Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles

Academy Originals: Title designer Dan Perri explains how he designed movie titles for films such as “Star Wars,” “The Exorcist,” and “Raging Bull.”

(via Wired)

The Nerdwriter: Batman v Superman: The Fundamental Flaw

“The overused and unearned moment is DC’s greatest foe.”


And in this video The Auralnauts finally explain the Flash dream from Batman v Superman…

Batman v Superman: The Flash Dream Explained

Batman V Superman tried setting up the new Justice League movie with some dream sequences, but they were… confusing. We help make sense out of The Flash sequence.


See also: Comparing the soundtracks of ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Superman: The Movie’.

Lego bar chart
Craft and creativity

Lego sets are getting grayer

Joel Carron recently analyzed 67 years of Lego sets and wrote up his findings in a detailed blog post full of interactive graphics, including this fact about the top ten Lego block colours over the years…

Lego block colours by decade

Top ten Lego block colours by decade

Legos have gotten darker, with white giving way to black and gray. The transition from the old grays to the current bluish grays (or “bley”) is a hot-button topic for many Lego fans.

(via kottke.org)

Explore other posts tagged ‘infographics’.

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Life on the Internet

US government framework for handling cyberattacks

The Verge: The White House now has a color-coded scale for cybersecurity threats

The Presidential Policy Directive on United States Cyber Incident Coordination builds on the action plan that Obama laid out earlier this year, and it’s intended to create a clear standard of when and how government agencies will handle incidents. It also comes with a new threat level scale, assigning specific colors and response levels to the danger of a hack.

Cyber Incident Severity Schema

The cyberattack severity scale is somewhat vague, but it’s supposed to make sure that the agencies involved in cybersecurity — the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence — respond to threats with the same level of urgency and investment.

See also

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Star Trek fonts
Use your words

The fonts of Star Trek

If you’ve ever tried to find the fonts used for a particular Star Trek series or film, you’ll have found that there are thousands of poor imitations on free font sites everywhere. Thanks to Yves Peters at Font Shop, now there’s a guide to the original fonts of Star Trek!

What’s interesting about Star Trek is that it has a number of typical alphabets that are immediately recognisable, and have become an integral part of pop culture. While many fan-made fonts exist based on the logos and title sequences of popular movies and television series, Star Trek is one of the very rare franchises which at one point had officially released fonts. In 1992 Bitstream introduced the Star Trek Font Pack featuring four digital typefaces – Star Trek, the signature face of the original television series; Star Trek Film, used for the credit titles of the Star Trek movies; Star Trek Pi, a collection of Star Trek insignias and Klingon symbols; and Star Trek Bold Extended, the lettering of the name and registration number on the hull of all Starfleet space ships. The Star Trek Font Pack has been discontinued long ago – possibly over licensing issues – yet individual typeface designs are still available under different names. We will run into them in this article, plus some others.

Posters for Star Trek Beyond and the first Motion Picture

In celebration of the upcoming release of Star Trek Beyond and the 50th anniversary of the franchise, Paramount had a poster created that mirrors Bob Peak’s beautiful artwork for The Motion Picture

See also:

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Conceptual rendering of a “battery case” style introspection engine, piggybacked on an iPhone6.
Shape of things to come

The Introspection Engine

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been working with hardware hacker Andrew “bunnie” Huang to develop a way for smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions.

“Trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.”

The Intercept: Since a smartphone can essentially be made to lie about that state of its radios, the goal of Snowden and Huang’s research, according to their post, is to “provide field-ready tools that enable a reporter to observe and investigate the status of the phone’s radios directly and independently of the phone’s native hardware.” In other words, they want to build an entirely separate tiny computer that users can attach to a smartphone to alert them if it’s being dishonest about its radio emissions.

Snowden and Haung are calling this device an “introspection engine” because it will inspect the inner-workings of the phone. The device will be contained inside a battery case, looking similar to a smartphone with an extra bulky battery, except with its own screen to update the user on the status of the radios. Plans are for the device to be able to sound an audible alarm and possibly also to come equipped with a “kill switch” that can shut off power to the phone if any radio signals are detected. “The core principle is simple,” they wrote in the blog post. “If the reporter expects radios to be off, alert the user when they are turned on.”

Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance, paper by Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang and Edward Snowden:

Our introspection engine is designed with the following goals in mind:

  1. Completely open source and user-inspectable (“You don’t have to trust us”)
  2. Introspection operations are performed by an execution domain completely separated from the phone’s CPU (“don’t rely on those with impaired judgment to fairly judge their state”)
  3. Proper operation of introspection system can be field-verified (guard against “evil maid” attacks and hardware failures)
  4. Difficult to trigger a false positive (users ignore or disable security alerts when there are too many positives)
  5. Difficult to induce a false negative, even with signed firmware updates (“don’t trust the system vendor” – state-level adversaries with full cooperation of system vendors should not be able to craft signed firmware updates that spoof or bypass the introspection engine)
  6. As much as possible, the introspection system should be passive and difficult to detect by the phone’s operating system (prevent black-listing/targeting of users based on introspection engine signatures)
  7. Simple, intuitive user interface requiring no specialized knowledge to interpret or operate (avoid user error leading to false negatives; “journalists shouldn’t have to be cryptographers to be safe”)
  8. Final solution should be usable on a daily basis, with minimal impact on workflow (avoid forcing field reporters into the choice between their personal security and being an effective journalist)

See also

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NES Classic Edition

Nintendo is releasing a miniature NES with 30 built-in games

The Verge: Today the company announced what it’s calling the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition. It looks just like a NES, only a lot tinier, and it comes with 30 games built in. You can connect it to your TV via a HDMI cable, and it also includes a controller designed to work just like the iconic rectangular NES gamepad.

Launches in November for $59.99, with the following games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Final Fantasy
  • Galaga
  • Ghosts’N Goblins
  • Gradius
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mega Man 2
  • Metroid
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Pac-Man
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Kotaku: …a Nintendo spokesperson said that the console won’t be able to connect to the internet and that the company has no plans to support it with new NES games in the future. Also, in case you were wondering, the cartridge slot doesn’t actually open!

Update: Pint-sized NES Classic Edition now has an amazingly retro commercial

See also: This gorgeous Bluetooth keyboard replica of the ZX Spectrum and these colourful digital restorations of historic computers.

Shape of things to come

NES Classic Edition

“Relive the 80s when the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System launches in stores on 11th November.”

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Exploring Fukushima's Red Exclusion Zone

When i enter the red zone, i can feel a burning sensation in my eyes and thick chemical smell in the air. before i went there the authority told me that i need a special permit to visit this town and it take 3-4 weeks to get the approval from the local council,, well too much bureaucracy bullshit for me..so i just sneak in the forest to avoid cops on the road …AND IT WAS AMAZING !!!!!

The radiation level is still very high in the red zone. not many people seen this town for the last 5 years…is like it vanished … i can find food,money,gold,laptop and other valuable in the red zone….I’m amaze that nobody looted this town clean.

(via reddit)

See also

Humans and other animals

Man wearing gas mask and sandals explores Fukushima’s Exclusion Zone

“Gas mask and sandals. Seems legit. What is he, level one character that didn’t find gear yet?” — commenter ‘ondaheightsofdespair’ on imgur.

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A Turkish typewriter
Use your words

Lessons about language from a Turkish typewriter

What I learned about languages just by looking at a Turkish typewriter, by Marcin Wichary, Design lead & typographer at Medium.

I don’t speak Turkish, and can’t read it either. I have never been to Turkey. I honestly don’t even know that much about Turkey. Why did I ask for a Turkish typewriter, then? Because it has one of the most fascinating keyboard layouts ever.

Some highlights:

  1. We’re not beholden to Q·W·E·R·T·YThe new layout had nothing in common with Q·W·E·R·T·Y. It was ergonomically superior, and measured to be up to twice as fast in typing; Turkey went on to break dozens of world records in typewriting championships before the end of century.
  2. Accented characters aren’t always second-class citizensTo me, this keyboard says “we’re proud of our language and we will treat it with respect.”
  3. Each language has a crazy secret…in Turkish, i gets capitalized to… İ, its tittle still there. But I exists also! And its lowercase form is, you guessed it… ı. Dotted i and dotless ı coexist in perfect harmony, and both have separate keys on the keyboard.
  4. Some of those other languages need to be accommodated alsoLook at the Turkish keyboard. There are three letters, w, x, and q, in a somewhat unusual location: right next to the digits in the top row.
  5. Punctuation is the first to go when sacrifices need to be madeSince backspacing was often physically difficult — welcome to the mechanical world — typewriters invented a certain power user shortcut. To type two characters in one space you would hold the spacebar, press as many characters as needed, and then release the spacebar to move to the next position.

See also: 216 positive emotions that have no direct English translation

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Deathly Hallows emotional arc graph
Use your words

The six basic emotional arcs of storytelling, as revealed by data mining

MIT Technology Review: Scientists at the Computational Story Laboratory have analyzed novels to identify the building blocks of all stories.

Sentiment analysis was used to map the emotional arcs of over 1,700 stories. Then data-mining techniques revealed the most common arcs.

“We find a set of six core trajectories which form the building blocks of complex narratives”

Their method is straightforward. The idea behind sentiment analysis is that words have a positive or negative emotional impact. So words can be a measure of the emotional valence of the text and how it changes from moment to moment. So measuring the shape of the story arc is simply a question of assessing the emotional polarity of a story at each instant and how it changes.

The six basic emotional arcs

The six basic emotional arcs are these:

A steady, ongoing rise in emotional valence, as in a rags-to-riches story such as Alice’s Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll. A steady ongoing fall in emotional valence, as in a tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet. A fall then a rise, such as the man-in-a-hole story, discussed by Vonnegut. A rise then a fall, such as the Greek myth of Icarus. Rise-fall-rise, such as Cinderella. Fall-rise-fall, such as Oedipus.


Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories

Back in 1995, Kurt Vonnegut gave a lecture in which he described his theory about the shapes of stories. In the process, he plotted several examples on a blackboard. “There is no reason why the simple shapes of stories can’t be fed into computers,” he said. “They are beautiful shapes.”

Update: On Scriptnotes episode 259, screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin had a harsh critique of this research:

Mazin: “Of all of these, this one truly is the dumbest. It’s bad science that provides clickbaiters something to say, but it teaches you nothing. It is the emptiest of noise.”

See also

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Gone Girl — Don’t Underestimate the Screenwriter

Michael Tucker: Gone Girl uses classic screenwriting techniques to tell its twisty, modern noir story. This video examines three of the techniques used by screenwriter Gillian Flynn to see how and why they work so well.

Other Lessons from the Screenplay

(via Laughing Squid)

Lessons from the Screenplay

See also: The origins and formatting of modern screenplays

Soyuz TMA-8

The first variant of the patch of the Russian-American-Brazilian crew of the Soyuz TMA-8 spaceship.

See also

Progression and regression

Retro space design: Cosmonaut mission patches

Soviet mission patches were designed for each voyage and depicted details unique to the trip, often in vibrant colors. Today, original Soviet mission patches are a rare find.

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Europe Venn diagram

Bloomberg: How U.K. and Europe Might Relate After Breakup

The U.K. and Europe can’t exactly go their own ways once their divorce is finalized. On trade, customs, defense and the global flow of capital, the European Union and its cross-channel neighbor will continue doing business after Brexit. The question is, how?

See also: Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNA

Humans and other animals

The political configuration of Europe as a Venn diagram

“The Norway model (also employed by Iceland and Liechtenstein) is getting a lot of attention as a potential path for the U.K. But while that would preserve most economic ties, it would also retain many features of EU membership that the British people rejected, such as free movement of labor and paying into the European budget. That’s the dilemma for policy makers.” — Bloomberg

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Inside

A short film by Mattis Dovier.

“After that, I always had the same strange dream. I could see myself lying on the floor, restless, with electronic cables springing out of my body.”

(via digg)

Light-based media

Inside: surreal psychological cyberpunk nightmares as pixel art

Short film commissioned by Channel 4’s Random Acts in collaboration with It’s Nice That

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“I feel like I should have a really good answer for this, but somehow I also feel that the question is wrong.”

The Function of Music

Mac Premo: I sat down with Jad Abumrad and talked about sound, music and the function of music. Then I turned that conversation into a film.

(via Boing Boing)

See also

Sockrotation update
Miscellany

Welcome to Sockrotation.com

After three years, two months and almost 700 posts I have finally decided to upgrade this blog by paying for WordPress.com’s premium hosting package.

Rapid Notes stats

The most notable changes are:

  • New domain! New name! The blog is no longer Rapid Notes at rapidnotes.wordpress.com, but Sockrotation.com.
  • New Twitter account! Follow @sockrotation for updates.
  • No ads! For now at least. I reserve the right to activate WordAds in the future.
  • New fonts! New CSS! Expect more visual tweaks over the coming weeks as I go mad with power now I can finally make these kinds cosmetic alterations.

Nothing of substance will change however. This is still the same blog posting the same kinds of posts with the same ‘regularity’.

See also

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App Review Guidelines -- The Comic Book

App Review Guidelines: The Comic Book

[PDF on the Apple.com developer site]

(via The Loop)


I’m really not sure what the point of this is. The art is excellent, but it’s making zero use of the comic medium to make the guidelines any more accessible. It’s the exact same legalese, with pictures.

Compare/contrast with Scott McCloud’s excellent comic book introduction to the new Google Chrome browser:

The Chrome comic explains why the engineers made certain choices, how these benefit users, and demonstrates important concepts visually. While the Apple comic has a very different subject matter, it still completely fails to use the medium to show rather than tell.


Update: I mentioned this on Twitter, and Scott McCloud himself responded…

I remember hearing about that project, but it had slipped my mind.

iTunes Terms and Conditions: The Graphic Novel

The complete, unabridged legal agreement, as drawn by R. Sikoryak.

See also

Shape of things to come

iOS App Review Guidelines: The Comic Book!

Using sequential art to make complex legal terms and conditions more accessible… or not.

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