This is fun. Drag the red country outlines around and slot them into place on the map. Sounds easy, right? But the distorting effect of the Mercator projection makes it a lot tougher than it looks.
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Michael Weinberg’s follow-up whitepaper to “It will be awesome if they don’t screw it up.”
Spimify your household with these bluetooth location stickers. Now you can google your shoes.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
You’re probably doing each of these already but just in case your’e not, Andy has listed six quick wins you can get from HTML5.
Monday, January 28th, 2013
James’s notes from the most recent Hack Farm show that, even without a finished product, there were a lot of benefits.
This is handy: a look at which DOM properties and methods cause layout thrashing (reflows).
Amen, Brad, Amen.
It’s time for us to treat performance as an essential design feature, not just as a technical best practice.
My friend Dan’s stepfather Carl passed away recently, aged 90. His experiences during World War II were quite something.
Saturday, January 26th, 2013
A really nice write-up of issue four of Offscreen magazine, wherein I was featured.
Gorgeous colour-processed images from NASA probes. I could stare at the fountains of Enceladus all day.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Another Tom Scott project:
I had to take one more quick, cheap shot — and I think a Tumblr blog is the quickest, cheapest shot it’s possible to take.
I’ve never been a fan of carousels on websites, to put it mildy. It seems I am not alone. And if you doubt the data, ask yourself this: when was the last time you, as a user, interacted with a carousel on any website?
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
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.
Bruce takes a look at the tricky issue of styling native form controls. Help us, Shadow DOM, you’re our only hope!
The latest project from Tom Scott is like many Facebook-authenticated apps that ask you to sell your soul, but this one is literal. I think I might offer my soul (worth 56gigaMorgans) to Cthulhu.
Monday, January 21st, 2013
More details on DNS prefetching, page prefetching and, controversial, page pre-rendering.
A really good introduction to front-end performance techniques. Most of this was already on my radar, but I still picked up a handy tip or two (particularly about DNS prefetching).
At this stage it should go without saying that you should be keeping up with this kind of thing: performance is really, really, really important.
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.
Sunday, January 20th, 2013
From the cave paintings at Lascaux to the Pioneer plaques and Voyager golden records to Trevor Paglen’s “The Last Pictures” project, Paul Glister examines the passage and preservation of art and information through time. Fascinating.
Or perhaps, as Paglen envisions, those who find a Pioneer Plaque, a Voyager Record, or one of our electromagnetic transmissions will be interested enough to search us out, coming upon a future Earth where all that is left of humanity are our terrestrial ruins and that artificial ring of geosynchronous satellites, with one of them having a particular golden artifact bolted to its pitted hull. In that scenario, about all that would be left for the visiting ETI to do in terms of learning about us would be grand-scale dumpster diving.
A wonderful collection of misconceptions, often the result of being myzelled when young.
Friday, January 18th, 2013
A good explanation of HTML5’s sectioning content and outline algorithm.
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’ve been thinking about getting a birdhouse.
A beautiful project from Brendan and the Royal Shakespeare Company: the headlines of today preceded by quotes from The Bard.
I think there might be some subliminal messages hidden in these album covers.
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
I hereby declare that this song is my official anthem.
I want some files that last, data that will not stray.
Files just as fresh tomorrow as they were yesterday.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
This off-canvas demo is a great practical example of progressive enhancement from David. It’s also a lesson in why over-reliance on jQuery can sometimes be problematic.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Now this is what I call tech reporting.
The women leave the stage, wet computer in hand, and a new man takes the stage. He plays a schmaltzy video where Portuguese children teach adults to use Windows 8 accompanied by a hyperloud xylophone soundtrack that slices through my hangover like cheesewire though lukewarm gouda.
Monday, January 14th, 2013
An intriguing extrapolation of current design trends: perhaps typographically-strong single-column layouts will become popular out of sheet necessity.
Sunday, January 13th, 2013
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.
Friday, January 11th, 2013
A look at the depiction of computer hardware and peripherals in sci-fi movies over time.
A beautiful timelapse visualisation of code commits to Flickr from 2004 to 2011.
A gorgeous collection of experiments that showcase just how much is possible in browsers today.
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Trent and I answered a few questions for the Responsive Design Weekly newsletter.
I really like Mark’s idea of standardised “sparkicons” …for a while there, reading this, I was worried he was going to propose something like Snap Preview. shudder
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
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.
Monday, January 7th, 2013
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.
Sunday, January 6th, 2013
Remember when I made that canvas sparkline script? Remember when Stuart grant my wish for an SVG version? Well, now Tom has gone one further and created a hosted version on sparksvg.me
Not a fan of sparklines? Bars and circles are also available.
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.
Saturday, January 5th, 2013
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?
Friday, January 4th, 2013
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.
Some of the past year’s best long-form non-fiction, gathered together into a handy readlist for your portable epub pleasure.
This looks like being an excellent (free) event in London featuring three talks related to front-end web development.
The inaugural event this month features a talk on responsive design, a talk on data visualisation, and a talk on accessibility.
An in-depth look at CSS transitions with some handy tips for improving performance.
A great piece by Jason analysing the ever-blurring lines between device classes.
Mind you, there is one question he doesn’t answer which would help clear up his framing of the situation. That question is:
What’s a web app?
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
All the videos from last year’s Breaking Development conference in Dallas are up on the site. They’re all excellent.
I know have a visualisation of my public data in the form of 3D-printed snowflake, thanks to Medaler.
A fascinating piece by James on trap streets, those fictitious places on maps that have no corresponding territory.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
I heartily concur with Chris’s sentiment:
I wish everyone in the world would blog.
A cute little service for mocking up pictures of your site being used on different devices. Just drag and drop a screenshot on to an image.
The biggest plot holes of World War Two.
Warning: contains spoilers.