Archive for 2011

Font metrics and vertical space in CSS

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Really insightful research by Tim Brown and Matt Coyler about how fonts are sized and spaced in CSS and the complicated relationship between font math and CSS:

If letterform heights or depths exceed the values set by ascender/descender vertical metrics, glyphs can appear clipped. Not helping here is the fact that type designers must juggle three sets of vertical metrics values that (surprise!) are each used by a different array of web browsers.

Good stuff.

Readability: an open letter to Apple

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Richard Ziade, on Apple’s rejection of Readability’s iOS application:

We’re obviously disappointed by this decision, and surprised by the broad language [cited in the App Store Review Guidelines, section 11.2]. By including “functionality, or services,” it’s clear that you intend to pursue any subscription-based apps, not merely those of services serving up content. Readability’s model is unique in that 70% of our service fees go directly to writers and publishers. If we implemented In App purchasing, your 30% cut drastically undermines a key premise of how Readability works.

Translation: you’re greedy.

Princeton rocket scientist invents “3-D sound”

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Manufacturers and producers can sense enormous profits looming in a new 3-D audio technology called “Pure Audio”:

… which promises “truly 3-D reproduction of a recorded soundfield.”

Compared with 3-D, the sales pitch goes, surround-sound systems are unwieldy and offer crude spatial definition. Princeton is now negotiating with various consumer companies to license Pure Stereo

An audiophile at heart, I’ve always been turned off by audio systems that fill half a room in order to work just right (and rarely do). I can’t wait to try this new audio tech, assuming it’s affordable.

Transcript of Obama’s tech meeting in Silicon Valley

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Brilliant play-by-play (in the form of a comment on TechCrunch) by Fred Zanford:

Mark Zuckerberg: Seriously, you guys are wasting my time. I’m sitting here listening to you, while back at the Facebook offices, my colleagues are inventing things that no one in this room will ever be capable of. Look, Barack, if you want to cut the deficit, run all the government’s IT through Facebook. All your employees are spending a couple of hours per day at work using Facebook already, why not transfer all the government functions into Facebook apps, so that that government workers can be more efficient doing whatever it is they do, instead of having to hit the “boss” button to hide Facebook every time they hear footsteps. And if you don’t like my idea, %*@! It. Look, Tunisia and Egypt were just beta for us at Facebook. We can overthrow your government in a few days. All I have to do is push a button and I’ve got 5 million people protesting on the Mall by Saturday.

Obama: Right, got it. All government functions on Facebook. But only if you can get Russia to do the same.

Zuckerberg. Don’t be silly. I Skyped with Putin this morning. It’s a done deal.

Dick Costolo: @Woodside mansion. Pasta delicious!

You’ve got to read the whole thing.  In three hours the comment received 156 likes, and counting.

Winning the “mobile PC” numbers war

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Wired’s Gadget Lab on Apple’s strategy for a post-PC world, which they are currently leading:

“A research report published today by DisplaySearch found that sales of the iPad propelled Apple past HP for the No. 1 spot in the “mobile PC” market.”