Drew Rattray : Design vs. Functionality
Drew Rattray
| News and views on design vs. functionality balance across the communications and technology space.

Computer Software

Nine Inch Nails Melds Music, Technology, and Design

October 24, 2008

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails wanted to get into the use of visuals to frame his music on stage to create an "organic" performance.  He calls it an interactive way to "use video as an instrument."

The Lights and Sky Tour features Trent and 4 band members on an elaborate stage where they control video loops and computer effects at will.  The company that brought this all of this together is the Moment Factory based in Montreal.  The company, which is mostly know for its work with Cirque du Soleil, was founded in 2001 to create "visual environments, mixed media entertainment, and multi-platform content".

During approximately half of the concert, the work of the Moment Factory is on display,  and half of that is interactive.

MacBooks Get a Facelift

October 17, 2008

MacBook is Apple's most popular Mac, and for some reason, Apple decided to start over with their new versions.

The first order of business... out with the polycarbonate and in with the aluminum case design.  The key to the new enclosure is it's unibody, which is machined from a single piece of aluminum.  This allows the new MacBook to be thinner and lighter by not having to accommodate multiple parts.

Big is Small with On2 VP8

September 16, 2008

On2 Technologies, a leading provider in video compression solutions, has just introduced it's latest generation proprietary video compression format, VP8.

VP8 has been designed with 40 new innovations to the well established technologies used in previous generations. It provides the functionality to lower the cost of encoding by enabling greater throughput through its computational efficiency.  VP8 encodes in realtime on low end machines, and takes fewer cycles to decode than other leading algorithms.

Using VP8 as your web-video compression codec, you can potentially experience huge savings in bandwidth and storage costs without jeapordizing video quality. VP8 can deliver the same video-quality in 1/2 the bandwidth of existing implementations of H.264 advanced video compression.

Read more about the release of VP8 here.

Is Flash really the best option for web advertising?

September 11, 2008

 Flash technology provides a much richer experience than an animated .gif or static image for the user when utilized in web advertising.  It contains in it the technology to enable multiple functionalities, which can bring the experience of an entire website to the user with just one impression.  Forms, games, product features, etc. can all be experienced without leaving the current website.