Monthly Archives: December 2009

Rage Against The Branding Machine

So, a grass-roots Face­book cam­paign sees “Killing in the Name” beat X‑Factor win­ner to the Christ­mas num­ber one in the UK.

Earli­er this year in June, Star­bucks opens an exper­i­ment­al “stealth store” with little vis­ible brand­ing (15th Aven­ue Cof­fee and Tea — “inspired by Star­bucks”, but actu­ally copied en masse from loc­al stores in the area), send­ing the advert­ising agency in a spin. Has the worm finally turned?

via and

The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation

Nobody should be sur­prised that Power­Point does not meas­ure up to the great speeches of his­tory, such as Lin­col­n’s Gettys­burg address. And it is cer­tainly a shame when a poten­tially inter­est­ing present­a­tion is dumbed down by anoth­er for­mu­laic over-applic­a­tion of Power­Point. But when Power­Point leads not just to bore­dom but to bad decisions, it is a tragedy, not just a shame.


BBC HD quality definition draws criticism from viewers

The BBC has come under fire for the per­ceived poor pic­ture qual­ity of its high defin­i­tion tele­vi­sion service.

Dani­elle Nagler, the Head of BBC HD, has so far failed to pla­cate crit­ics with her responses to com­ments on the BBC web site. On the BBC pro­gramme Points of View she said “Theres no evid­ence that redu­cing the bitrate has an impact on pic­ture qual­ity, or that there is an abso­lute rela­tion­ship between bitrate and pic­ture quality”.

How­ever, from a recent blog post: “I appre­ci­ate that BBC HD offers us the widest range of pro­gram­ming cur­rently in the UK. But even my wife can see a reduc­tion in pic­ture qual­ity and she’s got cataracts.”


Imagining the Tenth Dimension

“A fas­cin­at­ing excur­sion into the mul­ti­verse — clear, eleg­ant, per­son­al, pro­voc­at­ive” — Hugo and Neb­ula award-win­ning author Greg Bear.


ActionScript 2.0 Best Practices

  • Use runtime fil­ters spar­ingly. If you can turn it into a ras­ter graph­ic with those fil­ters, it will likely be a smooth­er anim­a­tion. This will be a del­ic­ate bal­ance between file size and performance
  • Use motion tweens instead of shape tweens whenev­er possible.
  • Don’t have trans­par­ent things on top of trans­par­ent things. When trans­par­en­cies over­lap, the pro­cessor usage multiplies.
  • Keep your frames per second at or below 30. I’ve seen many applic­a­tions try­ing to run at 60+ fps. I usu­ally set my applic­a­tions at around 24.
  • Use eas­ing only where you need it.
  • Learn about cacheAs­Bit­map. This can speed things up or make them slower, it depends on the con­text. If you have an anim­a­tion, keep cacheAs­Bit­map as false, the cached bit­map will have to be regen­er­ated every time the anim­a­tion changes, so this isn’t worth it. How­ever, on a vec­tor graph­ic that does­n’t change with­in itself, cacheAs­Bit­map might be a good choice.