Archive for May, 2010

Principles of Icon Design ° The Hickensian ° Hicksdesign

The Principles of Icon Design was originally based on the talk I gave at @Media last year, Icons for Interaction, but soon started taking a different form. This one focused more on the process of icon design, although they both share similar examples and concepts. It features new work too however, such as some of the work I’ve been doing with Jolicloud, my first freelance project after leaving Opera.

As promised, you an grab the slides (with notes) here: Download the Principles of Icon Design PDF (17.3mb)

Update: Alternatively, you can now watch the talk right here!

<object width=”400″ height=”225″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”;;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1″ /><embed src=”;;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”225″></embed></object><p><a href=”″>Jon Hicks: Icon Design</a> from <a href=”″>Carsonified</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

via Principles of Icon Design ° The Hickensian ° Hicksdesign.

Cool local php.ini Auto-installer

Installation Complete!Yes, really! A new environment has been installed for  Notes:Your .htaccess file was edited.An existing php.ini was discovered and rewritten.Ive removed myself so that noone can run me again accidentally. What now? You might like to visit some links below and let us know what you thought about the DreamHost Custom PHP.INI installer.

If you have a great idea for a web tool, please feel free to post about it in the forum. If its a popular choice then chances are good that it will be created! Was this application helpful? If you found the DreamHost Custom PHP.INI installer to be useful, please consider becoming an official supporter by making a donation – or maybe by becoming a subscriber! Your support will help towards the updating and improving of the tools and installers that are available, and will ensure the on-going development of new web-tools and auto-installers.

Translation: Know a language that should be added? Contact us if you would like to show your support by translating this web-tool into a different language!

via Auto-installer.

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Aero Film: “The Sandpit” – A short film by Aero Director, Sam O’Hare!

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

How did you shoot The Sandpit?

SAM: It is shot on a Nikon D3 (and one shot on a D80), as a series of stills. I used my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 lenses for all of these shots. Most were shot at 4fps in DX crop mode, which is the fastest the D3 could continuously write out to the memory card. The boats had slower frame rates, and the night shots used exposures up to two seconds each. The camera actually has an automatic cut off after 130 shots, so for longer shots I counted each click and quickly released and re-pressed the shutter release after 130 to keep shooting.

ME: That has to be a lot of stills!

SAM: I shot over 35,000.

ME: Holy shit.

SAM: No kidding.

ME: How did you capture the mini look?

SAM: I did some initial tests a while back using a rented 24mm tilt-shift lens, which is the standard way to do this. However, after my tests, I found it made much more sense to do this effect in post, rather than in camera. Shooting tilt-shift requires a tripod, as it is very hard to stabilise afterwards, and gives less flexibility in the final look. I opted to shoot it on normal lenses, which allowed me options in the depth of field and shot movement in post. I used a tripod for the night shots, and my Gorillapod (which is much more portable) where possible, but many locations—like hanging over the edge of a roof or through a gap in fencing on a bridge– had to be shot hand held, and the inevitable wobble removed afterwards.

ME: That sounds kinda badass.

SAM: Um, sure?

ME: How long did the shoot take?

SAM: The entire shoot was completed in 5 days and two evenings, during the hottest week of August 2009. Many thanks go to all the people who gave me access to rooftops, penthouses and balconies to shoot from.

ME: So, you’re sitting with 35,000 stills. I’d probably have a Virgo-clutter overload and need a beer… But what did you do?

SAM: At first, I had a beer.

ME: Good man.

SAM: The footage was shot as raw NEFs, which I organised and colour graded in Adobe Lightroom. I always shoot raw, as it gives you so much more latitude when grading. These were then output as 720p jpg sequences and quickly stabilised to do the initial edit. Once the edit was mostly locked, all the final footage was re-output at full 2800px resolution, tracked, stabilised and the DOF effect and movement added in Eyeon Fusion, using Frischluft Lenscare. I output the final shots at 1080p. Although most shots stay with the basic tilt-shift effect, some have focus pulls, or more complex depth mattes were built up along with some paint work to allow buildings to drop out of focus next to the in-focus ground. This would not have been possible if I had shot using tilt shift lenses on the camera, which works best with relatively flat landscapes. New York City is anything but flat!

via Aero Film: “The Sandpit” – A short film by Aero Director, Sam O’Hare!.

Is H.264 a legal minefield for video pros?

Another way where professionals can get off the hook for payments is if the video is broadcast for free over the Internet. Earlier this year, MPEG LA extended through 2015 a provision that means streaming H.264 video over the Net requires no royalty payments as long as anyone can see the video without paying.

Ultimately, for the license terms one sees in software, MPEG LA errs on the side of sounding tough.

“The purpose of the provision in the MPEG LA license is to ensure that the license doesn&apos;t cover commercial distribution of H.264-encoded video,” Homiller said. “It would be nice if there were a &apos;gentler&apos; way to convey this, but it might be challenging to do so without opening up some loopholes that the licensers would regret.”

via Is H.264 a legal minefield for video pros? | Deep Tech – CNET News.

A good problem to have

Microsoft wanted 100% share in every market they entered. The thought was that once you dominate a market, you can impose your will on it via pricing, distribution, bundling, and all sorts of other methods designed to maximize profit. To Microsoft in the 1980s, a monopoly was a great problem to aspire to have, and since antitrust laws weren’t routinely applied to software companies, the threat seemed immaterial. The problem with this thinking, however, was that the law eventually caught up to them and crippled their ability to continue operating as a monopoly.

via A good problem to have | Mike Industries.

Search Engine Optimization

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe?
  • How do you measure your success?
  • Whats your experience in my industry?
  • Whats your experience in my country/city?
  • Whats your experience developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you?
  • Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

via Search Engine Optimization SEO – Webmaster Tools Help.

They also link to a news story about how a rogue SEO got caught by the FTC. You can learn more about SEO at or if you like working with spreadsheets take a look at