Four short links: 20 Feb 2009

Accessibility, trails, Pacman, and power today. Have a fun weekend!

  1. Social Accessibility Project — clever IBM approach to solving web accessibility problems: a sidebar for Firefox that lets people with assistive devices like screenreaders say “hey, I had this problem with this page”, and a crowd will help fix it. (via Derek Featherstone‘s Webstock talk, notes here)
  2. Why I Want a Million Quid (mySociety) — Tom’s onto something. I am hooked by this vision of “systems where each person who is helped to solve a problem leaves a trail of advice, contacts, insider information and new user-friendly web services behind them”. We’re used to the data people leave behind being discrete and implicit (another purchase for the recommendation engine) rather than longitudinal and explicit (people who looked at this item eventually went on to find their answer here).
  3. The PacMan Dossier — everything there is to know about Pacman, from designer Toru Iwatani’s inspiration and design process, through to the logic errors behind bugs and why it’s better to move the joystick before you reach the turn. (via Grand Text Auto)
  4. Two Stanford Students Rethink the Light Switch — a power switch with a network connection and tactile feedback: teh awesome.
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  • The million quid thing is on the right track but names too low a number were I to parrot it.

    Hey, Tim: money — mouth — these things should be in close proximity. Oh, and you should get the tech right.

    On the whole concept of “alpha geeks” well:

    don’t be one of the turds depicted there.


  • @Tom: That comment, implying that Tim’s a turd and doesn’t put his money where his mouth is, makes you come across as a hater. Let’s lift the quality of comment here, okay? Whatever you want to happen, sounding that much like a confrontational ass isn’t going to make it happen.

  • Gnat, how about instead we just each speak in our own way, ok?


  • Steve

    I usually enjoy your links from this segment, this is no exception. The light switch one is intriguing. Although the execution there could use some refinement, they are certainly on to something. Another great link that coincides with expansion and utilization of data is justaskgemalto, a digital security head quarters so to speak.

  • aram

    Liked the Pac Man article. Simple algorithms that lead to complex seeming behaviors. Its also interesting to compare the old “guides” advice to the algorithms now that the source code is out. (which ghosts are more aggresive and the whole speed change issues)

    Good stuff.

  • Thanks for covering this. As well as being a Nudge SmartSwitch is also a good example of Persuasive Technology – a discourse (also coming from Stanford) that shows how insights from psychology can be deployed via bits of technology. I’ve written a short post about how SmartSwitch fits into this discipline if any of your readers are interested: