Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great New PodCasts: Photography and Media

Leo Laporte, the host of some of my favorite podcasts, recently went on a photo-safari to Tasmania. During his trip, his podcasts net@night and This Week in Tech were on hiatus. In my search for fresh commuter podcast material, I stumbled across several excellent podcasts.

This Week in Photography is a great program that highlights recent developments in photography (of course) and photo-related software, like PhotoShop, Lightroom, and Aperture. Ironically, Leo was a guest of TWiP upon his return from Tasmania, and mentioned some great sites during that show. First, XYZ Adventures has a fantastic photo-gallery of the trip. Luminous Landscapes is another awesome site, with superb photo tutorials.

This Week in Media is another very worthwhile show. A recent episode mentions Tim Robbins' keynote at the National Association of Broadcasters annual show in Las Vegas. Robbins lets loose on the NAB during his keynote. The organizers shut off video of the event, but the audio made it out, and it is worth a listen. Essentially, he calls out American Broadcasters on the abysmal state of programming and goads them to fix it. It is timely and well deserved feedback for the bottom feeders in the TV industry today, and he gets quite a few nervous laughs from the audience. We'll see if his comments have any long-lasting impact. I hope so.

More versions on PaperTiger and AdAge.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More than you thought to understanding comics

After watching an amazing Adobe presentation from Dan Bliton on using manga as a training medium, I checked out Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. It's making me look at things in a new way. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud talks about how we iconify objects and ideas, and the process of conceptualization (learning) reminded me of On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins (interview) and Ways of Seeing by John Berger (excerpt).

Additionally, McCloud has some great thoughts on how a reader or audience identifies with characters in a book or movie, so distilling the characters down to essential elements of humanity in comics and cartoons is more successful in getting the reader or audience to identify with those characters.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Global climate destabilization: how it ends

Greg Craven, from Corvallis, Oregon, has created a wonderfully well-done video on global climate destabilization. The neat thing is, he doesn't try to convince; he tries to get you to think. It's a risk management issue, he says.

This is a must-watch for everyone, especially for those who remain on the fence. Inform yourself and your neighbors; the stakes are too big.

Oh, and he's a Ze Frank fan too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Ever notice that things don't last as long as they used to? It's a concept called "Planned Obsolescence" which was promoted in the 1950's by Brooks Stevens. Where does our stuff come from? Where does it go?

Check out this awesome video; it's only 20 minutes long. There is some great info included on planned obsolescence and sustainability.

It's really thought provoking when you think about the ever bigger and badder computers that are marketed to us. They try to sell us the latest and "greatest" versions of Windows and Office 200x, which of course require a new computer to run them. It makes me truly realize the benefits of Open Source software and computer reuse.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

O'Reilly reads its blogs to you

OMG this is cool. Looks like most of O'Reilly's blogs have a reader built in (through the ReadSpeaker service). The voice is understandable, and if you don't like the embedded player, you can download MP3s for portability. Apparently this has been online since at least April 2007, and it's still being perfected; O'Reilly has a clearly linked feedback form every time you listen. Here are a few bugs I noticed:

  • It reads some graphic alt-text to me. Accessibility maybe, but irritating to me.
  • There seems to be a word or time limit on the length. I could only get it to read me short articles.
  • It resizes my Firefox browser window every time I click the "listen" link.
O'Reilly is a great source of blogs, and I have a terrible time keeping up with them. Sounds like a playlist in the making. Check out this entry on .htaccess, or for you bohemian types, here's a article on Dave Byrne. Click on "listen" in the upper right.