November 24, 2014

Interesting Things on the Internet: November 24th 2014

  • 44 engineering management lessons. Lot of good advice, some of which I manage to follow...
  • It’s hard to build a good web. It's good to see some of the people building decent web "properties" exploring ways to thrive. Go support them.
  • Metafoundry 15: Scribbled Leatherjackets. A good critique of Making. I'm not sure I agree with all of it, although I agree with some of it. It is always about the people, not the things. Maybe if more people answered "a difference", or "a community", or "I make do (and mend)" to the question "What do you make?" then we'd be moving in the right direction. But she's right, the celebration of Making is really just railing against the busywork and churn of making things of no (real) value in order to further line the pockets of the rich. Making isn't really the right term to latch onto, as many people make the world a worse place. It's tricky to find a better alternative though.
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November 21, 2014

Software Patterns for Art and Life

This talk from Lauren McCarthy is full of interesting tech/art projects, many - but not all - her own.

Eyeo 2014 - Lauren McCarthy from Eyeo Festival // INST-INT on Vimeo.

The reason I haven't just folded it into this week's Interesting Things... post is the bit from 33 minutes in where she talks about wondering what it would be like to manage a relationship with someone using version control.

It's an interesting experiment, but especially so given Francis' use of github issues for his house (which we've stolen to good effect so far at DoES Liverpool) and Hakim's wondering about time machines, alternate futures, and version control in his London Perl Workshop keynote.

I've often wondered-out-loud what the github account for a city, and in particular my city, would look like. What code would it collect? What issues could it address? Who would contribute to it? This evening I've taken a small step towards finding out.

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November 17, 2014

Interesting Things on the Internet: November 17th 2014

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November 10, 2014

Interesting Things on the Internet: November 10th 2014

  • Getting the digital autonomy we pay for. "I just want people to understand what’s possible in a world of connected, standards-based software components, to recognize when those possibilities aren’t being realized, to expect and demand that they will be, and to pay something for that outcome."
  • Are cities ready for open and creative citizenship? A call for more interesting community centres, with more diverse and active facilities - not just meeting rooms and event space.
  • Peak Google. An interesting take on succession in the position of King/Queen of Tech
  • Paul Downey is in the middle of an excellent series of blog posts exploring (and showing his workings, so you can play along) an open dataset on house prices and sales in the UK. This one looking at postcode data produces a lovely, detailed map of England and Wales from just properties which have been sold over the years.
  • Against Productivity. Meaty thinking from Quinn Norton. And alongside "productivity" I'd add "efficiency" in the grab-bag of sounds-worthy-and-innocuous-but-isn't memes of the modern age. Of course, the irony of the fact that I'm reading that and writing this while sat on a train that a few years ago would have given me just time to think and idly stare out of the window isn't lost on me.
  • Intellectual Property, Jewish Ethics, and Aaron Swartz. "Intellectual Property" is in dire need of reform.
  • Identity as a weapon. And not the aggressors identity.
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November 03, 2014

Interesting Things on the Internet: November 3rd 2014

  • Ten hours of walking in NYC as a woman. The Internet, real life, both just the same. Linking to this doesn't feel like helping much, but I guess pointing out that it's wrong to more people is a start.
  • Security Problems. Similarly highlighting the problem more than a solution, but we [geeks] need to get better at fixing security and privacy on the Internet for everyone, rather than just knowing the little back roads and tricks that we only use ourselves.
  • Shut Up and Eat. If these tiny acts of consumer choice are the most meaningful actions in our lives, perhaps we aren’t thinking and acting on a sufficiently big scale. Imagine that you die and go to Heaven and stand in front of a jury made up of Thomas Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Your task would be to compose yourself, look them in the eye, and say, “I was all about fresh, local, and seasonal."
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