engadget - because I love gadgets.
Pitchfork - because I love music, and this site educates me on stuff I've never heard of.
Newstoday - great design news, inspirational sites and a solid job board (If you take 2 minutes to make an account, you can get rid of that annoying *ding-ding-dong* jingle).
The Onion - sometimes fake news reveals more truth than the real stuff. Just the title of this article had me dying.

Make Like Tom and Get Outta Here

By Michael Mulvey on August 23, 2006 6:26 PM

After working with Tom Cruise for 14 years, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone decides not to renew Cruise's contract with the company.

Well, when you start falling apart at the mental seams like Cruise has done over the last few years there's bound to be consequences like losing contracts and having guys like me illustrate your spectacles on t-shirts:

cruiseshirt.jpg

Poll: Most People Polled Are Dumb

By Michael Mulvey on August 23, 2006 5:39 PM

Why do I toture myself by reading the "journalism" on CNN.com?

From the CNN.com article:

Seventy-four percent of the 1,033 adult Americans polled said they believe an attack is being planned, according to the poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of CNN.

Well. There it is. Now you know.

I'm curious to know the reasons behind pollees' beliefs. Perhaps Joe and Jane Average from Middle-of-Nowhere America should get senior level intelligence jobs in the US government since they gots the 411 on Osama.

Or more likely - this CNN article achieves nothing at all, journalistically or otherwise.

This poll is about as useful as asking a person in rural America who works at Home Depot whether they consider dark matter a threat to alternate gravity theories.

Old School

By Michael Mulvey on August 23, 2006 1:05 PM

flash4.gif

Ahh the good old days of Flash 4 and Netscape 4.7 - the best browser ever...


Is it me or have web development jobs become very specialized? Specialization is defnitely good sometimes - you don't want a team of mediocre people just ok at everything. It just seems when I mention a floating div to a flash animator, they just stare blankly at me and blink.

I've come to realize that I am from the old school (like many of my collegues) . I was never taught HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, Flash animation or Actionscripting 1 & 2. Grandpa voice: When I was in college there were no interactive courses, and we had to work on computers with 32 MB of RAM. We checked our email through command line programs like PINE and MM....

....... and I rode 2 miles to class on a donkey.

Another reason for my perspective is obviously my environment. First off, for interactive design, you either get it, or you don't get it. Just like art (and interactive design can be art, but I'll save that discussion for another day). Most of the people I went to design school with didn't get it. They didn't get why I was installing the Flash 3 player and why I thought Urban Desires was so damn amazing (somethine like this was ground-breaking in 1997). In a nutshell, there were no interactive designers and I had to teach myself.

In my senior year of college the head of the design program said he had a job in NYC for me, if I knew HTML. I partially lied and said, sure I knew HTML. The truth was the only HTML I knew was from the handful of tutorials I was taking on WebMonkey. I had never built a website.

When I got hired at Dan Miller Design in 1999, my first web project was to design and build the site for the documentary film Shadow Boxers. I was able to get through it with the help of Dreamweaver and constant nagging of the senior web designer at DMD. Once I had completed Shadow Boxers, I was asked if I knew Macromedia Flash 4. I said sure. A month later I designed and built Art Base Inc (I'm amazed both these sites are still up, if you view the source to Art Base, the Flash version is still 4!).

I decided that I was now going to strictly be an RGB designer. No more CMYK.

From DMD and the other companies I moved on to, it was a constant learning process and never having the luxury of large teams for web projects. It was always just me, or me and a few other people working on a project. I never experienced the glory days of the DotCom bubble everyone recounts. As Flash become more and more essential in web design, I realized that I needed to learn how to make my life easier and so I learned how to automate things with Actionscript. The fact that I learned how to parse XML within Flash had nothing to do with client requests - it was to save my ass time when I had to update Anything to avoid opening up Flash again to change a few sentences. And the concept of separating form from content with CSS just made sense.

I also bring this up, because I'm also in the process of finding new homes for many of my freelance clients and I've found it difficult to hand them over to one person who can help them with design AND development. Someone that can design an email newsletter AND use Campaign Monitor to send out the blast.
Update: Luckily Jory at Analogue has stepped up to the plate and has the skills to pay the bills and uh, navigate the terrain over interactive hills....

So I guess I'm wondering - What and how do people learn web design and development these days? Is code still scary to a lot of people? Is money good enough to specialize within the field web design into areas like Flash Video Designer or HTML Expert?

Are there people out there that still design - inside and out?

Microsoft Breaks Stuff A Lot

By Michael Mulvey on August 22, 2006 5:47 PM

scarface.jpg

So Microsoft came out with a patch to fix a security flaw, but broke it instead.

from Security Focus (found via Slashdot):

The flaw, initially thought to only crash Internet Explorer, actually allows an attacker to run code on computers running Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 that have applied the August cumulative update to Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, security firm eEye Digital Security asserted. The update, released on August 8, fixed eight security holes but also introduced a bug of its own, according to Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer for the security firm, which notified Microsoft last week that the issue is exploitable.

... I'm sorry, what? I don't speak Bacchi, C3PO, was that English?!

It's amazing how many screwups Microsoft makes and and it still can maintain its empire. I wish I had that kind of resilience.

... and in other news:

Dell withdraws from MP3 player market. Haha. Take it deep Dell. I wouldn't be so happy if it wasn't for their Apple trash-talking way back in the day. Maybe the smart thing would have been to put those explosive batteries in the DJ Ditty instead of your laptops.

Traffic Ranking

By Michael Mulvey on August 22, 2006 11:31 AM

tcc_rank.gif

I've known about Alexa.com for a while, but sometimes its fun to see how my site and everyone else's ranks in the world.

1,926,864th in the world. I know you're all jealous.

Links For Today

By Michael Mulvey on August 21, 2006 5:30 PM

Flashstreamworks - flash blog. Good links.

MTV Overdrive

By Michael Mulvey on August 17, 2006 7:00 PM

MTV Overdrive now works for Macs - happy day! (Still some kinks in the functionality as of this posting, but its a great start.)

404

By Michael Mulvey on August 17, 2006 6:26 PM

How to make cusom error pages on Dreamhost - that's the kind of day I'm having.

Isn't life all about making errors look a bit graceful?

No error page can get as graceful as this puppy.

Job Resources for Interactive Designers

By Michael Mulvey on August 16, 2006 10:18 AM

Here is a list of solid resources for web professionals, designers developers, flashers and everyone in between:

37signals Job Board - I just discovered this one, and it's great, I just wish there was a way to filter the results by location or job type.

Newstoday - Click on 'Find a Job'

Creative Hotlist - I can't tell you how many calls I get from people who have found me on the Hotlist. In my opinion, it's a steal at $35 for a 6-month membership.

Moluv - take a look at the job section of the forums on the right, you might find some gems in there.

k10k - they post job opening fairly often in the News section on the right.

Craig's List - results from Craig's List can be so-so. I have gotten some great leads from this site, but I've also had to weed through a lot of crap to get to them.

I'm sure that many people have benefitted from recruiters. Not me. I've found that emailing the top companies on my list has gotten me most of my interviews, coupled with using the links above.

Internet Explorer Takes It Deep

By Michael Mulvey on August 16, 2006 10:01 AM

This is the first time I've seen more people hitting my site with Firefox than with IE. It doesn't reflect world usage of Firefox, but it's good trend:

firefoxWins.gif

Take it deep, Explorer.

Catch the Buzz

By Michael Mulvey on August 16, 2006 7:24 AM

I picked up the new Rolling Stone magazine last night and I thought this ad was brilliant, not to mention ballsy:

weeds1.jpg

weeds2.jpg

*The fold-out is scented just like a bag of ... scratch-n-sniff weed.

Googling and Photoshopping

By Michael Mulvey on August 14, 2006 9:57 AM

Google is cracking down on the usage of google as a verb. This reminds me of when Adobe got their panties in a bunch over the verb photoshopping.

Mozilla's new Sea Monkey application - Web-browser, e-mail, newsgroup, IRC chat, and HTML editing all in one program.

Flash turns 10 years old - damn, I'm getting old. In tribute to Flash's birthday, theFWA is having a contest for the most influential Flash sites. And for all you kids out there who were too young to remember, the Birth of Flash.

Key Xing is now on my Top 10 Applications for OS X - bummer it's no longer being developed.

Macrodobe has seems to be a busy mofo, working on their new Spry framework.

A Captain Murphy soundboard .....my day is complete.

Airlines Ban Macgyver Items

By Michael Mulvey on August 11, 2006 11:18 AM

macgyver.jpg

If you're in the midst of booking a flight, you'll have to double check the items you're packing, because if you have skills like Macgyver, you probably won't be allowed to fly as airlines are upping security measures in react to the recent terror plot that was foiled.

From SFGate.com:

First aviation security officials required tickets and identification to get to the airline gates. Then passengers had to turn on their laptops and take off their shoes. On Wednesday, anything liquid -- from eyedrops to Red Bull to lip glos -- became verboten.

Some countries have gone further and on Thursday banned iPods, cell phones, computers and even battery-powered watches -- anything that could produce a spark and detonate a bomb aboard a plane.

I'm taking this a step further because I'm serious about freedom, I'm serious about stopping terrorism and I want to protect others from myself and that is why I'm removing my brain before I board planes.

Why am I removing my brain? Well ya see, my brain is full of FLUIDS and along with fluids, my brain has millions of neurons that carry ELECTRICITY. See, if the FLUIDS and ELECTRICITY inside my brain get on a plane, it could spell trouble for everyone on board. I could detonate a bomb with the eletricity in my head. First I would suck out the water in my brain and run that electric current through it to separate it into hydrogen and oxygen.

I don't need to show you where this is heading.

Stay vigilant my keen readers. Stay vigilant.

You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!

By Michael Mulvey on August 9, 2006 7:07 AM

rocky.jpg

I don't go to movies to see unbiased fact. I go for fantasy, humor and excitement. A 60 year old Rocky fighting a young champion? Sure, why not?

I think there's other guys out there like me that are like Pavlov's dog when it comes to Rocky - all you need to see are those training sequences and hear that theme song and you get PUMPED!

It's not even a conscious decision I made.

Official Movie Site, and the trailer

Partying Like It Was 1999 Again?

By Michael Mulvey on August 7, 2006 10:01 PM

Just when it seems like browsers are getting better at respecting standards I have to go and read articles about Internet Explorer 7 ignoring CSS standards. Obiously it's good that Mozilla Firefox is still gaining ground on IE but c'mon kids.

Browsers not respecting web standards, venture capital flowin' like wine to 'Web 2.0' start-ups. This all feels very familiar to me. Aren't we learning from our mistakes or are we ignorantly partying like it was 1999 again?

I still love being an interactive designer but it all feels like a sick dream (with the occasional highlight) ...

I had this dream the other night that they had come out with IE 7, but it wasn't really IE 7 because it had tabbed browsing like Firefox, but it was even worse at being standards-compliant. And then Adobe had bought Macromedia and now they were just Adobe and Apple Computer had moved their machines over to Intel architecture and were phasing out their Power Mac line. Oh yeah, and you could run Windows on the new Macs. Then Google came out with a Map program that was rendering MapQuest obsolete... and their stock price was over $300...

Yes this is a very strange dream indeed.

Dead Space

By Michael Mulvey on August 2, 2006 2:27 PM

I'm not a Microsoft basher by nature, they've just been setting themselves up to get slammed for their antics lately. When I got to work today, our CEO sent out a link on our email listserve - Windows Live Spaces Goes after MySpace. I trembled in anticipation of the revolutionary product imitation that Microsoft was launching now (As if tremebling in anticipation of Zune wasn't enough excitement for me).

From the VOX article:

Hotmail users, for example, can share their address book (Live Contacts) among their IM service (Live Messenger), web mail (Live Mail), and blog (Live Spaces) That integration facilitates security, with Live Spaces allowing users to specify who can contact them, see their profile, and access their blog. Live Spaces users can also select "gadgets" to personalize their pages - ad a news ticker, quote of the day or weather forecast, for example.

And here is a tasty screenshot of the product:
livespaces_sm.jpg

Friggin amazing Microsoft. You've done it again with another bland imitation of a successful original. Let's run through the list of 'features'.

Live Spaces integrates with these MS products:

  • Live Mail (Hotmail) - I don't use my Hotmail account anymore
  • Live Messenger - I use AOL Instant Messenger

Now when MySpace came out, people felt the need to switch from Frienster because it did things its competitor didn't. You could up media files (video, audio, flash) and you could 'hack' your profile page through Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) adjustments.

Now Microsoft is doing what it has done in the past and to only copy something on the surface. There's no underlying concept or vision for the future with their new product, other than, We are 800 pound gorilla, We need control this market, we get angry if can't win, grunt, grunt.

Now there are 2 train tracks with wrecks waiting to happen. First Zune, now Live Spaces. Hey Microsoft, how about making it a trifecta?

Take a look at Live Spaces.

Netflix Roadshow - Clerks

By Michael Mulvey on August 2, 2006 10:38 AM

danteran1.gif

Clerks, Aug. 8, Redbank, NJ - be there.

8:30 PM
Red Bank Marine Park
1 Marine Park
(At Wharf Avenue and Front Street)
Red Bank, NJ

I don't think I'd be a real Jersey boy if I didn't go to this.

Flash Player Penetration

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2006 10:51 AM

These flash player stats for my site are reassuring:

flash_stats.gif

Why are my stats so pretty? I use Mint


So I can basically read that as 93% of people have at least Flash 8 installed on their computer. No doubt this is partially due to MySpace requiring Flash 9.

A Series of Tubes

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2006 9:40 AM

What the internet really looks like. See Senator Stevens, its not a series of friggin tubes!

Today's weather in NYC - Only living in Miami for a year could have somewhat prepared me for this heat.


Friendster's bid to patent social networking
- Woah. Reminds of when Microsoft started its quest to patent XML.

Spot the Pedophile - it's been a while since I've visited the Best Page in the Universe.

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