Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Archive for September, 2011

Midnight Marauder

A Tumbler [sic] dedicated to the art of Criterion Collection covers.

Downright gorgeous cover art in this curated collection. The jacket for Scarecrow is particularly excellent.

Amazon Looking to Buy Palm

A well-placed source tells us that HP is currently looking to rid itself of Palm as soon as possible, and that Amazon is the closest to finalizing the deal, among a handful of contenders.

Not much to say, really. This is an interesting turn of events.

Another Whopper from Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch

We have put Mike Lynch’s PowerPoint slide sales-pitch up on the Oracle website – Oracle.com/PleaseBuyAutonomy – with the hope Mike Lynch will recognize his slides, his memory will be restored, and he will recall what he and Frank Quattrone discussed during their visit to Oracle last April.

This isn’t an opinion article, or a comment on a blog. This is an actual press release from Oracle. Via Gruber.

iPhone 5: This is our Design Prototype

Based on CAD designs, hardware components, several leaked hints, cases and recent, believable mockups we created a three-dimensional computer model. This virtual model was then used to build a very detailed, true prototype that you can hold in your own two hands.

This is ridiculously cool.

Amazon Silk: Just Like AOL Used to Make

Mark Wyner, via Cameron Moll:

Professional web designers take great care to build websites which are optimized for speed while retaining as much quality and visual integrity as possible. When there’s a middle man degrading our work, it causes problems.

Wyner hit the nail on the head here.

It’s weird to see Amazon becoming a tech company after starting as an online bookstore.

“Grossly Underpriced”

Marco Arment:

If the free-update offer still stands when TextMate 2 ships, I will not take you up on it. I’m buying TextMate 2 as a new customer at full price. And I bet many other developers will gladly do the same.

Macromates offers a simply ridiculous plethora of discounts on a €30 piece of software. I will also buy TextMate 2 at full price. It’s stupid good.

Insta-Grumble

I noticed some of the filters were different too, particularly Brannan and Walden, my old favourites. The new filters are subtler (and I prefer that subtlety), but the loss of the old, punchy, saturated ones is undeniable.

The Vignelli Subway Map Goes Digital

Paul Goldberger, writing for The New Yorker:

Now, in what you might call a bow to the ongoing life of the Vignelli map, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has brought Vignelli back to create an interactive map based on his original that shows changes in weekend-subway service.

Though it owes much of its design to that of the London Underground map, the Vignelli subway map is such a legendary, iconic piece of design. Glad to see it’s back.

The Macalope Weekly

The entire column is great, but this section takes the cake:

Oh, sure, the slideshows might have seemed cute when you started. They’re easy to write and generate 10 times as many ad impressions, but now they’ve reached the stage where they’re more a call for help than anything else. Like the latest from Don Reisinger.

Apple iPad 3 Might Face Trouble at Launch: 10 Reasons Why

Here we go. There are 10 points and we’re gonna do them all!

White House Petition to End Software Patents Is a Hit

There are lots of good reasons to end the practice of patenting software, including the fact that software patents are primarily a vehicle for transferring wealth from the innovators who create it to patent trolls whose sole “product” is litigation. (Software patents are also sometimes used by big companies to take their rivals down a peg or two, in what seems like an effort to pile up so many cross-licensing fees that they all cancel each other out.)

I think this is the crux of the current patent war(s) between companies. The current patent system is broken. That isn’t to say that everything shouldn’t be patentable, but there are thousands of patents covering arguably obvious ideas and vague, generic software features.

The Fraying of a Nation’s Decency

Anand Girdharadas, writing for the New York Times:

Thanks to a methodical and haunting piece of journalism in The Morning Call, a newspaper published in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I now know why the boxes reach me so fast and the prices are so low. And what the story revealed about Amazon could be said of the country, too: that on the road to high and glorious things, it somehow let go of decency.

A New Gowalla

Gowalla is one of the most beautiful apps on any platform (it even looks good on Android), and the latest update adds some thrilling new features, the biggest of which are guides to cities. These guides are based partially on user reviews, which means that they’re essentially handbooks to the best of a city. The guides have launched in 60 locations (Gowalla says “cities”, but there are theme parks and national parks as well). Unfortunately, Calgary isn’t one of the launch locations, so I get to look at the beautifully rendered artwork instead.