Monthly Archives: January 2016

Watch “The Entire History of You”

If you care about the ways ubiquitous photography, life logging, and sharing are changing our memories & relationships, I think you’d really enjoy the Black Mirror episode “The Entire History Of You,” available on YouTube (below) and Netflix. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say watch.

Beyond the story & subject, I’ll note that I love the entirely matter-of-fact way that technology is handled here. Despite its life-changing impact, it’s never fetishized by the characters, never held up in some ooh-aah light. It’s the opposite of everything I’ve hated about one-note movies like Gattaca & In Time. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and with constant exposure, any magic becomes unremarkable pretty fast. Its effects, however, are anything but.


Fake Bob Ross demos Adobe Sketch

“Creative Cloud is a happy little cloud.” 🙂

My 7yo son Finn is proving to be a huge fan of Adobe Photoshop Sketch (“Tell your friend Will [the PM] that Adobe Sketch is awesome!!”), particularly of the guides & French curves, which are proving great for drawing Ed Emberly-style animals (example). I enjoyed this weird little demo & learned a few things I’ll be sharing with the budding artist.

[Update: Check out all four episodes & the backstory.]

Oh, and how much do I love that the falcon is named “Brad”? Right up my bizarre alley. [YouTube]

Google’s working on mobile vision hardware

Analyzing images in the cloud can be rad, but it’s DOA if connectivity is so spotty & expensive—as it is in much of the world—that people can’t schlep their images up there in the first place. Thus I’m happy to see news like this: Google partners with Project Tango chipmaker to bring vision to mobile devices.

The object is to get Google’s neural computation algorithms to run locally on a device and therefore not have to rely on an internet connection. Current day approaches to photo recognition, like in Google Photos, are done by first uploading and analyzing everything in Google’s cloud. Movidius hopes that by being able to quickly analyze images and audio future devices can be more personalized and contextualized. The latter part fits in with Google’s goal of making virtual assistants that are more aware of what you’re doing and what you need.


Teachers: Sign up for Google Expeditions VR

Test new experiences with your class & help improve VR storytelling by signing up here.


Wired writes,

Using cheap cardboard headsets, Android phones, and a teacher-operated tablet, Google Expeditions lets students experience 360-degree views of places like Machu Picchu, outer space, and caves in Slovakia. […] Google announced today that the Expeditions Program will be opening up beyond its current “sign up and wait for us to visit” status. Google will release a beta version of the Google Expeditions app for Android.

The team writes,

We’re looking to you to provide feedback about Expeditions while also spreading the word and teaching other educators about the product. If you’re selected, you will receive an email confirmation and instructions for how to download the app. We’re hoping you’ll help by providing feedback on what you like and on areas we need to improve!

Apply for Adobe’s Creative Residency 2016-2017

Hmm—sounds interesting:

The Creative Residency offers you a year to work on your creative passion project without distractions. As a Resident, you’ll receive a full salary and health benefits along with access to tools and mentorship to guide you along the way.

In 2-4 pages, tell us what you have in mind, and how you would bring it to life during your year in residency… We’ll be accepting submissions through February 29.

[Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

Use YouTube to raise money for charity

Check out something really cool from my teammates:

BuzzFeed writes,

The feature, called “Donation Cards,” works like normal YouTube pop-up cards, but instead of suggesting you subscribe to a particular channel, these cards prompt you to do something more high-minded. They offer viewers the option to donate to a charitable organizations in $5, $10, $20, or fill-in-the-blank increments. If your bank account is already linked to your YouTube account via YouTube Red, the process is simple and close to instantaneous.

Charities will receive 100% of the money donated to them, with YouTube covering any associated fees. They must be US-based with an IRS 501©3 validation to participate.


Passion means suffering

Mark Danielewski:

Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.

(as quoted by seemingly tortured animator Phil Tippett in the doc mentioned the other day) Meanwhile stress can be an advantage.

I’ve long been fond of quoting Cake’s The Distance with regard to my career & sometimes quixotic commitment to thankless missions.

The sun has gone down and the moon has come up
And long ago somebody left with the cup
But he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns

He’s going the distance…