Sunday Reading

And the Award for the Next HBO Goes to… by Nancy Hass
Loved this piece about Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and the vast changes he’s bringing to television watching. The article covesr the idea of “managed dissatisfaction”, the idea that Netflix needs to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix, and the fact that Hollywood’s most talented creators are lining up to make original programming with Netflix. I liked this part in particular.

Within the next decade, probably the next five years, he figures, ours will be a seamless, multidevice on-demand world, a place where services like Netflix will be so fat with content that the idea of paying a $150 monthly cable bill for a bundle of unwatchable crap will seem as quaint as gathering around the Sony Trinitron with Ma and Pa on Tuesday at 8 p.m. for All in the Family.

Spacey And Fincher Make A ‘House Of Cards’ on Fresh Air
Speaking of Netflix’s new original programming, I watched House of Cards, the new David Fincher/Kevin Spacey political drama and it was fantastic. The two of them appeared on Fresh Air last Thursday to speak about the show which I found really interesting. I love that Spacey decided to make his character southern so he could speak his lines with a certain poetic inflection. This was partially inspired by the delivery of the main character from BBC version of the show which aired in 1990.

America’s Game: Why don’t other countries like football? by Joshua E. Keating
Since the Super Bowl just ended I thought this article on why football isn’t popular in other countries was interesting. It’s not that it’s overtly American, lots of countries love to play baseball. It’s not that it’s too rough, look at rugby or boxing. It might be that it’s too darn expensive to play.

“It’s the kit, and how expensive it can be,” says Gary Marshall, Chairman of the British American Football Association (BAFA). “Basketball, you just need a hoop on the side of a garage and a couple of guys and you can play. Baseball you just need a bat and a ball and that’s it. Football, it’s the cost of the equipment to play the full 11-on-11 game.”

Matching socks with shoes or pants by The Style Guy
I thought this one was obvious but I shouldn’t assume such things.

China’s Toxic Sky – In Focus by Alan Taylor
People love to rib Los Angeles about it’s smog problem, though it’s gotten considerably better over the last 40 years. Air pollution from cars and trucks across the state has decreased since the 1970s by more than 85 percent. Sadly that’s not the case for China right now. This photo gallery put together by In Focus, The Atlantic photo blog, illustrates just how insnaely bad the air is.

Since the beginning of this year, the levels of air pollution in Beijing have been dangerously high, with thick clouds of smog chasing people indoors, disrupting air travel, and affecting the health of millions. The past two weeks have been especially bad — at one point the pollution level measured 40 times recommended safety levels.

Bad Metaphors, Bad Tech by Rob Goodman
A good piece on metaphors in design and at large in our world. This is essentially why aspects of skeumorphism still hold true and can be totally useful.

When was the last time, for instance, that you used the word “desktop” to refer to the actual surface of a desk? Our desktops are imaginary now — but in the days of the earliest graphical user interfaces, comparing a computer to a piece of office furniture was odd enough that tech companies had to spell it out for us. “First of all,” read one of the earliest Macintosh print ads, “we made the screen layout resemble a desktop, displaying pictures of objects you’ll have no trouble recognizing. File folders. Clipboards. Even a trash can.”

February 3, 2013 / By