28 July 2009

Eye candy: a few geometrical sculptures

Today guys, for your viewing pleasure, the works of a few geometrical sculptors:

James Roper, "Into the Fold":

Carlo H. Séquin, "Tetroid with 24 Heptagons, 6 colors":

Bathsheba Grossman, "The Noom":

George W. Hart, "John Deere":

Charles Perry, "Eclipse":

Of course, there are many more on the artists' respective websites. Enjoy!

24 July 2009

House - Season 1-4 DVDs on 50% sale!

I would write a "what [not] to watch" about House M.D., but what for, since you already know the answer (watch!!!) and have watched it all.

But, if by any chance, you haven't (I have only seen a few episodes so far, lucky me!), you might be interested in the fact that's the DVD for seasons 1-4 are on a 50% sale (£38.98 instead of £79.99) on Amazon.co.uk (or in the related fact, that I'm ordering them and will lend them to you, provided I know you IRL).

23 July 2009

Google Wave: will curiosity kill the geek?

I signed up for Google Wave! Now I have to hope I'm one of the 100,000 chosen ones and wait for October and then I might try it out.

What is Google Wave anyway? No one exactly knows, but Gina Trapani said in less that 140 characters:

Simplest terms: Google Wave is Gmail on crack. Imagine Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Docs in one big inbox.

Sounds cool. I'd love to try that! Especially if I get to give improvement suggestions when it comes to usability.

More info on Google Wave here and here.

11 July 2009

Random thoughts about the Sims 3

I go the Sims 3 as soon as they were out (remember how I couldn't wait in January? I also got the computer but not the flowery desk) and have already wasted many hours playing.

The game has really nice views of the world around us, I mean around the Sims (click to zoom):

The gameplay got improved and is a bit more realistic than in the Sims 2. The genetics are waaaaay better - Sims now make beautiful babies that you definitely want to play with.

Some bugs and glitches remain, however. The one I can't forgive is EA extra content not installing:

The "46" is one of my processors being clogged by the installer. The "0%" can stay up to 30 minutes (haven't tried longer, shouldn't 30 minutes be enough?). I've notified customer support.

The other glitches are funny:

Isn't this table standing in your way?

your foot from inside mine, bitch!

This one happened when a boyfriend came with his baby (he was adopting babies behind my Sim's back!), stayed for the night and then had to go to work - a delicate situation to handle.

That baby grew into a beautiful lady (blue-sleeved T-shirt), but look at her sister: her butt is in the water and it's the dirty dishes she's complaining about.

The burglar alarm, the burglar fighting with the police officer and the annoyed neighbors - in TS2, they didn't care.

09 July 2009

Feed hungy Americans by downloading IE8

Microsoft is making totally crazy really intensive advertising campaign for his new baby IE8. Everything is to be found in the new ads.

First, my favourite, meritorical discussion:

Mmm, yeah, how very meritorical, I couln't agree more with these points.

Second, a marketing sure-thing, controversy:

This ad, a video of a woman so shocked by her husband's browsing history that she vomits, has been removed - and thus talked about a lot. "Browsing better", according to Microsoft, is visiting filthy websites, just as long as you don't leave them in your history. Needless to say, my definition of "browsing better" is slightly different.

But, but, but, however, after all the brainstorms that lead to this variety of ads, they finally got me. What made me download the thingy? The promise of provinding 8 meals for Americans in need fo every download. I clicked "downlad" and saw 4 versions to choose from:

You might think that since I'm using Windows 7, I've already got IE8 and none of this versions is for me. But this doesn't matter when it comes to fighting hunger - I downloaded all four versions, proving a month of food on Microsoft for someone. Then I deleted them.

You too can visit browserforthebetter.com and help fight hunger in America!

03 July 2009

Silverlight vs. CSS

I'm back to Silverlight blogging! I've been super busy these last months with school, getting married and swithing to Python at work and I haven't had time to look deeper into Silverlight 3 nor get my hands dirty digging in some code. But, summer is here, and here I come! Let's start with some philo: Silverlight vs. CSS.

But why not Silverlight vs. Flash?

First, because it's done greatly at Shine Draw (congratulations on becoming a Silverlight MVP!) . By the way, Smashing Magazine, which is the best webdesign resource ever (and anyone working on a user interface should read that kind of stuff ) has recently had a really in-depth technical article about that subject too (which kinda concludes that Flash is better as it supports more stuff, but I'd just say older, anyway, I'm just saying I'm not writing about Flash).

Second: Flash and Silverlight are two different tools. You usually know one or the other. You usually have to choose one or the other as your area of expertise and once your choice is made, you won't go back, no matter how I praise one and critiscize the other. Silverlight and CSS, however, are tools lying side by side in the same toolbox. Okay, lots of generalizing here, some people are pure C# programmers and don't need to worry about webdesign. I am the girl who uses SL more for websites than for applications and that's what happens: I need to embed SL elements in a webpage done in HTML (thus my interest for HTML Overlay) so a question arises:

Which elements do I do in Silverlight, and which in DHTML?

Here's an excellent example: the Fish Eye menu.

n.design studio did it in CSS/JS:

PageBrooks did it in Silverlight:

Shine Draw did it his style: both Silverlight and Flash, for comparaison:

Now say you need a Fish Eye menu on your site - which do you use?

First thing: ask yourself about your target. Some of my best friends use Linux and well, not everyone has Silverlight. But some people block all of their Flash and some turn JavaScript off - you can't please everyone. I think I'd go with JS here, but the topic is broad.

Second: is it ready? Is it free? For commercial purposes too? Because if it isn't and you have to do it yourself, I'd say one hour for Silverlight, a few days for debugging JavaScript in all possible browsers - absolutely incomparable times.

Still don't know? Don't worry, neither do I, the topic is way too broad. A lot depends on your goal: is it learning a technology? Pleasing a customer? Building an impressive portfolio? If the latter, one important word of advice: don't overdo it. I've seen a site with two moving Silverlight controls that were getting really annoying after a bit of time. Modern at first sight, but cheap at the second: "Mm, yeah, a rotating banner, how hard is that in Silverlight?" It's easy and it's great that it is, but let's use our tools wisely.