Andy Hertzfeld on Susan Kare:

One day, I came over to her cubicle to see what she was working on, and I was surprised to see her laboring over a tiny icon portrait of Steve Jobs.
Icons were only 32 by 32 black or white pixels, 1024 dots in total, and I didn’t think it was possible to do a very good portrait in that tiny a space, but somehow Susan had succeeded in crafting an instantly recognizable likeness with a mischevious grin that captured a lot of Steve’s personality. Everyone she showed it to liked it, even Steve himself.

Via Priceonomics’ in-depth look at Kare, definitely worth the read.

Andy Hertzfeld on Susan Kare:

One day, I came over to her cubicle to see what she was working on, and I was surprised to see her laboring over a tiny icon portrait of Steve Jobs.

Icons were only 32 by 32 black or white pixels, 1024 dots in total, and I didn’t think it was possible to do a very good portrait in that tiny a space, but somehow Susan had succeeded in crafting an instantly recognizable likeness with a mischevious grin that captured a lot of Steve’s personality. Everyone she showed it to liked it, even Steve himself.

Via Priceonomics’ in-depth look at Kare, definitely worth the read.

Jordan Kushins:

I was asked to sit down, and was given a pair of Oculus HD goggles that were hanging from a cord suspended from the ceiling. I was handed a pair of headphones. At this point, everything was black and completely silent. I was only slightly anxious. And then they pressed play.

Immediately I was standing directly in the middle of a skate park. The sun was shining. There was a guy going back and forth over the shallow peaks and valleys directly to my right. There was no break in the scene as I looked left, and up, and all the way around behind me, and the sound remained true to the direction of his wheels along the concrete. This was a very real—like, shockingly real—3D transportation. It was a mouth agape, I-can’t-stop-giggling-out-of-pure-incredulity kind of leap.

Seems like a pretty great way to describe the first-time experience using Oculus. It’s the kind of description that makes $2 billion sound cheap.

As is this:

Can you imagine seeing a version of Gravity where the action wasn’t just taking place on a screen in front of you, but in every single direction? Where you could view the same footage an infinite number of times and still catch details you’d never seen before, simply because you turned your head ever-so-slightly—or all the way around, or up, or down—and shifted your perspective? No one will ever view the exact same cut of the exact same footage; it is completely personalized based on where you look at any given moment. That and it’s totally immersive. It’s a revolutionary idea, but not without its challenges.

Such technology, if nailed, would fundamentally alter the experience of watching a movie. 3D is a shitty coat of paint, this is the real deal. 

When you see plane crash footage, you can’t help but think about dying in a plane crash. And when you have friends who are VCs, you can’t help but think about how you’d do as a VC. But I think I’m happier doing what I do now.

Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera, when asked by Megan Rose Dickey if he ever wants to be a VC.

Overall, good interview about how Techmeme works and were it may be headed.

Tyler Kepner on the sad state of baseball signatures and how Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew tried to fix the issue:

When young Twins players signed baseballs, Killebrew watched closely, said Tom Kelly, a former manager of the team. If their penmanship did not meet his standards, he corrected them until it did.

“I had a swerve like everybody else — a T and a line, a dot dot, an H and a line, and something like a t,” said Torii Hunter, a veteran outfielder who now plays for Detroit.

But, he added, Killebrew told him a story.

“Think about this: 150 years from now, you’re dead and gone, and kids are playing in a field,” Hunter recalled Killebrew saying. “A kid hits a home run, hits the ball in the weeds — far. They’re looking for the ball, they find it, and it says, ‘T, line, dot dot, H.’ They don’t know who it is. They’re like, ‘Oh, we found another ball to play with,’ because they can’t read it.

“But just rewind that. A kid hits a ball, hits it in the weeds, they’re looking for it, they pick it up and they can read it. It says, ‘T-o-r-i-i H-u-n-t-e-r.’ And they’re like, ‘Wow.’ So they go and look it up and they see this guy was a pretty good player, and they put it on the mantel and cherish it.”

Killebrew said, “You didn’t play this long for somebody to destroy your name,” Hunter recalled.

I have a few signed baseballs from when I was a kid and the sad truth is that I can’t read the names, nor can I remember who signed what. So essentially, I just have some baseballs with pen ink on them.

The reviews are starting to come in for Amazon’s new Fire TV and the consensus seems to be that it’s… okay.

People really like the voice search (but complain that it’s limited to Amazon and Hulu content). To anyone who has ever tried to search for anything using the Apple TV remote, this makes perfect sense. This is clearly how it should be done, especially if you have a product like Siri…

People also like the gaming functionality, though note that the controller feels cheap. Also something obvious for Apple to add to the Apple TV, though ideally with a much better controlling mechanism. 

Overall, sounds pretty “meh” to me. But at $99, I’ll probably pick up one just to try the gaming aspect.