Date Archives January 2010

Apple’s Tablet As Evolution

I’m getting more and more excited as Apple’s keynote event on Wednesday draws nearer, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the implications of a successful large, touch-screen device. First off, there’s the idea of what this means to Apple’s business. If this tablet device proves to be what every wants it to be, somewhere between a Macbook and an iPhone with a touch screen and seamless typing, then they’ll have a hit on their hands. But what I’m curious about is where they go after that?

Take for example the iPod Touch, which is know poaching the sales of all the earlier models of iPods because it offers so much more. Sure, it doesn’t hold as much music, but your old iPod can’t play games or browse the web. So what if we apply that same formula to a touch-screen tablet. If Apple can create a computer that’s in the same ballpark of a Macbook, but is smaller, lighter, keyboard-less, isn’t it possible the same could hold true?

In the most recent issue of Wired magazine Steven Levy writes about the impending doom of the mouse. Apple is increasing touch sensitive technology in al of their products, from the trackpad on their laptops, to the recently unveiled Mighty Mouse, and obviously with the iPhone, which doesn’t even need a stylus. What this really means, and as Mr. Levy says, touch sensitive devices are clearly around the corner, it’s just a matter of time until we apply the technology in the appropriate ways.

Which brings me to my second idea, which concerns the greater computing community. If Apple can create a functional device more on par with a laptop, won’t that be a signal to the big manufacturers that they’ve got to play some serious catch-up? At Microsoft’s most recent keynote they touted everything as slates and tablets, though they were all lackluster. Despite having touch screens they all still ran a standard Windows operating system and I doubt anyone would call any of them innovative.

They’ve also recently showed off a mockup of a new device called Courier, which looked promising. But one major hurdle that I saw was that it used a stylus, which to me seems antiquated, especially in a world of iPhones. Do you really want to hand write messages on your computer? Isn’t that what Sticky and Field Notes are for? Plus there’s always the chance you’ll lose the damn thing.

When Apple release the iPhone it opened the floodgates for a new market of touch-screen phones. If they can yet again be just as successful, I’d predict just about the very same thing happening.


Åse Holte

Good morning, I hope you’ve had a nice weekend. I thought it would be nice to start out the day with some photos from photographer Åse Holte who took the photos for the new Kings of Convenience album Declaration of Dependence. It’s a really wonderful album and the photos definitely caught my eye. I love the colors and playfulness of the photos, plus it doesn’t hurt that they’re two handsome guys (though I’m on team Erlend).

You can see more photos from her shoot by clicking here. While you’re there be sure to check out the photos she did for The New Wine as well, those pool shots are spectacular.


Kitsune Noir Mixcast / No.022

For this week’s Mixcast I asked my Twitter friends for theme suggestions, as my brain wasn’t working properly at the time. I got a lot off great responses (the most popular was cover songs) but one caught my creativity the most. It was from @iptydafu who suggested: “Build to Look Back” Love lost to the future.”

I don’t exactly know what they meant by that, but I interpreted it as man who’s lost the woman he loves in a time-traveling accident. I know, I’m weird. So what became of that was a tripped out love album filled with space-y sounding jams and nods to the future. There are fast, guitar driven songs, there are quiet, thoughtful ones, and pretty much everything in between. Some songs were used in the background as filler, some aren’t even full songs, and most of the time you probably won’t even know when a song transitions from one to another.

I should also mention this is a mini-mix. It’s 35 minutes of straight music, no talking, I didn’t want to ruin the flow of it all. I think one of my favorite parts is the transition between Dert Is Full of Love and A Guitar and a Heart, when I throw in a random ass sample that some of you may recognize. I was even able to throw in some Postal Service, which I never thought I’d be able to do, but I think it finishes things off nicely.

And for those who are curious, the covers are made up of the following:
– A woman using a loom.
– Coral.
– Marble quarry.
– Sea creature.

I think you’ll really enjoy this mixtape, it definitely has a little something for everyone.

Here’s this week’s tracklist:
Global (Heart) Warming by Montag
You Can’t Go Home Again by DJ Shadow
She’s The One by Beta Band
Dert Is Full of Love by Dert
A Guitar and a Heart by M83
Spooked by Big Spider’s Back
Evil by The Flaming Lups
Solastalgia by Zero 7
Yours Truly, 2095 by The Silent League
A Little Longing Goes Away by The Books
Ephemera by Delphic
Section 20 (We’re Heavy Together) by The Polyphonic Spree
Origin of Love by Department of Eagles
Natural Anthem by Postal Service


‘I’m Here’, The New Spike Jonze Film

Rounding out my video posts for the day is the trailer for Spike Jonze’s new short film I’m Here, which will also be premiering at Sundance. Here’s a quick description of it:

The movie is set in contemporary L.A., where life moves at a seemingly regular pace with the exception of a certain amount of robot residents who love among the population. A male robot librarian lives a solitary and methodical life — devoid of creativity, joy and passion – until he meets an adventurous and free spirited female robot.

From what little I’ve seen in the trailer I think it looks like a cute movie. The faces are interesting, the guy’s face is more like an old, beige tower, outdated and obsolete. While the girl’s face is more human looking, with a rounder shape. It’s definitely filmed in Spike’s signature style, he has such a great, naturalistic approach, even if it’s all quite fantastic. I hope Absolut, who as you’ll see funded the film, shows it in it’s entirety on the web so we can all enjoy it. It would give them quite a few brownie points as well.

I also wanted to mention the website as well, which is quite well done.

When you visit the site you get a shot of movie theater, but it looks like you’re watching a live feed. In fact, I took a screenshot from this afternoon, the top image, and then one around 5pm. You can see that the image changes depending on what time of day it is, and I’m willing to bet that it’s a 24 hour video loop. I’m really curious to see if they do anything more with this aspect.

You’re then guided by a small, white arrow to approach the box office. From here you can see there’s a computer inside which let’s you learn more about the film. It’s a nice detail to see that all of the titles on the screen are done in Futura Condensed Extra Bold, the signature typeface of Absolut vodka. Overall I think the presentation is done extremely well, though I can’t say this makes me want to drink Absolut (or any vodka) any time soon.


‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ – A Banksy Film

In a slightly random turn of events Banksy will be releasing a new film called Exit Through The Gift Shop that will be premiering at Sundance this Sunday. The film supposedly is about a man who tried to make a movie about Banksy, but Banksy ends up making a film about him instead. From viewing the trailer it just looks like him and Shep Fairey running around Silver Lake and Melrose bombing buildings. I’m curious to hear what it’s really about, I’m sure it’ll be interesting no matter what it is.

He even had a bit of time to hit up Park City with a new stencil, which to me looks like it’s legit. Why look at real flowers when you can watch them on TV, you know?



Looking like something between Napoleon Dynamite and a Wes Andersen flick comes Machotaildrop, the tale of “an amateur skateboarder, Walter Rhum, who realizes his dream of turning pro and riding for the world’s greatest skateboard company… Machotaildrop.” The movie looks pretty ridiculous in all the best ways, dues wearing striped shirts, stuffed horses and eccentric foreigners. I also like that they threw in the P:ano song Heaven, which plays in the middle of the trailer. Should be a fun and mindless movie.


Rethink Scholarship Video By Rory O’Sullivan

I got an email a couple days ago from KN reader Rory O’Sullivan who wanted to let me know that he’d finished a video promoting the Rethink Scholarship at Langara College. They’re offering $18,000 and a 3 month internship for aspiring designers and art directors, all you need to do is fill a sketchbook full of ideas or rebuild the sketchbook into something else.

To illustrate this idea Rory created a visual journey, presenting tips for better ideas. Each page is filled with a helpful tip and small brilliant ways of visualizing them, like opening a chest up to illustrate the idea of trusting your gut. I also think it’s great how he reveals some of the messages through the use of a black light and embossed words. He came up with so many clever ideas and it’s just terrificly done.


CL!CK: A LEGO Short Film

Did I mention that today is all video day? Cuz’ it is. I don’t usually like to post videos more than once every couple days but I kept finding videos that were really exciting, so here we are. This video above by LEGO, which was created for their Lego CL!CK site, might be my favorite of them all though.

It’s a short film about a man who’s trying to figure out how to make a man fly by himself. But he’s struggling through a creative block until the literal blocks fall upon his table and turn into a factory of ideas. He searches through the factory, trying to find his idea until he finally comes upon it.

The story is told entirely through stop-motion, or something like it, and almost has an Amélie vibe to it. But there’s also a bit of Wallace and Gromitt-esque humor to it as well, that makes you kind of grin to yourself while you watch it. I also think it’s great that hte factory is filled with all kinds of ideas, represented in different sizes depending on how complex they are. The best example is the idea of world peace, which is a giant light bulb sitting in a courtyard, still yet to be completed. But then there are smaller ideas, like the idea of peanut butter pasta… blech.


‘This Too Shall Pass’ by OK Go

The guys from OK Go have a new album out called Of the Blue Colour of the Sky and with it are a slew of absolutely clever videos. They still might be the 2010 version of Maroon 5, but that’s beside the point. The video above is for the song This Too Shall Pass and features the guys marching around with the Notre Dame marching band in an open field, though some are in ghillie suits, hiding among the brush.

I guess the really admirable thing about this video is that it was all shot in one take, or at least it seems to be, though there is a part in the middle where they cut away which seems fishy. Nonetheless it’s quite a feat to coordinate such a thing, and no matter what you may think of their music they excel at creating really memorable music videos.


‘BIRD’ by Andrew Zuckerman

I’m sure most of you have already seen Andrew Zuckerman’s books CREATURE and BIRD, but have you seen the behind scenes video of these animals being photographed? I used to work for a photographer who took shots nearly identical to these (but many years before), so I know what it’s like to be around crazy animals, who in real life, you’d never get a chance to be close to. It’s so interesting to watch them, well, do their thing.

It’s also interesting to point out all the post production that goes into making these shots look like they do. I used to retouch the images as well, and holy crap is it a lot of work. Anyhow, watch the video and get a sense of how amazing these animals really are.