You have to admire the sheer chutzpah of the geniuses at Microsoft legal who filed a patent for Edward Tufte’s sparklines.
I’m reading Jonathan’s Lethem’s latest novel, Chronic City. The first chapter is a quirky, compelling read, focused on the burgeoning friendship of two very different men in a Manhattan that creeps into every bit of characterization. And while I love a good opening, there’s a ton to admire in the way Lethem broadside of The New Yorker and its audience:
In our talk marijuana confusion now gave way to caffeinated jags, like a cloud bank penetrated by buzzing Fokker airplanes. Did I read The New Yorker? This question had a dangerous urgency. It wasn’t any one writer or article he was worried about, but the font. The meaning embedded, at a preconscious level, by the look of the magazine, the seal, as he described it, that the typography and layout put on dialectical thought. According to Perkus, to read The New Yorker was to find that you always already agreed, no with The New Yorker but, much more dismayingly, with yourself.
Warren Ellis weighs in on his frustration with the current batch of augmented reality applications for smart phones:
Now fuck off and make something that’ll do useful work on a phone in a village, instead of something that’ll get you laid in fucking Hoxton. Make something that has meaning outside a major metropolis.
He has a point. I’m thankful that Ben Fullerton and Jenn Bove were able to talk me out going down the augmented reality angle for a proof of concept I’m working on.
One of the (many) good points they made was that I was over-thinking the solution rather than addressing the core problem. It could just as easily be stated that augmented reality is a lovely whiz-bang solution in certain contexts, but not-so-surprisingly inappropriate where the local terrain doesn’t cast a very deep shadow of data. Anyway, go through to the link; I left the two best punchlines out of the blockquote, and they’re worth the quick read.
Over at the AP blog, I put some excerpts from my interview with Adaptive Path’s good friend Matt Jones of Dopplr. Peter suggested that I use my personal blog for the “DVD extras” (as he put it), so I’m posting the entire 2 hour IM interview here. It’s long, it’s weird, and it was seriously a lot of fun. I hope you dig it.
And oh, hey, if you decide to register for MX, be sure to use FORF as your registration code (as in “Friend of Ryan Freitas”) for an additional 10% off!
Interview with Matt Jones
Ryan Freitas: Thank you for agreeing to chat prior to your appearance at MX next month.
Matt Jones: No problem! Or ‘np’ as they say on the internet.
RF: Will the talk you’re doing be similar to your IXDA presentation?
MJ: My IxDA presentation was about process and form in a way – how my way of working has been changed by new tools and new ways of developing. It was also about the nature of designing services that have a geospatial and time-based component. Hence it’s title “Designing for Spacetime.”
RF: I enjoyed the hell out of that talk.
MJ: Thanks! My MX talk will be more generally about the social component.
RF: Oh good. That’s actually part of your talk that I wanted to discuss.
MJ: But! It’s hard to get me off the spacetime subject… It’s a continuum…
RF: Of course. And we’ll get to THAT too. But I wanted to get deeper into something you mentioned in your “Spacetime” talk… because you actually did me a huge favor by mentioning Jyri Engestrom and “social objects.” Discussion of social objects actually gets us to Grant Morrison in two moves. [smile]