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Four short links: 13 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 12, 2013

ISS Enjoys Malware — Kaspersky reveals ISS had XP malware infestation before they shifted to Linux. The Gravity movie would have had more registry editing sessions if the producers had cared about FACTUAL ACCURACY. Big Data Approach to Computational Creativity …

Walking the tightrope of visualization criticism

Walking the tightrope of visualization criticism
By Andy Kirk
July 2, 2012

A creative field, such as visualization, will have many different interpretations and perspectives. The resolution and richness of this opinion is important to safeguard.

Walking the tightrope of visualization criticism

By Andy Kirk
July 2, 2012

A creative field, such as visualization, will have many different interpretations and perspectives. The resolution and richness of this opinion is important to safeguard.

Four short links: 15 June 2012

By Nat Torkington
June 15, 2012

In Flawed, Epic Anonymous Book, the Abyss Gazes Back (Wired) -- Quinn Norton's review of a book about Anonymous is an excellent introduction to Anonymous. Anonymous made us, its mediafags, masters of hedging language. The bombastic claims and hyperbolic declarations must be reported from their mouths, not from our publications. And yet still we make mistakes and publish lies...

Top stories: February 27-March 2, 2012

Top stories: February 27-March 2, 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 2, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: Mike Loukides examined the clumsy state of human connections in our tech products, Dale Dougherty made the case for Maker-friendly cities, and we looked at key shifts in publishing's business models.

Permission to be horrible and other ways to generate creativity

By Suzanne Axtell
March 1, 2012

Author and web design consultant Denise R. Jacobs reveals lessons she learned about creativity while writing her first book. She also discusses her efforts to give women and people of color more visibility in the tech world.

Four short links: 30 January 2012

By Nat Torkington
January 30, 2012

Improvisation and Forgiveness (JP Rangaswami) -- what makes us human is not repetitive action. Human occupations should require human intellect, and there's no more human activity than making a judgement call when processes have failed a customer. Kinect Tech in Laptop Prototypes -- "waving your hands around at your laptop" will be the new "bellowing into your walkie-talkie phone"....

On pirates and piracy

By Mike Loukides
January 23, 2012

Mike Loukides: "I'm not willing to have the next Bach, Beethoven, or Shakespeare post their work online, only to have it taken down because they haven't paid off a bunch of executives who think they own creativity."

On pirates and piracy

On pirates and piracy
By Mike Loukides
January 23, 2012

Mike Loukides: "I'm not willing to have the next Bach, Beethoven, or Shakespeare post their work online, only to have it taken down because they haven't paid off a bunch of executives who think they own creativity."

What we could do with really big touchscreens

By Peter Meyers
November 17, 2011

If we could combine the touchscreen's ability to signal our layout wishes with the large displays and workspaces that many of us enjoy at our work desks, wouldn't that change the kinds of documents we create?

What we could do with really big touchscreens

What we could do with really big touchscreens
By Peter Meyers
November 17, 2011

If we could combine the touchscreen's ability to signal our layout wishes with the large displays and workspaces that many of us enjoy at our work desks, wouldn't that change the kinds of documents we create?

Lost? Try Using A Map!

By Gene McCullagh
July 4, 2011

As photographers we tend to be visual people. When we get stuck creatively we try to jump-start our idea engine. Looking at other photographers' work is one way. Brainstorming and making a list of ideas can be another. But lists of ideas may not be what you are looking for. At least for me, lists are too dry and don't fit the way I think. That's where I find mind mapping really fits! If you aren't familiar with mind maps take a look at the Wikipedia article. Another good source is Tony Buzan's site. While Mr. Buzan's claim to inventing mind maps is still being debated, he has contributed greatly to the concept.

App Inventor and the culture wars

By Mike Loukides
July 15, 2010

Google's new App Inventor gets to the heart of the cultural difference between Apple and Google. If you haven't seen it yet, App Inventor is an experimental new SDK for the Android platform. What's different about App Inventor is that there's practically no coding per se; it's an entirely visual language. Its heritage goes back to Logo, but more directly,...

How dare Apple...

By Simon St. Laurent
January 28, 2010

The iPad repeats Steve Jobs' all-in-one vision of the 1984 Macintosh 128K in a shiny new package. Does this spell danger for creativity?

We Need to Teach Visual Critical Thinking

By Spencer Critchley
March 16, 2009

I was just looking at yet another vacuous presentation graphic, this one purporting to illustrate the SMART test for defining objectives. It looked something like this: This is of course rubbish. Infographics guru Edward Tufte would object strenuously to its...

More Creativity in a Can: When Thomas Dolby Met the Rhinestone Cowboy

By Spencer Critchley
March 4, 2009

Microsoft Songsmith has been stuck in my mind lately like, well, a bad song (follow that link at your own risk). It's got me reflecting about the long trend towards using music technology to increase productivity, but not creativity. And...

Should You Choose to Accept

By Harold Davis
February 5, 2009

On Photo.net recently Hannah Thiem conducted an interview with me. I think it's the best exposition about my work to date. (Suprada Urval's excellent interview with me covered very different ground.) As part of the interview, Hannah and I proposed an assignment: Photograph a flower in a unique way—in a way that nobody’s seen before. The top three submissions are...

Got Tablet?

By Rick Sammon
February 1, 2009

As a Photoshop instructor and author, I need to be skilled at using both Mac and Windows machines. And like most of my Photoshop instructor friends, I use a stylus and a tablet for maximum brush control. For my Mac, I use a Mac Book Pro, and I tote my WACOM table everywhere I go. For my Windows machine, I use the Lenovo W700 Think Pad. What's especially cool about this machine is that is has a built-in tablet and stylus. How cool is that.

The Fat Man and Circuit Girl: Fun. Music. Boys and Girls. Technology. Creativity.

By The Fat Man
January 19, 2009

I've got a great Nerd Treat for y'all! If you are too smart to be cool and too cool to be a nerd, you are a Scientiste. That's what Circuit Girl and I call you. That, and our friend. And we've been working on creating a community that's worthy of your attention and participation....

Free O'Reilly Webcast: Youth & Creativity

By David Battino
January 10, 2009

On January 21, O'Reilly will host a 60-minute webcast called Youth & Creativity: Emerging Trends in Self-Expression and Publishing. Here's the concept: Youth are approaching digital self-expression and publishing from a more organic, collaborative angle than previous generations. They jump right in when the creative urge strikes, collaborating with others from around the globe, and "publishing" an ongoing stream of...

Promising Glimpse of Thursday Night's Apple Store Panel

By Colleen Wheeler
January 6, 2009

The intelligent, engaged crowd at, a fabulous old-school bookstore Book Passage in Corte Madera (Marin County) got a preview Sunday of an upcoming Macworld event. Derrick Story moderated a panel of our digital imaging experts, Lisa Snider-King (Photoshop CS4 Missing Manual), Mikkel Aaland (Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure) and Deke McClelland (Adobe Photoshop One-on-One and Photoshop Channels & Masks One-on-One.) Hot...

Chris Baty on Hobbies, Work, and the Creative Life

By Dan Brodnitz
January 5, 2009

This year I took a crack at November's National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Didn't get as far as I'd like, I'll admit. But even my little trek was a great reminder of the importance of making something every day. One of the many perks of the NaNoWriMo experience are the email exhortations you get from a variety of guest-authors, as well as from Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo's founder and program director. The last one he sent out at the end of the journey, was a lovely essay on hobbies, work, and living the creative life. I asked his permission to repost it and he graciously assented.

"HDR" Performance Art on Your Street

By David Battino
December 31, 2008

In our photo blogs, there are some stunning examples of high dynamic range (HDR) photography, which creates a hyperreal image by combining different exposures. What if that technique were applied to other media? You might get...this.

Creative (Suite) Self-Destruction

By David Battino
December 23, 2008

What do you do when your primary creative tool stops working? It's an increasingly common problem as our tools become digital. I've lost great programs from companies that tanked, but when a program from a company that's still in business refuses to launch, it really chaps my hide.

John Adams Interviewed on KQED

By Brad Fuller
December 23, 2008

Michael Krasny gabs with John Adams on KQED's Forum about his music, book and life. A must listen. And don't forget to enjoy his opera "Doctor Atomic" about Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb. Playing now on your local PBS station....

A Creativity Interview with Novelist Dana Reinhardt

A Creativity Interview with Novelist Dana Reinhardt
By Dan Brodnitz
December 16, 2008

For the last year or two I've been interviewing artists about their creative process. A new interview went up this week, with young-adult novelist Dana Reinhardt, and I thought I'd post an abridged version here, including questions about her writing routine, how she pushes through when she isn't not feeling particularly inspired, and why she doesn't use notebooks to capture her thoughts. If you'd like to read a little more, you can find the full interview right here.

The $5 Self-Publishing Workshop

The $5 Self-Publishing Workshop
By David Battino
December 11, 2008

In the last five years, I've published five books — the first through a traditional royalty publisher and the rest at home. One of the most valuable resources I've had in that adventure is BAIPA, and in 30 seconds, you can see why.

Does Brainstorming Actually Work?

By Spencer Critchley
December 11, 2008

It's a staple of corporate retreats: gather staff, whip out the flip chart and announce that "there are no bad ideas". Many attendees just groan inwardly. Are they just cynics, or are they onto something? Apparently several studies back up the Dilberts of the world, at least to an extent. According to an article in this past Sunday's New York...

Impossible Images

By Harold Davis
December 9, 2008

Variety is the spice of life, and it is certainly part of what I enjoy about photography. Having a camera is an excuse for being anywhere and examining anything. Those of you who follow my blog or my photostream on Flickr will know that my subjects range from kids and flowers through the night landscape. I'm also intrigued with the...

Blastoff

By Rick Sammon
December 9, 2008

I'm just back from one of the most incredible photographic experiences I've had - photographing the "blastoff" at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico with my friends from Naturescapes. I'm working on an article that will be posted on my site soon. It wiill also be posted on the Naturescapes site. Here is an expert - the prelude to the photo tech talk.

Season of Listening

By Bill Cassel
December 8, 2008

A great idea for the holidays--or, really, anytime--from the redoubtable [StoryCorps](http://www.storycorps.net/): Take some time to sit down and interview someone you love.

When in Hollywood...

When in Hollywood...
By David Battino
December 3, 2008

When in Hollywood, as the saying goes, be sure to visit Universal Studios. I just did on an unusually slow day and had a great time exploring how theme-park designers create an immersive experience through clever technology and storytelling.

Photoshop CS4 is for the Birds!

By Rick Sammon
December 2, 2008

Good Job, or Good Work?

By Spencer Critchley
November 19, 2008

Creativity is a good thing. But I think we sometimes fall into the habit of thinking it's the only good thing. Not happy in your job? You probably need more opportunities to be creative. Not happy in your personal life? If you could just express yourself more, you'd feel better. I've been working creatively my whole life, and I feel...

Creativity Tools NOW

By David Battino
November 19, 2008

BoinxTV is a striking example of how digital creativity tools are changing. As our tools begin to work in real time, they become less tools and more instruments. We begin to PLAY them, and playing is the heart of creativity. Can you think of other examples?

How do _You_ Avoid The Muse? Let's make a list...

By The Fat Man
November 16, 2008

Twenty-five years ago, it was easy. We weren't rock stars because we didn't have the recording equipment. You couldn't say it was for lack of trying, either. Pretty much everybody out with whom I hung would have emphatically jumped through unthinkable flaming hoops to have access to a 24-track recording device and a microphone or two--it would have been like...living...

Alternate Reality Games Puzzlement

By The Fat Man
November 13, 2008

FWIW My observation is that ARG's can undermine our (the general public's) ability to discern Truth and Sincere Intent from playful deception. Or malevolent deception for that matter. Here's an example-- Fwd: Sarah Palin and the Africa comment...

The Creator's Perilous Adventures

By Bill Cassel
November 11, 2008

I've recently watched two films that really ought to be seen by anyone with an interest in creativity.

It's that time of year again

By Bill Cassel
October 30, 2008

NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write a complete 50,000-word novel from scratch in 30 days. Now why on Earth would you want to put yourself through such an ordeal? There's really only one reason.

Creativity and the Creature Editor: An Interview with Spore's Dan Moskowitz

Creativity and the Creature Editor: An Interview with Spore's Dan Moskowitz
By Dan Brodnitz
October 20, 2008

Will Wright's Spore features an unusually rich content-creation and content-sharing component that encourages players to design game creatures, vehicles, and buildings, and then share those art assets around the Spore-o-sphere — unleashing their beasties into other player's games. I was curious what the people behind the game's Creature Editor had learned about how you get people to make stuff, and Senior Software Engineer Dan Moskowitz was nice enough to take a little time to chat about, among other things, the importance of file size, keeping things simple, and the first few clicks.

Maine Media Workshops Rock

By Rick Sammon
October 18, 2008

Just back from teaching for my 4th time at the Maine Media Workshops. What blast! My students learned: painting with light, low light photography, shooting with reflectors and diffusers, Photoshop... and the big hit HDR. We used Photomatix Pro to craft our indoor and outdoor pictures - my HDR image of the Pemaquib is attached. More of my HDR images on the HDR page of my site.

Business Tips for Creative People

By David Battino
October 2, 2008

Lots of beautiful noise in the LinnDrum as well.... Drum machine inventor Roger Linn once told me, "A creative mind is a loud mind. It has lots of thoughts popping up in different directions." For creative people, focusing can be difficult. That's why I was intrigued by Michael W. Dean's recent essay, called simply "Professionalism." It's an outtake from his...

Reality Leaves a lot to the Imagination

By Rick Sammon
September 30, 2008

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination" is one of my favorite John Lennon quotes. Think about it and you'll realize that it's true. I was thinking about this quote when I was experimenting with the HDR (High Dynamic Range) software Photomatix Pro from HDR Software on a set of seven pictures (each taken at a different exposure setting) I took of a pond near my house.

Canon 5D Mark II - The Coolest Video

By Rick Sammon
September 25, 2008

How totally cool! Vincent is the man. I will be adding Canon 5D workshops (shooting and editing) to my 2009 schedule. Hope you can make one!

How Important is a Caption?

By Rick Sammon
September 25, 2008

Dick, a former RIT professor, adds: "I always reminded my students that a caption is part of the photograph, part of the gestalt--just as the choice of mat and frame, and the size of the print and the surface of the paper, etc."

Freer Than You'll Ever Be

By Bill Cassel
September 22, 2008

So I got to thinking that in this day and age, there ought to be a way to create your own virtual art gallery, and avoid all the tiresome traipsing around to various would capitals.

Adobe Announces CS4 Preview

Adobe Announces CS4 Preview
By Colleen Wheeler
September 17, 2008

Want to know what's in store for the next version of Photoshop (or your other Creative Suite favorites)? Without a having a public beta this go around, we've been having to glean clues about what might be in store for Photoshop "Next" from a variety of sources. Next week on Tuesday (September 22), we'll be able to see Creative Suite...

An Interview with The Sound of Young America's Jesse Thorn

By Dan Brodnitz
September 16, 2008

27-year-old Jesse Thorn is a radio show host, a podcast producer, and one of the leading proponents of The New Sincerity. Next summer, he'll be leaping into all-new-terrain by launching MaximumFunCon, a unique weekend event that's sort of a vacation, entertainment, education smoothie. Attendees of MaxFunCon ("a gathering of creative people who wish to be more awesome") will descend on a lovely looking resort in Lake Arrowhead, CA (SoCal) next June. Scheduled entertainment includes a live performance by Jonathan Coulton, the comedy stylings of Maria Bamford, and a keynote from author and "Daily Show" resident expert John Hodgman. Courses range from "Doing Creative Work with Merlin Mann" to classes cooking, cocktails, and improv comedy. Reading about the event this last week left me, yeah, a little suspicious. So I got on the horn to find out what gives.

A Creativity Category Is Born

By Dan Brodnitz
September 15, 2008

You may have noticed we've done a modest amount of redecorating of late. Up there, over my right shoulder where we keep the categories, "Design" has been replaced with "Creativity." This new section still houses all of our blog posts and features aimed at graphic designers, including Deke McClelland's every other weekly, fully fab-tastic dekePod. But we've also added a new stream to the river — the start of an investigation into pure creativity (a close cousin of pure imagination) with a particular focus, as you might expect, on the way tech is changing how we express ourselves, how we share our art with others, and especially how we motivate ourselves to get off the stick and, dareIsay, make something.

An Interview with toonlet.com's Craig Schwartz

By Dan Brodnitz
September 8, 2008

Portland-based toonlet.com is dedicated to making cartoon-creation easy. Launched in December 2007, 10,000 toons have been created so far, with just shy of 2 million comic views around the world. As a test of toonlet’s system, I logged on recently to make a quick sample. In all of 10 minutes, I had created an account and busted out my first toon. Easy, peasy. Back in July I got a chance to sit down with toonlet co-founder and CEO Craig Schwartz to chat about where the idea behind toonlet came from and what he’s learned from the experience.


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