16 March 2007

digital -> analog

Here's a couple of images of a part built by our ZCorp Spectrum 510 printer, courtesy of David Cawley. The printer uses a type of powder infused with a binder by color ink jet heads, which also contains the dye that gave it color. When the parts come out of the machine they are very brittle, but this one has been infused with paraffin wax, which makes it stronger and also enhances the color. You can't see all the detail inside - there's also a spiral staircase from top to bottom.

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - music: Do we still need record shops?

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - music: Do we still need record shops?

I've managed to divest myself of about 80-90% of the records I once owned - I've digitized some, and for most of them the music is easily obtainable in digital form. Everytime I go through the stack, I get rid of more, but so many evoke intense waves of nostalgia and I can't part with them.

I wonder what physical icons future generations will have - perhaps looking at an old broken iPod and remembering the playlist they loaded when they first bought it.

Analog media does have a particular richness that's hard to duplicate in the digital world. But I think it was Nicolas Negroponte who posited that "Everything that can become digital, will", and this seems to be an inescapable law.

10 March 2007


Check this out quick before the copyright police get it taken down: http://dylanhearsawho.com/home.htm. Brilliant! I wish I had the patience to do something like that.

While I was trying to get more info about this project, I ran across the "No Direction, Period" video - there are a lot of creative people out there.

02 March 2007

Yahoo! races to the bottom

I got in the habit of using myYahoo as a personal portal some years ago - can't even remember when. For a while I've been aware that there are lots of better options out there but it's one of those things where you get used to the quirks and it seems like too much trouble to change. But it's finally gotten so annoying that I'm ready to look for a better alternative.

I'm really tolerant of adds in general, but I first got annoyed with the frenetic graphics dancing across the screen encouraging me to refinance my mortgage. At least that was on the weather page and not on the home page. But now, Yahoo has started selling video ads that drop down over the text of the page. When you go to myYahoo, the bar at the top (in the picture it's a Coldwell Banker ad) rolls down blocking the page while the video runs. This is just super annoying, worse than a popup.

I'm totally sympathetic to a company like Yahoo that tries to innovate and needs to sell advertising to survive, but they are driving away a long-time customer by going too far. It makes me wonder if they can survive without really rethinking their business model. Their biggest problem may not be Google but themselves. I can't believe anyone who works there would voluntarily put up with something so annoying.

I'll let you know what I end up using and what I learn along the way. Next stop Google.