hand cursor alternates

After the hugely successful Hand & Arrow Cursors post that went viral a few weeks ago thanks to swissmiss and Michael Surtees, I decided to follow up with a iconographic exercise with the OS X ‘Mickey Mouse glove’ hand cursor.

hand cursor alternates

There’s 9 12 versions of the hand:

  1. standard OS X, roll-over-link hand
  2. thumbs up
  3. thumbs down
  4. fist (or ‘grab’ state)
  5. the finger (you know which one)
  6. The ‘hang-ten’, or alternately – the I-hold-my-drink-like-a-nancy hand
  7. the rock-n-roll hand
  8. the spidey-web-spinning-hand (swappable with the rock-n-roll hand)
  9. the talk-to-the-hand hand, or stop-right-there hand
  10. A-OK
  11. Fingers crossed
  12. peace sign download them all here as a PSD.

UPDATE: I’ve added a fourth row of additional icons.

I’ve gotten a few requests already for the *shocker version. I’d like to keep this post PG-rated. I think there’s enough reference material to make your own versions. 🙂

hand cursor alternates


Web Design


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hey Wired, craigslist is fine the way it is

Gary Wolf is missing the point over at Wired.com in his piece, Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess.
Some people – be it developers, media outlets or plain consumers – have a big problem if you don’t play by certain rules.
We heard outcries from frustrated developers who pleaded (and still plead) with Apple to open up it’s iPhone platform. How can Apple not see the benefits of an open platform?! Google’s doing it, why can’t you?
Or how about the stories that circulated earlier this year with bewilderment that the founders of Twitter didn’t want to sell the company just yet, they want to develop and mature their company. You’re not going to sell out to Google, are you MAD?!
Now comes another whining rant about craigslist (CL). What is Wolf’s beef with CL? He citing numerous supposed ‘problems’ but the big ones were:
– it scorns advertisers
– doesn’t charge to use their service
– they banish third party sites who ‘scrape’ their site
– they have no API or mobile applications
Wolf on craigslist’s inner workings:

Many people who have heard Newmark’s public remarks find the ideals admirable but difficult to apply. What would such an approach mean in practice? His cause is not helped by the fact that if the craigslist management style resembles any political system, it is not democracy but rather a low-key popular dictatorship. Its inner workings are obscure, it publishes no account of its income or expenses, it has no obligation to respond to criticism, and all authority rests in the hands of a single man. Ask Newmark about any feature you would like to see on craigslist and you will always get the same response …”Ask Jim,” he says.

In short – they’re not like everyone else. Well isn’t that the fucking point? As is mentioned in the article, it’s projected that CL’s revenue could approach $100 million for 2009.
They might be a mess, but for a company of 30 people pulling in tens of millions of dollars a year, I’ll take that kind of mess any day.

On Design

Wired’s article is accompanied by redesigns of the site by a few prominent designers, such as Khoi Vihn, design director at the NYTimes.com. The redesign project reminds me of their 2004 Googlemania project where they asked also asked 4 designers to redo the Google homepage.
Both these redesign challenges were exercises in futility.
While some of the redesign efforts do a good job at providing more structure, heirarchy and clarity to the ordinary-looking CL (such as Vihn’s), some are just cute, showboating one-offs (like Pentagram’s).
Wolf on CL’s design:

Besides offering nearly all of its features for free, it scorns advertising, refuses investment, ignores design, and does not innovate. [my bolding]

I feel about CL the same way Jason at 37Signals feels about the Drudge Report:

To clarify, my definition of design goes beyond aesthetic qualities and into areas of maintenance, cost, profitability, speed, and purpose. However, I still think that the Drudge Report is an aesthetic masterpiece even though I also consider it ugly. Can good design also be ugly? I think Drudge proves it can.

Here’s the thing – craigslist doesn’t need a redesign. While I can appreciate redesign efforts like Vhin’s, they’re a want, not a need. Real design goes far beyond fonts and colors. Design is about how something works and for all it’s spam, seemingly loose structure, and scams – craigslist works damn good.




no more sirius

So after 3 years, I’ve canceled my Sirius Satellite Radio account. Despite my cancellation, I think Sirius offers a great service, just not one that syncs with my lifestyle.
First off, I’ve been back in NYC since 2006, and not driving nearly as much as I was down in Miami for a year. While I could get a docking unit for my home/office, I can also do a lot more things than I could in 2006.
To beat a dead horse some more, the iPhone is the device that has “changed everything” and made Sirius irrelevant to me. Not only can I still listen to my iTunes tracks in the car (as I could before with my iPod), I can also listen to music from last.fm and Pandora …for free. Yes, I can now download the Sirius iPhone app, but I still need a membership.
Sure I’m going to miss Howard Stern, but it’s just not worth $14/month anymore.


iPhone – big in Japan or not?

I’ve had this post waiting to be written for a few months now. Luckily, the time that has elapsed since the articles I’m referencing have been written haven’t made this post any less relevant. Note that the Wired article I reference has since been updated by their editor due to a lot of reader feedback.
I understand when you’re writing for the media, it’s temping to inject your headlines and article titles with a lot of hyperbole. Depending on who your employer is, many times it gets you more hits (and more money).
I came across this article on Wired.com back in February, Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone.
Pretty bold title …was it true? The writer, Brian Chen cites out-of-whack pricing plans, high and complex standards of users and lack of a TV tuner as the larger hurdles Apple is up against.
Fair enough. I am well aware that Japan has pioneered in many technology markets (but not necessarily innovated) and are far ahead of us in many respects.
But a few months later I came across this article at Electronista, iPhone dominates Japanese smartphone market.
They write:

The iPhone is currently the best-selling smartphone in Japan, at least at retail, according to a recent survey. Gathered by research firm BCN, data from 2,300 stores shows the 8GB iPhone 3G as the most popular smartphone, followed by its 16GB sibling.


The Japanese iPhone is carried by Softbank, which is said to have adjusted its plans to make the product cheaper in terms of fees and hardware. The iPhone may also be benefiting from a relatively static local market, which has little incentive to develop new features beyond items like better cameras, sharper displays and mobile TV.

Now the Wired article was written 26 Feb 2009, and the Electronista article was written on 3 Jul 2009. What I can surmise from these two articles is either:
A) Brian Chen at Wired.com is full of shit and the Japanese don’t hate the iPhone
B) Consumer opinion of the iPhone has changed dramatically in the 5 months since the Wired article was written due to Softbank’s ‘adjustments’ mentioned in the Electronista article. Consumer opinion changed so much so that they went uout and bought enough iPhones to make it the #1 smartphone in Japan.
If B) is the case, that’s a pretty impressive 360 degree turn in consumer opinion.
Whatever the case may be, always try be well-informed on news – be it political, technological, social or artistic.



I came across a post (what blog, I can’t remember) about a collaborative duo called Sing Statistics. Here is the cover of their new book, We Are the Friction:
The cover of their book immediately brought to mind one of my favorite contemporary designers, Nicolas Felton, who has a recognizable all-caps, stacked-type style to his work (work that is predominately focused on statistics and data visualizations).
This is his autobiographic Annual Report for 2007:
Without speaking with Sing Statistics, I have no way to determine if they’re aware of Felton’s work. My goal is also not to call out Sing as copycats (And Felton doesn’t own the copyright on thin-condensed-all-caps-stacked-type).
The point of this post is more to educate and acknowledge the continuum on which we all work – no matter what medium it is. Influence is inevitable and important to the growth of artists and designers.
I find this urge to educate people on influences and origins in music as well, especially to younger generations who are unaware of baselines, riffs, remixes and covers based on songs that came before their time. I’m particularly amazed at ‘hardcore’ hip hop fans who have no idea the amount of sampling there has been of James Brown and much of the 60’s Motown generation.


Art, Music


learnin’ somethin new every day

For the last 4 days I’ve been in Chicago for my company’s (Roundarch) annual summer event. Since my flight back to NYC wasn’t until Sunday, I decided to visit the the Art Institute of Chicago. Having not been there before I wanted to see how well their claim of ‘being one of the largest collections of Impressionist artwork’ held up.
Truth be told, their collection is amazing, but being the weirdo I am, I became distracted with an object I kept seeing in various rooms of the museum:
As I took a closer look at the device, I realized it was used for tracking humidity and temperature over a large span of time using a needle to register fluctuations on a large spool of paper like a seismometer (for tracking earthquake activity).
How friggin cool.
I did some quick digging and found the company who makes these hygrothermographs, Oakion.


Art, Education


it was worth it

from my email tonight:

Searching forever to find Mac OSX cursor icons. Found’em on
Combustion Chamber! Thanx. – Erica I.

I said this post would have been worth it if I helped at least one person.
It was.
…These daily hits on that pages haven’t hurt either:





Bryan has some great new missiles up on his site, including this Scud:

Humankind has a finite existence on the earth. In order for that existence to become indefinite, something that is no longer bound by the rules of our solar system, we must make a second home away from the comfortable confines of the earth. This isn’t science fiction. It’s basic logic.

One Giant Leap And Then…Nothing


Education, Technology


i tawt a taw a pooty tat

Just a reminder I’m on Twitter (been since ’07).
It’s where I post exhaust that doesn’t warrant a full blog post.
I guess you could consider them more like solid backfires that full exhaust streams.
I usually make it worth my while, and yours.


Film, Technology


it’s what I do

Michael Mulvey, photo booth, 2009.jpg
I’ve been addicted to photo booths since college. They’re not as common as they used to be so I’ve been able to keep my addiction under control.
Then I met my wife, and found out she had the same addiction.
UPDATE: If you’re wondering, I took these shots last week in San Francisco at the Museé Mécanique.