A colleague at work sent me this on Friday. I guess this is what Dali and company would be doing if they were Flash-based artists.
Warning: the Flash animation, essentially a surreal composition that keeps zooming in "endlessly" (it loops after a while, but very well done) contains some disturbing images, but it's still amazing...
31 March, 2007
A colleague at work sent me this on Friday. I guess this is what Dali and company would be doing if they were Flash-based artists.
Remember the whole thing about McCain's MySpace Page "Hack"? Well: He's not alone... Check out this video where Jon Stewart shows the "attacks" other candidates have suffered: or have they earned them? You be the judge.
29 March, 2007
Stephen Colbert opened an video editing challenge. See the video below and imagine the disasters that he can be made to say putting his words in the "right" order.
If you are up for the challenge, download the footage here and here and send your remixes here.
28 March, 2007
(By way of Paulstamatiou.com)
Yesterday, Yahoo! announced that, as part of the 10th anniversary of Yahoo! Mail they will be offering unlimited storage to their mail users. Granted that I can think of very few users who will need infinite gigabytes to store their e-mail, it's a pretty interesting move. I wonder what Google will respond to that...
Mike Davidson, the founder of Newsvine and a great web designer too, got ticked off when he realized that John MCain's MySpace page was using one of his designs without crediting him properly AND was pulling the design directly from Mike's server, effectively eating up some of his bandwidth.
He played a prank on McCain by swapping the image getting served, to include a bold statement (coming from McCain):
Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage…particularly marriage between two passionate females. (along with a plug linking back to Newsvine.com)Lesson learned? Hopefully...
27 March, 2007
Today we had a chance to view the (accidented) webcast that Adobe did to introduce the CS3 suite. You can view the webcast at the bottom of this post.
They now have a zillion versions of the suite: even Photoshop now comes in two flavors. I guess the one that would work for us best would be CS3 Design Premium, but who knows... the webcast has been off the air for a few minutes now due to technical glitches (Adobe's CEO note to self: do as Steve Jobs does).
What I saw in the webcast before it came off the air was cool, so I have hopes that, come April (when the first six versions ship), it will be the big leap they are claiming it will be.
Yep. It is true! There is such a thing as the cookie diet. I have a colleague at work who is doing it and she has lost over 17 pounds in six weeks, so not only does it exist: it seems to actually work.
26 March, 2007
Last week I learned about yet another social network that joined the Web 2.0 race. This time is another one focused on music (MySpace anybody), with one difference? This one doesn't look crappy: it almost seems to be a definition of good taste, which is hard to find these days in Web 2.0 circles when you approach the social network space.
It's Virb.com and Mike Davidson in his blog made a case in favor of them. Social Networking centered around music is what MySpace started out as too: let's just hope Virb doesn't derail and keep the concept alive while also providing a visually pleasing experience to the visitors. Granted that they still have a long way to go to reach critical mass, but...
Here is my Virb Home, in case you want to join in.
A while back I wrote about Explosions in the Sky. This is a band out of Austin, TX. They are one of the finest performers around in the post-rock scene. In the video below (unless NBC takes it down), you can see them performing "Welcome, Ghosts" from their most recent album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone.
Their guitar work is simply exquisite. They accomplish the perfect balance, not quite being as complex as Godspeed! You Black Emperor or falling short. They devote the right amount of time to every piece, most of which are in the 7-to-10 minute long range.
On a side (related) note, today I learned about a Jacksonville-based band called Sangrala that reminded me a bit of Explosions in the Sky: a bit more commercial (with vocals too), but nevertheless, on the right track.
El nuevo bebe de Luis y Michelle nacio el fin de semana. El sabado llego al mundo Luka Elias Garcia Sanchez, un varon que peso 7 libras 11 onzas y midio 21 pulgadas.
El bebe y la mama estan super-bien y muy lindos. Fotos aqui.
Mi pana y hermano del alma Gilberto se lanzo al agua! Por fin comenzo su blog de vinos, llamado apropiadamente "La Casa de Antociano". Conociendo sus gustos de vinos, no dudo que sera un exito total!
Los invito a La Casa de Antociano. Disfruten, enofilos!
24 March, 2007
I recently discovered thanks to my friend Levin at work (who also happens to be a very talented designer) this great one man act from down under, called Gotye.
Here's a video from the track "Heart's A Mess", from the 2006 album titled Like Drawing Blood.
22 March, 2007
It really works. Blingo actually delivers! Today, I won a $25 gift certificate for Amazon.com and so did Mat (I subscribed to Blingo because of him).
So, I will go on record and officially support Blingo. Join me!
What does it mean to you? I talked about it at work today and people looked at me with a strange face... No wonder! It's not like a holiday or even a charitable cause: it's a day to raise awareness about how we are managing water.
You should know there is a problem when 40% of the world population lack access to basic sanitation, according to the UN World Water Development Report. No wonder, they say that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water!
Earth 911 offers a great reference with ideas on things you can do to conserve water.
Also, WorldChanging (another excellent resource) offers a list of events, projects and resources related to this occasion.
19 March, 2007
Esto casi raya en lo absurdo! Desde hace unas semanas, Chavez esta convocando a la creacion de un partido unico socialista en Venezuela.
Tres de los partidos que hoy en dia lo apoyan, los cuales estan representados en la Asamblea Nacional y uno de los cuales tiene una gobernacion, no apoyan la idea. A la negativa de estos partidos, Chavez les mando a decir que "no son indispensables".
Esto es democracia, carajo! Si no me apoyan, que se jodan!
16 March, 2007
I've been reading in the past couple of days an excellent little book from 2002 called The Elements of User Experience, written by Jesse James Garrett, President and founder of Adaptive Path.
One of the many things he wrote in there that I found interesting was this:
More often than not, FAQs neglect the "frequently" part of the equation, offering instead answers to whatever questions the content provider could think of to satisfy the FAQ requirement.So true! It made me consider how many of the FAQs I have on the site that I manage I could do away with, without doing any harm.
For an example of a fine job done with FAQs, see what the folks over at del.icio.us did with their support page. Their top three questions listed at the top, and the rest of the page geared toward fielding people's questions via a form, and channeling traffic to less frequently asked questions on a different page. Smart! User-centered design at work.
15 March, 2007
Quien no se recuerda de estas dos perlas?
Delia, interpretando "Un Poquito Mas", la musica para el comercial de cigarrillos Derby en el año 80, en Venezuela.
Y Sopotocientos, la serie de television... Se me vienen las lagrimas a los ojos de recordar el tema.
Aqui pueden conseguir a alguien que se ha tomado la molestia de digitalizar el LP completo de Sopotocientos. No se consigue esto en CD.
13 March, 2007
Google got sued today by Viacom, for $1 billion.
Viacom alleges that about 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes have been loaded onto YouTube's site and viewed more than 1.5 billion times.This happens at an interesting time, not too long after Joost's deal with Viacom, and it's the first interesting lawsuit (there were other minor ones) to knock on Google's door, since they acquired YouTube last year.
More to come, I am sure... at the very least, more time spent on Google's side to try to filter things better before they go live. Or not?
Maybe, if it makes more sense (who knows!) for them to settle, than to pay people (or design AI systems to analyze content prior to going live), they may just choose to keep doing things they way they have been doing them: reacting after the fact.
12 March, 2007
NPR's Leroy Sievers writes on his blog "My Cancer" about his fight with this terrible disease.
Not too long ago, my friend Rafa shared this touching post Leroy made, wondering "what if I'd never gotten cancer?" where he spends some time pondering the question... and realizing all the things (some important, most not as much) that we spond time thinking of while we take our life and our health for granted.
Today, I learned that an uncle of mine (mi tio Pepe) has Lung Cancer. He is the youngest brother of my dad. Next Monday he will undergo surgery. We are all very hopeful that he will be fine and do well. He's a great guy!
In the meantime, we all should make a point of not taking things for granted and realize how precious each moment we live is and how important having our loved ones around us is.
11 March, 2007
Is there something more that online maps and directions can do? Could they possibly be missing an edge? Google thinks so. The Google Labs are working on Google Transit, which now alloes you to create your own transit trip, complete with itineraries and maps, for 10 US cities.
Check it out.
10 March, 2007
Opening were The Postmarks, from Miami. Their singer, beautiful blue-eyed Tim Yehezkely, had had an accident earlier in Orlando. In spite of her broken leg and cast, she delivered a beautiful performance. I knew nothing about them before tonight. In their own words, "with nods to French pop and Brian Wilson's orchestral arrangements, The Postmarks believe they can rekindle the love affair people once had for beautiful music and well-crafted songs about the trials and tribulations of life."
Following them was The New Pornographers, from Vancouver, BC, the band led by musical genius A.C. Newman. Though their sound faced a few inconveniences early on, they came out loud and clear with a show that will be remembered. Since the start of the year, we had seen a few acts, but none like them: with their 3-4 minute long songs they managed to capture the hearts of the audience.
Newman's fun delivery on stage was backed by a host of talented musicians, where vocalist/pianist Kathryn Calder (in the photo) and vocalist/drummer Kurt Dahle who joined their voices with Newman's, to produce some of the most beautiful vocal harmonies. Neko Case was not part of the lineup, but the singers up on stage did a fine job that made her absence go unnoticed.
At the end of the night, they played for a little less than one and a half hours, but it was well worth it.
What do you do with fresh McDonald's French Fries and 10 packets of Ketchup? You paint with them of course. :)
(Be patient with the first minute or so... you will see the shapes emerge -this guy is pretty talented. Even with ketchup he can paint)
This excellent post by LukeW brought to mind the concept of Maslow's Pyramid, but applied to Design. Well worth checking out: he is the Principal Designer of Yahoo! Inc.'s Social Media group.
Is it the Mii Too? Is it Second Life... err, Third Life? Nope!
It's Sony's Playstation Home, for the PS 3, announced last week at GDC in San Francisco. It's easier to show you what it does than to write much about it. Here's their trailer:
What could go wrong with this move by SONY? With SONY's history, anything can go wrong, but I've got to admit it looks very, very cool.
06 March, 2007
No, it's not an insult! Pecha Kucha is a presentation format introduced a few years ago in the Architecture world, which consists of a slide show of 20 images, each lasting 20 seconds, for a total (strict) presentation duration of 6 minutes 40 seconds.
Here's a video of a Pecha Kucha presentation at reboot 8.0 in Copenhagen, Denmark, last year, so you can see how it "feels" like:
You can read more about Pecha Kucha in Wikipedia, and if you are interested, there may be a Pecha Kucha night coming soon to a city near you...
P.S. Thanks to Robert Hoekman's Kaizen Software Manifesto for shedding light on this otherwise completely obscure concept.
05 March, 2007
Thanks to this timely post by Michael Fergusson, I learned about two important events that took place in the world of social networks in recent days:
-Cisco jumped in the social networking game: through the acquisition of a social network design firm (Five Across) and a not-so-well-known social networking site (tribe.net), they plan to "help large corporate clients create services resembling MySpace or YouTube to bring their customers together online."
-Ning, the new startup by Internet boom's posterchild Marc Andressen, was launched on February 27. As mentioned on the New York Times, Ning is "a one-stop shop catering to this growing interest in social networks" or simply put, a web site to allow you to create your own social network. Here's a fascinating video courtesy of Ning themselves, showing the evolution of the networks in the course of the first day alone...
04 March, 2007
If anybody can help get information that can help the Florida Highway Patrol identify the driver of the white Astro van responsible for this atrocity, please contact the person indicated in the article. The 3-year old girl that died in the accident was the granddaughter of a former colleague from work.
03 March, 2007
TripAdvisor came up with the list of the Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels of 2006. Florida was home to four of them... Dubious honor. Read the complete list.
I was reading about this on Friday. Google engineers came up with an interesting way to automatically generate content for new tabs on the Google custom home page.
It works to a certain extent. I created a couple of tabs: one called "Venezuela" and one called "Web 2.0" and it did bring content and tools pertinent to both topics, but in a limited fashion. It's a step in the right direction, nonetheless.
I still think they could save themselves some development time by purchasing Netvibes, but who knows if that will ever happen. :)
A while back I was reading The World is Flat. There was a comment made by Thomas Friedman there that stuck with me:
"Every time you as a consumer make a decision, you are supporting a whole set of values."That thought stuck with me and today it resurfaced, as I was reading about 18Seconds.org, a green initiative started by Yahoo! to convey the importance of switching to Energy Star CFL light bulbs.
Ironically, about a week ago, 18Seconds.org had surfaced on digg.com (though it had only gotten a handful of diggs as of this writing). A comment below the digg pointed out the environmental issues that CFL bring about:
CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury. The amount is not large enough to pose a hazard to users (it is about 1/5 the amount in a typical digital watch battery), but it does become a concern at landfills and trash incinerators where the mercury from many bulbs can escape and contribute to air and water pollution.Go figure! You are trying to do good by substituting (like we did) all incandescent bulbs in your house for CFLs... and you realize you may have made the wrong choice.
This happens all the time, so what's left to do? As long as we have the greater possible good in mind, we can always take corrective actions and do the right thing in the long run. For instance: in this case, learn how to recycle mercury and, like the person who made the comment in digg mentioned, use more natural light (that is the biggest energy saver there is in this case), buy smaller wattage bulbs and consider (for some rooms) using candles. Sounds extreme? I would say no, when you realize that our choices affect the world around us in ways that we may or may not suspect.
So, what choices have you made that you think you could do better at?
02 March, 2007
Previamente, publique las primeras dos partes de la historia de King Crimson. Aqui concluye la historia...
Un preludio de lo que habría de ser el nuevo sonido de la banda son las canciones "Breathless" y "North Star", del album de Exposure (1979), de Robert Fripp . La primera ser ía una clara influencia de los trabajos musicalmente más acelerados de la banda. La segunda tenía la misma atmósfera calmada de "Matte Kudasai".
El nombre de la banda, después de mucho dudarlo Fripp, pasó a ser nuevamente King Crimson a mediados de 1981, cuando Fripp reconoce: "King Crimson tiene una vida propia, a pesar de lo que sus miembros puedan hacer o decir... Al comenzar los ensayos la primera semana de Abril, reconocí un enorme potencial revoloteando alrededor de la banda, una energía a la que podíamos tener acceso si nos conectábamos."
La tercera etapa de la banda comenzaba en 1981, con el lanzamiento del album Discipline, y vio dos álbumes más: Beat (1982) y Three Of A Perfect Pair (1984). Por el concepto musical, visual y estético que manejaron en común, pueden considerarse como una trilogía. El mejoramiento de los efectos para la guitarra, la polimetría, elementos industriales y étnicos, diferentes texturas y harmonías, son elementos todos que tuvieron cabida en las producciones del grupo en una tercera etapa con un feeling mucho más espontáneo e improvisado. Para los amantes de la buena música progresiva, escuchar interpretaciones como la atmosférica "Matte Kudasai", el visceral "Requiem" o la locomotora musical "Sartori in Tangiers" debe resultar una experiencia musical inolvidable.
Durante once años el Crimson no editó ningún material nuevo, a excepción de recopilaciones de su trabajo tales como The compact King Crimson y Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson. Ocasionalmente los integrantes de la última etapa se reunieron en esfuerzos musicales, como es el caso de Bruford y Levin, quienes trabajaron juntos en ABWH y Yes-Union.
Después de rumores de la sustitución de Bill Bruford por Jerry Marotta (baterista de la primera etapa como solista de Peter Gabriel), la banda presentó en 1995 su nuevo trabajo: THRAK, acompañado pocos meses después por "B'BOOM", un album doble grabado en Argentina y descrito por los mismos integrantes como ‘el disco pirata -bootleg- oficial’. En cierta forma, ambos trabajos podría decirse que resumen la esencia del grupo, por cuanto reunen sus influencias de todas las etapas.
Para esta etapa, se unieron los talentos de Trey Gunn y Pat Mastelotto, soportando el trabajo de Tony Levin y Bill Bruford, respectivamente. Esto dejó a la banda con una inusual configuración "doble-trío" con dos secciones rítmicas completas. Gunn interpreta además del bajo y el Chapman Stick un instrumento nuevo y único: la guitarra Warr, una guitarra de 8 cuerdas con el rango de un piano. Esta alineación de la banda, tuve el honor de verlos en vivo, en Broadway, el 21 de noviembre de 1995.
LOS ULTIMOS DIEZ AÑOS
Los años siguientes, la banda como tal entra en un silencio que sólo se rompió para la grabación de varios albumes titulados The ProjeKcts. Estos trabajos tuvieron un carácter altamente orgánico desde el punto de vista de los integrantes que tocaron en ellos y la música que presentaron, grabada en vivo entre 1997 y 1999.
El afán de experimentación con el que venían los integrantes, condujo a una reunión de cuatro de los miembros (eliminando el concepto de doble-trio), para grabar The ConstruKction of Light, a mi juicio, uno de las producciones menos interesantes que la banda ha grabado. En este album tocaron Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn y Pat Mastelotto.
En el 2001, en una gira durante la cual grabaron el album en vivo Level Five, tuve la segunda oportunidad de verlos interpretar sus trabajos. Aunque musicalmente seguían teniendo un sonido muy superior, como artistas (especialmente Fripp) me dejaron decepcionado: siendo el acto principal del concierto (la banda de John Paul Jones, ex-Led Zeppelin, abrio para ellos), apenas terminaron de tocar su set se fueron para no volver (vale decir, no hubo encore), a pesar de los gritos y peticiones de los fanáticos. Fripp en todo momento se mantuvo alejado de cualquier interacción con el público, incluyendo el momento en que se retiró, cuando lo hizo sin siquiera despedirse.
La misma alineación de la banda se repitió en el album The Power To Believe (2003), album en el cual se reivindicaron musicalmente. A fines del mismo año, Trey Gunn anunió su partida de la banda, siendo reemplazado por Tony Levin.
Aunque KC ha tenido proyectos laterales que los han mantenido ocupados desde el 2003, y se ha anunciado que podrían estar regresando al estudio en Septiembre del 2007, por ahora la noticia mas recientes acerca de la banda o sus miembros (actuales o pasados) fue la de la lamentable muerte de Ian Wallace el 23 de Febrero del 2007.
Conociendo lo que ha hecho Robert Fripp a lo largo de su carrera, seguro mientra viva seguira dando de que hablar... es solo cuestion de tiempo.
Pat Metheny and Pedro Aznar are two the artists I respect the most and "Dream of the Return" is one of the most beautiful songs they ever recorded together.
Below is a slideshow played to the music of this song:
If you like the song as much as I do, you'd be better off getting the album where it appeared: Letter from Home, which earned Metheny a Grammy in 1989. You can buy it from Amazon.com.