The Retina­pocalypse: A Case Study

The ‘retinapocalypse‘ refers to a worrying new trend in web design which threatens to usher in a new age of information elitism. Its emergence owes itself to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets with high-resolution displays which can render text in crisp detail, arguably more legibly than print.

Graphic designers seem to have developed a form of tunnel-vision for these devices. Imagine their smug satisfaction as they recline their over-priced ergonomic chairs in a swanky over-styled Collingwood office. They’ve just spent weeks on the publication’s digital re-branding, involving countless hours staring into their 4K iMacs. It looks beautiful on their screen and fantastic in print, what could go wrong?

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Microsoft and Nokia

So Microsoft bought Nokia. I can’t say I’m surprised. It will be interesting to see if this can bring them back from the brink of irrelevancy. I love the look of Windows Phone as an OS, and have been quite outspoken on my anticipation for the Nokia Lumia 1020 as the ultimate travel companion. However, Microsoft needs to experience a fundamental attitude shift if they’re going to claw their way back into the mobile devices market.

The Apple vs. Android vs. Microsoft debate is thoroughly uninteresting. Each platform has their strengths and weaknesses. Apple got there first with shiny touch phones and pioneered the App Store business model. Google snatched up the software-only market by stealing Microsoft’s modus operandiā€”build the OS and the cheap hardware will come, along with butt-loads of market-share. Microsoft is kind of a wild card. They’re that arrogant corporate jock that storms in late and gate-crashes the hipster/nerd frat party. Google’s dominance and market share is quite straightforward. Android is popular, not because it’s good, but because it’s free and it’s “good enough”. The interesting debate, and the only one worth having, is about brand attitude.

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I googled some quotes to prove I read books

I don’t read books enough. I used to devour them. I distinctly remember inhaling Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and William Gibson’s Bridge trilogy. But over the last 5 years or so I have developed a kind of “book attention deficit disorder” perpetuated by social media and more shallow forms of amusement such as films and TV. I remember the precise moment when it started, too. I was reading the first of the Dune books and came across a concept so profoundly insightful that I instantly believed the book had peaked, and that reading on would be pointless. That a writer in 1965 could so accurately predict the inevitable outcome of the war the human race has with its desire for advancement and its own lack of foresight, simply blew my mind.

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I love Urban Dictionary

Usage defines meaning.

Hippie-whip: (verb) To exploit someone’s strongly held alternative values and beliefs for the purposes of tricking them into going out of their way to help or support you. The subjects of a hippie-whip are compelled to act in your interests as it is a way for them to demonstrate their commitment to their hippie values.

Their daughter enjoys being a vegetarian, not because of any noble principles, but simply because it’s a way for her to “hippie-whip” her parents into making a fuss over her and her vegetarianism.

Phone leg: A British synonym of phantom phone, the experience of feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket when in fact it hasn’t. You are either imagining it or mistaking other vibration sources for your phone. Commonly occurs when driving in the narrow cobble-stoned streets of London. More likely to occur if you are talking about someone behind their back. You suddenly think they’re calling you, feel an immediate twinge of guilt, followed by immense relief when you realise it was just phone leg.

Ed: “Hang on, my phone’s going. Oh no it’s not. It’s phone leg. I thought it was my daughter. Do you get phone leg?”
Rob: “Yes, but I try not to keep it in my leg.”
Ed: “What are you, a terminator?”

ESL speak: The change in speech that happens (sometimes unconsciously) when an EFL speaker is talking to an ESL speaker. The EFL speaks louder & slower, uses clearer syllables and sometimes adopts the accent of their ESL audience. Useful when ordering Chinese or Indian takeaway over the phone so it is more easily understood. Has no racist motivations at all but is simply a practical way to assist communication.

EFL: “I have one beef-a-black-been, laaj spesha frai raice, tree dim sim.”
ESL: “Ok, be ten fitteen minnas. Ba Bai.”
Friend-of-EFL: “Dude, that was some nice ESL speak.”
ESL: “Tayn-you. Mehbe I shudda orda sam sprin roos a well.”
Friend-of-ESL: “OK you can stop now you friggin racist.”

Captain Conroy, your Censorship is taking on water

Today, Stephen Conroy announced that he would introduce blacklist Internet filtering legislation. Shortly thereafter, Google publicly voiced their concerns in a blog post, citing their  reasons against the filter. I personally take anything Google says about censorship with a great heaping bucket of salt given their previous actions in China, but Google’s complicity was commercially motivated (albeit unethical) so I can understand why it happened.

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