You’re Not Good Enough to Be Disappointed

What a great piece by James Clear:

In other words, in the beginning you need to get comfortable with feeling stupid, uncertain, and unskilled. You’re not allowed to be disappointed by your amateur performance because you haven’t developed the skills of a professional yet. It’s only the professionals that are allowed to be disappointed because they have put in the work to be better.

Pair with Ira Glass' advice for beginners, retold brilliantly at Zen Pencils.

The Apple Watch at Work and Play

A good review of the Apple Watch by Fraser Speirs. This part especially resonates with me:

I use the timer constantly. Whether it's timing my kids doing something or making sure I don't forget to "put the dinner on in 30 minutes", the timer complication is on every face I use.

I use the timer for all kinds of things. It's my Areopress coffee timer, my Pomodoro timer for work when I need to concentrate, even my ten minute (ok, twenty minute) nap alarm. Totally a killer feature for me.

Tilt-Shift Time-Lapse Filmed from a Drone Makes Detroit Look Amazing

Unreal.

Casey Berner for Fstoppers:

The creative minds over at Little Big World posted a new time-lapse video flying around Detroit. But instead of just your run-of-the-mill time-lapse video filled with beautiful cityscapes, this film takes it further, incorporating the use of a drone and tilt-shift lenses. The result is a tour through Detroit that makes the recovering city look like busting train set inside Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood.

How far iPhone photography has come

This weekend I'm putting together a wine booklet for my friend, Matt. This is something I do on a regular basis. In years past I have included pictures of the physical bottles. This would mean bringing over my SLR, tripod, backing material and lights. It's a bunch of work to do the setup and a bunch of post processing when I'm done. Today I used my iPhone 6, a clear stand, and two sheets of foam board.

One key feature of the iPhone 6 is the burst mode. Hold down the shutter button and you get a series of shots very quickly. The iPhone will then select the photo that is the most in focus. This works really well, I just hold the phone and shoot.

While i will probably use Photoshop for post processing—largely because I have it as part of the Adobe Photography plan—I also want to knock out the background completely and do a few touch ups that Photoshop is good at. However, here is what I can do just with my iPad.

From the camera roll:

image.jpg

After editing with Photos and sharpened with Pixelmator:

image.jpg

That's pretty impressive, and the iPhone workflow is just easier. No bulky camera that needs a tripod, no swapping memory cards to transfer images, and images that are good enough for printing. I honestly didn't expect iPhone photography to get this good this fast.

The U.K. Is Testing Roads That Recharge Your Electric Car As You Drive

When I first heard about this idea it was one of those, duh moments. Of course this is the way it should be done. In 100 years, charging roads powered by solar energy are probably going to be standard, but right now we're just beginning. It's frustrating because I want it now. This is the world I want to live in. When people ask where would you go if you had a time machine, and most answer some time in the past, it baffles me. I want to see the future. I want the future now.

10 Hard Truths About Making Things

If you have ever felt the urge to do a personal project that actually results in a thing, be it a drawing, a song, an article, an app, etc., this is one of the best articles you could read. And then read again. In fact save it and read it every week if not every day. It is that good.

Jon Westenberg:

When you’re a creative, unless you’re lucky enough to have a book deal or a paid publishing gig, you don’t have a lot of accountability. It’s a very privileged freedom, but it’s a freedom we pay for.

It means that most of the time, the world will keep spinning if you drop off the planet and never finish another piece of work. And it also means that you are the only one who can make you finish anything.

What does a user experience designer do?

It is tricky to explain my job. I'm a User Experience Designer. A UxD. For a long time I balked at such a title. Isn't a UxD really just a designer? Do we need more adjectives? Over the last couple years, I have changed my opinion. Yes, we do need those adjectives.

While I am a UxD for software, this article concisely explains the genesis of user experience design. This example nails the spirit of the job:

In 1943 the U.S. Air Force called in psychologist Alphonse Chapanis to investigate repeated instances of pilots making a certain dangerous and inexplicable error: The pilots of certain models of aircraft would safely touch down and then mistakenly retract the landing gears. The massive aircraft would scrape along the ground, exploding into sparks and flames. Chapanis interviewed pilots but also carefully studied the cockpits. He noticed that on B-17s, the two levers that controlled the landing gears and flaps were identical and placed next to each other. Normally a pilot would lower the landing gears and then raise the wing flaps, which act as airbrakes and push the plane down onto the wheels. But in the chaos of wartime, the pilot could easily grab the wrong lever and retract the landing gears when he meant to raise the flaps. Chapanis’s solution: attach a small rubber wheel to the landing gear control and a flap-shaped wedge to the flap control. Pilots could immediately feel which lever was the right one, and the problem went away. In this case it was clear that the problem wasn’t the pilot, but the design of the technology that surrounded him.

A movie Bonanza

I always like 9 PM on Monday nights. That's when the iTunes movie store updates with specials for the week. Tonight, two of my wish list movies went on sale  Two movies that I haven't seen on sale before: the original Tron and The Last Starfighter. I've wanted the classics for my iTunes collection for a long, long time. Instabuys!

I remember seeing both movies in the theater. Tron was a huge deal as the first live action movie to use computer graphics. Then Just a few years later The Last Starfighter was the absolute pinnacle of CGI, and at the time, it was impressive.  

Moving a domain

It's never as easy as it should be. 

More correctly, it's never as straightforward as you expect. Deciding to finally start my blog on Squarespace was the easy part. Moving my domain was tricky. It involved moving a domain between registrars and then updating the primary domain on another host (because the primary domain was shinyobject.com). Any time anything related to DNS and MX records has to be updated, you're in for a ride. 

That's all done now and shinyobject is off and running. Again. It was around many years ago, but I'll save the story of its departure for another time.  

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