Storm clouds can have a beauty all of their own. That is, once I shrug off the yearning glances towards the garden, currently under guard by “cow hair rain” as Chinese people would call it. Coming down in long, straight lines it promises a good drenching to all and sundry. Hiroshige illustrated it well in one of my favourite wood block prints, Evening Shower at Atake from his 100 famous views of Edo series. Bike riders beware; there must be an equation somewhere that quantifies why people on bikes get four times as wet in the rain.
It’s pouring at work too and has been for a while. There’s too much work to handle and I’m actively looking for designers to work with. If you’re interested in our co–op, have a passion for user–centred design, Web standards and accessibility and are a dab hand at traditional graphic design feel free to get in touch. I’m especially interested in talented folks who are running their own business or thinking of doing so, want to further their exposure and may have been white–labeled by traditional agencies in the past. It’s one reason the agency model is broken — give me a shout if you want to know more.
The iphone has poured out of the stores and into the blogosphere too. 1.4% of all blog posts mentioned the iphone on launch day according to Matthew Hulse of BlogPulse. With such unmitigated hype, the parasites have come out of the woodwork too; there’s poetic justice in the video of a woman who paid $800 for the first place in line to try and buy up all the iphones to sell on Ebay, only to be told she could only have one. Oops.
Old security holes in AT&T’s voicemail service have come to the fore too (via Chris). With 500,000 sold in the first weekend, analysis of all kinds continues apace but somehow it seems like a self–fulfilling prophecy. Across the pond in an iphone–less world I feel a bizarre absence of envy. Back in January the excitement of my first iphone post revolved around a full version Safari running on a mobile device with great interface features. In real terms though without WiFi the experience will be rubbish, and apparently is. Yes, it looks beautiful; yes, the interface is fantastic fun but an actual feature I might use like the camera is flashless and only 2 mega pixels. However, looks and interface can change the world — and already has — so I’m still going to bite the Apple to see how we can best develop for Safari with the pinch and slide touch controls. Just cross your fingers that Europe gets 3G speed to fly by, not another EDGE to trip on.
So, it’s been a wet and busy few days. In the midst of the commercial mayhem, efficacious product launches and cow hair rain, there have been moments of pure blue–sky inspiration. Hans Rosling’s incredible, amusing and profound presentation on solving world poverty at TED2007 stands out. If there’s one video you take time to see this week, that is my best pick not just for the solutions but as an example of the value of data visualisation in bringing problems to life, literally.