Wednesday: December 19, 2012
- Barack Obama is TIME's 2012 Person of the Year.
Since the moment Obama arrived on the national scene in 2004, the very idea of leadership has been under assault. Many of the old institutions that once anchored the American Dream have been bled of public confidence. Banks, Big Business, the news media and Congress all polled at or near record lows during his first term. Obama himself was the target of uncommon vitriol, but he has somehow managed to keep the public’s faith.
- Creators of Zork series to receive Pioneer Award.
If you Google hard enough you can most likely find a web-based version of the original Zork for those of you looking to take a step back into text-adventuring nostalgia. You are still likely to be eaten by a grue.
Tuesday: December 18, 2012
- TIME pulls the curtain back on short list for 2012 Person of the Year.
All eight candidates appeared on TIME’s online reader poll, but none took first place. TIME’s online voters have already revealed their choice for this year’s top newsmaker: Kim Jong Un. More than 5.6 million people voted for the supreme leader of North Korea, although his results and those of other high scorers got a boost from members of Internet forums like 4Chan.
- Twenty-one unfilmable books that managed to make it to the big screen.
Even Rotten Tomatoes agrees that some of the books that made it onto this list should have never been considered for major motion picture filming in the first place. Yep, looking in your direction Cat in the Hat.
- Panic takes a look at the magic behind the album art color schemes in iTunes 11.
If you've used iTunes 11 you may have noticed the adaptive colors used in some of your favorite albums. Apple could have just displayed a thumbnail and used the same colors for text everywhere but instead chose to theme each album to go along with it's individual art. This kind of little touch is really what has always se Apple apart from the rest. The good folks at Panic delve into the kind of programming and logic that may have gone into this kind of display paradigm. It's a great read even if you aren't a developer but its an even greater read if you because they include sample code.
- Why Google's GMail outage may be a sign of things to come.
The answer is that most of the coders behind today’s popular websites and services are deploying their code when it’s ready—not at some pre-determined point when downtime may not be noticed. It’s called continuous code deployment, or some variation on that theme, and everyone from Facebook and Netflix to smaller services do it. While it may occasionally cause a few blips, those blips should be shorter and less catastrophic.
Friday: December 14, 2012
- University of Chicago receives mystery package addressed to one Henry (Indiana) Jones Jr.
An interesting read if only for the care and detail that went into the package itself. The package was received by the admissions department and reportedly almost thrown out until a student worker made the discovery. Could this be some new viral marketing in the making or a student with a really unique application package? Who knows - but either way, this is pretty neat.
Thursday: December 13, 2012
- Apple selects the Best of 2012 awards from notable iTunes Store apps and games.
For the first time in two years, no photography apps made it in to the top listings. 2012 also marks the first year that an Entertainment app was given an editor’s choice award. As always, during the end of the year wrap up Apple highlights games and apps from a wide variety of categories, so it’s well worth skimming the list for hidden gems.
- Phish announces four-night webcast for 2012-2013 New Years run.
Phish has done this webcast for two years in a row and both years I've purchased all four webcasts and enjoyed them immensely. I suspect this year that the tradition of this purchase won't be changing. The quality of the webcast is superb (glorious HD) and features a 10 camera system with the sound piped in right from the soundboard at amazing clarity. So that being said, if you need to reach me around New Years I will officially be on what is known affectionately to Phish fans as 'couch tour'.
- The Monsters University movie website is academically detailed in every way possible.
Click around the teaser site and you'll find everything from a list of Monsters University student clubs all the way over to a Monsters University academic calendar. Not really sure what to make of the actual movie plot at this point other than its Mike and Sully in their college days presumably in some kind of Revenge of the Nerds scenario. Whatever it ends up being I'll be at the theaters wearing some sort of MU paraphernalia (which you can buy on the MU online campus store).
- The Verge reviews The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and finds some unexpected issues.
Rather than the majestic grandeur presented in the first films, the new entry looks more like a Renaissance Faire recreation shot on your brother's mini-DV camera. It's most jarring in the movie's opening, where we briefly visit Frodo and Bilbo in the moments leading up to Fellowship; we know what these characters in that world should look like, and it simply feels wrong.
- Nirvana reunion song to be part of soundtrack to Dave Grohl's directorial debut film.
The song you heard last night at the 12/12/12 concert (if you stayed up late enough) was titled 'Cut Me Some Slack'. This song is the result of the Nirvana reunion / Paul McCartney mashup and it will serve as part of the soundtrack to Sound City. Sound City ity is a film that Dave Grohl directed. It's a documentary chronicling the history of the Sound City recording studio over in Van Nuys, California. It has a notable history with some of the most legendary artists in music history laying down tracks there.
- Google releases standalone maps application for iPhone.
The long awaited Google Maps application is finally here and it actually looks and functions very well. There have been numerous reports that this app beats out it's Android counterpart in terms of design and overall look and feel. All of the characteristics you expected from a proper maps application are here - turn by turn directions, vector maps, rotational maps and general location information. Some amazing work here from Google.
Wednesday: December 12, 2012
- Merry Dukemas! Gog.com giving away Duke Nukem 3D for the holidays.
I have fond memories of playing Duke Nukem 3D in college as it was my first real networked game with my fellow nerd-type college friends that we could all partake in. Mind you this was way before your traditional online multiplayer we know today, before the Halos and Call of Duties, and way before kids screaming obscenities at other adults through Xbox headsets were the norm. I'm surprised to see that the game still holds up well jaggy pixels and all. Hey, you can even snag a Mac port of the game - hurry offer ends while supplies last (you have until December 14 and supplies won't run out).
- Want to know what the world searched for in 2012? There's a Google Zeitgeist for that.
They even prepared a little video with inspirational music to go along with it. How very Google of them.