In April, 2011, the Google co-founder Larry Page took over as C.E.O. Besides moving to streamline Google’s increasingly sprawling scope as a company, he immediately launched Project Kennedy, an initiative to give all of Google’s products a more consistent look, so everything would be easier to use.
Nearly a year later, the crisp design cues of Google Now and the Kennedy Project have swept across Google, and cards are set to become one of the dominant ways in which Google presents certain types of information to users. In other words, a card will be the atomic unit of information display across all of Google. In addition to Now and Google’s Glass wearable computer—where all information is displayed as a card—they have started appearing across a multitude of Google's services and applications, like the Play Store, Gmail on iOS, and mobile search and Plus, to name a few. And today, cards are invading two of Google’s most important products outside of search, with a dramatic design overhaul of both Maps and its Plus social network. That change might seem minor in some ways, but there are profound implications in the proliferation of cards, given that they will become the way that billions of people consume and digest bits of information they’re seeking from Google over the next few years.
“THE FILM before THE FILM” is a short documentary that traces the evolution of title design through the history of film. This short film was a research project at the BTK (Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule) that takes a look at pioneers like Saul Bass, Maurice Binder and Kyle Cooper by showing the transitions from early film credits to the inclusion of digital techniques, a resurgence of old-school style, and filmmakers' love of typography in space.
We know what Moore’s Law is and how it works, but not many people reflect on why it exists. Yes, there are often physical barriers to innovation. But there’s no imminent physical barrier to the realization of a bit: A bit is merely presence or absence of something, say a voltage, which means it can get exponentially smaller. So with no physical limitation, Moore’s Law reflects the top rate at which humans can innovate. If we could proceed faster, we would.
There are no shortcuts at the edge of discovery and invention.
"I worry that too many of us . . . are certain that if only we can get 1993 to come back again, we'll clean up. That if we hold our breath and close our eyes and guard the gates with bigger and more dangerous weapons, time will turn backwards and it will be yesterday again. And we all knew what the rules were yesterday. The rules of publishing were simple. Authors, agents, books, incredibly long lunches--that was publishing. Not any more."
I've been an avid reader my whole life. Growing up in Puerto Rico my parents used to say that I was a "come libros," literally a book eater. The only thing I would consume more was music. You could see me with headphones from a brand new walkman or a book in hand, sometimes foolishly reading while walking. While my schoolmates grumbled at having to read Cervantes, Quijote was my hero.
Nothing has changed, I still devour books and music. Sometimes listening to music while simultaneously reading on the same device. Well, something has changed, I now have a deep understanding of what it takes to both write and produce a book.
And then there is digital. I've spent most of the past month tumbling through the wild frontier of editing, programming and packaging digital books in EPUB format. I find all of it challenging, frustrating and terribly exhilarating. I feel that to honor all those books I've read and that in many ways have consumed me, that I too have to do my part in figuring out the future of books.
The app’s main function is to tell you if you’re in tune. But it doesn’t just tell you--it shows you. Play a note, and you’ll see your pitch traced as a vertical line on the screen. If you’re within the green band in the center, you’re money. If you’re to the right or the left, you’re either sharp or flat. But what’s so great is that the feedback isn’t limited to that instant. The app continually charts the last second or two of activity on your screen, a "pitch history" that gives you a simple visual sense of how steady you’re playing.
Recently I was having lunch with friends that are music teachers and performers. Ella Fitzgerald started playing in the background and we were discussing her amazing voice when one of my friends remarked how she had perfect pitch, which is why she could so easily scat the way she did. The idea of perfect pitch is fascinating and mind-boggling to me. Almost immediately after that conversation I saw this app and I could not help but think that while most everyone needs this app to help them all that this app accomplishes was happening in Fitzgerald's mind in real time while she performed. She didn't need an external reference, she had this app in her head.