Voy — Geospire
Really beautiful, and a nice reminder of how robust installation design can be. Also: music by Todd Terje!
voy  interaction  design  museums  education  geology  beautiful 
july 2012
stamen design | Stamen in Icon 109
"I'm super happy with the resulting portrait of where the studio is now: 13 people, working in a garden in the middle of a vibrant city, a strong ethic, and maps and visualizations in active use by the public." A lovely description - it's a brilliant office to be in. Also, they totally have a piano. And: how lovely to see the maps laid out: seeing this issue, it reminds me just how beautiful many of them are, and how well they stand the test of time - Cabspotting, for instance, is increasingly iconic.
stamen  graphics  design  cartography  art  maps 
july 2012
BERG Little Printer Hackday
"What was quite nice is seeing the piles of paper at the end of the day. It’s very visible that Work Has Been Done Here. The sawdust, as Bridle points out, that’s missing from software development. You get to see the failed experiments and the changing versions printed throughout the day which would normally be hidden away in git." It was a fun day, and this is a nice thought from Dan. I kept all my sawdust, which I'll be writing about when I get a minute.
berg  littleprinter  hackday  printing  working  process 
july 2012
In-screen sports graphics - Design - Domus
"Parametric models indicate how a change to one component of a structure causes ripples of changes through all the other connected elements, mapped across structural loads but also environmental characteristics, financial models and construction sequencing. FC Barcelona's activity is also clearly parametric in this sense. It cannot be understood through sensors tracking individuals but only through assembling the whole into one harmonious, interdependent system: the symphony and orchestra, rather than the midfield string section, or Lionel Messi as the first violinist." A brilliant article from Max; finally, he's written his long-promised article on 'realtime sports graphics' and it's really excellent: insightful about football and data visualisation alike. Top stuff.
maxgadney  visualization  design  graphics  motion  sport  football  analysis 
june 2012
Source Filmmaker
Valve really are incredible; just watching the UI and technology for this in action is a little jawdropping. (Also, one for my friends who work in After Effects/3D prototyping and video...)
filmmaking  games  3d  software  technology 
june 2012
LA Akira Teaches Best | Goh Notes
"If you ever needed a thorough introduction to the series or the new stuff in Final Showdown, look no further. What top American VF player LA Akira teaches in his appearance on UltraChanTV is more than spectacular. More than 4 hours of video goodness fit for beginners as well as more advanced players." So. Much. Virtua. Fighter. (That tip about holding G+P for both blocks and auto throw escapes is a useful one. Throw escapes got so much easier!)
virtuafighter  games  tips  tutorials 
june 2012
Infrastructure for Startups
Excellent slides from Paul with some super-solid points, and a few tools I'd not encountered (Papertrail, notably).
infrastructure  development  software  business 
june 2012
Designing for and Against the Manufactured Normalcy Field | Ideas For Dozens
"The [Manufactured Normalcy] Field is Rao’s attempt to explain the process of technical adoption. Rao argues that when they’re presented with new technological experiences people work hard to maintain a “familiar sense of a static, continuous present”. In fact, he claims that we change our mental models and behaviors the minimum amount necessary to work productively with the results of any change." Cracking post from Greg, which pretty much resists blockquoting, so go and read it all.
normalcy  design  culture  weird  strange  normal  invention 
june 2012
Play This Thing! - Dreams Of Your Life
"Dreams of Your Life is not likely to change your life; but that it has the remotest chance of doing so, despite its simplicity of structure and odd subject, makes it an important work." High praise - but also thoughtful writing - from Greg Costikyan about Dreams of Your Life.
doal  doyl  gregcostikyan  games  work  hideandseek 
june 2012
A Conversation with Errolson Hugh | Hypebeast
"My interest in materials… is like my interest in tools. What can be made with this? What can this do that other materials cannot? Materials with special properties are cool because they can open new possibilities in manufacturing, design, or even behavior. Additionally, they’re such an amazing cultural artifact. Where and how something gets made says so much about us as people, as a species, even. In a beautiful fabric, the simplest thing can be magic."
design  clothes  materials  manufacture  tools 
june 2012
The Setup / Interview
"Another common hack I use is to hire people on oDesk and other freelancing sites for various tasks. There is no programatic way to shift my Amazon Wishlist to my local library. I could spend hours figuring it out, do it manually or just pay someone $1 in the Philippines to do it for me. Typically the latter option is the most efficient for all kinds of tasks. I experimented with having an hourly admin in Texas reply to all my email. Unfortunately the higher cost of having someone speak English natively outweighs the efficiency of not having to touch email today. The calculus will change over time." SteveC on outsourcing tiny tasks.
stevecoast  outsourcing  administration 
june 2012
From Satellite Eyes | scraplab
"I’ve just released a little Mac app I’ve been working on for a while. It’s called Satellite Eyes. It’s pretty simple. It just sits in your menu tray, and changes your desktop wallpaper to the satellite image or map view from overhead." I've had a preview build for a while, and this is just lovely. Well done, Tom.
satelliteeyes  aerial  imagery  maps  photographs  osx  utility 
june 2012
stamen design | Weather weather everywhere
Some really good "show everything" in this post about a new Stamen project.
showeverything  maps  stamen  weather 
june 2012
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Eeyore Gets a Marketing Boost Through Synergetic Merchandising Cross-Promotion.
"It was a sunny, tunny spring day in the Hundred Acre Wood, and Pooh and Piglet were walking along the trail, looking for something. They had forgotten what they were looking for, but decided to keep looking anyway, in case it was there. As they debated whether it was or wasn’t or could be, they came across Eeyore, who was kicking his iPhone with his hoof." Some magic from McSweeny's.
marketing  branding  pastiche  winniethepooh  writing  mcsweeneys 
june 2012
Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress - O'Reilly Media
"Dwarf Fortress may be the most complex video game ever made, but all that detail makes for fascinating game play, as various elements collide in interesting and challenging ways. The trick is getting started. In this guide, Fortress geek Peter Tyson takes you through the basics of this menacing realm, and helps you overcome the formidable learning curve." Excellent idea, O'Reilly, and lovely cover, too!
book  oreilly  publishing  games  dwarffortress 
june 2012
10 Timeframes | Contents Magazine
Paul Ford is always a joy, but this is a particular joy. To be savoured, and to let filter through you. There are lots of pithy quotations, but what sticks is what lies between the lines.
paulford  writing  speech  design  time  measurement  quantification  culture 
june 2012
grinding.be » Blog Archive » Guest Post: Joshua Ellis revisits the Grim Meathook Future
"The real Grim Meathook Future, the one I talked about back when I wrote that thing and the one I see now, is the future where a relatively small slice of our species lives in a sort of Edenic Eloi reality where the only problems are what we laughingly refer to as White People Problems, like being able to get four bars’ worth of 4G signal at that incredible pho joint that @ironicguy69 recommended on Twitter, or finding new ways to lifehack all the shit we own into our massive closets…while the rest of the world is reduced to maintaining our lifestyles via a complex process of economically-positioned indentured servitude and clinging with the very tips of their fingernails onto the ragged edge of our consumer leavings, like the dorky dude who shows up the first day of school with the cheap K-Mart knockoffs of the pumped-up kicks the cool kids are wearing this year. In other words, the Grim Meathook Future is the one that looks like the present, the one where nothing changes."
future  technology  culture  society  grimmeathookfuture 
june 2012
The Rise and Collapse of Yoshinori Ono • Articles • Eurogamer.net
"In my philosophy, Street Fighter is a game, but really it's a tool. It's like playing cards or chess or tennis: it's really about the people. Once you know the rules it's up to the players to put themselves in the game, to choose the nuance of how they play and express themselves. I think fighting games flourish because it was this social game. If it had been a purely single-player thing, it would never have grown so popular."
play  social  games  yoshinoriono  streetfighter 
june 2012
Markov Guybrush | Basil Safwat
"Greg tweeted ‘Markov Guybrush Threepwood’ the other week. I thought that was a good idea so I spent a bit of Sunday making Markov Guybrush. It’s a Twitter bot that generates random Guybrush-ish Tweets." Excellent work by Basil.
markovchains  bots  monkeyisland  games 
june 2012
Saturday Soapbox: At What Point Does a Game Become a Toy? • Opinions • Eurogamer.net
"At the moment, however, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that audiences have to be tricked into buying digital toys. Toys have to be disguised as something else. They don't yet have the framework of expectations around them that allows people to decide whether the proposition is worth it on its own or not, whatever that phrase really means. They're yet to feel entirely legitimate." Lots of lovely stuff in Christian's article here, but this stood out particularly: having to disguise toys to sell them to current expectations and the current marketplace.
toys  games  expectations  play  christiandonlan 
june 2012
Paul Gravett | Article Detail
"Over the past few months I have been collaborating with her to curate her first ever career-spanning exhibition. Retrospective Posy Simmonds: Essentially English opens on June 12th at the beautiful Art Nouveau, Victor Horta-designed Belgian Comic Strip Centre in Brussels and continues until November 25th 2012. I’ll be adding photos from the exhibition shortly, but below are the texts I have written for the explanatory graphic panels." Paul Gravett on Posy Simmonds - some great sketches in here and details of early work.
posysimmonds  paulgravett  comics  cartoons  illustration  writing 
june 2012
A man who won't forget Ray Bradbury | Books | guardian.co.uk
"[Bradbury] told them about a child he had watched, teased by his friends for wanting to enter a toy shop because they said it was too young for him, and how much Ray had wanted to persuade the child to ignore his friends and play with the toys." That, forever.
play  toys  children  raybradbury  neilgaiman 
june 2012
fragmince: The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol’... - Fresser.
"Have thought about this a lot. The SYN/ACK of an acoustic coupler is like a tattoo that got written on the inside of my head, sometime in the 80s. For me the greatest transition over these 20 years hasn’t been to broadband connectivity, but to persistent connectivity, without that little handshake to say hello, are you with me?"
synack  modems  connectivity  kevinslavin  writing  history 
june 2012
potlatch: how not to save a tiger
"The therapeutic role of digital media is to allow an instrumental view of social relations to be propagated, in which the instrument somehow suspends any sense of moral causality or responsibility. Between the 'input' and the 'output' is a machine that we are blissfully unable or unwilling to understand. Hence, the possibility that clicking "send" might stop a stoning in Iran." This is very good.
willdavies  charity  connections  seams  logic  advertising 
june 2012
The guide to implementing 2D platformers | Higher-Order Fun
Lovely article exploring the various ways of implementing 2D movement in platform games (though some of these tips/methods apply to all 2D games, when you think about it.)
2d  games  development  programming  design 
june 2012
Pictures and vision
"In this context, Google+ is not the company’s most strategic project. That distinction goes to Glass, to the self-driving cars, and to Google Maps, Street View, and Earth—Google’s model of the real, physical world. Maybe in twenty years we’ll think of Google primarily as a vision company—augmenting our vision, helping us share it—and, oh wow, did you realize they once, long ago, sold ads?" This is good. I like the distinction between pictures and vision a lot.
robinsloan  facebook  google  seeing  vision  pictures  photography  computervision  robotreadableworld 
june 2012
Monday 31 May 1669 (Pepys' Diary)
""And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes of it, I must forbear: and, therefore, resolve, from this time forward, to have it kept by my people in long-hand, and must therefore be contented to set down no more than is fit for them and all the world to know; or, if there be any thing, which cannot be much, now my amours to Deb. are past, and my eyes hindering me in almost all other pleasures, I must endeavour to keep a margin in my book open, to add, here and there, a note in short-hand with my own hand." Well put. Well done, Sam. Well done, Phil.
samuelpepys  pepysdiary  philgyford  publishing  finishing 
may 2012
"Hammer.js is a javascript library that can be used to control gestures on touch devices." Very nice. And: it has a jQuery plugin, too.
javascript  jquery  mobile  touch  development  interaction  ios 
may 2012
Thoughts on Dear Esther | The Gameshelf
"So, given this [zero-button, move and look] interface, whence interactivity in Dear Esther? I say: from an understated but deadly-precise sense of attention design through spatial design.

You walk along the beach; a path goes up the bluff, another along the strand. You go one way or the other. There are no game-mechanics associated with the choice, and a plot-diagram analysis would call them "the same place" -- you can try either, back up, and go the other way. But this misses the point. Precisely because the game lacks keys, switches, stars, and 1ups, it has no implicit mandate to explore every inch of territory. Instead, you want to move forward. Backtracking is dull. Worse: given the game's sedate walking pace, it's slightly frustrating. (They left out the run button for a reason, see?) Moving into new territory is always the best-rewarded move, and therefore your choice of path is a choice. You will not (unless you thrash hard against the game's intentions) see everything in your first run-through." Cracking writing about immersive, environmental storytelling in Dear Esther, and why it's clearly a game.
jmac  games  dearesther  if  interactivefiction  exploration  immersion  design 
may 2012
Thomas Heatherwick: the new Da Vinci of design | Art and design | The Guardian
"...he still remembers his frustration at encountering "sliced-up ghettos of thought" – sculpture, architecture, fashion, embroidery, metalwork, product and furniture design all in separate departments – "which I don't believe are absolute. It's just the way we categorise things and the way we chose to educate people."" Quite excited to see the Heatherwick show.
thomasheatherwick  design  making  exhibtions  british 
may 2012
"Super-simple baseline .mobi templates. Here ya go."
craigmod  ebook  kindle  mobi  template 
may 2012
STRaND-1 smartphone nanosatellite from SSTL and SSC
It's basically a satellite that's an external Android peripheral, and they're chucking it into space with a phone attached. Impressive.
space  satellites  android  telephony 
may 2012
Stet by Me: Thoughts on Editing Fiction · Meanjin
"In publishing we now talk about immersive narrative, mainly because we are tense about the future of books. People who love reading are in it for exactly that: to soak themselves in story. To forget whenever possible that there even is a story outside the book, particularly the bubble-busting story of how the book was made. As a reader, I cling to the sense that this all but transcendent experience comes directly to me from one individual imagination. The feeling I have when reading fiction—of a single mind feeding me experience and sensation—is seldom articulated but incredibly powerful. As a reader, I don’t want fiction to be a group project." But, as the article points out, the role of the editor(s) means it always is. A lovely article about books, publishing and fiction.
editing  books  publishing  fiction  writing 
may 2012
Cinnamon And Nutmeg Iced Coffee, by Tom Francis
"Hazardously drinkable." Need to make this at some point.
coffee  icedcoffee  recipe  drinks  tomfrancis 
may 2012
What sysadmin things should every programmer know? - Server Fault
"As a programmer, we tend to take sysadmins for granted. The few times I've been without a good sysadmin have really made me appreciate what you guys do. When we're venturing into an environment without a sysadmin, what words of wisdom can you offer us?" A good list.
sysadmin  development  servers  maintenance  ops 
may 2012
greg.org: the making of: Jasper Johns Making Silkscreens, By Katy Martin
"The problem with ideas ís, the idea is often simply a way to focus your interest in making a work. The work isn't necessarily, I think-a function of the work is not to express the idea.... The idea focuses your attention in a certain way that helps you to do the work."
ideas  work  making  design  jasperjohns  via:moleitau 
may 2012
Avengers - jayse
"This is just an image dump of marvel approved stills and screenshots of my work on the film. I'll do a proper post soon - this is a fraction of the work - But I had the distinct pleasure of working with Cantina Creative, leading the design of the glass screens for the Helicarier in the Avengers. I also led the design and animation of the all new and upgraded Mark VII Hud...

Included are some partial explanations of how the HUD diagnostic functions
Variations of it in 'all clear' mode, and a 'battle mode', after the suit has suffered damage and new windows have popped up to show depleted weapon stores and hazardous environmentals and general.

The flight menu was designed with input from an A-10 Fighter Pilot. I like to keep my stuff accurate.

I start all designs on paper so I included some ideas for the dock icons. In the final icons, the more detailed versions show system status based on the way they animate."

Lots of lovely detail in the work on all the fictional UI in the Avengers - looking forward to it being unpacked.
design  film  movies  ui  designfiction  avengers  hud 
may 2012
Dual Analog Controller Object
"DAController is a wrapper class for use with the proCONTROLL joystick library written by Christian Riekoff for Processing. It encapsulates the two analog sticks and all the buttons found on a typical dual analog controller." Ooh.
processing  controller  analogue  games 
may 2012
Instagram for webpages (22 May., 2012, at Interconnected)
"We'll know we're doing it right when half of the pages are ugly."
web  development  media  culture  business  creativity 
may 2012
"The proCONTROLL library allows Processing to communicate with controll devices like joysticks, joypads but also keyboards and mice." It works quite nicely.
processing  programming  control  interface 
may 2012
Reading Markson Reading
David Markson left all the books he owned to New York's Strand bookshop; now, they are likely further spread. This blog collects annotations and commentary that people have found in books previously belonging to Markson. Brilliant.
books  marginalia  davidmarkson  reading  literature 
may 2012
Tom Phillips and A Humument: how a novel became an oracle | Books | The Observer
"Very soon after starting the book in the 1960s I dreamed of its use as an oracle, and it has taken 40 years for technology to make that possible." He is so pleased with the outcome that: "I've become my own consumer. Each night after midnight I consult, somewhat furtively (even though alone), the Oracle I have made. I'm often surprised by pages made long ago and almost forgotten, as well as by the sometimes uncanny predictions they offer their maker."

Yep, I still love Tom Phillips.
art  ahumument  tomphillips 
may 2012
Bus update, and a little iOS home screen icon generator - words.abscond.org
"I’m not sure if this is professional or not. It’s very self motivated and ruthlessly lazy, but also requires experience in knowing what will be a pain later down the line." James sounds like he's being entirely professional to me; this is a good post about maintaining services in your spare time, amongst other things.
jamesdarling  bustimes  development  maintenance 
may 2012
BERG x Ericsson: ‘Joyful net work’ and Murmurations – Blog – BERG
"Here there are feedback mechanisms that produce more affect and pleasure – for instance the feedback involved in tuning a musical instrument, sound system or a radio. Gardening also seems to be a rich area for examination – where there is frequent work, but the sensual and systemic rewards are tangible." Beautiful work, as ever: I really liked the rewards-for-effort they point out.
berg  design  networks  interaction  work  pleasure  gardening 
may 2012
The Visible Human Project Light Paintings at Street Anatomy
Gorgeous: light-painting in space with the Visible Human, its slices reassembled into new shapes.
lightpainting  visiblehuman  photography 
may 2012
Reset home folder permissions | [Fix-KB]
This fixed the weirdest set of bugs on a fresh install for me.
howto  osx  permissions 
may 2012
The dreadful luminosity of everything | booktwo.org
"I think that the physical and the digital are inseparable in culture in the same way that waves and particles are inseparable in light." This is great, and reminds me how Berger-esque some of James' art-writing is getting.
art  light  network  physical  digital  jamesbridle  writing  stml 
may 2012
Prototyping without physics - Edge Magazine
"It should be pointed out, however, that physics is not the only systemic toy upon which fun games can be built. Probability fields, such as those forged by the colours, numbers and suits in a deck of cards, and the stochastic patterns that emerge from mixing those cards up, are another well-known toy upon which many great games are built. In fact, there is a literal infinity of foundational systemic toys upon which meaningful games can be built, yet for the most part, the game industry focuses on building baseline game engines that simulate one single toy that is proven to only be marginally fun: physical reality."
design  games  simulation  physics  toys  systems  clinthocking 
may 2012
It’s Not Working For Me: #crit | Mark Boulton
"Design critique is not a place to be mean, but it’s also not the place to be kind. You’re not critiquing to make friends. Kind designers don’t say what they mean. ‘Kind’ is not about the work, and design critique exists to make us better, but mostly, it’s to make the work better." Mark Boulton talks about the value of crits. I was introduced to the vocabulary and tone of the design/art-school crit at Berg, and find it useful, though I daren't think what 18-year-old me would have made of it. Stressing that it's not personal, it's about the work, and that that is contained within a magic circle, is really difficult, and it's really important.
art  design  process  crit  criticism  education 
may 2012
MAKE | MAKE’s Exclusive Interview with Andrew (bunnie) Huang – The End of Chumby, New Adventures
"I think one of the most gut-wrenching realizations that small companies have to make is that they aren’t Apple. Apple spends over a billion dollars a year on tooling. An injection molding tool may cost around $40k and 2-3 months to make; Apple is known to build five or six simultaneously and then scrap all but one so they can evaluate multiple design approaches. But for them, tossing $200k in tooling to save 2 months time to market is peanuts. But for a startup that raised a million bucks, it’s unthinkable. Apple also has hundreds of staff; a startup has just a few members to do everything. The precision and refinement of Apple’s products come at an enormous cost that is just out of the reach of startups.

I don’t mean to say that design isn’t important — it still is an absolutely critical element to a product, and good design and attention to detail will enable a startup to charge more for a product and differentiate themselves from competitors. Apple has raised the bar very high for design and user experience, and users will judge your product accordingly. But it’s important to keep in mind that your true bar for comparison is other startups, and not Apple; and if your chief competitor is Apple, you either need your own billion dollars of cash to invest in product design, or you need to rethink your strategy."
hardware  engineering  tooling  matterbattle 
may 2012
Creative Destruction: How Advertising Is Swallowing the Creative Class
"I'm sure the first thing that came out of the Gutenberg press wasn't that great," she said. "The Bible?" asked the startled moderator. "No, I'm sure there was a lot of crap before then..." "No, I think the Bible was the first thing." (Bookmarked for this quotation alone).
advertising  creovation 
may 2012
It’s The New Thing! | FreakyTrigger
"So here are some social media and music articles you could go away and write yourselves: I’ve even included example sentences to get you started." Social media is like All The Things.
socialmedia  tomewing  comparison  writing  funny 
may 2012
Hard Copy, pt. 1 – Quinns
"The point is that this is lossless game design. There is no shark pit. When you buy a board game, what you take home and play is the original concept precisely as it was in the designer’s head. That’s the mecca for video games. For board games, it’s the norm."
boardgames  design  quintinsmith  writing 
april 2012
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The Only Thing That Can Stop This Asteroid is Your Liberal Arts Degree.
"I don’t need some pencilneck with four Ph.D’s, one-thousand hours of simulator time, and the ability to operate a robot crane in low-Earth orbit. I need someone with four years of broad-but-humanities-focused studies, three subsequent years in temp jobs, and the ability to reason across multiple areas of study. I need someone who can read The Bell Jar and make strong observations about its representations of mental health and the repression of women. Sure, you’ve never even flown a plane before, but with only ten days until the asteroid hits, there’s no one better to nuke an asteroid."
humanities  mcsweeneys  humour  writing 
april 2012
Main Page - CameraAxe
Another Arduino-powered high-speed photography trigger. Swanky menus. Lots of good source examples, again.
trigger  photography  highspeed  arduino 
april 2012
Photoduino: The opensource camera controller based on Arduino | Photoduino - The opensource camera controller based on Arduino
Open Source, Arduino-based camera controller. Primarily for high-speed photography. Useful examples inside the source code, though.
arduino  photography  highspeed  trigger 
april 2012
Ian Bogost - Aliens, but definitely not as we know them
"Rather than wondering if aliens exist in the cosmos, let's assume they are all around us, and at all scales - everything from dogs, penguins and trees to cornbread, polyester and neutrons. If we do this, we can ask a different question: what do objects experience? What is it like to be a thing?"
alien  ianbogost  phenomenology  things  philosophy 
april 2012
Serve - Delicious ERB, Haml + Sass
Simple dynamic site generator with standardised templating tools: certainly looks nice for building those early-stage prototypes before you need a full backend.
ruby  web  development  erb  haml  sass  markdown  templating 
april 2012
Ken Shirriff's blog: Apple didn't revolutionize power supplies; new transistors did
"The history of switching power supplies turns out to be pretty interesting." It really does: long, fascinating post about a history of AC-DC conversion and how new technologies affected it.
power  electronics  transistors 
april 2012
Mosh: the mobile shell
"Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes." As recommended by Matthew Somerville. Looks useful!
shell  ssh  mobile  unix 
april 2012
Descriptive Camera
"Modern digital cameras capture gobs of parsable metadata about photos such as the camera's settings, the location of the photo, the date, and time, but they don't output any information about the content of the photo. The Descriptive Camera only outputs the metadata about the content." Lovely: a camera powered by Mechanical Turk.
camera  design  information  hardware  naturallanguage  mechanicalturk 
april 2012
Aral Balkan · HSBC Prepare CSV bookmarklet for FreeAgent: Download previous statements on HSBC Personal accounts
Aral's script converts any online statement into CSV for FreeAgent; I don't use FreeAgent, but I have a feeling I could modify this into something useful. (In other news: why is all UK online banking so bad?)
banking  online  hsbc 
april 2012
On Endings - Kill Screen
"There’s still a smell of bullshit to almost every videogame story I read, even as it’s advanced to a very high level being in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. To me it derives from this politeness about the thing that’s experienced. In literary criticism there are really cutting deconstructions of things that are inadequate—Nabokov talking about what a fraud and charlatan Faulkner was—but there’s this really intelligent, but painfully milquetoast, quality to the way we appreciate games. It’s a reflection of how partially engaged we are with each one. We consider games primarily as ideas, rather than actual evolving relationships that we’ve had over time." Yeah, that. I enjoyed this discussion: I'm pretty sure you don't have to finish games to review them. Then again: I also think writing about games six months after they came out is way more interesting than trying to hammer through something to fit into a review cycle.
games  reviews  criticism  killscreen 
april 2012
Shruthi-1, 4-Pole Mission edition | Mutable instruments
Oooh, the Shruthi got an upgrade: not just white PCBs, but an interesting new filter board. Seriously tempted by one of these.
opensource  synthesizer  electronics  shruthi1 
april 2012
Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing | Valve
"If most of the value is now in the initial creative act, there’s little benefit to traditional hierarchical organization that’s designed to deliver the same thing over and over, making only incremental changes over time. What matters is being first and bootstrapping your product into a positive feedback spiral with a constant stream of creative innovation." (Michael Abrash is scary smart, at Valve, investigating wearable computing, but this line - about the value of being first and being innovative - was the most important here for me.)
michaelabrash  games  valve  innovation  creativity 
april 2012
PhantomJS: Headless WebKit with JavaScript API
"PhantomJS is a headless WebKit with JavaScript API. It has fast and native support for various web standards: DOM handling, CSS selector, JSON, Canvas, and SVG."
javascript  webkit  web  browsers  headless  testing  rendering 
april 2012
New Aesthetic // OOO // Future of Things | Near Future Laboratory
"It’s the symptom of the algorithm. It’s what comes out of the digital-political-economy of cultures that live by networks and the machinary (soft/hard/hashtag-y) that underpin it all. All this #newaesthtic #ooo #futureofproduction stuff is the excess. The unexpected, unplanned for result. It’s the things that happen without one self-consciously *going after* #newaesthetic / object-oriented ontological / future of network connected things sensibilities." A calm, rational, open-ended commentary from Julian. I liked this point.
newaesthetic  ooo  julianbleecker  nearfuturelaboratory  serendipity 
april 2012
Russell M Davies: History will remember Samuel Pepys' blog (Wired UK)
"We'll only really understand what we're doing when it stops feeling new, when we have a sense of history about what we're making." Better keep on making, then. (This is good. Also: well done Phil. It's important to say well done, and this is a lot of effort, and it's been brilliant. Finishing in May! Gosh).
philgyford  pepysdiary  russelldavies  blogs  history  longishnow 
april 2012
Eye blog » Playing with the logo. How Ken Garland + Associates had graphic fun with the Galt Toys identity
Gorgeous work from Ken Garland, and an exhibition of the Galt Toys work in Shoreditch. And, best of all, the exhibition lets you play with the toys. Will be going to this.
kengarland  galttoys  toys  play  design  graphicdesign 
april 2012
In Response To Bruce Sterling's "Essay On The New Aesthetic" | The Creators Project
"In making this list, Sterling privileges the visible objects of New Aesthetics over the invisible and algorithmic ones. New Aesthetics is not simply an aesthetic fetish of the texture of these images, but an inquiry into the objects that make them. It’s an attempt to imagine the inner lives of the native objects of the 21st century and to visualize how they imagine us." I'm never quite convinced by the Creators Project, and their introduction to this feels a bit woolly, but the interviews are all very good. This quotation, from Greg Borenstein, is excellent.
newaesthetic  computervision  machines  design 
april 2012
- How We Will Read: Clive Thompson
"That’s why I like having these little printed books, or these little files of my notes, because I can literally pull up anything I want to remember from Moby Dick, and in repeating it, remember it. Annotating becomes a way to re-encounter things I’ve read for pleasure." Which is why I have a stack of eight books on my dining table, and more to come over the years - to be read, not just hoarded.
articles  memory  reading  clivethompson  books 
april 2012
Jenova Chen: Journeyman • Articles • Eurogamer.net
"So what happened when you removed collision detection?" "Players started looking for other ways to get more feedback. Helping each other yielded the most feedback so they began to do that instead. It was fascinating." A lovely interview - and great piece of writing fro Simon - with Jenova Chen. The parts on how players regress is particularly interesting, as is Chen's ambition to be _different_ rather than just 'artistic'. I particularly enjoyed the anecdote about collision detection, hence quoting it.
journey  thatgamecompany  games  simonparkin  writing  interview  jenovachen  play  childishness 
april 2012
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
"Modern creatives who want to work in good faith will have to fully disengage from the older generation’s mythos of phantoms, and masterfully grasp the genuine nature of their own creative tools and platforms. Otherwise, they will lack comprehension and command of what they are doing and creating, and they will remain reduced to the freak-show position of most twentieth century tech art. That’s what is at stake." Loads of good stuff in this Sterling essay, but this is the leaper-out for me: the reminder - as I fervently behave - about truly understanding the things you work in. And in this case: the reminder that all the old metaphors of computation are rarely true. Computers are not intelligent; they do not see or hear. But nor are they stupid, blind, or deaf. They are just other.
newaesthetic  brucesterling  metaphor  computing  technology 
april 2012
Kindergarten Cop (1990) - The Criterion Collection
If you're going to do an April Fool, this is how. (Those special features are pretty good, though).
aprilfools  kindergartencop  films  movies  criterion 
april 2012
stamen design | Watercolor Textures
"The process of going back and forth from painting to the computer became a continuous cycle. Midway through as I became more and more familiar with the outcome of how the actual texture would appear on the screen when tiled, my painting process became more specific to achieve the desired texture, color, darkness, stroke, range of value that I wanted for each feature on the map." Lovely stuff from Geraldine on painting, textures, and process.
painting  texture  design  maps  process  stamen  watercolour 
march 2012
"Tambour is a musical game about attacking and countering with rhythm." Really nice: definitely musical, interesting balancing mechanics, and I love the range of inputs. Also it looks good, which helps.
game  music  rhythm 
march 2012
Math for Makers
"Topics like linear algebra, topology, graph theory, and machine learning are becoming vital prerequisites both to doing daily work in these fields and, more importantly, to inventing, popularizing, and teaching the new creative tools that are rapidly arising. Without them, artists are forced to wait for others to digest this new knowledge before they can work with it. Their creative options shrink to those parts of this research selected by Adobe for inclusion in prepackaged tools. Instead of the themes and concerns of creative work driving the selection of tools from a growing technical cornucopia, artists find themselves turned into passive users of tools that are already curated, contextualized, and circumscribed by others.

So, I want to do something about this. I want to figure out a way to teach myself and others these more advanced mathematical and computational concepts with a specific eye towards applying them in creative technology."

This is going to be very good. (I'd quote the whole post if I could, but this leapt out at me hardest.) And: on the day Greg's book arrived.
gregborenstein  programming  art  creative  maths 
march 2012
Using Automated Rhyme Detection to Characterize Rhyming Style in Rap Music
"Imperfect and internal rhymes are two important features in rap music previously ignored in the music information retrieval literature. We developed a method of scoring potential rhymes using a probabilistic model based on phoneme frequencies in rap lyrics. We used this scoring scheme to automatically identify internal and line-final rhymes in song lyrics and demonstrated the performance of this method compared to rules-based models. We then calculated higher-level rhyme features and used them to compare rhyming styles in song lyrics from different genres, and for different rap artists. We found that these detected features corresponded to real- world descriptions of rhyming style and were strongly characteristic of different rappers, resulting in potential applications to style-based comparison, music recommendation, and authorship identification." Awesome, and something I am going to sit down and read properly.
rap  lyrics  rhyme  computation  machinelearning  paper  awesome 
march 2012
Rob Ricketts — Graphic Design & Typography
"A series of informative posters detailing how some of the most notable drum sequences were programmed using the Roland TR-808 Drum Machine. Each sequence has been analyzed and represented as to allow users to re-programme each sequence, key for key." Gorgeous. (If I had to pick, I'd take Voodoo Ray - which is a lovely piece of drum programming amongst many other things).
art  design  music  drummachine  808  techno  posters 
march 2012
"My mom worries to unrational degree about my well being when I'm travelling. And she never reads her emails. So I decided to automate this process of informing my mom that I'm alive when I'm abroad. This small php script checks the ip address of the visitor calling it and if that ip address is not in Finland it'll generate a small email to my mom, mostly telling her where I am and that I'm alive. It does this emailing only once in 24 hours. This script is called from a small python script that runs in the background and tries to call this script every hour or so. So if I'm using my laptop (which I usually am) and I have internet connection this should automatically make me a better son." Hah!
parents  email  worry  travel 
march 2012
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