December 2007 Archives

Design = Control

By Michael Mulvey on December 30, 2007 11:35 PM

Zenith Space Command 200

photo: Victor Schrager

NY Times Magazine: A Clicker Is Born

Five drawings laid out an architecture for the kind of innovation that would become increasingly common as the century wore on: a media technology that appeared simple, and that promised to make life better for consumers, and that hid its complexity under the guise of compact physical elegance.

Hiding complexity with compact elegance. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Help, Apple! Help!

By Michael Mulvey on December 26, 2007 1:47 PM

CNN Money: Nokia says door open for cooperation with Apple on web portal Ovi - Vanjoki (via Gizmodo)

management board member Anssi Vanjoki:

'In Finnish, Ovi means door. And our door is open. Of course, Apple can get into our portal. We even invite (Apple Inc chief executive) Steve Jobs to do so,' Vanjoki was quoted as saying.


'Ovi sounds like ovaries ...because that's what we replaced our balls with. Now that we are ball-less, we need Apple to make our web portal work. We didn't realize Windows and their DRM sucked so bad.'

An Ill Reindeer

By Michael Mulvey on December 23, 2007 9:13 PM

I grew up taking trips into Middle Village, Queens on the weekends to see my grandma, so when I think of Christmas, I think of Run DMC.


By Michael Mulvey on December 19, 2007 9:51 AM

Jory over at Analogue posted an interesting thought based on Apple's most recent security update - what is the future of Adobe Flash in regard to OS X?

By bundling a Flash plug-in update within the Security Update, Apple is inherently making a statement on how integral Flash has become. It's easy for us to let our imaginations wander all over the place on what this might mean, and what devices this update might touch.

We'll just have to wait and see.


french, swedes, galacians, lend me your ears

By Michael Mulvey on December 18, 2007 4:41 PM

Sometimes spam is provocative, like this gem that just arrived in my Inbox:


Since it's the holiday season though, don't you think the subject should be 'grinching'?

Snicker, Snicker

By Michael Mulvey on December 18, 2007 12:37 PM

The age old question, Are people inherently evil?

...I don't know, but I like this word and I'm making it today's Word of the Day:

schadenfreude - [n. SHAW-den-froy-duh] Taking malicious satisfaction in another person's troubles is schadenfreude. (definition via Cool Words)

this word was found at at DaringFireball

They're Crafty

By Michael Mulvey on December 16, 2007 10:29 PM

New York Times Magazine: Handmade 2.0 (requires login, free)

All of which is a familiar-enough Internet-start-up story line. I was more interested in what made Etsy seem different from so many current efforts to “build community” online: the luck or genius of the site is that Kalin and the other founders encountered in the D.I.Y./craft scene something that was already social, community-minded, supportive and aggressively using the Web. It seemed to me that the company’s future would depend not only on the success of its sellers but also on its reputation among them. Nor could its reputation simply be for business acumen. If all Etsy did was channel D.I.Y.-ism into a profit machine, it could easily be seen as monetizing — exploiting — the creativity and hustle of 70,000 indiepreneurs. There was a cultural dimension, too.

Plates Are Shifting

By Michael Mulvey on December 16, 2007 8:14 PM

The design portal model we're all come to know over the last 8-10 years is quickly becoming irrelevant. Attention is obviously turning to many blogs, but even when taking design blogs into account, there seems to be a void for central places for inspiration, news, conversation and education in web design.

Some design portals are still around - K10K, Surfstation, DesignIsKinky - but even these have become enormous, inert shells for news updates within a small iframe (as if they weren't used as this all along).

Other portals are aware of the need for change and are evolving, like NewsToday, which is now QBN. BD4D still seems to be going strong, but with events, not so much with their site (which used to be a portal).

And then there's heavy weights like theFWA which is the de facto place for satisfying your Flash cravings.

Ultrashock has gone in an interesting direction and transformed themselves to a creative asset resource site (think Veer with social networking). Don't worry, they still have the Bombshock Awards.

Fallen to the wayside are Pixelsurgeon, Lounge72, and Moluv (that I was an editor on for 3 years).

So what's next? Is there a next? With more and more companies and businesses realizing the power of design - online, product and otherwise - the agendas are different. Job postings are growing more and more important on the design portals that have survived (I see Krop everywhere). We're also seeing more and more endorsements and advertising from big businesses on design sites, which tells us more people are taking design seriously.

It's much bigger than web design now, and the message of portals needs to be bigger and broader. Advertising models are being turned on their heads, old media will be trying to figure out digital media distribution for what I bet will be a while and what people consider their TV and their computer aren't quite clear anymore.

As the plates of interactive design shift, be prepared for some rebuilding.





Without Heat

By Michael Mulvey on December 16, 2007 4:38 PM

Without Heat in the Bronx (with video) - A lot of people in the city are unaware that situations exist like this. They assume that since they have heat and hot water in the their building, everyone must.

And they don't.

Their building, a five-story walk-up at 1277 Morris Avenue, has been without steady heat and hot water for months, he and other tenants said.

Residents dress for the outdoors even while indoors, wearing scarves and hats. They use the stove as if it were a fireplace, huddling around it with the burners aflame and the oven turned on. They wash up in the mornings with water heated in pots. At night, the temperature drops to the low 30s in the stairways and hovers in the 40s and 50s in the rooms.

suspended in time

By Michael Mulvey on December 16, 2007 4:19 PM

Over the last 10 years, I've grown more and more interested in the history of New York, and I found The Ghosts of Clinton Street (with a slideshow) fascinating in today's Sunday Times.

Yet 312, as the family calls it, remains the rarest of places, a Brooklyn home whose residents eat at the same oak table, within the same brick walls, and among many of the same well-worn possessions as no fewer than five generations of ancestors.

Alfa Romeo

By Michael Mulvey on December 16, 2007 12:23 PM

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo, from the set 12.15.2007.

Tick Tick Tick Tick

By Michael Mulvey on December 12, 2007 11:47 AM

I really like this new Beck song. It's not anything groundbreaking, just really friggin catchy. Apparently the video below is unauthorized. Someone just decided to make a video for Beck. The video takes the idea of a timebomb and counts down the length of the song. It also cycles through all of Beck's styles throughout the years.

This is how progress and opportunities are made in this world. Don't ask for permission. Forget rules. Just create. Let everyone else worry about the details, the legal... blah, blah.

Act on your urges. The timebomb is tickin'.

Publicis Macedonia

By Michael Mulvey on December 11, 2007 4:15 PM


PUBLICIS Macedonia (via Fcukstar)


By Michael Mulvey on December 9, 2007 12:26 PM

Be Kind Rewind - Jack Black and Mos Def.

Bad Meaning Bad

By Michael Mulvey on December 7, 2007 9:46 AM

Apparently, at some point these last few days, someone took some acid, dropped all the HTML and Actionscript from into a blender and took the mixture and slapped it back onto the electronic internet.


I have so many questions in my head I don't know where to begin.

It's almost 2008 - why the 760 pixel width for the main content?

I have a big monitor, so that little search box goes alllllll the way over the right. Have we heard of Fitts' Law before? Hello?


By Michael Mulvey on December 6, 2007 5:57 PM

I stumbled upon this site randomly the other day, and was quit pleased I did.

screengrab: Ambassador Bar & Lounge

Ambassador Bar & Lounge

3G for the iPhone - Truly Urgent?

By Michael Mulvey on December 6, 2007 3:52 PM

Nope. It's not.

I'm still planning to retire my wonderful Treo 650 this Christmas and replace it with a new 8GB iPhone. That is, an iPhone with EDGE-speed internet. The reason I'm perfectly fine with this (and I'm sure most iPhone owners are) is because an iPhone can't (yet) exploit the benefits of a 3G network.

I know that when I get to work at Schematic, I have access to our wifi network, and I know when I go home at night, I have access to my wifi network there too. No need to deal with EDGE.

And the iPhone doesn't (yet) have the Adobe Flash plug-in so I can't visit high bandwidth Flash sites that require a fast internet connection.

And you can't downloading huge files or applications (without hacks).

So yeah, EDGE sucks for speed, but the iPhone can wait for 3G.

Merry Freakin' Christmas

By Michael Mulvey on December 4, 2007 4:22 PM

Execute This

By Michael Mulvey on December 1, 2007 11:45 AM

OS X to Run Executable Files

The discussion begins with a mailing list message called Interesting Behavior of OS X, in which Steven Edwards describes the discovery that Leopard apparently contains an undocumented loader for Portable Executables, a type of file used in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. More poking around revealed that Leopard's own loader tries to find Windows DLL files when attempting to load a Windows binary.

So let's not get all excited too quickly. Like the article says, this could happen and it could end up going no where. Also, would this mean Macs would be more susceptible to viruses? (My gut says no, the reason Windows machines are so vunerable is because .exe files can autorun, I doubt they would be allowed to autorun on OS X).

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