I’ve linked to this before, but with the death of Iain M Banks it’s worth re-reading this fascinating insight into The Culture, one of science fictions’s few realistic utopias.
The brief mention here of The Culture’s attitude to death is apt:
Philosophy, again; death is regarded as part of life, and nothing, including the universe, lasts forever. It is seen as bad manners to try and pretend that death is somehow not natural; instead death is seen as giving shape to life.
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.
A sweet, beautiful love letter to design, from Oliver.
Just like in the Borges short story, you can now see everything at once …from Project Gutenberg, or from Twitter, or from both.
This may be the only legitimate use case for (truly) infinite scrolling.
Dispatches from the disturbing town of Scarfolk, where it is permanently the 1970s:
Scarfolk is more than its famous sewage treatment works, it’s more than its high security mental facilities; it’s more than its world renowned covens; it’s more than its fine reputation which it rebuilt after a spate of grizzly serial killings…
It’s funny and creepy in equal measure. Actually, the creepiness may be the larger measure.
Michael Weinberg’s follow-up whitepaper to “It will be awesome if they don’t screw it up.”
A wonderful collection of misconceptions, often the result of being myzelled when young.
The out-of-copyright books of Olaf Stapledon are available to download from the University of Adelaide. Be sure to grab Starmaker and First And Last Men.
A nice Readlist based on that excellent article by Craig on digital publishing:
This reader is made up of Craigmod’s essay “Subcompact Publishing” and essays linked to in the footnotes.
Craig writes about the hologram of his quantified self.
A step-by-step guide to unDRMing your Kindle books—a prudent course of action given Amazon’s recent unilateral wiping of Kindles.
These short pocketbooks from Five Simple Steps look like they’ll be very handy indeed. Shame they won’t be available in dead-tree format: I bet they’d be really cute.
A really enjoyable interview with Neal Stephenson.
Dan makes a very good point about Little Printer: it’s not the “printer” part that matters; it’s the “little”.
Google’s datadump makes for a fascinating—and worrying—bit of data dumpster diving.
Neal Stephenson would like your help in making a video game about sword-fighting that doesn’t suck.
Jake demonstrates his technique for preprocessor-generated stylesheets for older versions of Internet Explorer (while other browsers get the same styles within media queries).
This is an excellent idea from Jake: use a preprocessor to automatically spit out a stylesheet for older versions of IE that includes desktop styles (garnered from the declarations within media queries).
If you’re a dab hand with Ruby and you’d like to see this in SASS, you can help.
Nine years and five months after he began publishing every entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary, Phil Gyford posts the last entry.
Like the Web Standards Project but for ePub. I approve of this message.
A superb piece of writing from Erin, smashing taboos with the edge of Bladerunner.
Neal Stephenson speaks at Solve For X on the relative timidity of scientific (and science fictional) progress in our current time.
Re-examining Von Neumann probes, reconciling their apparent scarcity with the Fermi paradox.
A masterplan for the moon as a global cemetery. Launch the ashes of your loved ones to the moon (leaving the buckyball container in lunarstationary orbit). Given enough ashes and enough buckyballs, the result is a fertile surface and a atmosphere-trapping layer of fullerine. Terraforming via recycled humans.
Or, if that’s too long-term for you, you can buy a scale-model moon jewel.
Anil shares his thoughts on where there’s room for improvement in 3D printing, or as he calls it, teleporting.
Among the proposed projects from the Shimizu corporation are a space hotel, giant lakes in the desert, and a ring around the moon to harness solar energy.
Past predictions of the future in concept videos.
If you use Sass, this could be a really handy technique for handling IE<9 support with mobile-first responsive designs.
This evolution of Tom Taylor’s microprinter looks like it’s going to be absolutely wonderful (and packed full of personality). Watch this space.
Possibly the least imaginative concept video ever made, this piece commissioned by Blackberry shows a dystopian near-future ruled by security departments run by people with very, very tired arms.
A rallying cry from Neal Stephenson for Getting Big Stuff Done.
September in Brighton is going to be ker-razy! Here’s a nice responsive holding page listing just some of the events that will be going on …dConstruct, Maker Faire, Flash On The Beach and more.
Yet another reason to host your own content instead of sharecropping; danah boyd wakes up one morning to find her Tumblr account has been moved to a different URL.
This is why, when a child posits something ridiculous-sounding, you should encourage them.
A browser-based ePub reader. ‘Cause it’s (X)HTML all the way down, baby.
If I had the right biological equipment, I think I too might offer to bear Stephen Fry’s children …in a song.
A nice’n’small lazy loader that should make life easier when it comes to pollyfilling browser support for nifty HTML5 or CSS3 features.
I wish I had a teacher like David when I was in school.
URLs, permalinks, archives … preservation. It all matters so very much.
An excellent historical overview of rocketry by Neal Stephenson.
This was one of my favourite hacks at History Hack Day: enter a location anywhere in England to find out if it’s located on a ley line of mystical magical energy, man!
Julian Bleecker explains design fiction in the context of science fiction using the examples of gestural interfaces and virtual reality.
An absolutely fantastic write-up of Science Hack Day San Francisco ...as seen through the lens of Stephen Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From.
James Bridle propsed Open Bookmarks during a presentation at Tools of Change in Frankfurt today: "Open Bookmarks is not a thing, it’s a proposal, a flag in the ground. We need to agree on a way of sharing and storing annotations and bookmarks, reading attention data and everything around the book: that aura."
You'll need to use Instapaper/Readability/Safari Reader to make it legible, but this conversation is well worth reading. Now I want to get those books.
A perfect parody lampooning the shallow and cowardly reporting of most so-called science stories by the press (I'm looking at you, BBC).
Beautiful instrumental music: four tracks for a minimum donation of four dollars. Recommended.
Liza and co. did a fantastic job converting my book. I doff my cap.
Zoot alors! Mon book is high in the iTunes Store Français. Quelle surprise!
The wonderfully detailed analysis of a colour questionnaire.
Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
The nerdgasmic result of a collision between linguistics and Star Wars.
Best. Bug report. Ever.
This is the reason why we chose Vzaar for hosting the videos on the Reprieve website.
He sees you when you are sleeping. He knows when you are awake. Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be good ...for goodness sake.
Matt gets an opportunity to use the Chernoff effect for visualising school data.
The New York Times covers Everyblock, Outside.in, and their ilk.
An online animated spaceship and experimental aircraft art magazine. Gorgeous.
Busker Du (dial-up) is a recording service for buskers through the telephone (preferably public payphones hidden in subway stations).
For three days you can buy 5 PDF books for the price of 1 from Sitepoint and your money will go to the victims of the bushfires.
This addition to Firebug is rather excellent: a built in reference for whatever you're inspecting.
I can't wait to get my personal annual report from Dopplr! In the meantime, I'll content myself with the very pretty example of Barack Obama's annual report.
There are, apparently, entire subcategories of cuteness.
An interesting look at the way our brains responds to changes in our environment ...with video.
Mimi Ito talks to the BBC about the findings of a report into teens geeking out online.
Rachel and Kevin's new book looks very interesting indeed. It is about just one thing: CSS tables.
There appears to be a form of synesthesia where people "hear" motion. Watch this video (repeatedly) to test your own sensory perception.
A proof of concept browser from Adaptive Path together with Mozilla Labs. This must have been fun to work on.
This is required reading for anyone planning to join in the Werewolf games at the next BarCamp.
A zeppelin over London. No, this isn't some steampunk flight of fancy; it's for real.
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes! "A new generation of environmentally friendly 'hybrid airships' could be just about to take off." Anything that makes everyday life more like Steampunk must be good.
Cam's latest experiment is insane but brilliant ...sort of like Cam himself.
The heartening story of a mother who allows her child some independence instead of living in fear of a Black Swan.
Burn the rope, kill the baddies and save the entire planet. Well, not really. But it's worth winning this game (by burning the rope) to hear the song.
A report on the growing trend of banning laptops from meetings. We never have laptops at the Clearleft Monday morning meetings but it wasn't a policy: it's just common sense/courtesy.
Quotably offers a nice well-ordered interface onto Twitter conversations.
Make your own 3D printer (you know, like the replicator in Star Trek) using sugar and an air pump. The results are astoundingly cool.
Reznor had stepped into a new kind of interactive fiction, one where players don't just passively consume the story.
Epic is a lovely looking new typeface from Neil Summerour.
Playing the world's most boring real-time video game for a good cause. It's strangely compelling to watch the "game" in progress.
In a bold move of reverse vandalism, a group of French cultural guerrillas secretly repaired the broken clock in the Pantheon.
A wonderful piece of writing by Stephen Fry that frames the problems communication in cross-cultural settings and then works through said problems.
Brian's article on portable social networks is a clear and concise introduction to the subject with explanations of the technologies involved.
I want a thingamagoop.
It's easy for us to take technology for granted. This video shows how transformative technology can be. I am humbled.
I can only see the dancer going clockwise. Jessica saw anti-clockwise at first but was then able to change direction. I can't do that.
Stephen Fry answers questions on VideoJug about technology and Web 2.0 amongst other things. Swoonsome.
Stephen Fry is blogging. This makes me happy. All is well with the world.
Pulling together a bunch of CSS tricks from a range of sources: reseting, baseline typography and grids (fixed width, unfortunately).
Now your child can look like a denizen of the uncanny valley with just a little Photoshop magic.
Bobbie draws up a list of UK startups to keep an eye on. Moo is here of course but so is Dopplr.
Great article from Brian ranging from introducing microformats right up to the current state of play.
Yet more on the events I blogged about down the street, again from the local newspaper.
Here's the local paper's take on the happenings on my street that I blogged about.
Watch the adventures of Derek and Kathryn Featherstone in the run up to IronMan Lake Placid 2007. Check out the route maps: very slick.
Stephanie Sullivan has redesigned. Her site is now almost as smart and sassy as she is. Very nice work, Steph.
Upcoming events about Identity. A lot of these are happening in Europe; I should try to get to one.
Coffee porn, some of which is from the baristas working at Travelbag in Brighton.
Paul's voice has been sampled from his this'n'that magic trick and used for this stop-motion animation. Brilliant! I <3 mashup culture.