❧︎ Attaboy Media

Musings on assorted geekery by Luke Andrews when he’s not writing at attaboy.ca or on Twitter.
29 April 2014

Multiple copies of an embedded image in Adobe Illustrator

If you want to include a raster image in an Illustrator document that you’re sharing with others, you often need to embed the image, rather than just link it (or else it will be missing for others).

Illustrator does a great job hiding this feature, but when you click the image, you can then click Embed on the toolbar to change it from linked to embeded. (If the image is in a clip group already, you need to first double click to get inside the group.)

If you then re-use the image in other places in your document (e.g. by copying and pasting), you might think, “Great, now that it’s embedded, Illustrator only needs one copy, so it will just re-use that. Right?”

“Right?”

“…”

“Are you f$%#*g kidding me, Illustrator?”

Surprise! Illustrator stores an additional copy of your embedded image every time you paste a new copy anywhere in the document. If the original image was even slightly large, and you have a lot of copies, your document file size is going to balloon really fast.

Is there a way to stop this madness?

It turns out that if you first convert your image into a symbol, then it can be duplicated with no harm. If you’ve never used them, symbols are Illustrator’s equivalent to Photoshop Smart Objects — change the symbol in one place, and it changes everywhere in the document. In practice, they operate a lot like a group — you can double click an instance of a symbol to edit it in place, just as you can with a group.

3 February 2014
According to the latest campaign finance filings, the effort has so far been funded exclusively by $75,000 donated from Barbara and Richard Stewart, a wealthy couple who live in the Golden Gateway Apartments and were the major backers opposing 8 Washington, which would have been built between their building and the water.
22 January 2014
The most obvious theory of success was that, if you get the best director, composer, lyricist, librettist, choreographer, and producer, you’ll have a hit. Instead, Uzzi and Spiro showed, in a 2005 paper in the American Journal of Sociology, that individual superstars didn’t do much to explain a musical’s success; the relationships among all the people working on a production mattered much more.
6 January 2014

Please read below for more information on our admissions process. A SurveyMonkey survey to confirm your involvement in this process will immediately follow this email.

Hi Parents,

We are writing to invite you to the next step in the [redacted] Fall 2014-15 admissions process. We are thrilled that our new location on [redacted] successfully opened last fall, and has enabled us to accommodate more families that have a preschool need in our community. We are currently serving 3 year olds and Pre-K at [redacted], and at [redacted] we have one classroom of 2 year olds, two classrooms of 3 year olds and one classroom serving Pre-K.

Please note that participation in the process outlined in this email does not guarantee you a spot. We have much more interest than space available, even with our [redacted] expansion.

We are requesting your response to confirm your continued interest in [redacted] admissions. You will receive a SurveyMonkey survey immediately following this email. Please fill out this survey by Monday, January 13, 2014 to confirm that you would like to continue being considered for the admissions process. If you are no longer interested or would like to be considered next year instead, please let us know in the survey so we can make the adjustment to our records. If you do not respond to the survey by Monday, January 13, 2014 your record will be removed from the waitlist.

We will be holding group interviews at [redacted] during upcoming weekends in February, and will confirm details, as well as your schedule closer to that date. Please read below for an overview of what you can expect during our admissions process. We will send a confirmation of your group interview appointment by Friday, January 24, 2014.

Admissions Overview

Phase 1: Group Interview - We will invite families in groups of 10. Please bring a proof of current address – a utility (not cell phone) bill dated within the last 45 days, or a current lease agreement or property tax statement, or a letter received from a government agency.

Phase 2: Offer letters - Offer letters will be sent via email on Tuesday, March 4th. Spots will be accepted by placing a non-refundable deposit (one month’s tuition + $150 towards our activity fee) and returning the initial paperwork by Tuesday, March 11th. Remaining spots will be filled by families that participated in Phase 1.

Phase 3: Optional tours – For those that received an offer letter and were unable to attend a fall tour, you will have the option to sign up for a tour during the school day. We will notify you of the schedule.

Financial Aid

[redacted] is strongly committed to economic diversity. Our anticipated tuition for 2014-15 is as follows:

2014/15 Tuition

Full TimePart Time
4 years old$1730n/a
3 years old$1730$1285
2 years old$2005$1495

If you feel you are in need of tuition assistance, please see our website for a tuition assistance application: [redacted]. Applications must be received by Monday, January 21, 2014. Tax returns must be received by Friday, February 21, 2014. We strongly encourage families who have a need to submit the form so that we may serve families at all levels of income.

Sincerely, The [redacted] Admissions Team

— What applying for preschool is like in San Francisco
6 January 2014
21 December 2013
6 December 2013
I have tested this design pattern with real people, and a significant portion of them believe that they must do what the box is begging them for in order to close the overlay. These people (remember, they’re people, not “conversions”), are signing up to a newsletter they don’t want. They’re then going to be irritated by it for several months until they work out how to unsubscribe from it. The analytics guru you brought in is walking away with a chunk of your money, in exchange for having pissed off a whole bunch of existing and potential customers.
4 December 2013

The role of luck in success or failure is underestimated. You have a good idea? You are the smartest guy you know? You have a mature business advisor? So you think, “The ‘most companies fail’ rule does not apply to my company.”

You have wildly underestimated the role of luck.

27 November 2013

But the event also demonstrated the seductiveness of digital elitism, which incorporates social consciousness and intellectual discussion. “If we’re going to achieve greatness in the twenty-first century,” Eric Schmidt said, “…we have to start with some Silicon Valley thinking.”  He stated that “Ultimately, this world will be owned by an entrepreneur.”

Digital elitism is optimistic, in that technology is positioned as a solution to an array of difficult problems. At the same time, it inculcates an air of superiority and a universality of experience that truly only applies to a very small number of the world’s most privileged individuals.

Digital elitism does not reconfigure power; it entrenches it. It provides justification for enormous gaps between rich and poor, for huge differences between average people and highly sought-after engineers. It idealizes a “better class of rich people” (as Kara Swisher put it) who evangelize philanthropy and social entrepreneurship — but it also promotes the idea that entrepreneurship is a catch-all solution, and that a startup culture is the best way to solve any problem.

26 November 2013

Canada under Stephen Harper

I’ve watched with dismay as the Canadian government, under the leadership of Stephen Harper for the past seven years, has made my home country a tougher, meaner, less hospitable place.

In the past few days, the overall picture is stark and clear.

More oil and carbon, more prisoners, more seals clubbed, less peacemaking.

So I can’t help feel a bit pleased that there’s an air of scandal and malaise around Harper now, although I suspect he’s far too smart to have been caught by something as meaningless as a $90,000 Senatorial transgression. Monday’s by-election near-disaster for the Tories may portend a swing back to the middle for Harper (who lately has been all in with the conservative base), but we’re still a long way from a general election. And unfortunately, demographics and population trends favor his party regardless. The redistribution of seats before the next election will see 27 new seats added in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, the vast majority in suburban districts around the major cities — exactly the places in which the Tories cleaned up in the last election.

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