• "We learned that being first is important, but should not be the only factor when determining the viability of a project. If you have an evolved approach to a preexisting concept, you are likely doing something original and the results have a good chance of being meaningful." So, in one sense, it's another physical mirror. But: I like this point, that sometimes, you have to do a thing for yourself to learn about it. And by learning about it, you might ultimately differentiate your own work. As long as you don't claim you were first, there is no shame in doing what other people do. How else do you learn things? Not by other people yelling "OLD!" at you, that's for sure.
  • "Gifsicle is a command-line tool for creating, editing, and getting information about GIF images and animations." Handy.
  • "These three frameworks — objects as portals, objects as subjects, and objects as oracles — propose distinct (yet related) structures for thinking about how connected objects might begin to contain their own narratives, seek their own history, develop their own perspectives, and become storytellers in a multitude of ways." Nice article about the various perspectives on Connected Objects (which namechecks Hello Lamp Post).
  • "Mavis Batey, who has died aged 92, was one of the leading female codebreakers at Bletchley Park, cracking the Enigma ciphers that led to the Royal Navy’s victory at Matapan, its first fleet action since Trafalgar." Today's Bletchley obituary; as expected, a completely excellent life by all accounts.
  • "At last week’s Game Developers’ Conference I delivered a talk titled “AI-driven Dynamic Dialog”, describing the dialog system used in Left4Dead, Dota, and basically all of Valve’s games since The Orange Box." This is a brilliant talk – really worth going through the PDF for. In a nutshell, it's how the Left4Ddead conversation works – something I tried emulating with my Twitter bots a while back – but also sheds light on how I could have sped up some of the decision-making code on Hello Lamp Post. It's also good on what designing (andwriting) for this kind of work looks like. Might have to write something longer on this.
  • "Bach wonders: yes, this is hellaciously monotonous, but what if I multiply these eight notes by four, 8 x 8 x 8 x 8, making 32 total, creating a larger symmetry, giving the harmony some space to breathe? And then what if I write some real canons, not this pathetic excuse? I know everyone discusses the Goldbergs as if born from the mind of God in some beautiful Olympian harmony-paradise. But here's another way to frame it: Bach set out to write something less boring than one of the most boring pieces ever written. And he succeeded. If the Handel Variations are Last Year at Marienbad, the Goldbergs are Die Hard." Spoiler: Jeremy Denk doesn't really hate the Goldberg Variations. But boy, can he both write – and play the piano.
  • "I learned a hell of a lot designing and building Dopplr. I still stand by a lot of the principles that we as a team tried to follow." So did we all, Matt; it's still a model in the background of my head for things I work on.
  • "This year, Moog’s circuit bending contest is challenging entrants to take a battery powered device and circuit bend it into an instrument capable of creating new and unique sounds for a total budget of $70 or less." Sorely tempted by this.

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