Everything is Gray

A place to put stuff.

Life on Mars?

| Comments

So it turns out life on Mars might actually be possible, thanks to an adorable little robot called Le Petit Prince. The robot, (which looks an awful lot like EVE from WALL-E), was designed to care for plants while searching for an environment with ample nutrients. The idea is to eventually produce enough oxygen on Mars to make it suitable for humans, but don’t plan on moving anytime soon, it’s just a concept.

iDeals iPhone App

| Comments

So I had the pleasure of meeting the gentleman that develops the iDeals iPhone application a few days ago. iDeals was designed to provide an easy to use interface for tracking deals from Amazon, EB Games, Buy.com, Woot!, etc. The iDeals app pulls its information from DODTracker.com servers, but is far more enjoyable than visiting the site itself. Best of all it’s free, go download it.

Snow Stack 3D CSS

| Comments

A gentleman by the name of Charles Ying of Satine.org has developed a new 3D CSS visual effects demonstration called Snow Stack, which runs entirely on JavaScript, native WebKit CSS extensions, and XHTML/HTML. If you’re familiar with Cover Flow/Core Animation on the Mac you’ll immediately recognize Snow Stack. In order to run the demo you’ll need either the Snow Leopard Beta + Safari or Leopard + the latest nightly build of WebKit. Either way, it’s quite fascinating to think that this is all being done in the browser.

Cappuccino Web Framework

| Comments

So lately I’ve been playing around with the Cappuccino web framework and a nifty little programming language called Objective-J. The Cappuccino framework allows you to create desktop class applications for the browser, and gives you the ability to run these applications on the desktop, (similar to Adobe AIR). One of the many benefits of being able to create applications that run on the desktop is having the ability to run the application while offline.

The interesting thing about Objective-J is that it is based on Objective-C, but any valid JavaScript code is accepted as valid Objective-J code. A fun way to look at it is that Objective-J is to JavaScript as Objective-C is to C.

Cappuccino is frequently compared to another JavaScript framework called SproutCore, which also allows you to build rich Mac-like applications for the browser, (just look at MobileMe). Both Cappuccino and SproutCore utilize the same icon set and window chrome as desktop Mac applications, which can look incredible.

If you’d like to see Cappuccino and Objective-J in action, take a look at 280 Slides, and if you’d like to learn more, read the tutorials on Cappuccino.org and download the sample application.

@end

XHTML Is Dead, (but Don’t Worry)

| Comments

Today On July 2, 2009, the W3C announced that the XHTML 2 working group will cease development by the end of 2009. Of course all this means is that more time, effort, and man power will be focused on the HTML 5 specification, which is going to drastically change the web, (just take a look at Google Wave). This also means that we won’t have any spec wars to deal with, which are almost as bad as format wars, (HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray anyone?)

From the W3C:

XHTML 2 Working Group Expected to Stop Work End of 2009, W3C to Increase Resources on HTML 5

2009-07-02: Today the Director announces that when the XHTML 2 Working Group charter expires as scheduled at the end of 2009, the charter will not be renewed. By doing so, and by increasing resources in the Working Group, W3C hopes to accelerate the progress of HTML 5 and clarify W3C’s position regarding the future of HTML. A FAQ answers questions about the future of deliverables of the XHTML 2 Working Group, and the status of various discussions related to HTML. Learn more about the HTML Activity. (Permalink)

FlintCast Episode 2 Now on iTunes

| Comments

So I’ve managed to get the latest episode of my podcast, FlintCast, on iTunes.

I spent a few hours trying to figure out just why it wasn’t showing up, turns out I was just impatient, (pinging the servers didn’t seem to help, either). Troubleshooting feeds surely can be a headache.

If you’d like to download individual episodes or subscribe you can do so here.

Logo Guessing Game

| Comments

How quickly can you recognize a corporate identity? I recently found an article on GraphicDesignBlog.org that makes an interesting game out of it. They display a small fraction of the logo and you are to guess the corporation associated with that identity. I knew all but three right off the bat. Can you guess which one’s I missed?

I find that the best and most memorable logos almost always pass this test. Number six is a great example, (only a miniscule portion of the logo is displayed, yet I was able to determine the identity almost immediately).

American Airlines Site Redesign

| Comments

I heard about a week ago that someone had done a mockup of a possible redesign for the American Airlines website, and the first thing I did was take a look at their existing site. It’s unbelievable to me that such a huge corporation with so many resources could produce such a terrible, unusable site. I for one haven’t ever needed to use the site, but a user interface designer named Dustin Curtis has, (which inspired him to create the mockup.) The redesign is visually interesting as well as functional. You should read more about it/take a look at it here.

NextGEN: Cool WordPress Plugin

| Comments

After about a month of searching for a WordPress image gallery plugin that is both powerful and easy to use, I came across NextGEN Gallery. This plugin is extremely easy to implement, and once activated is easy to maintain/update. I like the fact that you can create multiple galleries and group them together in albums, too. It’s also a breeze to update a gallery or album once it’s been posted. I’m currently using this plugin for my portfolio, (which should include more than a few images soon), and overall I’m very pleased.

FlintCast Is Now Available on iTunes

| Comments

The folks at iTunes recently accepted my new podcast, which is called FlintCast. It is hosted by myself and Vanna Ward.

FlintCast aims to cover fun and interesting events happening in Flint, MI. The podcast is currently audio only but we’ll be including video in the feed in the near future. If you’d like to download individual episodes or subscribe you can do so now on iTunes.