Bemoaning feature creep
“The truth is, many consumers bemoan the incessant rush of innovation that pushes manufacturers to tamper with products the consumers feel are already perfect. Their grief is not just nostalgia. Drivers who miss the subcompact Japanese cars of yesteryear, and runners who yearn for the discontinued New Balance 855 running shoe with an anti-pronating roll bar, are victims of ‘feature creep,’ said Jon Linkov, a managing editor at Consumer Reports. This phenomenon, generated by market forces, media hype and twitchy retailers, creates a cycle in which products are constantly improved even if they don’t need to be…’[BMW] was a company that talked about ‘no cup holders. You’re supposed to be driving, not drinking in your car. Now they are power-everything, bigger, heavier in every way. They are these luxury tourers filled with leather and wood.’”
Michael Bierut radio interview
“In a world where a logo can induce epileptic seizures (as did the 2012 London Olympics logo), being a graphic designer involves a lot of responsibility. Graphic design expert and critic Michael Bierut joins us to answer your questions about logos, packaging, and fonts.”
“Dick in a Box” rush job
“The week of ‘Dick in a Box,’ the trio wasn’t even planning to do a short, but [Lorne] Michaels pushed them to do a musical parody because Justin Timberlake was hosting the show. (‘I gave them a direct order,’ Michaels says.) So they wrote, shot, and cut together the sketch between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. A couple of months and over 10 million downloads later, [Andy] Samberg found himself singing a surprise duet with Timberlake in front of 18,000 screaming fans at Madison Square Garden.”
101 one-paragraph recipes that take 10 minutes or less
“The trouble is that when it’s too hot, even the most resourceful cook has a hard time remembering all the options. So here are 101 substantial main courses, all of which get you in and out of the kitchen in 10 minutes or less.”
Limiting emails to five sentences
“Every e-mail I send to anyone, regardless of subject or recipient, will be five sentences or less. Like a cinquain. Ideally, it would be a 160 character count like an SMS message, but since that would require an actual e-mail plug-in (viz. ‘work’), we’ll go with the much-easier-to-count concept of sentences instead.” [via DF]
Enough with the annoying little lights on everything
“My PC and other computing equipment make my office look like a jet cockpit. I have two LCD monitors, each of which has two indicator lights that flash even when the PC is turned off. The attached sound control has a light on it. My keyboard has multiple lights. The power cord has lights, the printer has lights, and the power button is illuminated. My cable modem and Linksys router flash like crazy all the time. Together, these useless lights create a visual cacophony of blinking, multicolored lights that make me feel like I’m taking part in a NASA stress test for astronaut candidates.”
Sucky iPhone+AT&T bill
“It’s a staggeringly, hatefully complex document, designed by some Monty Pythoneseque committee in charge of consumer confusion.”
17 bookmarklets for your iPhone
“Here’s a little known secret: bookmarklets work on your iPhone…There are billions of them, and below are my favorites. These work wonderfully on a computer, but they’ll add an extra boost of functionality to your iPhone.”
“Every problem comes from a solution.”
“Bad side effects are perceived as failure, but they are just as likely to be the product of success. It was the automobile’s utility and affordability that led to highway congestion, the computer’s limitless adaptability that brought us spam, the cell phone’s functional convenience that turns it at times into a public enemy. As architectural planner Jane Thompson says, ‘Every problem comes from a solution.’ Or, to put it another way, every silver lining turns out to be under another cloud.”
Facebook vs. MySpace
“MySpace was a great social network for a while, but now there are too many spammers and the developers have stopped innovating. Facebook is just starting to become popular (well, popular with those who were not on it when it was limited to schools). So, you might want to check it out, while it’s still cool.”
The ecology of innovation
“An innovation economy depends on intellectual property law, tax codes, patent procedures, export controls, immigration regulations and factors making up what [William Wulf] calls ‘the ecology of innovation.’ Unfortunately, he argues, in the United States too many of these components are unworkable, irrelevant, inadequate, outdated or ‘fundamentally broken.’”
The marketing blog post formula
“Find something topical. In [Lauren] Turner’s case, it was the release of Michael Moore’s new film. Identify the shiznit you wish to pimp. In Ms Turner’s case, it was Google’s Health Advertising services. Find a line (however tenuous) between the two and the post just writes itself! These posts are easy to write, and so everyone does them. Hell, even I’ve been guilty of it at times. The posts are unsatisfying for the same reason they’re easy to write: they have no actual insight or useful information.”