Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Fun, retro-Bond-style VR titles: “I Expect You To Die”

The Art of the Title Sequence shows off the titles for I Expect You To Die & interviews the team behind them. 

Borrowing a title track and colour palette that could have been ripped from the early 1960s, the sequence pulls the player through a trap-laden evil lair, putting them face to face — virtually — with the many, many things that can and will kill them in the game that follows. Not only is it a tongue-in-cheek sendup of a certain British super spy, it’s an ideal way to introduce players to the dangerous and immersive world of the game.

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YouTube enables live streaming from the YouTube app

Fresh off hosting the most-viewed political live streams of all time – the 2016 U.S. presidential debates – and launching the world’s first 360-degree live streaming, YouTube is enabling live streaming from from the YT app (with which I was tangentially involved):

So what’s next? The roll out of our new mobile live streaming feature to every creator with more than 10,000 subscribers (the rest of you will have it soon!). It’s a launch that’ll put the power of live streaming in the hands of hundreds of thousands of talented creators, giving them a more intimate and spontaneous way to share their thoughts, lives, and creativity.

Groovy. Meanwhile I see that my DJI Mavic enables live streaming directly to YouTube. Stay tuned…

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New drawing tools: Astropad & Remarkable

reMarkable is an e-ink tablet that promises serious sketching chops:

The Marker is a super precise tool – down to the smallest details. It puts digital ink on the reMarkable with incredibly low lag. It’s designed to let you focus on the task at hand. No battery charging or Bluetooth set-up. The tip is carefully designed with just the right friction to deliver a paper-like experience.

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Meanwhile Astropad, which lets you use an iPad & Apple Pencil to draw in Mac apps, has been around for a couple of years, but the new Astropad Studio ups its game:

TechCrunch writes,

Astropad Studio connects to a client on your Mac (which you download separately) and lets you select a portion of your existing display or displays to define as the interaction surface for use on your iPad Pro. A small disc icon on the iPad screen allows you to tweak the shortcut settings and check for additional commands. The commands available are terrific…

Astropad Studio requires a $7.99 monthly or $64.99 yearly subscription, but with math you get settings sync, additional support and a promise from Astropad that it’ll be updated monthly with new features and improvements.

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[YouTube 1 and 2]

Adobe’s new 3D tool is ready for download

Somehow I missed this news back in December, but if you’re a Creative Cloud member, you can download Adobe’s new 2D/3D compositing tool, Project Felix.

If your specs measure up…

On Windows 10, you’ll need at least 8 GB of RAM and a Geforce GTX 770 or better graphics card. On macOS, the minimum is also 8 GB of RAM and either an Intel Iris Graphics 540 or GeForce GT 750M card, though here, too, Adobe recommends 16 GB of RAM or more.

…maybe you, too, can make a weird Velvet Underground homage (?).

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I’m really eager to see what my Adobe friends can devise, but boy is this a tough nut to crack (or giant banana to peel, if you prefer). I think there’s real hotness to be had by rethinking creation & compositing in a 3D context, but making people wrestle with & care about traditional 3D concepts isn’t what I have in mind. We’ll see.

[YouTube]

Big Dater: Hilariously hacking OKCupid’s match algorithm

Monastic brainiac Chris McKinlay put his Ph.D & supercomputer access to work figuring out how to make himself the single most attractive man for thousands of women on OKCupid, as he recounts in this great 15-minute piece for The Moth. I got a kick out of hearing about so many tools of our trade (optimization, retention analysis, etc.) applied to such squishy human problems. I think you’d dig it. [Via Maria Brenny]

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Blessings for you in 2017

I’ve hit the road with the fam to recharge the spiritual batteries before heading into the new year, throttling back the blogging just a bit. As we reflect on what’s happened & what’s to come, here’s a traditional Irish blessing I’ve always loved:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields; and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

My alma mater used it quite nicely in an ad a couple of years back.

Of course, the mordant Irish wit is best expressed in a different toast:

May those that love us, love us.
For those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

😉

Slainte (cheers),
J.

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Fascinating: How undersea Internet cables are built & laid

“Envision a blimp flying over the country, and then we’re laying the cable from the blimp.”

I really enjoyed the latest piece from Google’s Nat & Lo, showing how networks are physically connected (interactive map) among continents.

The internet allows us to see videos, photos, and news from anywhere in the world almost instantaneously. But how?! In this video we learn about the hundreds of underwater fiber optic cables that connect continents, cities, and data centers all over the world –– and investigate how these cables are made, how they’re installed, and more.

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[YouTube]

Come work with my friends at Google & Adobe

Maybe this seems like a long shot, but the amazing Eric Chan (who’s now been a key part of Camera Raw for the better part of a decade) once saw a listing on my blog, so who knows? Good luck!

[Via David Lieb & Jeff Tranberry]

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Film: 808s, not heartbreaks

This documentary looks super fun and interesting—and not just for Afrika Bambaataa’s tremendous eye furniture.

808, the heart of the beat that changed music. The acclaimed documentary that chronicles the incredible legacy of the TR808 drum machine will be exclusively available on Apple Music December 9th 2016. Discover the iconic records, artists and producers influenced by the 808’s unique beats and find out the secret behind its sudden discontinuation.

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[YouTube]