Recent versions of Google Chrome on OS X mangle native input buttons. I don’t know precisely when it started but no amount of CSS brute-force seems to correct the text alignment. Have you found a work-around? Do you know a little birdie on the Chrome team?
(Update: Paul Irish kindly responded and filed this bug on the Chromium project.)
There’s a flash flood warning for all of Chicago today. Unfortunately there’s water in my basement (like other Chicago home owners)...
The flood fixing company U.S. Waterproofing has a cool feature on their website. Look at who we’ve helped in your neighborhood. As you can see, they get around! Gives me confidence to give them a call—which I might do right now.
Back in high school my track coach would often get on me about my sloppy block practice. He’d say “You aren’t setting up in the blocks properly. You’re rushing it, just going through the motions.” I’d say “Why does it matter right now? I’m not racing anyone today. I’ll do it right at the meet this weekend.”
“I’ll tell you why it matters” he’d say, sternly. “You play like you practice. Practice sloppy and you’ll play sloppy.”
You’ll play like you practice. You’re not going to be sharp unless you practice being sharp. I’ve heard this again over the years.
A few years ago I took a self-defense class. At one point in the class, we worked with fake handguns. We each had a partner and we had to work on scenarios where a gun might be involved.
The instructor repeatedly said, “When your turn is over, do not hand the gun to your partner. Instead, they’ll turn their back, and you’ll just drop it on the ground so they can pick it up and start the exercise over.”
That sounded weird. You’re right next to the person, why would you drop the gun so they had to pick it up?
Without having to ask why, the instructor explained himself: “If you practice handing the gun over to your partner now, you might end up handing the gun over to an actual assailant later. Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it happen.” Then he showed us surveillance camera footage of someone doing it in robbery.
It sounded ridiculous. Why would I ever give my gun to someone who’s attacking me? The answer is because if I practiced doing that earlier, I might do it later.
When humans are in stressful situations, we tend to fall back on our practice. If I practiced handing my gun over, I might mindlessly fall back on that when it mattered most. That would be bad.
Skip steps now, you’ll skip them later. Cut corners now, you’ll cut them later. You get used to what you do most of the time.
My friend Nick Quaranto is in the market for a new camera. A few days ago we discussed the pros and cons of various cameras (DSLR, mirrorless, iPhone, etc) in our Campfire chatroom. He was overwhelmed by all the options. Where do you even start?
I asked in our “SvN Post Ideas” Basecamp project, and notified the rest of our company:
What kind of camera do you have? Do you prefer DSLR, Mirrorless, or iPhone? Something else? There are so many options out there it’s overwhelming…
The most popular answer was iPhone. However, some of us are enthusiasts who must capture moments the tiny sensor in the iPhone can’t quite get. Here are the answers I got in Basecamp:
Jamie Dihiansan Fujifilm X100S and Nexus 4
I just got a Fujifilm X100S. I really dig it. Been waiting for a while to get one. I like the fixed focal length (35mm equivalent) and the low-light image quality under high ISO (6400). I also use the Nexus 4 for Instagram, Facebook, casual polaroid type shots.
Mig Reyes Panasonic GF-1 and iPhone
I have a Panasonic GF-1, with the pancake lens. The chip inside the body is fried, so I don’t have a working camera. I’d like to invest in a new body that can still make use of my pancake lens, and would love any suggestions.
So, for now I just use the camera I always have with me; iPhone.
Ryan Singer Nikon D7000
I have a Nikon D7000 w/ a 35mm prime lens, which ends up looking like 50mm because of the D7000’s sensor size. I like the D7000’s high ISO and how optically faithful the 35-50mm range is.
I bring it with me on trips and to major events, but I still find myself leaving it in the bag because I don’t like having it around my neck or in my hand on all time. I inevitably take some photos with my iPhone.
I’m usually disappointed with my iPhone photos when I load them on the computer. The colors and res are sharp, but the wide angle distorts close-up subjects and creates lots of empty space in landscape/scenery shots.
Shaun Hildner Canon 5D Mk II
Canon 5D Mk II on a Redrock Micro Field Cinema Deluxe DSLR Rig with an Ikan 7” monitor and a Rode shotgun mic.
Canon 24-105mm f/4L
Damn right you need all this shit!
When you work in a traditional office and have a question, instant gratification is hard to resist. It’s so easy. Just stumble over to a co-worker’s desk, make sure they stop whatever it was they were doing, blather on until the lights of recognition come on in their eyes, then await the answer. Unless your query concerns inflammable materials currently engulfed in said flames you’ve likely wasted their time – in fact, you may have even wasted your own.
One of my favorite side-effects of working remotely is the way slow-time communication forces you to stop and think before you speak. When I have a question for one of our programmers, for example, here’s a bit of what goes through my head:
How should I ask this question?
He’s online, I could just send a quick IM…
...but is this important enough to risk interrupting with an instant message?
No. I’m not even sure I can even explain it one line at a time like that.
What about email?
Nah. It’s about some specific code, maybe I should ask on Github.
It’s complicated. How can I explain this as directly as possible?
I can post a comment right on the helper method…
...but is the problem really in the helper or is it because of the collection set in the controller?
It’s definitely in the controller, let’s start there. Wait a second…!
It’s usually at this point that I either figure out the answer for myself or come up with a new way of considering the problem, never having to even ask the original question. I didn’t bother my co-worker, I didn’t look like an idiot trying to articulate the question on-the-fly, and most importantly I figured out the answer!
People who struggle to work remotely often bemoan the lack of in-person collaboration jumping from this tool to that tech in an effort to recreate the magic that only happens when we’re all in the same room. There are definitely advantages to face time, but too often it seems like facial expressions and waving arms are substituted for clear thought and courtesy.
The next time you have a question for a coworker, try writing it out as if they were 1000 miles and 3 time zones away – even if they’re sitting right next to you. You might surprise yourself with the answer.
Getting support online is great, but wouldn’t it be nice if you had an expert right beside you? A few of us will be in Atlanta and would love to meet you and your team!
We’ll be at Roam in Alpharetta on Friday, April 19th, at your service. We’ve got 30-minute sessions throughout the day to fit your schedule. Registering for one 30-minute session will cover you and up to five others on your team.
We’ll be there to answer all of your Basecamp questions and to help turn you into a Basecamp pro. We can also show you some best practices to help you and your team get the most out of Basecamp. You’ll just want to bring your own laptop so we’ll be able to do all this inside your Basecamp account.
Space is limited. Make sure to register and save your spot.
You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.
And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.
Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.
I’m really in awe of this. There’s no “pledge $10 or more” and get a prize. There’s no stretch goals. It’s real, the entire production process is documented openly, and you can get the final product today for $20.
There’s something to be said for launching a product and making it happen yourself. Congrats on the launch, Jon. I can’t wait to play Space Dice.
I have always struggled with the dark art of pricing artwork. Weird magic is involved. I have seen an interested buyer lose interest when I quoted a price that was too low. Oops, I mean… All of a sudden the aura of the work was gone. How could I be a serious artist if I was willing to sell for that price? Could it be that it certain cases, raising the price actually increases the demand?
I was talking about this recently with a friend and he told me an anecdote about a wine seller who had an overstock of a particular wine. When putting the wine on sale didn’t help it move, he greatly inflated the price and suddenly it began flying off the shelves. Does more expensive wine taste better? This Freakonomics podcast explores this question with surprising results. I thought my unsophisticated palette was to blame for the fact that I can’t tell the difference between five dollar and fifty dollar bottles of wine. Turns out I’m not alone. In blind taste tests, the experts may be just as clueless. I think wines with cool labels taste best.
I have discovered that there is something in economics called a Veblen Good, a luxury item for which price equates quality. Art can fit into this category. Economists in the house, please comment. My knowledge of the subject is confined to my recent Google history, but I’m happy it has a name.
At any rate I’m trying to make the best paintings I can. Below is a painting I recently completed. It can be yours for ONE MILLION DOLLARS.