• "I think recognising this – when there is a path from a crisis that involves risk but rewards you hugely – with something you wouldn’t have imagined, is at the very heart of design. It’s certainly an incredible feeling when it works, when the judo-flip flows just so, and you end up somewhere brilliant." Yeah. I really, really need to trust that more when I feel it.
  • "Though adept at mathematics and engineering science, his inventions were all human-centred and focused on the experience and enjoyment of the user. He abandoned his design of a steam motorboat engine, for example, because once he had developed it to rival diesel power it lost its suppleness and "was not a nice thing any more". His car suspensions and the cycle developments were entirely aimed at providing a superior experience for the user. He was very taken, through his association with Bridgestone, with the Japanese sense of the "spirit" of an artefact, reflecting its origins and the care with which it was made. He liked the idea that by seeing and using something one can detect this "spirit", which fitted his own conviction that manufacture and industry are morally rewarding. "Man should make things … Make a profit, of course, but don't take the money gain as the prime judgment."" Great paragraph from this obituary of Alex Moulton.
  • Wonderful article about Hackney – and, specifically, a natural history of the borough as it is right now. The history of social housing throughout the area is particularly interesting; also, I found the distinction between "gentrification" and "yuppification" useful. Ignore the title – it is a meaty piece, with about 2% of it being about hipsters.
  • "…if any one of the participants at the meeting starts to deviate away from the subject, repeat themselves or get a little carried away with their topic, the "Scrum master" presents them with the baseball cap to wear – the idea being to "cap" the conversation at source! This indicates that the person presented with the cap is now prohibited to speak until asked to contribute again, or until the cap is passed to someone else during the course of the meeting." Iiinteresting.
  • "Use and create Delicious bookmarks from the Safari web browser" – with a single keyboard shortcut. My main reason for sticking with Firefox was its Delicious integration, but if this is any cop, I think I'm save from terrible memory leaks for the future.
  • "I tend to see them as having much more in common with the approach of an architect or landscape designer in terms of shaping and creating flows, confluences and possibilities for enjoyment… As a result I really do think that critical appreciation and commentary from the world of architecture and design could be illuminating and progressive." Jones on the lack of perception – outside games criticism – of games as design objects (rather than media objects). It is excellent; I agree with it all.
  • Card-based dungeon-crawling game. Basically: card-driven roguelike. Should print it out and take a squint sometime.
  • "Taps is a temporary web service you run on a server that has access to the database you want to export. You can then run the client to connect to that service and pull data out of it in chunks. It works through firewalls, doesn’t require a direct ssh connection, and – best of all – it’s database independent. So you can export from a MySQL database and import to PostgreSQL, or vice versa."
  • Vast, detailed CHUD article on an older treatment Cameron wrote for Avatar, which does sound more interesting than the version we got; sadly, it also sounds very sprawling – there's even more world-building going on. Still, some elements cut from it – notably, Hegner – seem like a real shame to have lost.
  • "There is a tension between the Royal Mail as a profit-making business and the Royal Mail as a public service. For most of the Royal Mail management – who rarely, if ever, come across the public – it is the first. To the delivery officer – to me, and people like me, the postmen who bring the mail to your door – it is more than likely the second." Excellent diary in the LRB from a Royal Mail postman, which at least helps explain a lot of the problems inside the postal system, as opposed to just the ones I experience outside it.
  • "FuckYeahSubways is a tumblelog." And it does exactly what it says on the tin: pictures of subways and metro systems, inside and out, from around the world. Really good.
  • "Ah – The Big Meg, where at any moment on the mile-high Zipstrips you might be flattened by a rogue Boinger, set-upon by a Futsie and thrown down onto the skedways far below, offered an illicit bag of umpty-candy or stookie-glands and find yourself instantly at the mercy of the Judges. If you grew up on 2000AD like me, then your mind is probably now filled with a vivid picture of the biggest, toughest, weirdest future city there's ever been." Jones on future cities, collating and refining thoughts into a lovely piece of structure and rhetoric. Also, the sentence "wrapping himself in Tokyo to form a massive concrete battlesuit".