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Archive for January, 2012

Pen Type-A

Missed this when it was on Kickstarter. It’s proper pen geekery. it’s an aluminium body for the Hi-Tec-C pen cartridge.

The Hi-Tec-C is my favorite super-fine pen. And loads of other people seem to have a thing for them too.

Not sure I could justify the $99 price tag, but it’s the kind of thing that in a moment of drunken e-commerce stupidity I could conceivably find falling through the letterbox. If you’re feeling flush they’re fully funded and you buy one from CW&T SHOP.

An Electrical Knife Cutting its Own Power Cord

Perfect.

An A-Z of Making The Numberleys

The Numberlys is a wonderful iPhone / iPad app. It’s deservedly been the featured app in the app store for the last week. A lovely story that unfolds with simple interactive moments. Charming and delightful for both kids and grown-ups. Here’s the trailer.

I love what they’ve done with the ‘making of’ videos. They’ve split them down into the letters of the alphabet which ties-in neatly with the narrative of the story.

And so on.

They’re really nice alphabetized glimpses into the world of an animation studio.

Find them all here: http://vimeo.com/moonbot

Right now these videos have small numbers. Around 1,000 views each. They deserve more.

An Analysis of the Chinese Psyche (via Emoticons)

WeiboScope - published by the JMSC at HKU

The above image is pulled from: WeiboScope – published by the JMSC at HKU - which looks at the most popular emoticons from Weibo over the last 48hrs. It also has some other fascinating analysis tools for those who are clueless about China’s social media scene.

I’d love to see how this would work globally. I wonder what the analysis would show. For example, Is the ‘covered mouth laugh’ something that gets used more in cultures that are more polite?

Update: After being branded a social media credit taking scumbag I’m offering a begrudgingly gentle nod of the head towards my old friend @igorclark who, to be fair, did originally sent an email with a link to WeiboScope’s image analysis tool.

A crashing TV and the complexity of stuff

Last night I was watching Bored to Death on HBO Go on my Logitech Revue box running Google TV through my Sony TV, and just as the show was starting the Adobe Shockwave Flash plugin crashed the Google Chrome browser.

As I pondered the annoyance of my TV crashing; something that never used to happen when I had 3 awesome channels of black-and-white TV that I could select with a rotary dial. I started to realize how many different pieces of technology it can take to get a moving picture from there to here.

Maybe next time someone asks why it takes such a long time to make interactive thingys. I’ll tell them the story of the poor sap sitting in the dark ‘reloading his TV’ over and over again. Because that’s what happens when you don’t fully consider all of the interconnected pieces of the puzzle and test them thoroughly – even on someone’s stupid TV.

Old Dudes Dancing Behind a Car

Mistake Internet Shit

I was watching Peppa Pig on YouTube with my children the other day.

For some inexplicable reason I decided to turn on YouTube closed captioning and used the ‘auto transcribe audio’ function. The results were quite spectacular. I frequently laughed a lot. Then at 1.40 into the video all of a sudden the above gem appeared.

I think it’s a sign.

A New Blog for 2012

There's nothing quite like the first page of a brand new book

What the hell is this? Why are you starting a new blog in 2012? And why on earth are you calling it Crackunit2?

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while. I’ve had it ready to go for a while less than that. I’ve been dilly-dallying for a while. Pondering what flavor of future-facing social-media strategy I’m going to employ and all that bollocks. But the new year seems like a good time to go-ahead and just do it. Get a post up and get going.

Why start blogging again?

It’s simple. I’ve been missing it (for a bunch of entirely selfish reasons). It’s not that I don’t have ways to share nonsense with the world, thank you Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, FourSquare, Instagram, etc.

But none of them are the same as keeping a blog. A blog is your own thing to mess with. You’re the boss. It’s like having people round to your house rather than meeting in a nightclub with all its rules and rituals. And sometimes that feels nice. Even if there’s only a few of you sitting round the kitchen table not doing much. Sometimes that’s nicer than the wild anything-could-happen abandon of a night at Ritzy’s with loads of people wearing their best clothes and their best flavor of Axe.

And the fact that it’s your place means you need to do a tiny bit of DIY every now and again. Just the smallest amount of copying-and-pasting code and getting my hands a tiny bit dirty is good exercise for me.

Plus I’m convinced that blogging made me think a little smarter – when you’re putting your thoughts into a fully public, searchable, permanent and commentable space it makes you question your thinking a little bit more. Forcing myself to question my thoughts is a good thing. You’d have to be inside my brain to fully understand this (and you don’t want to be in there).

Plus there was a sense of blogging community that I really enjoyed. I got to know a bunch of really smart, friendly, helpful, and decent people around the world. I’d like to meet some more of those kinds of folks in new and interesting places.

Why now?

I don’t think the world needs more ‘hey look at this cool thing I found’ blogs, there’s plenty of that – there’s better people and better tools for that kind of thing. So I’m not going chasing after that. I’m going to try to post stuff that I’ve either made from scratch, or at the very least built-on to the point where I’ve added a pinch of something new.

Crackunit.com ‘died’ a while back – coincidentally we had twins at a pretty similar moment in time. That’s one of those life-events that somewhat eats into your thinking and writing time. And then I decided to leave Poke, move half way around the world and take up a big job at Wieden and Kennedy. A couple more things that might get in the way of blogging.

But that was then, this is now. The twins are two and a half, which means the hard work of rearing children is practically done. And the job is a breeze. So I’ve got plenty of time and mental space to start blogging again. Obviously all lies. But I’m going to do what I can to set aside some chunks of time to do this as best I can.

Why Crackunit2?

Because everyone loves a clean slate don’t they?

A few months back I was asking around how I could start a new chapter on my blog. And Richard Hooker tweeted back that crackunit2.com was free. At first I thought “funny” but nothing more. Then as I sat on the thought I began to like it more and more. It’s exactly what I needed. A new notebook.

Crackunit was then. Crackunit2 is now. This is my sequel. My Empire Strikes Back. I feel like Luke crawling out of the stinking guts of a festering Tauntaun.

Happy 2012!