Will The New York Times Redesign Kill ‘The Fold’

Co.Design has a great article on the redesign of The New York Times website. It seems like it was yesterday when Khoi Vinh led the design team that redesigned the NYT in 1996.

I love the direction that the new website is taking because it takes what has become a noisy site, dense with information and Levitra online distils it down to a simplistic user interface. As a web designer I love that the new design team has done away with pagination and embraced the infinitely scrolling page made popular by Pinterest.

This is huge step in the right direction for web design that often clings to print design elements such as “the fold”. Printed newspapers have a fold and to be above the fold indicates important content. In web design there is no fold but many web designers, creative directors and clients mistakenly think there is. They tend to treat web pages as printed pages even though the web has been around for over a decade. This drives me crazy!

Pinterest, Facebook and now the NYT embrace infinite scrolling which will help to dispel the myth of “the fold” and make my job easier. This makes me happy.

Posted in Web Design at 8:34 PM

What is Dolby Atmos?

Recently I’ve been seeing ads for Dolby Atmos on Rotten Tomatoes and was curious. I just purchased a home theatre receiver that has Dolby Surround 7.1 and now there is Dolby Atmos. Clicking on the ad took me a Dolby page but there was very little information that actually explained what Dolby Atmos is or does.

The video above put things into perspective. Dolby Atmos is more immersive than 7.1 sound by using overhead speakers and panning of sound from speaker to speaker. Check Dolby’s website to learn more about Dolby Atmos.

If you live in Toronto and Cialis online without prescription want to hear what Dolby Atmos sounds like then head over to SilverCity Yonge-Eglinton Cinemas (Cineplex) and watch Life of Pi to experience the latest in cinema audio.

Posted in Movies and Technology at 9:06 PM

Sold Out Films For TIFF 2012

As of 2pm on August 27, 2012 the following films listed below are SOLD OUT or OFF SALE according to TIFF’s website ordering system.

Sep 6
Kinsha Kids

Sep 8
Anna Karenina
Inch’Allah
Liar’s Autobiography
The Master
Seven Psychopaths
Short Cuts Canada: Programme#2

Sep 9
7 Boxes
The Brass Teapot
Much Ado About Nothing
Museum Hours

Sep 10
The Company You Keep
The Hunt
Midnight’s Children
No
Short Cuts Canada: Programme#3

Sep 11
Short Cuts Canada: Programme#3
Short Cuts Canada: Programme#4

Sep 12
The Hunt
A Late Quartet

Sep 14
Arthur Newman

Sep 16
Amour
The Master

The biggest surprise here for me is Amour being sold out on the last day of the festival! I purposely picked that screening thinking it wouldn’t be sold out. There are no guarantees at TIFF.

Posted in News at 2:31 PM

The Colourful New Microsoft Logo

It’s been a while since Microsoft redesigned their brand image and I have to say that I like the colour in the new logo. The video below gives some idea as to what the different colours represent – blue (Windows), red (Office), green (Xbox) but what does yellow represent?

Hopefully they update their sites soon as they are a mess of old and new logos. Why is it that when you click on a product such as Windows or Office that the Microsoft logo disappears altogether and you can’t easily get back to the Microsoft homepage? Bizarre.

Posted in Technology at 8:28 PM

Movin’ On Up

Lissa Fraser Kerr

My better half, Lissa, started a new job this week with Big Coat Productions in Toronto. She is their new head of production and development. The announcement was made in Realscreen, Playback and C21 Media.

Posted in News and Television at 9:07 AM

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

Jerry Seinfeld has a new web series on Crackle called Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. It’s not Seinfeld but in the dog days of summer you need something to watch and if it can make you laugh a little then why not.

Posted in Humour at 8:36 PM

Two Women Running on the Beach

If you’re in Toronto before Aug 26, 2012 then check out the Picasso exhibit at the AGO. It features 147 works, my favourite being Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race).

As an added bonus I spent a bit of time looking at some Canadian art by The Group of Seven. I can’t wait to get back up to Georgian Bay to take some photos where these artists spent a great a deal of time.

Posted in Design and Observations at 4:44 PM

A Little Bit Of Something

The web designer that runs a little bit of something has the funniest portfolio site I’ve seen in a long time. It’s short on design examples and Cheapest viagra online links to his work but his cheeky observations about clients are bang on and hilarious.

You are not the web designer. I am the web designer

You wouldn’t tell Mr. Marks of Spencer how to make slacks or Mrs. Audrey Audi how to build motor cars, would you? So please, Sir, don’t tell me I should “bevel” things. Get back to doing what you do best and let me do the web designing.

If you take control, you’ll end up with a huge lump of dog muck, and people will laugh at it behind your back.

Have a laugh and visit his site. You might learn something about web design.

Posted in Web Design at 11:45 AM

Offscreen Magazine

Offscreen Magazine

If you’re a web designer or web developer then you should be reading Offscreen magazine. It’s a beautifully designed magazine about that profiles the people that make websites and apps.

The first two issues arrived from Berlin earlier this week and I’ve been soaking up every page. If you’re like me and you work on your own then chances are you don’t spend a lot of time with other designers and Generic prescription viagra talk shop. Offscreen profiles a lot of designers from around the world that also work on their own.

It’s refreshing to discover how others ended up where they are, what they do all day, their process, what apps they use and how they’ve contributed to the web community. I’m almost through the first issue and can’t wait to see what is in the second issue.

Posted in Web Design at 10:32 PM

Radioman

Radioman

Radioman (2012). Directed by Mary Kerr.

How does a former New York City homeless man become a movie industry legend? Radioman has appeared in over 100 films and television shows since the early 90s. With his trademark radio around his neck, he’s become a celebrity to movie stars like George Clooney, Matt Damon and Meryl Streep. Radioman is a charming film about an eccentric dreamer that finally gets his closeup.

George Clooney, Robin Williams, and Josh Brolin sit down for interviews and provide their take on Radioman. For the most part he’s described as a lovable guy that is obsessed with the movies. He’s considered to be good luck for a production and according to Radioman, every time he appears in a film it makes money – Tower Heist, The Departed, and Elf.

The celebrity aspect of Radioman is sure to make this a popular film at Hot Docs. Everyone from Paul Giamatti, Sandra Bullock, Whoopi Goldberg, Jude Law and Tom Hanks appear briefly to share their Radioman experiences. Most of these clips are quite funny including a bizarre moment with James Gandolfini and Buy cialis super active a conversation with Ricky Gervais that left me in stitches.

Radioman is credited as Craig Castaldo on IMDB but he also goes by the name Craig Schwartz. It wasn’t clear to me in the film why he uses two names but it doesn’t really matter. Radioman is a fascinating character – a former homeless man and alcoholic that lives in a roach-infested apartment and dresses like a tramp. He rides a bicycle around New York, trolling movie sets for food and hustling for parts in films. He dreams of becoming an actor with real speaking roles instead of the small bit parts he’s landed in the past.

I found myself wanting to know more about Radioman as the film progressed. At first glance he comes across like a child, picking his nose and farting on camera but in an instant he can be quite serious and sound very intelligent. In one clip Johnny Depp questions whether Radioman is really an eccentric billionaire having a laugh at our expense.

Radioman

We never see Radioman on a computer but he’s shown talking on a beat up cellphone to somebody about filming locations. Shia LaBeouf questions how Radioman can know his shooting schedule before he does. Where does Radioman get his information from? For a guy who often gets mistaken as a panhandler he seems well connected.

The film takes on a different tone when Radioman travels to Los Angeles hoping to crash the Oscars and hang out with his Hollywood friends. He may be the king of New York when it comes to getting access to the stars but in Los Angeles he’s a nobody. Unless he’s on the guest list, Radioman is just another autograph hound, hanging around the sidewalk with the likes of Sean Young.

It was interesting to see the stark contrast between the two cities from Radioman’s perspective. Everything and everyone in LA comes across as cold and superficial compared to the people of New York that Radioman describes as being friendlier, warmer, kinder.

Sadly, Radioman sees celebrities as his friends. He’s lonely and the closest thing he has to family is the movie set. When he used to drink Radioman said he felt invincible. He thought people were laughing with him and having a good time but he came to realize that people were really laughing at him. I wonder how many of his celebrity friends are really laughing at him, merely amused by his eccentric behaviour.

You might not know who Radioman is but chances are that you’ve already seen him in a dozen films. He’s always wanted a bigger film role and I can’t think of a better opportunity than the one Mary Kerr’s documentary provides him with. I used to look forward to Stan Lee cameos in Marvel films. Now I’ll be looking for Radioman cameos in every film that is shot in New York.

***

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Radioman Facebook Page
Hot Docs Website

Posted in Hot Docs at 12:43 PM

Hot Docs 2012 Preview

Another season of Hot Docs begins this Thursday and Toronto will be buzzing this weekend with premieres of some great films. Here is a roundup of some of the films I previewed for this year’s festival.

We Are Legion: The Story of The Hacktivists

Everyone has heard of Anonymous but what is it? A group of “hackers on steroids” as Fox News has described it or a group of “hactivists” that have it in for Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology. We Are Legion delves into the world of Anonymous and does a nice job explaining the origins of the group. I found this doc fascinating and for someone that spends most of his day online, I was surprised by how little I know about Anonymous.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

Life is full of incredible stories and the films that document them can be difficult to watch at times. I had a vague idea of who Jason Becker was but the tragedy that befell him is a revelation and it times it gets really weird. If you like music docs then don’t miss this film but be prepared to feel drained after watching it. I couldn’t shake the incredible sadness that weighs on this film.

The Waiting Room

We’ve all spent time in a hospital emergency room and know the drama that goes on there. Imagine having the cameras rolling 24/7 in a hospital ER in Oakland. It sounds like the perfect idea for a doc but it just doesn’t work. Sure, there is drama and tragedy but I felt like I was in an endless loop of hopelessness. There are plenty of interesting stories and moments but I never felt fully-engaged with this film.

Life In Stills

I was expecting more of an artistic doc about late photographer Rudi Weissenstein. I was surprised when the film focused more on Weissenstein’s 96-year-old widow and her relationship with her grandson. You’ll find this doc to be entertaining look into the lives of this family in Tel Aviv.

Posted in Hot Docs at 12:18 AM

Hillman Curtis

I was saddened to learn that Hillman Curtis passed away last week at the age of 51. Cancer.

Hillman Curtis and Erik Spiekermann are the two designers I admire most. In 2003 I had the opportunity to meet Hillman Curtis when he was in Toronto giving a lecture. He signed a copy of his book for me, we chatted for a minute and I’ve been inspired ever since.

photo-hillman-curtis-book-signing.jpg

Be prepared to reinvent yourself

A month ago Hillman uploaded a video onto Vimeo in which he says a designer should “be prepared to reinvent yourself” as he has done throughout his career. He made the transition from musician to graphic designer to web designer to filmmaker.

Hillman’s books and films have been a huge inspiration to me over the years and he’ll be missed.

Posted in Design at 11:49 PM

Inocente (Mini Review)

Inocente

Inocente (2012). Directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix.

Inocente is a heartwarming portrait of a 15-year-old girl from San Diego that is determined to succeed as an artist despite several obstacles in her way. Inocente has been homeless for the last nine years and kept this a secret from her classmates. Despite an abusive father and an alcoholic mother, she’s managed to stay in school and develop her artistic skills.

Based on what she’s been through you would expect her art to be much darker but it is full of energy, bright colour and hope. The film is emotional and at times I found myself fighting back tears more than once. Inocente is inspiring, beautifully shot and sure to impress you on some level.

***½

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Official Film Website
Facebook Page
Hot Docs Website

Posted in Hot Docs at 9:25 PM

Radioman (Mini Review)

Radioman

Radioman (2012). Directed by Mary Kerr.

How does a former New York City homeless man become a movie industry legend? Radioman has appeared in over 100 films and television shows since the early 90s. With his trademark radio around his neck, he’s become a celebrity to movie stars like George Clooney, Matt Damon and Meryl Streep. Radioman is a charming film about an eccentric dreamer that finally gets his closeup.

George Clooney, Robin Williams, and Josh Brolin sit down for interviews and provide their take on Radioman. For the most part he’s described as a lovable guy that is obsessed with the movies. He’s considered to be good luck for a production and according to Radioman, every time he appears in a film it makes money – Tower Heist, The Departed, and Elf.

You might not know who Radioman is but chances are that you’ve already seen him in a dozen films. He’s always wanted a bigger film role and I can’t think of a better opportunity than the one Mary Kerr’s documentary provides him with. I used to look forward to Stan Lee cameos in Marvel films. Now I’ll be looking for Radioman cameos in every film that is shot in New York.

***

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Radioman Facebook Page
Hot Docs Website

Posted in Hot Docs at 1:24 AM

Hot Docs 2012

Hot Docs invades Toronto in 16 days with the best documentary film festival on the planet. There are so many fantastic films to see and so little time.

Here are 25 films that I would love to see with links to my top picks.

About Face: The Supermodels Then And Now
Beware Of Mr. Baker
Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story
Chasing Ice
Detropia
Dreams Of A Life
Garden In The Sea
Indie Game: The Movie
Inocente
Italy Love It Or Hate It
James Bradley: Soul Of America
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
Jeff
Krisis–GR2011–The Prism
Life In Stills
Marley
McCullin
Not A Carwash
Peace Out
Radioman
Shut Up And Play Hits
The Tundra Book
The Waiting Room
Theo Fleury: Playing With Fire
We Are Legion: The Story of The Hacktivists

Hot Docs runs from April 26 - May 6, 2012. Visit hotdocs.ca for more information and screening times.

Posted in Hot Docs at 9:09 PM

JAK Media Gets A Redesign

JAK Media

There is an old saying that says “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” I’ve been too busy making other people’s websites to find the time or desire to redesign my company website.

After 6 years of using a dated table-based/CSS design I’ve completely redesigned the JAK Media site using modern web standards and best practices. There are plenty of portfolio examples. Find out what we’ve been up to.

A lot of content has been moved around removed altogether. Some people (Google) will be seeing a lot of the new 404 error page.

I hope to add a blog to the site that discusses web development and provides clients with information and tips about web design and development. Have a look and let me know what you think.

Posted in JAK MEDIA at 1:28 AM

Letterboxd

Letterboxd is a social network for film buffs. The site is currently in a private beta but iff you want an invite I can send you one.

I find that Letterboxd is a great way to keep track of the films you’ve watched and share that information with others. It’s also a great way of discovering new films. It helps that the site is beautifully designed and extremely easy to use.

Thanks to James for turning my attention to this great site. If you have an account you can see my profile page.

Posted in Movies at 1:20 AM

Netflix Canada Picks

Midnight in Paris

There have been quite a few good releases on Netflix Canada lately. You may have missed these films when they were in theatres or maybe you’ve never heard of them. If you’re looking for something to watch then I suggest you take a look at:

There are also a few turds that I wouldn’t mind checking out. Who knew that Dolph Lundgren and Steven Segal were still busy making B-Movies?

There are a lot of great films and TV series on Netflix that I want to watch. Netflix seems like such a great deal but how much do you actually use the service? I would love to be watching more Netflix but Mad Men, The Killing and Game of Thrones just started up again. Add to that mix the daily DVD release schedule, more television, feature films and Zip.ca rentals and I’ve run out of viewing time.

Posted in Netflix at 12:40 AM

A Brief History of Title Design

A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

This is inspiring stuff if you’re looking for some creative ideas in your next design project. If you like this video then I suggest you head over to Art of the Title for more of the same.

Posted in Motion Graphics and Movies at 11:02 AM

Another Cracked DVD From Zip.ca

I’ve been a happy Zip.ca customer since 2005 but lately I’ve started to notice a few “cracks” in their service.

Last year I waited months to get my hands on a copy of The Wild And Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. When the DVD finally arrived in the mail it was cracked down the middle. Zip.ca said they would send out another but they never did. I suspect they only had one in their entire library (which is why it took so long to get to me in the first place).

Last week I received another cracked DVD called Italy Revealed that isn’t very easy to find. Note the crack on the left side of the disc below the DVD video logo.

Cracked DVD from Zip.ca

When I flipped the disc over I was surprised to see scratches and dirt on the disc as it was thrown on the ground and stepped on. You can’t really see it in the image below there a several indentations on the surface of the disc.

Scratched and dirty Zip.ca DVD

I think that Zip.ca should slow down a little and check some of their discs before they get sent out. Maybe they should clean their DVDSs once in a while and inspect them before sending them out. I would describe this as good service. Failure to provide good service can result in blog postings by unhappy customers. Sigh.

Posted in Movies and Observations at 5:52 PM