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just stumbled across greg’s retouching portfolio. fantastic. he shows final results, yet when you move your mouse over the picture, the original image is shown. you can also zoom into details and, in some cases, view the techniques he used by moving your mouse over photoshop layers, each with one effect or filter applied.

see, for example, a shoe used in advertsing, a model, another model (spooky), an image from a visa ad, a lady’s curves, an artificial landscape, a movie poster for pixar or a TV room.

(via run’s bookmarks)

search engine primer

January 15, 2005  

a friend has just asked me to send her links about SEO, google adwords and why her .com-site hosted in ireland doesn’t show up (prominently) on searches on that’s what i could find quickly:

» how search engines work, by brett tabke
» 26 steps to a successful site with google alone, by brett tabke. old, but true.
» adwords tutorial
» an introduction to search engine optimization
» questions to ask an SEO company, discussion
» technical aspects of country-specific ranking in google, discussion

thoughts on mobile presence

January 14, 2005  


a traveling worker hears a unique ringtone on his cell phone, checks the screen and finds a presence notification that a colleague is awaiting a plane in the same airport.

a “soccer parents presence channel” on a dad’s SIP softphone shows all the team’s parents are available to share a group voice or IM session right now.

a teenager who just wrecked his mom’s car checks the family presence channel on his mobile phone to find out his mother’s current mood.

(via howard rheingold)

they caught the copycat

January 13, 2005  

the two logos compared (FM4 logo scaled down by me)i remember to have called my ex-collegue thomas reiter’s attention to the similarity of his logo to the FM4 logo when he founded his PR-agency (and so did others, i guess). now the gap magazine writes about it, as sierra reports.

the guy’s a pro – if you need to get good coverage in austria’s papers (but can’t afford the big guys), he’s your man. maybe a logo scandal was his diabolic plan of self-promotion? just thinking ;-)

update: thomas comments: “applications of (female) journalism students have tripled in the last two weeks, thanks to that GAP article. which is very ok.”

one thing that always bugged me when designing web-based products was the (seemingly) irrevocable law of html-based user-interfaces: if you want to change the data in a page you need to reload it with its entire interface. a clear disadvantage towards PC-based applications. (or could you imagine MS word re-loading entirely every time you open a menu?)

but those times are finally over. thanks to a technology called XMLHttpRequest web-pages can now “phone home” to the server for new data, with the help of javascript, without having to reload. thanks to oddpost, who afaik used it first in big scale, and a couple of other innovative companies we now can look at some interesting usage examples:

the downside of web pages phoning home is that content dynamically requested normally won’t be indexed by search engines and cannot be directly linked to (permalinks), unless the developes take specifically care of that (as the makers of do). macromedia flash features these disadvantages too, as most designers are rather abusing flash than using it in a sensemaking way. let’s hope that doesn’t happen to XMLHttpRequest.

what will happen is that web-applications will finally be able to compete with PC-based applications, and they will resemble them optically. for example yahoo has announced to build a webmail-application based on oddpost-technology (screenshot of oddpost) that is meant to compete with outlook rather than with hotmail.

many web-based applications will soon resemble PC-based ones so much that users might be astonished they can’t use them the first time they try on a plane. and they will expect them to act just like they desktop programs which will pose new challenges to webdesign-usability, as usage conventions between desktop and web will merge together. just think double-click vs. single-click.

the benefits, on the other hand, are clear:

i can’t expect to use XMLHttpRequest in a project for the first time!

sahara_route (34k image)it seems like things have changed a lot since i crossed the sahara five years ago. regular desert-travellers report that the last big desert-section of the atlantic route (basically the only choice available) with 4WD-only sand passages, the route from the west saharan border to nouakchott, the capital of mauritania, has been replaced by a mostly paved road easily accessible to normal 2WDs. also the time-consuming and expensive military convoy procedure in the west sahara is history.

the “route de l’espoir”, a paved road connecting nouakchott with the country’s east and in terrible condition seems to have been largly rebuilt. what used to be a desert track, the connection between mauritania and mali, is now a modern, paved road, too.

so in case you feel like driving to anywhere south of the sahara, you might just do that with your normal car, and it might take you a week less than it took me a couple of years ago. wow, what a progress.

even the archaic border posts between west sahara and mauritania, known to be the most corrupt border in africa and for its almost two-day burocratic procedures now is a modern, clean border-crossing to be passed in no time and with friendly staff. also regular road blocks in mali now feature friendly policemen asking for your papers only, no begging and blackmailing for “cadeaux” anymore. visa and car insurance are a lot easier and cheaper to be obtained.

don’t anybody say things in africa aren’t changing!

Common misspellings: Farnberger, Fahrenberger, Farenberger, Fahnberger, Fahrnleitner, Fahrngruber, Fahrnberg.