Saturday, April 03, 2010

Is the gap big enough?

Everybody is talking about "is the gap between the iPhone and a laptop big enough to warrant the iPad?"
But I think there's a big market which is over-looked: all those people, like for example me and several of my friends, who don't have an iPhone or other "smartphone" because a normal cell phone works fine for calling, and for all the fun stuff, the screen on the iPhone just feels way too small. So in our world there's a BIG whole for the iPad.

Maybe it's a generation gap, as in how good one's eyes are, I dunno.


Tim Robertson from reports that the back of the iPad is not invulnerable to scratches. This makes me happy that I've already ordered a Zagg Shield for mine. It's invisible plastic, but it's military grade, exceedingly strong.

Banner for art contest

It is very rare indeed that I make a banner for anything on Domai. But I've just made one to get attention to the Art Contest.

By the way, please do mention this contest to any artists you know or plug it on any suitable forums. Thank you!


Sean discovered this excellent sex/comedy comic: Oglaf.
Well drawn, and often funny.

Microstock: why would a reputable company do this to themselves?

Microstock: why would a reputable company do this to themselves?, article about the proliferation of non-exclusive-use images across the web. Apparently this bunch have many jobs.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Testing styles

OK, so it seems an email with an attachment never makes it through to Blogger. OK.

How about styles, then?

Update: It gest published in three seconds. Very impressive. The styles you see above worked. The word "styles" was two sizes bigger, that didn't work. Not important.

Sleepy insects

Tommy found this kewl page with rare photos of sleeping insects covered in morning dew.
"At 3am to 4am insects are sleepy and taking photos of them is easy, but it is very difficult to find them."

test 2

So, here is a test if I can imbed a link in a post sent from email.

Update: well, worked perfectly. Maybe this is finally the day when I start sending (and accepting) HTML emails.

Actually, my goal is to find the easiest way to blog from an iPad. I tried specialized blogging apps a couple years ago, but I was underwhelmed, and anyway I don't see them for iPhone/iPad.

(Quick note: I must say, Google Chrome browser really is damn fast. Most things happen in the blink of an eye.)


Haha, there's an iPhone/iPad app called "Gilt". Its purpose is to help you shop better and faster...
Gilt is what you buy, Guilt is what you get...

Best iPad quote of the day...

From a CNBC reporter:
"The question is, is the gab big enough to make the iPad a game-changer, and it's a definite debate so far."

Trying Chrome

Sigh... OK, I'm going to try Google Chrome for real. I prefer Safari, but in the last week, it has given me so much grief. Crashes... Windows which can't be closed... Addresses at the top which really belong to other windows... and so on. And no amount of updating or rebooting has handled it.

I could have gone with Firefox. It's a good browser, but for some odd reason I never really felt at home there, I can't say why.


[Thanks to Igor]
(Isn't it a lion though?)
It's clear who is a star, but it's even more clear who wants to become a star.)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Crap devices

It's amazing how crappy electronics still are today. Take my cable box. Please.

One example: Despite it being over 15 years ago I heard that TV programmes now had little codes that indicates when a program starts and stops, this company (Virgin) and the box clearly has not heard of it. It will always stop at the planned time, even if there's a couple minutes left of a program, thus lopping off the end.

And the "time left" indication on the recording hard disk is a mystery in itself. Ten minutes ago, it was at "critical", meaning virtually no time left, obviously. Then I deleted a half hour recording, and it jumped to 24 hours free!

This is so fokking lame, the box is surely not using any technology which has not been in use in one form or another for over 20 years. You'd think they'd have it right by now.

Instapaper for iPad

I have bought my first dedicated iPad app: Instapaper Pro 2.2.2, universal for all three devices (which of course are iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. What to call them collectively?).

Talking about the iPad (yes, still, I know... better get used to it), DP has a good likkle FAQ about it.
Q: Am I really supposed to buy this thing when I already have a laptop and an iPhone?

A: It always surprises me how many people are made indignant by the very thought of the iPad, as though Congress passed a law that requires you to buy one!
You're not, as it turns out. Buying one is totally optional.
That said, the question is a little odd, because the iPad really is very different from a laptop or an iPhone. I guess people have a lot of trouble with the idea that it's a new category, something unlike anything they've used before. All people can do is compare it in their heads with stuff they HAVE used before.
But I'm telling you, the multitouch screen/software makes it very, very different from a laptop, and the screen size makes it very, very different from an iPhone. It's something entirely new.

Cherry and strip-strip

Do you remember Cherry Poptart?

It's so sad that there's tens of thousands of hyper-violent comics titles, but you have to search long and intensively to find any with nudity or humor or light-hearted sexuality.
Maybe strip-strip can help.

Color combos

There is something about the colors on this page as a whole:

… which I really like!

(if you want to see the individual pics, they are in the April 2 newsletter.)


What are some good, small, in-ear earphones for iPods and such?

Or maybe on-ear, but very compact and light.


In light of the iPad, I'm resurrecting Strip-strip (strips with strip.)
(I love grey-tone design like that.)

iPad surprises (updated several times)

I am gobsmacked! I got my iPad two days early!! (As you know, it was only supposed to arrive at April 3.)

Not only that... wait for it... the iPad *does* have a built-in video camera for conferencing. Apparently it's somehow sitting in the middle, looking through the screen. No wonder they kept this a secret, this is revolutionary. Finally you can look people in the eyes when you speak to them.

An amazing twist is that as soon as you start up the iPad iChat (in a brand new version 6.0), you get connected to a staff member in (Apple Headquarters) Cupercino, who congratulates you on your new purchase. I got a very pretty auburn 30-ish woman, who honestly did not know much about computers or the iPad, but wow, what nice eyes and voice she had. A pleasure.

I wish of course that I had been one of the 23 people so who got connected to Steve Jobs personally, but I understand that he simply, like Santa Clause, does not have time to see everybody.

OK, that was an April 1 joke.
More seriously (I hope), here's a roundup of early reviews.
Quote from Pogue's:
"Speaking of video: Apple asserts that the iPad runs 10 hours on a charge of its nonremovable battery — but we all know you can’t trust the manufacturer. And sure enough, in my own test, the iPad played movies continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 7:53 p.m. — more than 12 hours. That’s four times as long as a typical laptop or portable DVD player."
"The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine.
The only question is: Do you like the concept?"

PCMag video review.

Here's another lively review.

"Dr. Mac" says:
"Reading a book on the iPad screen was a pleasant surprise for me. I wouldn't want to read an entire book on my iPhone or MacBook Pro screen, but I wouldn't mind reading one on my iPad."
[...] Speaking of my wife, prior to our iPad's arrival she said she didn't understand why anyone would want or need an iPad. Now she just keeps saying, "No, you can't have it back."

Comment from his site:
A really big Iphone that can't make phone calls.
And like the touch screen cpu's preceding it, destined to be a loss loser for Apple.

I'm a total fanboy, I can't wait to get mine. And unlike the "it's a big iPhone" geeks (who can't spell iPhone), I can see what it is: it's a publishing platform. A new one and a powerful one.

And Steve meets Steve, Fry and Jobs, that is.
"It is possible that the public will not fall on the iPad, as I did, like lions on an antelope. Perhaps they will find the apps and the iBooks too expensive. Maybe they will wait for more fully featured later models. But for me, my iPad is like a gun lobbyist's rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands. One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker's Guide that humankind has yet devised."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pro photogs laments

I say digital tools make a photographer's job easier than ever. Sure, but unfortunately for those used to make a living from it, it also makes the same job a lot easier for everybody else too.

Conversely, like I said in the recent interview: "I'm highly pleased with our [DOMAI's] models these days. But this is actually also a result of the blessing of digital. Until roughly 2004, when good digital SLR's became affordable, I had the hardest time finding enough good tasteful nudes photos, because anybody good only did porn, pretty much. But since then, I'm daily offered much more than I can buy, it's a bounty."

Woz, genius

“By the way, I solved the problem of battery life and [the lack of] multitasking on the iPhone,” Woz told Dan Lyons of NewsWeek. “I just have two iPhones, so if the battery runs down on the first one, I can use the other. And if I’m talking on one, I can use the other one to look something up. You would not believe how much use I get out of that.”
- Woz

No seriously, it's brilliant.
Of course, Woz is a multi-millionaire. Two times $70 per month or how much it is, means little to him.

Deep waters. Was: Sneak preview

Domai always seems to get into deep waters this time of year.

I just love the German language. So subtle humor. Just listen to these words:
"nacktheit -- weibliche genitalien -- nudismus -- mädchen -- sexualität -- nackt -- schöne frauen"

Ganz wunderbar.


Thanks to LP Baker for recommending the iSkysoft iMedia converter for DVD and video conversion on Mac. It seems to work fine.

And E-Tom mentioned the Pogoplug, a user-friendly home-net-file-server. This seems like fun. Review here and here.

Spotting offenders

Not only is this wording unfortunate...

But also it makes me a bit sad that apparently there are people who will feel safer if they have an iPhone app showing them where registered sex offenders live. Sigh.


Another entry in the "art or sport" section: microsculptures.

22 Miles Above The Planet

[Thanks to Tommy]

DVD to iTunes

How do I get a film or TV show from a DVD to an iPod Touch (or an iPad). I can digitize them using Handbrake, and I imagine the only way of watching them is in iTunes on the little device, but most files I have simply won't play in it, some even refuse to be imported. This goes for both .mov files and .mp4 files.
(Obviously, this ain't piracy, I already paid for the DVD and just want to watch it on the pod/pad, which won't play DVDs, without paying a second time through iTunes.)
Some of them work, but I can't figure out what's the deciding factor.


I just saw Emma Thompson on the Ross whazname show. Gawd, she looks great for fifty.
I presume they were talking about the second Nanny McPhee film just released (the first was good). But I didn't hang around to hear it, it seems I've become allergic to the intense lack of content in talk shows. (Yes, "intense". I think they must be actively working to make these shows as bland as possible.)

Oh, by the way, this was the first time I recall seeing an actor actually thanking the audience for the warm and powerful applause they gave her at her entrance. It always seemed weird to me that nobody does this.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Creative Process

[Thanks to Jan]

From Murray.


The devil appeared in my sink.

Some use coffee grounds, I think foam is more expressive.

Look here.


Follow me on Twitter, I only tweet the best.

Does the iPad Make Man Purses Okay Now?

Does the iPad Make Man Purses Okay Now?, article.
Pretty funny, but I wonder: what is all this obsession with appearing manly enough?
I say onto you: nobody is this modern world is manly, or at least have proof of it. If you don't have to hunt down your dinner and protect your family from sabretoothed tigers, you have not really had your manliness tested. The modern man is soft, live with it. So worrying about whether wearing sandals or a shoulder bag makes you look un-manly is idiotic.

By the way, it seems nobody has caught on yet, but we clearly need a belt clip/case for the iPad. Many professions, like doctors and scientists, are using iPhones, and iPads will be even better for them, so they need a way to carry them around. It's too big for a pocket, so when you don't need to carry anything else (to justify a shoulder bag), a belt clip is the thing.

Some men seem to think that apart from a rucksack or a sports bag there's no option for carrying things which will not make them feminine. I beg to differ, there are so many excellent choices for shoulder bags of all kinds. For example, I have one from Crumbler which is good looking, light weight, strong, and practical (pockets in various sizes and so on).

But there are so many things you "can't do" as a man. For example, notice that you never seen men walking around in pairs. Perhaps for fear of being taken for gay. Girls can walk in pairs, and a man can walk with his girlfriend or his family, or with a group of guys, but never in pairs.

Name a cat, tame a nuke

Name a cat, tame a nuke, so they say.

Smarter than dolphins?

[Thanks to TTL]

Concept computer

I don't think I could type well if I can't feel the keys, but heck, it's an enticing demo.

MacWorld podcast

I'm trying to subscribe to the MacWorld podcast, but it won't play in iTunes, and oddly, it won't even play on the web page. It won't even download. Does it work for you?

The Hypothetical Library

The Hypothetical Library, a site with book covers for non-existent books.

I'm not sure how much it interests me, but it reminds me of something I've sometimes considered doing: making posters for non-existent movies.
Another idea is covers for non-existent comic book (with non-existing character).

Help for Flash sites?

These guys claim to have an easy, though perhaps temporary, solution to sites which have so much use of Flash that they are crippled when viewed on iPhones or iPads.
The problem is that I can't see through the buzz-word hype-speak to see what they actually do. Can anybody?

TTL said:
It is supposedly some software component that, after detecting the user agent, automatically sends it either Flash video or HTML5 video depending on what the user agent is able to process.
I don't understand what the big deal with this product is. You can do the above in a couple of lines of PHP code.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Boulder nudist causes stir with topless gardening

"I have more important concerns for my kids than whether or not some neighbor is topless."
Well said!

[Thanks to Joe.]

And here, naked sledding. (As usual, not much view of the ladies. Sigh.)


Thanks to Tommy for finding this collection of "masterclasses" in wildlife photography. By nature (no pun intended) it's very condenced stuff, but it might be inspirational at least.

The Paint and the Pendulum

The Paint and the Pendulum, post.

One day I will get a large studio to mess around with crazy stuff like this (and unlike this too).

Digital mag, and 3D house

I linked to this video before. Very slick indeed.

Here's a Making Of. Quite interesting. For example, the whole building was made in CGI, I think it looks great. (Not like I would have done it, but it looks very real, and the look has impact.)

Domai art Contest Two

After countless requests, here's the second Domai art contest.

I can't believe it's been six years!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Infinite canvas

Scott McCloud writes about comics set free from the restraints of the paper page.

Related, here's a beautiful "comic" with text by Neil Gaiman and art by Jouni Koponen. This is one of the few examples I have seen of the truth of a belief I've long had: that text and pictures can be combined in many more artistic ways than we have seen traditionally.
(A less pretty, but impactful other story by the same authors: Babycakes.)

Reciprocating Dingle Arm

"The turboencabulator has now reached a high level of development, and it's being successfully used in the operation of novatronions."

From email:
Years ago, Rockwell International decided to get into the heavy duty transmission business. They were getting ready to tape a first introduction video, and, as a warm up, the professional narrator began what has become a legend within the trucking industry. This was strictly off the cuff & nothing was written down.


TCGirl is campaigning for semicolons; she found this page.
A semicolon normally just don't occur to me; it's a beautiful and funny page though, and sold as a poster.


It's so sad how most of the world is stuck in cliches. For example I just saw a link for an Asian porn site, and before it loaded, I knew exactly how it would look, because they all look exactly the same. Seriously, it's so monotone that it's soul-deadening.
Of course that's not just true for Asian sites, but this just struck me forcefully.

Reality is dead

... But then it maybe never really existed.

Not only that, art is dead too:

Art brainstorm

OK, dear reader, you are hereby appointed as member of my Brain Trust. You know, like the janitors on Scrubs.
So let's have a brainstorm.

In the nineties I made and sold quite a lot of paintings and drawings. I'd like to get back to that. And of course I want to use the Net instead of schlepping art around the county, that gets tired.

There are various options:
  1. I could make digital art and sell it only electronically.
  2. I could make digital art and sell prints, printed by myself or outsourced.
  3. I could make physical paintings or drawings.
I don't think anybody yet has had success with selling digital fine art as digital files. I don't know, this would require a good plan and perhaps a twist. (By twist I mean, perhaps the art is a comic too, or illustrations to an ebook, or...)

If I outsource printing of digital art, I can't sign them. But they could be sold pretty cheap. Quality might be an issue.

On the other hand, I have a feeling that people who buy fine art mostly want originals, or at least something signed. But this introduces shipping. I have and could use UPS. This is a good option, but a bit expensive, and I have to be home for pickup and so on.
I could use the post office, but then I either have to use a lot of time on it, or use the local mail box, and that one won't even take an A4 (8x12") envelope without folding. And a 15cm by 20cm drawing is awfully small, donchathink? (Although actually, Duane Keiser is successful selling very tiny (like 3x4 inches) paintings. I could do it, but I'd prefer to also have a solution for A4 and A3 sizes.)

So what do you think? Lemme hear your ideas, good and bad, crazy and nuts, nuts and bolts, nuts and raisins, nuts and soup.

It's irritating that mail boxes (and slots) are so incredibly tiny here in UK. In Denmark they are much larger, and an Italian artist friend of mine writes (after I told how my local box won't fit a stiff A4 letter):
Weird. Most of my watercolors are A4 or slightly larger. I ship them as letters using priority mail. I put the art between two very heavy sheets of cardboard, and inside a mylar bag (like those used by comic collectors) just in case it rains.
If I have to ship an even larger piece such as a canvas or large watercolor, I make sure the support is flexible and I roll it up and ship it in a cardboard tube as a "small packet" (slightly more expensive). [...]
I do the art based on the shipping methods available, not the other way around.

Digitalink said:
Forgive my hectoring tone. I am not a purchaser of fine art prints (that is those with a high price tag) but if I was, I would not buy without a certificate from the print maker detailing the production method (including the substrate, ink set, and life expectancy).
That last comment is a sad indication of what fine art prints are really about. Perhaps artistic grocery bags are the way to go.

Indeed. It was only quite late that I discovered that there are two very different art markets: the market for those who like the art. And the market for those investing in art.
Of course there's overlap, even in the mind of the individual buyer sometimes. But personally I've decided that the "high end" gallery market, where things are bought mainly on hope of later financial gain, is silly.

PS editing

It seems that half the commenters on Mike's blog are against the spectacular new editing capabilities coming up in Photoshop. They seem to think it ruins the "truthfulness" of photography or something. Many say it's "creepy" and words to that effect. I don't really get it. If a pole is in the way when you photograph, you move a bit so it's out of the frame. If a wall is there so you can't move enough, you can remove it in Photoshop. I don't see any major difference.
This is just another tool, and a great one.


Thanks to James for recommending the screen capture app Snagit, which is now in beta for the Mac (existed for years on Windoze). I'm trying it, and it's excellent. It can auto-scroll and capture a tall web page in one shot. And there are various and very easy ways of putting on comments on a screen capture, and formats to save it in, including PDF, where the added text is selectable.

(This is scaled down by Blogger, but you can download a 11MB file here, with both the PDF and the JPG versions in full size.)

Emirates Airbus A-380

This is the way to fly.
Although, considering what they charge for normal first class, where the only advantages I can see are more leg space and free drinks, I shudder to think...
Then again, if Allah has seen fit to bless you and your family with black gold in the ground worth more than you could ever give away, who gives a f... ?