Monday, July 31, 2006

Seeking Interaction Design / Information Architect contact work

I'm currently looking for some interesting IA/UXD projects, with a bit of meat to them.

Drop me an email if you know of anything.

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Is Spam getting worse?

It seems like it is.

Not only are spammers figuring out how to work their way around the advanced filters found in programs like Thunderbird, they are now sending emails devised specifically to weaken those filters. (You may have received a cryptic email containing excerpts from various books spliced together.)

I googled around for a bit in search of a better solution and found this trick to use Gmail as a spam filter.

It makes sense. In theory, Google should see enough spam to devise a way to effectively filter it.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

I *Heart* Ray Fenwick

Ray Fenwick

As if it wasn't good enough to be incredibly talented at illustration and hand-lettering, Ray Fenwick now has a brilliant website as well.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'd like a coffee, not an aneurysm, please.

It's hot. It's damn hot.

In this kind of weather I like to have a cold coffee drink. Unfortunately, by the time I've arrived at the local cafe, I'm drenched in sweat and my brain can never seem to work out the massively overcomplicated drinks on offer.

For instance, at Starbucks, I like to have a Grande Caramel Coffee Frappuccino. And there's no way to abbreviate that order, if I leave anything off I either get the wrong thing or I get a funny look and a follow-up question from the cashier. I can't just say "Grande Caramel Frappuchino" because there is a 'Creme' version as well as a coffee version. Yesterday, I left off the 'caramel' part and got a plain version.

These places consider themselves too chichi to go down the McDonalds route and just give us some easy numbers, as in "I'd like a #28, please -- Grande-size me!"

One time, I was so focussed on getting my order right that I cleared my heat-baked mind of anything else, and when I arrived at the counter, I blurted out "one grande caramel coffee frappuccino please!"

I breathed a sigh of relief, but to my surprise, I was still getting funny looks from the cashier. "Sir," she said, "this is Costa -- would you like a Medio Frescato?"

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Miami Vice? No dice.

Original Miami Vice

Do we really need a Miami Vice movie set in modern times?

I've been trying to understand why the remake of Miami Vice has struck me as being so *wrong* for some reason -- and then it hit me -- you can't separate Miami Vice from the 80's.

Just as it's been said about Japan being the third character in 'Lost in Translation' -- the 80's is the third character in Miami Vice. The music, the style -- it was the highest expression of the 80's garish aesthetic -- and that's why we loved it at the time.

The second reason why the remake doesn't work is that it was character driven, primarily by Don Johnson. Suddenly guys were wearing pink shirt and 5-o'clock shadows in an attempt to be as cool as he was.

Without the 80's and without Don Johnson, Miami Vice becomes a generic police buddy flick. (Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx aren't exactly a 'must-see' pairing in my book.)

If the Hollywood execs had a brain-cell between them, they would have abandoned the '1. dust off beloved old tv flick, 2. add current movie stars 3. repeat' formula and realised that they could have made a brilliant revival of Miami Vice if they had only set it in the 80's.

You'd think the success of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City would have given them a clue that 80's retro is popular.

If they'd done that and had cast some fresh new actors -- then maybe that would be a Miami Vice worth going to the theatres to see.

As it is now -- it's not even worth downloading.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My PC - In Pieces

My PC - RIP, originally uploaded by kaioshin.
Upon finding out that my PC would cost over 500.00 GBP to replace the motherboard -- I decided to take it apart and see what I can salvage or reuse.

Unfortunately, this is one extended lesson in why you shouldn't buy an all-in-one machine. The hard drive should plug into any machine, but I can't make heads or tails of anything else.

I've got a lovely 17" widescreen monitor with speakers and I can't use it. And all the special media features like TV-in and A/V-in are attached to the motherboard so I can't just pull out a card and plug it into a new machine.

I have an idea that I could plug the front part (shown here) into a new machine, and that would salvage my monitor, speakers and DVD reader/writer -- but it will mean I'll have to figure out how to attach all these little wires, and there's no instruction booklet.

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