November 2011 Archives

Insult to Injury

By Michael Mulvey on November 30, 2011 1:30 PM

It's bad enough your email application-less tablet is selling so poorly you have to give it multiple price slashes, but then developers jailbreak it and call it Dingleberry.

Mirage

By Jory Kruspe on November 30, 2011 1:17 PM

Retro

By Michael Mulvey on November 29, 2011 3:05 PM

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via Still Life (image source Technabob)

Autodromo

By Michael Mulvey on November 29, 2011 2:30 PM

If anyone needs ideas of what to get me for Christmas the Autodromo is a great place to start.

A watch that redlines? Are you serious?!

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Tools

By Michael Mulvey on November 29, 2011 1:28 PM

via Just A Car Guy

M9

By Michael Mulvey on November 29, 2011 1:25 PM

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via Chromeography

Dodge Coronet

By Michael Mulvey on November 29, 2011 12:29 PM

I've been in San Francisco the last week and one of the great things about this town is all the classic car porn on the streets. We don't have a fraction of these classics in New York.

Below is a Dodge Coronet I found and started shooting with my iPhone. The owner saw me from his house, came out to the street, and told me to go inside the car if I wanted.

I wanted.

There's some great details on the car, like the push button shifter to the left of the steering wheel. The owner also told me about the *hidden* feature which let you start the car by pushing a button rather than turning the ignition. The idea was this made it easier for women. Oh, times change.

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The Truth

By Jory Kruspe on November 28, 2011 11:57 PM

Influencer/Influenced

By Jory Kruspe on November 28, 2011 5:09 PM

Influencer: Square

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Influenced: Kudos Payments

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I'm Tired Of Writing About Apple

By Michael Mulvey on November 27, 2011 7:37 PM

I'm not a sports guy.

I love going to live games in big stadiums but following football, baseball and basketball on a day-to-day basis is not my bag. My sports are technology and design and Apple is my team. I love when they win.

Apple wins when they create awesome products I love to use, products better than any other company can make.

Apple wins when they show the world that while consumer electronics products are impossible without the brilliance of enginners, you need designers to make them so fun and intuitive to use, you don't even a need a manual.

I won't lie, though. Apple also wins when they kick Microsoft's ass. It was a great, symbolic moment last year when it was announced that Apple was worth more than Microsoft in market capitalization. It also feels good to know how successful the iPhone has become, especially after Steve Ballmer laughed at it in 2007. Oh, Steve. You big, bald dummy. Hold on while I do my touchdown dance in your face.

Apple wins when they own a small fraction of the mobile market, but taking home two-thirds of the profits. It adds insult to injury when they take all this money in the face of all their competitors copying the smartphone paradigm they established with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Hey guys, you're copying my team and you're still losing (They still don't understand Design is not skin deep).

Speaking of shamelessly copying, it seems Samsung never bothered to make their own playbook, they decided to just copy Apple's.

But I have to be honest - I'm really tired of writing about Apple.

I want to write about other amazing competitors. It's fun when your team wins, but it's even better when they win against a worthy adversary. Would you rather watch your favorite football team score touchdown after touchdown, against a team with a horrible defense? Sure, the first few are fun, but it gets old. What's great is competition. Real competition.

What's great is when your team wins, but in the last 5 seconds of the game. Triple overtime. Sudden death. Winning against a rival who fights until the end and who you can look at and say, 'We might have beat you, but you played awesome.'

In the last few years, there have been very few moments where it looked as though a company besides Apple was going to start making consumer electronic devices people would love to use.

The first one I got excited about was the Palm Pre and webOS. Jon Rubenstein left Apple as senior VP of the iPod devision in 2007 to join Palm. When he unveiled the Palm Pre running webOS in 2009, the Apple DNA was obvious, but webOS was fresh brought a unique perspective to mobile operating systems. 'Yes,' I said to myself. 'Apple has some real competition.'

Then HP bought Palm in 2010 and things got bumpy. The Pre was a solid smartphone but when the time came for HP to create a tablet to compete with the iPad, it wasn't all it could have been. I wanted to love the TouchPad, but it was clear HP blew it. Then HP's CEO, Leo Apotheker, gets ousted by HP's board of directors Now it's not even clear if HP wants to play the mobile computing game anymore.

Then there was news RIM was launching a tablet called the Playbook. The preview videos made it look as though RIM had executed things well. Oh, but then they shipped it without an email client. Not to mention providing no good way to get content on to or off of the device.

Sigh.

Earlier this month, Amazon enveiled their new lineup of Kindles, including the top-of-the-line Kindle Fire. The Fire uses a custom build of Android, has a color, multi-touch screen and an integrated marketplace to buy applications and movies and books and music. And a web browser which caches frequently visited sites for faster loading. Yes! Now we're talking!

Then I got my hands on the Fire and was let down. Like the HP Touchpad, so close, but so very, very far from winning.

Now, most recently, John Paczkowski over at AllThingsD reports that Apple, with help from Sharp, is cooking up some Apple TVs -- actual televisions -- not what Apple TV is in it's current incarnation.

It's the logical next step for Apple's goal of a fully-integrated entertainment ecosystem. These plans are not surprising. The question really is, why wouldn't Apple redesign the television experience?

This is exciting news. Imagine a television experience that doesn't involve convoluted remote controls and overly complex on-screen menus.

What isn't exciting is this piece from Paczkowski's post (my emphasis):

But what form it will take remains a mystery -- one that the entire TV industry is evidently eager to solve. "Based on our discussions, interestingly other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do," says Misek. "They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat footed by Apple."

What would be great is if these other TV manufacturers weren't 'scrambling' to cobble together something half-assed, but had a clear vision for a fun and intuitive television experience. Something they personally would love to use in their own homes.

It brings to mind a great quote by Steve Jobs (in his biography by Walter Isaacson):

The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don't really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally loved music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you're doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you're not going to cheese out. If you don't love something, your not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.

History keeps repeating itself and it's getting annoying. Apple introduces a new product, the industry reacts, they copy, but by the time they turn their enormous ships in the right direction, it's too late.

Repeat ad infinitum.

It's getting old.

The 99th

By Jory Kruspe on November 27, 2011 5:32 PM

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Protect the Brand

By Bryan Larrick on November 27, 2011 11:48 AM

Frank Bruni of the New York Times weighed in this weekend on another arena of American life where form has overtaken substance. From the article:

Is all of this hot air [disingenuous political ads, quote mining, etc.] part of a broader climate of unprincipled hucksterism? As a country we've shifted emphasis from goods to services, manufacturing to marketing, and everyone natters on about the importance of brand rather than the quality of product — about the sell rather than the substance.

Do You Like Me?

By Michael Mulvey on November 26, 2011 12:27 AM

It's not every day you see Fugazi featured on the homepage of NYTimes.com:

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From the article:

Less known was that the band fastidiously recorded almost every concert. After letting audio tapes for more than 800 shows languish in a closet for years, Fugazi has begun putting them all on its Web site, with the first batch of 130 shows going up next Thursday.

In keeping with its commercial principles of low prices and trust in fans, the shows' suggested price is $5 each, with a sliding scale of $1 to $100, for the cheap or the philanthropic.

Badass.

I loved Fugazi growing up. Still do.

*If you you're confused about the title of this post, try this.

Philip

By Jory Kruspe on November 25, 2011 12:18 PM

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Indie

By Jory Kruspe on November 23, 2011 9:34 PM

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Stand up and declare your independence from corporate chains, mass-produced products, and uninspired junk. #ShopIndie this holiday season to experience the satisfaction of owning a unique item, made with love and attention, direct from the artist themselves.

via Big Cartel

Zero to Sixty Lattes in 3 seconds.

By Michael Mulvey on November 21, 2011 11:53 AM

This is what happens when a 1950's hot rod has sex with an espresso machine:

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It's the Kees Van Der Westen Mirage Veloce.

via Chromeography

Just Another Day in the Park

By Bryan Larrick on November 18, 2011 12:20 PM

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via The Day After You Die

The Kindle Fire

By Michael Mulvey on November 18, 2011 10:08 AM

Marco Arment tried out the Kindle Fire and loves it:

I expected the Kindle Fire to be a compelling iPad alternative, but I can't call it delightful, fun, or pleasant to use. Quite the opposite, actually: using the Fire is frustrating and unpleasant, and it feels like work.

For most people, every other computer in their life feels like work, and they don't need another one.

It's not an iPad competitor or alternative. It's not the same kind of device at all. And, whatever it is, it's a bad version of it.

That's probably all you need to know about the Kindle Fire. Below is a detailed account of the issues I ran into, but I won't take offense if you're burnt out on long Kindle Fire reviews and stop here.

One of my coworkers happened to bring his new Fire in to the office yesterday and I got to do a little test drive and I came to a similar conclusion as Marco. The device is just meh. It's ok. It does the job. There's nothing delightful about the device. Aside from smooth scrolling on the content 'carousel' on the main screen, everything else on the device is choppy.

The Kindle Fire is mediocre in every aspect, from Human Experience to motion and transitions.

As with the HP Touchpad, I was hoping for a real contender to the iPad. But like the Touchpad, the execution is poor.

Because I want to fit in.

By Michael Mulvey on November 17, 2011 12:37 PM

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via iwdrm

Internet Gurus

By Michael Mulvey on November 17, 2011 11:07 AM

Keel's

By Jory Kruspe on November 17, 2011 11:07 AM

keels diary

In a world where products are out as soon as they're in, where communicating without wires doesn't come without strings, and even our accessories need accessories, we need simple tools. A book that helps us look inside because we are overloaded outside.

There are three reasons why most people, although they have tried, won't keep a diary:

1. Not every day is very eventful.
2. It actually takes a lot of discipline to write.
3. In retrospect, many find what they have written embarrassing.

via Taschen

Bad Artists Copy

By Michael Mulvey on November 17, 2011 9:40 AM

HP Launches Redesigned Envy 15 and 17:

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Honestly. What the fuck.

It's almost too ridiculous to do an influencer/influenced comparison.

Pollock by Hans Namuth

By Jory Kruspe on November 16, 2011 10:59 PM

Mouthful of Diamonds

By Jory Kruspe on November 16, 2011 3:01 PM

Slide To Unlock

By Michael Mulvey on November 16, 2011 2:30 PM

via PSFK

Effective as a piece of Art.

By Michael Mulvey on November 16, 2011 2:08 PM

John Gruber on spec-based reviews:

Spec-based reviews of computers and gadgets are inherently flawed, a relic of an era that's already gone. Movie reviews are about what the movie is like to watch. Is it enjoyable, is it entertaining, does it look and sound good? Imagine a movie review based on specs, where you gave points for how long it was, whether the photography is in focus, deduct points for continuity errors in the story, and then out comes a number like "7.5/10", with little to no mention about, you know, whether the movie was effective as a piece of art.

Spec-based reviews are only important to are the companies building them and geeks. Once you have the fundamentals, like battery life and memory/disk space you enter a realm where the average consumer doesn't give a shit.

Dual core, quad core, megahertz, open platform/closed platform. Bah!

Just show me how great the experience is.

I am an artist.

By Michael Mulvey on November 16, 2011 1:39 PM

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via asaucerfullofwheels

Is it Over?

By Jory Kruspe on November 16, 2011 1:37 PM

Stop The Fight

By Jory Kruspe on November 16, 2011 11:21 AM

Occupy HTML

occupyhtml.org

You can never have enough exhaust pipes.

By Michael Mulvey on November 16, 2011 10:26 AM

I'd like to welcome Bryan Larrick to Daily Exhaust. I owe him for catching many of my typos and grammar errors over the years on this site.

In addition to being a gifted front-end developer, he writes on a variety of topics on his site, Missile Test (he's got a penchant for shitty movies). He's also a pretty awesome photographer.

He scores extra points for the fact that shoots with analogue film on a Holga, a Minolta SR-T and a Mamiya.

Leam to Kem

By Jory Kruspe on November 15, 2011 11:15 PM

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via Able Parris

Influencer/Influenced

By Jory Kruspe on November 15, 2011 10:40 PM

Influencer: Sony DVD Remote, 1999

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Influenced: Apple iPod, 2001

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Tea, Earl Grey, Hot

By Bryan Larrick on November 15, 2011 1:50 PM

A couple days ago, the New York Times published a post on its Bits blog by Nick Bilton about the disruptive effects 3-D printers are set to have on product design. From the post:

It won't be long before people have a 3-D printer sitting at home alongside its old inkjet counterpart. These 3-D printers, some already costing less than a computer did in 1999, can print objects by spraying layers of plastic, metal or ceramics into shapes. People can download plans for an object, hit print, and a few minutes later have it in their hands.

The thought of being able to torrent household objects is a game changer not only in design, but also in retail, ownership and copyright, Bilton feels. Is this the death of manufacturing? The death of stores? Will refills for a 3-D printer's jets be the only physical thing we will need to buy in the near future? In many ways it's a chilling prospect.

We're already seeing the deleterious effects on creativity that digital conversion of music, books, movies, etc., has wrought. It's harder to make a living these days being creative. If it can be disseminated, it will. Money that would normally go to a creator instead never enters into the transaction. This is less of a problem for big time projects like blockbuster movies, but pirating has cut off much of the funds that smaller projects need to keep their creators out of an office.

But all that is kid stuff compared to what Bilton hinted at. The death of retail and the death of ownership, while not inherently bad things on their own, represent a fundamental shift in how we've ordered capitalism and western society. This shift will alter the interrelations we have that keep us fed, sheltered, and prosperous. We are a people that trade. First goods and services, then metal and paper money, then zeros and ones. That could all go away.

Once upon a time, it was pure science fiction to think that we could get whatever we wanted out of a box on a shelf. It seemed like a little bit of paradise. In the future, there would be no war, no prejudice, no injustice, and no want of either material necessities or food. It's a compelling pastiche. Will our reality be so enlightened? I hate to be a pessimist, but war, prejudice, and injustice look like they are here to stay. And want? 3-D printers, on their face, look like a sure fire way to tackle the problems of deprivation. But before we get too far ahead, remember that these printers do not spin objects out of whole cloth. Even the most advanced 3-D printers that are realistically possible require raw materials to function.

So we're on the cusp of a new way of life. Will 3-D printers mean the end of want? Will they mean the major economies of the world will move completely into the digital realm? Will they mean control of raw materials will pass to a small power elite? Will they result in a lack of motivation among the populace to produce anything at all for themselves? We will not know the answers for decades, but home manufacturing will change how we live more than anything that has come out of the information revolution before it.

Sony's Design Problems

By Michael Mulvey on November 15, 2011 12:12 PM

Rob Beschizza over at Boing Boing takes a look at Sony's new Vaio X and how they keep monkeying with their product features, like the keyboard:

The computer keyboard isn't a place where radical UI design changes are desirable. To extend the marketing metaphor, it's like the typeface of a book. You're stuck with the same old alphabet, in the same configuration, and your job is to preserve its usefulness while investing the work with with a certain character. The smart choice is to design something good and stick with it.

But Sony does not. The changes to the chiclet keys in the Vaio Z, however slight, show that it can't even refine its own winning ideas. It's as if Sony was using Helvetica before almost everyone else, then switched to Arial when the world followed suit.

I see the same behavior in the Android market, where new models get released each month and very few companes bother to stick with a phone and refine it, over and over again until it's amazing.

Charity

By Michael Mulvey on November 15, 2011 8:48 AM

Bill Gates wants to get rural Vietnam online:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided the donation, alongside $3.64 million worth of Microsoft software, towards a $50.6 million government initiative that is expected to provide basic computer skills and the benefits of the Internet to 760,000 people in the Southeast Asian country.

The project will see 12,070 Internet-ready computers set up at 1,900 public libraries (65 percent of the country's total) in 40 of Vietnam's most disadvantaged provinces. The price of access to the computers, which will be available for local Vietnamese to use until 2016, is varied with some free to use and others reportedly set to charge 50 percent less than typical local Internet cafe rates.

Donating software is nice, but you need hardware too. And the best form factor is the tablet, and since Microsoft still doesn't have a Windows 8 tablet on the market, I say he buy and donate some Android tablets and some iPads.

After watching the video of Gates Jory posted last week, I'm sure he totally be down with the idea.

I mean, he says it himself in the video, that tablets and technology is "no longer his area of expertise".

Do what's right, Bill.

More

By Michael Mulvey on November 14, 2011 10:14 AM

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via Modern Mechanix

Pictures Under *Bendy* Glass

By Michael Mulvey on November 14, 2011 9:27 AM

Last month Microsoft treated us another one of their future-vision videos they love to do, since solving mobile and tablet computing in the present is so damn hard.

Not to be out-done, Nokia has released their own future-vision short.

I'd love to hear what Bret Victor thinks about this one.

via PSFK

Sprockets

By Jory Kruspe on November 13, 2011 10:57 AM

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Featuring a super-wide angle lens, this panoramic analog camera captures the width of film including the sprockets. Each frame is 106 degrees, the length of two standard 35mm frames.

via MoMA Store

Sad Story Of The Snowman

By Jory Kruspe on November 12, 2011 7:07 PM

http://☁→❄→☃→☀→☺→☂→☹→✝.ws

A bittersweet tale told with an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)

Chanel N°5

By Jory Kruspe on November 11, 2011 9:00 PM

Originally posted November 28, 2009 on Analogue

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There is more to this than meets to eye. The design of Chanel N°5 is stunning and the delivery of the film is flawless. But there is more to it. As many people have probably noticed, Audrey Tautou is playing a very integral role in the campaigns for Chanel lately. She is the perfect choice to grace the pages of Vogue and help in promoting the most recognizable fragrance in the world. Her image exudes grace, class, and beauty.

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Audrey also plays a very important role in the recently released film titled Coco Before Chanel. She plays the role of Coco Chanel herself and she does not disappoint. She seems naturally suited to the role of Coco and one only needs to look at early photos of Coco to see that the resemblance is uncanny.

The fact that she has been cast as Coco in a feature film, while at the same time being the image of the fragrance is sheer brilliance. It is an intelligent approach to something that could have been much less effective. Chanel could have easily decided to cast her in ads and a film that just mirrored the feature film that she is starring in—but they did not. Instead they showcased her in a completely different light and created an entirely different story around the fragrance.

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It is in my opinion that the American-style approach to this would have been to tie the movie into the marketing of the fragrance in a much more obvious manner. Instead, the approach that was taken is much more intelligent, subtle, and thoughtful.

So what am I getting at here? I am trying to demonstrate that although there are many examples of great website designs that are visually and aesthetically stunning—it seems that the ideas and thought process behind them get left behind. This could have been an obvious cross-promotion campaign just like the countless others we all encounter, instead it tells another story. It demonstrates the undercurrents that are behind the success of many online experiences.

Coco

By Jory Kruspe on November 11, 2011 5:12 PM

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Mike for CEO

By Jory Kruspe on November 11, 2011 3:56 PM

From Mike:

...it is clear that we did not do a good job of communicating why we are are making this shift in strategy. I know how frustrating this has been for the Flash community, and for that I want to apologize. Our goal was to be very clear about WHAT we were doing, but in doing so, we didn't pay enough attention to explaining WHY we were doing it.

Read More

This begs the question: Why aren't people like Mike at the boardroom table and helping to communicate to the public?

I vote for Mike Chambers as CEO of Adobe.

Say hello to the new empire.

By Michael Mulvey on November 11, 2011 3:05 PM

From Electronista:

The iPhone 4S sold out in Hong Kong even faster than previously thought, a memo from Ticonderoga Securities' Brian White indicates. The analyst claims that both the city's Apple Store and all authorized resellers sold out within a space of three hours; Apple's local online store states that there is "no supply" of the phone left. Earlier accounts had just the Apple Store selling out by lunchtime.

China isn't just going to be a huge market for Apple, but for every big company.

People who have been saying the mobile battle between Android and iOS is going to be like desktop battle between the Mac and Windows — and that Apple is going to lose again — have it all wrong.

So many variables have changed since then, it's a completely different game.

Remember

By Jory Kruspe on November 11, 2011 11:00 AM


Today on this 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year, we pause to remember the fallen.

May they rest in peace.

Sliding Faces

By Michael Mulvey on November 11, 2011 10:20 AM

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via The Next Web

The Best Way

By Michael Mulvey on November 11, 2011 10:07 AM

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In 1968 Alan Kay concepted the Dynabook, a device we would today consider a laptop/tablet computer.

Florian Schmitt

By Jory Kruspe on November 10, 2011 10:29 PM

I think it's one of the goals we have in our work—to create something that is memorable—to create a moment that you might remember.

Moon River

By Jory Kruspe on November 10, 2011 9:54 PM

Still one of my all-time favourites.

Trucks

By Michael Mulvey on November 10, 2011 12:16 PM

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via the D8 Conference (around the 44 minute mark)

Apps

By Jory Kruspe on November 10, 2011 11:25 AM

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Ingredients

• 8 slices of ciabatta bread
• 1 clove of garlic
• extra virgin olive oil
• 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
• a small handful of fresh basil leaves
• zest of 1 lemon

With everyone building apps these days, I thought I might share this tasty recipe for all to enjoy and build.

Still Occupied

By Michael Mulvey on November 10, 2011 10:01 AM

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Pictures Under Glass

By Michael Mulvey on November 9, 2011 12:33 PM

Bret Victor, former human-interface inventor at Apple, intelligently rants about the future of interaction design. Inspired, in part, by Microsoft's wonderfully banal concept video that's been making the the rounds on the web this past few months:

As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I'm a little skeptical of, given that I've actually tried them and the animators presumably haven't. But that's not my problem with the video.

My problem is the opposite, really -- this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It's a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible.

via @stevenbjohnson

There has to be a better way

By Jory Kruspe on November 9, 2011 12:06 PM

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Khoi

By Michael Mulvey on November 9, 2011 11:49 AM

If you have a skill that allows you to make things, I think it's really important to not let those muscles atrophy.

—Khoi Vinh

Khoi Vinh - on the grid from The Color Machine on Vimeo.

1028 People

By Michael Mulvey on November 9, 2011 11:26 AM

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From The Society of Publication Designers (via FishbowlNY)

State of the Obvious

By Jory Kruspe on November 9, 2011 10:57 AM

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via Mash Creative

The end of Flash on mobile. Much respect.

By Michael Mulvey on November 9, 2011 8:42 AM

ZDNet: Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash (via MG Siegler)

It was only a matter of time:

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.

I know. Adobe wanted to prove Steve Jobs wrong after Apple made their technical decision not to support Flash on the iPhone. Instead of seeing Steve's point of view, they decided to act like a teenage girl, screaming and crying about this atrocity. In addition to all the money they pissed away trying to shoe-horn Flash onto Android phones, they took out full-page ads saying "We ♥ Apple". Very cute.

Now here we are, four years after the debut of the iPhone and Adobe finally concedes defeat. Imagine all the money and resources they could have saved if they had managed things differently. Perhaps they could have avoided the 2,000+ layoffs they've had in the last 3 years.

I'm indulging in some schadenfreude at Adobe's expense, but it doesn't change the fact that Flash has been an extremely powerful tool which has allowed me and many other interactive designers to express ourselves and create truly immersive experiences and applications.

Even today, HTML5 still does not provide the level of granular control and fluidity that Flash does for desktop experiences.

It's necessary we as interactive professionals keep up with technologies and frameworks like HTML5, but it's also just as necessary companies like Adobe lower the barrier for entry by making tools that allow creative people to focus on creating experiences and not getting bogged down in the minutia of code.

The web is an amazing canvas to work on. If you're taking away our Flash paint brush, you have to replace it with a tool of equal power for expression.

On Democracy

By Jory Kruspe on November 8, 2011 11:01 PM

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via AllThingsD

The Box

By Jory Kruspe on November 8, 2011 9:32 PM

The box was a fascist symbol and the architecture of freedom and democracy needed something besides the box. So I started out to destroy the box as a building.
—Frank Lloyd Wright

via Analogue

Not Human

By Jory Kruspe on November 8, 2011 9:22 PM

A human would answer that question when asked. Tablets are a Windows phenomenon? Who knew?

Bass Folk Song

By Michael Mulvey on November 8, 2011 4:37 PM

Smokin' Joe

By Michael Mulvey on November 8, 2011 10:08 AM

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Joe Frazier, dead at 67.

One Step Closer

By Jory Kruspe on November 7, 2011 10:34 PM

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I originally wrote this piece back in 2009. With Apple recently introducing Siri, it is interesting to go back and read what I wrote:

The posting of specific product launches or reviews of these products is not something that deserves a spot on this site--we'll leave that to the engagets of the world. So it is with some apprehension that I make a post specifically focusing on the new iPod Shuffle and what it represents not only to Apple, but to people in general. After all--it's the people that end up using these products.

Apple announced its new iPod Shuffle with less media spectacle and usual hoopla that follows much of its product line. It has been a pattern that I have started to notice, and that is the fact that there seems to be a lot more to the products that receive less attention. There always seems to be a lot of things that go missed by the mainstream reviewers, and less thought into these patterns that keep appearing. There is more to this phone--oops, I mean iPod--than meets the eye.

This new iPod Shuffle is a culmination of many technologies that have been championed by Apple over the years. One of the key elements that is missing from this new device is a physical interface contained on the unit. This has now been placed on the headphone cord and now makes it very easy to control, using various clicking combinations. The other bit of technology to accompany this addition is the use of voiceover to alert people as to the name of track and artist that is playing in their headphones--this was something that was lacking in previous models of the iPod Shuffle. With all this said, there is a reason for it, and it's not just to sell more units. This is one step closer to the perfect interface and the perfect phone--oops, I mean iPod.

This iPod demonstrates a device that is not only less intrusive to use, but it is a device that is completely accessible to visually impaired people. The use of the headphone controls along with the voice feedback on the device, make it something that opens up the doors to people who could not enjoy the full experience of the screen-based iPod. These people can now navigate tracks and receive feedback as to what content is playing, giving them an experience in a mainstream music device that has not been achieved before.

This furthers Apple's quest for the perfect interface, the interface that doesn't have somebody bound to the use of a screen, but can offer an experience that is just as enjoyable--or maybe even more enjoyable. Only time will tell, but I think this represents a movement into a realm never seen before.

For those of you that know me--you know that I have always talked about how I would like to see somebody put a screen-less phone to market. There have been attempts by some companies to do it, but nothing that has produced good results. I think Apple has an opportunity to do it, and to actually pull it off.

The addition of the voiceover technology makes me think about voice coming from the other direction. I don't mean the lousy attempts by other companies to integrate voice commands into their devices, I mean a system that actually works. A system that would allow people to place calls through the use of their voice, along with being able to go through their address book and place calls. We may not be able to get rid of the phone keypad, but just imagine a phone/iPod that was contained in a pair of headphones. It may not be that far off.

Thanks for listening and keep on heeding.

The Quiet Place

By Jory Kruspe on November 7, 2011 2:14 PM

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the quiet place

The iPad's got nothing on this.

By Michael Mulvey on November 7, 2011 12:26 PM

The iPad has nothing on this:

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The Furs

By Jory Kruspe on November 7, 2011 10:50 AM

Broadway Sunrise

By Michael Mulvey on November 7, 2011 9:08 AM

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Before I Die

By Michael Mulvey on November 6, 2011 1:28 PM

From Candy Chang:

It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you. With help from old and new friends, Candy turned the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans into a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them. Stenciled with the sentence "Before I die I want to _______", the wall became a space where we could learn the hopes and dreams of the people around us. Before I Die transformed a neglected space into a constructive one to help improve our neighborhood and our personal well-being. It's a question that changed her over the last year after she lost someone she loved very much.

Fucking beautiful. Just goes to show you the power of street art in the right hands.

I've failed over and over and over again

By Michael Mulvey on November 6, 2011 1:19 PM

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

—Michael Jordan

via Alex Rainert

OBEY COPENHAGEN

By Jory Kruspe on November 6, 2011 1:19 PM

The show itself was a huge success but a lot of crazy stuff happened along the way. The following videos are a very honest look at the highs and lows of the experience.

Design is a job.

By Michael Mulvey on November 6, 2011 1:11 PM

A new book from A Book Apart by Mike Monteiro.

Yes, that Mike Monteiro.

Type Club

By Jory Kruspe on November 6, 2011 12:53 PM

Type Club

via buamai

Maserati A6 GCS Pininfarina

By Michael Mulvey on November 6, 2011 12:40 PM

To wash out the Corvair taste in my mouth, here's one of the most beautifully designed cars I've ever seen.

via Good Old Valves

Android - Unsafe At Any Speed

By Michael Mulvey on November 6, 2011 11:11 AM

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Motorola is launching an Android-based TV controller and it's called the ... Corvair?

As in the rear-engined, proned-to-spinout, Chevrolet model that Time magazine voted one of the 50 Worst Cars of All Time?

As in the car Ralph Nader included in his book, Unsafe at Any Speed?

The Verge says this is the codename, implying they'll launch with a different name. Let's hope so.

*Next thing you know, Samsung will be launching a new Android tablet called the Pinto.

Try Again

By Jory Kruspe on November 5, 2011 10:50 PM

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via designedmemory

Lunor

By Jory Kruspe on November 5, 2011 3:23 PM

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The recently released biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs isn't the only thing that's selling well in recent weeks. Apparently shoppers are snatching up the tech icon's favorite eyeglasses too.

via news.cnet.com

No Bills

By Michael Mulvey on November 4, 2011 3:53 PM

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Could you wake up as a different person?

By Michael Mulvey on November 4, 2011 10:41 AM

via IWDRM

Winklevii

By Michael Mulvey on November 4, 2011 7:53 AM

At this point I've read and seen enough about the Winklevii to last me a few lifetimes, but this article in Vanity Fair was (another) interesting look into their minds.

Like why they won't let up:

In my opinion, it's all about how much pain you can make the other guy feel," said Dan Walsh, another Olympic rower, when asked to explain the lure of a sport that offers neither fame nor fortune, and why two highly advantaged individuals would spend their 20s pursuing it--the Winklevosses were then weeks away from their 30th birthday. "It's about trying to break him."

And the power of this new strategy is that it requires only modest success to get the Winklevosses what they want, which is not control of Facebook, but rather to cause Mark Zuckerberg pain measurable in pride and money, and through this pain to avenge their own ideal selves by asserting their will over his.

I ❤ Analogue

By Jory Kruspe on November 4, 2011 7:37 AM

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Bringing analogue back to the movies with a bang in the 21st century, the LomoKino is a Lomography movie camera that shoots short, creative movies on 35mm film

iRock

By Michael Mulvey on November 2, 2011 1:53 PM

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Available on Etsy from GreenTape.

From the creator:

The wood in this dock is cherry from the Black Cherry Tree, Prunus serotina Ehrh., which has been prized by woodworkers for centuries due to its beauty and woodworking qualitites. Cherry trees are widespread in the eastern half of the United States and the wood is considered by many to be the premier furniture wood in North America. The leaves in the picture are from a cherry tree. The wood insert is finished with several coats of orange oil and beeswax.

The actual wood used here is from small pieces a cabinet maker gave me about 20 years ago. I knew I would use it one day!

It takes me several hours, a dozen tools and over 30 steps to create these docks. Did I already say they were painstakingly made?

via The Next Web

Midnight City

By Jory Kruspe on November 2, 2011 1:49 PM

Last week M83 released their latest album. As a child growing up in the 80's, the sound of M83 really resonates with me. It has that 80's feel—but at the same time—a sense of timelessness.

I was fortunate to take in an M83 show a few years back:

A Red Ocean for Nokia and Microsoft

By Michael Mulvey on November 2, 2011 1:20 PM

Dan Frommer asks the key 'why' questions about Windows Mobile phones from Nokia:

  • Why should any person buy this instead of an iPhone or the preferred Android phone du jour?
  • Why should carriers favor Windows phones over Android or Apple phones, in either their in-store sales techniques and marketing?
  • Why should carriers or consumers favor Nokia Windows phones over similar Windows phones from Samsung, HTC, etc.?
  • Why should developers make apps for Windows or Nokia phones?

Windows Mobile phones are swimming a red ocean.

So what is a 'red ocean' you ask?

From Wikipedia:

Red Oceans are all the industries in existence today--the known market space. In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. Here companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of product or service demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities or niche, and cutthroat competition turns the ocean bloody. Hence, the term red oceans.

Red oceans are the opposite of blue oceans:

Blue oceans, in contrast, denote all the industries not in existence today--the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. Blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider, deeper potential of market space that is not yet explored.

Apple established the *new* smartphone paradigm (full touchscreen, no keyboard, multitouch UI) with the launch of the iPhone in 2007 that Google subsequently copied with Android. Apple's modus operandi since Jobs returned has been about focusing on blue oceans. Untapped markets.

Now Microsoft and Nokia are entering the market with the Windows Phone 7 platform, a platform that introduces a unique approach to the user interface.

Despite their fresh approach, they're still in a red ocean. Boundaries and known and rules are understood and as Frommer notes, they're going to continue to have a hard time distinguishing themselves in this already crowded market.

Ground Vs. Cloud

By Michael Mulvey on November 2, 2011 11:38 AM

Randy Murray thinks about cloud computing and the end of updates:

We've already gone past the point where we have to go out and buy updates on discs. Now we download and update. And soon your device will update itself as it sits unused.

For some this may be frightening. We need to think long and hard about trusting all of our data to others. We need to think seriously about maintaining our own media and backups.

While he expresses caution, overall he's excited about the freedom such a move to the cloud affords us.

I too am pro-cloud, and currently use iCloud and DropBox on a regular basis, but I'm also cognizant of what I sync. I'm also not a criminal, so I don't worry about being *caught* doing something.

As I've written about before, though, I'm also I strong believer in keeping things on the Ground as well as in the Cloud. My music files, my photos, my videos, my documents, my designs -- all my stuff is in my possession on my own external hard drives. On the ground.

Co.Exist

By Jory Kruspe on November 2, 2011 10:30 AM

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Co.Exist is a Fast Company initiative that focuses in on ideas and innovation that are changing the world.

The editor of the site describes it like this:

This site is focused on groundbreaking innovation, innovation that's going to change the way we live and the resources we use. We're for brash and creative solutions, that make everyone rich while helping the people of the world lead lovely, clean, and fulfilling lives.

We look forward to making this a Daily reading at the Exhaust.

Dry

By Michael Mulvey on November 1, 2011 9:03 PM

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Wax seals and letterpressed identities via Graphic Exchange

Movies Vs. Reality

By Michael Mulvey on November 1, 2011 3:37 PM

Microsoft is a company run by engineers. Engineers love science fiction, right? (ok, I do too)

So instead of focusing on the technology issues of today they make movies about possible tomorrows.

It's fun, but it doesn't pay the bills.

No, that ugly, bloated non-future-y Office and Windows pay the bills.

* see also Daring Fireball, here, here and here.

The rest is history.

By Jory Kruspe on November 1, 2011 2:30 PM

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(image via thisisnthappiness.com)

For over half a century now Hasselblad has been proud to offer the world's most comprehensive system for medium format photography. The basic idea behind our system - combining a love of photography with a mastery of technology - is as valid today as it was in 1948 when the first Hasselblad camera was introduced. And we intend to keep it that way.

Lightness

By Michael Mulvey on November 1, 2011 12:13 PM

We as designers strive for our solutions to be elegant, so what's interesting about this story is how it seems to suggest that the most elegant solution, in certain situations, might not be creating anything new at all. Lightness is to be found in substitution or recomposing, not in rote addition.
- Frank Chimero

Eames

By Michael Mulvey on November 1, 2011 11:47 AM

A new documentary on Charles and Ray Eames is already making it's way around the States.

via kottke

Crap of the World

By Michael Mulvey on November 1, 2011 11:08 AM

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Mainstream Type Talk

By Jory Kruspe on November 1, 2011 7:49 AM

Simon Garfield was recently interviewed on the CBC about his new book Just My Type: A Book about Fonts.

Conversations about Typography have usually lurked in the shadows. This is the first interview I have come across that takes the talk into the mainstream.

Here is the interview:

or

Here

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