Star Wars + Adidas. #TearsOfJoy

adidas_atat_bg1

Coming soon, in a galaxy far, far nearer than you’d expect with this type of intro…Star Wars shoes by Adidas!  If you know anything about me, you know I love Adidas and I love Star Wars.  Yes, I have the Collector’s Edition of the Dark Forces dramatized audiobook, and yes I listen to the entire 6 hour adventure multiple times per year.  And yes I bought it when I was about 12.  I’ve also photographed myself with all my Adidas gear and sent it off to the company.

Point is, I couldn’t be happier about the news.  The most influential science fiction work ever produce is coming together with the makers of what I consider the highest quality everyday apparel.  It’s a dream come true.

Sadly, it hasn’t been released yet.  The few images we Star Wars fanatics have been granted leave us drooling and appetite-whetted, though not yet satisfied.  The official Star Wars release says that they will be available in select stores and online in January.  Here are a few of my favorites, though I believe I’ve decided to go with the AT-AT high tops (pictured above).

adidas_luke_bg adidas_sand_bg
adidas_yoda_bg adidas_tie_bg

To add to the frustration, I stumbled across more Star Wars apparel that is currently only available in Japan.  This time it’s hats – New Era (59Fifty) hats to be specific.  Here comes the drool again.  I’m already a huge New Era fan (got my LA fitted a few weeks back and I love it), so again this excites me beyond words.  Here are a few pics of the hats currently available, though I have yet to hear if they will come to the US anytime soon.

59fifty-star wars 59fifty-imperial
59fifty-chewbacca 59fifty-han

59fifty-falcon

Until January, enjoy the pics. I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you will come back for a second or third look. Oh, and a note to all relatives, friends, and random people who might want to get me a Christmas gift…all cash gifts will go into what I like to call my “ATAT FUND“.

The Unofficial Color Reference Pt. 2

This is the second installment of the Color-Reference collection.  You can see the first post here.

This reference was somewhat popular, possibly more due to the neat looking graphic than actual usefulness.  However, I’ve decided to do another one.  This collection lists the main colors for Digg, Technorati, Reddit, and Joupes.

colors2

* Please note that these may not be the “official” colors of the respective sites. I have done my best to double and triple check all of these on their actual sites.

The Unofficial Color Reference Pt. 1

If you’re into any type of web design, chances are you’re familiar with ColorZilla. For those that aren’t, this handy little Firefox add-on will allow you to take the color from anything you see on the web. This can come in handy when you’re trying to match colors of well-known sites, or simply see a neat color scheme and want to save it.

Either way, it’s sometimes good to have a list of popular color schemes. Sometimes using ColorZilla isn’t an option, or at least it would be tedious to find and record multiple colors. For this reason, I will be putting up a few color schemes from popular social media sites.

Part 1 includes 4 of the most popular sites. Most of these are sites that allow 3rd party relations (or at least offer some sort of API), which means designers are often looking for colors to match. Even if you don’t want to use exact matches, inputting a base color into one of the many online color-scheme generators can give a wide range of nice looking choices.

Below are the hex codes for the primary colors on these sites.

social_media_color_schemes

* Please note that these may not be the “official” colors of the respective sites. I have done my best to double and triple check all of these on their actual sites.

And Now For the Name…

If you haven’t noticed yet, RyboMedia officially has a new face, logo, mascot, icon – whatever you want to call him. If you’re new to the site, or just blind, it’s the rhino!

rhino

So, the hard work is done, thanks to William Woody (an excellent designer and videographer if you need one).  Now I need your help for the fun part – a name.  Something fun, easy to remember.  Got any ideas?  Post below, write on the Facebook page, @reply to rybo, or email me!

Potential Logos

A good friend has been working with me to design a few logos for the site.  I say working with to mean, I tell him a general idea and he spits out awesome sketches.  Anyway, he’s completed a few (all very tentative) and we’d like you to look at them.  Let me know which ones you like – comment, email, or tweet your favs. Remember, these are just sketches – the final with be more detailed and clearer.

Thanks!

rhino1

rhino2

platy1

platy2

platy3

Startlike – “Your passion. Your startpage.”

Before I officially start this post, I want to make a few things very clear.  First, I am a big fan of Startlike.  Since they are based in Columbia, SC, I feel like it’s necessary to also say that it has nothing to do with their location (or the recent BigPrize project!).  Basically, I just want you to know that this isn’t a suck-up post (though I would never say no to a t-shirt).

So what is Startlike, and why do I like it so much?  It’s pretty simple.  Startlike is a customized homepage, featuring a daily photo from the category of your choice.  Essentially, it gives you a great looking homepage with a Google search bar, news, customized and quick links to your email and Facebook.  You can choose your favorite category from Exotic Escapes, Golf, Hunting and Fishing, SCUBA Diving, Skiing, Space and Astronomy, and The Great Outdoors.  After selecting one of these, you’ll see a different image from that category each day.  You can also link your Starlike page to Facebook to get a more personalized experience and share images easily.

OK, so why does Startlike fit me so well?  Well, it’s simple.  Usually, when I start Firefox, I have a few shortcuts that I immediately open in tabs (I find it easier than starting each in a tab, as this slows FF on startup).  Coincidentally (or not?) enough, they are Gmail, Facebook, and my Google web suite – Reader, Calendar, Analytics, and usually the search page.  With Startlike, I get all this (thanks to my quick links), as well as customized news and, most importantly, the daily picture.

Now, I’m a little different than most computer geeks.  I love love love love love pictures of nature, natural phenomena, and golf courses.  As a college kid who spends way too much money to play horribly on the course, I like to soak up the beauty of the different courses when I play.  Every desktop (work, home, school) I have is complete with either a majestic ice mountain, a great looking beach, or a fresh, dew-dropped golf course.  Now my homepage has a different one each day!

Anyway, even if you are a web hermit, you owe it to yourself to use Startlike.  If nothing else, your white start page will be replaced by a gorgeous picture from something that interests you.  So get started.  Now.

Camping in Virginia

I got back from our family vacation earlier this afternoon.  The first 4 days of our trip was to camp in Virginia (near Rugby, I believe) and from there we went to stay in Boone, NC for 2 days.  This post serves two purposes – the first to link to pictures of the trip (just in case, for some reason, you’re interested).  The first linked photo below will take you to my Flickr set (more pics to come) and the second to my public Facebook album, though I would love for you to friend request me (as a few readers have already done)!

camping in virginia

camping in virginia

The second is a quick thought about mobile technology.

As you well know from my posts, I have a Blackberry.  Now, I am all for taking time away from electronic gadgets and gizmos to enjoy creation and rest.  However, car trips are a different story.  Now, I’ll follow up this post with one soley dedicated to this, but I discovered Pandora for Blackberry on the 5-6 hour ride up to the mountains.  It’s amazing.  First of all, it’s free.  Second, it’s easy to use, doesn’t take up much space, and buffers quickly.  If your iPod playlists are getting dull on car rides, Pandora for Blackberry is the way to go.

As a side note, it was great having my camera and iPod as well.  Obviously.  I debated whether to even say it, but it honestly amazes me how much we can do nowadays.  Especially on mobile devices.  I can watch movies, catch up on TV shows, and listen to custom playlists, audiobooks, and podcasts wherever I am, at the push of a button.  I have better specs on my $125 camera than anyone would have imagined a few years ago.  But I digress.  My point is simply that we often take for granted everything we can do with this stuff.  Technology is awesome.

7 Online Photo Editing Tools

  1. Pixlr

  2. Pixlr feels like a desktop application – the menu is laid out much like GIMP or Photoshop. Unlike a few other of these sites, you can create an image from scratch as well as upload from your computer or pull an image from another website. You can also open several images in different mini-windows inside Pixlr.

  3. Flauntr

  4. Flauntr is interesting in that it has 5 different services for editing pictures: stylR, printR, editR, picasR, and textR. Flauntr is also the only one of these sites that you must register with before using. It is heavily Flash based, and can be slow to load at times – but once up and running, it looks fantastic.

  5. Picnik

  6. Picnik is possibly the most well known image editor of the lot – largely due to the Facebook application. The initial load time can be annoying, but once you’re finally at the editor, it’s not bad (not to mention very simple). It’s probably the least powerful of the bunch, but that’s because it’s for quick fixing – cropping, colorizing, resizing, rotating, etc.

  7. SumoPaint

  8. SumoPaint is another editor that’s laid out a lot like desktop applications. It will open in its own window, which is probably a good thing because it’s such a big web application. SumoPaint automatically starts with a blank image, a toolbox, color picker, and layer dialog. I would almost argue that it’s a little bit better than GIMP in some ways – like the brushes. Take the default “dry brush” for example. Dry brush looks and feels…well, “cool”. I’ve never seen anything like it in an image editor/creator.

  9. Pixenate

  10. While Pixenate is definitely the least flashy of the bunch, it’s a good, albeit simple, editor. Pages and photos load fast, but ads are very annoying – and they can be overwhelming depending on the size of your image. Use Pixenate for quick, simple photo editing (like teeth whitening, cropping, or resizing) – other than that, try something a little more powerful.

  11. FotoFlexer

  12. FotoFlexer has some neat tools that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Take, for example, the oddly awesome Distort effects like “Bulge” and “Pinch”. While I usually can’t stand these type effects on actual images (like the thousands of distorted faces you see on Facebook profile pictures), it’s pretty neat to play around with on an image logo. FotoFlexer makes it easy, too, and let’s you customize size of distortion and strength.

  13. TiltShift

  14. TiltShift is my new favorite. It’s simple, fast loading, and easy to use. Simply upload pictures and start playing around with the few effects (at least that’s what I do). While TiltShift doesn’t allow things like drawing on the image, resizing, cropping, or anything like that, it’s the best for playing with color, blurring, brightness, etc. The coolest thing is called “center radius”. You can choose where on the image you want the center to be, then choose a size. This allows you to have a focus – then possibly blur the outside of the photo.

Web Startups: Lots of Failures + A Few Successes = Success

I stumbled across this post by Meg at Meish, graphically displaying the recent successes and failures of “Web 2.0” sites – that is, ones that have died (or stopped updating, or whatever), ones that have been purchased by another company, and ones that are still going strong.

Many people either claim that this “Web 2.0” thing is either dying off quickly or growing fast.  Well, it can’t be both.  Sure, there are lots of failures…your point?  Look at any industry – there are lots of failures, and lots of successes.  It took Thomas Edison 10,000 tries to get the lightbulb right.  But we’re still using the lightbulb today, aren’t we?  And nobody is saying that lightbulbs are dying out (well, a few do – but let’s leave that alone for now).

Remember the immortal words of Ben Franklin (inventor, politician, author, adulterer, etc):

“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

As one who strongly desires to be involved in this thing we call the internet for years to come, talk that the internet and web apps are dying is a tad depressing.  On the contrary, I think we’ve barely scratched the surface.  Every year, a few new web companies start that introduce ideas we’ve never considered, simplifying life and getting things done like never before.

So what do you think?  Is “Web 2.0” really dead?

Social Bookmark Your Images with Vi.sualize.us

vi.sualize.us

Think of Vi.sualize.us as Del.iciou.us meets Flickr meets StumbleUpon.  Essentially, it lets you bookmark images as you search the web, in a similar manner (like the name!) to Del.iciou.us.

The idea of Vi.sualize.us is pretty cool.  Honestly, images are about the only thing we haven’t bookmarked yet.  Sure, there are sites like Flickr and Picasa, but as far as bookmarking outside images, there isn’t a whole lot available.  Vi.sualize.us does a great job of opening up this idea, though it falls short in some areas.

First, as you may imagine, bookmarking images is a lot different from bookmarking whole web pages.  Thanks to a Firefox extension, you can simply right-click an image and add it to your account.  However, by default, the extension puts a button beside your URL bar – but it acts as a simple bookmark!  A side menu allows a few extra options, though, in my opinion, none warrant a separate button.

Second, once you bookmark a picture, it takes a while for Vi.sualize.us to display the image, putting a blank placeholder, which detracts from a site full of colorful pictures, in the meantime.  On the whole, the main site needs work if it wishes to become a major social bookmarking center.

My last complaint is simply that the Vi.sualize.us site tries to hard to be Flickr and Del.icio.us.  Almost every aspect of the site is borrowed from one of these two popular social networking behemoths.

All in all, it’s a great idea, but it needs work.  I, however, don’t speak for everyone.  If you feel differently, comment!

vi.sualize.us