Monthly Archive for June, 2006

Adobe Flash Player 9

Product Manager Emmy Huang writes in the Adobe Development Center:

As we looked at our goals for Flash Player 9, however, we realized that it would be too limiting to continue to evolve the existing engine. We wanted to create a watershed moment in the history of Flash Player, and to deliver it we needed to be able to innovate without constraint.

As a result, ActionScript 3.0 is essentially a full rewrite of the ActionScript engine. ActionScript 3.0 executes in a new, highly-optimized virtual machine known as AVM2, which we built for efficiency and performance. Although AVM2 will be the primary virtual machine for ActionScript execution going forward, Flash Player will continue to support the older AVM1 for backwards compatibility with existing and legacy content.

However, in order to take advantage of the new features, we’ll have to wait for the release of Flash Professional 9, (or play around with an alpha patch for Flash 8), according to the FAQ:

Designers and developers interested in using new Flash Player 9 features are welcome to explore the public alpha of Adobe Flash Professional 9 ActionScript 3.0 available on Adobe Labs.

It’s curiously timed… isn’t it unprecedented for Macromedia/Adobe releasing Player 9 almost a year in advance of Flash Professional 9? And, I don’t think that we’ll see wide-spread adoption until there is actually some Flash 9 content out there on the web. I’ll start paying attention in 2007.

Outlook 2007 & Gcal

I’m one of those stiffs who loves his Powerbook, but is forced by necessity (and Corporate IT) to work in Windows XP and Outlook all day. Meeting requests come in and tasks are assigned, all using Outlook. However, because I rely so much on Gmail in my personal life, I store personal events online with Google Calendar.

Everything works seamlessly on my mac, as Apple’s iCal software allows subscriptions. But there is no way to get Outlook 2003 to sync or share data in the iCalendar format… in fact, I think that Outlook stores its information in some Microsoft proprietary format, by default. I think you can import/export ICS files, but there is no subscription or publish method.

Gcal Subscribe

Gcal allows subscriptions to iCalendar feeds

I shouldn’t forget to mention the excellent open source project RemoteCalendars, which allows you to subscribe to iCalendar feeds, with a bit of tweaking. But, this wasn’t quite what I craved – I wanted to not only subscribe to my Gcal calendar, but also allow Gcal to pick up my work appointments. That way, I can get reminders of early meetings, etc., when I’m away from my work desk.

Outlook 2007 beta 2

Enter the new Office beta. Not only is this version the Bravest Software Upgrade Ever, it also added a lot of great functionality to Outlook.

Out of the box, you can subscribe to iCalendar feeds, such as those provided by Gcal, 30Boxes, or other online apps. More impressively, you can publish your calendar to either your own WebDAV server, or to Office Online directly. Then, you can subscribe to the published iCalendar feed in any online calendars that support the standard. Outlook will periodically update the published file as you make adjustments or additions to your calendar.

Publish to Internet

Outlook 2007’s Publish to Internet feature

So, now I have access to both my personal and work calendars at all times, no matter where I am. (Hell, if I wanted to pay Cingular for bandwidth, I could use GcalSync to push everything to my RAZR.)

The only real caveat is that you have to publish your Outlook calendar with “Unrestricted Access”—because Microsoft uses their LiveID technology to grant access on a per-user basis, and Gcal (or any other service) won’t be able to authenticate unless it’s public. I’m not sure how secure this is yet, but for the moment I’m too in love with this setup to let that bother me.

Another minor caveat – you’ll have to uninstall Acrobat 6, as it causes Outlook to crash a lot.

Other than that, it’s a pretty stable beta.

Digg This

links for 2006-06-26

Bicycle Drift
Get that Fast & the Furious Tokyo Drift action with your bike [via Yewknee]

The Culture of Fugly
DxF is back, arguing against those who argue “bad design is good design”… I love the redesign.

Project Runway to return on July 12
I became a fan midway through season 2, so I can’t wait for the new crew. It’s a great reality show for creative-minded people.

Slate redesigns
More, more, more… and, huge-ass rollover menus.

Asobi Seksu @ Great Scott

Asobi Seksu

Yuki Chikudate and Asobi Seksu performing at Great Scott in Allston.

We went to The Plan at Great Scott on Saturday night to see the Brooklyn band Asobi Seksu – I got some good shots of them and two of the opening bands.

As I wrote earlier, the new record Citrus is an incredible step forward for them, and the live show succeeded in duplicating the wash of guitars and noise, without completely covering up Yuki’s voice. They’re nice people, too.

The other great thing during the set were the lights and smoke effects… so cool. The Plan people are really showing up the old Cambridge clubs, because it was freaking cool.

links for 2006-06-19

2006 World Cup logoErik Spiekermann trashes the World Cup branding
All designers like to talk shit, but I think he’s just jealous of the gig. [via]

It’s like Quicksilver for Windows. [via]

Vox Invites

Six Apart has Opened Up Invites for Vox
Can I please have one? Thanks Matt!

Now, anybody want to upgrade me to a Standard; account? ;-)

Diesel Sweeties

dump.gifI love Diesel Sweeties

I prefer to name my computers and devices after imaginary girls who would never go out with me.

Glass Candy

micNobuko and I went to see PDX’s Glass Candy play at Great Scott last night… wow, what a fun show.

It’s a three piece band, made up of a drummer, guitarist, and a glammed up blonde singer named Ida No. They use a lot of loops and beats, which mix with some relentless drumming and No’s post-punk vocal stylings. She coos, she screams, and she meanders around the stage, barefoot.

And most of all, she makes white boys like me dance. She’s Debbie Harry on meth. What’s not to like?

My New York City friends can catch them tonight at Don Hill’s, with the Chromatics.

West Elm in the Fenway

West Elm in Boston!Apparently, West Elm is coming to the Fenway, in the new Trinity mixed-use complex under construction between Boylston & Brookline Aves.

Our house is all IKEA, but if you have a bit more money to throw around, West Elm has some nice stuff.

The Omen

666Rating: B+

So yea, I went to the movies on 6/6/06, to see the remake of The Omen. I was surprised to find the theater packed on a Tuesday night, but the full house added to the suspense.

Here’s my quick review: ready?

  • The story takes its time to develop, but its not “slow”.
  • The production design was incredible, with on-location shooting in Italy, London, and Jerusalem.
  • Julia Stiles is one of the better actresses of her generation, and it was interesting to see her play a wife and mother.
  • Why is the Roman Catholic hierarchy always portrayed as evil?
  • Kids are creepy.
  • Mia Farrow is creepy.
  • Why are horror films all edited like The Ring now?

links for 2006-06-07

Google Calendar Notifier Firefox Extension
Exactly what I needed — a little pop-up reminder for my gCal appointments.

Google Spreadsheets Announced
A limited trial for now, though I was granted access in less than 24 hours – sign up . Om wonders if it’s a waste of time and talent.

Google AJAX Search API
The possibilities are endless.

Copyrights Pressure

The New York Times discovered everybody’s favorite cut-rate Russian MP3 site… And apparently, the Moscow-based business is holding up Russia’s application to the WTO, (nevermind that it’s a totally legal service inside Russia).

In other news, I found this BBC headline humorous: Website back after Swedish raids – almost conjures up visions of Viking mauraders… anyway, The Pirate Bay is up, and the Swedes are starting to take to the streets. Stay tuned…

30 Rock

30rock_pre2.jpgNBC’s 30 Rock will be on in the fall
Starring Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Rachel Dratch, & Alec Baldwin. It could be the funniest thing on NBC next year, (sorry Scrubs), if not for this horrible promotional copy:

Welcome to the set of The Girly Show, a fictional television show that serves as the backdrop to Tina Fey’s new workplace comedy. Liz Lemon (Fey) is The Girly Show’s head writer and is being pushed to the edge of reason by the show’s two stars and a demanding network honcho. In order for Liz to keep her job, and her sanity, she has to balance the egos, the mandates and the neuroses while maintaining The Girly Show laughs. It won’t be easy! In this bold, star-studded comedy, anything can happen!

Nevermind that — check out the video clip, and you’ll get a better idea. [via]

links for 2006-06-02

My new favorite hometown weblog Buffalo Rising pours its heart out for the black and red, (maybe soon to return to the blue and gold?)

Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. assembles and analyzes the evidence – disturbing as it is, I don’t think it will stick. We gotta be ready for ’08.

Al Gore’s presentation in An Inconvenient Truth was designed and executed on Macs, using Keynote
“One of the great things about Keynote,” [coproducer] Chilcott points out, “is that we could import and export video and images at extremely high resolution to give the presentation an HD look.”

Links for 2006-06-01

The Movie Binge
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Matt Jacobs and the Movie Binge team will watch every major movie released, and blog about it. Matt was also interviewed on WNYC [mp3].

Yahoo! launches its YouTube killer – Yahoo! Video
TechCrunch has a nice roundup, but bemoans the decision not to fold this functionality into Flickr. I’d rather see the Flickr folks implement video sharing on their own – and design it more for their audience.

Elsewares – Independent Art & Design
A catalog of unique products from independent designers and entrepreneurs, (similar to Etsy)

New to You, New to Me

A couple of music things to post about today – something new, and somethingnew to me

Asobi SeksuAsobi Seksu – Citrus

The New York City band released their 2nd album this week, and it’s very good. They always reminded me of My Bloody Valentine meets Pizzicato Five, only better… and I absolutely love Sean McCabe’s artwork. Check them out on Myspace, or peep my shots of lead singer Yuki dancing with Jenna.

Tilly and the WallTilly and the Wall – Wild Like Children

I am so not into Bright Eyes, but I love this band… The album reminds me of 60’s folk music, as sung by Omaha hipsters. Village Indian has some MP3s and an interview, and you can check out the video for Ice Storm, Big Gust, and You to get the idea. If you liked Jenny Lewis’ solo album, you might like Tilly.