• "A day of support at Mutable Instruments’ is more commonly populated with “If you see a 100kHz square wave at this node, it means the integrator charges itself very fast, probably through the op-amp compensation cap only, not the external cap – check for a bad solder joint on C9” rather than “Have you checked that the power cord is plugged?” (though it happens). Furthermore, once kits get built, ideas of mods and firmware hacks crop up – all requiring expert guidance. All in all, the “support” role at Mutable Instruments is more like “product engineering – the lost levels” – and that’s why, following the introduction of a product – support can be done by no other than the designer of the instruments themselves…" Still, MI's products are getting increasingly lovely. I've always been tempted by a Shruthi, and the Anushri looks lovely.
  • "Prototype iPhone apps with simple HTML, CSS and JS components." Looks nice; also, lovely splash site.
  • "It's a debugger for web pages, like FireBug (for FireFox) and Web Inspector (for WebKit-based browsers), except it's designed to work remotely, and in particular, to allow you debug web pages on a mobile device such as a phone." Blimey. That's, um, remarkably useful. Duly noted.
  • "This is what the next generation of the mega-selling phone will look like. They'll be rough facsimiles of the high-end smartphones forged for well-heeled buyers, stripped of fat and excess—an embodiment of compromise. They'll be 90% of the phone for 20% of the price, with FM radios instead of digital music stores, and flashlights instead of LED flashes. This is how the other half will smartphone, if you want to be so generous as to call the developing world's users a half. We're not even close." Yes.
  • "Sahel Sounds rounded up music salvaged from the discarded mobile phone memory chips in West Africa." Wow; the after-life of dead electronic media made real.
  • "Board games are different. Sure, while you might love a board game for the sense of immersion it provides, or the way the game lifts off the table and fills the room, you also might love it for how beautiful the mechanics are. It’s like looking inside a clockwork watch. That fascination, as you see how all the pieces fit together, how everything is timed to perfection, how balanced it all is. With a beautiful board game design, you can love it for that craftsmanship you can feel with every turn." Yup. But, of course: this is, increasingly, why I like any game. It's just much more visible in boardgames – where you have to wrangle the rules yourself. And everything else – the immersion, the involvement – will come too; it just comes from that clockwork heart.
  • Stanford's iPhone development course.
  • "Is writing ever NOT collaboration? Doesn’t one collaborate with oneself, in a sense? Don’t we access different aspects of ourselves, different characters and attitudes and then, when they’ve had their say, switch hats and take a more distanced and critical view — editing and structuring our other half’s outpourings? Isn’t the end product sort of the result of two sides collaborating? Surely I’m not the only one who does this?" Something else that's been on the pile (to link) for a while now.
  • "The craftsman as hero is a consistent motif in Ruskin’s artistic and social theories. To him, mechanisation and division of labour dehumanise workers, enslaving them to execute exactly the specifications of others. The only way to recapture the humanity in labour is to put the designer back in touch with the tools of the craft and to unleash the creativity of the maker." A lovely metaphorical piece from Matt Edgar, reminding me of how much I need to brush up on my knowledge of the Arts and Crafts movement, if only because of how much I appreciate their sentiments.
  • "At some point, I begin to feel that I am carrying entire Latin American forests home with me. Also, I am afflicted with a terrible need to stop and write things down, at almost every corner, slowing my passage through the city and impeding motion. I am locked in this ridiculous two-step, unable to travel more than half a block before sitting down and writing out more, papering over the last thirty feet, dripping more ink onto the street: this absurd project, this incomprehensible, incompletable urge, this terror of forgetting and compulsion to record." Beautiful writing from James, which has been sitting on the "to link" pile for far too long.
  • "Here is an extraordinary piece of film. It is a live outside broadcast of a British army simulation of an attack on a train in Britain. It went out at prime time on a BBC programme called Saturday Night Out. And it happened in 1956."
  • "Maps are having their F-64 moment, right now, which is important and wonderful but I don't think anyone really wants to live in a world with an infinite depth of field. It's an appealing idea but then something like the Hipstamatic comes along and we all get irrationally weak in the knees, all over again." As usual with Aaron, I could quote most of the article, but in this case, I'll pick my favourite piece of writing, rather than perhaps the most succint quotation; just read the whole thing. (And: I wish I could code or even write like this).
  • '"We have a real culture of thrift," [Kotick] said. "The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games." And then, to ensure there was no confusion in his message, he added that he has tried to instill "skepticism, pessimism, and fear" of the economic downturn into the corporate culture at Activision. "We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression," he said.' Bobby Kotick. What a guy. What a CEO. What a leader.
  • "Designed by Oliver Rokison a teacher at St Paul's School. This project connects to the Tower Bridge twitter account and mimics the movements of the real tower bridge." Fun.
  • "Larva Labs proposes an intelligent home screen that creates a meaningful hierarchy out of a user’s information. Designed for an Android-based handset, our home screen is intended to appeal to Blackberry owners and people struggling with information overload." An interesting experiment; I like being able to vary the level of personalisation on the fly, but am not sure the screen is nearly dense enough for people with "information overload" – it only handles a couple of items in each category without drilling down. The Blackberry's appeal in part is due to its hyper-dense list of information.