I may have to start using this for placeholder images—it won’t be distracting, right?
Archive: February, 2011
Monday, February 28th, 2011
Live footage from Shea Stadium in an alternate universe.
If you speak Flemish, you might enjoy this article based on a chat I had with a Belgium journalist.
If you don’t speak Flemish, well, just move along.
Friday, February 25th, 2011
Read it and weep. Here are the articles on Wikipedia that reference URLs that are getting axed as part of the BBC’s upcoming cull.
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Yes! Yes! Yes! Mark nails it: just because someone visits a site with a certain kind of device doesn’t mean you can make assumptions about their intentions.
- Mobile != low download speed
- Context != intent
Everything is worth preserving and protecting.
I answered a few questions right after giving my talk at the Phare conference in Ghent.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
James’s talk from Tools Of Change. Great stuff!
Monday, February 21st, 2011
A beautifully readable subset of the HTML spec, with an emphasis on writing web apps (and with information intended for browser makers has been removed). Very handy indeed!
A nice succinct description of the placeholder attribute, with an emphasis on accessibility.
There are two things I’d like to see after watching this video:
- A slew of parodies to highlight the unintended consequences of this marketeer’s panopticon,
- The Paleofuture blog post in 100 years looking back at this.
Saturday, February 19th, 2011
A brave and probably unpopular stance; could it be that the fundamental technological bedrock of the internet needs to change to avoid the seemingly-inevitable rise of walled gardens?
Here’s a gem from the past: a thoroughly fascinating and gripping interview with Paul Baran by Stewart Brand. It’s thrilling stuff—I got goosebumps.
I wish I could’ve attended James’s talk at Tools of Change. It sounds like it was great.
Long Bets - The original URL for this prediction (www.longbets.org/601) will no longer be available in eleven years.
This is my prediction. If you think it’s wrong, challenge it. We shall then partake in a wager.
I love watching an artist at work. Right after watching the accompanying video, I ordered a robot postcard from Anton.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
As of today, every single public event on Facebook is marked up using hCalendar. Take the Great British Booze-up, for example…
This intrigues me. “If this, then that” sounds like a good approach to loosely joining some small pieces.
Well, y’know, you never think it’s your kid whose gonna go sell enriched uranium to a rogue nation.
A short recap of last season’s Layer Tennis, including the Olly Moss vs. Tom Whalen match I commentated on.
Some nice drop-shadow effects. Generated content is the key.
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
I wish I had a teacher like David when I was in school.
URLs, permalinks, archives … preservation. It all matters so very much.
I love hearing stories like this. Anything that breaks down the perceived designer/developer divide is a good thing, in my opinion.
This may be one of the best pecha kuch— I mean, Ignite presentations I’ve ever seen.
Building a city with staples in thirty hours.
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Don Norman bemoans the seemingly-inevitable direction that the internet is taking; from an open system of exchange to a closed, controlled broadcast channel. I share his fear.
Monday, February 14th, 2011
Oh, dear. It seems that some people have not been notified.
Revisiting and recreating old family photos.
Friday, February 11th, 2011
This is the stuff James Bond stories are made of. Except in this case, the fortress exists to store data rather than criminal masterminds.
On 18 May 2010, the Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) Project deposited a time capsule in the vaults of datacenter, Swiss Fort Knox, in Saanen, Switzerland. It contained the decoding information for five digital file formats on media ranging from paper, microfilm and floppy discs to CDs, DVDs and USB sticks.
This consortium of institutions and universities came together “to provide practical solutions and expertise in digital preservation.”
PLANETS stands for Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services.
What a wonderful idea for a blog: “Collecting Wikipedia’s finest  prose.”
Main Articles: ‘Domesday Redux: The rescue of the BBC Domesday Project videodiscs’, Ariadne Issue 36
The fascinating story of the BBC Domesday Project and its subsequent fate.
The purpose of the CAMiLEON project was to demonstrate the value of emulation in preserving not only the data stored in obsolete systems but the behaviour of the systems themselves - in this case one of the very first interactive multi-media systems. The aim was to reproduce the original user experience as accurately as possible, and the CAMiLEON team argued that the slight faults in images as displayed from the analogue discs were a part of that experience, and should not be cleaned up as Andy proposed to do. Our aim was different - we wanted to preserve the data with the highest quality available consistent with longevity.
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
For once, I’m happy to see data being destroyed.
Tim Bray calmly explains why hash-bang URLs are a very bad idea.
This is what we call “tight coupling” and I thought that anyone with a Computer Science degree ought to have been taught to avoid it.
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
A tour of the Global Seed Bank in Svalbard.
Trying to design a warning message for future generations, without relying on language, writing or current semiotics.
We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture. This place is not a place of honor…no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here. What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us.
Some musings from Norman Walsh. I have to say, I’m still not entirely sure why the HTML/XML Task Force exists. The “use cases” described here are vague and handwavey.
Hooky never looked so good.
Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
So why use a hash-bang if it’s an artificial URL, and a URL that needs to be reformatted before it points to a proper URL that actually returns content?
Out of all the reasons, the strongest one is “Because it’s cool”. I said strongest not strong.
What a brilliant idea! This book on dreams uses physical threads as hyperlinks. The result is a gorgeous object.
An excellent article from Bryan, hammering home the point that there is no sharp dividing line between desktop and mobile.
Remember as well that the most ubiquitous of technologies, the common thread throughout many connected devices, is the browser. Browser-based experiences may not always be as sexy, but they are often far more capable of adapting to different contexts. In times of rapid change, adaptability—rather than features—may be your product’s greatest ally.
Honor gives a tour of sound from space.
An argument against skeuomorphic design. The Windows Mobile 7 design vocabulary is rightly praised for its no-nonsense beauty.
The intriguing tale of a fictional archivist, storing past visions of the future in a storage facility that acts as a space ark.
He has put money in the bank which will pay for the space well beyond his lifetime. Each year he collects technological predictions that had been made for that year and conserves the ones that didn’t come true in the form of 35mm slides. The ship itself consists of a refrigeration unit to help preserve the slides, a slide projector and light box in case these technologies have become extinct by the time of its recovery, and a system to get power from the outside. In an annual ritual on April 11th Walker adds another box to the mission.
Monday, February 7th, 2011
This is kind of mean, but it made me laugh. Out loud.
Friday, February 4th, 2011
This URL displays a picture of a sunset (from Flickr) taken wherever the sun is setting right now.
One potential nightmare vision of the future …that looks kind of cool.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Part two of Kirby Ferguson’s series focuses on films. Creation requires influence.
Brilliant; just brilliant. Connor O’Brien remains skeptical about the abstract permanence of “the cloud.” The observations are sharp and the tone is spot-on.
If your only photo album is Facebook, ask yourself: since when did a gratis web service ever demonstrate giving a flying fuck about holding onto the past?
Space stasis: What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation. - By Neal Stephenson - Slate Magazine
An excellent historical overview of rocketry by Neal Stephenson.
Syntax for @font-face that’s more bulletproof than the techniques previously considered bulletproof …’till an even more bulletproof syntax comes along.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
The BBC’s decision to actively delete old content (rather than simply allowing it to take up some space on a server) really gets my blood boiling.
The BBC asked the public to contribute their memories of World War Two to a website between June 2003 and January 2006…” and five years later some suit decided to bin them.
The beautifully-written and moving story of a father’s last gift to his son. The father is Jef Raskin; the son is Aza Raskin.