Preview Oddness

Here’s an interesting comparison of PDF rendering between Apple’s Preview and Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. The text shown has a drop shadow applied to it in InDesign. It looks correct in Acrobat, looks correct when rendered in Photoshop, and looks correct on the iPhone. Preview seems to render a different black point or something, because the drop shadow ends up looking like an outer glow when applied over a dark background.

Oh yes, and that’s the copyright for Surfing The Deathline book 4. More about that to come. :)

Welcome To The New.

In the past 48 hours, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Switzerland Post Finance & the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office have all been taken offline to varying degrees by DDOS attacks.

This is a true seismic change we’re witnessing in activism. The entire protest culture from the 60s to the present has really had debatable achievements (civil rights being a notable, if slow exception), and in the post-September 11 era has been almost completely impotent. Some of the biggest protests in history were against the Iraq war, and they had not the slightest effect on the policies of elected leaders.

Now we are seeing real action. A distributed group of people in their bedrooms are able to wage information war against governments and major corporations, at zero cost to themselves, and with no reactionary-propaganda-friendly bloodied policemen or smashed plate glass.

More importantly, this has all been done with tools that are packed with memetic humour. I mean just look at it.

The thing that’s most amusing about this, is it proves yet again the most important rule on the internet. You don’t fuck with 4Chan. I suspect eventually, 4Chan will be appraised as one of the strongest influences of our era in Western, and indeed world culture.

Interesting times are ahead.

End of the year

Well, finally another year of college is over, and the task of updating the site begins. For now, there’s a new gallery with all the lifedrawing from 2010 in chronological order.

At the end of the week I’ll put in posts for the individual drawings, as well as the sculpture from the past year.

Finally, with college out of the way, I can get back to work on finishing Surfing The Deathline.

Nervous Spaces

On June 22nd, my first solo show opens. It’s an exhibition of photography at St Vincent’s Hospital, in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Works on display are photographs in the 24×36″ range.

Heavy Metal

I’m in a bronzecasting exhibition, so check it out.

Opening night May 20th 6pm. National Art School, corner of Forbes & Burton St, Darlinghurst.

Damn Right.

Steve Jobs’ clean, methodical takedown of Flash.

Everything about Adobe these days is summed up by this basic point.

Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Adobe has been obsessed for the past decade with the idea of becoming a platform vendor, rather than a tool vendor. As a maker of tools in the desktop publishing era, they were fantastic, but once Acrobat became something more than a convenient printing format, and especially once they were infected by Macromedia, this ridiculous notion of Adobe as a platform, Acrobat, Creative Suite and Flash, gained ascendancy.

We are all poorer for it, because innovative nimble companies can’t get the market share and finance to directly compete with, for example, Photoshop; instead relying on crumbs by making low end, budget “recreational” visions of Adobe apps. I haven’t used CS5, but CS4’s primary characteristic is that it feels old, as in “take that old dog out behind the woodshed and shoot it”.

iPad reaction, or why Adobe is clueless.

Evergreen stalwarts of mediocrity, Adobe are crying to momma because big bad apple won’t let them play in Apple’s sandpit:

“without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web.”

As usual, Adobe have got it completely ass-backwards. Noone buys a Flash device. They buy an iPod, an iPhone or now an iPad, and they do it in ridiculous numbers. Flash not being on Apple’s devices has done exactly zero to harm sales and popularity of the device, and zero to harm the popularity and usable integrity of the platform.

Adobe’s statement would be better phrased as:

without iPhone OS suport, Flash developers and website designers will be unable to target the 100% of iPhone OS users, who represent the most financially lucrative consumer demographic. That’s why we’re falling over ourselves to salvage something with vapourware mutterings about CS5 producing “real” iPhone apps.

Oh, and while we’re talking about all those “great” flash sites, lets remember that when YouTube was faced with the opportunity of the iPhone, they went and rebuilt their entire system in h.264, and are now migrating to HTML5, Vimeo are going to HTML5, Zero Punctuation one of the web’s most popular video shows, has gone to h.264 (and the files are now about half the size of the Flash versions).

Cast your mind back to the start of the iPod, when everyone was declaring iPods to be the devil’s own product, and doomed to fail because it didn’t support .wma or .wmv or playsforsure or whatever Microsoft’s strategy of the nanosecond was. The vast majority of portable audio players supported MS’ formats, so all those poor Apple customers were being “locked out” of the “majority” of content.

Yeah, how did that work out? Anyone recall? Oh wait, Apple gouged out Microsoft’s brains and violated the corpse before playsforsure got knifed by Microsoft in favour of their next failsforsure effort, Zune.

If you want to be successful in a consumer category, you have to play in Apple’s sandpit, because noone else is capable of delivering a compelling consumer experience. The most hilarious, or perhaps pitiful aspect of this is that this situation isn’t a result of illegal, monopolistic or anti-competitive tactics by Apple, it’s just that almost everyone in the consumer electronics business actively sucks at the job in comparison.

Apple offers a manicured sandpit, your other options are craters of turned earth. Where do you want to play?

Apple Event Speculation

If Apple are about to launch a tablet style computer, I wonder if their recent purchase of an online advertising company Quattro is because they’ll be offering a centralised advertising service for tablet format publications, so that a publisher can just specify a place for an ad, and get a royalty paid direct by apple for the number of impressions the ad gets.

If they were to do this, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple had a policy of text-only, or static ads – overly animated attention stealing ads are, I suspect, the reason people have developed both cognitive blindness for banner ads, as well as ad-blocking software.

A couple of hours until we find out.

EDIT: still waiting, but I thought I’d chime in a bit about why previous tablets have largely failed – in the Windows world, they’ve been about selling a windows computer that doesn’t need a keyboard – that’s the goal as far as microsoft and OEMs have been concerned. The goal hasn’t been “create the best digital magazine experience”, where the hardware and software are just the enabler, because people in the PC world haven’t really had the big picture vision to want to move the world in a particular direction as the goal, in the way Apple did with music. Microsoft doesn’t really want to change the world, they’re the established player, keeping the world the way it is, thankyou very much, is their be all and end all goal.

a new page

Here’s the rough for page 17 of SDL #4 – the opening page of the second scene. I’m really liking the use 2 colours in pencils – makes it far easier to think through an illustration.

This is really the “writing” stage for me, so it’s purpose is to set out the layout, basic camera angles, poses, and rough dialogue timing.

“award winning”

Yes, I won an award for coming first in second year (2009) Art History & Theory at the National Art School. Looks like all the effort in writing essays etc paid off :)