Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category
I know my rights. I carry The Card. But I also know that on the street, the police have the ability to wreck a shoot. This one was not time-sensitive, but many are. And even worse, they can write you up, take you in — and even put you on any of a number of secret lists in our new DHS Secret Police State.
I know this because a very good friend of mine asserted his rights to — get this — a rent-a-cop private security consultant while shooting a twilight shot of a hotel during a commercial job. He made the mistake of being near train tracks where, according to the private security guy, the Constitution was no longer in effect.
My friend won the argument, but lost the war. The security guard/terrorist detection specialist turned out to be a vindictive jerk. The photog is now on an “increased scrutiny list” that adds a long and special wait at TSA any time he flies.
That sucks. And it’s not right — or even legal. But that is the environment we are now in. Like it or not, we have to deal with ignorant bystanders and/or ultimately, uniformed police officers potentially screwing up our shoots. Or worse.
[What a mess. But not a bad plan.]
Our essential human duty – without question – is to see into other people’s hearts and minds, no matter how heinous their thoughts and actions may be, and we must understand and empathize with why they think and act the way they do.
[A favorite writer on the topic of cycling, but just generally, I dig the dude's work.]
We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between. The app idea, which came first, was a way we were hoping to make TV without going through all the TV hoops. The magazine came later. Of course you want your peers and the public to engage with something like this, but I don’t have any idea of who the people are or what they really think of it. I’m always prepared for people to be like, “This is just f—ing too ridiculous,” and then it will all be over.
The first audience I think about is us: Can we make something we don’t hate? Then it’s my friends: Can I create something they will think is cool even though they have to listen to me bitch all the time? Then it’s people out in the world. And my secret hope is that a certain aspect of the magazine leads them down an unexpected alley—reading more Junichiro Tanizaki, or chasing down a Bill Orcutt record, or seeking out Kay & Ray’s potato chips.
I think Dave is incapable of stopping himself from following ideas that interest him. He doesn’t have a brand he’s worried about; he’s not worried about a message; he’s not interested in trying to create something that’s going to be a blockbuster. Failure is an option, but only when you’ve done something that says, “This is the most honest thing we can put out there.” So that allows us to make it as weird as we want because we believe in what we’re doing.
I can’t speak to how he runs his businesses, but he has just scores and scores of talented people, and he is creating scenarios where they run this restaurant and this restaurant—Dave Chang is not the chef of it. I’m probably in a much more stoney-baloney sort of way into that idea, but, also just creatively, that’s exciting to me. You find people and let them really go out on their own with it and then shape it as much as it needs to land on its feet.
[The bold bits (added by myself) are a model I've followed for years.]
I don’t know if it’s a good idea, or if it will prove usable. But I’m in full favor of the spirit.
[Brent's right on. innovation is hard. You often have a try a lot of things before you get to "there".]
So Apple, which claims to use the EPUB format exclusively, has now created an incompatible, proprietary version of that format. And with iBooks Author they’ve added licensing terms that restrict what an author can do with the generated content.
The designers of iBooks Author went to great lengths to make sure that the program will not work with “the industry-leading ePub digital book file type.”
[Nobody says you have to use Apple's tools. Nobody says you have to publish an iBook. No one says that iBook == ePub. What's the problem here? If you don't like the format, if you have a vested interest in seeing ePub be the one and only true format then by all means don't publish your stuff via Author and its currently greedy EULA. Don't whine that you'll be missing out on sales, if all this other stuff is important to you that's a choice you get to make. Everyone runs into this situation growing up. One kid owns a ball. We gather to play a game. Kid is unhappy with the way the game is going (for them) and take their ball and go home. If you want to play in APple's sandbox, it's by their rules. If that doesn't make you happy, don't play. Feel feel to discourage others not to play.]
Written by Daniel
January 24, 2012 at 9:23 am
Posted in commentary
In other words: Apple is trying to establish a rule that whatever I create with this application, if I sell it, I have to give them a cut. And iBooks Author is free, so this arrangement sounds pretty reasonable.
[This is being bandied back and forth. Where else but through iBooks would an iBooks file be used so who cares, or maybe it was an overzealous lawyer at Apple, or as the above. What is the place of books in the future of education.
I was rarely interested in sitting and reading a textbook. Even history, with its arc and story was often reduced to a memorization of a bunch of facts about which I no longer had the slightest interest. But science lab, or a field trip to a historical place, or anything where you did something, worked with something, *touched* something worked for me.
So where do textbooks fit? Where does it make sense to have a primary learning experience consist of this? Most of us can look up facts whenever we need them. We can find well written accounts of virtually any topic, and it'll include almost up to the minute news and recent changes in all but the most esoteric fields.
What I'd like to see for my kid is some sort of 1:1 iPad to student program. That should easily cover the 5 Rs. Art class, music class, etc. can all be bought this way as well, although I wouldn't try and remove the chance for kids to play real instruments, apply paint to canvas, water color, go to museums, and mix stuff together in a science lab. Quite the opposite, I would encourage that more time and money be spent on those things. The social experience of going to school, the chance to bring Noah first hand (literally) experience with things that I cannot are why I want from his school. I admit, to my sorrow, that part of this is also "day care". Both my wife and I work, so we need to make sure some one we trust is caring for Noah, but I want that time filled with great stuff now, while his mind is like a sponge. For the moment, Noah's working on the basics (reading , writing, etc.) Soon those things will be just gateway skills to the real stuff. And I want him to have a modern education, not one that was designed 100 years ago.]
Source: venomous porridge
So there’s a pointer to this Inc. article in my inbox this morning. I don’t need any convincing about the potential for a company to form its own work schedule. But it seems to me that this article is lying, or the author is fooling himself, or worse, he’s taking advantage of his employees. To wit: The Case for a Four-Day Work Week
The extra time for research makes for a well-informed team and the realization they have something unique.
So they work 40 hours in 4 days. But then, they get to do research on their “day off”. Huh? How is that helping? I realize that they can run errands and do other things at home since their not expected in the office, and mot likely do not have to answer email, the phone etc. But this smacks of creating a 48 hour work week to me. Either include the research in the work week (“Hey, I need my people to keep up!”) or crow to Inc. magazine how you you fooled your employees into a 48 hour work week and here’s how. Or, one more possibility, no one’s doing anything significant for the company on that day and he knows it. Which makes the article a lie about the benefits of time for research.
Now compare that to how Jason Fried talks about the topic of his company’s schedule:
I don’t believe in the 40-hour workweek, so we cut all that BS about being somewhere for a certain number of hours. I have no idea how many hours my employees work — I just know they get the work done.
Only half the people in the company lives in the area where they could possibly come into the office. But there’s no requirement to at all. They don’t track hours because that’s not the goal. The goal is getting stuff done. I’ll bet there are weeks where people work many more than 40 hours, and times when they work less. Does it matter? Being home to “meet the plumber” shouldn’t be a benefit, but common sense. Not being able to schedule appointments and handle the trivia of life adds enormous stress to people. Do you want a bunch of stressed out, unfocused, people working with you? (do you think the leak held? No shower this morning, gah. etc. throughout the day) Do you want to create an environment where people consider lying as a time management strategy? (Hmm, I should call in sick so I can take care of this.)
Anyway, regardless of whether any of this works for you or your company try not to use it as a means of extending the work week rather than embracing the real benefits.
But there are a number of advantages to being small. Chief among them may be the ability to connect with individual customers and achieve a level of transparency impossible (or at least undesirable) for larger, factory type farming operations.
“I think a lot of people are finding out – not just farmers, but also fish providers and other producers – that transparency in and of itself is a great marketing tool,” says Barry Estabrook, James Beard award-winning food journalist and author of Tomatoland. “That means encouraging your customers to visit your farm, to talk about how you produce food if you serve a market or CSA.” For its part, the government is at least aware of a growing desire among consumers to learn about where their food comes from. In 2009, the USDA launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) to help strengthen local and regional food systems by helping consumers “connect with their food and the people who grow and raise it.”
[It grow ever more obvious to me that in a world filled with "marketing" that lacks substance that the solution is purchase as much as possible from people. The environment benefits, your community benefits, you benefit. A triple play.]
Source: Blog: Slow Food USA
Carter said last year, “All industrial designers, and I consider myself one, work within constraints. Architects have to build roofs that keep the rain out and so on. It’s particularly severe in the case of type designers, because what we work with had its form essentially frozen way before there was even typography. The Latin alphabet hasn’t changed in a very long time,” said Carter. (Carter declined to comment on Roboto in particular, but gave me permission to quote generally from last year’s interview.)
Duarte echoed this in an interview conducted a few weeks ago. He said, about constraints around developing interfaces and fonts for new media, that “The important thing is each of the new technologies creates new boundaries for new types of expression. There are new tradeoffs. For everything that is lost, there are new possibilities.”
Gruber says: Roboto is just the new Arial.
[Setting aside the typographica for the moment, deciding on constraint maybe the single greatest factor in any work. Nothing is free when it comes to this decision.]
Source: Daring Fireball
Every time around the loop, since then, the Internet has served as the antidote to the controls that the tech industry would place on users. Every time, the tech industry has a rationale, with some validity, that wide-open access would be a nightmare. But eventually we overcome their barriers, and another layer comes on. And the upstarts become the installed-base, and they make the same mistakes all over again.
[Like all things, we run in cycles. They are rarely broken.]
Written by Daniel
January 2, 2012 at 9:57 am
Posted in commentary