video

Captcha-ing the Potential

I found this video on Twisted Sifter and while it may not be the most exciting eleven minutes you ever spend it’s a pretty cool example of the synergy that can happen when you think outside of the box. The basic story is how the time spent typing a captcha (the distorted type used as an online security device) has been turned to a productive purpose and will in less than twelve months completely digitize the analog archives (all isses between 1851 and the mid 1980’s) of the New York Times one word at a time. That’s 130 years worth of newspapers. Facebook, Ticketmaster, Craigslist, and Twitter are among the sites using the new re-captcha technology so you and 400 million other people have already helped.

Update: Thanks to Bill Skellenger I can share with you that if 11 minutes of insight into human computing was not enough Luis von Ahn is featured in a full 50 minute Google TechTalk that is full of all kinds of interesting stuff. Put on your thinking cap before pressing play.

I’ve Been Objectified

The bright red envelope in my mailbox yesterday signaled the much anticipated arrival of Gary Hustwit’s new film Objectified and an evening spent on the couch, in rapt attention with hot cocoa in hand. Directed in a style very similar to his last film Helvetica this movie is a collection of interviews with a series of fascinating characters from the industrial design world. Some of them are practically caricatures of themselves which like cow hide on an Eames chair makes for a secondary dimension of entertainment layered over the primary theme –  a dive into a tremendously interesting, important, impactful and often overlooked design field. As the movie points out the sexy stuff from Apple or BMW gets noticed as design but in actuality everything is designed at some level even if that level is a pretty disheartening, single-minded drive to get one more piece of trash into our overflowing landfills via your living room. But take heart, design has exploded onto the radar of the mba set and become the primary business advantage for many products. Designers and manufactures are also coming to recognize that sustainability will be the next advantage. Together with consumers everyone involved is becoming more demanding and if the trend is toward more elegantly designed and more sustainably manufactured products that is a good thing.

Check out the trailer and then reserve a spot on your sofa and make extra hot cocoa so you’ve got enough to get you through the extra features – you’re going to want to soak up every minute of this film.

Rent Objectified from NetFlix before it gets all scratched up.
Or buy it from Amazon, directly from the Objectified store or from iTunes.

If you come away wanting to be even more objectified iTunes recently interviewed Gary Hustwit and posted the podcast.
(note this and the iTunes link will open in iTunes)

The Art of Influence

video-art-and-copy

A new film by Doug Pray entitled “Art and Copy” delves into what it means to be a creative thinker in the advertising biz. It’s a pretty funny game we play but I have long recognized the power we have to shape and drive the perspective and direction of our culture. That’s kind of scary until you ask “If not us then who?” Engineers or fast food restaurant franchisees? Politicians? I can’t seem to come up with a field that seems less alarming : ) So, check out the trailer which is pretty fun. Then get back to work – and be careful – what you do may be more impactful than you know. The more you think about that the more you may find yourself looking for opportunities to use your skill to help champion causes that are meaningful to you.

Tron Legacy

video-tron-legacy

The movie Tron was an early pioneer of computer animation and a memorable moment in my youth. Now, just in time for my son’s youth Disney is releasing a follow-up – Tron Legacy. I’m kinda geekin’ out about that. Check out the trailer on flynnlives.com.

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