A five year old provides a few remarks on some popular logos. Cute!
Archive: January 30th, 2012
A great behind-the-scenes look at the process behind the responsive Boston Globe site, with a particular emphasis on the visual and interactive design challenges.
When I wrote about responsible responsive images a few months back, I outlined my two golden rules when evaluating the various techniques out there:
- The small image should be default.
- Don’t load images twice (in other words, don’t load the small images and the larger images).
I also described why that led to my dissatisfaction with most server-side device libraries for user-agent sniffing:
When you consider the way that I’m approaching responsive images, those libraries are over-engineered. They contain a massive list of mobile user-agent strings that I’ll never need. Remember, I’m taking a mobile-first approach and assuming a mobile browser by default. So if I’m going to overturn that assumption, all I need is a list of desktop user-agent strings.
I finished by asking:
Anybody fancy putting it together?
Instead of assuming the device is a desktop, and detecting mobile and tablet device user agents, Categorizr is a mobile first based device detection. It assumes the device is mobile and sets up checks to see if it’s a desktop or tablet. Desktops are fairly easy to detect, the user agents are known, and are not changing anytime soon.
It isn’t ready for public consumption yet and there are plenty of known issues to iron out first, but I think the fundamental approach is spot-on:
By assuming devices are mobile from the beginning, Categorizr aims to be more future friendly. When new phones come out, you don’t need to worry if their new user agent is in your device detection script since devices are assumed mobile from the start.
A hackweek project from Twitter employees to create the best/worst recruitment video of all time.
There’s definitely something stirring in the geek zeitgeist: something three-dimensional.
Tim Maly just published an article in Technology Review called Why 3-D Printing Isn’t Like Virtual Reality:
Something interesting happens when the cost of tooling-up falls. There comes a point where your production runs are small enough that the economies of scale that justify container ships from China stop working.
Meanwhile The Atlantic interviewed Brendan for an article called Why Apple Should Start Making a 3D Printer Right Now:
3D Printing is unlikely to prove as satisfying to manual labor evangelists as an afternoon spent with a monkey wrench. But by bringing more and more people into the innovation process, 3D printers could usher in a new generation of builders and designers and tinkerers, just as Legos and erector sets turned previous generations into amateur engineers and architects.
Every 3D printer should seamlessly integrate a 3D scanner, even if it makes the device cost much more. The reason is simple: If you set the expectation that every device can both input and output 3D objects, you provide the necessary fundamentals for network effects to take off amongst creators. But no, these devices are not “3D fax machines”. What you’ve actually made, when you have an internet-connected device that can both send and receive 3D-printed objects, is a teleporter.
Anil’s frustrations and hopes echo a white paper from 2010 by Michael Weinberg called It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw it Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology:
The ability to reproduce physical objects in small workshops and at home is potentially just as revolutionary as the ability to summon information from any source onto a computer screen.
But my favourite piece of speculation on where this technology could take us comes from Russell Davies. He gave an excellent talk as part of the BBC’s Four Thought series in which he talks not so much about The Internet Of Things, but The Geocities Of Things. I like that.
Describing itself as a radio magazine, this site gathers together audio from multiple sources. Oddly though, there’s no podcast feed and they make it hard to get at the source mp3s.
A lovely sound blog from Steve Bowbrick (one of the curators of the sadly decommissioned Speechification). Here, he gathers found sounds of all kinds together: great audio grist for the huffduffing mill.