Things I miss as an American ex-pat

It’s been seven and a half months since I moved from Chicago to Berlin. With everyone back in the States gathering with their families for the holidays, I’m finding myself feeling a bit sentimental about the random things, big and little, that I’ve left behind.

Never Let Me Go falls short of its potential

Parts 1 and 2 of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go are written with painstaking thoughtfulness, but Part 3 falls carelessly apart.

How to get rid of 404 errors for favicons and apple-touch-icons

I’ve been seeing a lot of 404 (“page not found”) errors in my Drupal sites’ error logs recently for favicon.ico and apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png (and apple-touch-icon-144x144-precomposed.png, etc.). A quick addition to my .htaccess file fixed it.

Small steps airlines could take to make flying less miserable

Every time I travel by plane, I am struck by the inanity of so much of the flying experience. Here are some small, uncostly policy and aircraft tweaks that would go a long way toward making the flying experience at least borderline tolerable.

Marketing a product to half the population? Don't forget to insult the other half!

This Dr. Pepper commercial looks like it’s straight out of the Mitt Romney playbook. Apparently, the marketing folks at Dr. Pepper believe that reaching men requires insulting women: “So keep the reality TV and lady drinks. … Dr. Pepper TEN. It’s not for women.”

And so it begins...

Ruby on Rails Tutorial, by Michael Hartl Today, I ordered Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

The subtle significance of Citi's "The Ex" commercial

While it may seem like a typical example of commercials that pit the sexes against each other, the result of this particular battle is markedly different: the guy wins.

The new Windows 8 commercial is actually... *cringe*... pretty good!

And this from a guy who fundamentally despises everything about Microsoft, from its corporate philosophy to its products. Not bad, MS, not bad.

Levi's #GoForth ad campaign and the corporate appropriation of creative culture

A video still from Levi's GoForth campaign Levi’s #GoForth ad campaign serves as a poignant commentary on the intersection of culture and commercialism – the implications of which are less than flattering.

Did you know? Smoke "blu Cigs"...

…and you will gain the superhuman ability to walk and smoke in slow motion. (Full video after the jump.) <iframe src="" width="600" height="329" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>

Thought for the day, on type

Just My Type, by Simon Garfield “Spiekermann teaches a course at the University in Berlin and says that he tells his students, above all other things, that digital type can be too harsh…”

Talking big data, Earth's "nervous system" with Rick Smolan

Earlier today, I had the unique opportunity to be a guest on The Huffington Post’s HuffPost Live.

There's something incredibly invigorating...

…about seeing your own design work in physical form.

Everpurse logo on a charging mat

How to select a radio button or checkbox(es) with jQuery .val()

No more using .attr() to set the checked attribute to true. You can simply use .val() to set the element’s value.

What's the difference? empty() vs. isset() PHP functions

Many coders consider empty() and isset() to be interchangeable (if reversed) functions, but there is one huge difference: empty($var) checks for whether $var is set and whether $var evaluates to TRUE.

How LinkedIn could have avoided 6.5-million-leaked-passwords-gate

LinkedIn logo with the blue square leaking Because it isn’t a controversy until it’s been suffixed with “-gate,” right?