Four short links: 27 Mar 2009

Design, Perl, Heresy, and Ephemera:

  1. Product Panic: 2009 — Bruce Sterling essay on design for recession-panicked consumers. As is usual with Bruce, I can’t tell whether he’s wryly tongue-in-cheek or literally advocating what he says. Great panic products are like Roosevelt’s fireside chats. They’re cheery bluff. The standard virtues of fine industrial design—safety, convenience, serviceability, utility, solid construction … well, when you’re heading for the lifeboats, you can overlook those pesky little details. For designers, the ideal panic product in 2009 is a 99-cent iPhone application. Something like an iPhone ocarina or lava lamp.
  2. Chuck vs CamelProgramming Perl makes an appearance on mainstream TV. (thanks Allison!)
  3. The Civil Heretic (NY Times) — a fascinating portrait of Freeman Dyson.
  4. FileFront Closes — “48 terabytes of data, historical and user-generated, gone.” Does our every upload deserve eternity? Who would want, take, or be able to support the continued existence of 48T of unprofitable blahblah? If 48T of user-generated content falls in the cloud, does it make a sound? (via waxy)
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  • My big complaint is that the users had no choice: they were given five days warning to save all of their material from an 8-year-old website.

    Service providers, even if they’re free, should feel a certain commitment to the community that kept them alive. Is it that hard to keep an archive of material online for a few months, retrievable only by the people that originally created it?

  • @Andy

    Perhaps you’re right.
    We really have no choice.

  • I love the Sterling link. Nat: I’ve been digging FSL for a while now. Just wanted you know know.

  • Medyumlar

    I love the Sterling link. Nat: I’ve been digging FSL for a while now. Just wanted you know know.