drinking from firehoses

once you friend enough people on Facebook or Twitter, checking your feed becomes like drinking from a firehose.

uhf_firehose

each individual post is fine and they all come from people i'm interested in or care about but accumulated together in one stream it can be overwhelming. Facebook does attempt to solve this by hiding less important things when you check in less often, but unfortunately its filtering seems pretty random and is likely just based on its advertisers interests.

i wonder if the overload problem could be addressed by limiting how many friends or connections you can make based on how fast you keep up with everyone's posts and updates. so if you like to spend a lot of time on Facebook then you get to connect with more people. but if you're not able to keep up then you have to remove some people in order to add any more. this way everyone's feeds could reach a nice equilibrium at a level each person is comfortable with. if someone new wants to connect with you the network can politely inform them that you simply are not allowed any more connections at the moment if you're not able to keep up.

this could make connecting become really meaningful or it could just be a terrible terrible idea. anyway, my apologies for not keeping up on Facebook and Twitter lately. :)

spring issue of the zine!

the spring issue of the sketch club zine is now out!! download ittttttttttttt :)

2014-spring-cover

 

 

15% off everything in iTunes! ... kinda :)

so i totally didn't want to share this because i figured if everyone knew about it then it wouldn't work anymore, but it's already kinda over so i'll let you know my secret!

last year while browsing ebay for useless trinkets to give my life meaning i stumbled on a lot of people selling iTunes gift cards for under face value. must be some scam i thought... so i bought one!  :)  it was a $100 gift card for $85 and actually arrived and worked perfectly! wow it's like free money.  so i bought a bunch more - using some myself for games, apps, music, movie rentals, and giving away others as gifts and prizes.

now based on my amateur handwriting analysis i determined these gift cards were mainly coming from kids so my working theory is children get iTunes gift cards for holiday and birthday presents and then turn around and sell them at nice discounts on ebay.  this may also explain why it seems to be drying up now that we're well past the winter holidays.

anyway i'm still winning the occasional 10%+ off discount so you may have some luck too, but most seem to be going for more than they're worth now which does not seem like a smart purchase.  be on the watch for nice deals again as next holiday season rolls around though!  :)

iTunesGiftCard

sketch club at starbucks!!!

woohooo!! my fave app and fave coffee place COMBINED at last! Sketch Club is the Starbucks App of the Week for Christmas week 2013!  all the Starbucks in USA and Canada have these rad cards you can pick up for a free copy of the app!

sketch club starbucks pick of the week card  sketch club at starbucks

some proposed legislation

my favorite taqueria abruptly ceased stocking bottled water.  the only options they have now are various sticky carbonated syrups from a soda fountain.  anyway it got me thinking there should be legislation passed requiring all soda fountains to also serve water. i think i've seen one that did this before and it definitely seems appropriate since our bodies DIE WITHOUT WATER. :)

one of the biggest mistakes of my life

many many years ago when i was still listening to music on CDs i tried out iTunes.  i don't remember why i tried it - maybe to rip CDs or something.  but anyway it offered weekly music downloads for free.  it was all pretty garbage (no offense).  i clicked to snag em all the time though since i didn't own any other digital musics.  i guess it just felt good getting free stuff even though i didn't like any of it.

fast forward to today and all that trash music keeps following me around all these years later!  my phone, my ipad, my laptop, even my tv are all haunted by this garbage thanks to iCloud. ugh!! haha i thought i had it figured out and removed a lot of this from my purchases on iPad only for it to pop back up on my tv and torment me anew.  killll meeeeeeee

zipper ball!

waaaaaay back in the year 2009 i made this procedural mesh that i called zipper. i was inspired to do something that was like a bunch of layers pulling apart with spiky breaks.

zipper mesh 2

awhile back i was thinking it'd be fun to try that again with spheres instead of planes.  i haven't gotten it to look at all like i've been picturing in my head yet but here are a few of the WIPs...

zipper ball

zipper ball 2

the way it came out so far made me think it'd be fun to animate it and have the different layers rotating around. this turns it into a horrific blender of sorts haha :)  using imagemagick again as i did with random particle fun i made some animated gifs for this guy

Zipper Ball 20zipper ball 17

each gif is 48 frames and the layers rotate in different directions and speeds but ensure that after the 48 frames they are in an orientation that gives the exact same appearance as where they started. this way it just goes on forever and ever (always ready to blend up a strawberry smoothie or something)

so as i mentioned it's not what i had in mind yet so i'll be doing some more experiments with the zipper ball and post further updates in the future... perhaps 2017? :)

new appstore.com links

it's cool you can now do easy links to the iOS App Store via appstore.com.  instead of funky random itunes ids you now just use the name of the app - pretty minor but nice and convenient too. by the way here are a few really important ones!  :P

http://AppStore.com/SketchClub
http://AppStore.com/FireSkull
http://AppStore.com/PlasmaEffect

Sketch Club

Fire Skull

Plasma Effect

sketch club 1.17!

woot! released version 1.17 of Sketch Club this past month!  \o/

it was refreshing doing a bunch of native UI with this update.  most of the community stuff has been web based with UIWebView and that's definitely nice for fluid layouts and such but it's rather slow and dealing with three languages (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) is a headache. that's in comparison to native using just one language (Objective C) and getting nice fast hardware accelerated views and animations.  maybe doing UI in HTML canvas could be a good way to do things in the future instead of wrangling silly markup and styles but at that point the Objective C APIs are again much better, run faster, and have better tools supporting them...

another thing that was quite nice is that the App Store review times have gotten really short!! it used to always take five to seven days for an update to get reviewed and approved but now updates are flying through in under a day each! soooooo much nicer!! some things about the App Store have gotten worse though. previously doing an update would reset the ratings and reviews, but would show total ratings across all versions of the app for a couple days. that actually provided a nice boost in sales before dropping as the ratings reset.  now it seems to reset to 0 immediately so sales are squashed until enough people start rating the new version. iOS6 also removed the section that displayed new and newly updated apps so you don't get that boost from updates anymore either. oh well i hope they improve this stuff with iOS7!

[caption id="attachment_455" align="alignleft" width="300"]new native ui new ui for fast commenting and rating[/caption]

compo/filler demo

i knew i wasn't going to be able to make it out to pixelj.am 2012 but i at least wanted to contribute an entry to the demo compo.  i asked basementdigital to see if i he'd be up for doing a tune.  we'd been wanting to do a demo together for yeaaaaars so finally made it happen!  with only a few days i thought it'd be fun to try doing a browser demo with javascript and planned to do it friday before the party on the weekend.  it was like wednesday night after basementdigital sent me the track he made that i found out remote entries were actually due the following morning!! yikes!  i loved the tune he did and couldn't let him down so stayed up to quickly put together the code and visuals for our entry.

it's a browser demo so the code is in javascript though i actually wrote it in coffeescript which then compiles to javascript.  i had coded demos like n-0505 and the blockparty invite in python so it was great to find coffeescript and replace a lot of the wackiness of javascript with something cleaner and more familiar feeling.  the 3D is hardware accelerated with webgl (so requires a newer browser like google's chrome to view) and uses the sweet three.js library by mr. doob.

since i only had some hours i kept things very simple and used only colored lines for the whole thing.  the letters and symbols are rendered also as lines and are glyphs from the hershey vector font.  i had fun just typing in wacky equations to get some motion then semi randomly tweaking until i'd get a nice happy accident that looked nice to me.  each of the scenes was done that way.  for sync with the audio i used the time honored technique of hitting a button on the keyboard each time i heard something interesting in the audio and gathering up all those time offsets from the debug console to toss into the code.

i like how it turned out in the end.  very short and simple but pleases my eyes and ears. :)  i hope you like it too!  you can watch it on vimeo or youtube or even better run it directly in your browser!  if you have a pouet.net account be sure to rate and leave a comment!