Tag Archives: web news

Facebook hires a Pixar Illustrator to re-imagine the emoticon

 

Emoticons have been around ever since the world wide web became fairly prominent in our daily lives. There are thousands of different variations, designs, animals, really any type you can imagine. Facebook, however, thinks that they can do better. They recently hired famed Pixar illustrator Matt Jones to re-invent the emoticon all together.

“Facebook was canny enough to realize that traditional emoticons are quite bland,” says Jones. “At Pixar we consider emotional states every day with every drawing we make. Our work is informed by the years of study we do, constantly studying people’s gestures and expressions in real life.” (To be clear, it isn’t an official collaboration between Pixar and Facebook. Jones is working independently.)

Jones was studying facial expressions for his work on a new film by Pete Docter (director of Up and Monsters, Inc.), which takes place in the mind of a young girl coming of age. The film, referred to as The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind, is set for release in June 2015. Pixar is famous for bringing to life inanimate, and even mundane, objects: lamps, cars, a hockey puck. This film required an extra level of emotional detail. A young girl’s mental state is a complicated thing.

Docter brought in psychologist Paul Ekman, a pioneer in the research of facial expressions, as a consultant on micro-emotions, the small mini expressions that happen between more major ones. (You may have heard of Ekman as John Cleese’s collaborator on the BBC series, The Human Face.) At the same time, Ekman’s protégé, Dacher Keltner, codirector of University of California-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Program, was starting work with Facebook to improve their emoticons. When Keltner heard about the project at Pixar, he approached the company. That’s how he found Jones.

Keltner started off by giving Jones some of the classic universal emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) to translate into emoticon-style drawings. He loved what he saw — and decided to up the ante. He handed over Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, which Darwin published 13 years after On the Origin of Species. The book explores similarities between human and animal facial movements, in support of Darwin’s theory that humans and animals have a common ancestor. It became one of the seminal works on the facial emotive expressions.

Read more here

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Amazon to offer same-day delivery and completely destroy all actual real-life stores

If you thought Amazon Prime or Amazon’s 2 day shipping just wasn’t efficient enough, apparently the site is now striving towards same-day delivery. As in you order in the morning and have your product in your greedy little hands by lunch. It seems absurd now, but think how convenient that would be for all the internet addicted shut-ins we have? Yeah, that’s probably you. Regardless, if Amazon can pull off same-day shipping, why would anybody want to go to a store where they have to pay more, deal with shitty sales people, and pay for gas when they could just sit on their ass? They wouldn’t.

A report in the Financial Times states (registration or subscription is required) that Amazon believes same-day shipping will be more important than not collecting taxes from online shopping.
According to CNN:
Amazon has fought hard to avoid collecting sales tax during its 18-year history by setting up distribution centers in select tax-friendly states. But a new report in the Financial Times says the company is changing its strategy, setting up distribution centers across the United States in locations that insist on collecting sales tax. With the exception of Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington, items sold from Amazon.com LLC are not subject to sales tax.
That’s the beauty to Amazon — it’s usually cheaper than retail because there’s no sales tax. Assuming you live in a state where sales tax is not collected, the only caveat to shopping on Amazon is that you have to wait for the item to be shipped to you, which could be several days, depending on availability.
If Amazon offered same-day delivery, it could mean not having to make that trip to Walmart after work, which means less driving, less money spent on gas, and more time for you to do things that you care about.
Slate’s Farhad Manjoo seems to nail what we’re feeling (bolded for emphasis):
It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried and failed to accomplish. (Remember Kozmo.com?) But Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.

Via

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: