Archive for January 2014

Why Audio Never Goes Viral

The second explanation is that you can’t skim sound. An instant of video is a still, a window into the action that you can drag through time at will. An instant of audio, on the other hand, is nothing. “If I send someone an article, if they see the headline and read a few things, they know what I want them to know,” a sound artist and radio producer told me. “If I send someone audio, they have to, like… listen to it.” It’s a lot to ask of an Internet audience.

via Why Audio Never Goes Viral.

Responsive Images: Picture Tag

A new-and-improved version of the picture element that incorporates some of the more advanced features from the src-n proposal—and should prove easier to implement in browsers—is currently being discussed in a refreshingly positive light.

via Responsive Images: 2013 Year-End Update | Filament Group, Inc., Boston, MA.

some hope revived, firefox, webkit, and blink/chromium all on board

Chrome OS scroogles Windows 8 in latest update

The new “Metro” mode essentially converts Chrome for Windows 8 into Chrome OS. Just like Google’s full Chrome OS, you can create multiple browser windows and arrange them using a snap to the left or right of the display or full-screen modes.

via Google brings Chrome OS straight into Windows 8 in latest update | The Verge.

Confessions of a Recovering Windows Phone User

(Windows 8, Windows 8 ARM, and Windows Phone) requiring different emulators, with different capabilities and using different sets of reference assemblies with varying  degrees of functionality.  It’s maddening.  Microsoft has got to figure out a “write once, run anywhere” strategy and they need to do it fast.  But I fear it’s probably already too late.

via Eric Shupps: Confessions of a Recovering Windows Phone User.

this is an ongoing problem with all of microsoft, not just for phone but for office apps, and all apps.

The only real innovation that Windows Phone introduces is the UI.  Everything else falls far behind the competition.

Philips Figures Out How to Make a Cheaper LED Bulb

They’ve got the efficiency you’ve come to expect from LEDs—a 60-watt equivalency wrung from just 10.5 watts—and because they’re so skinny, and made from plastic rather than glass, the bulky heat sink can go away. That’s good news for consumers’ wallets, as the price-per-bulb has finally dropped below the $10 threshold. And yep, they’re dimmable.

via Philips Figures Out How to Make a Cheaper LED Bulb: Go Skinny – Core77.

I think these are going to do very well

When Apple reached parity with Windows

The decision making process for buying computers, which began with large companies IT departments making decisions with multi-year horizons, has changed to billions of individuals making decisions with no horizons. Companies have become the laggards and individuals the early adopters of technology.

The fundamental shift is therefore in the quantity of decision makers and the quality of those decisions. Those who buy are also those who use and their decisions will be perhaps whimsical, maybe impulsive and not calculated, but fundamentally, in the aggregate, wise.

via When Apple reached parity with Windows |.

We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell

Once this is standardized at the W3C, all the alternative browsers (eg Firefox) will also have to ship closed, opaque, illegal-to-report-vulnerabilities-in software to support it.

And it’s basically all being driven by Netflix. Everyone in the browser world is convinced that not supporting Netflix will lead to total marginalization, and Netflix demands that computers be designed to keep secrets from, and disobey, their owners (so that you can’t save streams to disk in the clear).

We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell.

Entrepreneurs, Con Artists, and the American Dream

It seems that con artists, for all their vices, represent many of the virtues that Americans aspire to. Con artists are independent and typically self-made. They don’t have to kowtow to a boss—no small thing in a country in which people have always longed to strike out on their own. They succeed or fail based on their wits. They exemplify, in short, the complicated nature of American capitalism, which, as McDougall argues, has depended on people being hustlers in both the positive and the negative sense. The American economy wasn’t built just on good ideas and hard work. It was also built on hope and hype.

via James Surowiecki: Entrepreneurs, Con Artists, and the American Dream : The New Yorker.

Goodbye, Cameras : Hello Networked Lenses

…we see cameras transitioning into what they were bound to become: networked lenses. Susan Sontag once said, “While there appears to be nothing that photography can’t devour, whatever can’t be photographed becomes less important.” Today, it turns out, it’s whatever can’t be networked that becomes less important.

via Goodbye, Cameras : The New Yorker.