Embedding Flash: Standards

I was recently working on the new website for DIP HR Consultants in Antwerp (not yet live). The site has some Flash elements on the frontpage & we had problems validating the page.

Of course I’m lazy & I just inserted the .swf movie using the “Insert Flash Here”-button in Dreamweaver (hey, I told you I am lazy). The code generated by Dreamweaver to do this is, of course, impossible to validate.

Here is an interesting article on how to approach the problem of Flash embedding using Webstandards.

The myth of the overpriced Mac

The recent release of the first Intel-based Macs at MacWorld San Fransisco 2006 has led to the inevitable discussion on Apple’s pricing. I’ve read several blog posts and news articles that bring up that old subject.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that many complain about Apple’s pricing, calling the new Macs overpriced compared to similarly equipped PCs that cannot run Mac OS X. And I am so sick of the constant whining about price, most of it from people who have never owned a Mac.

To put it simply: you get what you pay for. I don’t care if a PC is less expensive or has better specs. It can’t run OS X. Period.

Web Users Judge Sites Instantly

This Nature.com news article reports that potential readers can make snap decisions in just 50 milliseconds: Like the look of our website? Whatever the answer, the chances are you made your mind up within the first twentieth of a second. A study by researchers in Canada has shown that the snap decisions Internet users make about the quality of a web page have a lasting impact on their opinions…

Hmmm, now why doesn’t this surprise me? It seems that the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” is true after all… Read the full article!

I particulary like this part:

So what are the key ingredients of a good-looking website? Caudron suggests that the amount of graphics on the page should be strictly limited, perhaps to a single eye-catching image. “It’s not about getting as much stuff on the page as possible,” he says.

Indeed it’s not… it’s all about simplicity.

The Media’s Crush on Apple

Apple’s product announcements are now of the same magnitude of e.g. one country invading another, a major earthquake, etc…:

I’ve been a fan of the AP NewsAlert since my days as a newspaper reporter with a desktop wire-service feed. The AP sends these when something important happens in the arena of world affairs, the sort of thing that causes CNN and networks like it to flip on their “Breaking News” graphics: A government has fallen in a coup, an election has been won, a head of state has died, or one country has invaded another.

Interesting times we live in. Read the full article.

The end of 35mm

Interesting press release over at Nikon UK. In short: 35mm is dead, we’re moving to digital all the way.

Well, the latest SLR camera’s are looking quite good. I’m talking about the Nikon D2X and the recently announced Nikon D200 (I admit, I am a Nikon-boy all the way…). Bit expensive for the non-professional user, I think, but nevertheless 2 decent pieces of kit.

I’m still struggling, however, with the “loss of information” problem. Neither of those two cameras comes even close to the amount of information you have at your disposal when using a good 35mm film in combination with a half decent scanner. Not even close.

Of course, the major benefit is speed, no doubt about that. I want both, however. I want quality and speed. People seem to forget that to double the resolution of any camera, you need to quadruple the megapixel count. So I’m not investing any time soon in a digital SLR, unless someone releases an affordable 48 megapixel camera.

Apple iWeb

Interesting new little application from Apple, this iWeb…

I’m curious about a few things:

  • the kind of HTML iWeb produces (eg. will the code validate?)
  • possible integration with services other than .Mac

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Pages application, (vastly superior user experience compared to Office on the Mac) to create printed matter, but when it comes to creating HTML documents Pages falls a bit short… I hope Apple will have fixed that in iWeb.

Apple Introduces MacBook Pro

Apple Introduces MacBook Pro: “Introducing the new MacBook Pro notebook computer featuring an Intel Core Duo processor which delivers up to four times the performance of the PowerBook G4. Just one inch thin and weighing only 5.6 pounds, the MacBook Pro also includes a built-in iSight video camera, an Apple Remote and Front Row software. [Jan 10, 2006]”

Apple Unveils New iMac with Intel Core Duo Processor

Apple Unveils New iMac with Intel Core Duo Processor: “Running Mac OS X on the new Intel Core Duo processor, the new iMac delivers performance that is up to twice that of its predecessor. The widely praised iMac design now features dual-core processors, a built-in iSight camera for video conferencing and the breakthrough Front Row media experience with the Apple Remote. [Jan 10, 2006]”

New Kodak logo

Looks like Netlash isn’t the only one who’s working on an new logo & visual identity (not that we can be compared to Kodak, but nevertheless…).

On January 6 Kodak unveiled it’s new logo. Out with the old “boxy” style, in with the new and “open” look.

Some people call this “70 years of brand recognition flushed down the toilet” and I think this could fuel the “realign – redesign” discussion – a discussion that never was one in my opinion. The point being that it’s all about change and whether to change your look or not. The “realign – redesign” is a discussion about amounts of change.

So back to the new Kodak logo. I like it. I liked the old one too, but this one I like better. Besides, it’s a logical progression in the use of the brandname (just google Kodak and you’ll see what I’m talking about). Throughout the years Kodak has increasingly applied the name “Kodak” separately from the visual mark.

So: wise decision, good work.