In Comics, Games, Personal Tech, The Internet on December 20, 2009 at 5:42 AM
Revisiting your childhood playthings means preparing for disappointment. Play-Doh doesn’t taste as good as you remember, or you realize that Legos are basically lots and lots of choking parts. So how does a member of the working world blow off some steam without tarnishing the past–or worse, resorting to the incessant clicking of a Newton’s Cradle?
Luckily, there’s a blog for that. Toy-A-Day posts downloadable blueprints for paper toys you can assemble yourself with some simple cutting and folding.
Cut loose, DIY-style, and without the baggage. Even if you’ve outgrown Doctor Octopus (I haven’t), you can make your own Mr. Natural!
In Personal Tech on August 29, 2009 at 1:09 AM
TIME recently reported that many fans of Swedish furniture and lifestyle store Ikea are appalled with the decision to move from Futura to Verdana for use in Ikea’s catalogues and print ads. Most complaints note that Verdana was designed to be read on computer screens, and looks amateurish in other contexts. After checking out some photos of Ikea’s new promotional materials, it’s hard to say they’re wrong.
On a related note, on the August 18 episode of Best Show on WFMU, writer Matt Fraction voiced his desire for a bumper sticker that said Semper Fi in Comic Sans. So, Gutterheads, if you could make a major font swap happen, what would you do? Replace Garamond with Sand on your resume, and show future employers your edge? Use Curls MT for this poster?
Un-Helvetica the world? Negative points for anyone thinking about making a Wingdings
joke. Too easy, friend.
In Personal Tech on August 28, 2009 at 5:24 AM
Can I just say how clever Apple was to abandon the numeric naming of its operating systems. Without having the reference of OS 9.5 or OS 7.0 to jog the memory of past, less impressive operating systems, each of Apples’ OS X iterations stands as a unique creation. The only thing connecting them (Panther, Tiger, Jaguar, Leopard, etc.) is images of strong, big cats connoting speed, power, and grace. What a wonderful marketing feat. Don Draper would be proud.
Snow Leopard has arrived (29 dollars, but if you bought your Apple computer after June 8, you’re probably qualified for the upgrade for nine dollars), and in Apple’s words, it’s an evolution, not a revolution. The user interface remains mostly unchanged, and there are no entirely new programs or additions.
Instead, the upgrade includes lots of tweaks to the user interface, and some hefty behind the scenes changes. All of the operating system’s programs will now take advantage of the Intel chip’s 64-bit processing power. In addition, the entire OS is considerably smaller, so more space for music and movies.
In the end, the upgrade will be well worth the 29 dollars. Change the GUI, and people will drop hundreds of dollars on the newer flashier OS, but since Apple make many visible changes, you get the benefit of having a cheaper yet still significant upgrade.
Update: New York Times just published a review: Apple’s Sleek Upgrade
In Personal Tech on August 14, 2009 at 5:09 PM
According to the Wc3, 90% of people accessing the internet today are using either a version of Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. That statistic has been pretty unchanging since Mozilla debuted Firefox replacing its original self-titled browser, even though there have been many many alternatives to the two browsing titans. Opera, AOL, Netscape, and Safari have all held at least a measurable portion of the market, but they have never made and individual dent of greater than 3%.
Experts in International Relations would call Firefox’s and IE’s relationship a case of dueling spheres of influence, and when we consider the browser itself as the hegemon and the various developers and support sites as other minor countries within the hegemon’s orbit, the analogy to international relations becomes even more appropriate. This stability of the two main players* looks to be coming to an end quite soon. Google has released a new set of versions of its browser Chrome. The browser is now in beta 3.0 for Window and pre-alpha 4.0 for Mac. Read the rest of this entry »