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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

New Year Link Dump

Groupthink: The brainstorming myth
All brainstorming gets you is a collection of vague, untested ideas, yet many managers then consider the innovative thinking stage to be complete.
Making an Angry Birds Clone in JavaScript
This is a great advert for Greg’s boxbox library.
Departing Space Station Commander Provides Tour of Orbital Laboratory
As wonderful as this is, I spent the whole time thinking “Gah, it’s so cluttered!”.
A couple of sites doing daft things with URLs.
How Do They Make Money?
Not only interesting for those involved in startups, but also a reminder that if you don’t pay for a service they’re probably going to have to do something that annoys you to make a living.
Oculus Rift; Leap Motion
Hopefully these two imminent products will work together so you can stick out your hands and see them in the VR world.
What The Tech World Looks Like To A Teen
Even anecdotal evidence like this is interesting, but don’t be fooled into thinking teenagers are reliable indicators of future technologies.
Create and share simple wireframing diagrams.
Boil the Frog
Attempts to create a playlist that gradually shifts in style from one artist to another.
Telephone Numbers for use in TV and Radio drama programmes
I hadn’t realised that such large blocks (1000 numbers for each area) were allocated.
Password security in Deus Ex
Portraying a bleak future for computer security.
Extinction Tourism: Work at a Newspaper While You Still Can
Established photographer Jonas Bendiksen joined a small newspaper for a new challenge.
Hidden mothers in Victorian portraits
A follow-up post deals with the issue of whether anyone in the photos might’ve been dead.
When Facebook Resurrected the Dead
This brought back memories from around 1990. At university we were shown a demo of an error correction system that used a dictionary to fill in missing letters, and I wondered whether a much more advanced system might in future learn so much from a person’s communications that it would inadvertently complete a whole message if the user got disconnected (the lecturer ridiculed the idea).
Why did infinite scroll fail at Etsy?
Various interesting theories on the behavioural effects.
Scriptless Attacks - Stealing the Pie without touching the Sill
A further warning that it’s not just JavaScript that’s the danger.
Responsive Design for Apps - Part 1
The key thing is that devices capabilities overlap in all sorts of ways that make a nonsense of clear mobile/tablet/desktop pigeonholes.
Favorite Book Cover Designs of 2012
Some great designs, but Peter Mendelsund might see the NW cover differently if he realised it mimics a London street sign.
The Basement
An amazing intersection of old and new media.
Guess my word!
A bit of a work-out for your vocabulary.
Grabs a screenshot of a web page then lets you annotate it.
Spider That Builds Its Own Spider Decoys Discovered
OK spider, I’m impressed.
The two million tweet map
You can drill down and spot people tweeting in your area. Twitter really needs to snap this up and integrate it.
The ZX Spectrum versus modern legislation
The hugely popular 8-bit home computer that kickstarted many a programming career (including mine) would be illegal today.
Doing gravity right
Making algorithms for jumping etc. more accurate and far less vulnerable to frame rate wobbles.
Not bad, but heavily weighted towards videos.


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