Panic Blog

Copywriter: Cabel.

The World’s First Emoji Domain

Ladies and gentlemen, are you comfortably running Mac OS X Lion?

Because this is our moment.

Years of technological progression, a steady flowing river of genius and fortitude, breakthrough and discovery, have sent us ever-forward, hurtling towards this. From the humble beginnings of the first wire-wrapped computer, to the rolled-up-sleeves of the hard-working women and men of The Unicode Consortium, to the dedicated Apple engineer staying late in the office to ship a major operating system update while his family sits without him at the dinner table. “Will I see Daddy tomorrow?”, his son asks, picking at his plate. “I don’t know”, is the sad, quiet reply. You see, today is built on the hard working backs of those from yesterday. And on the shoulders of those backs, we will stand tall, reaching towards tomorrow.

The release of Mac OS X Lion added an important new feature: system-wide pictograms, or, as you might call them, “Emoji”. And for the first time, these pictograms are not based on a mobile-carrier ever-shifting method of encoding via the “private” Unicode character space, but are using the officially accepted Unicode 6.0 Emoji / ISO 10646 standard.

So yes, everything we’ve worked for has led us here.

Friends, family, well-wishers: today, history is rewritten.

I give you:

The world’s first emoji domain.


Now that you’ve had a moment to recover, I’d like to give particular thanks to the country of Laos, who run the last remaining domain registrar I’m aware of that still allows international domain names that use any Unicode character. Our sincere thanks must be given to Thongsing Thammavong, the Prime Minister of Laos, for his valuable assistance in making all of this possible.

Update: I’ve just got word that, due to intense political unrest in Laos (untrue), they no longer allow Emoji domains! Yes, .la is no more. Fortunately, the territory of Tokelau (!) has stepped in to meet this intense international need! Emoji .tk domains are now available.

(Why are they so hard to register? Due to fears of IDN homograph attacks, most registrars, like .com, now only allow specific language sets to be used for Unicode domain names. The days of registering ☃.net — a previous Cabel effort in this series — are long gone. In fact, back in 2007 ICANN expressly recommended that “symbols and icons […] such as typographic and pictographic dingbats” should not be allowable code points for domain names. Fortunately, Laos didn’t get the memo.)

Now some of you might be asking, “What’s the point? How is this useful? It requires Lion, it only works in Safari, let alone on Windows. They’re impossible to type. How is this at all useful?” I understand, but you’re not really asking the right questions.

Now, I’m sure those of you who are members of the press will be eager to leave and phone your bureau as soon as possible with this discovery. Thus, I’ll bring my presentation to an end.

My friends, I’m glad you could join me on this trip into the unknown, now made known.

The internet will never be the same.

Oh, and one more thing: if you ever want to tell your friends about Transmit or Coda, just have them visit:



Posted at 11:05 am 50 Comments

From the desk of Cabel
Portland, Oregon 97205

Panic is Ready for Lion

Not long from now, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will be ready to download for eager Mac users across the globe.

Well, we’re ready. Today we posted four (!) software updates, mainly to improve Lion compatibility and be ready for the future.

We haven’t yet dug into Lion-specific features, such as fullscreen, but these minor updates will at least keep you rolling with your favorite Panic apps well into 10.7.

Better still? All of these updates are 100% free for current owners.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Coda 1.7.1. This important release fixes some annoying possible crashes in Lion. Not much else changed, but that’s because we’re very busy working on the big guy.
  • CandyBar 3.3. Not only are we up to date with Lion’s icons, but we also tweaked our user interface to better match 10.7, fixed the Export size slider to snap to common sizes, and more.
  • Unison 2.1.5. No known Lion issues to speak of, but we did fix a frequent crash with playing audio, squashed a rare situation where preferences would get reset, and more.
  • Transmit 4.1.6. Our amazing Transmit Disk feature (try it!) now fully supports Lion (a “non-trivial” change, I’m told). We also snuck in support for the AWS Tokyo region, Cyberduck 4 favorites importing, and more.

(As always, you can get full release notes by hovering over the ‘Download’ button on each app’s web page.)

These updates are available immediately direct from us. Just launch and use the apps — they’ll update for you. (CandyBar users will need to manually download and replace their current app.)

If you bought via the Mac App Store, hang tight — these updates (save for CandyBar) are currently in the review process, and should be available very soon.

We hope you enjoy Lion!

Posted at 5:23 pm 33 Comments

Copywriter: Cabel.

Yay! 4th of July Fireworks 2011!

(Note: last year, Blogger turned off ‘FTP Publishing’, sadly disabling my personal blog. The good news? I’ve officially scheduled a migration to WordPress in 2017. The bad news? This blog post, which has nothing to do with Panic, will have to live here for now. Enjoy the distraction! —Cabel)

“Hey, Gabe! Nice to see you. You gonna take more photos this year?”, asked the friendly Blackjack Fireworks owner with the large, silver handgun strapped to his waist.

I guess that makes this a tradition, then!

Welcome to my 5th annual look at funny fireworks. (You can get up to speed with 200720082009, and 2010.) These Chinese-designed and American-targeted fireworks from Brothers, Alien, Boomer, and more, hold a very special place in my design, marketing, and explosive heart. I hope you enjoy them also.

Stunning Stock Photography

The lady in the bottom right can’t help but smile every time she hears “You’ve Got Mail!”.


Most accurate “baby boomer” photo ever. Also, please read the “Performance Description”.


Sports dudes: do these guys say “Americana” to you? (I honestly don’t know.)


Surprising Graphic Design

Time from File > New to Save as PDF: 7 minutes.

Exactly how I imagine Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft went down.


Shotgun shells? Pool cue? Or is this baby chicken a suicide bomber? What is going on?

Questionable Concepts

PERFORMANCE: An eerily accurate simulation of what happens to me when I drink a grande latte.


That seems like an exceptionally bad idea.


Who can forget the classic Biblical passage where all God’s creatures die in a fire?


It just seems like a really specific thing to be blowing up is all.


Hot eats, cool copyright infringements.


So, so close.


“And this is my brother, Breaker.”


Classic! Another digital fantasy interrupted by a pop-up window that says “500 GRAM”.


The Grand Finale

Tucked in the corner of the shop, I see this. It’s like they knew I was coming.

Computer? Yes please. What could this possibly be? Stumped, I drew in closer, and discovered the secret…

This firework “laptop” actually hinges open.

Yes. The Windows key! The cursor nub! And this amazing desktop picture:

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s over — there’s no need to design any more fireworks. “Computer” has been made.

Bonus Movie

Here’s what happens when you light “Computer” on fire. Happy 4th of July, people!

Posted at 12:36 am 57 Comments

From the desk of Cabel
Portland, Oregon 97205

Panic at WWDC 2011

Dear Internet,

This week, the Panic crew — all 15 of us, with the exception of Kenichi, who is expecting a baby soon, our fifth this year — will be attending Apple’s always-enjoyable WWDC conference.

We can’t wait to see what’s new in Lion and iOS 5. We can’t wait to meet up with our favorite developers, old friends, and brand-new acquaintances, to swap stories. And we’re beyond curious to know what’s up with iCloud, particularly since lots of people want Dropbox syncing in our apps but we’ve been secretly banking on Apple providing a free way for our users to sync their preferences instead. Oh please, please let that be a part of it.

Now, while we’re at WWDC, our support turnaround time might be a little higher than normal. That said, our support team endeavors to bring the show on the road, all guns blazing. (“They work in a hotel room!”)

Most important, if you see any of us at WWDC — let our Twitter avatars be your guide — please say hello!

We’d love to meet you.

Catch you next week!

Posted at 6:17 pm 10 Comments


From the Panic kitchen, Chef Neven

Panic recently enjoyed a working visit from our German friends, TheCodingMonkeys. We certainly never expected them to treat us to a home-cooked meal, but treat us they did. Danke, coole Typen! —Neven

Hi, my name is Toby, I work for TheCodingMonkeys, and I love cooking. I live in Bavaria.

So, when we were visiting Panic in Portland, we took the opportunity to bring some Old Europe culture to those American barbarians and cook some traditional Bavarian food. Pork roast is a classic Sunday dish. Fifty years ago, the mother of a family would go to church in the Saturday evening, so she could prepare this meal for the family the next morning and have it ready when they returned from Sunday mass. It takes some time to cook, but it’s not all that complicated.

Cooking for Panic was very enjoyable, not least of all because they have an entire kitchen in their office. What passes for an office kitchen in Europe is usually a tiny room with a coffee cooker and a fridge. Not a four-burner kitchen range with an oven and a sink you could take a bath in. In a word, it was awesome. Add to that Les, our native guide to the jungle of Portland grocery shopping (who was absolutely indispensable), and the rest of the office crew, and you can guess we had a great time.

Thanks again to Panic for having us!


Traditional Bavarian Pork Roast (for 4 persons)

Pork Roast (“Schweinsbraten”)

  • 750g (1 1/2 lb) pork shoulder / loin / ham roast, skin-on1
  • 2 onions


  • Carrots
  • Root parsley ( 3
  • Leeks
  • Celery root
  • Caraway
  • Garlic
  • Beer

1. This should preferrably be boneless (makes carving easier). You will probably need to specially order this from your butcher beforehand to make sure they leave the skin on the meat.

2. All of the veg are optional and you can use as much or as little of each as you want. Don’t use *too* many carrots though, or their taste’ll come through too strongly. Basically any roots and tubers will do. Even potatoes, in a pinch.

3. You may not be able to get this. We substituted turnip or rutabaga. See 2.

Bread Dumplings (“Semmelknödel”)

  • 4 bread rolls4, dried, sliced thinly
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 eggs
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • parsley
  • 1/4 l (1 cup) milk

4. Those are German white bread rolls. The bread is similar to a soft French baguette (which is, in fact, a good substitute). We used hamburger buns, which made the dumplings a little sweeter than I’d have liked. Bread dumplings are a food made with leftovers, so make sure the bread is really dry. If you don’t have any old bread lying around, cut fresh bread into slices (1cm [1/2″] thickness), and leave it to dry for a day.

Cabbage Salad (“Kraut”)

  • Cabbage5
  • Vinegar
  • Caraway

5. This particular kind of cabbage, called Weißkraut (“white cabbage”), has pretty tough leaves and looks like this:


This meal has three components: The roast itself, bread dumplings, and a side dish made by marinating chopped cabbage leaves in salt. Let’s call it a cabbage salad for want of a better name.

Also, as with all roasts, the larger the better. The puny 3 lb piece of meat in the recipe will serve four people, but the trouble with very small roasts is that they are done so fast the skin has almost no chance to become crisp. For our American friends, we roasted a magnificent piece of meat weighing more than 3kg, which had the crispest and best crust I’ve ever seen on a pork roast.

The Cabbage Salad, for Lack of a Better Name

I’ll start with this, because you can prepare it way beforehand. Chop the cabbage into very thin strips, put them into a bowl in layers, adding salt (generously) to each layer, and crush the layer with a wooden potato masher or something of the sort. Then, let it rest until 30 minutes before serving.

Half an hour before serving, add vinegar and caraway. Just before serving, add some oil, and (if you feel like it) a finely chopped onion and some pan-roasted bits of bacon.

The Roast

Heat the oven to 200°C (428°F).

Wash the meat, beat it thoroughly with a meat tenderizer, then cut the skin. First, make a series of parallel cuts spaced about 1/2″. Then make a second series of cuts diagonal to the first. Use a sharp knife, a pig’s skin is pretty tough. Be sure to cut all through the skin into the fat layer. Rub the caraway, crushed garlic, salt and pepper all over the meat, the skin, and into the cuts.

Place the meat skin side down into a roasting pan or dutch oven, add a little boiling water, and cover the entire thing with a lid or tinfoil. Put into the oven for 15 minutes. Uncover the meat, turn it skin side up, and add the vegetables.

Roasting time is about 1 hour for every kilo (2 lb) of meat. A meat thermometer is invaluable here, because it lets you make sure the meat is done but not bone dry.

When the skin starts to brown, you can occasionally pour some beer over the meat. It’ll make the skin crisper, and the sauce taste better.

The Sauce

When the you’re nearing the release date, er, serving time – say, about 15 minutes before serving – take out all the vegetables, and mash them through a mesh strainer. Use a ladle to add most of the liquid that’s in the roasting pan, and mix together to make the sauce. At least that’s the traditional way. It gives the sauce a nice grainy texture. Alternatively, you can use a blender, in which case you should blend the veg together with the liquid from the roasting pan.

Season to taste and put the pot with the sauce on the stove so you can warm it back up before serving.

Some people (like me) like the taste of the vegetables that have been cooked for hours in the beer and meat juices. For those people, leave one or two carrots in the roasting pan when you take out the rest to make the sauce.

The Dumplings

You’ll have plenty of time to prepare the dumplings while the roast is roasting. The important part here is getting the consistency of the dough right. Don’t use all the milk at first. Until you mix everything, it’s hard to tell how the dough is going to turn out. After you have added all ingredients, use milk if the dough is too dry. In case disaster strikes (as it did when we were making the dumplings) and the dough gets so liquid you can’t form dumplings out of it, add breadcrumbs.

Pour some of the boiling milk over the dried bread, and let it soak. Add the other ingredients. Yes, all of them. Just toss them in. Go ahead, we do not have all day. Knead everything until homogenous, form dumplings about 3/4 the size of a fist.

About 15 minutes before serving, let the dumplings slide gently into boiling, lightly salted water. (By the way, water takes an incredibly long time to come to a boil, so make sure you put the water on early enough to have it boiling at T minus 15 minutes). Use enough water so the dumplings can float without touching the bottom of the pot. Cook at a soft boil for about 12 minutes.


Posted at 11:48 am 8 Comments