[The Typekit Blog] Sites we like: Polldaddy, Designers & Books, Dan Higbie

This week’s sites we like features three FontFonts in three unique designs.

Screenshot of Polldaddy.com

Polldaddy is the most powerful and easy-to-use survey software around. FF Tisa feels authoritative but friendly in large headlines. Note the two pixel white text-shadow that suggests the text is pressed into the subtly textured background.

Screenshot of Designers and Books

Designers & Books features a lovely and austere layout by Pentagram using FF Dagny. Originally designed for Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, FF Dagny serves exceptionally well in minimalist designs such as this one.

Screenshot of DanHigbie.com

Dan Higbie‘s site also features FF Dagny and FF Tisa. Equally handsome is his latest post which sports Corner Store and Bello in an inspiring masthead. The curved baseline lends a bit of realism to Corner Store’s hand-painted style, courtesy Lettering.js and some carefully-applied CSS rotate transforms.

That’s all for this week! As always, share sites that you like in the comments.

With most modern browsers supporting @font-face nowadays, tons of web designers have flocked to Typekit as the definitive source for reliable fonts. Not only are they reliable — Typekit takes the pain of hosting fonts — but they are legally licensed, web-only fonts. Typekit handles the relationships and protections necessary to working with the finest type foundries, so that all designers need to focus on are implementing a line of JavaScript to their code and doing what they love to do best — design beautiful websites.


Can Cable Block the Google TV Revolution?

Behind the scenes at the Federal Communications Commission, a quiet war is being waged over the future of television. It isn’t getting as many headlines as net neutrality or the Comcast/NBCU merger, but the debate is nearly as important. It’s about how far Google, Sony, and their allies can take their Google TV system.

Big Cable is trying to set limits on how easy it will be for devices like Google TV to access pay TV content and reassemble it into something that will reconfigure both television and the internet.

In their bid to get the FCC to help Google TV and similar devices, “Sony/Google are asking the Commission to ignore copyright, patent, trademark, contract privity, licensing, and other legal rights and limitations that have been thoroughly documented,” the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) warned last Wednesday.

What is NCTA talking about? The trade association is trying to set limits on how easy it will be for devices like Google TV to access pay TV content and reassemble it into something that will reconfigure both television and the internet.

That’s at the heart of the FCC’s proposal for an AllVid system, which Google very loudly supports. AllVid doesn’t exist yet, but the idea is to mandate an industry-wide gadget that you could plug into your broadband router and connect to your cable TV provider, then watch online video and pay channels through a variety of AllVid-friendly devices. Not surprisingly, Google and Sony love this idea, because it could transform the Google TV from just a neat product into a revolution.

Big cable hates the proposal, because that revolution could leave multi-video program distributors (MVPDs), if not in the dust, at least working in a far more competitive video environment. But the AllVid proposal faces real technical challenges that have yet to be worked out.

At present, Google TV is a suite of devices that integrate streaming IP video services like YouTube with various kinds of third-party content, all searchable on a Google TV screen. You can get in on this by buying the Google TV standalone HDTV set, or by hooking your extant screen to a Logitech Revue or Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player.

As our own Chris Foresman notes, the gear is expensive and kind of clunky, but you can also use your phone as a remote control, and voice command functionality is on the way.

The biggest challenge for Google TV has been finding pay content partners. The DISH network is accessible via the device. And Google has clinched content deals with HBO, CNBC, Turner Broadcasting and the National Basketball Association.

But other providers are loudly declining to hop on the bandwagon, most noticeably Viacom, which has blocked full episodes of its fare from the Google TV browser (no big shocker here; the company is suing Google’s YouTube for $1 billion over copyright infringement claims).

So what would turn Google TV or any similar gadget into a truly revolutionary machine is an interface that easily allows any HDTV/set top box system to tap into any couch potato service, while simultaneously serving as a gateway to the Internet, with all its search, cloud, and social networking functionalities. For millions of households that still experience the ‘net as less of an imperative than television, the internet would become television.

Continue reading …

Google Rolls Out Two-Factor Authentication For Everyone. You Should Use It.

Given how much data we’re trusting to online sites these days — email, search history, even voice calls — the repercussions to having our account passwords phished, hacked, or guessed are worse than ever. Unfortunately as far as consumers are concerned, account security has been stagnant for years: nearly every service requires a username and password, and that’s it. Cue the scary music and a Dateline special on having your identity stolen.

But today, Google is making things much, much better for those who want it. Update: Google is actually rolling this out over the next few days, so you may not see it quite yet.

The feature is called two-factor authentication, and it’s been available to Google Apps customers since September. Now it’s rolling out to everyone. It’s a bit confusing and the set-up process will probably intimidate a lot of people, but it’s well worth looking into if you value your account data. You can activate it by hitting the ‘two-step verification’ link on this page.  So what exactly does it do?

In short, it makes it so that when you go to login to your Google account, you need to enter both your existing password and a special new second passcode — one that you don’t have to write down or memorize because it’s always changing, so it’s nearly impossible to phish. You generate this second password by firing up a new mobile app available for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry called ‘Google Authenticator’, or by having Google call or send you a text message to a phone number you entered when you set up the feature. That password will expire in just a few minutes though, so be quick (and yes, you will feel like a secret agent the first few times you use it).

It’s not as stressful as it sounds, because you can elect to only require this second password once per computer (this still keeps phishers from being able to access your account). There are a few more quirks to it — in order to save passwords in applications like iCal, Mail, and most other desktop apps, you’ll have to generate a unique app-specific password. But again, you can save this so you only have to do it once per app.

There are also a few backup measures in place should you lose access to your mobile phone. You can designate a second, backup phone number to send the passcode to, and you’re also strongly encouraged to print out a set of ‘one-time’ passwords to keep in a safe place. This is only for the secondary password — you’ll still have to keep that ‘normal’ Google password memorized.

I’ve been using a beta version of the system for the last few weeks, and for the most part I’ve been very pleased with it. The setup process, though it’s improved since I first used it, is still pretty involved. You don’t really have to do much thinking and the setup wizard only takes a few minutes to complete, but this whole second-password thing feels foreign after a decade (or more) using the old system. This is probably why Google isn’t heavily promoting the feature to consumers yet — you’ll have to go looking for it in your accounts dashboard.

To be clear, two-factor authentication isn’t a new idea. It’s been used by large businesses for years. But giving consumers access to this same protection is a big win, and I’m hoping other services will follow suit in the near future.

Information provided by CrunchBase

While Google’s efforts to help its users protect their information is applaudable, I would rather have them work on implementing SSO (single sign on) authentication across their various services. Somewhat related to this, I would love to see a more intuitive UI for a dashboard of all the services used under Google that’s accessible across all of them. Currently, for services like AdSense, you have to hard type the URL for another service, say Analytics or Affiliate Network for example, to get to it. Once logged in, you should be able to access all your Google services from any one of them easily. I would love to design the UI for this.

The Illustrative Work of Alexey Kurbatov

Far East Movement : Electronic Phonic Knowledge


Kinda reminds me of the HP television spots. What do you think of the execution on the mograph and animation? Well synced? Inspiring? I wanna hear your comments 🙂

Fastest Men Alive! Flash 8 by `Artgerm

Leave me alone by ~palax

Incredible typography poster.