Beck Albums + Apple Advertising

Anyone else recognize the trend of apple using Beck albums in all of their iTunes and iPod ads? cool.


What, are you going to sue me too?

You guys hear about the realty company that recently sued a woman for 50,000 because of something she wrote on Twitter? Read the article here if you haven't: http://mashable.com/2009/07/28/woman-sued-tweet/

She basically said that she had mold in her apartment, and she was not satisfied with Horizon Realty.

Let's tell Horizon what we think about the whole thing, shall we? Write to them here to tell them what you think.

Dear Horizon Realty of Chicago,

Learn how to use Twitter! If someone complains about your company, get an account, and show the Twitter world that you care by asking for a way to fix the problem.

Taking someone to court is just going to hurt you. You are definitely not going to gain any positive exposure from this whole thing. DROP THE CHARGES if you have any brains, and publicly apologize if you care about your reputation.

Trust me, this is the ultimate backfire in the works. Case and Point: McDonalds vs. Helen Steel and Dave Morris: http://www.mcspotlight.org/case/

Look into it. Even if you win, you lose.

Have a good day. PS: Defending your pride will only make you lose face, even if there was no mold. This is gone too far.


Poor excuse for a post

The next time you think of sending me a ____ request on Facebook


Rejected Banner Ad - Unethical?

I designed a banner for a company, and the feed back I got was that it was spammy looking, because of the fake search bar. What do you guys think?

I think its clever, because it is so obviously a banner ad. The slight movement of the cursor may get your attention, and it get's the point across: "this banner is about search engine optimization." Or at least, I thought so.

Above is the Rejected banner in half it's glory (the other half has the business name on it, which of course is confidential).

Thoughts, anyone?


Connecting Motorola S805 Bluetooth Headphones to Vista

Alright, I admit it - this blog is turning into a NERD blog, but bare with me. I NEED to put this post on my blog because I had this huge problem, and it took me forever to figure it out. I'm sure Google will index this entry and it will save a lot of people a lot of time!

Here's the deal: I bought me some slick to new headphones - the Motorola S805 bluetooth headset.

Features: It has a built in microphone, rechargeable lithium battery, Bluetooth, volume control, play/pause buttons, track changing control, and optional 2.5mm head jack so you can plug it in to any audio device (even if the battery is dead). woah.

Real quick. Why did I get these? To listen to music from my phone and be able to switch to phone calls when I want. Also, to pair them up with my computer to watch movies, work to music, and everything else at night when the baby is sleeping - minus the wire hassle. Oh, plus they retail for $130 and I found them online for $30 - yeya!

The big problem:
Windows Vista has a crappy Bluetooth Driver - especially when it comes to A2DP connections (advanced stereo output for headsets). I couldn't get them to sync with my computer.

I could pair the headset with my phone, but I wasn't having much luck connecting them to the computer. None of the documentation talks about connecting to the computer, although it is kind of assumed that it should work considering it is Bluetooth.

Windows kept saying it was unable to connect to the bluetooth device. And all the Broadcom drivers and downloads always froze have way through or were unable to locate any devices. Motorola was also no help and provide no drivers for the S805.

Solution: BlueSoleil. That's right, since Microsoft coudn't develop a very good Bluetooth Driver, another company had to step up to the plate. It cost me $20, but it was worth every penny. You can download a free trial to see if it works for you. Worked perfect for me, and gives a much more interface for Bluetooth devices.

Just install it, then have it look for devices. The rest is easy, and they've got great help files.

On the S805 itself: In order to turn your headphones on so that they are ready to pair, just press the Phone button and hold it. You'll see the button flash blue twice which means it is on - keep holding. Eventually it will stay blue at which point it is ready to pair. Note: Make sure your phone isn't paired because I don't think the headphones can connect to both at once.

Alright, I hope that helps someone. To summarize: YES, You can pair your Motorola S805 Headset with your PC - even if you run Windows Vista.

UPDATE: I tested these headphones with an iPhone 3G and it paired beautifully as a headset. I didn't get to test it with iPhone's iTunes though. Next Timel


Installing Fonts in Windows XP

I am definitely getting a mac next time. Here is me installing fonts (some which I already have installed by default) after I had to reformat my computer at work. It's the same in Vista, although I'm not sure how easy it is to install fonts on a Mac.

Either way. A little message to OS authors everywhere: Add a check box that says "Remember My Decision Next Time" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doesn't it sound like I'm spinning the wheel at The Price is Right?


Top 3 Reasons Why I Hate Outlook

I'm not sure, but I hope that all of these issues have some sort of fix. Or maybe I'm giving Microsoft too much credit. Either way, here are the top 3 things I hate about Microsoft Outlook:

1. The Crossed Out Email Titles:

Crossed out emails in outlook
Alright, I get the purpose of it. You move an email into another folder, or you delete it - and instead of just disappearing, the email is crossed out and so you know that it has been moved. This is helpful if you want to undo the move/delete - or if 2 days later you are looking for that one email that you swear was in the inbox...

But I mean COME ON! I moved it into another folder for a reason! or I deleted this crap, so why is its ghost still haunting me.

Note: This may be because my email service is setup on an IMAP server, but it still doesn't make sense. Why Bill Gates - WHY!? He must be using Thunderbird or something ;)

2. Outlook won't import a Thunderbird address book!

Outlook cant import Thunderbird
So it exports Outlook Express address books and Eudura address books, but why not ones from Mozilla Thunderbird? LAME! I had to switch to Outlook for business reasons and also so that it syncs better with everything, but this change has been a major PITA, especially considering the move to Thunderbird from Outlook was so easy.

3. Lame Internet Security Warnings every time I open Outlook

Outlook Internet Security Warning
Attention Microsoft, this is Captain User Experience calling! Mayday, Mayday! We're going down!

I mean, how hard is it to put a little rule setting check box that says something like "Remember this option for next time"? I realize that common sense isn't a program language, but you'd think it would be a job requirement.

Okay, there is my rant. Feel free to add your own gripes with Outlook.


I took a SICK photo

.. but I could never post it on my wedding photography blog! hahah! (maybe a little too sick)


A Blog Magazine with no blog or website?

I thought this was retarded interesting...

Blog Magazine

What is it?
A Blogging Magazine. That is: a magazine that writes articles about blogging.

A Magazine for bloggers? Okay, I guess that's pretty cool. So, what's the URL?

There is no URL - it's just a magazine.

Okay, so where is the online version of it? I'd like to read it.

No. It's for bloggers who actually read pieces of paper, you idiot.

Wait, you're telling me that someone is publishing an actual Blogging magazine with no accompanying site or blog?


That is so awesome that it is retarded. And yet, so retarded that it is awesome. How can I get featured in it?

Submit your blog to their website.

Oh, so they dooooooooooo have a website.

Well, not really ... uh... kind of, here you go: Artful Blogging

$15 for a magazine?! Well, no blogger would pay that to learn what they're already doing.

Oh, but they do.



Grandpa puts me to work in the Photoshop

The all too common request:
"If we took a picture of __________ could you ______________?"

I get this question a lot. Usually, I say something like "yeah - that's a cool idea!" Then I change the subject. If the subject gets brought up again, it used to be that I was screwed and gave in to the request. Now days I say "pay me!" Haha...

But, when it's Grandpa who asks if I could help him pull a quick one over his dice playing friends, I couldn't resist. Actually, it was my Grandma's idea. They came to visit from Canada and here's what we came up with:

If only I had found this site earlier... I could have made this...

...and I could have made it a lot quicker.

Oh well! PEACE


I almost forgot to mention

I started another blog about a month ago!

What!? Another blog? Yeah, but really - this one is fun. Well, it probably won't be funny to you unless your a photographer, but you should check it out anyway.

Photographer's Math

A couple of examples in case you're too lazy to click:

Royalty Free, as in Stock Photography. If you've ever submitted something to one of these sites, you'll know what I'm talking about! You make pennies every time someone buys one of your photos, and the only way to make money is if a LOT of people buy it.

This one is pretty self explanatory. What's funny is that I say "We shoot exclusively on location" on our wedding photography site! It's not hypocrisy I tell you - it's irony.

I should mention that none of the posts have any explanation. I figure if you have to explain it, it's probably dumb.

And that my friends makes for a total of 6 blogs. I have a conspiracy one, a music one, this one, one for our business, our family one (which Dara takes care of), and now the PM blog. Wow.

Good times!


Cheese Fail: Okay, so I didn't win

Its all good. I had fun. Of course I'm referring to the Cheesiest photo contest I entered for a prize from the famed Mammoth Men.

I thought it was pretty cheesy:

sniff sniff... No, really, I'm okay. Can you hand me a tissue? Thanks.

I also entered the PEE YOUR PANTS tournament, and wet myself pretty good. Then I figured out that you're not supposed to actually piss yourself. The point was to make them laugh with a photoshop creation or what not - so I dried myself up and created this:

I met these Mammoth Men at WPPI - just about all of them. Very cool guys. Although, it took me a second to get past the celebrity status thing... I need to write a blog post on that actually. Until Then, I say Adieu.


I will be the WIN of Cheese!

So, there is a photoshop competition being held by the Mammoth Men to see who can design the CHEESIEST photo ever. I am a master of cheese and shall win this $1450 worth of Quikeys goodness.


I'll keep you updated. Hopefully I can fit it in to this crazy weekend!


Skittles.com - Taste the Social

At first I thought, "How dare the corporate world utilize social media in such a blatant blasphemous way!" It was something different, and undeniably interesting - but could it work?

First of all, you need to see this "site" for yourself. Skittles.com

The easy navigation is as follows:

Home - Goes to Twitter, displaying all talk about Skittles
Chatter - Goes *again* to the Twitter search page
Products - Lists a drop down of products. Each link goes to a Wikipedia page.
Friends - Goes to a Skittles Facebook page.
Media - Videos goes to Youtube. Pics goes to Flickr.
Contact - Goes to a simple contact form

What is social about Skittles?


Wikipedia articles about Skittle flavors - are you kidding me? People tweeting about Skittles? Photos of Skittles? Videos? I mean, is there really that much to talk about when it comes to Skittles?

No. Oh, but wait...

Apparently, there is some buzz around Skittles in all of these networks - but why? Ahem, because people want to see their name come up on the Skittles site. GENIUS! Skittles is using peoples desire to get friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, subscribers on YouTube and contacts/favorites on Flickr by highlighting user content.

Stay Humble:

Since this post will end up on my Twitter page, a link to this post will inevitably end up on Skittles' homepage. Wait! You mean that I too want to share my content with everyone who goes to Skittles.com? Haha, yes.

A Final Tip:

Although you can't move the Nav bar out of the way (user experience FAIL!), you can minimize it - that is if you really want to read about the new Chocolate Skittles on Wikipedia :)


Top 10 Reasons to Comment on Blogs

1. If there is a "Comment" section, the author is always checking it
2. Analytics and page view statistics are boring to read
3. Comments (0) just looks depressing
4. Blog posts always take more time than they seem to have taken
5. How could you pass up a chance to be anonymous and brutally honest
6. Your few words may be the ones to inspire the next 10 posts.
7. Reward a blog for not containing Ads and Banners by commenting
8. Commenting builds community and encourages the spread of good content
9. Commenting is a public business card if you include your url
10. Comment onto others as you would have them comment onto you.

Lets spread the love and comment on everything.

While we're on the subject... There is a site that actually tracks all of your comments. Check it out: BackType.com

They don't catch them all, but you can submit blogs to their crawler.
Here is my page: http://backtype.com/austincurtis


Goodbye Friendster

Alright, so I've had a Friendster account for like 6 years. I haven't used it in 5, but every once in a while I'd log in and see what was up. You know you don't got to a site often when every time you log in, you find a completely redesigned site! hehe.

So, I logged in yesterday. I checked my friends avatars - none of them have changed since 2003, then I logged out. Soon after, I mysteriously began getting a ton of messages from spammy porn bots. You can tell right from the message title "hey check out my site" that its a bogus profile and message. The fact that there is 6 replicas of the message from 6 different 'users' doesn't help it blend it in either.

My conclusion: Friendster has got to be notifying these spammers somehow when users log in. As soon as they see that your account is somewhat active they start bombing you! Is this what Friendster is resulting to now for funds? Probably. The poor guy should have sold the site when he had a chance. Wahn Wahn Wahn.

End of this story is: I canceled my account. It was a hard decision easier than switching to Gmail.


More experimenting with timelapse and image sequencing

Adventurous Picnic in the Woods + Photo Sequence from austin curtis on Vimeo.

This is another experiment with photo sequencing set to a great song called Crosses by Jose Gonzales. What did I learn with this one? It's okay to take your time when sequencing non action - blurry camera pans get old. Good times! My main inspiration for this style is Garret Curtis' sequence work from a music video called "Friends" by The Franks - check it out!

Going Home + Sequenced Photos from austin curtis on Vimeo.

My typical bike ride home.

Music: Ain't Right by Diverse (f. RJD2 & Lyrics BorN)


Coincidence or Rip?

About a year ago I designed this through Facebook's Graffiti app:

I recently saw this online:

I mean , grant it - it's not the exact same - but come on! that's pretty close.


Graphic Design Fail

I couldn't resist - this is classic

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures


Time Lapse: Nerding Out

Timelapse Game Playing from austin curtis on Vimeo.

We went to the Game store and picked up a bunch of new games. Much more fun than watching a movie with friends, that's for sure!


Blatant Apple.com Ripoff !

Booooo! That's all I have to say. Have some originality!

Apple.com screenshot:

KissWeddingBooks.com screenshot:

Not seeing it? look at the navigation bar, font, site width, and overall look and feel. Design originality FAIL.

quick, everybody: G00GLE Bomb www.kissweddingbooks.com with the anchor text "Blatant Apple.com Ripoff"!


Why are Slideshows Always Out of Order?

The Problem: You export a bunch of pictures for a slideshow, only to see them display out of order. On closer inspection, you notice that they are in alphabetical/ascii order - just not in a numerical order.

We'd all love to see our images in this order:

But, to our frustration they might show up like this:

Then, you end up doing this:

Countless sites, programs, and services are GUILTY when it comes to this. They either have lazy programmers, or limited processing power - but either way, they are blowing it.

The Solution: When you export your images as a sequence, start the suffix number at 100 instead of 1.

If you do not have that option in the program you use, there are ways around it on a PC:
1. You can get a renaming program (search Google or downloads.com for that).
2. You can select all files and rename the first one like this: picture (100).jpg and it will rename the rest 101,102...

If you're on a Mac, I'm sure there's a way to do it - figure it out - hehe.


ROL Wheel Banner Designs

I recently designed some banners for ROL Wheels. This is a solid company specializing in road bike wheels and their customer service is second to none!

They've got carbon fiber wheels and all kinds of high tech wheelsets if you're into road biking.

Okay, this wasn't meant to be a plug, but I guess now it is :P

I should note that ROL was voted "Best Of Roadbike Review" three years in a row - in a different category each time! And since I bike to work everyday, this was an especially cool project.

I like designing banners. Especially animated ones!


Wedding Photographer Confession

Alright, some photographers may find this unethical, but in this case I don't. What do you think?

Basically, the shot didn't capture the moment, so i helped it out a little bit using other pics from the same sequence. The bride was eating the cake off her husbands face, and he was enjoying it, but as you'll see, he doesn't look too thrilled, and it isn't a very flattering pic of the bride.

Here is the original 2 photos:

As you can see, when I put these together, I got a nicer image:

with a little boost for pop:

unethical photoshop? What do you guys think?