Archive for January, 2009

New Year / New Blog

Posted by Scott

The ISO50 blog is now approaching it’s second birthday and with the new year I thought now would be a good time to rethink the layout and functionality of the interface. The blog runs on the superb WordPress platform (highly recommended) so it’s extremely flexible and I want to take better advantage of that flexibility. When I first designed and built the blog I admittedly had no clue what I was doing. At the time I wasn’t really an avid blog reader so I didn’t really understand the finer points of a well thought out blog design. Thankfully, WordPress supports themes so I snagged the classic Kubrick theme (now K2) and hacked it into the form you see here. I learned a lot during the process and during the following year or so of working with the blog so I feel better equipped now to give it another shot. But as anyone in web design knows, it’s very difficult to be objective about your own interfaces and to understand the difficulties end users may have with your design.

So I wanted to ask you, the readers, what you would do to improve the blog. Is there anything about the interface or the layout that’s confusing, cumbersome, or just plain broken? Are there any features that you feel are missing or would be a good addition? I am in the early stages of the redesign, I have some mock-ups and wireframes going and a development install running here locally, so now would be a great time for suggestions. I look forward to reading any ideas or suggestions you might have in the comments

Update: Based on Michael J.’s comments I have added to this post in the comments.

Casa BF / Humberto Hermeto

Posted by Scott

370345119_bf-05.jpg  1006863892_bf-04.jpg Saw this incredible house by Brazilian architect Humberto Hermeto posted on Notcot today, amazing! I guess the plan is to first save up and buy a bunch of Herman Miller pieces, then build a house like this around them. Though aesthetically pleasing, I often wonder if would actually be fun to live in a house like this. I have a lot of odds and ends around here, wires hanging out from behind stuff, basically crap everywhere. That probably wouldn’t look very hot next to a stark, modern backdrop like this. But I suppose if you can afford this kind of house you can probably afford some sort of crap organization system, from Design Within Reach. More info and pictures are here

Petar Dundov + Stel + Montag + Mum

Posted by Jakub

I hope everyone has fully recovered from their New Year’s Eve celebrations and had some time to rest yesterday. Yesterday I had some time to compare notes with some other site’s TOP 10 albums of the year and noticed what I didn’t add but I still think mine holds up nicely. Would you guys care if I put up my TOP 25 singles for the year? or is that just going overboard?

One way I look for tracks is by going thru DJs myspace’s and looking at their charts for upcoming months. Usually guys from Hamburg, Berlin, or even older Detroit guys have their finger’s placed nicely on the best new music pulse. One name that came up was this Petar Dundov who made some really nice dubby techno. “Oasis” chugs along nicely, seems like a song you could play for your parents and be like “hey, I know you think you hate techno but check this out” kind of a nice gentle way to ease them into the genre instead of playing some favorite of yours like “Spastik”.

I didn’t know much about Stel when I received his remix for One Of Them’s “Sometimes I Feel Like” but right off the bat it caught my ear. With the French vocal attached he takes a deep house song somewhere i’d like to hear lounge music go into in the future.

I found Montag a long time ago when I was obsessed with Carpark records putting out Casino Versus Japan and Marumari(oh those were the days). He has some great licensable tracks, I feel like him and Styrofoam would of made a better Postal Service than what Gibbard and Dntel did.

Everyone knows Iceland’s Mum here I hope, Scott posted a wonderful track months ago. I had to add this track to the blog because of how simple it is and it makes you feel like you grew up with the group under some moss covered rock that had toy train sets, hand voice recorders and xylaphones.

Petar Dundov – Oasis – Substance & Vainqueur Remix

One Of Them – Sometimes I Feel Like (Stel Remix)

Montag – Best Boy Electric

Mum – I’m 9 Today

Copyright Free Popeye

Posted by Scott

Public domain imagery is nothing new (literally), there are entire source art books for sale that are comprised of royalty-free imagery that’s outlived the “life–plus–seventy” rule of EU copyright law. But most of these images are vague and anonymous with no particular brand attached; they came from a time when the idea of branding was still a somewhat nascent concept. So it was interesting to read that the entire £1.5-billion/yr. Popeye brand has become public domain in the EU (still 15 years to go in the US) as it’s copyright expired yesterday:

The copyright expiry means that, from Thursday [Jan.1, 2009], anyone can print and sell Popeye posters, T-shirts and even create new comic strips, without the need for authorisation or to make royalty payments. ” – Adam Sherwin, TimesOnline  

It’s pretty incredible to think that such a visible icon which has fueled so many industries (restaurants, toys, television, film, etc.) will cease to be owned by it’s various copyright holders. It stands to reason that there are myriad complexities and caveats to this situation; I would imagine Popeye’s Chicken and the others will have some legal recourse to maintain their trademark when 2024 rolls around here in the US (do you guys in the EU even have Popeye’s Chicken?). Other brands soon to join Popeye in copyright-free purgatory include Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Superman (source). More info here & here

Image via erikland