Friday, April 23, 2010
The beauty of tal.ki
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The world according to Hugh
Hugh Macleod, Gaping Void, will explain life to you one card at a time.
2007 and the entire online world is in serious mode. Looking for a reason to exist. Frightfully important things are happening. Gurus from far and wide are telling anyone foolish enough to take them seriously what is good, what is bad, and what may happen tomorrow.
Dot com crash. Someone figured they had to prick the bubble, bring things back to earth, try and regain some common sense.
Out of nowhere steps Hugh Macleod. He’s a busy man, tied up in South African wine. Tied up in producing ‘cartoons on the back of business cards’.
Hugh put humour back on the agenda. Too many people being too serious.
Hugh has wit to spare. Hugh is providing the Doonesbury moment for the internet. On the back of a card.
I took to stealing them off his site. Folders full of them. Turns out I didn’t need to steal them; he was staying around for longer than your average net presence. Fact is he’s still around now. Bigger, brighter, but still with the same satire.
I remember the first time he used colour. Any Gapingvoid fan will. Very daring. Microsoft got involved. Ya get that moment when you wonder if he’s going to stay the same, or is he going to go full colour, bigger, brighter, louder, and lose the entire point.
He kept to the script and still does to this day.
You can have colour. You can own a print. The only reason I don’t is simply a matter of budget necessity. Hugh’s cards work in any size.
He wrote a book. Ignore Everybody. It contained common sense, which, as you may have noticed is a bit hard to come by these days.
Satire done good.
I am supposed to nominate a favourite card (notice how I have this thing trained not to bitch about English spelling?) – veered off there, sorry…
I am supposed to nominate a favourite card and comment on it. I have too many favourites. They change on a daily basis – mood dependent.
If you haven’t found Hugh yet you need to. If you have already you don’t need me to tell you about it.
And, remember who you are.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
but google of course
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The next generation of Google Docs
Today we are hosting nearly 400 CIOs and IT professionals from around the world at Atmosphere, our inaugural event at the Googleplex dedicated to cloud computing. The discussion is centered on how companies can focus their technology expertise on projects that truly improve their businesses instead of managing complex applications, technology platforms and devices. We are also sharing details about improvements to Google Docs, made possible by a new codebase that will allow us to deliver richer functionality more quickly.New document and spreadsheet features
We’ve responded to many of your requests for features you’re used to in desktop software. In documents, we’ve added a margin ruler, better numbering and bullets and easier image placement options. And in spreadsheets, you’ll now find a formula editing bar, cell auto-complete, drag-and-drop columns and other features not possible with older browser technologies.
Higher fidelity document import
We’ve made big improvements to our document upload feature so moving files from your computer to the cloud is easier now. Imported documents retain their original structure more accurately, so you can hit the ground running editing in the browser without having to fix formatting like bullets and text alignment.Speed and responsiveness
We’ve extended Google Docs’ collaboration capabilities too, with support for up to 50 people working together at once, and in documents, you can now see other people’s edits as they happen character-by-character. And now you can also collaborate on flow charts, diagrams and other schematics in real time with a new editor for drawings on Google Docs.Learn more about these new capabilities and how to access them on the Google Docs blog, and if you’re with a school, business or organization, we’ve shared more details on the Google Enterprise Blog.Posted by Dave Girouard, President of Google Enterprise
“make art every day”
I meet young, creative people all the time, just out of college. They’re tending bar, waiting tables, stacking shelves in bookstores, folding jeans at The Gap, working in an office. All trying to get by, all trying to figure out what to do next, where they fit in this big ol’ world of ours. And it’s tough for most of them. Of course it is.
My advice to them is always the same: “Make Art Every Day”.
When I say “Art”, I don’t necessarily mean paintings or literature or music or whatever. I mean, whatever it is that’s meaningful and powerful to them. Like the old song said, “T’ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It).
Only they can know what that is, of course. For me, it was always drawing cartoons. But for others, it could be about business or cooking or carpentry or screenprinting tee-shirts or raising money for charity.
That was my M.O. for years. I remember in my early mid-twenties, working my ass off all day long at the ad agency in Chicago. Then after work, instead of going home to watch TV and hang out with roommates or whatever, I’d head for my local coffee shop, pull a seat up at the bar, and sit there for hours on end, drawing cartoons. Even if my cartoons weren’t very good, even if they weren’t commercial. Even if some of the waiters and fellow customers used to made subtle and frequent quips about me “needing to get a life”.
It paid off eventually. Eventually the cartoons got good, eventually they got commercial. Eventually I didn’t need a day job anymore, eventually I got a life. Happy Ending.
I didn’t wait for the money, I didn’t wait to “be discovered”, I didn’t wait for the approval from others. I just got on with it, every day.
Like a very talented pianist friend once told me when I was a boy; it’s better to practice a musical instrument for five minutes a day, than to practice for two hours, once a week. It’s something I never forgot.
Which is why regardless of what the rest of the world needed from me on any given day, I found the time, somehow. Simply because I made the decision to do so, somehow.
Whatever your EVIL PLAN might be, “Make Art Every Day”.
Photos of people in the shower
For a photo gallery in Burn Magazine, NY-based Indian photographer Manjari Sharma invited people into come to her apartment, take a shower, and let her photograph them.
BITTER SEEDS: Alternate WWII novel pits English warlocks against Nazi X-Men
Ian Tregillis's stellar debut novel Bitter Seeds hits shelves today. It's a beautifully written and thoroughly researched alternate WWII history, the twist being that a mad German scientist has discovered a way to endow a group of sociopaths -- raised from WWI orphans -- with X-Men-like powers that have made the Wehrmacht unstoppable.
To counter this, a desperate Great Britain establishes a secret division composed of a tiny number of British warlocks -- shades of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell -- men who use speech in a mystical Ur-language, accompanied by blood sacrifice, to call up vast, brutal elemental forces. These forces, the Eidolons, loathe humanity and tremble in barely restrained rage at the stain we spread on the universe, but they can be bargained with, blood traded for elemental magick.
Tregillis writes and plots beautifully. The characters -- twisted German psychics, bitter warlocks, the brutal calculators of the British intelligence apparat -- are complex, textured, surprising. The physical descriptions are wonderful. And the plot is relentless, a driving adventure story with intrigue, battle, sacrifice, and betrayal.
I had the extreme pleasure of teaching Ian Tregillis at the Clarion Workshop some years ago, and he was one of my most promising students, a standout in a year of standout writers. So I am unsurprised -- but totally delighted -- to find myself reading such a tremendous debut from him. This is the first volume of the Milkweed Triptych, and I'm extremely eager to read the rest.
Library of Congress to archive every public tweet ever sent
Matt from the Library of Congress writes, "Have you ever sent out a 'tweet' on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress. That's right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter's inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That's a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions."
Monday, April 12, 2010
I'm liking this