Improving Reality 2014 — Visibility Is A Trap
Lighthouse are putting on their Improving Reality conference again this year. It’s the day before dConstruct. Come to both!
Lighthouse are putting on their Improving Reality conference again this year. It’s the day before dConstruct. Come to both!
The Aaron Swartz film is available on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license.
A look at how the website for An Event Apart is using the picture and Picturefill …featuring Jessica as the cover girl.
When I’ve been banging on at conferences about digital preservation, personal publishing and the indie web, I’ve been at pains to point out that there are huge opportunities here for startups looking to build valet services to help people publish on their own domain.
Ben and Erin at Known are doing just that, with some backing from KQED, PRX and the Knight Foundation instead of the usual short-sighted Silicon Valley venture capitalism.
One of the jobs of a startup is to look at where the world is going, extrapolating from current trends and domain knowledge, and meet a future need with a product at exactly the right time. We think the time is right for an independent web that is owned by content creators and readers alike.
A variation on “Christ, what an asshole!”
This has the potential to be a terrific little documentary. What say we get it funded?
The GPS system is a monumental network that provides a permanent “YouAreHere” sign hanging in the sky, its signal a constant, synchronised timecode.
A great article by Susan on getting started with creating a styleguide for any project.
I’ve seen firsthand how style guides save development time, make communication regarding your front end smoother, and keep both code and design consistent throughout the site.
A nice stroll around Marseilles at night without any of the traditional danger.
If your startup gets acquired and shut down by a larger company, this is the way to announce it—no “we’re excited to announce”; no “incredible journey”. Instead there’s an apology and regret (which is exactly what your users will be feeling).
A fascinating look at how Flipboard combines art direction and algorithms to generate layouts.
A great post from Anna on the front-end styleguides she’s worked on for A List Apart and Code for America. ‘Twas a pleasure working with her on the Code for America project.
A-mer-ica! Fuck yeah!
Another front-end style guide for the collection. This time it’s from A List Apart. Lovely stuff!
A beautiful real-time visualisation of winds on our planet.
A searing, angry, heartfelt eulogy.
A beautiful exploration of the Star Axis sculpture—an artwork of the Long Now.
The ancients had pyramids to tame the sky’s mystery. We have Star Axis, a masterpiece forty years in the making.
This is a great idea from A Book Apart—the more different books you buy at the same time, the more of a discount you get.
Got to get ‘em all!
This gives me a warm fuzzy glow. The Mefites are using Radio Free Earth to find out which stars are receiving the number one hits from their birthdays.
Some lovely pictures from the Clearleft office-warming party last weekend.
Beautiful amalgamations of film characters:
A custom software detects faces from every 24 frames of a movie, and creates an average face of all found faces. The composite image reflects the centric figure(s) and the visual mood of the movie.
Data visualisations that make no sense.
Scenes from a future Sweden.
Beautiful animated GIFs showing the lungs of our planet.
Jason pulls together some of the themes that emerged at An Event Apart DC this week.
Luke’s notes from my talk at An Event Apart DC.
Jason Garber took some nicely-hyperlinked notes during my presentation at An Event Apart DC.
A beautiful eulogy for Doug Engelbart by Bret Viktor, not celebrating the laundry list of his inventions, but celebrating his intent in making the world a better place.
Engelbart had an intent, a goal, a mission. He stated it clearly and in depth. He intended to augment human intellect. He intended to boost collective intelligence and enable knowledge workers to think in powerful new ways, to collectively solve urgent global problems.
The line-up for this year’s Improving Reality conference looks great (as always).
It’s the day before dConstruct so why not come on down to Brighton a day early and double your fun?
A vision of neurotic network-enabled objects, as prototyped by dConstruct speaker Simone Rebaudengo.
James gets profiled in Vanity Fair …which is, frankly, kind of weird.
It’s also so bizarre to read about his SXSW New Aesthetic panel as being such a pivotal moment: there weren’t that many of us in the room.
A well-written piece on the nature of work and value on the web, particularly in the start-up economy.
A really nice piece on Robert McCall, who was artist-in-residence at NASA and worked as conceptual artist on Kubrick and Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A lovely site with thoughtful articles on the long-term future of the web.
There’s audio too, which is unfortunately locked up in the unhuffduffable roach motel that is Soundcloud, but I’m hoping that might change.
Aw, my l’il ol’ book is three years old!
To celebrate, you can get 15% off any title from A Book Apart with this discount code for the next few days: HAPPY3RD.
It’s a big ask, but if you can action these ten tips from Anil, your startup will crush it.
A collection of those appalling doublespeek announcements that sites and services give when they get acquired. You know the ones: they begin with “We’re excited to announce…” and end with people’s data being flushed down the toilet.
Don’t let James Bridle get a hold of this.
A lovely way of demonstrating the differences between map projections. Drag for extra fun.
David gets physidigital.
This issue of A List Apart is a great double-whammy. Lara Swanson has a ton of practical tips for front-end performance enhancements, and Brian dives deep into making your own icon fonts.
Biting satire that hits its mark superbly. Ouch! Be careful — this is sharp …and funny.
A very handy technique from Cennydd for answering the “it depends” question of when you might need a separate device-specific site (‘though I think that a separate can be a good option in addition to a responsive site, rather than instead of).
Now this looks like my kind of event:
A new micro-conference on science, technology, communication and fiction, organised by the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
An in-depth look at the portrayal of hackers on film.
A collaborative writing tool built by a dream team. I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s very nice indeed.
There’s going to be mini Science Hack Day at Lighthouse as part of this month’s Science Festival in Brighton. Come along — it’ll be fun.
Local music shop Resident Records ran a competition to win 20 pairs of tickets to an exclusive warm-up gig by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. To be in with a chance, you had to recreate an album cover. These are the winning entries.
You’ll spot Jessica’s creation in amongst them. We’re off to see Nick Cave tonight!
This year’s TeleGeography map of the undersea network looks beautiful—inspired by old maps. I love the way that latency between countries is shown as inset constellations.
Communal satellite eyes. A Mac screensaver is also available.
This is fun. Drag the red country outlines around and slot them into place on the map. Sounds easy, right? But the distorting effect of the Mercator projection makes it a lot tougher than it looks.
From the cave paintings at Lascaux to the Pioneer plaques and Voyager golden records to Trevor Paglen’s “The Last Pictures” project, Paul Glister examines the passage and preservation of art and information through time. Fascinating.
Or perhaps, as Paglen envisions, those who find a Pioneer Plaque, a Voyager Record, or one of our electromagnetic transmissions will be interested enough to search us out, coming upon a future Earth where all that is left of humanity are our terrestrial ruins and that artificial ring of geosynchronous satellites, with one of them having a particular golden artifact bolted to its pitted hull. In that scenario, about all that would be left for the visiting ETI to do in terms of learning about us would be grand-scale dumpster diving.
A gorgeous collection of experiments that showcase just how much is possible in browsers today.
Remember when I made that canvas sparkline script? Remember when Stuart grant my wish for an SVG version? Well, now Tom has gone one further and created a hosted version on sparksvg.me
Not a fan of sparklines? Bars and circles are also available.
Some of the past year’s best long-form non-fiction, gathered together into a handy readlist for your portable epub pleasure.
A fascinating piece by James on trap streets, those fictitious places on maps that have no corresponding territory.
The biggest plot holes of World War Two.
Warning: contains spoilers.
VC funding that actually makes sense, from the always-sensible Maciej Cegłowski.
Oh, my! This excellent, excellent post from Anil Dash is a great summation of what has changed on the web, and how many of today’s big-name services are no longer imbued with the spirit of the web.
Either you remember how things used to be and you’ll nod your head vigorously in recognition and agreement …or you’re too young to remember this, and you won’t quite believe that is how things worked.
This isn’t some standard polemic about “those stupid walled-garden networks are bad!” I know that Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and the rest are great sites, and they give their users a lot of value. They’re amazing achievements, from a pure software perspective. But they’re based on a few assumptions that aren’t necessarily correct. The primary fallacy that underpins many of their mistakes is that user flexibility and control necessarily lead to a user experience complexity that hurts growth. And the second, more grave fallacy, is the thinking that exerting extreme control over users is the best way to maximize the profitability and sustainability of their networks.
Gorgeous pictures from the Suomi satellite, just released by NASA
Ethan’s excellent talk from last year’s An Event Apart.
In this session Ethan reviews strategies for handling trickier elements that would make even the most seasoned designer quail: stuff like advertising, complex layouts, deep navigation patterns, third-party media, and, yes, actual, honest-to-goodness content.
We got a sneak peak of this lovely little Instagram-powered projector from the guys at Mint Digital at last week’s Skillswap. “It’s not a wheel. It’s a carousel.”
Now you can back it on Kickstarter.
Nerdgasm! David Braben is bringing Elite back and bringing it up to date. And he’s funding the project on Kickstarter.
Best. Game. Ever!
Camille Paglia is apparently a Lucas apologist like me.
A peak behind the scenes at the responsive design and development workflow at Bearded. It makes a lot of sense.
CSSquirrel shares my feelings on the email notification anti-pattern.
The kickass articles just keep on comin’. This one from Dave is a great overview of options for dealing with images in responsive designs.
A really great article from Paul that simultaneously takes a high-level view of the web while also focusing on the details. A lot of work went into this.
In the hippest areas for Street Art, life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View are printed and posted without authorization at the same spot where they were taken.
A really enjoyable interview with Neal Stephenson.
An excellent in-depth article from Anna on the many gaming devices out there that have both an internet connection and a web browser.
This is a rather lovely history of the first two years of Lanyrd, starting with that honeymoon-turned-startup.
I really like the way that Lanyrd’s communications reflect the personalities of Simon and Nat: utterly brilliant, but also a little bonkers, with far more animals than would be reasonably expected.
Luke’s notes from my talk at An Event Apart in Chicago.
A Kickstarter project for space elevator research? Oh, hell yes!
A great article by Hannah, focusing on the Long Web—it isn’t about the quantity of data you’re publishing; it’s the quality. This builds nicely on the article I linked to recently about digital scarcity.
If this Kickstarter project gets launched, it will literally get launched.
The truth about startups. Got a startup? Take the quiz. It’s harsh but fair.
Another beautiful timelapse video made from photographs taken from the International Space Station.
The music from Sunshine gets me every time.
Andy remarks on the same synchronicity I talked about at An Event Apart Austin:
Every An Event Apart conference feels special, but at this one the (unplanned) recurring themes were spooky.
A good long read that tells the story behind an art piece that used the built-in cameras on Macs in the Apple Store, and the subsequent visit from the Secret Service.
How about this for a trip down memory lane—a compendium of articles from over a decade of A List Apart, also available as a Readlist epub. It’s quite amazing just how good this free resource is.
The only thing to fault is that, due to some kind of clerical error, one of my articles has somehow found its way onto this list.
If this were Twitter, you’d be at-replying me with the hashtag “humblebrag”, wouldn’t you?
This is how London looked on my birthday, as recorded by the stationary meatspace protrusion of James’s Ship Adrift.
Neal Stephenson would like your help in making a video game about sword-fighting that doesn’t suck.
Beautiful time-lapse photography from Don “we’ve got a Dragon by the tail” Pettit, taken from the International Space Station.
Anton is a fantastic artist. Therefore, this graphic novel will be fantastic. Therefore, you should back the hell out of it.
This really is a ridiculously smart way of keeping third-party videos scalable in responsive layouts. I’ve just implemented it on this year’s dConstruct site.
This post by Jason Fried is three years old but it’s more relevant than ever.
What a loss. Is that the best the next generation can do? Become part of the old generation? How about kicking the shit out of the old guys? What ever happened to that?
Just copy and paste.
Dear soon-to-be-former user…
In which twelve drawings of historical drawing machines are drawn by a computer numerical controlled machine.
Bruce Sterling writes about the New Aesthetic in an article that’s half manifesto and half critique.
Grab a cup of tea or hit your “read it later” bookmarklet of choice for this one—it’s a lengthy but worthwhile read.
Samantha does an excellent job of explaining how useful style tiles can be for visual design and iteration.
Press play on each video, sit back, and relax.
Matt has transcribed the notes from his excellent Webstock talk. I highly recommend giving this a read.
I really enjoyed Matt’s talk from Webstock. I know some people thought it might be a bit of a downer but I actually found it very inspiring.
Pictures from the photo booth at Jeffrey’s Hall of Fame celebration party on the last night of South by Southwest.
Bobbie’s new journalism project is up and running on Kickstarter. Get in there!
A terrific article from Wilto detailing the thinking that went into the Boston Globe’s responsive image techniques and how browser pre-caching is now throwing a spanner in the works.
This is the talk I gave at An Event Apart through 2010. It’s all about interaction design with some examples from Huffduffer.
Wallow in nerd nostalgia and experience the Proustian rush of rebooting old operating systems.
Mashing up Angry Birds and spreadsheets to better visualise project time-tracking.
Add this one to your Instapaper/Readability queue: the behind-the-scenes story of the train wreck that was the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.