Look at the streets of Brighton for some games to play while you’re in town for dConstruct.
Saturday, August 31st, 2013
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Data visualisations that make no sense.
Go, Dan, go!
Wikipedia edits converted into Eno-esque sound.
Some good-lookin’ stats from a responsive redesign:
Total page views, a metric we were prepared to see go down with the redesign, are up by 27%. Unique visitors per week are up 14% on average and visits per week are up on average 23%.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Scott gives us an excellent State Of The Web address, looking at how the web can be central to the coming age of ubiquitous computing. He rightly skips through the imitation of native apps and gets down to the potential of just-in-time interactions.
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Scenes from a future Sweden.
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
‘Sfunny, I was talking about just this kind of thing at An Event Apart today.
I would love to have a ticker-tape machine for my tweets.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
John addresses the price of increasing complexity in front-end development.
Yes, tooling can make our life easier. We type fewer keystrokes, and commit more code. But as software engineers learned a long time ago, most of the life of an applications is not in its initial development. It’s in maintaining it. This is something we on the web have had the luxury of being able to largely ignore up to now. After all, how many of the things you build will last years, decades?
Jason recants on his article from a few years back when he described responsive design as “fool’s gold.”
Responsive web design: it’s solid gold, baby.
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Don’t ever worry about not sharing again.
The internet never forgets? Bollocks!
We were told — warned, even — that what we put on the internet would be forever; that we should think very carefully about what we commit to the digital page. And a lot of us did. We put thought into it, we put heart into, we wrote our truths. We let our real lives bleed onto the page, onto the internet, onto the blog. We were told, “Once you put this here, it will remain forever.” And we acted accordingly.
This is a beautiful love-letter to the archival web, and a horrifying description of its betrayal:
When they’re erased by a company abruptly and without warning, it’s something of a new-age arson.
The apparent difficulty of living in my head, freelancing, working for large organisations and then descending in to paranoia.
I have a lot of admiration for Reverend Dan Catt.
I don’t want to be in a position where I say “Hey, I’m working at Google, no no, don’t worry, the good bit of Google”, because goodness knows I did enough of that at Yahoo.
I’m not sure how I managed to miss this site up until now, but it’s right up my alley: equal parts urban planning, ethnography, and food science.
Executing console.log(“hello world”) or window.alert(2+5-20) brings immediate feedback, makes you feel as though you’re getting somewhere and that you are interacting directly with the computer as a programmer. For those of you old enough to own a Spectrum, C64 or Vic20 – BASIC (itself heavily derided) had the same benefit.
A rallying cry for the Indie Web.
Let’s build this.
Shutterstock are running a series on their blog called “The Best Thing I Ever Created” and they asked me for a contribution. So I wrote about The Session.
Monday, August 19th, 2013
We shouldn’t be protecting ourselves. We should be protecting each other.
For some reason, this article on domestic drones is illustrated with a picture of me.
I appear to have become the poster child for terrible business models. Fair enough.
The semantics of the cite element are up for discussion again. Bruce, like myself, still thinks that we should be allowed to mark up names with the cite element (as per HTML 4), and also that cite elements should be allowed inside blockquotes to indicate the source of the quote.
Let’s pave that cowpath.
Alas, that clever SVG fallback trick I linked to a couple of days ago has some unexpected performance side-effects.
Sunday, August 18th, 2013
Get out my head, Emil! This is pretty much exactly how I feel about my work, especially this bit:
In trying to be the best web developer I can, I feel a need to understand the web. That involves a lot of what some of my friends who are not in the web business think my job is about, i.e. “clicking on funny links all day”. I read copiously about new and old technologies. I bookmark them, I try to classify them, see them in the light of history as well as projected future. Follow up on them. Try them out. Even if they’re not specifically about what I do for a living, the nature of them might have a bearing on my understanding of how other people use the web.
I agree completely with Andy on this one:
Want more quality and diversity in your conferences? Pay your speakers.
By pure coincidence, Andy was at a SXSW event in Las Vegas this week.
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Oh, dear. An otherwise perfectly well-reasoned article makes this claim:
But the internet is peculiarly adapted to deftly pricking pomposity. This is partly because nothing dies online, meaning your past indiscretions are never yesterday’s news, wrapped round the proverbial fish and chips.
Bollocks. Show me the data to back up this claim.
The insidious truism that “the internet never forgets” is extremely harmful. The true problem is the opposite: the internet forgets all the time.
Geocities, Pownce, Posterous, Vox, and thousands more sites are very much yesterday’s news, wrapped round the proverbial fish and chips.
You can’t demo a digital product without a cup of coffee on a wooden table.
Improve your word power: here’s a timeline of terms used to describe male genitalia throughout history. And yes, there is a female equivalent.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Molly Crabapple talks about her experiences sketching at Guantanamo Bay.
America, out of fear after September 11th, imprisoned many innocent men under the most brutal conditions, set up a Kafka-esque legal process that made it very, very hard for them to get their freedom, and is still keeping them there because of fear and political grandstanding.
A very, very clever hack to provide fallback images to browsers that don’t support SVG. Smart.
How to think about drones—an in-depth and fairly balanced article by Mark Bowden on drone strikes and the politics behind them.
In the long run, careful adherence to the law matters more than eliminating another bad actor. Greater prudence and transparency are not just morally and legally essential, they are in our long-term interest, because the strikes themselves feed the anti-drone narrative, and inspire the kind of random, small-scale terror attacks that are bin Laden’s despicable legacy.
Paris Review – “One Murder Is Statistically Utterly Unimportant”: A Conversation with Warren Ellis, Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Forget Hyperloop: this is some truly mindblowing technology from Elon Musk. In this latest test, the Grasshopper from SpaceX shows off its lateral movement for a reusable rocket.
Combine that with the sheer power of Falcon Heavy and you’ve got some amazing design and engineering.
This is a great idea—the Brighton Cookbook Club:
You know when you get a new cookbook, but you only ever end up using two or three recipes from it? Coming along to Cookbook Club means that you’ll get to try a whole range of recipes from one book to see what you fancy, maybe broaden your palate, and have a jolly fun evening meeting others while you’re at it!
Registration is now open for Science Hack Day San Francisco at the end of September. Hope to see you there.
Happy birthday, JS Bin!
Remy has some important news. No, it’s not the competition to recreate animated gifs with canvas; scroll down past that…
Remy will be working on JS Bin full time. To make this possible, JS Bin will have Pro accounts. But don’t worry; all the functionality available today will continue to be available in the future.
But Pro accounts will get a bunch of nifty extra features (and if you’re in education, you get Pro for free).
Sign me up!
The story behind the classic arcade game Missile Command and the toll it took on its creator:
Theurer’s constant strides for perfection left him working his body to the point that Missile Command’s premise started to manifest itself in his subconscious, sneaking into his dreams and turning them to nightmares.
There was something about the sound of those explosions, the feeling of the trackball in your hand, and the realisation that no matter how well you played, you could only delay the inevitable.
A beauty of a post by Jason giving you even more reasons to donate to Archive.org.
Seriously. Do it now. It would mean a lot to me.
Related: I’m going to be in San Francisco next week and by hook or by crook, I plan to visit the Internet Archive’s HQ.
A state of the connected union address, with soundbites from smart people in the world of ubicomp, internet of things, everyware, or whatever it is we’re calling it now.
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
In an extension of the “Christ, what an asshole!” theory of comics, here we see Peanuts captioned entirely with lyrics from The Smiths.
A profile of the Indie Web movement in Wired.
Go! Fight! Win!
If this sounds like your kind of hackery, be sure to come along to Indie Web Camp UK in Brighton right after dConstruct.
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
You can download the PDF of Anton’s graphic novel Gather for free.
We have lost an ally in the fight to maintain net neutrality. I wonder how Vint Cerf feels about his employer’s backtracking.
The specific issue here is with using a home computer as a server. It’s common for ISPs to ban this activity, but that doesn’t change the fact that it flies in the face of the fundamental nature of the internet as a dumb network.
I think the natural end point to owning your own data is serving your own data—something that Steven Pemberton talked about in his fateful talk.
We must fight these attempts to turn the internet into controlled system of producers and consumers.
Trent proposes a way to avoid implementing dark patterns: take a leaf from the progressive enhancement playbook and assume the worst conditions for your user’s context.
On the one hand, this is yet another Snowfall clone. On the other hand, the fact that it’s responsive is impressive.
Surfin’ Safari - Blog Archive » Improved support for high-resolution displays with the srcset image attribute
WebKit nightlies now have support for
srcset. I’m pleased to see that it’s currently constrained to just handling the case of high-density displays; it doesn’t duplicate the media query functionality of
I’ve always maintained that the best solution to responsive images will be some combination of
picture: they each have their strengths and weaknesses. The “art direction” use case is better handled by
picture, but the “retina” use case is better handled by
Stuart nails it: the real problem with delegating identity is not what some new app will do with your identity details, it’s what the identity provider—Twitter, Google, Facebook—will do with the knowledge that you’re now using some new app.
This is why I want to use my own website as my identity provider.
This is quite remarkable. Now that the Galaxy Zoo project from Zooniverse has successfully classified all its data (already a remarkable achievement), its volunteers are now collaborating on writing a scientific paper.
There’s something going on here. This isn’t just a “cool” or “cute” link—this is the first stirring of something entirely new that is made possible by network technology.
These are the lovely and talented people who will be joining me at CERN for two days of historical hackery.
The Internet, day one. A sad tale of data loss.
A fascinating project to document markings from 1939—designed to be visible from the air—placed all around the Irish coast.
Adam Curtis usually just pours forth apopheniac ramblings, but this is a really great collection of pieces from the archive on the history of incompetence in the spying world.
Y’know, the best explanation I’ve heard so far of the NSA and GCHQ’s sinister overreaching powers is simply that they need to come up with bigger and bigger programmes to justify getting bigger and bigger budgets. Hanlon’s Law, Occam’s Razor, and all that.
See that helmet? That’s my helmet. Jim borrowed it for this video.
And now I think that the Future Friendly posse has a theme song.
Monday, August 12th, 2013
This is a really well-written and worrying piece that pokes at that oft-cited truism about kids today being “digital natives”:
The causes of this lack of digital literacy can be traced back to school:
We’ve mirrored corporate networks, preventing kids and teachers access to system settings, the command line and requiring admin rights to do almost anything. They’re sitting at a general purpose computer without the ability to do any general purpose computing.
Also, this article has the best “TL;DR” description ever.
Beautiful animated GIFs showing the lungs of our planet.
I, for one, welcome our new recycling bin panopticon overlords.
You might want to put your phone’s MAC address into this form.
Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Empathy is for everyone:
No matter how many times I go through this journey, it never stops surprising me how easy it is to lose perspective in the heat of a project and forget that there is no difference between a user, a client and a designer. It shouldn’t be so hard to remember that no matter the title, we’re all just people trying to get things done.
A nice reminder from Viv.
Jason pulls together some of the themes that emerged at An Event Apart DC this week.
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Preach it, Karen!
“Why would someone ever want to do that?” is the wrong question. It doesn’t matter why they want to do it. The fact is that people do. The right question, the one that we all should be asking, is “how can we make a better experience for them?”
Fodder for a Markov chain.
James re-imagines the Barbican as an airship drifting free of central London.
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
A good ol’ fashioned rant.
This sounds like it’s a going to be a good: a new TV series by Steven Johnson on the history of technology and innovation. Sounds very Burkian, which is a very good thing.
A terrific lighting talk by Scott on the need to think bigger. The solution to long-term issues is rarely “start a company”—we need to think more about creating a shared infrastructure …just like the internet.
A description of the shockingly cavalier attitude that Chrome takes with saved passwords:
Today, go up to somebody non-technical. Ask to borrow their computer. Visit chrome://settings/passwords and click “show” on a few of the rows. See what they have to say.
Luke’s notes from my talk at An Event Apart DC.
Jason Garber took some nicely-hyperlinked notes during my presentation at An Event Apart DC.
Monday, August 5th, 2013
A handy collection of links to web-related podcasts. Go forth and huffduff.
A look at the degree of diversity in Android devices, complete with pretty pictures. The term “fragmentation” is usually used in a negative way, but there are great points here about the positive effects for web developers and customers.
You say fragmentation, I say diversity.
A terrific long-zoom look at web technologies, pointing out that the snobbishness towards declarative languages is a classic example of missing out on the disruptive power of truly innovative ideas …much like the initial dismissive attitude towards the web itself.
Friday, August 2nd, 2013
I was interviewed for this article on psychology in web design. The title is terrible but the article itself turned out quite nicely.
Yet another timely reminder from Tim, prompted by the naysayers commenting on his previous excellent post on progressive enhancement, universal access, and the nature of the web.
A wonderful presentation by time-traveller Bret Viktor.
Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Looks like Google are offering responsive (or at least adaptive) ad sizes.
A great call-to-arms from Tim, simply asking that we create websites that take advantage of the amazing universality of the web:
The web has the power to go anywhere—any network, any device, any browser. Why not take advantage of that?
Inevitably there is pushback in the comments from developers still in the “denial” stage of coming to terms with what the web is.