December 2004

The Decline of Fashion Photography

Found this little gem among Kottke’s best of 2004.

Recent fashion photography also is more than a bit misogynistic. That is the second thing these various trends have in common. If photographers and editors really cared about the role of women in society, they would use models above the age of 20, who look like they could complete a sentence.

Even though the presentation is very linear it’s nice to see people using the web medium and not just porting over articles.

Passion and Projects

These guys really loved their project

"It's midnight. I've been working sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. I'm not being paid. In fact, my project was canceled six months ago, so I'm evading security, sneaking into Apple Computer's main offices in the heart of Silicon Valley, doing clandestine volunteer work for an eight-billion-dollar corporation."

The Power of Nightmares

Just saw via one point zero that the excellent BBC documentary series "The power of Nightmares" is a available online. Even though the video is crap this is a must see.

In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.

The series follows the parallels in the rise of neo-conservatives in the US and Islamism in the middle east.

Trackback Sucks

better trackback page design

Trackback is a system used by some weblog tools to automatically alert one weblog of a related post in another, the idea is great and would allow weblogs to act a little like a distributed discussion group.

The problem it is never used in its intended way and now it does more damage than good. Take this post by Barlow post as an example, It’s a great post about his first hand experience with post 9/11 airport security and the legal system, but then come the trackbacks, just a long series of "look cool post", "Barlow has a great post", "you must read this" etc... Even if there is one trackback that does contain something interesting it is so buried in the noise that nobody will see it. Much worse however is that the much more informative comments are buried after trackbacks and look very similar to the trackbacks. My guess people that are not familiar with weblogs and even some that are will never even get to the comments, they’ll just scratch their head at the trackbacks and move on to other things.

It would be very easy to solve this with design. First thing would be to move the trackbacks under the comment and design them differently, personally I would just leave the post title and the name of the referring weblog out.

Crazy Road Design

Design roads so they look dangerous and people will be more careful. Wired has an interesting piece on how this is starting to happen.

"The trouble with traffic engineers is that when there's a problem with a road, they always try to add something," Monderman says. "To my mind, it's much better to remove things."

Flash iPod

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball is speculating on the speculation of an upcoming flash based iPod. He points out many of the problems with Apple coming out with a flash based iPod. But I think he misses one important points why Apple should come out with one.

Fair use I want to be able to share some stuff that I buy in the music store with friends. I bought "The Da Vinci Code" for $30, that is steep for an audio book only I can listen to, If I had been smart I would have bought it at Amazon in CD format for the same price.

Now if there was a cheap flash based iPod I could transfer it to that player and borrow the whole player to a friend. In a way re-instituting one aspect of fair use.

Of course for this to work the player needs to be cheap enough, On the other hand it does not need lots of storage. My hunch under $100, sadly I think there is little chance Apple will go down that road.

Web Developer Extension

Chris Pedrick’s FireFox Extention


There is a new version of Chris Pedrick’s fantastic Web Developer Extension for Firefox. A lot has been said about how Firefox is gaining on Internet Explorers, the main arguments tend to be tabs and security. In my case it is the extensions extentions that make me use it and in particular the "Web Developer Extension" that has saved me days of frustration.

The new version .9 now allows me to see what CSS applies to a certain element without using the unwieldy DOM inspector. In short if you do any type of webdesign and don’t have this extention you are wasting valuable time.

Carl Beeth