Recommended Reading: Why ‘Stories’ Took Over Your Smartphone

I just read and enjoyed this:

The format, made popular by Snapchat and Instagram, is the native genre of glass rectangles. This caught me off guard. I have been ignoring Stories for years, deeming it a trifle for young people.

Read “Why ‘Stories’ Took Over Your Smartphone”

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Recommended Reading: LEGO and Augmented Reality

I just read and enjoyed this:

There’s no doubt in my mind that augmented reality is going to be amazing and that people will build incredible new experiences with Apple’s ARKit, version 2 of which was announced earlier this week at the company’s annual World Wide Developers Conference. But in order for that reality to come into focus, developers—and designers—are going to need to bring greater thoughtfulness and creativity to the new medium, or at least more than was on display during the LEGO demonstration portion of the keynote.

Read “LEGO and Augmented Reality”

Recommended Reading: Reconsidering the Hardware Kindle Interface

I just read and enjoyed this:

I’ve been using Kindles on and off ever since they launched. Our relationship has been contentious but I’ve always been seduced or re-seduced by their potential. At their best, they are beautiful devices. At their worst, infuriating. They are always so close to being better than they are.

I’m a big fan of my Kindle Paperwhite, but I would like it a lot better if it had hardware buttons for page turning. There are a number of interesting observations regarding the UI design implications of the Kindle as a single purpose device for reading (in comparison to multi-purpose smartphones or tablets) in here as well:

When is a generic hardware bucket great? When the objects placed into it are unpredictable. And more so when the purpose of the objects is unpredictable. Hardware buttons inextricably tie you to a specific interaction model. So for the iPhone to be a flexible container into which anything can be poured it makes most sense to have (almost) no hardware controls.

Read “Reconsidering the Hardware Kindle Interface”

Recommended Reading: The Greatest Computer Network You’ve Never Heard Of

I just read and enjoyed this:

Nearly 60 years ago, in the modest college towns of Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, an educational computer system, built with federal funding acquired amid the space race, took its first formative steps toward existence.

The PLATO System probably isn’t quite as well known as Sketchpad, NLS or the Xerox Alto, but I consider it one of the great inventions in the history of HCI.

Read “The Greatest Computer Network You’ve Never Heard Of”

Recommended Reading: Want to really understand how bitcoin works? Here’s a gentle primer

This is the best, easily comprehensible explanation of how bitcoin and blockchain technology work that I’ve come across:

The soaring price of bitcoin—the virtual currency is now worth more than $250 billion—has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks. But the real significance of bitcoin isn’t just its rising value. It’s the technological breakthrough that allowed the network to exist in the first place.

Read “Want to really understand how bitcoin works? Here’s a gentle primer”

On a less technical, but much funnier note, John Oliver had some solid investment advice on Last Week Tonight for those wondering if they should put their life-savings in cryptocurrencies: