Garrett Murray

Founder & Creative Director at Karbon. My face will show you how dangerous I am.

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Vine is My Favorite New Thing

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Oh, the things I do for Vine, my favorite new thing. This ridiculous fake quiz page became a part of Quiz Show.

Vine scratches a very particular creative itch for me, one that goes all the way back to October of 2008 when I created a video called My Day, Yesterday. I shot throughout a full day and then edited it down to 90 seconds, with no added music or effects. A few days later I shot a follow-up called My Day, Yesterday: Going to Vegas. These two videos have generated nearly 50,000 plays, 1,000 likes/favorites, and they spurred a whole group of folks to create their own My Day, Yesterday videos. When Stacey and I travelled to Sydney in 2011, I shot another edition called Sydney in a Day and a few months later when we visited Seattle I made Seattle, Day One. (The Seattle video has music overlaid, something I had never done in one of these projects before.) These projects were...

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Five Short Stories and a Closing Thought About the Nintendo Wii U

The Gimmick, The Competition, The Future

The Nintendo Wii brought the motion sensor to the masses. Back when the console launched, motion sensor video gaming was brand new and everyone wanted to join in. People stood in line for days on end trying to get their hands on the console. (Probably fake) stock shortages skyrocketed demand and excitement. Normal, non-gaming people lost their minds trying to get one and when they finally did, most of them played Wii Sports and other group games for a while and then never looked at their Wii again. Truthfully, the Wii’s motion sensor and controllers were never particularly accurate or sensitive. Nintendo released the “Motion Plus” adapter to address it, but once the Microsoft Kinect and Sony Playstation Move crowded into the market with more sensitive and fun implementations of the motion tracking technology, the Wii lost its unique appeal....

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Briefly: Apple v. Samsung

A common response to the verdict in Apple v. Samsung is that this is great for Apple and bad for consumers because the patent system in the United States is fundamentally flawed and allows large companies to wield their patent portfolios like hammers, smashing innovation and stifling the market. While I completely agree the patent system can lead to some truly horrendous and unfortunate circumstances (cf. “Lodsys sues developers over patent infringement”), I don’t believe this is the case here. Should Apple be allowed to patent a screen full of rounded rectangles? Personally, I don’t believe so. But even if they were unable to patent this, should Samsung be allowed to blatantly copy Apple’s work, tweak it (for the worse) and release it as their own? I’m not a fan of software patents, but I am a fan of ethical and respectful business practice.

As was mentioned in the case several...

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Kickstarter’s Spam Problem

Kickstarter has been hugely successful and I love it. I’ve written about it at length before, and while the results of many of the projects I’ve supported have been less than stellar, the idea and the service are terrific and they fill a gap that has existed in the creative world for a long time.

Recently, however, spam has become a serious issue. At least once a week I receive an unsolicited request to fund a project. These messages are rarely offensive in and of themselves–they’re usually just information about the project and a paragraph or two of generic “please help us out” text–but they’re still spam. They’re usually sent to a blind carbon copy list, but occasionally someone will screw up and send it out via plain CC, exposing all the email addresses they’ve targeted.

On Monday, Jacob Pino of mavonOG sent spam to a huge list of folks, myself included, advertising his Kickstarter...

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The iCache Geode

A while back when writing about my Kickstarter happiness rating being 40%, I mentioned I was hopeful for the future and listed projects I had backed which had not shipped, among which was the iCache Geode. I described it thusly:

Geode from iCache is a dream I’ve had for years, potentially fulfilled at long last. If this thing works as well as they depict it, goodbye wallet.

Three months later and the Geode is in my hands. It was with great excitement that I unpackaged, configured and crammed my phone into it today and then I headed out into the world to see if it could truly replace my wallet. Unfortunately, my results were less than stellar. The iCache Geode is a great idea and a decently made product that simply doesn’t deliver on its concept. That, and it might just be a hugely dangerous object to be selling to the public.

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The Hardware

It’s decently made, but boy is it big,...

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The Retina MacBook Pro

“Everything is amazing right now and nobody’s happy.”

LOUIS C.K.

Let me get this out of the way: The Retina MacBook Pro is the finest computer Apple has ever made. The industrial design is spectacular. The rMBP feels stronger and more precise than any other computer on the market–it immediately reminded me of the first time I picked up the iPhone 4. The rMBP is thin, light, quiet and beautiful. And it’s fast. I chose the built-to-order option with the fastest processor and 16GB of RAM, with the 500GB SSD.

This thing screams.

I have only one nitpick and that’s the missing MacBook Pro logo from the bezel. I assume they did it to remove distraction, but it’s very strange to look at an Apple laptop without any visible branding. (This sounds ridiculous, but it makes me think of the rMBP as reference hardware, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ll eventually get used to it, I’m...

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Follow-up to “It’s Called Progress, Folks”

A common theme among responses to yesterday’s piece is that I was wrong about the RAM bit. I wrote:

How many people outside of the tech and computer industry regularly upgrade their RAM? Especially more than once? Most people I know who are not in the tech industry–all of whom are smart folks–haven’t upgraded their own RAM since around 2002. RAM is cheap these days, even from Apple. Sure, soldering it to the board means you have to make your RAM decision at point-of-sale, but anyone shelling out over $2,700 USD is probably going to be capable of deciding which amount of RAM they’d like. Do consumers care about this? No. Do companies who sell third-party RAM and installation services? Absolutely.

A lot of people claim they still want to buy after-market RAM and install it themselves, and that they wish to do this at some point down the road. But I think the truth is even simpler:...

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It’s Called Progress, Folks

Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, wrote a gem of an editorial for Wired just after Apple released the new Retina MacBook Pro. Mr. Wiens’ business is in DIY repair and replacement parts, so he’s obviously affected whenever Apple releases a new machine containing harder-to-replace components. His editorial is so out of touch with the common consumer–Apple’s target market–that it’s laughable and, at times, completely inaccurate and misleading. Let’s take a look:

This week, Apple delivered the highly anticipated MacBook Pro with Retina Display — and the tech world is buzzing. I took one apart yesterday because I run iFixit, a team responsible for high-resolution teardowns of new products and DIY repair guides. We disassemble and analyze new electronic gizmos so you don’t have to — kind of like an internet version of Consumer Reports.

Likening yourself to Consumer Reports right off the bat...

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How Companies Like Amazon Use Big Data To Make You Love Them

Good friend and all-around smart guy Sean Madden, in a recent Fast Company Co.Design article:

Last month, I talked to Amazon customer service about my malfunctioning Kindle, and it was great. Thirty seconds after putting in a service request on Amazon’s website, my phone rang, and the woman on the other end–let’s call her Barbara–greeted me by name and said, “I understand that you have a problem with your Kindle.” We resolved my problem in under two minutes, we got to skip the part where I carefully spell out my last name and address, and she didn’t try to upsell me on anything. After nearly a decade of ordering stuff from Amazon, I never loved the company as much as I did at that moment.

He goes on to describe exactly what makes Amazon so great with customer service–they collect useful information about you and know when and just how much of it is appropriate to use when giving you...

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Paul Miller’s Leaving the Internet for a Year—Why?

A writer for The Verge, Paul posted his plans on the site to much internet acclaim and kudos:

At midnight tonight I will leave the internet. I’m abandoning one of my “top 5” technological innovations of all time for a little peace and quiet. If I can survive the separation, I’m going to do this for a year. Yeah, I’m serious. I’m not leaving The Verge, and I’m not becoming a hermit, I just won’t use the internet in my personal or work life, and won’t ask anyone to use it for me.

Cute idea, and a fun challenge if you want to randomly cut things out of your life to earn some strange badge of honor. But my question to Paul and everyone who gave him virtual pats on the back is: Why?

What’s the problem that needs solving?

I’m in firm disagreement when it comes to people claiming the internet is bad for your health or your soul or your ability to interact with the outdoors. Much like...

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