Archive: November 23rd, 2008


Cameron made a drum machine in JavaScript. This is further proof that the man in blue is possibly even more insane than John Resig. Nuts! Nuts, I tell you!

Interview @MarsPhoenix - Universe

An interview with Veronica McGregor, the human being behind the wonderful MarsPhoenix Twitter account.


A brilliant take on Space Invaders where gravity does its thing.

Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Why I Copyfight

This is a brilliant and inspiring essay by Cory on the why the copyists—avid consumers who are branded as criminals—are not our enemy. Please read this; it is important for the survival of our culture.

Podcasts from the University of Oxford

A treasure trove of podcasts from the University of Oxford. Some of this stuff is crying out to be huffduffed.

Preservation and design

Stan is baring his soul and showing his first website. He explains his actions thusly:

As embarrassing as it might be, I’m putting that old version (as well as my second site) online because I believe in trying to preserve the things we make.

He also says:

There are organizations like Machine that are doing a good job of capturing the web, but it’s still not quite there yet. For now, I don’t think it’s a bad idea for us to keep our own archives.

That echoes something I said in my talk, The Long Web:

Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive is a magnificent undertaking. But the scale of the endeavour is monumental. Saving our culture is a task that will probably need to be crowdsourced if it is to succeed.

You can read the whole thing if you’re interested in more of my thoughts on digital preservation but for now I’m going to follow Jason’s lead and show the first two versions of this site:

As you’ll see, I was doing superfluous bloated JavaScript effects before they were fashionable. I’m very, very glad that I switched my site over its current shape seven years ago. As Jason says:

We all have the urge to redesign our websites every other month, but it’s heartbreaking to see old designs just vanish forever.

But in my case I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too. Of course I get the urge to redesign my site but instead of replacing the existing design, I add the new design to the list of options. This approach is at once completely in agreement and utterly at odds with Jason’s claim:

The things we write are published with a specific design and context. When we change that, we break the context and alter the original qualities of that piece of work.

I’m finding that on today’s web, content and design no longer have a one-to-one relationship. One piece of data can exist in many different contexts: a one-to-many relationship. A blog post appearing at a website URL or in an RSS reader is a fairly simplistic example. But think about, say, all the photos on Flickr and the myriad places where they might be viewed. Then there are services like Fire Eagle and AMEE where the content has no visible home. It’s the data that matters.

That’s not to say that design is no longer important. Far from it. With the proliferation of all this data, it’s more important than ever to present it in a way that makes sense and, in a best-case scenario, in a way that has an emotional impact. The difference with the web as the delivery mechanism is that the design can be tailored to the person consuming the data. That is both immensely liberating and unbelievably challenging.

This is the kind of stuff that Jeff Veen has been talking about lately as Designing Our Way Through Data.

United States Patent Application: 0080209234

A patent filed by Google for offshore server farms cooled by sea water.


Here’s an interview with the makers of the game Geometry Wars, a game I find utterly fascinating for the way its very simple rule base quickly results in complex hallucinatory visions of beauty that are simultaneously mesmerising and baffling to watch.

After reading the interview, I moved on to the next tab I had open in my browser courtesy of Tom’s always excellent links. This was a post by Simon Wistow describing the iPhone version of the game rRootage. There I came across the word 弾幕 or meaning :

…a sub-genre of shoot ‘em up video games in which the entire screen is often almost completely filled with enemy bullets.

Next time I’m trying to describe Geometry Wars I think I’ll just say It’s kind of danmaku.


Turf Bombing is a device-agnostic location-based game. Could be fun. I've already claimed my neighbourhood.