From Pictory, a very well crafted new magazine featuring photo stories.
Much better covers for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series from Nimbupani Designs.
… is how I’ll be following, duh, the return of Schumacher. (by Rakesh)
Choi picked an everyday product that most other designers find too mundane to dabble with and drastically improved it – exactly the kind of thinking that we should be celebrating right now.
“A planet with better designers” is what we need. (Via Rashmi)
A snippet from an interview with Raj Thackeray after the recent Maharashtra state elections:
Mumbai Mirror: So we take it that your MLAs will be suspended in the first session for being disruptive?
Raj Thackeray: (laughs) No, no. They will be raising issues in an aggressive manner. We have experienced people like Bala Nandgaonkar, Shishir Shinde… They know the rules and procedures. We will be holding sessions for our MLAs before every session. My agenda is three-fold: water, power and roads. My MLAs will hold this trishul in the Assembly and I will drive this agenda outside on the streets.
The opening paragraph of a report on the State Assembly’s first session:
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday suspended four MNS members for four years on charges of assaulting SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi, who took the oath in Hindi against their party leader Raj Thackeray’s diktat, and misbehaving with a woman legislator.
Good one Mr Thackeray, I almost fell for it.
Take a history lesson on the HTML
Having undergone 3+ years of university education as a software engineering student, I could not agree more with Joel Spolsky and David Humphrey about the significance of one’s peers and the need to work on stuff that matters. Also, I think this choice is just as, if not even more important outside academia.
Two persons have been injured in a freak climbing accident. Jack and his companion Jill had gone up a hill to fetch a pail of water when Jack fell down and broke his crown. Jill came tumbling after. Live from the hill, our reporter, Amrita Shah, takes up the story.
Hilarious and sad. (Via India Uncut.)
Filling the gaping void of inspiration for those of us who use projectors.
Great gallery of slides both for their design and the presentations’ content. No points for guessing where I drew inspiration from for my ‘Accessibility & Usability on the Web’ slides.
The BBC reports on an ingenious scheme started by one SM Raju under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act:
“I told the villagers that they would get 100 days employment in a year simply by planting tress and protecting them. The old, handicapped and widows would be given preference.”
Let’s hope this is replicated by states all over the country.
The trailer makes me impatient, but if that’s not reason enough (no kidding), how about a director who reads Daring Fireball, run’s a blog with posts dating back to January 2004, and *drumroll* uses Vimeo instead of YouTube.
I hadn’t heard of Dev Benegal before Sumit’s tip, but now I can’t wait to watch all three of his movies.
By the way, the film’s website has some great content so do venture beyond the home page glance.
क्या अाप iPhone पर हिन्दी एवं मराठी, ગુજરાતી वगैरा में लिखना चाहते हैं?
Well look no further. Great compliment to my web based हिन्दी Transliteration, courtesy of Karan.
Once you get past the, uh, monetization efforts of the blogger, what follows is a nice analysis of Gulzar’s mastery behind Kaminey’s title track.
Such songs are quite like one of those old cities. Its buildings and monuments at once enamour the casual visitor. Yet the deeper one ventures, the more they discover. The more time one spends at and explores the place the more one learns about its inhabitants, its history, and the greater is the aura cast by the ages past.
Become conscious of a song’s composition; the instrumentation, its orchestration; the vocals, their lyrics, their meaning; the context, and feel the blood surge through every last vein on your body as you listen to a work of art. The experience is, in two words, truly magical.
[Tip o’ the hat to Rashmi for help with the metaphor.]
An enjoyable twenty-three pages.
For the unfamiliar, John Siracusa is the authority when it comes to Mac OS X reviews.
With a dysfunctional Parsi family set against a mood–defining background score, this psycho–thriller made for an interesting watch.
(Official Site | Wikipedia | Trailer)
Get set for the final Grand Slam of the year.
Head over if only to check out a slick page design.
Money is like gas in the car — you need to pay attention or you’ll end up on the side of the road — but a well-lived life is not a tour of gas stations!
Some great advice by Tim O’Reilly.
Vir Sanghvi provides us with the longstanding facts to put the recent BJP debacle in context.
Follow-up to Rashmi’s trailers webmark with a few that she missed due to technical reasons and a few that I caught on my own.
Those should help in procrastinating.
Well, its got Zooey Deschanel.
(Official Site | Wikipedia | Apple Trailers)
From Channel 4’s guide:
The untold story of 2008’s terrorist attack, in the words of its victims and the gunmen. The programme contains graphic images and descriptions of the atrocity which may upset some viewers. […]
As real as it gets. This documentary has left me blank—I don’t know what to think or say.
A good overview of the international politics of climate change, the current state of events and hope for a lot more in the upcoming convention in Copenhagen.
Homage to a timeless masterpiece by A. R. Rahman. Created by the biggest Rahman fan I’ve had the privilege of knowing.
My friend Rashmi:
It’s like The Office, this movie. Bollywood style.
Gives Hera Pheri a run for its money. Brilliant stuff!
(Wikipedia | YouTube Trailer)
Independent Online Cinema presents an unofficial and free high-concept Lord of the Rings prequel made for under $5,000. The film remains true to the style of Peter Jackson’s films and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien telling how Aragorn tracked down Gollum between The Hobbit & The Fellowship of the Ring.
40 minutes of footage on a budget of just 5k. Impressive!
[Kapil Sibal] believes that it is for the students to decide which stream to follow in Class 11 rather than for the schools to force it on them. “Ultimately, it is the student’s aptitude that should decide whether he or she wants to study arts or science… not the school,” he said.
The new HRD ministry, at least from the outside, appears to be really getting on with the mammoth task of fixing India’s education system.
Some new and some not so new flickr photo-streams that I’ve been enjoying for a while now.
Don’t forget me though.
The tournament that started it all, back for 2009. Sad to see Nadal withdraw from the tournament, but it should a good championship nonetheless.
Ashok Malik, in an excellent editorial for Hindustan Times:
Other countries have think-tanks, India makes do with prime-time chat shows. The problem with the medium is that it has only one, reductionist template — good versus bad, right versus left, BJP versus Congress. When it extends this framework to explaining the rest of the planet, the effects are hair-raising.
Double feature this Sunday. The 2009 French Open Grand Slam gets underway in Paris while 20 super fast cars go screaming around the streets of Monte Carlo.
On the heels of his victory over Rafa in Madrid, will this be the year Roger Federer finally wins his first Roland Garros title, or is the Spaniard going to dominate on his favourite surface once again?
Andy Clarke suggests and offers a universal, typography–only CSS file for IE 6.
I’ve been thinking of going down this path myself. No time wasted getting frustrated trying to
fight work around IE bugs for the designer, and a simple, usable experience that works for the visitor.
Brand spankin’ new section on prateekrungta.com, designed to serve as a platform for me to share the numerous little experiments that catch my fancy from time to time.
Long time visitors would no doubt be aware of just how fragmented my site has become. At the last redesign, all this site had was my photoblog. Fast forward (almost exactly) two years and this site now hosts a photo blog, a link blog, tennis draw charts and a blogroll plugin, each debuting at different points of time. The design painfully shows the lack of anticipation for such expansion, as a result of which most new visitors are completely unaware of the rest of the site. Because of this, I’d decided not to introduce any new sub–sites (if you will) and make the situation worse, until I got down to redesigning the entire beast.
So, “Bits & Pieces” sat quiet and covered up in a corner of my hard disk for four long months. Hindi transliteration with copy–paste support, the bit that got me started on B&P in the first place, had been laying dormant for almost seven months though. The renewed interest in Hindi around here made me want to share “हिन्दी transliteration” and I decided to risk yet another section for the time being, with the hope that someone might find it useful.
P.S. – I’ve also (finally) created a global RSS feed for my photoblog + webmarks + bits & pieces, so go crazy.
A fantastic essay by John Siracusa on the importance of criticism, and how “knowing [what’s wrong] is half the battle”. Lots of quotable bits in there, but I’m going to go with this one on the extensive online analysis of the tabs in Safari 4 beta:
This stuff is what makes the Mac Web—and, by extension, albeit indirectly, the Mac itself—so great. At its best, it’s critics all the way down.
I find it ironical when some people accuse us—what’s the term, fanboys—of being critical of everything but Apple, because in my experience, the Mac faithful are amongst the most critical users one can have.
Michael Mistretta, the creator of the Deck-like Fusion ad network has written a nice essay on the state of web advertising. He quotes Kyle Baxter:
Online advertising is broken. Web sites place ads to the side of content, and readers learn to ignore it; so web sites put ads in the header, and readers learn to ignore it; so web sites put ads in-line with content, and readers learn to scroll past it; so web sites use video ads and create ones that overflow into the content, so readers stop reading.
I think there’s a lesson to be learnt here for everyone. People don’t like being controlled. The harder you try to enforce things on them, the faster they’ll run away from you.
You thought flickr was minimalist? Wait till you’ve browsed a flickr stream or two through IHNK.
So clever and well made that you almost feel stupid. Hats off to Justin Ouellette!
Amit Varma explains why voting for independent candidates like Meera Sanyal (representing Mumbai South) is worthwhile in current India’s “fragmented” political environment. I’m linking to this because I’ve had people suggest otherwise.
Apple rejected version 2 of my friend Karan’s iPhone app, Qǐngwèn:
I’m sorry, did I mention it’s a dictionary? Dictionaries have words, all sorts of words, including, yes, swear words like “fuck” and also words like “penis”, which of course is such a lewd word that I should be smited (well, technically, smitten) for having included it in Qingwen? And all of this somehow falls under their so-called “reasonable judgment”.
Ridiculous. In case Apple hasn’t noticed, developers — the most important component of the App Store — don’t like this nonsense.
Great collaboration to provide Indian voters with information about their constituency, (shocking though not altogether surprising) profiles of current MPs, voter registration status and more. If you’re an Indian citizen, 18 or older and in the country during the elections, make your mark – go vote! (via)
In Google Earth, you can get close enough to examine a painter’s brushstrokes or the craquelure on the varnish of a painting. The images of these works are about 14,000 million pixels, 1,400 times more detailled [sic] than the image a 10 megapixel digital camera would take.
There’ve been demos of ultra high resolution images at TED and elsewhere, but these excellent paintings take the experience to a different level altogether. The painters’ attention to detail is just mind–blowing.
Another wake up call, but this time about accessibility.
No, it’s not just another
This really isn’t about polar bears any more. At this very moment, the fate of civilization itself hangs in the balance.
Make sure you watch the animated short film.
They’re coming. Not very far off now. I can almost hear the sound. I can feel the calm before the storm. Can you?
Well well well. This should certainly spice things up. Now we know for sure that McLaren weren’t trying to fool the others at the recent tests and are indeed facing issues with their aero package. It’ll be interesting to see which teams will be fighting for the win on the 29th. Testing times suggest Ferrari, BMW, Brawn GP and Toyota, but one can never be too sure.
A city speaks to you mostly by accident—in things you see through windows, in conversations you overhear. It’s not something you have to seek out, but something you can’t turn off.
Paul Graham follower or not, this is a must read, for if you, like me, have lived in different places you’re sure to have heard the messages.
Cleans up a page so you can actually read the content instead of being distracted by all the surrounding noise. Take a look at an example to get a better idea.
Probably the most useful bookmarklet yet.
defer attribute (and other methods).
A look at wind power generation around the world.
The Honda F1 team is saved and will take part in the 2009 season as Brawn GP. I’m sure the entire F1 community is very happy about this because 18 would frankly have been too low a number for the number of cars on the grid.
The ten commandments of the designer behind Braun – Dieter Rams. Also came across this great quote of his:
Things which are different in order simply to be different are seldom better, but that which is made to be better is almost always different.
Nice initiative to reunite lost cameras and photos with their owners.
Just yesterday Rakesh and me were talking about that final touch, the jewel of the crown, or in Cameron’s words, “the final ten percent” when designing stuff. Almost every serious designer is sure to have experienced just how elusive the last mile can be. It’s what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
Steven Frank echoes a lot of my thoughts on the use of Flash and the saving grace of the excellent ClickToFlash for us Safari users.
Get set for the first Grand Slam of the year which kicks off a little less than 36 hours from now. As always, prateekrungta.com will be featuring the latest draws of both the Men’s and Women’s singles tournaments.
Qǐngwèn is a Chinese dictionary that will finally make it easy for you to lookup words in Chinese.
Free iPhone app by Da Geek – Karan.
Much like Sleevage for book covers.
They say not to judge a book by its cover. I can’t make up mind if the inverse should also apply.
Mark Pilgrim’s series on the maze that is digital video.
Gary Hustwit has released the first trailer for his latest project – Objectified.
Wasn’t expecting anything less from the director of “Helvetica”, and having seen the trailer, Objectified looks set to be another great documentary about the always fascinating world of design.
Update: A higher-quality version is up on the film’s official website.
A brilliant print joke that did not go down too well with the editor’s boss. Too bad for the boss.
Brisbane–based Indian boy band behind the hilarious “12 Days of Christmas”. Also check out “Single Girls”.
Way too much sleep. (On the lines of Dan Cederholm)