Archive: December, 2012

Giant Bomb: game of the year day 2 recap

Gaming site Giant Bomb has always distinguished itself with stellar video work, but they have outdone themselves with their game of the year recap videos. Their TV spoofs, especially their dead on 60 Minutes send up (“reporter” Brad Shoemaker has the vocal cadence down cold) linked here, just kills.

Email and meetings aren’t work

Venture capitalist Tom Tunguz, discussing the ratio of meetings you asked for vs. meetings asked of you:

What is your ratio? And what should it be? Presuming meetings I request are more productive than meetings I’m invited to (because I’m driving the agenda and accomplishing my goals), if I could shift that ratio by just one minute to 7 to 3, I would improve my productivity by 17%.


I generally dislike iOS third party apps that mirror or attempt a slight tweak on good Apple default system apps like Music or the Alarm Clock. Yet this new app by Simple Bots is awesome. It’s pretty and has slick gestures, but the key advantage here is speed. I can set my morning alarm in about 10 seconds: a swipe up or down followed by a quick pull to the left and I’m done.

How to do presentations that don’t induce suicide

More technical or design-heavy presentations can be hard to deliver well; either you get too technical or too visual. That’s why the advice here from designer Andy Whitlock here is so helpful. Andy writes simple presentation pointers that are applicable almost anywhere.

Vexing viewports

The iPad Mini is getting rave reviews from most tech sites, yet it presents a major problem for responsive web design. In particular, as several great A List Apart writers point out in this article (including the great Luke Wroblewski), you’ve got a device with the same pixel device width (768px) yet noticeably smaller dimensions than the full size iPad.

Quentin’s world

Tarantino speaking to the NYT‘s A.O. Scott on his work with actors:

I think it’s a three-way thing. I write good characters for actors to play. I cast actors with integrity, as opposed to trying to just match whoever’s hot with something going on. It’s like my character is more important than any given actor, if that makes sense…And then I do know how to direct actors, how to modulate them, get the best out of them. And I understand my material.

Tarantino, more than almost any other director working today, lives and breathes his material. Regardless of what you feel about his films, his casting choices are pretty unimpeachable.

The ‘Mad Men’ economic miracle

Adam Davidson for The New York Times:

This business model, perhaps as much as artistic creativity, is responsible for TV’s current golden age. Networks have effectively entered into a quality war. Basic-cable channels have to broadcast shows that are so good that audiences will go nuts when denied them. Pay-TV channels, which kick-started this economic model, are compelled to make shows that are even better. And somehow, they all seem to be making insane amounts of money.

We’re clearly in an amazing TV era, but, as Davidson surmises, how much of it is dependent on the quasi-monopolistic system cable providers run now? What happens when content shifts to the web?

Why we’re pivoting from mobile-first to web-first

Startup founder Vibhu Norby:

All in all, mobile service apps turn out to be a horrible place to close viral loops and win at the retention game. Only a handful of apps have succeeded mobile-first: Instagram, Tango, Shazam, maybe 2 or 3 others…

…You have an entirely different onboarding story on the web. You can test easily, cheaply, and fast enough to make a difference on the web. You can fix a critical bug that crashes your app on load 15 minutes after discovery (See Circa). You can show 10 different landing pages and decide in real-time which one is working the best for a particular user. You can also close a viral loop: A user can click an email and immediately be using your app with you.

Instagram didn’t get the tone wrong

The Ashbury and Ashbury design shop blog:

There’s a writing angle to the whole thing that needs some airing. The whole story is already being co-opted as a case study in the importance of clear communication and getting the tone right. This worries me, because that’s exactly what it isn’t, at least not in the way that’s being suggested.

More than almost any of the many other articles regarding Instagram, this one nails why Instagram is in such hot water with its users. I myself don’t plan on quitting Instagram immediately, but for now my main photographic attention has shifted to Flickr.

If you’re a web developer, you’ve probably had to implement loading animations (e.g. spinners, bars) several times. In the land of ajax and back end validation, it’s essential work. Lately instead of the usual transparent GIF route, I’ve preferred implementing CSS based animation; it’s one less HTTP request and easily customizable.

Yet writing CSS based loaders can be time consuming. That’s what makes useful. Pick an animation, color set and download the CSS3 code.