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.


Elmo meets Robert de Niro

“Look at me, I’m a cab­bage — a great source of riboflavin!” Sur­re­al.

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.