# ENTRIES TAGGED "design"

## Four short links: 31 July 2012

### Urban Design, Vehicle Interfaces, Maldrones, and Cloud Translation

1. Christchurch’s Shot at Being Innovation Central (Idealog) — Christchurch, rebuilding a destroyed CBD after earthquakes, has released plans for the new city. I hope there’s budget for architects and city developers to build visible data, sensors, etc. so the Innovation Precinct doesn’t become the Tech Ghetto.
2. Torque Pro (Google Play Store) — a vehicle / car performance/diagnostics tool and scanner that uses an OBD II Bluetooth adapter to connect to your OBD2 engine management/ECU. Can lay out out your dashboards, track performance via GPS, and more. (via Steve O’Grady)
3. Drone Pilots (NY Times) — at the moment, the stories are all about the technology helping our boys valiantly protecting the nation. Things will get interesting when the new technology is used against us (we just saw the possibility of this with 3D printing guns). (via Dave Pell)
4. Avalon (GitHub) — A cloud based translation and localization utility for Python which combines human and machine translation. There’s also a how-to. (via Brian McConnell)
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## Four short links: 12 July 2012

### Mozilla Single Sign-On, Designed Technology, Identifying Crackpots, and Web Page Design

1. Mozilla Persona — single sign-on for the web.
2. Interview with Alan Kay (Dr Dobbs Journal) — The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs. (via Daniel Bachhuber)
3. Crackpots, Geniuses, and How to Tell The Difference (BoingBoing) — think critically, all the time. If you’re told you can’t trust any other sources of information (especially because of Big Conspiracy, or because so-and-so expert is a bad person in other areas of his or her life), be cautious. Replication is a powerful tool. It helps us get past accidental and intentional biases to see something closer to the truth. Suppressing replication is also powerful, because it leaves you with no way to check against bias.
4. Properties of Intuitive Web Pages (Luke Wroblewski) — Intuitive design is how we give our users super powers. This enables them to do new things.
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## Four short links: 5 July 2012

### Magnetic Frames, Checkout Design, Programming Go, and New Manufacturing

1. Neocover — very clever idea: magnetic light-switch frames, from which you can suspend keys and other very-losable pocket-fillers.
2. Design of Checkout Forms (Luke Wroblewski) — extremely detailed, data-filled, useful guide to state of the art (and effect of) e-commerce checkout forms. In tests comparing forms with real-time feedback to those without, usability testing firm, Etre and I measured a: 22% increase in success rates; 22% decrease in errors made; 31% increase in satisfaction rating; 42% decrease in completion times.
3. Less is Exponentially More (Rob Pike) — wonderfully readable introduction to the philosophy of the Go programming language. What matters isn’t the ancestor relations between things but what they can do for you. That, of course, is where interfaces come into Go. But they’re part of a bigger picture, the true Go philosophy. If C++ and Java are about type hierarchies and the taxonomy of types, Go is about composition.
4. 3D Manufacturing Business Plan — numbers for an existing business built around 3D printing. Fascinating to see the economics. The author makes the point: Based on these volumes, this product would be impossible to produce profitably by any other means.
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## Four short links: 26 June 2012

### Post-Capture Zoom, Load Gen, Inventive Malware, and Manufactured Normalcy

1. SnapItHD — camera captures full 360-degree panorama and users select and zoom regions afterward. (via Idealog)
3. AutoCAD Worm Stealing Blueprints — lovely, malware that targets inventions. The worm, known as ACAD/Medre.A, is spreading through infected AutoCAD templates and is sending tens of thousands of stolen documents to email addresses in China. This one has soured, but give the field time … anything that can be stolen digitally, will be. (via Slashdot)
4. Designing For and Against the Manufactured Normalcy Field (Greg Borenstein) — Tim said this was one of his favourite sessions at this year’s Foo Camp: breaking the artificial normality than we try to cast over new experiences so as to make them safe and comfortable.
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## Four short links: 4 June 2012

### Explore Your World, Cyberwar Cyberon, The Paperlessless Society, and Video Hackery

1. How To Be An Explorer of the World (Amazon) — I want to take this course on design anthropology but this book, the assigned text, looks like an excellent second best.
2. StuxNet Was American-Made Cyberwarfare Tool (NY Times) — not even the air gap worked for Iran, “It turns out there is always an idiot around who doesn’t think much about the thumb drive in their hand.”
3. So Much For The Paperless Society (Beta Knowledge Tumblr) — graph of the waxing and waning use of bond paper in North America. Spoiler: we’re still using a lot.
4. Magnifying Temporal Variation in VideoOur goal is to reveal temporal variations in videos that are difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye and display them in an indicative manner. Our method, which we call Eulerian Video Magnification, takes a standard video sequence as input, and applies spatial decomposition, followed by temporal filtering to the frames. The resulting signal is then amplified to reveal hidden information. Using our method, we are able to visualize the flow of blood as it fills the face and also to amplify and reveal small motions. Our technique can run in real time to show phenomena occurring at temporal frequencies selected by the user. This is amazing: track the pulse in your face from a few frames. (via Hacker News)
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## Four short links: 24 April 2012

### Craft Pharma, Silly Toy, Failure, and Android Image/Audio Capture

1. 3D-Printing Pharmaceuticals (BoingBoing) — Prof Cronin added: “3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It’s entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises. “Even more importantly, we could use 3D printers to revolutionise access to health care in the developing world, allowing diagnosis and treatment to happen in a much more efficient and economical way than is possible now.
2. Bolt Action Tactical Pen (Uncrate) — silliness.
3. Ken Robinson’s Sunday Sermon (Vimeo) — In our culture, not to know is to be at fault socially… People pretend to know lots of things they don’t know. Because the worst thing to do is appear to be uninformed about something, to not have an opinion… We should know the limits of our knowledge and understand what we don’t know, and be willing to explore things we don’t know without feeling embarrassed of not knowing about them. If you work with someone who hides ignorance or failure, you’re working with a timebomb and one of your highest priorities should be to change that mindset or replace the person. (via Maria Popova)
4. Using Android Camera in HTML Apps (David Calhoun) — From your browser you can now upload pictures and videos from the camera as well as sounds from the microphone. The returned data should be available to manipulate via the File API (via Josh Clark)
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## Four short links: 19 April 2012

### Text Similarity, Designing Engagement, Clustering Stories, and Prince of Persia

1. Superfastmatch — open source text comparison tool, used to locate plagiarism/churnalism in online news sites. You can pull out the text engine and use it for your own “find where this text is used elsewhere” applications (e.g., what’s being forwarded out in email, how much of this RFP is copy and paste, what’s NOT boilerplate in this contract, etc.). (via Pete Warden)
2. Ten Design Principles for Engaging Math Tasks (Dan Meyer) — education gold, engagement gold, and some serious ideas you can use in your own apps.
3. Clustering Related Stories (Jenny Finkel) — description of how to cluster related stories, talks about some of the tricks. Interesting without being too scary.
4. Prince of Persia (GitHub) — I have waited to see if the novelty wore off, but I still find this cool: 1980s source code on GitHub.
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## Four short links: 10 April 2012

### Instagram's Architecture, New ssh, Android Economics, and Design Principles

1. The Instagram Architecture (High Scalability) — great summary of the Instagram team’s post about the technology that runs Instagram. Lots of Python goodness in here.
2. Mosh — ssh that lets you roam and stay connected. UTF-8 native.
3. Android Economics — working back from Google’s declared valuation of Android royalties to figure out how much they have and how it’s growing. Error bars for Africa here, but can’t argue with the conclusion: Whereas Android generates $1.70/device/year and thus an Android device with a two year life generates about$3.5 to Google over its life, Apple obtained \$576.3 for each iOS device it sold in 2011.
4. UK Govt Digital Service’s Design Principles — if only everything in government followed Principle 1: Start with Needs (User Needs not Government Needs).
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## Four short links: 6 April 2012

### Agile FBI, Lucky Meat, Hiring Introverts, and Future of Reading

1. FBI Uses Agile (Information Week) — The FBI awarded the original contract for the case management system to Lockheed Martin in 2006, but an impatient Fulgham, who was hired in 2008 to get the project on track, decided to bring it in house in September 2010. Since then, the agency has been using agile development to push the frequently delayed project across the finish line. The FBI’s agile team creates a software build every two weeks, and the pre-launch system is now running Build 33. The agency is working on Build 36, comprised mainly of features that weren’t part of the original RFP. Fulgham says the software is essentially done.
2. Lucky Meat (Matt Webb) — the man is a mad genius. If you believe “mad” and “genius” are opposite ends of a single dimension, then I will let you choose where to place this post on that continuum. Then when you choose your tea (or coffee), the liquid is shot as if through the barrel of a gun BANG directly at your face. We use facial recognition computer chips or something for this. It blasts, and splashes, as hard and fierce as possible. And then the tea (or coffee) is runs down the inside slope of the “V” and is channeled in and falls eventually into a cup at the bottom apex where it finally drips in. Then you have your drink. (But you don’t need it, because you’re already awake.)
3. Quietly Awesome — how are your hiring processes biased towards extroverts? See also I don’t hire unlucky people.
4. How We Will Read (Clive Thompson) — Clive is my hero. I feel like we see all these articles that say, “This is what the e-book is,” and my response is always, “We have no idea what the e-book is like!” All these design things have yet to be solved and even thought about, and we have history of being really really good at figuring this out. If you think about the origins of the codex — first we started reading on scrolls. Scrolls just pile up, though. You can’t really organize them. Codexes made it easier to line them up on a shelf. But it also meant there were pages. It didn’t occur to them for some time to have page numbers, because the whole idea was that you only read a small number of books and you were going to read them over and over and over again. Once there were so many books that you were going to read a book once and maybe never again, it actually became important to consult the book and be able to find something inside it. So page numbers and indices became important. We look at books and we’re like, “They’re so well designed,” but it took centuries for them to become well-designed. So you look at e-books, and yeah, they’re alright, but they’re clearly horrible compared to what they’re going to be. I find it amazing that I can get this much pleasure out of them already. AMEN!
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## Four short links: 5 April 2012

### Masonry Designs, Publishers' DRMphilia Weakening?, Mental Javascript, and Yahoo! Mojito

1. Who Else Uses Masonry Style? (Quora) — list of sites using the multi-columns effect as provided by the jQuery plugin.
2. Will Hatchette Be First Big 6 Publisher To Drop DRM? (Paid Content) — DRM “doesn’t stop anyone from pirating,” Hachette SVP digital Thomas said in a publishing panel at Copyright Clearance Center’s OnCopyright 2012. “It just makes it more difficult, and anyone who wants a free copy of any of our books can go online now and get one.” (via Tim O’Reilly)
3. Javascript Mental Models (Alex Russell) — What we’re witnessing here isn’t “right” or “wrong”-ness. It’s entirely conflicting world views that wind up in tension.
4. Mojito (Github) — BSD-licensed Mojito is the JavaScript library implementing Cocktails, a JavaScript-based on-line/off-line, multi-device, hosted application platform. This is Javascript on server and/or on client.
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