August 2007 Archives

Staff this.

By Michael Mulvey on August 30, 2007 2:50 PM

I have a word to all you staffing and recruiting agencies out there. I'm going to say this once and that's it, so listen:

When you sit down to interview me, do not ask me if I have any friends looking for work. Don't talk to me about how much commission I get per person I find for you.

The focus of my interview is me. I am looking for work, not my friends. Make me feel special (even though I might not be). Stroke my ego for the 15 minutes I'm talking with you. I'm not just a number went I sit down with you, I am your golden ticket. I am your moneymaker.

I promise you, that if you do indeed find me work, I will refer people to you, otherwise, why would I send anyone your way?

Who am I talking about? TTS Personnel, Inc., Gainor, Update Graphics, Artisan Talent, Aquent, Janou Pakter, Randstad ... all you clowns, learn some manners.

It will set itself free

By Michael Mulvey on August 28, 2007 5:27 PM

It's absurd to think that the iPhone would stay 'locked' with AT&T service.

If we've learned anything from copy-protecting on music and DVD's, its that technology wants to be free. It's an inherent part of the medium.

If something can be encrypted, then it can be decrypted. Knowledge is always flowing 2 directions (or more).

Apple knew this with iTunes and they knew it just as well with iPhone. Lock-in schemes like this were insisted upon by Apple's partners - not by Apple itself. Apple could give 2 shits if their music has DRM encoded on it, or if their phones only work on AT&T's networks.

The mobile phone industry in the United States is absurd and their business models have to be taken down and Apple has made the first moves in making this a reality by working the iPhone into their iTunes ecosystem.

This is echoed in this statement by RIM's CEO (via MacNN):

"It's a dangerous strategy. It's a tremendous amount of control," he says. "And the more control of the platform that goes out of the carrier, the more they shift into a commodity pipe."

I want to see Blackberry and Palm step up to the plate and offer up some serious competition to the iPhone. In order to do this, though, they have to heed to design. They have to build an experience and not worry so much about features.


By Michael Mulvey on August 22, 2007 10:27 AM

I logged into my LinkedIn account this morning and had this invitation.

I laughed and thought LinkedIn was getting funny with their tone of voice.

Then I realized that abbreviating doesn't work with peoples' names - especially on buttons. See below.


Why You Don't Have to Wait For iPhone 2.0

By Michael Mulvey on August 21, 2007 8:08 PM

1963 Ferrari 250 GTL / Lusso

It's the same reason a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTL / Lusso is still an amazing piece of machinery.

For people who appreciate true design, waiting for the next version of whatever product you want isn't an issue.

Quality is quality. No matter how old it is.

Links For Today 8.21.2007

By Michael Mulvey on August 21, 2007 5:13 PM

Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention - my sentiments exactly. I love my Treo. I also love my Nintendo - but that doesn't mean it can compete with a PS3.

Migrating from AS2 to AS3 - a great breakdown of the differences in syntax between AS2 & AS3. After reading this entry, it's not as bad as I thought but I still have a A LOT of catching up to do.

On a contrary note, here's a great post by Joshua Davis on using Actionscript 1.0. Yes, I said Actionscript 1.0!

Copan in bag

By Michael Mulvey on August 20, 2007 10:36 PM

photo: Copan in bag

Copan in bag, originally uploaded by combustionchamber.


By Michael Mulvey on August 20, 2007 9:50 PM

In the grand George Carlinian tradition of Things That Are Pissing me Off:

I live in New York City.

My friend lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

My friend wants me to come and visit him, so as we're talking on the phone he says, "Hey, you really have to come down and visit one of these days..."

Has this happened to you?

Why don't people understand their locations in relation to other places?

My cylinders aren't all firing

By Michael Mulvey on August 17, 2007 11:07 AM

By the way my site was down this week, you would have thought I was hosting it in my backyard on a 10-year-old Windows 3.x machine, mounted on cinder blocks and piping through a 28.8 modem.

Unfortunately, I'm actually paying for hosting my site as well as some clients.

I apologize for the downtime.

I should have new hosting by next month.

comedy I didn't see coming

By Michael Mulvey on August 16, 2007 5:39 PM

Maurice Saatchi, executive director of M&C Saatchi has had a revelation on saving advertising (He doesn't say that in the article but someone is going to have to show companies 'the way' and why not Saatchi). Why is advertising dying? Oh this stupid thing we have called technology. Yeah, technology is making things difficult for the Saachi brains. His solution? See below:

What I am describing here is a new business model for marketing, appropriate to the digital age. In this model, companies compete for global ownership of one word in the public mind.


For example, the word "search" is now owned by Google. For 20 years, "favourite" was owned by British Airways. Sony used to own "innovation", but that word has probably now been taken by Apple. Royal Bank of Scotland, in its US marketing, will soon own "action". The same applies to political parties or countries - Britain's Labour party won three elections with the word "new". America's one-word equity is "freedom".

More woah. Innovation has 'probably' been taken by Apple? I never knew Sony had it? It must be great to be at the top of the company and can afford to just make shit up.

Oh and Maurice has made a really nasty, bloated Flash site for his new paradigm. Ooof that is nasty! Why not carry over the simplicity of one word equity and make a simple, clear site?

Truly Amazing. Great rhetoric there, mister Saachi guy.


By Michael Mulvey on August 16, 2007 10:06 AM


From the set, 8.15 - 8.16.2007

Frustration Haiku

By Michael Mulvey on August 16, 2007 9:18 AM

Dreamhost down again
Yesterday all tubes were full
Please don't bust my balls

people crossing, 59th & 3rd Ave

By Michael Mulvey on August 15, 2007 11:09 AM

people crossing, 59th & 3rd Ave

from the set, 8.7 - 8.15.2007

Trim the fat

By Michael Mulvey on August 15, 2007 9:37 AM

I went to Seth Godin's blog this morning. I liked what I read so I decided to add his RSS feed to my NewsFire application. When I clicked on the RSS feed icon in Firefox I got this:

screengrab: RSS feed icon in Firefox

I don't care which type of RSS feed I get. Good design is not only visual, but technical as well. Design involves removing unnecessary complexity.

Don't show me 3 options when 1 is sufficient.

XML is XML. Just give me a feed.

Oh my God, it even has a watermark.

By Michael Mulvey on August 14, 2007 12:03 PM

Do you know what this means?

By Michael Mulvey on August 9, 2007 5:16 AM

Something's Brewing...

By Michael Mulvey on August 8, 2007 2:42 PM

...but what exactly?

Hmm, I don't know. Just a little something I'm working on.

Stay Vigilant logo

Rubbin' sticks together.

By Michael Mulvey on August 8, 2007 11:17 AM

We may have iPhones, but we still end up walking on foot when we get a big thunderstorm.

I need my subway!

Mail - Specify Folders

By Michael Mulvey on August 7, 2007 3:16 PM

Microsoft doesn't always produce crap. Entourage is actually a pretty good email application and I've been using it for years now.

But I've decided to revisit and it's also a great e-mail application, but one of the reasons I've never used it was because I could never figure out how to tell the application to use my IMAP folders (on Dreamhost) for specific functions like using my IMAP "Trash" as the real Trash, etc.

Thanks to my buddy dalematic, I've found the solution:


note: this problem was previously solved using this method.

Embrace the Crap

By Michael Mulvey on August 7, 2007 2:22 PM

Let me clarify. Through word of mouth someone found me and asked for help on their website. I visited their existing site and it's horrendous. It's just plain 1997-old-stale-HTML nasty. My gut said, delete this email now and move on.

Then I decided not to do this. I wrote a quick, blunt email back to this person on where their site is failing. Just quick bullet points. It was harsh, but it was meant as constructive criticism and I told them that.

They heard me, and wanted to talk on the phone. We talked, I told them how I work, what you get for when you hire me - the whole process.

The bottom line is, if you're a designer, you want success stories in your portfolio. Nothing says success more than taking lead and turning it into gold. This isn't always easy. I let my clients know that I demand quality on both sides my projects. I will listen to them if they listen to me. Clients need to understand how to heed to design - and I'm not talking about fonts or grids. I'm talking about why I did certain things. How what I've done to their site will impact their business.

So next time a poorly designed site comes your way... consider it. If the client is on board with your vision, make some gold.

There are 2 colors in my head

By Michael Mulvey on August 7, 2007 10:28 AM

Start MOSHing!

By Michael Mulvey on August 6, 2007 11:38 AM

Hey, after almost 5 months, Nokia MOSH is finally live to the public (we initially had the Alpha version open to a small group of testers). You can upload your own content, or collect other peoples' and have it immediately available for your phone via the mobile version of the site (you don't need a Nokia phone).

This site is the result of a lot of hard work by both Nokia and Schematic New York. For as much art direction and design I did, it wouldn't be worth anything if it weren't for all the hard backend and client-side development from my Nokia team at Schematic. We also had great project management (thanks Eoin).

Big ups to Ian, Vinny, Wes, Maggie, Emily, Andrew, Jason, Brian, Eoin, David, JP, Del, Chris, Ben, Kevin, Karolina, Pablo and everyone else who contributed!

screengrab: Nokia MOSH homepage

that way

By Michael Mulvey on August 6, 2007 9:37 AM

Shots from this weekend - About Town 8.5.2007.

that way

Keep it in mind.

By Michael Mulvey on August 3, 2007 11:01 AM

entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity

- Occam's razor, by William of Ockham

Kick it over here baby pop!

By Michael Mulvey on August 3, 2007 9:58 AM

So I downloaded my first DRM-free album from iTunes - The Beastie Boys, The Mix-Up. The album is entirely instrumental jams - the kind of tracks you'd be familiar with if you have Ill Communication, The In Sound From Way Out!, or Hello Nasty. The album is great and it shows that The Beastie Boys are talented musicians off the mic.

Once I got the album, I decided to check out their website. On their website I discovered that they have a Flickr album:


Where do i go?

By Michael Mulvey on August 2, 2007 9:35 PM

I'm been using Dreamhost for my site hosting, as well as my clients, for over 5 years now. The problem is, in the last year or so, our relationship has been getting strained. Dreamhost doesn't give me the kind of attention and uptime I need. My sites are down or slow all the time.

In the afternoon today, if you went to this site, you would get a message saying "bad_httpd_conf".

So I Googled bad_httpd_conf.

The first 4 entries were from Dreamhost.

That's not a good sign.

I know I need a dedicated box for my sites. Now I just need to get the budget to afford one. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know at michael [at] thecombustionchamber [dot] com

Great Idea

By Michael Mulvey on August 2, 2007 9:05 AM

Microformats: Social Network Portability (via Zeldman)

Why does every single social network community site make you:
  • re-enter all your personal profile info (name, email, birthday, URL etc.)?
  • re-add all your friends?
In addition, why do you have to:
  • re-turn off notifications?
  • re-specify privacy preferences?
  • re-block people you don’t want to interact with?

These are great questions. It makes me this of this great parody site, Useless Account.

More Like Bathtub Farts

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2007 6:45 PM

Bubble 2.0 Coming Soon, By John C. Dvorak (I kinda think of him like the Bill O'Reilly of tech) (via

The current bubble, already called Bubble 2.0 to mock the Web 2.0 moniker, is harder to pin down insofar as a primary destructive theme is concerned. A number of unique initiatives, however, are in play here. Let's look at a few of the top ideas floating the new bubble.

Even kookie people you can learn from, and Dvorak is no exception. What he talks about has some bits of truth to it. Ever since around September of 2006, I've been thinking, "Damn, there's a hell of a lot of start-ups launching." This could be result of reading sites like TechCrunch and Mashable, but I still had this sense, and I still do. There's been a lot of venture capital money floating around this last few years, and when I say a lot I mean billions.

I'm not sure that there's a Bubble 2.0 so much as there's a lot a lot of little farts in the bathtub we call the Internet. I've seen a lot of services that all piggy-back on YouTube. If they go under, no one will give a shit because they don't employ many people. API's have effectly made it easy for anyone to provide a service without too much heavy lifting. is a perfect example of a great mashup service that I love, but relies on the Google Maps API to make their site effective.

I think what we are seeing already isn't so much a Bubble popping as much as we're seeing air being redistributing from bubble to bubble. Social networking won't be going away anytime soon, but users are fickle, and if they find out that their friends think MySpace is no good, and that Facebook is the place to be, then they will not hesitate to move.

If something happens to Google, that will be a Hydrogen-filled Zeppelin the size of California crashing to the ground. Other than that happening, there's no bubbles that will be popping.

The old video and music industries are dying which is one of the reasons why we're seeing so many efforts to reinvent these media online. A lot of these video start-ups HAVE to fail. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, everyone wants to make an online music store, everyone wants a video sharing site. They can't all survive.

The key thing to understand is old music and tv media are going to keep plugging away at New Media until they get something that makes them money (read: That people like to use).

Practical or Novel?

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2007 4:01 PM


I'm on the fence on this product. There's a certain usefulness you get when you take real world office supplies and tools and you abstract them into a Graphical User Interface.

Great GUI's take the best aspects of these objects and throws away the rest. Manila folders on your desk become simple icons with an arrow next to them, letting you 'open' the folder and see a nice clean list of files in that folder.

BumpTop seems to be moving back towards a real desktop, complete with messiness. I know what you're going to say - people who have messy desks will inevitably have messy computer desktops. True - but BumpTop doesn't seem to be helping the situation (They even refer to some things in the demo below as "piles").

Does anyone else feel me on this?

Check the video below. Remember to ask yourself, Do I think this is just cool, or do I really seeing this as something useful?

Commute 7.31.2007

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2007 9:34 AM

Flickr photo set: Commute 7.31.07

photo: Do Not Lean on the Door

The New Web War?

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2007 9:25 AM

The New Web War - "Inside Adobe, Microsoft, and Sun's fight to power the next wave of rich Internet applications."

I acknowledge the Robert Scoble is a prominent (albeit annoying), technology blogger. He seems enthusiastic about his field and he writes consistently and thoroughly on his site, Scobleizer.

But what the hell is he talking about in his new article for Fast Company?

He says there is a Web War between the rich internet applications of Adobe, Microsoft and IBM. That's like saying there's an digital music player "war" between the iPod (100 million sold, April 2007), the Zune (1 million sold, July 2007) and the Samsung YH-925GS (the what?).

Let's get this straight. There is no RIA war right now. Let's please drop the the hyperbole. Of three technologies mentioned in the article, there is one leading RIA contender right now and that is Adobe Flash. I'm not going to even acknowledge Microsoft Silverlight or IBM JavaFX because, number one - there's no usage/penetration statistics on either Silverlight or JavaFX. Number two - once Silverlight and JavaFX start getting implemented and picked up by users, then we can call it a competition, not a war.

The Real Issue

What people should really be thinking about is how companies like Google and Adobe are changing the paradigm of software deployment and usage by making them web-based RIA's and how entrenched leaders like Microsoft are going to respond when it won't matter whether you're on a Mac, PC or Linux computer.

Because I'm a Dude

By Michael Mulvey on August 1, 2007 8:25 AM

Most of the time on Daily Exhaust, I like to post meaningful information, links and design I find inspiring. Other times I feel the need to clarify bullshit I hear in the news. I also love photography, so I'll link to photographs I took or photos taken by other talented photographers.

This post is none of the above. This has to do with one of the cute t-shirt models for Snorg Tees. Doing a quick Google search on her revealed I'm a little late to this crush on Alice (that's her name). It looks like has made Alice Miss Snorg Universe. I'm not going to argue.

If she would stop popping up all over the Internet in banner ads I wouldn't have this crush.

Sue me, I'm a guy.

photo: Alice, Snorg Tee Girl

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