Exclusive: Internal Videos Show Why the Microsoft Kin Cratered ➤

This is why user testing is important! I’ve been in these before (on the other side of the two-way mirror), and the stuff you learn from real, live people using your app is invaluable. And you feel like a CIA agent which is cool/weird.

[WIRED]

Putting Metz on the Map ➤

Amazing signage/identity for the French city of Metz.

[CR Blog]

Just arrived: Sign Painters

So great.

This Month: A Good Book Drive

There is just too much good stuff in this post: Lizzy Karp (pictured above) and Cory Ashworth, along with support from Pike and great local shops like Collage Collage and WALRUS, have launched the first ever A Good Book Drive! For the month of November, purchase and drop off your favourite childhood book to any of the participating locations. These books will go to The Writer’s Exchange program, which helps kids develop and improve their literary skills. So get out there and contribute to a great cause. I’m donating a whole whack of Encyclopedia Brown books.

Books: The Case Of The 481 Page Book That Turned Out To Be 959 Pages

In my last reading post I talked about three books: “The House of Mirth”, “The Comedians”, and “The Way We Live Now”. Let’s do a run down.

– I got two pages into “The House of Mirth” and gave up. Both the language and the typography of the book were so dense that reading it was incredibly annoying. Plus the book smelled musty. Off to the Salvation Army with you.

– “The Comedians” is a fucking triumph. Intense and mesmerizing from start to finish. Read it.

– “The Way We Live Now” is like watching Coronation St, which I goddamn love, so it’s a very enjoyable book: Baronets! Lords! Debt! Commerce! Romance, both spurned and smouldering! Publishing! Sighing! It’s just so. looooong. When the giant brick of a book arrived I flipped to the back to do a page count: 481. Not an impossible read, but lengthy. I don’t like being tied to a book for too long, y’know? But the other night I was flipping through the pages rapidly and suddenly the page numbers reset midway through the book. The book is two. volumes. One is 481 pages, the other is 478. Thing is, the book is just so good that I’ll just have to keep pushing through. And I have to read it in an english accent in my head or else the prose doesn’t make sense.

Thanks god my next book doesn’t ship until late November.

 

The Play Button

Khoi Vinh made an interesting observation on his blog the other day regarding the play button for video content on the web:

I see this kind of thing a lot. As browser-delivered news integrates more and more multimedia, it’s been surprising how little editors, photographers and visual journalists pay attention to this particular detail. More often than not, the preview frame of the playable media is a headshot — just a person’s head and shoulders with a play arrow superimposed on top — and almost always unceremoniously planted right smack-dab in the middle of the person’s face. If you ask me it’s not just unflattering but it’s also frequently inappropriate, even if the subject is undergoing a colossal public shaming of the sort that Armstrong is experiencing.

He speaks about making better editorial choices in terms of the image shown, which make sense, but I think a better option is not to plop a button smack in the middle of the picture! At the top of the article! Reminds me of this hilarious screengrab from the London Games:

This would be a great Hallowe’en costume

It got me thinking about how some other sites treat their A/V content on the web. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Continue Reading →

Steely Dan Fridays: “My Old School”

The first song I look for when at karaoke. It’s never there.

Photoset’s First Time Walkthrough

This is golden. Beautifully executed. Peter Vidani has assembled one hell of a team.

Photoset

(ugh, there’s got to be a better way to display a gallery of photos in WordPress)

Steely Dan Fridays: “Your Gold Teeth”

Steely Dan Fridays: “Babylon Sister”

I know the title of the video says “Babylon Sisters”, but it is wrong. It is a singular “sister”.