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BBC Outriders

I recently chatted with Jamillah Knowles of the BBC Radio 5Live show Outriders about icons, and the episode ‘Symbols and Signs’, is now available on the BBC Podcasts and Downloads page, or download directly as an mp3.

The episode looks at how Unicode works, emoticons and the power symbol, while I talk about the difference between Logos and Icons, and the challenges of icon metaphors with localisation.

PS3, now with iPlayer support

I really had my hopes up when it was announced that the Playstation 3 firmware v3.0 would include ‘iPlayer support’. The iPlayer site already worked rather well in the PS3 browser, so this sounded like a proper ‘iPlayer app’, allowing shows to be downloaded rather than streamed. I guess I read too much into that announcement.

Once the 3.0 firmware is installed, it places an iPlayer icon in the TV menu which then just launches the browser – business as usual. It does solve a problem with using the Blu-Ray remote though. It used to leave the cursor in the middle of the screen, which could only be removed if you used the standard controller to move it off screen (an art in itself). Now you just select the video and it immediately plays full screen without fuss. Not as much as I’d hoped for, but better all the same.

The main downside is that some of the videos that Matt Carey and I tried, were of noticeably lower quality, but not all. Hopefully this is just early teething troubles. If you’ve installed the update – how are you finding the quality?

Geneviève Gauckler on CBBC?

I’m big fan of the French artist/illustrator Geneviève Gauckler, having discovered her work via the Guardian Angel Room project.

Now, I’m not sure why, but I was really surprised to see her work (or at least her style) in the backgrounds of CBBC, the site for BBC’s youth output.

I’ve tried to do a bit of searching, but no information is forthcoming, and I can’t see a credit anywhere. I’m surprised, can anyone tell me if these really are her work?

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There’s also wallpapers available too:

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Does this England Exist?

Screencapture from the BBC drama Filth

The visuals for BBC’s Filth (the story of TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse, played by Julie Walters) were right up my alley. It’s a view of England in the sixties: Morris Minors, pristine red Post Boxes and Routemaster buses, sunshine, village greens and every other sign written in Gill Sans.

I have no idea whether it really existed or not, but I love just the same. More on Flickr