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In Defense of Eye Candy

Stephen Anderson:

The more we learn about people, and how our brains process information, the more we learn the truth of that phrase: form and function aren’t separate items. If we believe that style somehow exists independent of functionality, that we can treat aesthetics and function as two separate pieces, then we ignore the evidence that beauty is much more than decoration. Our brains can’t help but agree.

Can’t say that I agree with all the examples he used. But important points that stand on their own, nonetheless.

Fluid Images

Nice going, Ethan. Definitely one to keep in the ol’ bag o’ tricks.

Attribution and Affiliation on All Things Digital

Andy Baio digs into the reuse of certain content by AllThingsD for their Voices section:

Ultimately, if authors are happy, there’s no problem. But it seems like there’s a divide between two types of writers online: unaffiliated independent bloggers running their own sites and bloggers employed by larger online magazines.

Also, be sure to read the related response from Anil Dash about how the Associated Press plans to handle a similar reuse of content:

If the Associated Press made its argument on the basis of credibility and reputation, transparency and accountability, as the web-native publishers have, it would be far easier to defend their desire to share in the business model developed by the aggregators.

Adobe’s plugin for Photoshop CS4 to disable canvas rotation via the trackpad

I’m linking to this because I’ve been stung by the problem too. The issue is with new MacBooks and MacBook Pros with the button-less trackpad. These trackpads have no dead zone like the old trackpads did. So until I get accustomed to using them, I often end up resting my right thumb on the lower portion of the trackpad where the physical button used to be. Because of this, once I go to move the cursor with the trackpad, I inadvertently perform a two-finger gesture, which Apple now recognizes on these new trackpads. Photoshop interprets these as either zoom or rotate actions, which is rarely what I want to happen. This plugin disables those actions in Photoshop, until Adobe engineers figure a graceful way to interpret (or otherwise ignore) two-finger gestures.

Fluid Grids

I love this in-depth look at implementing grids for liquid layouts. Ethan goes into detail just how it all fits together, and the magic formula needed to make it all work. Now if we could just have the ability to easily scale images inside a liquid layout (without resorting to clipping background images), we’d be golden (pun intended).

Wanted: Layout System

Eric Meyer elaborates on why we need a better layout mechanism for web content (whether it be via CSS or not). We know we shouldn’t use tables for layout. Floats are a hack, positioning is flawed, and display:table-cell is no better than using a table itself. But Eric explains here why table behavior works moderately well for layout:

… this is why the old “only use tables for layout” argument keeps coming up over and over: strip away the overheated rhetoric and obvious link-baiting, and you find the core of a real need. Because as powerful as CSS can be, table cells do certain things very easily that CSS makes very, very hard. Cells stretch vertically, keeping equal heights as a matter of their intrinsic nature. They stay out of each others’ way, while still being allowed to sit next to each other and use any sizing dimensions. They tie their layout to their parent elements, and vice versa.

Twestival: Tweet. Meet. Give.

This one-day series of events is happening in more than 185 200 cities around the world.

On 12 February 2009 175+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water … By rallying together globally, under short timescales, for a single aim on the same day, the Twestival hopes to bring awareness to this global crisis.

Get involved, even if it’s last-minute. Check the hub site (twestival.com) for a events near you, or find out how to donate through Twitter via TipJoy.

charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations by funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need.

Getting Things Done with Twitter

Don’t be put off by the title if you’re not a GTD-type person. This list is a cornucopia of services built on top of Twitter, many that I’ve never heard of until now.

After three years on the web, Twitter has become more than just another micro-blogging client. A whole industry of web applications have sprung up to extend and capitalize on Twitter’s capabilities, from the ridiculously silly, to the gobsmackingly useful. If Twitter is not already a part of your daily life, these applications can give you a whole new perspective on the idea of Getting Things Done. There’s a lot you didn’t know you could do with 140 character spurts.

Update: As someone just pointed out to me… if you thought that was a decent list, check out the Twitter Fan Wiki. Whoah.

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