Matt Zoller Seitz on today’s great era of TV direction:
Where’s their MoMA retrospective? Why is there no auteur theory of TV?
One explanation is that movies have a half-century head start on TV, so there’s been more time for critics to settle on terms and definitions. I like to tell people that TV, as both business and art, is at roughly the same place in its development as cinema was in the late fifties, around the time that the French floated the auteur theory. We’re still figuring out who the “author” is on TV shows. We’re still taking into account whether we’re talking about the show as a whole or a particular episode, and why. We rarely think of TV as being directed, unless the show’s main creative force has already been identified as a theatrical director (as David Lynch was before Twin Peaks) or doubles as the show’s star (like Louis C.K. or Lena Dunham).
I’ve become more aware of reoccurring TV directors on shows as varied as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and even New Girl. I know there’s a “voice” there, but I admit I rarely make a connection with what’s onscreen the way I do with a “name” film director. Seitz helps explain why.
Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo:
I suggested that it would be useful if Microsoft could clear some things up. And I granted that, if you weren’t at the Redmond campus, you missed getting your hands on some of the best things about Xbox One. The new rumble in the controllers, for example. That feels next-level.
Was the anger really 20%? In my extended online world, it seemed broader than that. The mood away from Redmond was, at least among the gamers I saw online, the kind of stuttering, stammering frustration that comes with the dawning recognition that, in the Xbox One’s version of gaming’s future, you might not even be allowed to borrow a game from a friend without paying a fee. To console gamers of the last two decades, that seems mad.
Totilo really nails better than any other article I’ve read the massive confusion and PR problems that Microsoft has had since its XBox One unveil last week. It’s a shame on how much of this I think could have been preventable with better organization and preparation. Then again, maybe this is what we get with Microsoft comfortably winning the last generation of consoles: laziness, arrogance, and aloofness. Just ask Sony circa 2006.
Developer Lucas Rocha:
Why is it so important to have designers and engineers working very closely? First, there are a number of issues that you only spot once you actually try the design ideas. If designers don’t engage with engineers, the product will likely stick with broken and/or unintended design.
Furthermore, design issues are tricky in that they have this qualitative side that tends to be invisible to untrained eyes. Design problems will not necessarily be caught by even the most competent QA team or the most solid UI tests—because both are usually focused on the functional correctness of the product.
As I’ve said many times here, close collaboration between a tech team’s designers and engineers isn’t just a “nice to have”. It’s essential for success, especially in smaller organizations like startups.
I recently had to write an extended HTML template, a notorious web design pain point with its required use of tables and hacks. Thank god for MailChimp. Over at their GitHub they’ve got a few really slick html email starting points, both fixed and responsive in their design. It saved me hours of time last week.
Designer Khoi Vinh:
It’s much more common for designers to be expected to master the engineering vernacular than vice versa, but that shouldn’t stop designers from asking engineers what they know about design. Designers might hesitate to ask if the engineer understands anything about typography, color, images, branding systems and logos, but I say why not? It’s perfectly fair game to ask if an engineer understands why a given design solution works…An engineer who understands these things is a tremendous asset in shipping great products, and designers are best equipped to assess that.
BioShock Infinite has been one of the most critically acclaimed games of in the past year, and after having finished it last week, it’s justified. There’s just a certain level of polish and depth to the first person shooter you rarely encounter. But that ending…kind of crazy.
Listen to the Giant Bomb team spend over two hours breaking down BioShock‘s story, feel, and the many possible interpretations of that ending. Bomb crew member Vinnie live plays the ending for the first time as the others provide commentary. Very funny and very smart discussion.
Developer Philip Walton:
A Rails developer isn’t considered good just because his code works to spec. This is considered baseline. Of course it must work to spec; its merit is based on other things: Is the code readable? Is it easy to change or extend? Is it decoupled from other parts of the application? Will it scale?
These questions are natural when assessing other parts of the code base, and CSS shouldn’t be any different.
I think Philip goes a bit into the deep end with his class naming conventions. Nevertheless, especially with his points about code reuse and modularity, this is essential CSS reading, one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject in weeks.
A fun, breezy conversation with actor Alec Baldwin as he raids the Criterion Collection closet. Good selections.
Even smiling during outtakes, the late Dennis Hopper in his Frank Booth outfit scares the hell out of me.
A no-nonsense checklist by developers Sayed Hashimi and Mads Kristensen. Yes, you can technically use it as an actual web task manager, but the real benefit here are all the links provided, from the W3C mobile checker to JSHint and tips on making proper favicons.