I took my neologism and that vague chain of associations to a piece of prose fiction just to see what they could do. But I didn’t have a concept of what it was to begin with. I still think the neologism and the vague general idea were the important things. I made up a whole bunch of things that happened in cyberspace, or what you could call cyberspace, and so I filled in my empty neologism. But because the world came along with its real cyberspace, very little of that stuff lasted. What lasted was the neologism.

Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson


Warren Ellis, in light of the @towerbridge debacle:

A few months ago, I said in Berlin, “Cognitive cities require the approval and collaboration of city authorities. The same people who make flyposting illegal.”

It’s sad, and somewhat annoying – especially for Tom – but a better example that these streets are not our streets won’t be found in Britain today.

Wiretap Picture Frame

[A] digital picture frame to snatch pictures from a public wi-fi connection. Many coffee shops in Vancouver feature both local art and wi-fi, so why not combine the two? Imagine toting your laptop down for a latte, plugging in, and discovering that your Facebook pictures are on display on the wall. That’s what this picture frame does.

Obviously this project a tremendous violation of privacy, which is kind of the point. Using a coffee shop wireless connection is a huge risk, unless you take care to use some kind of extra encryption; one project called Firesheep recently made the news for allowing tremendously simplistic theft of Facebook sessions, among other things. If you’re logging into a website that doesn’t use HTTPS encryption, and most don’t, you’re giving your credentials away. This is a nice visual demonstration of that.

Link (via). See also Driftnet, Etherpeg, Carnivore.

Previously & previously.

iCloud’s real purpose: kill Windows:

[W]hat happens once all our data is in that iCloud, is there any easy way to get it back out? Nope. It’s in there forever and we are captive customers — trapped more completely than Microsoft ever imagined.

Apple and Google will compete like crazy for our data because once they have it we’ll be their customers forever.

App Myopia | design mind:

Default Thinking comes up frequently when discussing technology, but a particularly virulent form of it has taken hold in mobile: App Myopia. This is a paradigm that sees every possible mobile opportunity only as an exercise in creating an app. This is a rather useful myopia, to be sure, as some people are making lots of money selling apps, but it is beginning to feel like a local maximum and a paradigm that can only get us so far.

Twitter Digest for Week Ending 2011-06-12

  • "Cognitive cities require approval & collaboration of city authorities. The same people who make flyposting illegal." http://t.co/6Kp6Bli #
  • 7 different ways to play the Wii U (notably none includes more than one Wii U unit, probably hinting at its price): http://t.co/tTxXr2t #
  • Between Wii U and wireless iPad screen mirroring I foresee some interesting new interaction styles & capabilities in the living room. #
  • Imagine every iTunes user actually reading new ToS – hundreds of millions of hours wasted. #
  • "Only Apple would go through the trouble of rendering the objects of its disdain so well." http://t.co/I1uW5rM #
  • 10 physical gestures that have been patented: http://t.co/4adqdW8 #
  • A brief Sony password analysis: http://t.co/ABIUc3p #
  • Projection mapping the Sydney Opera House: http://t.co/zW8L5CL #

Just Works — The Brooks Review:

If you have ever added on to a home, or lived in a home that was added on to, you likely know exactly where the addition is. These additions always feel like additions. Adding on becomes a problem because you are building on top of something else, instead of integrating a new part. You are adding layers, not integrating features.

Integration versus layering: integration makes a good product, layering makes an average product.

Layering never gives you the ‘it just works’ feeling.

Software patents should be abolished – Marco.org:

Our industry is booming, innovation is rapid and rampant, and everyone’s making a living. The world could benefit immensely if more industries could innovate as rapidly and significantly as the software industry. We’re doing great, almost entirely without using patents.

The best argument against software patents is that we don’t need them.