Adobe Announces New Flash Platform Tools

Adobe has announced the beta availability of Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst and the open source Flex 4 framework. Flash Builder was previously known as Flex Builder – interesting name change.

Adobe notes regarding the Flash Builder 4 beta launch, “…is based on the open source Flex framework and comes with a powerful set of new features to simplify RIA development. Formerly known as Adobe Flex Builder, the new IDE improves basic development functionality, adds significant new data-centric development features and streamlines the design-develop workflow. ”

The Flex framework should bring together for both developers and designers who build Flash applications.

Flash Catalyst allows designers to take art from Photoshop and Illustrator and transform the art into user interfaces that developers can use to build the actual final working interface.

Online Audiences and the Paradox of Web Traffic

If you are as much of an analytics nut as I am, then the video below is for you. It features Dr Matthew Hindman, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University discussing online analytics. Dr. Hindman uses a variety of data from Hitwise to go very deep into the true analytics and much further than a basic web report.

From the overview, "Using three years of daily Web traffic data, and new models adapted from financial mathematics, this talk examines large-scale variation in Web traffic. These data show that Web traffic is highly heteroskedastic, with smaller sites having orders of magnitude more variation in the relative number of visitors they receive. These consistent patterns allow us to provide reasonable estimates of how likely it is Google will still be the most visited US site a year from now".

img/stack Helps You Manipulate Images on the Fly

Tobin Schwaiger-Hastanan has announced that a new version of <img/>stack is now live. The service is described as, “<img/>stack works by taking a URL to an image and instructions on what to do with that image to create a new image on the fly.”

Tobin noted in an email exchange, “I wanted to simply request the image based on how I needed it for the page and just expect it to be there.  Cropped, resized, centered… I didn’t want to have to go back and forth between photoshop and batch processing scripts.”

There’s a tutorial on how the service works which is pretty easy to understand. Basically you can resize an image, crop an image, create thumbnails and fit an image to a specific size. The application lives on their server, you just call the parameters and the image to change and it will render the image as requested on the screen.

Looks like it could be a good fit for web applications that handle a lot of images for products or even avatars.

CenterNetworks Updates (and upgrades) Design

Our sister site, CenterNetworks, unveiled a new Web site design late last week. I must admit that, though I never really had any problems with the previous design, I think the new one is a real upgrade. The new design features cooler colors, working within the blue and green spectrum, and a slightly more intuitive layout. The ads seem a little less obtrusive and more of the items people are apt to use on a regular basis are easier to find. Let me know what you think of the new design, especially if you had experience with previous incarnations of the CN design.

An Amusing and Disturbingly Accurate Post

I came across a very amusing and disturbingly accurate post the other day on a blog I frequent. The content of the post deals with how to diplomatically deal with the barrage of requests you get for “front page exposure” at an institution of higher learning.

I’m not sure how much of this translates to the corporate world, but this is a common occurrence at many colleges and universities.

Thankfully, I don’t deal with this at my job nearly as much as Drew seems to.

Is there no originality left in the world?

It seems that I am seeing more and more news and posts about plagiarized songs. You can’t go to the movie theaters and watch an original movie any more. With a few very rare exceptions (Metalocalypse, for one), television is a vast wasteland of unoriginal, uninspired ideas. Web sites (especially the news sites) all look the same nowadays.

With all this rehashing and regurgitating of ideas, why should logos be any exception? They’re not. Here are a few posts (anyone catch the irony in this post?) detailing some of the more aggregious logo copies (not all of them are actually ripoffs, but they still look strikingly similar):


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