Danny Dimian, Visual Effects Supervisor, and Josh Beveridge, Head of Character Animation, for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” share exclusive breakdowns and talk about their inspiration and the techniques they used to create a new visual language for their Academy Award-winning film.
Research has shown that modals that cannot be closed have the highest conversion rates.
Putting this on Medium: *chef’s kiss*
Great writing on this well-researched story, by Jason Hoffman:
At first glance, the bug appeared to be fairly routine, most likely a small problem somewhere in the website’s code or a strange coincidence. After just a few hours though, it became clear that the stakes for this one particular bug were far graver than anyone could have anticipated. If Firefox were to release this version of their browser as-is, they risked breaking an unknown, but still predictably rather large number of websites, all at once. Why that is has everything to do with the way MooTools was built, where it drew influence from, and the moment in time it was released. So to really understand the problem, we’ll have to go all the way back to the beginning.
Avi Asher-Schapiro makes some good points about The Inventor that I failed to consider:
Missing from the film, however, is any sustained effort to understand how Theranos interacted with the larger economic and social forces that nurtured it. In the hands of Gibney, the rise and fall of Theranos is reduced to a sort of personality puzzle, driven by the banal questions like: What was Elizabeth Holmes thinking? Is she a liar? How could seemingly competent investors be so misled?
That’s a shame, because the story of Theranos is so much more than that. At its root, it’s a parable that cuts to the central dysfunctions in the American economic and political order, one that should dismantle our notions of meritocracy and put a strict limit on our forbearance for elites. It illuminates how the rich and well connected occupy different strata of life, enjoy a completely different set of opportunities from the rest of us, experience a different kind of justice, and are so often immune from consequences. Though the film gives some glimpses of these dynamics, they are always in the background, shadowed by other far less compelling narrative impulses.
It’s relatively easy to write and speak about new technologies. You’re excited about them, and there’s probably an eager audience who can learn from what you have to say.
It’s trickier to write something insightful about a tried and trusted (perhaps even boring) technology that’s been around for a while. You could maybe write little tips and tricks, but I bet your inner critic would tell you that nobody’s interested in hearing about that old tech. It’s boring.
The result is that what’s being written about is not a reflection of what’s being widely used.
How many features are built-in to a framework or library that your app doesn’t need yet (and may never need)? How much can you hold back from the package you send to the web? How dependent are these modules and bits of code on one another? To me, that sounds like a lot of analysis up front to pick apart a tool before I even write a single line of code to be truly productive. It is also the antithesis of Progressive Enhancement, which strives to start with the bare minimum necessary to make it work and build up from there.
“You want it to be true so badly, and even for me, I was working with these devices every single day, and she could still kind of convince me. When I think back on those conversations, I just think, how did she do that?”
I had only a surface-level understanding of the Theranos story, so to me the subject matter was absolutely gripping. The idea behind the company was so good, so elegant, that you do just want it to be true.
As a documentary, it’s articulate and well-framed, but also somewhat bland and needlessly repetitive. Alex Gibney’s films, when they really click for me (this one and Going Clear most of all), seem to do so largely despite his direction, not because of it.
I knew nothing about Enron before watching this, and I came in expecting explosive revelations. But the most shocking aspect here is just how little I was shocked by the whole scandal. We truly are living in a golden age of grifting. Things like this are now, if not normal, expected.
More on scammers, by Maureen Dowd:
As Maria Konnikova wrote in her book, “The Confidence Game,” “The whirlwind advance of technology heralds a new golden age of the grift. Cons thrive in times of transition and fast change” when we are losing the old ways and open to the unexpected.
We are easy marks for faux Nigerian princes now, when chaos rules, the American identity wobbles, and technology is transforming our lives in awe-inspiring and awful ways.
See also, on Wired: Nigerian Email Scammers Are More Effective Than Ever.
Prompted by the college admissions bribery scandal in the US, the hosts of Do By Friday had an interesting discussion about grifting on a recent episode of the podcast. This article by Tom Gara was mentioned by Max Temkin and caught my attention:
We are living in a golden age of grifting. For an ambitious scammer in 2018, this is like being a sculptor in 1500s Florence — every major force at play in our world is like a wind at your back. In politics, a team of all-star grifters now runs the United States, and their fake-it-till-you-make-it ethos bleeds into everything it touches and elevates aspirational young con artists into national figures. Technology now allows you to create and maintain an entirely constructed identity, giving you not just the tools to manipulate your image and massage the truth of your everyday life, but also an audience hungry to consume that image and believe in it.
Time is a flat circle.
Bad in all the wrong ways, trading the gaudy excess and over-the-top action for faux sentimentality and the least genuine attempt at ’80s nostalgia I’ve ever seen.
Particularly insulting is the score, constantly trying to trick you into thinking you’re watching a cute Disney moment, except it’s an ugly robot trying to sit on a sofa and almost crushing a dog.
Turns out only Michael Bay can make Transformers movies because he is an auteur. Bring back the breakneck-pace kinetic editing and the pyramids exploding and the robots peeing on each other.
Is this a dig at Silicon Valley techbros? I love it. Reminded me of an old New Yorker cartoon:
“Yes, the planet got destroyed. But for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders.”
Short and sweet, full of personality. The kind of game that makes me want to make games.
Prompted by an excellent Kurzgesagt video on the subject, Jason Kottke reflects on what to do with old blog posts that don’t quite pass muster anymore:
But so anyway, I don’t know what to do about those old problematic posts. Tim Berners-Lee’s idea that cool URIs don’t change is almost part of my DNA at this point, so deleting them seems wrong. Approximately no one ever reads any post on this site that’s more than a few years old, but is that an argument for or against deleting them? (If a tree falls in the woods, etc…) Should I delete but leave a note they were deleted? Should I leave the original posts but append updates citing my current displeasure? Or like Mister Rogers used to do, should I rewrite the posts to bring them more into line with my current thinking? Is the kottke.org archive trapped in amber, a record of what I’ve written when I wrote it, or is it a living, breathing thing that thrives on activity? Is it more like a book or a performance?
This is an issue I struggle with, too. I no longer agree with some of my older film reviews, and some even contain mistakes. Should I delete them? Do I need to rewatch the films and write new reviews?
I might implement something I’ve seen in other blogs: a notice on old posts saying something to the effect of “this post is old, I might not agree with it anymore.”
When everyone finished translating articles to semantic, accessible HTML, I let them in on a secret: This was still design. While we hadn’t yet incorporated color, typography or composition, we had made decisions about prioritization, hierarchy, information architecture and user experience. And those decisions would be the most resilient… accessible to virtually any visitor, not just those blessed few with perfect vision, hearing and mobility. The web was the only medium that offered designers the chance to craft one work for such a varied landscape with so few gatekeepers.
Timothy B. Lee:
In January 2016, Musk predicted that Tesla cars would be able to drive autonomously coast to coast “in ~2 years.”
Needless to say, this hasn’t happened.
More than a critique of Tesla, this article is a good roundup of current thinking around self-driving technology.