‘What the Font’ helps you Identify Fonts

October 1, 2010

Have you ever seen a font on a menu or sign or in a magazine and wondered what it is? Perhaps because you think it would be perfect for a job you’re working on? Or perhaps because you’re a designer who’s simply font-mad like me?

Now there’s a new online service in beta from MyFonts.com called What the Font that allows you to upload an image file (up to 2 MB) and will attempt to match and identify the typeface.

Snap an image with your iPhone or other mobile device, prep it according to the site’s requirements, and upload it. If there’s no match in their database, there’s also a forum where you can post your type sample and see if anyone there can give you the name.

Apple Computer History by OnlineSchools.org

September 30, 2010

Here’s a neat chart that details the highlights of Apple’s history from the good folks at OnlineSchools.org. Click on image for larger size.

The Interwebs are Running Out of IP Addresses

September 30, 2010

“The Internet will soon be sailing in very rough seas, as it’s about to run out of addresses, needing to be gutted and reconfigured for continued growth in the second half of the 2010s and beyond. Originally, the idea was that this upgrade would happen quietly in the background, but over the past few years, it has become clear that the change from the current Internet Protocol version 4, which is quickly running out of addresses, to the new version 6 will be quite a messy affair.”

Iljitsch van Beijnum from Ars Technica explains why this is a problem and how solving it will be a protracted, messy affair here.

40 Extremely Useful Photoshop PSD Templates from Graphic Mania

September 30, 2010

Photoshop PSD templates for business cards, DVD labels and cases, web sites, task bar buttons, film strips, desk top wall papers, Android icons, folder icons, iPhone 4G art and much more collected by Rafiq Elmansy of Graphic Mania. Find them all here. Thanks, Rafiq!

More Free Paper Textures for Downloading from Save/Delete

September 30, 2010

A collection of 10 sites that provide free paper textures for both personal and professional use from the good folks at Save/Delete. Thanks, guys! Go here for the links.

10 Useful Mac OSX Apps from Smash!ng Apps

September 30, 2010

OK, you know the drill: the cool cats and kittens at one of our favorite sites Smash!ng Apps have compiled yet another great list of useful OSX apps for the Mac faithful. Go get ’em here. Now move along, nothing to see here. . .

Will Web Designers Become Obsolete?

September 30, 2010

Smashing Magazine has an excellent analysis of the future of web site design, and the news is not good for professional web designers. Could we become the next generation of typesetters – the well paying job that was eliminated with the advent of desktop publishing? There are lots of reason to think so. Function over Form. Content is King. Mobile Apps are King. Even (shudder) FaceBook.

Read this piece and a rebuttal, I Want to be a Web Designer When I Grow Up here.

Clarity on Copyright: The Purpose of Copyright Law – It’s Not What You Think

August 16, 2010

In the digital age with the almost frictionless ability to reproduce audio, video and text the issue of copyright has entered the mainstream in a big way. No longer the rarified domain of intellectual property attorneys, copyright issues make the news with the regularity of the latest RIAA lawsuit over the unauthorized sharing of music files and the current sturm and drang over Wikileaks posting of the Afghan War Diary.

It seems people only remember the first half of Stewart Brand’s famous pronouncement in 1987, “Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive . . .That tension will not go away.” In 1984 at the first Hackers Conference, Brand put it in a more nuanced way:

“On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.”

Thanks to the good folks at TechDirt for linking to this excellent article by attorney and associate professor Lydia Pallas Lorn of Northwestern’s School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, The Purpose of Copyright Law.

Copyright and patent law derives from a clause in the US constitution and “the primary purpose of copyright is not, as many people believe, to protect authors against those who would steal the fruits of their labor,” according to the author. The purpose of copyright is “to promote the progress of knowledge and learning.”

Pallas Loren traces the origin of this concept from English common law and the early publishing industry to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and beyond. I believe this is essential reading for anyone who creates content today – from the lowly blog scribe all the way up to Lady Gaga. Understanding copyright is necessary and Lydia Pallas Loren lays it all out clearly and definitively, in my opinion.

I wish the web contained more writing of this quality and thoughtfulness and less gossip, opinions, trivia and noise about disposable celebrities and manufactured scandals. ” ‘Tis of no importance what bats and oxen think.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Flash vs. HTML5 for video: Will the Designers Decide?

June 9, 2010

I agree with Steve Job’s position on Adobe’s Flash (see his Thoughts on Flash) primarily because of its resource hogging nature, long load times, vulnerability to malicious code explaoits and the fact that it causes my browser to hang  or crash.

The other reason is because I believe that Content is King and I always skip the whiz-bang Flash intro’s to web sites whenever I have that option. If I want animation, I’ll go to Pixar and Disney.

H+Jobs clearly favors HTML5 and here’s a nice page of Demos and Examples.

But clearly there is room for debate here. Peter Wayner of InfoWorld makes the case for Flash gives 7 good reasons why developers will stick with it, despite the word from On High out of Cupertino.

He positions the discussion differently than most who have weighed in on this debate by identifying the user base as the most important element in the continued use of Flash on the web: “The real battle,” he writes, “is in the hearts and eyes of the artists who are paid to create incredibly beautiful objects in the span of just a few hours. The designers will make the final determination. As long as Flash and its cousins Flex and Shockwave remain the simplest tools for producing drop-dead gorgeous Websites, they’ll keep their place on the Internet.”

Tim Berners-Lee, Linked Open Data and a Bag of Potato Chips

May 28, 2010

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who created the web while working at CERN, is someone we should listen to when he talks about the future development of the Internet.

What he’s hot on right now is something called Linked Open Data, something he believes will be the next evolutionary step for web development. He uses the information on a bag of potato chips to illustrate this concept:

The outside of the bag contains different sets of information, each using a different vocabulary and coming from a different source, Berners-Lee explained.

The front of the package displays the name of the brand and the company’s own marketing claim that the chips are crunchy. The back of the package has nutritional information, such as calories and vitamins, defined by terms generated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Finally, there is a Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on the bottom of the package, which is not understood by humans at all but rather is recognized by scanning machines globally as the moniker for the item.

In other words, this single package of information actually is a collection of data and attributes that have been developed by multiple parties, not just Utz.

For the rest of the article, go here at IT World.

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