Archive for the 'internet' Category

Has this happened to you?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

I recently rediscovered a video recording iPhone app called 8mm. Evidently, it makes your mobile video look like an old movie filmed with an eight millimeter camera.

Every time I go for a walk I take my phone out to record locations, landscapes, moments, or anything else that calls my attention. Last Wednesday I was walking back to the office when I saw these two guys asking the mailman to take a picture of them using a picturesque Venice wall as a background. I walked right in the middle of their interaction and recorded them as I walked by. The mailman took off in my direction and the other two guys just walked away into Rose Ave.

Then yesterday while browsing through my Tumblr dashboard I stumble upon the picture taken by the mailman in some Hip Hop blog I follow. The original post is here. The blog I follow and the original item were separated by a long list of intermediaries (more than 20).

This is the first time I find myself experiencing a moment where the following two conditions are satisfied:

1. This moment is recorded by me and by at least one stranger.
2. The stranger’s recording of this moment finds it’s way to me through an online social network.

This might already happen to a lot of people, and I am expecting it to happen a lot more frequently in the future. For now, I am just going to upload my movie somewhere and somehow connect it to that picture.

hiphop

My 3023 Instagram Photos

Monday, December 31st, 2012

I don’t like to be forced to grant a permanent all purpose license over my content, so I decided to stop posting photos on Instagram after the recent update to their terms of service.

I will not delete my account, and I might change my mind about this, but I don’t plan to take any more photos on Instagram. This makes me a bit sad, because there is definitely no substitute for me to post casual descriptions of my life to share with many of my close friends.

From now on, I’ll probably limit myself to use Instagram the same way I use facebook, to keep in touch with friends, leave occasional comments, and “like” some of their stuff.

Two years and 3023 photos. I was two pictures short from having 55×55=3025 Instagram photos. Who cares, perfection is always elusive. On the other hand, 3023 is a pretty sweet prime number.

instagram-3023

Khan Academy Bots

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

A few months ago, before I got all busy with theBlu, I made a set of robot avatars for the Khan Academy. They are part of the academy’s incentive program. Like in many games, users accumulate points by finishing tasks provided by the system, and these points can then be used to collect badges or upgrade the user’s avatar. The only difference is that in this case the user’s merit is to have learned something, as opposed to having reached a given goal established by the rules of a game.

I think the Khan Academy is a great resource not just for learning. It is also wonderful for refreshing knowledge one once already had. I’ve used it like that a couple of times, and a few other times just to learn about stuff –their explanation of SOPA/PIPA is pretty good– but I haven’t found an opportunity to collect enough points to deserve one of my own avatars in my profile. Maybe one day, I don’t really care. I just hope their incentive program is very successful and a lot of people learn a lot and choose my robots so that the Khan Academy feels inspired to commission me with more drawings, because I love this kind of work.

PS: My illustration set in flickr features full res images of all the robots and some other creatures that didn’t make it into the final selection.

TheBlu in Times Square

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Last month, I worked on the design and implementation of a system to connect mobile phones with a custom version of theBlu client that ran on the NASDAQ screen in Times Square. This was part of a celebration put together on May 4th by Wemo Media to introduce theBlu to the world. If you’d like to see how it went, Wired has published a video covering the event.

After extensive research, I chose JQueryMobile to build the mobile web app. I had never used JQueryMobile before, and I was happy to find it accessible and robust. It’s a good mobile UI framework if you ever need one.

Also, I got my first iPhone to use for development purposes (yeah right). As an all time iPad user, I always thought I would never appreciate an iPhone fully, and for the longest time pretended to be happy with vintage cellphones where texting is a task only possible for people born after 1990, but after half a month of iPhone bliss, I find myself using the iPad a lot less and texting like a superhero, using Instagram like there is no tomorrow and finally having a reasonable replacement for my lost iPod. I’m not too happy with the camera though—I think it’s a bit dumb.



In TheBlu

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The last month and a half I’ve been working with Wemo Media in TheBlu. TheBlu is an unusual mix of social media, peripheral entertainment, virtual marketplace, and crowd-sourced digital studio. It’s a new effort in the ongoing quest to find a functional combination between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. I was called at the end of January to provide Art Direction, and to work on User Interface and User Experience Design. This means I’ve mostly been using good old Illustrator/Photoshop/AfterEffects for mockups and asset deliverables, and Javascript/HTML/CSS for prototyping and implementation. I still have to get my hands on the actual 3D part of the whole thing. I hope it will not take too long.

An exercise in personalization

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Last month I worked with BuzaMoto on a website for the MoMA Armory Show 2012. Mud made the website and I provided the content artwork for the main feature of the site: A personalized virtual BobbleHead creation tool.

These BobbleHeads are offered by MoMA as an extra token for people that buy access to the live stream of the Armory Show closing event: a live performance by mexican chill wave band Neon Indian. In addition to this, the collection of generated BobbleHeads will be projected on stage during the performance.

Aside from it being an interesting fundraising participation system, momaarmoryshow.org is an excellent example of a seamless, low-effort online transaction experience. I would probably spend a lot more money on digital content if other online stores made shopping as easy and pleasant as momaarmoryshow.org does.

I designed most of the BobbleHeads based on dead celebrity artists (Frida, Picasso, Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, etc.), together with a couple of celebrities from pop culture, one science celebrity, and a monster made from body parts of several cadavers. This flickr link features the complete BobbleHead collection in the form of a wallpaper, including a famous superhero that didn’t make it to the website for obvious copyright reasons.

Here are the two BobbleHeads I made so far:

  • Black on a Saturday morning, featuring the real me,
  • and Maya goes to the gallery, featuring Maya as an art snob.
  • Update: Mud’s post in the BuzaMoto blog.

    A note on Sopa/Pipa

    Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

    We all know most of the decisions made in the U.S. congress have a direct impact on the rest of the world. Even though most of our countries suffer from some degree of internet censorship, and some people might suggest that we should protest our own disastrous legislations first, the state of the internet in the United States is something we all use to our advantage, something worth protecting, and a good-enough example to look after for some. Perhaps it’s time for the world to take a stand and USE THE INTERNET to tell the U.S. congress that people everywhere have something to say about the decisions they make, like for example, that SOPA/PIPA belongs in the toilet.

    I am not going to black out my site because, honestly, I don’t think anybody will care, but in case you happen to see this today (or any other day), I leave you here in the hands of Science Fiction superstar Cory Doctorow, delivering a keynote where he paints a pretty good picture about the current state of things. Additionaly, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this and other issues central to your freedom online.

    Update: The same Cory Doctorow just posted another video on boingboing, where the Khan Academy explains the implications for legitimate sites in a world where SOPA/PIPA is law.

    Update Two: Clay Shirky’s take on SOPA/PIPA “Get ready because more is coming”: