Net Neutrality Will Prevail

Recent net neutrality news has been dire. At a disastrous court ruling last month, the news was so grim that the Los Angeles Times birthed this headline of the year: Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords.

The essence of that ruling is that major Internet providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon will be able to deliver some websites faster than others – if the site owner pays a premium fee. Shortly thereafter, Comcast bought Time Warner for $45.2 billion, creating the corporate Goliath of net neutrality’s future.

Despite these recent setbacks, net neutrality will prevail. Here are three scenarios that could save it:

  1. Marketplace competition will favor neutral access. Imagine a future where AT&T and Comcast are operating a tiered, payscale web where site owners have to pay big bucks to make their sites accessible to large audiences. Competitor service providers like Google (for example) could offer standard ‘neutral’ service (the kind we enjoy today) in order to compete. Google would not only gain a marketplace advantage with consumers who want this kind of service, but taking a stance for ‘fair’ Internet access would enhance the ‘good guy’ image of their brand.
  2. As technology improves, Internet service providers will proliferate. Technological advancement could include faster satellite Internet service, airborne/blimp Internet service, and more efficient data centers. These developments will lead to an increase in service providers. Again, service providers will need to offer accessible/neutral service in a diverse and competitive marketplace.
  3. Hackers and entrepreneurs will prevail. Should the web become a restrictive corporate nightmare, determined users will find a way to restore its dignity – whether that means creating the Napster or Pirate Bay of Internet service providers, or simply destroying the monopolistic framework in protest.

 

 

The Original Scented Website

Check out my newest project: the world’s first Scented Website! Scratch ‘n sniff the Internet for the first time ever. Really smells! Brought to you by SmellCo.

SmellCo

As you can see, I’ve recently been building satirical/ridiculous websites for fun in my spare time. Other tomfoolery includes The Internet’s Butt. Shouts out to one site that inspired me: The Official Website of America.

Interpreting ‘The Banality of the Banality of Evil’

Banksy's Banality of Evil
Today’s new work in Banksy’s October NYC residency is called ‘The Banality of the Banality of Evil.’ According to Banksy’s website, this piece is an oil painting of a landscape that was purchased from a thrift store, “vandalized” (Banksy’s word) with Banksy’s painted Nazi seated on a bench, and re-donated to the thrift store. Here are some thoughts on its meaning.

The piece is a ‘collaboration’ between two artists in much the same way that graffiti artists collaborate: the landscape painter’s work of art has been literally painted on by another artist without his knowledge or consent. In graffiti/street art, this style of working with other artists is an inherent element of the medium. It’s a form of shared authorship.

When I first saw this image, I was struck by the contrast of symbolism: seeing a Nazi in a placid American landscape painting is jarring. It’s like seeing Darth Vader in a Norman Rockwell.

The phrase ‘the banality of evil’ refers to the idea that ordinary people can commit acts of horror when they are following orders, or following the herd. Naziism is the ultimate symbol of this idea. The Nazi soldier shown here is pictured contemplating a mundane scene. Banksy’s meta title pokes fun at the artwork (and therefore both of the artists responsible for its creation): the scenery and lack of action make for a banal image.

Consider ‘The Banality of the Banality of Evil’ in context: it was made in New York City by an artist whose favorite themes include consumerism and corporate greed. This piece is a satirical riff about man’s ability to blindly follow malevolent orders (be they from a Nazi general or a capitalist criminal). Banksy looks at evil in repose, and has a banal chuckle at its expense.

Responsive Features Pt. 2

Earlier this year, I designed and developed two responsive feature article pages for Men’s Health and Women’s Health (read the blog post ‘Why Your Business Needs Responsive Design’ that I wrote for Command C). This summer, we applied that design style to a handful of new feature articles. Please check out a selection of highlights below! I developed each one to be responsive and unique showcases of the content.

Sex Secrets Revealed

‘Her Deepest, Darkest Sex Secrets Revealed’ (Men’s Health)

Responsive Feature Article

‘The Lifeguard’ (Men’s Health)

Banned for Life

‘Banned for Life’ (Men’s Health)

Responsive Web Design

‘Is Your Mind in Overdrive?’ (Women’s Health)

Journal of International Student Recruitment

JISR covers

 Click any image in this post to view a larger version.

Here at Magnetic State, we have been handling the design and layout of the Journal of International Student Recruitment for about the last six issues of the educational magazine, published by ELS Educational Services. The book is edited and published by my colleagues at Alouette Communications, and I have hired the talented designer Monica Susantio to assist on the last two JISR issues, pictured above. Here is a look at our work – click each spread to view a larger version!

spread1

spread2

Responsive Features for Men’s Health & Women’s Health

responsive web page design

We recently launched two new feature article designs that I developed for Men’s Health and Women’s Health. The articles are Why We’re Born to Judge and The Truth About Medical Marijuana. I handled the web design and development for both web pages. The pages were envisioned by the awesome creative director I work with at Rodale, who sought special online treatments for the work done by our photographers, print designers, writers and editors.

responsive web design

These two web pages are responsive designs, which means that they will change size and layout to correspond to the device or browser you are using (check out my recent blog post about responsive design for Command C). These designs also employ a contemporary web design element called parallax layout – which refers to the scrolling background images that give segments of the page a cinematic feel. In addition to responsive and parallax features, we’ve got @font-face web typography, CSS drop caps, and more! I’m very happy with how these projects turned out, so please check out the articles and share them online!