Angela Ho, Hong Kong based Australian designer and illustrator

Friday, 13 January, 2017

Illustration by Angela Ho

The work of Hong Kong based Australian designer and illustrator Angela Ho, reminds me of the characters from childhood stories and nursery rhymes. But somehow there’s something a little bit different about them. Whose changed over the years then? My recollections, or the characters?

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Some ideas for successful online businesses that are run alone

Friday, 13 January, 2017

If you want to establish your own online business, and are looking for ideas, then this Hacker News discussion thread may be just what the doctor ordered. There sure are some great one person start-ups and ventures out there.

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Trailer for Live by Night, the new Ben Affleck feature

Friday, 13 January, 2017

Live by Night is a gangster flick set in 1920s Boston, directed by Ben Affleck. Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, and Brendan Gleeson, have leading roles. See the trailer here. Opens in Australian cinemas on 26 January. If the stars align, I’ll post a review.

Affleck is certainly someone who doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Not only is he directing, he also wrote the screenplay, and has a starring role. I’d like to know what time management system he has going there.

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Online porn trends of 2016

Friday, 13 January, 2017

What it says on the tin. For educational purposes of course, and just so there are no gaps in your knowledge.

Obviously the subject matter is NSFW, but the presentation thereof is OK. It’s mainly infographics and numbers. And certain porn terms. So long as someone who might not like what you’re reading, isn’t standing right behind you, and can see your screen.

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Uber Movement. The poacher becomes the gamekeeper?

Friday, 13 January, 2017

Global ridesharing network Uber recently unveiled Uber Movement, a new service that shares details of the trips its drivers and passengers make. According to Uber, such information will aid the urban planning process, and help cities to move more efficiently.

Given sixty-two million trips were taken in Uber vehicles in July 2016, across the seventy countries where they currently operate, this seems reasonable. The collected data may also be useful in places where information about traffic movements is difficult to gather.

The data, which is anonymised, meaning no one individual’s trips, or travel habits, can be identified, will no doubt help city authorities highlight spikes in road usage, and bottlenecks. In turn, this will permit them to better plan their roads, and transport infrastructure.

Aggregating ride information may not be enough to allay fears of privacy advocates though, who are concerned by Uber’s recent change to the location-tracking behaviour of its smartphone app. Passenger movements can now be tracked for five minutes after their ride ends.

Uber claims this will allow them to “improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance safety“. Having accurate data about vehicle movements around a city may be of use to urban planners, but at the cost of being tracked for five minutes after leaving the car?

That seems excessive, and may force passengers to alter their pick-up and final destination points, in the interests of preserving privacy. But that shouldn’t greatly compromise the integrity of the data Uber hopes to collect, at least so far as those they think will benefit the most goes.

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Oceans, music from the intersection of pop and funk, by the Visions

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

Yesterday, I wondered if returning to work mid-week was a good idea. It makes the stretch to the weekend a little shorter, and all. Well, let’s say the jury is still out on that idea.

Nothing was implied, by the way, in selecting Bad Day, new music by the Avalanches, although given the circumstances it didn’t seem a smart choice for such a day.

So today here’s Oceans, by the Visions, a New York City based three-piece band, made up of brothers Ben and Michael Shugarman, and long time pal, Ryan Brooks.

Jazz was the first thought that came to my mind, but this is a sound, the band says, that lives at the intersection of pop and funk. I hope you like it.

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Your task should you accept it, devise twenty new ideas each day

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

T-shirt designs. Book ideas. Poster ideas. Furniture designs. Song titles. Are any of these relevant to your line of work? Even it they aren’t, giving thought to such things can go about helping you conceive of ideas in your field.

After all, we’re not advised to think beyond the box for no reason.

But these are among things that New York based creative director Rodd Chant mulls over constantly, in devising twenty new ideas every day. The results may not be directly applicable to his line of work, but that doesn’t matter. Coming up with the ideas is what counts.

An essential exercise especially, if you work as a creative professional.

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Star Wars Downunder, a fan made film by Michael Cox

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

It’s a fan made film, so I know you sometimes need to be in the right place, at the right time, to hear about these sorts of things, but I’m still not sure how I missed Star Wars Downunder. Made by filmmaker Michael Cox in 2013, “Downunder” brings a distinctly Australian taste, in the form of beer no less, to the popular sci-fi saga.

See the full film here, 30 minutes in length, or take a look at the trailer for a preview.

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When you spend twenty-fours riding the London Underground

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

London based photographer Tarik Ahmet recently spent twenty-four hours travelling about the English capital on the Tube, or the underground mass transit system. The first photos of the series were taken at Balham station, a suburb in the south of London where I used to live.

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The return of film photography, is this peak digital photography?

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

Richmond Park, London. Photo by John Lampard

Technology company Kodak says it will resume manufacturing Ektachrome camera film for 35mm still frame, and Super 8 motion picture formats, by the end of the year. Does the move constitute evidence that we’ve reached peak digital photography though? Don’t be so sure.

While the return of Ektachrome will surely delight aficionados of film photography, are we all about to give up on the likes of Instagram, or stop using the now not too shabby cameras in our smartphones? I doubt it.

Here’s the thing. Film photography is for the patient. For those skilled in the art of capturing the right image at the right time, without using up the limited allocation of shots, usually thirty-six, that’s available to them on a single roll of film.

That excludes me. Then there’s the matter of the time and cost of processing. Some might call digital photography fake and cheap, and the domain of those seeking instant gratification. But not me. There’s simply too much quality digital photography for that to be possible.

Yes, we may be seeing more film photography, which is fine by me. And true, we have may reached peak digital photography, but I don’t think we’re about to see it spiral out of favour anytime soon. Also, I took the above photo, in London’s Richmond Park, with film. So there.

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