It’s Sunday evening. I’m a bit all over the place after getting off a plane late last night – flying to New York to start a new job, tomorrow, at Google Creative Lab.
Yep. It feels strange to write that. I’ve talked about it before a little bit; but have only just found the breathing space to get something a bit more long-form down. As well as finishing a job I loved, I’ve also just got married, been on honeymoon, and am selling up and moving out of London. It’s been a crazy few weeks.
So, some history.
It’s only been 15-months since I joined Stinkdigital; I honestly loved being there and it stills holds a very special place in my heart. I was surrounded by a bunch of talented and fun people. I learnt loads. I made some mistakes. We did great work. We did it with a smile on our faces. I was slightly in awe at the quality of the place when I joined – I still am now.
So, why did I leave?
I’m a lover of creativity and technology; I’ve always thought Google is one of the most exciting and forward-thinking companies on the planet — and that Google Creative Lab is doing some of the most amazing, ambitious, and interesting work out there.
I could get all wordy about it, but you don’t pass up an opportunity like this.
I spent a bit of time with a few members of the team last week, taking about the work. They’re so switched on it’s unbelievable. It’s also exciting for me personally to be part of a team at Google that already includes people like Andy Berndt, Robert Wong, Tom Uglow, Ben Malbon, Kevin Proudfoot, Iain Tait, Steve Vranakis, Indy Saha… and Matt Jones is joining next month from BERG.
Iain wrote something when he joined that really struck a chord: “Everyone I’ve met who works at Google and Google Creative Lab feels like they’re part of a company that is both a great business AND can change the world for the better. I’m overjoyed to share their beliefs and look forward to joining them.”
That’s the feeling I got when I spent time there.
When I talked with Kevin about things he casually dropped in: “This place is a bit like the Butterfly Effect – everybody who joins has the opportunity to make a difference.”
I hope I can make a positive one.
So it’s been an absolute joy to be part of the unfolding Stinkdigital story; I loved every minute of it. And here’s to the a next adventure with Google. I’m excited by the future that lays ahead – and that’s all you can ask for, right?
This month we’ve been thinking about how 2011 is shaping up for that 42” screen sitting quietly in the corner of your living room. Because when the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, Apple, and Google start focusing on delivering services for the tv… know something’s going on.
It’s not just the digital big boys either. A consortium of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and BT have developed YouView. A service that brings Freeview, and Internet catch-up and video on-demand services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand Five and SeeSaw, to your TV.
Don’t panic though. Here’s the blaggers guide.
YouTube ‘LeanBack’ and Vimeo ‘CouchMode’ lets anyone with a connected TV or modern web browser view and navigate web content using a simple interface with search functionality. They’re designed to start playing a personalised feed of videos in full screen mode and high definition as soon as you launch them.
Apple TV, Boxee, and YouView all offer services through an external box that you connect to the back of your TV. The services vary, but the general gist is the same. You rent and watch films and TV shows, stream content, watch YouTube videos, enjoy photos, music, and more.
Last up is Google TV which is available through an external box, but is also comes built-in as part of the new Sony Internet TV range. Google TV lets you find and record shows, run apps, and search and use the full web.
Obviously it opens up LOTS of questions and LOTS of opportunities for media owners and brands. It’ll be fascinating to watch this unfold over the next 6-12months. But one thing’s for sure. Your TV is about to get a monster kick up the arse. Exciting times.
Full copy and paste below if you really wanna nerd out.
(It’s worth it)
These speed tests were filmed at actual web page rendering times. If you’re interested in the technical details, read on. Equipment used:
- Computer: MacBook Pro laptop with Windows installed
- 15Mbps Internet connection.
- Camera: Phantom v640 High Speed Camera at 1920 x 1080, films up to 2700 fps
- Monitor: 24″ Asus: We had to replace the standard fluorescent backlight with very large tungsten fixtures to funnel in more light to capture the screen. In addition, we flipped the monitor 180 degrees to eliminate a shadow from the driver board and set the system preferences on the computer to rotate 180 degrees. No special software was used in this process.
“Why does allrecipes.com in the potato gun sequence appear at once, and not the text first and images second? And why does it appear to render from bottom of the screen to the top?”
Chrome sends the rendered page to the video card buffer all at once, which is why allrecipes.com appears at once, and not with the text first and images second. Chrome actually paints the page from top to bottom, but to eliminate a shadow from the driver board, we had to flip the monitor upside down and set the system preferences in Windows to rotate everything 180 degrees, resulting in the page appearing to render from bottom to top.
“Why does the top one third of the page appear first on the weather.com page load?”
Sometimes only half the buffer gets filled before the video card sends its buffer over to the LCD panel. This is because Chrome on Windows uses GDI to draw, which does not do v-sync.
“The screen wipes are so smooth – how was that achieved?”
The screen wipes up in a gradated wipe because LCD pixels take around 10ms to flip and gradually change color.