Google Web Fonts updated

The updated version of Google Web Fonts was updated this week in what should go down as one of the defining projects of web design for many years.

The whole project has been rolling along for a while and has slowly been gathering pace but the announcement at Google I/O 2011 of the new online directory was one of the standout talks. David Wurtz (@davidwurtz), Raph Levien (@raphlinus) and Darren Glenister (@typedna) presented an amazing web based repository which makes ‘Font Book’ look like yesterday’s news.

They haven’t just improved on the old font directory. They’ve given designers and developers the ultimate tool in selecting the best font for your project.

Galipoli Again, what a treat

Galipoli again

As Friday evening draws nearer, plans for the weekend are laid out, more importantly though, where are we going to eat on Friday night?

Our bus route home travels the length of Upper Street in Islington, London and is lined with restaurants and bars from start to finish.

The many chain restaurants including Pizza Express, Strada and Carluccios eventually give out to the independent chains and that’s where the real fun starts.

Will the networks restrict iOS iMessage?

WWDC came and went with 3 major announcements and some future releases to look forward to.

We knew a lot about Lion and we could predict a lot about iCloud but I think some of the biggest announcements were made by Scott Forstall about iOS 5.

You couldn’t help but feel the tension amongst the room when some of the announcements blatantly conflicted with some of the developers’ plans who were present.

One huge announcement was iMessage. An obvious rival to BlackBerry’s BBM service and pretty much the only ammunition left in RIM’s locker against the invading forces of Apple and Google.

But, if we can send free messages through the new iMessage system, what happens to texts?

My iPad and iPhone run on separate contracts so how can I access messages on both systems?

Maybe you know the answer but could the networks potentially squander what could be a game changing feature?

It wasn’t long ago when Apple were touting ‘personal hotspot’ as a must have feature for iOS4 but can we access that in the UK? The answer is Yes…As long as you pay for it!

Will the same happen again with iMessage or does this spell the end of texting?

It won’t be long before we find out.

Foursquare superusers

I received my Foursquare superuser status this week and it opened all new realms within the game of the Foursquare world.

No longer am I just leaving tips, opening specials and gaining mayorships; now I’m actually helping the network to grow. And there’s more! There are different levels of being a superuser! So after investing the past 18 months on check-ins; I’ve unlocked a whole new world with access that other mere ‘users’ cannot access.

On the face of things, I’m massively talking it up.

It is, after all, just data entry. But, if you ever have a spare 5-10mins, you can feel like you are doing some good. Then, the next time you are checking in, you can see the changes instantly.

Obviously there are rules, there’s a style guide, which, although limited, could have acted as a barrier if it was any more extensive.

Finally, Taking Back Sunday in London

Taking Back Sunday at The Roundhouse, London

It’s been over 10 years in the making but the original line up who blessed us with ‘Tell All Your Friends’ graced the London stage at The Roundhouse in Camden. The equilibrium of the band had been restored with Adam Lazzara and John Nolan reunited and supported by the ever present Eddie Reyes and Mark O’Connell with Shaun Cooper on bass.

The new album is out at the end of June and we got to hear a few tracks tonight, notably, ‘Faith’, ‘El Paso’ and ‘Best Place To Be A Mom’ but it was the original songs that grabbed the headlines. ‘Cute Without The E’ and ‘So Last Summer’ seemed as fresh today as they have ever been and won the crowd over with ease.

An open letter to Nintendo

Nintendo Entertainment System

I’ve been a huge Nintendo fan for years and have grown up surrounded by your major franchises, especially Zelda and Mario.

I supported you through the dark ages of the Gamecube and relentlessly defended you against the threats of the Playstation and XBox.

But then, last year, I went and did the unthinkable. I went to the dark side and bought an XBox 360. This was a huge decision, especially as I’m not only a Nintendo fan boy, but also part of the Cult of Mac.

After the purchase, I instantly felt guilty. I had betrayed the brand that I had grown up with. My Wii still adorned my living room next to the shiny new XBox, but with no major new releases, it sat and gathered dust.

Thursday: No Devolucion

Thursday-No-Devolucion

Thursday have returned with their first album since 2009’s Common Existence but a lot can happen in 2 years. Album sales haven’t graced these ’emo’ bands in recent years and fellow bands like ‘Fall Out Boy’ and ‘Jimmy Eat World’ are no longer the commercial forces that they once were.

They remain in our hearts, in our ears and in our heads due to dedicated fan bases, constant hectic touring schedules and musical experimentation.

Bands like this have to move with the times and Thursday have never struggled to experiment with different sounds to set them apart from the crowded circuit.

Their experimentation was initially apparent on 2006’s ‘A City By The Light Divided’ with synth heavy tracks like “Running From The Rain’ and instrumental tracks like “Arc-Lamps, Signal Flares, a Shower of White (The Light)”.

Elbow: Live at The O2

Elbow

Elbow landed in London for the latest leg of their tour and gave the crowd something to remember.

It would always be touch and go, riding on the wave of their Mercury win, but since then, there have been other Mercury winners and music has evolved.

Their latest record ‘Build A Rocket Boys’ had only been out a couple of weeks so would the working class boys from Manchester win over a largely middle class crowd in London?

They opened with a plethora of tracks from the latest album including ‘The Birds’ and ‘Neat Little Rows’

It was clear as soon as ‘With Love’ was emblazoned on the audience that the new album would fit in seamlessly with the rest of their back catalogue.

iPad2 has arrived

Coast Design was one of the first in the country to get their hands on the iPad2. The most anticipated apple release since the first iPad and it won’t be beaten until the next iPad hits in around 10 months time.

We’ve heard many a person claim that there’s no real place in society for a tablet computer of this nature, yet the original iPad was a storming success.

Yes, it is a luxury item. No it won’t replace a laptop for those serious about their hardware. We won’t be seeing Adobe Creative Suite being released on the iPad any time soon. But, think about the casual computer user.

Those that have 3 main uses for purchasing a computer of some kind

Destiny: Check

iPad

Friday 25th March, I became a man.

Long gone are the days when I used to queue at midnight for the latest Nintendo console (2001-Gamecube, 2005-Wii).

For as I strolled through the west end of London following the Foursquare London meetup at Waxy’s, I wasn’t going to join the hordes of Nintendo Fanboys awaiting the launch o the 3DS.

I was gearing up for a much more important launch.

iPad2

I was releases from the office at noon to go and sit in the heat of Hanover Street.