links for 2010-09-29

  • Technology is opening up new opportunities for people who want to work at home. Finding and landing profitable work isn't easy, but we've listed some options. These jobs will give you the flexibility you want and the income you need to keep paying your bills and maintaining a health credit score.
  • The film adaptation of 'The Lord of the Rings' prequel has suffered multiple setbacks — the latest a worldwide union boycott. Is it time to throw in the towel?
  • Other than the frenzied anticipation for the coming breed of tablet PCs, the one topic that dominates the mindspace of the technorati these days is the world of e-readers. More specifically, a great debate is brewing; each of the e-readers and their associated online book stores favor differing standards and file formats, and we may have another good ole fashioned format war on our hands. (Nothing gets a techie's blood pressure going more than watching as competing technologies duke it out.) Format wars are to the tech world what elections are to politics, or what playoffs are to sports: a chance for competing candidates to go big or go home — based on the preferences of the masses. The most cited example is the great Betamax vs. VHS war of the early '80s (in which the objectively better standard got trounced), but, in truth, battles over standards have been with us since the first wheel was chipped from stone.
  • Last week I talked about 960 Grid System is Getting Old. Surprisingly a lot of comments have been made. It seems like people are using 960gs because of the "golden ratio" — all numbers are even. I’m a designer, not a grid scientist. Why restrict your layout so that it can fit into this 960gs? A grid is supposed to help you in design, not to limit your creativity. The 978 grid, that I mentioned before, is not just about increasing the page width, but to loosen the gutter space so users can read it more comfortably. Today, I would like to write a follow up post to further ellaborate on some of the points I brought up initially.
  • Designing and critiquing logos for web-based companies and startups is a pursuit of endless fascination for many of us. Over the years, we’ve seen enough startups come and go (and rebrand and merge) to fill a volume with how and how not to develop and execute a logo for a web company. We’ve also picked up some knowledge about trends in this field. Some of the trends are good; others, regrettable. Others still are simply overused, which is the saddest scenario of them all. We hate to see a good design trick or typeface grow hackneyed over the course of a few months, but it happens all the time, unfortunately.
  • While we all know the importance of the content of any webpage, what we often ignore is the first impression that the visitor forms when visiting any webpage. It is of paramount importance to know that the first thing that any visitor looks at is the look of the page. If the look is appealing enough only then does the reader move on to read the content. Graphic designers today are laying a huge importance on typography to make a webpage look attractive. When creating items like E-Books, brochures and pamphlets, it is important that the design and layout of the font is managed well so as to make any webpage look attractive. At earlier times, typesetters used manual modes to perform this action but with the advancement in technology, it is now possible to design fonts on the computer. There are some fantastic typography tools that are available for use now that enable the webpage creator to create some fantastic font styles to attract the readers.
  • Monet’s paintings evoke a sense of energy and life, they leap off the canvas with color and contrast, but Monet somehow managed to avoid using the color black for nearly his entire painting career. By avoiding black in your own designs, you can replicate some of this dynamism.
  • Amazon’s Kindle can do a lot more than just buy and read Amazon-sold e-books. This is often a surprise. I usually wind up in conversations where someone says “I’d like to try a Kindle, but it can’t _______.” Usually, it can. I was actually surprised when I bought my Kindle not just by how much it could do, but by how well it did it. The Kindle suffers from two things: 1) it’s never going to do everything that a full-fledged computer or even a color touchscreen tablet can do; and 2) the Kindle 3 has improved on a whole slew of features that were either poorly implemented in or entirely absent from earlier iterations of the Kindle. Here I want to gather up knowledge generated from and circulated by many of my favorite e-reader blogs, just to try to give you an inkling of all the things that a new Kindle can do.
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