Archive: November, 2013

Ridley Scott’s trojan horse career

Scott Fennessey and Chris Ryan, writing for Grantland:

As a fine-arts student who got his start in the vulgar world of commercial directing and slick TV shows, he has always subverted expectations…Looking for the quintessential interstellar extraterrestrial adventure? Instead, take the most grotesque body-horror movie ever made. Scott’s movies are delivery systems for ideas, but they’re also Trojan horses — hulking, beautiful objects, meant to distract audiences while those ideas creep in, one soldier at a time, to take over your mind. It’s been an effective, unlikely strategy for the British-born filmmaker.

Responsive images – end of year report

We’ve making progress on the responsive image front in modern browsers, but alas, we’re at an impasse. As noted by Opera rep Bruce Lawson:

The outcome of the meeting was that isn’t a viable option. Browser makers don’t like the fact that it’s a new element that does the same as (or what should do if we were speccing it today), and that it depends on multiple nested children…

…The Paris meetup’s most immediate outcome was agreement that srcset + DPR-switching is the right initial step forward (i.e., the 2x, 3x, etc. syntax).

Bottom line, the consensus is moving toward srcset over a new picture element but no modern browsers are yet shipping with it.

Where to start

Designer Trent Walton is a responsive web design veteran; he’s part of the three man web agency Paravel who’s done many cutting edge responsive projects. That’s exactly why reading this post, highlighting some smart steps to get a team on board with RWD, is so awesome.

(Bonus points for the FF Meta Serif usage, one of my favorite web fonts.)

‘The Shining’ behind the scenes

Some really great behind the scenes photos from Stanley Kubrick’s classic, courtesy The Overlook Hotel. Images discovered via David Chen.


iOS App designer/developer Jared Sinclair:

What makes something touchable?

For things that scroll or zoom, touchability means that the content under your finger moves with your touch, without any lag or jitters…

…For buttons, touchability requires something different. Touchable buttons need borders. By “borders” I don’t mean outlines, (although outlines are included in my usage of the word). I mean borders in a broader sense. A button is a tappable area, clearly delineated from the un-tappable content around it by an obvious border.

Native app design isn’t my background, but the switch in iOS 7 from clearly defined buttons with borders and gradients to raw text labels always rubbed me the wrong way. Jared makes a strong argument why. (via Jeffrey Zeldman).

Alfred ScreenCapture workflow

Screenshots can be a tricky thing; in my day job I take a lot for sharing with coworkers. The default Mac OS X behavior of dropping screenshots on the desktop is poor and leads to a lot of unnecessary cruft. I’m not super crazy about Dropbox’s implementation either, as their default file references include a Dropbox web UI around the image itself (I prefer the image raw.)

Naturally, this workflow for keyboard launcher Alfred fit my particular screenshot needs very well. I currently have two keyboard shortcuts set up; one allows me to select part of the screen, which then copies to a Dropbox folder and pastes the link to the raw image in my clipboard, the other just copies the image direct to clipboard for screenshots I know I won’t have to reference later.

Podcast thing

Podcasts are a big part of my daily workflow; they are always a part of my outdoor runs and often part of my workday, running in the background. I’ve got my favorites (e.g. Giant Bombcast, The Slashfilmcast, ShopTalk), but I’ve always found the discoverability of new podcasts pretty limited. That’s why Podcast Thing works so well; you get short interviews with various personalities where they talk about their favorite podcasts. Highly recommended, especially for podcast newbies.

Native mobile apps are the new flash

Designer Jim Silverman:

Native mobile apps are a temporary solution. We’re just over 4 years into the Appstore era and this has already become apparent. Open web technologies are catching up to the point that the vast majority of web apps no longer need a native counterpart.

Don’t try to tell me native apps are faster or allude to them having a “better experience.” That simply is no longer true.

Jim’s argument might be a tad simplistic, but I agree with his points. We’re getting glutted with so many unnecessary native apps that should just be well thought out, responsive web apps.

Keynote: Chungking Express

Director Wong Kar-Wai shot Chungking Express in an unusually brief (by Wong standards) two month period while taking a production break from another film. The Dissolve‘s Keith Phipps writes about the movie’s history, plot, cinematography and more:

Though necessitated by circumstance, shooting faster and looser seems to have opened Wong up to new ideas. Yet, just as in the world of the film, there’s order within the chaos. Though made in an urgent heat, it’s a deeply considered, beautifully constructed film that captures the feel of a particular place at a particular time—and of characters of a particular age, specifically the age when it first becomes apparent that time only runs one way, even if the world seems to be eternally repeating itself.