Obsessions: February 8th, 2010

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I don’t have any concrete ideas to impart in today’s Obsessions (I’m sure you’re crushed.) In lieu of a real thought, maybe some of the things I’ve been researching will interest you.

One interesting notion I ran across is this application called Airlock for the Mac. It’s proximity-based, so you’re not actually doing anything new with your machine, just being near it. The basic concept is that working in a public space brings up new notions of privacy that are a pain to deal with in most computers. If you leave your machine, you naturally need to lock it to keep your information out of a stranger-danger scenario. Using this application, which is made for the iPhone and iPod Touch, you lock your machine simply by leaving it.

The assumption is that you will always have your mobile device in a pocket, so the program utilizes the Bluetooth signal from that device to alert your larger machine when you’re moving towards and away from it. This in effect turns you into part of a lock and key system, one which I find ingenious. Not only is it based upon proximity, it’s also subtly and inherently based upon form factor: It knows your mobile device is small enough to essentially become part of your physical person for the purposes of the action.

Over on the web side of things, the embedding of true typography is picking up steam in earnest. Firefox 3.6 is now out, and it supports embedding of the new web OpenType font format (or, amusingly, WOFF). Microsoft is reportedly “considering” supporting the font format for IE9. The kind souls at FontShop have very publicly thrown their support behind the format by making a free version of a face from the FF Nuvo collection, designed by Siegfried Rückel. There’s a great series of easy-to-read and -implement help files as well, which show you exactly how to begin embedding the faces in your work. Hopefully this will be a help in reinvigorating the typography market and help audiences realize the value of the craft.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand finally, in the shifting of the paradigms, here’s a very interesting open letter from Scottish developer Matt Gemmell, on how to compete with the iPad. It deals with developing business models and how not to be a complete and total whiner while your lunch money is being stolen by other platforms.