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The Useless Agony of Going Offline

The Useless Agony of Going Offline

“Levy writes that when we choose to cast aside “the devices and apps we use regularly, it should hardly be surprising if we miss them, even long for them at times.” But what I felt was more general. I didn’t miss my smartphone, or the goofy watch I own that vibrates when I receive an e-mail and lets me send text messages by speaking into it. I didn’t miss Twitter’s little heart-shaped icons. I missed learning about new things.”

Source: The Useless Agony of Going Offline, Matthew J. X. Malady for The New Yorker

Meet Clues, a New Magazine

Meet Clues, a New Magazine

Calling a blog a magazine could be daring enough, but a Tumblr? It’s true though: The magazines of the past are definitely replaced by Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter these days.

Clues is a stream of daily updated links and original content posts around the topic of design in its broadest sense. It isn’t just about style, visual, or interior design. Clues is certainly also about beauty, but the kind of beauty that is hard to find: because it works well, it functions well, or it was well done. The kind of beauty that speaks to you through more than just a beautiful look or feeling.

I launched Clues yesterday because I have been frustrated with bookmarking services and Twitter for some time. Every day I skim through the news and RSS or Atom feeds filled with cultural and inspirational content. Sometimes I send a link out to my friends by email, which is, in comparison with Tumblr, quite an archaic method. It has a lot of disadvantages; all links are hidden in the ever-growing email archive. I wanted something like a modern shoebox, a box that is socially connected, where I keep things for a couple of years and I can search and find stuff again. Most importantly, I wanted something people love to subscribe to, something that contributes to other people’s inspiration and creativity and is useful for their daily work.

Back in the eighties and nineties, when we subscribed to a print magazine, we wanted more than glossy images or how-to articles. We wanted to be inspired. That’s what Clues is all about, to give you the clues you need to get your juices going.

Couple, The App For Couples

Couple, The App For Couples

I am undecided whether this app freaks me out, or if it’s a cute idea. Watching the promotion video, I kept thinking: what is different from what I can do with other communication apps? Why not just use SMS, Whatsapp, Skype?

Aside of some small neat features built into Couple, like live sketching, I didn’t see the advantage for a couple. Of course it is privacy—only the couple can see their actions. But who lives in such an isolated world? Don’t you want to involve friends in your conversations, even if what you have is really special?

The app seems to promote dependency, always knowing where the other partner is and what they are doing. That appears a bit unhealthy to me, but it’s up to you to decide for yourself.

(Photo: Scene from the promotion video for “Couple”)

My Good Movie Rules

My Good Movie Rules

These rules define what makes a good, entertaining film for me. But they are more than that. They are principles of good storytelling:

  1. Make me think (motivation, character depth and development)
  2. Amaze me (surprising twists and interesting plot hooks)
  3. Touch me (empathy, honest emotions on a human level)

You can apply them on anything that transmits a message. I think they provide an underlying quality, also in design and writing. It’s really at the core of everything that moves us.

(Photo: Ding Yuin Shan)