60 Seconds Exploring Design & Technology since 1988

ArchiveApril 2017

Fake News story misses Trump’s hair color


Having been involved with color in some form or another for some 40 years, news items with “color” involved always grab my attention. This is one of the more fun “Fake News” stories I’ve seen, and it had a lot of people fooled.

The author Allan Ishac writes :

Crayola To Retire “Dandelion” Colored Crayon After Pressure From White House

and then:

Popular yellow-orange shade booted from 24-box after complaints kids were drawing too many offensive Trump pictures with it

I couldn’t believe it when it showed up in the “popular on Medium” listing — so I had to go take a look!

Continues . . .

Just when you thought the Trump White House could not get any more petty or ludicrous, Crayola has pulled its hugely popular color from boxes of crayons after, what it called, “arm-twisting from the White House.”

LOL. But I just had to laugh when I immediately saw he got the wrong color. That color he used is not “Dandelion” and nor is the color used in the picture samples submitted by children. (Or, maybe the employees kid, or the author’s kid!) Dandelion is yellow. But then again, I’ve heard of serious law suits over product colors — not that Crayola would give a crap!

So it’s not necessarily about the content, but as they say : “the Devil is in the details!” (Or is it the ‘Donald’?)

See links below for the news about the retirement of Dandelion!

… and thanks for reading

Graphic Design: Who owns the files?


I wandered into a discussion the other day on one of those social networks where Graphic designers were discussing if the designer was obligated to give raw working files to the client upon request. I was astounded at some of the things people were saying. In all my 40 years in the graphic design biz, I never heard anything like this.

Before computers…

It never was an issue before computers. You delivered the work the client ordered, whether it was printing, garment printing, signage, vehicle markings or any/all of those. If you were lucky, the client ordered it all from you, so ownership of a piece of paper with their logo just wasn’t an issue.

Then came computers and the DYI mentality

With the advent of the personal computer, and graphic software, emboldened clients began asking for the files. A lot of people online think you are obligated to provide the files to the client.

This is a gray area, and could become a court issue — which boils down to who has the better attorney. It should never come to that. You’ve got too many more important things to do.

Agree on the product you are delivering to the client

The smart thing to do is agree with your client before any work is done, that you are providing a product, which you manufacture, for which he pays a price. This agreement takes the work out of “work for hire” classification. The client is purchasing a product. You get paid, deliver the finished logo (or graphic or whatever) in an acceptable form, and that’s it. You do not deliver tools or materials used in the manufacture of that finished product. A printer does not have to provide you with the negatives and plates for a print job, unless it’s agreed upon and signed off on at the onset of the job. Those are materials used in the “manufacture” of the product. The carpenter does not have to give you the drill or saw he used. Those, like computer files, are tools used in the manufacture of the end product.

For the hundred or so logos I designed for clients after the Mac was invented I established a set policy. Setting a policy takes the impact off your plate, and ‘blames’ it on the business, so you don’t have to shrink away from explaining policy. When the client askes, the answer is :

“Yes indeed. Our policy is to provide you with the appropriate EPS vector file, a gif, a jpeg and a bmp file, for each of two application versions of your logo.”

From floppies to the Internet

The jpg and bmp files are 300ppi. I delivered many files on 3.5″ floppies. After the internet came into common use, I posted the logo files to a password-protected web page for that client. That always did the trick. It also solved the problem of his calling “needing another copy” after losing the file — which happens almost always! In the old days, we delivered a stat, or would forward a stat to size to his vendor or media for further operations. We’d charge a small fee for the stat. Clients were always invited to refer vendors to us, or to the web page to download the file format for that project. Everybody’s happy.

My policy was to provide the finished logo, to fit a letter-size sheet of paper, in an Adobe Illustrator vector file. I would also save that file out as a gif, jpg and bmp for what ever vendor he used for further work. I also provided a REVERSE version in all the same file formats. This is important because many logos or graphics cannot just be reversed — they turn out looking like a negative as opposed to the logo on a dark background. If the file requires separations, then those are provided in the vector file.

If you establish a clear, understandable policy of what the customer will receive upon payment then the issue of files should never come up.

And, that’s the bottom line. Good day!

United Airlines: How stupid do you have to be?


Am I the only one asking questions about the United Airlines episode? The news media and social media are having a feeding frenzy on this news story leading me to question whether or not there are intelligent adults involved. How stupid is it to believe that the cabin of an air flight about to take off is the appropriate place to question the reasons for instructions from the crew? How stupid is it to believe it’s okay to disobey official demands to the point of endangerment to yourself and those around you? Is everyone really taking the side of a guy who decides to precipitate such a nasty scene? I’m just asking questions.

Writing for aNewDomain, Ted Rall says :

“Thanks to the United Airlines passenger battering scandal, folks are finally mad enough at the airlines to do something about it.”

Mr. Rall needs a dictionary. It was neither a “battering” nor a scandal. He’s wrong on both accounts, and along with the main stream media, is leading the public to the wrong conclusion. Is that why we’re mad at the airlines? David Dao’s run-in was his own fault, and it was not with United, it was with law enforcement. I’d like to see Mr. Rall the next time he argues with the trooper about why it was okay to run the red light. Stupidity comes in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes.

Forbes says “United has Fake Values” … Market Watch says “United Airlines’ bad week cost Buffett and other investors millions” … last night’s babbleheads gave news of a copy-cat story… I’m astounded. All these supposedly intelligent people have missed the most important point in favor of political correctness or mob rule. Has that become the rule of law?

The recent chain of events surrounding the removal of a problem passenger on an airline is a tough situation, and one we should all pay attention to. Sure, maybe airline policy needs an overhaul. Maybe many regulations could be more lenient. But do you argue it in the cabin of the airplane at the gate? As of now, United is being tried in social media court and forced to apologize for their rules. However, if you put your brain in gear, the story suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

1) Should passengers refuse any orders they don’t like from crew?
2) Should flight attendants ignore a combative or unruly passenger?
3) Should crew demands be negotiated and decided there on the spot?
4) Should other passengers step in to help decide who is right?
5) Should the flight be delayed while arbitrating crew instructions?
6) Should passengers resist law enforcement orders?
7) Should courts find in favor of passengers who refuse crew orders?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you should study the most important question:

Do you realize by virtue of purchasing a ticket and boarding that aircraft you have agreed to and are obligated to obey ALL crew instructions and FAA regulations? And, that if you don’t, you are subject to arrest and prosecution under state and federal laws? Yes, Mr. Dao, you did indeed agree to that.

I realize there are many who don’t read the regulations surrounding air travel. Seriously, how stupid is it to resist crew instructions to the point of physical violence — regardless of the reason for the instructions? How stupid was David Dao to think he would be successful? What did he think the outcome would be? Or was he really counting on making a huge social media issue and extort money from United to ‘make it go away’? After all, what’s a few teeth after you’ve settled for millions out of court? Believe it or not, there are people who actually think that way. And, now there are copy-cat cases popping up with the same plan: violate the rules, get thrown off the flight, sue the airlines and walk away with a pile of cash.

When is being stupid the slippery slope? I’ll let you be the judge of that one!

Didn’t they swear there were no WMDs?



The news last night was so horrifying I had to look away. But it brought back some memories I had long forgotten, and made me start thinking.

Quoting Merle Haggard:

That jackle, babblehead in a box, must think I’m dumb as a rock! He’s reading me the news while I’m kicking off my shoes, and it’s scaring me out of my socks!

Rewind to 1991. I remember sitting by my TV watching the first Desert Storm in progress. I distinctly remember watching as they showed satellite feeds of a caravan of heavy vehicles traveling across the Iraq border into Syria. I distinctly remember the news casters saying it was believed those heavy vehicles contained Saddam Hussein’s chemical warfare supplies. I remember there was a great deal of chatter about those caravans going to hide Saddam’s uranium centrifuges, and mobile labs just across the border in Syria. What did those caravans really carry?

The talking heads all chanted: “There are no WMDs.”

The years went by and they all stuck to their story.

I’ve since seen the reports and photographs of WMDs uncovered in Iraq and Syria but completely covered up by the U.S. media. I can still hear the mantra, chanted over and over … “There were no WMDs” poking fun at Bush and Powell. They still refer to them as “Bush’s WMDs” … chanted so often, it was the lie that became the truth.

Then last evening’s news came on and Scott Pelley is warning me the images may be disturbing. He’s telling us about Syria’s use of chemical weapons on their own people. Sickening, sad imagery of people including children suffering badly. But Scott! You, Brian, George and Katie all assured me there were no WMDs.

It does make one wonder. They had told the lie so many times over the years that they didn’t dare utter the term WMD. So tonight, they’re calling them “Chemical Weapons.” Could they dare suggest that Syria would eventually use Saddam’s WMDs?

I’m not really that smart, but I’m wondering why I’m the only one asking that question? Why does the media seem so surprised that this happened?

… I just don’t know.


I quoted Merle Haggard in the beginning because his way of defining the talking heads is the best I’ve heard in some time: “Jackle, Bobblehead in a box” … he sings it in Willie Nelson’s recent hit “It’s All Going To Pot”

What makes you think laptops are dead?


Oh, the industry talkers love to ring the death tolls. They relish in new products that don’t measure up to the nosebleed excitement we’ve been spoiled to expect. Now, they’re all waving flags saying the cell phone is replacing the laptop! If this is true, I better buy two more MacBook Pros before they are discontinued.

Here’s my 2012 MacBook Pro — it doesn’t need nosebleed features. It works well beyond expectations for everything I do on a computer. The only problem is, it’s wearing out. Many of the letters have worn off the keys and about five of the keys no longer work without multiple taps. I’m now using a USB keyboard. She still cranks out the work though. Let’s see your cell phone point to a folder with a single click and generate a web gallery with 50 photos. Then open all 50 photos, do an adjustment layer, and drag-n-drop that layer to each photo. No, there is not an app for that. Let’s see you compile and export ten web-ready html pages from your FileMaker Pro or HyperCard database, built from the press releases you received in a month. Of course you know cell phones won’t do that either.

Just ‘add this or that’ is becoming the mantra. It’s kind of funny, once you start adding docks and extra devices like keyboards and monitors which use your phone as the CPU — what have you got? A laptop.

My son got the most recent iPad Pro, fully loaded with the case and keyboard to go along. It’s pretty impressive since you get laptop usability with touch screen capability. I’m loving that pencil. But it’s not set up for serious productivity. It doesn’t have enough ram or storage for serious work, and won’t work out side of the grid. The laptop still produces serious work while traveling to places off the grid. Try that with your cell phone.

Apple now has a new patent that just might bridge that gap between work and play. It’s a bendable, foldable iPhone. Seriously? How many years do we have to wait for that one? Then Apple has also secured a patent for a device that acts as a recipient for an iPhone. You insert the iPhone into the space provided and not only is it the CPU but acts as the trackpad. It’s an awesome idea, and one unique enough it can be patented! But somehow, when all is said and done, you end up with a laptop.

I don’t know. It all sounds a little fishy to me. Too many of the talking heads are saying there’s no more innovation in the laptop world. Okay, so the latest MacBook Pros didn’t make us wet ourselves. But just how thick can the steak get? The best innovation they could possibly come up with is one that doesn’t wear out! When they come up with that one, let me know — that’s the one I want.

… and thanks for reading

Broken rules return to haunt the online world


Back in the late 1980s I was one of those early adopters of the connected world, and became involved in developing forums on Compuserve and GEnie. I got involved with ALPE (Apple’s online social network) which rolled out as eWorld. Then Apple decided “the online world doesn’t fit Apple’s model” and eWorld was sold to Quantum. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to America Online and we all rejoiced in the new, graphical online universe!

I was helping develop the Desktop Publishing forum, and intensely involved in developing the “User Group” community with Jerry Kline. It soon become painfully clear that troublemakers and the crime industry would be active ingredients online that we (as ‘sysops’ or AFAs) would always have to deal with.

It followed that some rules of deployment would be developed. One of the most important rules was for the protection of our users and community, particularly their copyrighted images, photos, paintings and writings. Rule #1 was…


Rule #2 was…


We knew the online world, by its very nature, was not secure, and never would be. The hacker mentality was spreading like a bad virus and the cybercrime industry was already innovating new ways to capitalize on people’s gullibility. No matter what safety features were put in place, the underworld was always quick to break. So the mantra became if you don’t want it to show up online, don’t put it there. Period.

It’s fairly easy to see that very few people follow that rule. It’s most unfortunate, because today we’re worried about security, hacking email, stealing identities and profiteering off content, photos or ideas people have posted.

In 2014, Facebook legitimized plagiarism and forfeit of ownership when they purchased Instagram and changed their TOS :

… any user who clicks ‘like’ on a brand was effectively giving their consent to be used in commercial content. Instagram’s new policies, which now apply to users as young as 13, enable the site [Facebook] to use members’ names, text, photos and other content with marketing messages.

Very few people gave notice or cared.

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

The good news is, if you practice Safe Netting and the two original cardinal rules of the online world, they’ll never come back to haunt you.

… and thanks for reading

Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine
+FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
Published online since 1988

The first time I was a troll


I recently had a very popular personality in the design biz flame me on Facebook for pointing out clickbait. It was an interesting feeling since it had never happened to me before. What I did seemed like the right thing to do, but evidently he thought I was being a troll.

He had shared a particularly nasty meme of a political nature. You know the ones, they’ve become so popular on both sides since the Trump/Clinton campaign. I had gotten so sick of seeing them, that I began fact checking and checking the sources. When I found one to be clickbait (click bait) or ‘fake news’ I would note that in a comment.

I’ve made up several little comment graphics I invite others to use after checking and making sure they were in the right.

The meme he posted immediately smelled of clickbait — just the way the headline was written — and a number of his followers chimed in with equally raw and repugnant comments. I thought “geez, this is really not like _______ to post such crap, I’ll check it out.”

The link for the meme went to one of those news sites you’ve never heard of. Immediately upon arriving on the page I was accosted by three pop-ups before I even saw any of the content. When they were dismissed a video slid out from the right side-bar and began playing. Most of the first paragraph of content was covered with the slide-out video. When I scrolled down, the video traveled along, covering the second paragraph. When I clicked to dismiss the video, a new pop-up zoomed open. But it stopped for the full-width ad following the previous paragraph. I opened the source for the page and witnessed a nightmare of scripting and predator links. There were 34 links to external sites, all of which were ad cartels, Twitter or Google. There were only about 120 words of content, all of which was old, well hashed news. I backed out.

I posted the “Clickbait or Fake News?” banner asking the question are you sure you want to share this

His response was “Fred, I’m tired of your shit” — I had no idea what he was talking about because I couldn’t remember any other time I’d posted to one of his posts. But —suddenly the whole thread, meme and all was gone — along with all his other posts.

For the first time ever, I realized somebody thought I was a troll.

That was my first real, hard lesson on how difficult it is to do the right thing in a climate of political correctness on social media. He and his followers, who all agreed on that nasty meme, felt they were so “right” that even if it was clickbait or fake news, they would still spread it around. Let me share this :

Harassment — from garden-variety name calling to more threatening behavior — is a common part of online life that colors the experiences of many web users. Fully 73% of adult internet users have seen someone be harassed in some way online and 40% have personally experienced it, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

Also look up :

Was I a troll? Was I harassing him and his thread? Is it wrong to point out clickbait, or fake news?

… and thanks for reading

Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine, 60-Second Windows
+FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
Published online since 1988

60 Seconds Exploring Design & Technology since 1988
Fred Showker explores design, graphics, computing, social media, marketing, and the online world with an eye to entertaining, amazing information that will possibly make you think!

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