Dan Saffer: How To Lie with Design Research (Google Video) — Experience shows that, especially with qualitative research like the type designers often do, two researchers can look at the same set of data and draw dramatically different findings from them. As William Blake said, “Both read the Bible day and night, But thou read’st black where I read white.” (via Keith Bolland)
Teaching What You Don’t Know (Sci Blogs) — As that lecturer said, learning new things—while challenging—is also stimulating & fun. If that sense of excitement and enjoyment carries through to your actual classes, then you’ll speak with passion and enthusiasm—how better to in turn enthuse your students? Ties in with the Maori concept of Ako, that teacher and student learn from each other.
Bored of 3D Printers (Tom Armitage) — made me wonder how long it would be before we drop the “3D” prefix and expect a “printer” to emit objects. That said, I love Tom’s neologism artefactory.
Mozilla Home Dash — love this experiment in rethinking the browser from Mozilla. They call it a “browse-based browser” as opposed to “search-based browser” (hello, Chrome). Made me realize that, with Chrome, Google’s achieved a 0-click interface to search–you search without meaning to as you type in URLs, you see advertising results without ever having visited a web site.
XSS Prevention Cheat Sheet (OWASP) — HTML entity encoding doesn’t work if you’re putting untrusted data inside a script tag anywhere, or an event handler attribute like onmouseover, or inside CSS, or in a URL. So even if you use an HTML entity encoding method everywhere, you are still most likely vulnerable to XSS. You MUST use the escape syntax for the part of the HTML document you’re putting untrusted data into. That’s what the rules below are all about. (via Hacker News)
Alpha Draft of Mozilla Public License v2 Out — The highlight of this release is new patent language, modeled on Apache’s. We believe that this language should give better protection to MPL-using communities, make it possible for MPL-licensed projects to use Apache code, and be simpler to understand. (via webmink on Twitter)
Challenge.gov — contest-like environment for solving problems. Not all are glowing examples of government innovation: $12,000 for healthy recipes for kids–this is not a previously-unsolved problem. More relevant: NASA Centennial Challenge to build an aircraft that can fly 200 miles in less than two hours using the energy equivalent of less than 1 gallon of gas per occupant. (via scilib on Twitter)
A Virtual Counter-Revolution (The Economist) — It is still too early to say that the internet has fragmented into “internets”, but there is a danger that it may splinter along geographical and commercial boundaries. (via mgeist on Twitter)
Socorro: Mozilla’s Crash Reporting System (Laura Thomson) — We receive on our peak day each week 2.5 million crash reports, and process 15% of those, for a total of 50 GB. In total, we receive around 320Gb each day. Moving to a Hadoop-based system in the future, as they’re limited by database and filesystem storage.
History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC) — a radio show, telling the history of humanity in 100 objects from the British Library. Exquisitely high quality commentary (available in original audio and in textual transcript), hi-resolution images, maps, timelines, and more. It’s growing day by day as episodes air, and shows how a quintessentially offline place like a museum can add to the online world.
Snakes on the Web (Jacob Kaplan-Moss) — The best way to predict the future of web development, I think, is to keep asking ourselves the question that led to all the past advances: what sucks, and how can we fix it? So: what sucks about web development? An excellent and thought-provoking talk about the possible directions for improvement in web framework design.
Ravelry (Tim Bray) — We’ve got 430,000 registered users, in a month we’ll see 200,000 of those, about 135,000 in a week and about 70,000 in a day. We peak at 3.6 million pageviews per day. That’s registered users only (doesn’t include the very few pages that are Google accessible) and does not include the usual API calls, RSS feeds, AJAX. […] We have 7 servers running Gentoo Linux and virtualized into a total of 13 virtual servers with Xen. […]”. Interesting technical and business discussion with an unexpected busy site.
Us Now — UK documentary, available streaming or on DVD, about how open government and digital democracy makes sense. It’s good to watch if you’ve not thought about how government could be positively changed by technology, but I don’t think it’s radical enough in the future it describes.
Jetpack — Mozilla Labs’ new extension system. Mozilla Labs is building quite the assemblage of interesting hack tools, and it’s interesting how significantly they’re aimed at the developer and encouraging lots of add-ons and after-market extensions for the browser. I wonder whether this is a deliberate strategy (“community will beat off Chrome!”) or whether it’s a simple consequence of the fact that Mozilla is a developer organisation.