Category Archives: Miscellaneous

50 years ago today: “The Mother Of All Demos”

I’ve been hearing about this seminal presentation for ages, but until now I’d never actually seen it. It’s well worth a look at what must’ve been a jaw-dropping peek into so many breakthroughs that remain central to our lives today:

On December 9, 1968, Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart and the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at Stanford Research Institute staged a 90-minute public multimedia demonstration… [F]or the first time, the public saw a computer mouse, which controlled a networked computer system to demonstrate hypertext linking, real-time text editing, multiple windows with flexible view control, cathode display tubes, and shared-screen teleconferencing. The 1968 demo presaged many of the technologies we use today, from personal computing to social networking.

[YouTube] [Via Peyman Milanfar]

“Squoosh” is a new Google app to slim down Web images

Cool—and open source. 9to5 Google writes,

By using WebAssembly, Squoosh is able to use image codecs that are not typically available in the browser.

Supporting a variety of web formats like MozJPEG and WebP and traditional ones like PNG, Squoosh allows you to quickly make your images web-ready. The app is able to do 1:1 visual comparisons of the original image and its compressed counterpart, to help you understand the pros and cons of each format.

[YouTube]

Integrate voice commands into visual prototypes with Adobe XD

“Even as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and other voice assistants have taken off like wildfire,” writes Khoi Vinh, “designers working in voice have been stymied by the nearly complete lack of voice tools oriented around the design process. All that changes today.”

Check out this 50-second demo, and see Khoi’s post for the backstory on how this tech came to Adobe & its tools.

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New character-animation hotness from Adobe

Formerly known as “Project Puppetron” (see previous re: the underlying tech), Adobe’s new Characterizer will soon be part of Character Animator CC:

You will be able to bring original art into Character Animator, record a series of sounds and facial expressions, and Characterizer will generate a new unique character… In a matter of seconds, you have a completely unique puppet that’s ready for your performance, regardless of your previous animation experience.

Here’s a quick tour from my buddy Dave:

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Meanwhile After Effects is adding some fun new chops to its puppeting toolset:

[YouTube 1 & 2]