Some good brainstorming from Tantek that follows on nicely from Anne’s recent manifesto.
Chloe is going all in on the Indie Web. Here, she outlines how she’s posting to Twitter from her own site with a POSSE system (Post to Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere).
This is a wonderful, wonderful round-up by KQED of the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco …a truly marvellous event.
Be sure to watch the accompanying video—it brought a tear to my eye.
This is the worst idea for a W3C community group ever. Come to think of it, it’s the worst idea for an idea ever.
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.
Chloe writes up her experience of the excellent Science Hack Day in San Francisco and describes the hack we built together: Radio Free Earth.
Wonderful photos from Science Hack Day San Francisco, courtesy of Matt B.
Maciej’s talk from this year’s XOXO—excellent stuff!
Realistically, what happens when you detonate a large metallic satellite (about the the size of the second Death Star) in orbit around an inhabited world (like, say, the forest moon of Endor).
It isn’t pretty.
I had a lot of fun chatting with Jen on this week’s episode of The Web Ahead. Wind me up and let me loose; I ended up rambling on about blogging, the indie web movement, progressive enhancement, and just about everything in between.
I had a nice chat with Michelle from Future Insights about the web and long-term thinking.
It’s sad to see MyOpenID shut down, but now I can simply use IndieAuth instead …which means my delegate URL is simply adactio.com: magic!
Michael Chabon muses on The Future, prompted by the Clock of the Long Now.
I heartily concur with Lyza’s mini-manifesto:
I think we need to try to do as little as possible when we build the future web …putting commonality first, approaching differentiation carefully.
It’s always surprised me how quickly developers will reach for complex, potentially over-engineered solutions, when—in my experience—that approach invariably creates more problems than it solves.
Simplicity is powerful.
Iain M.Banks and dConstruct, together at last.
Honor’s piece for The Guardian on this year’s dConstruct.
A smart and thoughtful write-up of dConstruct from Lee, pulling together three emergent themes:
- how we interact with machines and each other,
- how we co-evolve with machines, and
- making the invisible visible.
A great, thought-provoking day that proved, once again, that there are many brilliant, generous minds working in or around the future of technology and human experience today.
This is a terrific write up of this year’s dConstruct, tying together all the emergent themes.
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.
Omni returns with a Bruce Sterling short story that marries alternative history and satire with a dash of digital preservation.
Go ahead, just wait a year, or two years, or maybe five years. Then try to find this, later. There will be no sign of this website, because it’s just made of pixels. No remains of the machine that you read it with, either.
Scenes from a future Sweden.
The apparent difficulty of living in my head, freelancing, working for large organisations and then descending in to paranoia.
I have a lot of admiration for Reverend Dan Catt.
I don’t want to be in a position where I say “Hey, I’m working at Google, no no, don’t worry, the good bit of Google”, because goodness knows I did enough of that at Yahoo.
I’m not sure how I managed to miss this site up until now, but it’s right up my alley: equal parts urban planning, ethnography, and food science.
A rallying cry for the Indie Web.
Let’s build this.
We shouldn’t be protecting ourselves. We should be protecting each other.
Paris Review – “One Murder Is Statistically Utterly Unimportant”: A Conversation with Warren Ellis, Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
Registration is now open for Science Hack Day San Francisco at the end of September. Hope to see you there.
A profile of the Indie Web movement in Wired.
Go! Fight! Win!
If this sounds like your kind of hackery, be sure to come along to Indie Web Camp UK in Brighton right after dConstruct.
This is quite remarkable. Now that the Galaxy Zoo project from Zooniverse has successfully classified all its data (already a remarkable achievement), its volunteers are now collaborating on writing a scientific paper.
There’s something going on here. This isn’t just a “cool” or “cute” link—this is the first stirring of something entirely new that is made possible by network technology.
See that helmet? That’s my helmet. Jim borrowed it for this video.
And now I think that the Future Friendly posse has a theme song.
This sounds like it’s a going to be a good: a new TV series by Steven Johnson on the history of technology and innovation. Sounds very Burkian, which is a very good thing.
Looks like Google are offering responsive (or at least adaptive) ad sizes.
Yet another cautionary tale on why you should be homesteading instead of sharecropping.
I like this theory!
A page to demonstrate the conditional CSS technique I documented a while back.
H.P. Lovecraft meets James Bridle in this great little story commissioned by the Institute For The Future.
I approve of this message.
Dan’s blog is rapidly turning into one of my favourite destinations on the web.
I hope he comes to an Indie Web Camp.
A good article on Medium on Medium.
Six months ago, Bastian wrote this fantastic vision of decentralised social web. I want to start making this a reality at the next Indie Web Camp.
There’s something fundamental and robust about being able to request a URL and get back at least an HTML representation of the resource: human-readable, accessible, fault tolerant.
You can now purchase some very fetching Future Friendly T-shirts from United Pixelworkers and fly your Future Friendly freak flag high!
Best of all, all the profits go to the Internet Archive.
Corridors in science fiction films.
Google’s track record is not looking good. There seems to be a modus operandi of bait-and-switch: start with open technologies (XMPP, CalDav, RSS) and then once they’ve amassed a big enough user base, ditch the standards.
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.
Francis Spufford—author of the excellent Backroom Boffins—writes a cover story for the New Humanist magazine remembering Iain Banks with the middle initial M firmly to the fore: it was Iain M Banks—and his creation, The Culture—that took the seemingly passé genre of space opera to new heights.
Jared explains how adding new features can end up hurting the user experience.
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.
I need to get Matt to an Indie Web Camp.
This slipped past me somehow: a review of Huffduffer by Jason Snell for Macworld.
Thanks, Jason! Glad you like it.
Ben proposes an alternative to archive.org: changing the fundamental nature of DNS.
Regarding the boo-hooing of how hard companies have it maintaining unprofitable URLs, I think Ben hasn’t considered the possibility of a handover to a cooperative of users—something that might yet happen with MySpace (at least there’s a campaign to that effect; it will probably come to naught). As Ben rightly points on, domain names are leased, not bought, so the idea of handing them over to better caretakers isn’t that crazy.
A fascinating look at the history of cookies …from the inventor of cookies.
Yes! Yes! YES!
Tom is spot-on here: you shouldn’t be afraid of writing about yourself …especially not for fear of damaging some kind of “personal brand” or pissing off some potential future employer.
If your personal brand demands that you live your life in fear of disclosing important parts of your life or your experience, the answer is to reject the whole sodding concept of personal brands.
Do things I write about my personal life threaten my personal brand? Perhaps. Are there people who wouldn’t hire me based on things I write? Probably. Do I give even a whiff of a fuck? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.
Fascinating fodder for Huffduffer:
Beginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to teenagers around the country to create audio diaries about their lives. NPR’s All Things Considered aired intimate portraits of five of these teens: Amanda, Juan, Frankie, Josh and Melissa. They’re now in their 30s. Over this past year, the same group has been recording new stories about where life has led them for our series, Teenage Diaries Revisited.
Zooniverse have done it again. Now you can help in the hunt for sources of gravitational lensing.
It’s informative. It’s fun. It has genuine scientific value.
A really nice short film about the Willie Clancy Summer School. It makes me want to get back to Miltown Malbay this July.
A history lesson from Vint Cerf. I can’t help but picture him as The Architect in The Matrix Reloaded.
When Tim Berners-Lee invented and released the World Wide Web (WWW) design in late 1991, he found an open and receptive internet in operation onto which the WWW could be placed. The WWW design, like the design of the internet, was very open and encouraged a growing cadre of self-taught webmasters to develop content and applications.
A cute little read-only Twitter client from James that only displays fully-formed tweets: no hashtags, no @-replies.
Sorta sci-fi from Adam.
Consider this a shooting script for one of those concept videos so beloved of the big technology vendors.
Prepare to lose yourself for hours as you keep hitting “take me somewhere else” through these most bizarre and wonderful Google street view locations.
I think it’s a bit of a shame that Brett is canning his mobile-first device-detection library, but I totally understand (and agree with) his reasons.
There is a consensual hallucination in the market, that we can silo devices into set categories like mobile, tablet, and desktop, yet the reality is drawing these lines in the sand is not an easy task.
Want a Science Hack Day where you live? Make it so!
A truly fascinating and well-written article on how changes are afoot in the worlds of psychology, economics, and just about any other field that has performed tests on American participants and extrapolated the results into universal traits.
Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.
A wonderful rallying cry from Drew.
Ever since the halcyon days of Web 2.0, we’ve been netting our butterflies and pinning them to someone else’s board.
Hope that what you’ve created never has to die. Make sure that if something has to die, it’s you that makes that decision. Own your own data, friends, and keep it safe.
Tantek steps back and offers some practical approaches to reclaiming a more open web from the increasingly tight clutches of the big dominant roach motels.
Notice that he wrote this on his own domain, not on Branch, Medium, Google+, Facebook, or any other black hole.
Science Fiction Film as Design Scenario Exercise for Psychological Habitability: Production Designs 1955-2009
A white paper that looks to sci-fi films as potential prototypes for habitats for humans in space, with an emphasis on dealing with the psychological issues involved.
I really, really enjoyed this chat with Conor, especially the quick-fire round.
Note: I’m happy to report that between doing the interview and its publication, I managed to get the redesign of The Session out the door.
A magnificent piece of writing from Michael, examining the influence of Sergio Leone on George Lucas.
The “client hints” proposal looks really interesting: a way for user-agents to send data to the server without requiring the server to have a library of user-agent strings. But Scott has a few concerns about some of the details.
Honestly, if you value the content you create and put online, then you need to be in control of your own stuff.
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.
Reviews based entirely on the feel of the knob.
A damning analysis of the Empire’s military strategy at the battle of Hoth, complete with illustrations. The comments are good too:
Guys, cut Palpatine some slack. He’s still in his first term as Emperor…
Forty Years of Movie Hacking: Considering the Potential Implications of the Popular Media Representation of Computer Hackers from 1968 to 2008
An in-depth look at the portrayal of hackers on film.
A lovely new responsive(ish) website dedicated to science and the environment.
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.
I really like Dan’s take on using Photoshop (or Fireworks) as part of today’s web design process. The problem is not with the tool; the problem is with the expectations set by showing comps to clients.
By default, presenting a full comp says to your client, “This is how everyone will see your site.” In our multi-device world, we’re quickly moving towards, “This is how some people will see your site,” but we’re not doing a great job of communicating that.
I, for one, welcome our slime mould overlords.
The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.
A fascinating discussion on sharecropping vs. homesteading. Josh Miller from Branch freely admits that he’s only ever known a web where your content is held by somone else. Gina Trapani’s response is spot-on:
For me, publishing on a platform I have some ownership and control over is a matter of future-proofing my work. If I’m going to spend time making something I really care about on the web—even if it’s a tweet, brevity doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful—I don’t want to do it somewhere that will make it inaccessible after a certain amount of time, or somewhere that might go away, get acquired, or change unrecognizably.
When you get old and your memory is long and you lose parents and start having kids, you value your own and others’ personal archive much more.
A good explanation of the litany of woes that comes from Internet Explorer 8 being the highest that users of Windows XP can upgrade to. It’s a particularly woeful situation if you are a web developer attempting to provide parity. But there is hope on the horizon:
2013 will see the culmination of all these issues; support for IE 8 will drop of rapidly, users of XP will find an increasingly broken web, the cost of building software in XP organisations will increase.
Lauren talks about The Shining Girls and the tools she uses to write with.
A well-written white paper on time travel. Alas, it relies a bit too much on semantic nitpickery to offer any real insight.
Brilliant little magnetic cuddly nucleobases from Jun. You get all four bases to combine to your heart’s content: cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine — take that, Pokémon.
I like this idea of slow journalism: taking seven years to tell a story.
The latest project from Zooniverse is, as you would expect, an extremely enjoyable and useful way to spend your time: classifying animals that have captured in camera trap images.
The opening tutorial is a lesson in how to do “on-boarding” right.
A look at the depiction of computer hardware and peripherals in sci-fi movies over time.
Trent and I answered a few questions for the Responsive Design Weekly newsletter.
Bruce sits down for a chat with Hixie. This is a good insight into the past and present process behind HTML.
There’s an interview with me in the new issue of Offscreen Magazine. Some of sort of clerical error, I’m guessing.
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.
This is a superb talk by Mark Lynas who once spearheaded the anti-GM movement, and who has now completely changed his stance on genetically-modified crops. Why? Science.
You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food. More to the point, people have died from choosing organic, but no-one has died from eating GM.
Dublin is going to play host to its second Science Hack Day at the start of March. It looks like it’s going to be a fantastic event (again!) but they need sponsors. Do you know of any?
Ostensibly about gaming (and written by Matt Colville who works in the games industry), this blog actually has a lot of interesting observations on sci-fi cinema. I like it.
A fascinating blog documenting the secrecy around nuclear weaponry, past and present, by Alex Wellerstein of the American Institue of Physics.
The best review of The Hobbit.
This might well be the best thing Wired has ever published. I wish every article were in this format.
Here’s an interview I did during the Smashing conference in Freiburg.
I am giddy with excitement at the prospect of a new Shane Carruth film:
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism.
I really like these thoughts on the importance of design systems for the web. It’s not about providing a few perfect deliverables that won’t survive once they go live; it’s about designing for the unexpected, the unpredictable:
Design for every state, not the best state.