A wrapped candy in a bowl, bearing the text

Bait-And-Switch Loopholes

Bait-and-switch refers to the illegal practice of advertising a product or service, tempting customers to invest resources (time or money) based on the advertisement, and then changing the product once the customer has already invested, presumably to squeeze more money out of the transaction.

The problem that many products that rely on software to function, according to terms of service, come with components that are licensed, not sold, which essentially enables a loophole to legally apply bait-and-switch tactics to consumer products.

closeup of pixel icons on a display

Pixel-Perfect Graphics for Embedded Systems

This is an ode to pixel-perfect graphics and an explanation as to how, even with advancing technology, they are still important.

Great graphic design for embedded systems don’t only look great on the designer’s display device, but take the characteristics of the target display and environment into account.

Terms of Service are part of UX!

I feel like many e-commerce, services and electronics companies don’t take the user experience of their legal paperwork into account.

Why Apple's ARM Transition is Going to Work

Today it happened. Apple did announce that they are, in fact, transitioning to custom-built ARM processors for Macs. Although they didn’t explicitly say “ARM” during the keynote today, I’m assuming their new CPUs will be based on the ARM architecture as the devkit they announced today is running their A12 ARM processor and it seems natural to consolidate the ecosystem.

Let me start by saying that this not just about the tech. The switch to using ARM is an obvious move that Microsoft has also made, as seen with the newly released Surface Book X. I’m sure it’s a great product, but Microsoft also has traditional Intel-based Laptops in their portfolio. If ARM is the future (greater power efficiency etc.), why isn’t Microsoft fully transitioning to ARM now? And what is Apple going to do better to make ARM Macs more popular than Windows PCs with ARM processors?

Asset workflow heroimage

How PBR and Photogrammetry are changing real-time asset workflows.

Historically, when working on technical art direction for a video game, every game was different. The 2D/3D art pipeline was defined by the visual style of the game, hardware capabilities and the render pipeline, which was often built specifically for a particular game.

But if the style you need is photo-realistic, why bother creating assets just for one project? Any photo-realistic asset would match the style and with tools like Quixel Mixer, artists can even employ workflows to batch-create stylized graphics using photo-realistic input assets.

The "Licensing" Loophole

A lot of products you buy come with a “software licensing agreement,” typically stating something like…

“The software that is part of this product is licensed to you, not sold.”

and further, something along the lines of…

“We reserve the right to modify this licensing agreement at any time with or without notice.”

What’s the purpose of a clause like this?

An array of conveyor belts throwing thousands of floppy disks into a lava pool

Is DRM jeopardizing our cultural heritage?

Thanks to restoration, reproduction and conservation technologies, we have hundreds and in some cases thousands of years worth of cultural assets available. Old books, sheet music or stage plays can be enjoyed by consumers or used by researchers to learn more about a bygone era. We can even look at cave paintings from tens of thousands of years ago.

But are we making sure that the cultural assets we currently produce will be available for generations to come?

iOS Needs User Accounts

Apple just added mouse/trackpad support to iOS and launched a line of keyboards for and trackpads for the iPad. The iPad is being marketed as a portable computer that you can replace your… well… computer with. But unfortunately, it's not. Not without user accounts.

Some Raytraced Glass Body.

Why Hardware Raytracing is Awesome

Raytracing is a great technlogy to render photo-realistic lighting, reflections and even refractions and caustics. But with ever-increasing rendering resolutions, we've never really been able to do any great-looking full-scene raytracing in real-time and a capacity that is ready for consumer video games and other applications. The next Generation of Video game consoles, Playstation 5 and XBOX One Series X are going to include dedicated ray-tracing hardware. Does that mean, we can now ray-trace everything? No, unfortunately it does not, but here is why hardware raytracing is still awesome.


Business Trend of the Decade: Crowdsourcing Social Responsibilities

Conducting a business involves certain social responsibility, often mandated by laws and regulations. But what if you could reap the profits from the business model without the inconvenience of having to comply with those regulatory, legal and ethical nuisances that slow down your expansion?

The Erosion of Console Game Quality

With the reduction of quality standards in favor of faster and cheaper submissions, the quality of game console ecosystems has been slowly eroding.

Car Emissions Regulations Don't Make Sense

Let me ask this provocative question:

Why is it legal to drive a 30 year old diesel but when your 3year old, much cleaner car doesn't pass the smog check, you're not allowed to drive it?

Carplay teaser small

CarPlay and cellular infrastructure

CarPlay is a great concept, increasing the lifespan of vehicles by potentially running their infotainment apps through connected smartphones with ever evolving software. It’s been around for a while now and it’s installed in millions of vehicles from different manufacturers. But it’s still a gimmicky feature, because a major point has been left out in the design of the Apps: offline functionality.