Book Review: Artful Design

What We Make, Makes Us

In our age of rapidly evolving technology and unyielding human restlessness and discord, design ought to be more than simply functional; it should be expressive, socially meaningful, and humanistic. Design should transcend the purely technological, encompass the human, and strive for the sublime.

Sublime design presents itself, first and last, as a useful thing, but nestled within that window of interaction lies the novel articulation of a thought, an idea, a reflection—an invisible truth that speaks to us, intimate yet universal, purposeful without necessity of purpose, that leaves us playful, understood, elevated. It is a transformation so subtle that it escapes our conscious grasp but that once experienced—like music—we would never want to be without again.

— Manifesto

Ge Wang is a professor and computer music researcher, perhaps most widely known in the field as the creator of the ChucK language for creating computer music systems and one of the founders of the company Smule, creators of numerous iPhone music creation apps including the Ocarina and “I Am T-Pain”. In this new book from Stanford University Press, he lays out a set of strong arguments about design (mostly focusing on his work in computer music, but also thoughtful ruminations on pencil cases and other artifacts) focusing on how we as designers can aspire to the sublime in the systems that we build. (more…)

Art+Logic at NAMM 2019

NAMM Show Banner

Every January, the entire pro audio and music instrument industry congregates in Anaheim, California for the Winter NAMM Show. This year it’s taking place later this week, from January 24th through Sunday the 27th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Art+Logic will be in attendance for the 28th consecutive year, checking in with clients (old, new, and future!) and also taking a peek at new gear that’s coming down the pike.

I’ll also be speaking Saturday afternoon on a panel as part of the A3E track — “Cloud Integration Strategy: Server vs Service” will happen at 4PM Saturday January 26th in the Hilton. If you’re there, please say ‘hey’. (more…)

Help Send Art+Logic to SXSW 2019

SXSW PanelPicker

Art+Logic has submitted three proposals to present panels at the 2019 SXSW Interactive Festival that will take place March 8-12, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Since SXSW has received over 5000 proposals for approximately 750 sessions, it’s not going to be trivial to make the cut. About 30% of their selection process is driven by community voting via the SXSW PanelPicker site. We’ll be posting information about our proposals here, and asking for your support by creating an account on the PanelPicker site and voting for our proposals.

First up:

Native Cross-Platform Development With C++ & JUCE

(more…)

Art+Logic @ SXSW2018

SXSW 2018 Graphic

Once again, Art+Logic will have folks attending the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. If you’re there and want to speak with someone from our sales, engineering, or recruiting groups, we’ll be attending from March 9-14.

To set up a meeting, send an email to inquiries@artandlogic.com or send a Direct Message on Twitter to @artandlogic.

Net Neutrality Day of Action

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When Art & Logic started doing business in 1991, we were a fully remote company that pre-dated the availability of the consumer internet; by the time I joined up in 1997 that transition had happened. My initial internet connection when I started here saw me upgrade from a dialup connection to a local ISP over a 56Kb/s modem to a pair of bonded ISDN lines that gave me a screaming 128 Kb/s connection to the A&L servers and my co-workers.

As the consumer internet exploded, our project mix followed the same transition that the rest of the world did — we went from 100% of our projects being standalone desktop applications running natively on Windows or macOS, to a few web projects (including a ton of embedded web projects — in 2017 you expect to be able to configure networked hardware by pointing a web browser at it, but in the late 90s that was the New Frontier) to our current mix that’s largely web and mobile with some interesting desktop apps tagging along as well.

We, along with every one of the clients that we’ve developed projects for in that period, have depended on strong net neutrality to enable our innovation — once your service is on the internet, your traffic is on the same footing as everyone else’s. As Gertrude might say today, a bit is a bit is a bit.

Recently, the FCC has proposed rule changes that have the potential to turn this all upside down — here’s a bit of background from meta.stackeschange.com :

Back in 2014, the United States Federal Communication Commission, in response to numerous complaints and concerns, implemented a set of rules that prohibit Internet Service Providers from blocking specific content providers or charging them for access to their networks. Essentially, a set of rules that prevent an ISP from double-dipping on service they’re already being paid for, or blocking access to specific websites just for the hell of it.

In order to do this, they had to change how ISPs were classified, moving them from a “Title I” classification to “Title II” – more or less the same framework for regulation that’s been in place for phone companies for decades, establishing them as a so-called “common carrier” – that is to say, one which may not discriminate between customers. If you already assumed that this is how the Internet worked, you’re not alone; however, due to how they were classified previously the FCC had been unable to enforce rules that would ensure that traffic over the Internet would continue be allowed to work as, well, traffic over the Internet was expected to work.

(also scroll down for the answers on the rest of that page for more discussion and links on the topic than you probably have time for today).

The group Fight for the Future has declared today, 12 July 2017, as a day of action, for “regular friendly Internet users like you to submit your comments and concerns to the FCC about their plans to do away with net neutrality.”

If you’re in the US and would like to participate, you can:

Other links on the topic: