Archive: June, 2012

The responsive images problem

Web developer Le Roux Bodenstein:

I propose a fifth option [to handle responsive images.]

Use a progressive image format and HTTP range requests. Ideally the image metadata at the start of the file would include some hints about how many bytes to download to get an exact image size. The browser can then download the smallest size equal to or greater than the dimensions it needs based on the layout’s width as specified in CSS. If the user zooms or resizes the window, the browser can request more bytes as needed.

One image, one file, one URL, one resource.

Ballsy. Yet even as the author points out, there are significant legacy browser compatibility issues.

‘Total Recall’ reboot a total ripoff of the original?

Great two minute comparison between the 1990 Schwarzenegger original and the Len Wiseman version opening on August 3rd. It’s clear there’s way more similarities than I noticed the first time I watched the Wiseman trailer. Look for the great The Fifth Element reference at the video end.

Violence and sexism in E3 trailers

E3 discussion continues on the 6/12 edition of the Giant Bomb podcast. Skip to the one hour mark for some thoughtful criticism of several big game press trailers: The Last of Us, Tomb Raider and more.

E3 needs to grow up

Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek:

We arrived to our Capcom appointment, I plunked down with Lost Planet 3, and Alex Navarro was ushered over to play Devil May Cry. In a room of kiosks, there were pole dancers. It’s unclear what that has to do with Devil May Cry. The girl hired to skimpily waltz around was sitting on the floor, looking bored…

…Elsewhere, I refused to play any 3DS games at Nintendo’s booth because the company didn’t have a table with machines, and instead tethered its lineup to attractive women.

It’s disgusting to hear stories like this. It’s 2012. Console gaming is a mainstream, billion dollar industry. Yet its marketing is crazy violent, often sexist, and almost entirely targeted toward a young, hyper-masculine audience. No wonder so much of their potential target demographic is moving to gender neutral mobile platforms like iOS.


This is a really cool, CSS3 and Javascript based slide presentation library. If you’re looking for a web based alternative to the usual Keynote and Powerpoint styles, check this out.

Apple’s iOS 6 one page preview

Exhibit A that “all content on a single scrollable page” is a huge web trend: Apple’s iOS6 preview page. Great layout and typographic hierarchy here.

The care and feeding of software engineers

Developer Nicholas Zakas:

I have a theory. That theory is that software engineers see themselves very differently than those with whom they work. I’ve come to this conclusion after over a decade in the software industry working at companies large and small. Companies (product managers, designers, other managers) tend to look at software engineers as builders. It’s the job of the product manager to dream up what to build, the job of the designer to make it aesthetically pleasing, and the job of the engineer to build what they came up with. Basically, engineers are looked at as the short-order cooks of the industry.

Great article. As Nick goes on to argue, good developers are much more than “builders”. We’re creative minds and demand to be treated as such.

GTD sucks for creative work. Here’s an alternative system.

CEO Dave Lee on productivity system Getting Things Done (GTD):

Though I still appreciate some of GTD’s principles (next action, desired outcome as project, brain dumping, etc), I think the system can actually work against the creative innovator. It boggles down the innovator with a flood of tasks, when the innovator needs space and room for experimentation and discovery.

Dave’s argument has grown on me recently. I’ve been a hard core Omnifocus GTD user for over a year, but at some point I started to lose it in terms of all the options, settings, and perspectives Omnifocus offered. It just felt like overkill. So several weeks ago I just deleted Omnifocus everywhere and shifted my workflow to a bunch of flat lists. I now use TaskAgent, Cheddar and Due to handle my productivity workflow. So far, so good.

7 handy text manipulation tricks in Sublime Text 2

If you use Sublime Text 2, mastering keyboard shortcuts is essential. Programmer Josh Earl’s primer is a great start; if you’re a CSS guy, Sublime’s shortcut for swapping lines saves massive time.

The A.V. Club on the ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 finale

Critic Todd VanDerWerff nails the unevenness of “The Phantom”:

Some of what hampers “The Phantom” is, surprisingly, Weiner’s direction. He’s done such a fine job with all of the previous finales—even nailing the tricky tone of “Shut The Door. Have A Seat”—that I’m surprised at how weirdly flat this episode feels, confined by lots and lots of unimaginative shots and brusque directing that might have been standard on any TV drama. The pacing is all off in the first half of the episode, as everything jumps between storylines somewhat haphazardly, and though Weiner comes up with one magnificent image toward the end—the five partners of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in their new office space, looking out toward what’s to come—so much of the rest of the episode feels like it’s trying to fit three or four episodes’ worth of plots into one hour and just barely pulling it off.

There were clearly some highlights – Roger’s mixture of happiness and genuine melancholy with Marie, Pete’s final speech to Beth – but I found this to be a pretty unsatisfying finale. Compared to the eloquence of Season 1’s “The Wheel”, or the surprise and movement of Season 3’s “Shut the Door. Have a Seat” and Season 4’s “Tomorrowland”, it was a pretty tame episode.