Surviving being senior (tech) management:
[F]ind some folks in your industry, with similar job scope. Get together regularly. Talk shop. But the real shop. The stuff you don’t talk about when the people you work for or the people who work for you are around. This should be off the record. This isn’t a meet up. Start with a small group. Intimacy is the name of the game. Alcohol can help. Ask people, they’ll say yes, everyone needs to talk.
What you’ll find out is everything is fucked up everywhere.
Julian Assange reviews The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen for the New York Times:
[W]hile Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Cohen tell us that the death of privacy will aid governments in “repressive autocracies” in “targeting their citizens,” they also say governments in “open” democracies will see it as “a gift” enabling them to “better respond to citizen and customer concerns.” In reality, the erosion of individual privacy in the West and the attendant centralization of power make abuses inevitable, moving the “good” societies closer to the “bad” ones.
I only just got around to reading it and the fact this was published about a week before news of the PRISM program broke is rather remarkable.
It’s been a year since I last did one of these, so I guess it’s more than due to clear out the reading list backlog:
- Anthrax has hit Glasgow: the story of a desperate hunt for its source – by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Wired UK
- Angels & Demons – On June 4, 1989, the bodies of Jo, Michelle and Christe were found floating in Tampa Bay. This is the story of the murders, their aftermath, and the handful of people who kept faith amid the unthinkable. By Thomas French, St. Petersburg Times
- Rohrer’s Blood Diamonds: Three Years, Two Publishers and a Garage Full of Games – Jason Rohrer’s struggle to bring a game about conflict diamonds to the Nintendo DS. By Chris Plante, Polygon
- Microsoft’s Lost Decade – Once upon a time, Microsoft dominated the tech industry; indeed, it was the wealthiest corporation in the world. But since 2000, as Apple, Google, and Facebook whizzed by, it has fallen flat in every arena it entered: e-books, music, search, social networking, etc., etc. Talking to former and current Microsoft executives, Kurt Eichenwald finds the fingers pointing at C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates’s successor, as the man who led them astray. By Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair
- Memories of Kurt Gödel – by Rudy Rucker
- 25 years of HyperCard—the missing link to the Web – Before the World Wide Web did anything, HyperCard did everything. By Matthew Laser, Ars Technica
- Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS – by Chris Ziegler, The Verge
- Less Talk, More Rock – The native language of video games is neither spoken nor written. By Superbrothers, Boing Boing
- How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything – An exclusive look inside Ground Truth, the secretive program to build the world’s best accurate maps. By Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic
- Sex and advertising: Retail therapy – How Ernest Dichter, an acolyte of Sigmund Freud, revolutionised marketing. The Economist
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Game Studio – While we often see the evolution of artists working in old media, ever-shifting technical terrain tends to obscure videogame makers’ aesthetic trajectories. In Thatgamecompany’s pathbreaking and gorgeous games for the Playstation 3, we get the rare chance to watch these artists at work against a fixed technological backdrop. By Ian Bogost, The Atlantic
- The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit – by Jason Tanz, Wired
- How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big-Budget Flick – With just a handful of posts about a hypothetical time travel scenario, James Erwin went from web commenter to professional screenwriter. By Jason Fagone, Wired
- Can a Better Vibrator Inspire an Age of Great American Sex? – Sex toys have transformed into sophisticated and well-designed gadgets that take their inspiration from Apple not Hustler. But one company has a bigger hope: that a better machine could mean better sex for a repressed nation. By Andy Isaacson, The Atlantic
- Why Publishers Don’t Like Apps – The future of media on mobile devices isn’t with applications but with the Web. By Jason Pontin, Technology Review
- Spam-erican Apparel – Do androids dream of ironic tees? By Babak Radboy, DIS Magazine
- The Man Who Hacked Hollywood – They’ve become a part of the pop-culture landscape: sexy, private shots of celebrities (your Scarletts, your Milas) stolen from their phones and e-mail accounts. They’re also the center of an entire stealth industry. For the man recently arrested in the biggest case yet, hacking also gave him access to a trove of Hollywood’s seamiest secrets—who was sleeping together, who was closeted, who liked to sext. What the snoop didn’t realize was that he was being watched, too. By David Kushner, GQ
- Google Now: behind the predictive future of search – How Google learned to un-fragment itself and create the next big thing. By Dieter Bohn, The Verge
- The Hazards of Duke – A now infamous powerpoint presentation exposes a lot about men, women, sex, and alcohol—and about how universities are letting their female students down. By Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic
- End Game: Inside the Destruction of Curt Schillings’ 38 Studios – Curt Schilling set out to build the greatest video-game company the world had ever seen, and to get rich — Bill Gates rich — doing it. Instead, the whole thing exploded in his face. Drawing on exclusive interviews with the Red Sox legend and his former employees, Jason Schwartz takes us inside the chaos, arrogance, and mistakes that led to the destruction of 38 Studios and the loss of $75 million in taxpayer money. By Jason Schwartz, Boston Magazine
- How the Internet gets inside us – Books explaining why books no longer matter come in many flavors. By Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
- Revisiting Windows 1.0: how Microsoft’s first desktop gracefully failed – 1985 is calling, and it has some lessons for Windows 8. By Sean Hollister, The Verge
- Value of Windowing is Questioned – by Erik Sandberg-Diment, The New York Times
- Digital apocalypse: living through the death of virtual worlds – From ‘City of Heroes’ to ‘Glitch,’ what it’s like for the plug to be pulled from your massive online world. By Noah Davis, The Verge
- How emoji conquered the world – The story of the smiley face from the man who invented it. By Jeff Blagdon, The Verge
- Johann Sebastian Joust: Making A Video Game Without Video – by Chris Plante, Polygon
- The City By The Bay – Examining the stealth genre’s depictions of society and culture, as seen through the stark, shadowy lens of The Maltese Falcon. By James Patton, Sneaky Bastards
- The Verge Interview: Ambient Devices CEO Pritesh Gandhi on ‘glanceable’ data – 11 years on, the MIT Media Lab brainchild is finding its way. By Chris Ziegler, The Verge
- Inside TED: the smartest bubble in the world – A week-long journey into a temporary utopia. By Joshua Topolsky, The Verge
- Crashing Through Manhattan In The Fake Google Driverless Car – by Adrian Chen, Gizmodo
- The Distro Interview: Microsoft Principal Researcher Bill Buxton – by Donald Melanson, Engadget
- The Artist Who Talks With the Fishes – by Jonah Weiner, The New York Times
Researchers at mobile security company Lookout discovered a security flaw in Google Glass which allowed them to capture data being sent from the head-mounted device to the web without the users knowledge.The flaw used the fact that the head-mounted Glass camera scans any photo it takes for a QR code in order to set up Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections to a smartphone for internet access.Whenever the Glass software detects a QR code, it decodes it to see if it names a Wi-Fi network to connect to. It will do this even if the code does not occupy the whole of the frame – so a hacker could get a Glass owner to hack their own device just by standing near a printout of special QR code.
Google Glass hacked with malicious QR code to yield its pictures and video.
It’s news like this that make me feel like living in a science fiction novel.
Greg Borenstein, Announcing OpenCV for Processing:
I’m proud to announce the release of OpenCV for Processing, a computer vision library for Processing based on OpenCV.
You can download it here.
Great news, this should be a lot of fun. Useful too.
Includes lots of example code for face detection, background subtraction, AR marker detection and more.
Fantasy User Interfaces, Fictional User Interfaces, Fake User Interfaces, Futuristic User Interfaces. Regardless of what the F stands for, they all represent the same thing, the user interfaces and heads up displays found in many popular movies and television shows.
Most FUIs are not actual computer programs but simply animations being played back at the correct time or added in post production. These graphics and animations are designed in applications like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D.
Kit FUI is an IMDb-like database that makes it easy to find screenshots, videos and the designers of these FUIs.
Kit FUI by Noteloop.
An IMDB for fictional UIs. Let’s hope this can grow and expand.
Probably not quite safe for work.
Love is all
Video, Kinect, RGBD Toolkit (2012)
Direction, edition: Alejandro Gómez-Arias
Love… is a study of the body, movements and energy delivery during the sex, the relation between sculpture and video. The original idea come from a philosophical phrase of two french writers, Deleuze & Guattari: “Every love is an exercise of depersonalization on a body without organs yet to be formed.” – A Thousand Plateaus
Love is all from Alejandro Gómez-Arias / MEME on Vimeo.
After last week’s WWDC, Apple’s Developer Conference, the whole web is brimming with commentary on the radical design changes that Apple plans to introduce with iOS 7 this fall.
I have a few (conflicting) thoughts of my own, but there’s little reason to go into them at length, considering the number of words spent on the topic across tech news websites and personal weblogs over the past week. I’ll briefly jot down my top three annoyances and concerns anyway, to revisit at a later point:
- I think the new lockscreen design is a failure, inadvertantly prompting the user to swipe up instead of left-to-right, potentially tarnishing one of the very first interactions users will experience with their new iOS 7 device. I expect this to be changed pre-release.
- I’m not a fan of the new homescreen app icons (like everone else), but they don’t worry me too much because they’ll probably also get fixed pre-release.
- My biggest gripe and probably the one that won’t get fixed is the use of text labels as buttons – I think a button should look different from a label and you should be able to distinguish between the two without ambiguity with a quick glance.
Overall what we saw of iOS 7 at WWDC looked incoherent and unfinished, but then again, it probably is. A comprehensive, systemwide user interface overhaul of this magnitude is an enormous undertaking and I have little doubt that Apple’s designers and developers will keep polishing and refining until the very last minute before they ship. What we saw this week gave us a valuable preview of the design direction that iOS is headed in, but I expect things to improve significantly before iOS 7 actually ships.
One parting thought that few people seem to be talking about: I’m sad that the iOS user interface as we knew it for 6 years will soon be a thing of the past. For all its shortcomings it was a beautiful user interface, certainly more beautiful and polished than Android and Windows Phone in my eyes. Its look might have gotten stale over the years and many users might have gotten bored by its staunch familiarity, but to think that it will be gone for good so soon seems almost tragic to me.