The lines between work and life blur quickly for many internet professionals—myself included. Each blog post, tweet, or photo you share finds its way to a mixed audience of friends, family, colleagues, former clients and potential clients. Personally, I find this limits the subjects I discuss online—you’ll rarely see me branch out beyond the topics of design, surfing, or ginger beer. This primarily stems from a reluctance to share personal details about myself or my family on such a public, and permanent, stage.
Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years. I’ve neglected this blog for nearly six months, with only a single post in 2013. Luckily in that time my writing skills have not completely atrophied. But, I’m afraid if I hold out any longer I just may lose the “mediocre” skill which once lead a teacher to declare: “if I could get past the spelling mistakes, you might have something here.” Writing is an exercise I both enjoy and a skill I value as being essential in today’s world, where ideas travel to all corners of the globe as quickly as the internet connection that carries them.
2012 may well be remembered as the year we woke up to the threat hackers pose to our online identities. One of the year’s most read stories was Mat Honan’s horrifying account of having his online identity stolen and the subsequent loss of data that resulted because a hacker wanted to take his Twitter account on a mischievous joy ride. After reading about the attack I spent a couple hours to safeguard my own accounts in order to minimize the chance such an attack could happen to me. With the new year upon us, now is the perfect time to take your own precautions.
The most frightening aspect of the attack Honan suffered was that his passwords were never compromised. The hackers gained access to his Twitter, Gmail, Amazon, and Apple accounts through social engineering—essentially they exploited system vulnerabilities and tricked customer service agents into resetting passwords in order to take control of his accounts. Not once did they actually figure out one of his passwords.
Never before has the death of someone I’d never met filled me with such sadness. Steve Jobs was the creative force behind the products I delight in using on a daily basis and the visionary that gave birth to the industry I’ve made a living in for the past fifteen years. So when it came time to express my feelings of loss I turned to my iPhone and found comfort in the fact that I was not alone. Millions of people turned to tools that would not have been possible without his passion, drive, and creativity. He truly was a man who saw things differently and succeeded in pushing the human race forward.
The web-based software company, 37 Signals recently released a new book titled REWORK; detailing their unique take on how to start, grow, and build a business. When they realized Karl Rove had released his new book at the same time, and they currently trailed him on Amazon.com bestseller list they turned the tables on George W. Bush’s former hatchet man with one of his own tricks. An attack ad filled with all trimmings; from classic political cliché to a critique of Rove’s font choice. The video is a brilliant concept and a great use of the internet; YouTube + Blog + Twitter to advertise a product.
Thanks to Apple’s bare bones commercials touting all the iPhone apps available at the iTunes store, my Mom just learned what an app is. She doesn’t have an iPhone but to it in perspective, I explained that she’s been using apps on her Mac Book for years. So, given that more and more people are using these apps, I thought I’d pass on a “best of” list for my favorite apps that I’ve used in the six months of owning an iPhone.
First thing’s first: I’m not sure how I’ve gone thirty two years without hearing of the poet Nikki Giovanni. In fact after seeing her brilliant mind at work in a recent interview with Bill Moyers, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never come across her writing before. This Grammy-nominated poet, activist and mother has been publishing work since the 60’s and her new book Bicycles: Love Poems, comes out in a week.
Heeb Magazine is ironic, sarcastic, and very funny. When read cover to cover you’re sure to find something that will offend you, and that’s something we at 2 Out of Three respect. The latest issue of this Jewish humor and culture magazine showed up in our mail box this week and it is special. Not because there is a half naked picture of Courtney Love on the cover or a poorly chosen “urban kvetch” about the uselessness of libraries – which, by the way, are great institutions of higher knowledge – a point I plan on taking up with the editor. No, this issue is special because it is the debut of my little sister Yasha as creative director for the magazine.
It’s exciting to see artist and designers break the boundaries of traditional media. These new and creative ideas do more than just entertain us they help humanity evolve. Ideas and creativity are at the center of what makes a society unique.
Recently I came across two videos that break through traditional barriers. The artist who created these pieces blurred and then broke through the lines that normally limit the medium they we’re working in. Both videos got my creative juices flowing and I’m hoping they will do the same to you.
Delays in the monthly release for my mix cd The Soundtrack to my Life has become a regular problem. We’re actually backlogged with three months worth of soundtracks. The good news is that we’ve gone digital, releasing new mixes online via the 2 Out of Three website. Let me know if you like the new format, or if you’re nostalgic for the physical CD.
Our first online release is from the month of August and it’s packed with some great songs. I’ve been going crazy for two songs by the Brooklyn based band Pela, their songs may actually release pleasure endorphins in my brain while listening. On a side note their is some good footage of the band playing live and participating in the cooking show Dinner with the Band. Another favorite of mine from the month of August is the Tokyo Police Club’s single You’re English is Good [see their great video here]. I hope you enjoi August’s soundtrack to my life and keep you’re eye on this blog for a quick succession of soundtracks over the next week.