Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
Word from comiXology now after many hand-wringing updates overnight is that Apple didn’t prevent comiXology from pushing to iOS apps, but comiXology made the call. In a letter on their blog page, comiXology CEO David Steinberger noted:
Ric’ Originally Wrote on April 9th:
Apple Computer’s been pretty absurd about trying to prevent mature individuals from enjoying mature content on their mobile devices.
What’s so special about mobile devices? Nothing, except that Apple has implemented a file system and application system that they can control, they can prevent the user from using for any content. There is only content Apple approves of, on apps Apple approves of. And they’ve been your nanny since day one.
But now they’ve gone a little nuts.
Tomorrow, one of the finest comics available, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, will not be available in digital form on iOS devices. This is due to two “postage stamp sized gay sex scenes” that appear in the magazine. They’re kind of background images, literally like someone left a TV on in a scene, context is ambiguous and not flamboyant.
Still Apple takes umbrage, and is shutting down all iOS apps that might try to down the comic. No iPad, no iPhone, no. Because they’re trying to protect you from an image you can walk into any comic store tomorrow and buy without showing your driver’s license. And it’s not the first nudity or sexuality in the magazine. It’s undoubtedly because of the gay context that they get out their big censor stick.
This is a crime against art.
I’m not exaggerating, Saga is one of the best comic books available today. Smart, inventive, human, witty, lovely, and unique.
All things Apple used to be.
And now they’re just disappointing.
This is not a political post, although a quick reading without comprehension will surely give some that impression. Trust me, and read on.
I was reading this evening about how you can actually see people “unliking” Mitt Romney’s Facebook page in real time graphics on a web site called Disappearing Romney. It sounded pretty wild, and the graphics on the page were conceptually stunning, but the whole thing was kind of sophomoric. It looked like it might have been a prank. So I decided to check his Facebook page to see if their math checked out.
It did check out, was really easy to confirm with a couple of page refreshes. But that’s not what caught my eye.
You see, around 100 years ago I took both high school and college journalism. A lot of it stuck, writing of course, but also a lot in the area of page layout. There’s one guideline that borders on being magic in making a page and subjects on the page look appealing and interesting.
If you have a photo, or graphic, where a subject is looking in a left or right direction, place that element such that it is looking into the page, away from the edge they’re nearest. If you have to, you can consider “flipping” the element such that it can do this regardless of what side of the page it’s on.
(Pause here to note how well I’m avoiding unnecessary political metaphors. Thanks for noticing.)
Check out the original, and see what happens when you flip both the photos. It really is like a magic trick!
You always try to have faces looking into the page, it makes them look better, the page look better, and the reader feel better. In this case, we have original Mitt back-to-back, looking very disconnected, even defensive. Look at how flipping both photos around makes him look, well, happy to see himself.
Arguably the wider cover page might work in either direction, and if it were left right-facing the light sourcing for each of these photos would match up, but that’s not a big deal. I personally liked them facing each other, but your mileage may vary.
And yes, this is eminently applicable to your presentations! Ah! You knew I’d get there eventually! It’s one of the simplest things you can do to make your slides look more intriguing, trustworthy, or even happy.
Anyway, it’s not like it cost him the election or anything, but I found it really amazing that nobody on his staff, or even Facebook friends suggested fixing this classic journalistic page layout gaff.
Yes, I am available for consultations.
This has to be quick. Sorry for any typos or errors, but I’m packing, medicating, and generally running about today and this could not wait.
I got a very nice letter from Bob Gaskins yesterday. If you don’t recognize the name, here’s a clue: He’s the guy who “invented PowerPoint”. Quotes are there because 1) there were a couple of other guys involved in the birthing process and 2) I think the product gets reinvented with every new release. However it was Bob who built the vision for the product and made it happen.
Bob’s written a new book, called Sweating Bullets: Notes about Inventing PowerPoint. He wrote it specifically to celebrate the 25th anniversary of PowerPoint. And I’m reading it right now (along with preparing for two separate conventions and five panels I’m on this weekend, I did mention running about crazily, right?). So I’ll do more of a review later, but wanted to get this out to you, dear reader, because you’re special to me.
I’m really excited about this. Bob left just before I joined the team, and notes that fact on page 14, saying
Ric Bretschneider (Wizard #77) joined just after I left, stayed with the group for 17
years (twice as long as I stayed)…
What else does it say? What’s all that Wizard 77 stuff? Well, you’ve got a chance to find out for yourself because it’s available on Amazon right now, right here: Sweating Bullets: Notes about Inventing PowerPoint
I can’t wait to see how it ends…
There are some things that are such a pleasure to do, to pass along, to endorse… it kind of feels like cheating, like “duh” this doesn’t even have to be said.
Yeah, this is one of those.
I love the Duarte group. Their talent, their staff, their ethic, their genuine passion, all so refreshing and inspiring. And when they produce something you, Joe and Jane Everyone, can hold in your hand for a couple of bucks, well that’s really cool.
And I’m going to stop right there. No further loving hyperbole. No more glowing endorsement. Just one instruction that will cost you absolutely nothing.
If you have an iPad, click here to get to the iTunes page. There it’s easy to download the free sample of a section of Resonate. Watch that. Read it. You’ll be captivated from the first match strike, from the inspired visualization of how an idea travels between people, the power of a speaker and audience connecting, and then you’ll start to learn to do it yourself.
Yeah, that was really easy.
Really, I’m not doing much here. Just trying to draw your attention to someone else’s work on how Facebook’s recent bout of ill-conceived changes continue to mess with your privacy, your communications, and your ability to actually use the system without getting screwed-up.
It’s essentially the same problem. The code monkeys at Facebook have decided that they know better than you how you want to get your information, or more importantly, they’re deciding what information is important. They’re trying to prove how smart they are by writing algorithms that watch what you do, analyze words in messages, and essentially hide a shit-ton of stuff you probably would prioritize higher than they do. Any time you have someone who has doubtable social skills managing your social interaction, you are doomed.
And Facebook is no better at predicting what you want to see than any other company. Do you recall that old chestnut “My Tivo Thinks I’m Gay“? Well here we are a decade later and Facebook thinks you don’t want information from someone you just met, haven’t actually met but who really needs to get in touch with you, or haven’t spoken with for a while because they only recently decided to forgive you… the list goes on with the potential ways Facebook will or may have already f#@ked you up.
This time, it’s messages. Did you know there’s a whole bunch that Facebook pushes off into a separate area without EVER giving you a surface level indication that they’ve arrived? Yup, we can thank Slate Magazine’s Elizabeth Weingarten for sharing her experiences today in Furious at Facebook Again!
Seriously, when are these guys going to be sued for abusing their customer’s information? This is an area where we set serious and definitive precedence.
Every now and then I start off a blog entry with “I really don’t write often enough…”
But that’s not really true. I write a ton of stuff, it just doesn’t always end up here. The articles I write very rarely have to do with things I’ve written elsewhere. (Irony, on reflection I see that the post just prior to this touts a review I wrote elsewhere. I’m simply not paying attention. But I’ll write on as if I hadn’t noticed that.)
What I need to do is rechannel efforts, make blog entries about or completely repeating writing I’ve done for other sources – that is when it’s not against some standing prior agreement. This does seem to be a factor in blogging success – let’s see if I can remember it.
Boring yet? Let’s move on.
So with that in mind, I invite you to view a series of articles composed of my pictures from Comic Con 2011. Some of you may know of my association with the website Fanboy Planet. I produce a weekly podcast and occasionally have prose pieces that appear there. And every now and then, there’s a fun set of photos.
- Comic-Con 2011: Nothing But Costumes, Gallery 1
- Comic-Con 2011: Nothing But Costumes, Gallery 2
- Comic-Con 2011: Nothing But Costumes, Gallery 3
- Comic-Con 2011: Nothing But Costumes, Gallery 4
There are likely a few more to come.
If you’re interested, you can follow me or Fanboy Planet on Facebook, or check back here to see when I update.
Now some of you may note that there are far more women in far less clothing in these pictures than there are men.
There are two reasons for that:
1. There simply are more women in costume at comic con, and they do it so much better. It’s a sewing thing I expect.
2. I’m a guy.
August 12, 2011
For the last four years I’ve produced a weekly podcast and occasionally written articles for a web site called Fanboy Planet. There’s no money in this, but usually it gets you into conventions, occasionally it gets you into great parties, and quite often it delivers great swag. The cost of most swag is that you must review it, and this week my review of the first season of the 70′s science fiction show Space:1999 is up for your reading pleasure. I’d repeat it here, but I’d much rather send you off to Fanboy Planet where you might read and listen to a great many other fun things.
To be honest, I’m having a little trouble getting to the point where I write every day. But I’m lucky, I have inspiring friends who help me get past this without even trying. Today is Garr Reynold’s turn.
It’s Wednesday night, and I return home to another package from Amazon on the doorstep. Monday night it was Nancy Duarte’s Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences. I’ve been savoring the early two page chapters and really expect this is another book I’ll enjoy recommending to people who care about their communication.
In Monday’s post, I joked about resisting the urge to do an “unboxing video.” Unboxing videos are common in electronics reviews. The reviewer simply records with video as he opens the package and examines the pieces as they come out. It’s just about anticipating use rather than talking about their experiences, because really there haven’t been any experiences yet. They’re kind of silly, and yet compelling, but you just don’t do them for books and DVDs. And certainly not for a…
Oh well, the urge tonight was too strong. The package was Garr Reynolds’s The Presentation Zen Way: Video Lessons on Simple Presentation Design and Delivery. I’m a soft touch for cool packaging and knew what to expect here, so I broke out the camera and took pictures along the way.
Events like this make it easy to get back into writing about design goodness and presentation technique. Thanks Garr!
AMC just released a new bit of advertising for the October 31st release of their “The Walking Dead” series. That’s it over there on the left. The series is based on a comic by the brilliant Robert Kirkman. The stark black and white art style and Kirkman’s brilliant character development over 75 issues has made it an acclaimed comic epic for some time now. The quality and consistency of this book is amazing, so AMC has their work cut out for them to provide a similar television experience.
And it’s about zombies, did I mention that?
The trailer released this summer is quite graphic, not for the faint of heart. Still, if you like such things… awesome.
Every year, Rick Altman throws a party disguised as a conference. This year the conference is called the Presentation Summit, and he’s holding it on October 17th-20th at the Catamaran Resort Hotel. That’s just two blocks from the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, on a private bay side setting.
The attendees are all there to learn about how to make better presentations. They also make great contacts within the industry, have a couple of fun days learning cool techniques and tools, and generally have a great time. Oh yeah, there’s usually an open bar, a game show, a late-night rap session, and occasionally people go into the pool fully dressed. But they do come away from this unique experience armed to create and give better presentations.
And Rick wants you to join this year’s festivities for free.
All you have to do is produce a great presentation design for use by the conference presenters. The winner gets free attendance. The details are here: http://www.betterppt.com/summit/design-contest. Want to get a sense of what we’re talking about here? Check out the previous years winners: http://www.betterppt.com/summit/design-contest/past-winners.
So what are you waiting for?
Here’s another link just for fun: http://www.betterppt.com/summit/video/