• "I thought this was a fascinating take on the need within companies for stories… Companies spend a lot of money looking for these stories. Traditional product companies had to ask people and users to tell their stories, normally through market research. Web companies are at a huge advantage: they have rivers of usage data flowing through their servers, and the problem inverses – how to make sense and tease out meaning and interest from such a torrent." This is very good; I'm looking forward to future installments.
  • "If Ferelden has room for priests, elves, mages and golems then why doesn’t it have room for sceptics and scientists too?" Lovely notion – roleplaying an aetheist in Dragon Age (as best possible within the game). In this case, the player character believes in magic, but not in the montheist religion that much of the world ascribes to; miracles are really just magic at work. Subsitute "magic" for "science" and you begin to see his point. It's a nicely thought-through piece.
  • "The closer has confounded hitters with mostly one pitch: his signature cutter." Lovely motion infographics – informative, and powerfully confirming the narration.
  • "The move during the past 10 years or so has been from cameras being precision mechanical devices to molded polycarbonate containers for electronic components. This has meant a lowering of overall physical quality. What one gets in terms of features, functions and image quality is higher than ever before, but the satisfaction of owning and using a high quality mechanical and optical device has for the most part evaporated. Only the top models within any brand produce a tactile satisfaction and please one's esthetic sense." The quotation is from Michael Reichmann; the discussion that follows is as thoughtful as usual from TOP's readers.

Sounds of the Summer

04 July 2010


I’m pretty sure that my sound for the summer is going to be Russ Chimes’ Expressway Mixtape (pt. 1). An hour of stompy, sunshiney electro; it’s carried me around the South Bank, the South Circular, and it’s probably going to slingshot me along the M4 in a month’s time. Solid tunes, and some great, subtle mixing. If that sounds like your thing – bouncy, dancy, blissful and slightly dirty electro – you should head straight over and download it. It’s very good.

(I’ve been recommending this so much in the past week that it made sense just to give it a permalink, and share it here.)

  • "The Enough Project says that auditing component supply chains at the smelters to see whether the metal was sources from “clean” places like Australia or Canada instead of lining the pockets of Congolese warlords would add about one cent to the price of a cellphone, and that this figure originates from within the industry. I’d happily pay a thousand times that for each of my devices – a mere ten bucks – to ensure that I wasn’t bankrolling rape and murder." Depressing, and a very, very good point. It doesn't make me any surer of what to do, sadly.
  • "It's not a subscription; it's more casual than that. It's an **impulscription**; they get the chance to dangle the week's headlines under your nose, and you get the chance to buy if you like the look of that issue. No obligation, no hassle. It means I never have to miss an Economist Technology Quarterly, and nor do I have to take out a proper subscription and then suffer the guilt of seeing unread copies piling up in the living room.<br />
    <br />
    I want all magazines to be available like this, please." What a great idea. (Also: I *love* 'impulscription').
  • Lovely: roleplaying Ferris Bueller not only on Twitter, but also on Foursquare. I love that Foursquare has a policy to allow "fake check-ins but not to reward them points"; there's lots of potential there, both playful and storyful.
  • "Emo’s rise coincides with the explosion of social networking, the fracturing of commodification, the emergence of micro-trends, the mainstream adoption of alt-porn tropes… Emo’s the musical centre of a pop-culture whirlwind that doesn’t really seem to have been explored much, and when it has it’s often been addressed either in dismissive or alarmist tones." As an emo apologist, I really need to write more in response to this – they're topics I've covered in my head several times.