Hypertext as an agent of change | A Working Library
The text of Mandy’s astounding dConstruct talk.
The text of Mandy’s astounding dConstruct talk.
This episode of Click on the BBC World Service does a great job of distilling some of the ideas and themes from this year’s dConstruct.
Two years ago dConstruct’s theme was “Playing with the Future”. Last year it was “Communicating with Machines”. This year’s theme is “Living with the Network”. Click interviews artists, writers, hackers and coders about surveillance, connected devices, big data, and whether the ideals of the internet have been too far corrupted for them ever to be preserved.
Craig has redesigned and pulled various bits of his writing from around the web into his own site, prompting some thoughts on the indie web.
There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.
In the days before comments on blogs, you could generally have a thoughtful conversation online without everything degenerating into madness and chaos simply because responding to a post required that you wrote a post on your own blog and linked back. This created a certain level of default accountability because if someone wanted to flame you, they had to do it on their own real estate, and couldn’t just crap all over yours anonymously.
Look, I would never usually link to a “listicle” on Buzzfeed, but this is all kinds of cumulative mirth.
I was interviewed for a feature in issue 257 of net magazine.
In this interview, I pause. And continue.
Glenn eloquently gives his reasons for building Transmat:
When I was a child, my brothers and I all had a shoebox each. In these we kept our mementoes. A seashell from a summer holiday where I played for hours in the rock pools, the marble from the schoolyard victory against a bully and a lot of other objects that told a story.
Now this is how to shut down a service: switch to a read-only archive, and make the codebase (without user credentials) available on Github.
I remember reading Gia Milinovich’s reports from the set of the in-production Danny Boyle sci-fi film called Sunshine back in 2005. Then the film came out, exceeded my expectations, and became one of my all-time favourites.
Now the website—which was deleted by Fox—has been lovingly recreated by Gia. (And it’s responsive now.)
I had a good ol’ chat with Justin Avery from Responsive Web Design Weekly. We talk about performance, Responsive Day Out, and yes, progressive enhancement.
Tantek’s great talk on the Indie Web from Web Directions Code in Melbourne earlier this year.
A nice bit of interactive citizen science storytelling from Google.
Note: if you have Adblock Plus installed, this won’t load at all. Funny that.
Cole Peters calls upon designers and developers to realise the power they have to shape the modern world and act accordingly.
It is in those of us who work in tech and on the web that digital privacy may find its greatest chance for survival. As labourers in one of the most pivotal industries of our times, we possess the knowledge and skills required to create tools and ecosystems that defend our privacy and liberties.
I don’t disagree, but I think it’s also important to recognise how much power is in the hands of non-designers and non-developers: journalists, politicians, voters …everyone has a choice to make.
One more reason why you should never sniff user-agent strings: Internet Explorer is going to lie some more. Can’t really blame them though—if developers didn’t insist on making spurious conclusions based on information in the user-agent string, then browsers wouldn’t have to lie.
Oh, and Internet Explorer is going to parse -webkit prefixed styles. Again, if developers hadn’t abused vendor prefixes, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
I met Cesar at An Event Apart in San Diego earlier this year. We had a nice lunchtime chat and he suggested that I come on his show, Pencil vs Pixel. I was, of course, honoured and I accepted his invitation immediately.
This year’s collection of twelve sci-fi stories from Technology Review features three dConstruct speakers: Lauren Beukes, Cory Doctorow, and Warren Ellis.
This was a lot of fun for us. It might even be fun to listen to.
If you haven’t seen Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, then listen ye not—this is a spoilerific podcast episode.
This fetching red future friendly T-shirt would look quite good on you. Just down beam down to any planetary surfaces as part of an away team.
Profits go to the Internet Archive.
The Internet forgets every single day.
I’m with Jason.
I encourage you all to take a moment and consider the importance of preserving your online creations for yourself, your family, and for future generations.
For your consideration.
If enough people want a print run of this lovely Future Friendly T-shirt, then they’ll make a new batch.
The profits go to the Internet Archive.
Almost six minutes of me squinting in the sun and sharing my reckons while seagulls squawk in the background.
The first in a series of posts looking at the process behind builfing this “quantified self” site:
As with most decisions in my life, I asked myself: What would Tony Stark do?
The Aaron Swartz film is available on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license.
Photos from the first Science Hack Day in China which just wrapped up.
A profile of Norbert Wiener, and how his star was eclipsed by Claude Shannon.
The transcript of Anab Jain’s talk from the FutureEverything Festival.
We better get used to them…
Tantek’s talk at the Personal Democracy Forum on the past, present, and future of independent publishing on the web.
There are many services out there for keeping track of what you’re reading. Susan has found the best one:
Slowly, ever so slowly, as I realize how things come and go on the web, I realize that this is my home. Because this is my home, I want all the things that matter to me to reside here.
Here’s a nice little UI addition to Chrome. When you focus on the URL bar, if the current site has site-specific search discoverable via rel=”search”, then you get a greyed-out hint to press tab so you can start searching the site.
Did you see Keren at dConstruct 2012? Well, here she is at this year’s TED conference delivering a barnstorming talk on hacker culture.
A great little piece by Russell Davies on the Indie Web movement.
Design fiction from a NASA scientist.
If you use the Craft CMS to power your blog, you can now send webmentions, thanks to this handy plug-in by Jason.
Have a look through the README file on Github.
This is quite exciting: the Endnote project is sponsoring Science Hack Day globally—not just an individual event.
A short sci-fi film from director Wanuri Kahiu set in the aftermath of a worldwide water war.
Alan Kay’s written remarks to a Joint Hearing of the Science Committee and the Economic and Educational and Opportunites Committee in October 1995.
Steven Johnson’s new television series will be shown on BBC in a few months time. Looks like it’s going to be good Burkian fun.
Documenting depictions of dystopian futures and tracking which ideas are turning out to be predictions.
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.
I’ll be speaking at this event that Aral is putting on here in Brighon on the fourth of July (independence day — geddit?).
A free PDF download from NASA on all things SETI, specifically the challenges of interspecies interstellar communication.
A truly wonderful piece by Mandy detailing why and how she writes, edits, and publishes on her own website:
No one owns this domain but me, and no one but me can take it down. I will not wake up one morning to discover that my service has been “sunsetted” and I have some days or weeks to export my data (if I have that at all). These URLs will never break.
A lovely post by Mark on the value of URLs.
The IETF have decided that network surveillance is damage to be routed around.
A short story set in a science-fictional future that just happens to be our present.
The campaign to restore out-of-print pulp sci-fi books in electronic formats.
A decisive Indie Web move:
This site has become the place that I’m ready to host almost everything I make.
Slides from Tantek’s recent talk at Web Directions Code about the Indie Web.
Craig recounts the time we visited the LHCb at CERN. It’s a lovely bit of writing. I wish it were on his own website.
I think I concur with this list. Although I guess it’s worth remembering that, given the size of the CSS spec, this isn’t an overly-long list.
It’s interesting that quite a few of them are about how things are named. It’s almost as if that’s one of the, say, two hardest things in computer science.
Well, this is pretty bloody brilliant—Dan Gillmor has published an article on Slate about the Indie Web movement …but the canonical URL is on his own site.
We’re in danger of losing what’s made the Internet the most important medium in history – a decentralized platform where the people at the edges of the networks – that would be you and me – don’t need permission to communicate, create and innovate.
This isn’t a knock on social networks’ legitimacy, or their considerable utility. But when we use centralized services like social media sites, however helpful and convenient they may be, we are handing over ultimate control to third parties that profit from our work, material that exists on their sites only as long as they allow.
A handy little bookmarklet for quickly checking how a site might look at different screen sizes, and you can customise it to use whichever screen sizes you like.
Eileen Gunn writes in the Smithsonian magazine on the influence of science fiction.
Science fiction, at its best, engenders the sort of flexible thinking that not only inspires us, but compels us to consider the myriad potential consequences of our actions.
or: how I learnt to stop worrying and love the blog.
This is a really nice introduction to the basics of the Indie Web …with nice illustrations too.
A thoughtful in-depth piece that pulls together my hobby horses of independent publishing, responsive design, and digital preservation, all seen through the lens of music:
Music, Publishing, Art and Memory in the Age of the Internet
I finally got around to reading Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua recently. It’s like Nick Harkaway crossed with Jeff Noon.
Here’s hoping that this short film will be developed into a full-length feature.
A great talk by Amber on the history of personal publishing and the ideas and technologies driving the Indie Web movement.
Some sensible thoughts from Addy on how Web Components might be peer-reviewed.
This is a wonderful piece by Maciej—a magnificent historical narrative that leads to a thunderous rant. Superb!
Well, this is pretty nifty: Dan Gilmour is at Indie Web Camp in San Francisco and he’s already got some code up and running on his site.
Y’know, I’m not missing South by Southwest in the slightest this year …but I’m really missing Indie Web Camp.
I can’t wait to see this documentary on the monumental work at CERN.
A lovely visualisation that combines two of my loves: space, and the correct use of the subjunctive.
Fast Company features Aral’s tantalising Indie Phone project that he’s been working on at Clearleft Towers.
Good to see Oskar the dog getting the recognition he deserves.
On the top floor of a commercial building in the old maritime city of Brighton, England, Balkan has been quietly hacking away at Indie Phone for the last several months with the rest of his team—Victor Johansson, an industrial designer, Laura Kalbag, a professional web designer (and Balkan’s partner), and her Husky, Oskar.
I did some consulting with the Wellcome Trust on this new magazine-like project, and it’s great to see it go live—excellent stories of science, all published under a Creative Commons licence.
A handy way of automating the creation of old-IE stylesheets using Grunt. This follows on from Jake’s work in using preprocessors and conditional comments to send a different stylesheet to IE8 and below—one that doesn’t contain media queries. It’s a clever way of creating mobile-first responsive sites that still provide large-screen styles to older versions of IE.
Mike writes about what it was like being a client for a change. After working with him on the Code for America project, I can personally vouch for him as a dream client:
Clearleft’s pattern deliverables are the special-special that made the final work so strong. Jon Aizlewood’s introduction to the concept convinced me to contact Clearleft. Jeremy Keith’s interest in design systems kicked off the process, and Anna Debenham’s fucking rock star delivery brought it all home.
Some good ideas on the idea of element-level media queries, a feature that developers are crying out for and browser makers are saying is too hard. This post has some thoughts on how to deal with the potential issues.
This fun-looking short film—funded by Brighton’s Lighthouse Arts—is screening at the Duke Of York’s Cinema on Saturday, March 1st followed by a panel discussion with the director and science-comedienne Helen Keen.
Okay, this might just be my new favourite blog:
This site is dedicated to all aspects of movie and TV typography and iconography as it appears in Sci-Fi and fantasy movies.
The first post is all about 2001, and the writing is just the right shade of fun.
I’m already looking forward to future posts. (See what I did there?)
A great series of articles on the sci-fi films of the ’60s and ’70s:
The Laser Age examines a rich period in the history of science-fiction filmmaking that began in the late 1960s and faded away by the mid 1980s.
…all wrapped up in a nice responsive design too.
This nifty place in Brighton is just down the street from me:
Our classes allow kids to get creative with exciting, cutting-edge technology and software.
Want to implement webmentions but you’re using static pages a-la Jekyll? No problem. Pelle’s got you covered.
There’s something very satisfying about this televisual sleuthing:
Images of the computer code appearing in TV and films and what they really are.
I’m with Frank. He’s going Indie Web for 2014:
I’m returning to a personal site, which flips everything on its head. Rather than teasing things apart into silos, I can fuse different kinds of content together.
Homesteading instead of sharecropping:
So, I’m doubling down on my personal site in 2014.
A profile of Brian Aldiss in The Guardian.
I still can’t quite believe I managed to get him for last year’s Brighton SF.
We were struggling, whether we knew it or not, to found a more fluid society. A place where everyone, not just appointed apologists for the status quo, could be heard. That dream need not die. It matters more now than ever.
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:
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.