The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”

The effect was immediately noticeable upon entering the concert bowl. Aside from the time-travel-like strangeness of seeing a crowd devoid of blue screens, there was a palpable sense of engagement, as though—and it sounds so strange to say it—everyone came just so they could be there.

People were visibly enjoying the opening band, at least in part because that band no longer compete with the entire internet for the crowd’s attention. Even the crowd’s milling around and chatting between acts was so much more lively. People were either talking to their neighbors, or taking in the room. And everyone taking in the room was taking in the same room. It felt great. 

…Distracted concert crowds are a problem worth addressing, but it’s a small one, relatively speaking. I don’t think we’ve even begun to comprehend the full cost of our devices on our lives, particularly on our social structures, the development of our children, and our overall mental health. When the long-term studies start coming out, we’re going to be appalled.

I imagine that in another decade or two we’ll look at 2010s-era device use something like we do now with cigarette smoking. I was born in 1980, and I remember smoking sections on planes, which is unthinkable today. I wonder if today’s kids will one day vaguely remember the brief, bizarre time when people didn’t think twice about lighting up a screen in the middle of a darkened concert hall.

I can get behind this. I occasionally go through a phase where I leave my phone at home and there are a few things you notice. First thing I notice is that the cell phone has a cigarette like pull on me. When I used to smoke, the first thing I would do when I had a free second is reach for a smoke. Waiting for the band to clear the stage, smoke. Waiting for other to show up to rehearsal, smoke. Waiting for the bus, smoke. Same damn thing with a cell phone.

The second thing you notice is everyone glued to their damn phones EVERYWHERE. It’s like “They Live”. It’s really odd to see it and not be of it. This is a nice paragraph as well.

Every time someone in a group of people deploys a screen, the whole group is affected. Each disengaged person in a crowd is like a little black hole, a dead zone for social energy, radiating a noticeable field of apathy towards the rest of the room and what’s happening there.

We all know this feeling from being at a restaurant table when one person has “discreetly” ducked out into their screen. Even while everyone else is happily chatting face-to-face, everyone feels the hole.

The full strength of this black-hole effect on today’s social events can be hard to appreciate, because it has crept into our lives so gradually. But it sure was obvious in a venue at which everyone’s ripcord has been checked at the door. So much more attention stayed in the room, and it was palpable.

Think I may give the no cell phone outside the house thing again…..

Total Finder for Mac

Found this little plug in on the Modo forums and so far I am really loving it.  It brings back the full color bar for labels in the Finder window instead of just the little dots. Some other nice features I like is that windows are forced to open in the same tabbed group and you can have it put folders at the top of a list. Overall makes the Finder much easier to work with when you have a large number of files / projects going on. Called Total Finder.

Made with MIschief

The Foundry, makers of my fav 3d program Modo, just released a sketching program called Mischief and so far I am having a ton of fun with it. While I would not consider myself someone who draws stuff from scratch I do enjoy it and have been dabbling in Painter and different Photoshop techniques to do hand drawings for years.  So far this program is the simplest and most intuitive to use for me. Just the other day I tried showing Painter to someone who is a  accomplished painter and it's just too freaking complicated to easily use for anything.  With Mischief if you want a bigger brush, zoom out. Smaller brush?  Zoom in.  Kind of how it should work.  Plus, you can zoom in forever without any pixelation.  It is the most bizarre thing to do and really awesome. This is the first thing I did in it last night, once again I am not a drawing type of guy but it was easy to use and sketch in.  I could really use this when concepting or storyboarding.   Oh yeah, bonus, there is a free version and a $25 version.  You really can't say no.

Holy crap: HP Announces 36-Core Desktop Workstations

"The new Z840, Z640, and Z440 desktops are more quiet and power-efficient than their predecessors, but the big news was the support for 36 processing cores on the Z840 and Z640. Yes, we all asked if the number was a mistake. HP showed us the system monitor, which displayed a total of 72 threads (doubling the core number via hyper-threading)."

Wow, that with WD's new 10 TB drives would be quite the workstation.  Might need to upgrade my Wintel box soon ;)

Testing: Using Colorway.

Made a quick Demo of what is possible in The Foundry's new program Colorway. What is awesome about this is that I can provide this to a client and they can do all the color ups they want to explore and then send the file back to me for final output giving a lot more control to the end client. Lights and colors can all be easily tweaked. A pretty awesome product.  

Model was provided by the highly awesome Joe Myers at Sketchbook Inc. from a 3d scan. 

Lightroom for iPad briefly appears on Adobe’s website, coming soon with $99/year cloud subscription | 9to5Mac

The benefit of the $99 service will be that users will not need to store several hundred megabytes or gigabytes of high-resolution photography on the iPad. They can just store it in the cloud or synchronize from their Mac. These photos will still be able to be edited and managed on the iPad, and changes will be synchronized back. Yes, it’s very much like an “iCloud” for Lightroom. A video of the prototype app is above at around 19 minutes in.


Hmm.... this is actually the first good idea I have heard from Adobe for awhile.  If I could edit my personal work on my ipad and get away from the computer that would be a huge plus to me.  This could possibly get to me to actually break down and subscribe instead of owning if it works as described. Screw the cloud though, lol, I'll use my NAS thank you. 

I would probably buy tomorrow if they made Lightroom support .PSBs (if anyone at Adobe is listening). There is not a single DAM solution out there that supports it.  I have to make jpgs with big text saying JPG of PSB so I can find it in there. 


Making the ultimate creative content OS from bits of Windows, Mac, and Linux | Ars Technica

The recent unveiling of the Mac Pro has divided a lot of professional users who hoped Apple wouldn't fix what wasn't broken. Phil Schiller's words from the announcement—"can't innovate anymore, my ass"—made it clear that Apple used the venerable workstation as a Guinea pig to prove that it can still get its machined-aluminum groove on. Sure, the design and engineering of the Darth Pro are brilliant, but as I pointed out in my critical look, the Mac Pro needed shrinking as urgently as I need a Hermès man-purse. Whether it will pay off remains to be seen, but some people who want more flexible hardware options aren't convinced. I know one video editor who's already abandoned OS X for Windows because their work depends more on GPU power with apps like DaVinci Resolve. A big box with multiple PCI Express slots is more important to them than added desk space.


So this is pretty much exactly where I am at with my work flow as well.  Great write up.