The November Reading List

Some noteworthy things i particularly enjoyed reading in November:

The October Reading List

Some of the things i particularly enjoyed reading in the last month:

  • How Elon Musk Turned Tesla Into the Car Company of the Future: The story of the car start-up that jump-started the electric car revolution. The Model S looks great.
  • Dawn of a New Day: Ray Ozzie bids good bye to Microsoft. It’s funny how whenever someone talks about the future of cloud computing i can’t shake the feeling that Larry Ellison was just way ahead of the times in the mid-nineties.
  • A Tech World That Centers on the User: Adapted from Nick Bilton’s new book “I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works”. “When people want to know how the media business will deal with the Internet, the best way to begin to understand the sweeping changes is to recognize that the consumer of entertainment and information is now in the center. That center changes everything. It changes your concept of space, time and location. It changes your sense of community. It changes the way you view the information, news and data coming directly to you.”
  • The Most Popular Phone in the World: Hint: They are not talking about the iPhone.
  • 3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution
  • The Story So Far: Indie game developer Matt Rix on the making of his game Trainyard.
  • Visualizing the Creative Process: Brilliant illustration of the creative process by Dan Cook.
  • The State of the Internet Operating System: This one’s old, but i had not gotten around to reading it until now.
  • The Web Means the End of Forgetting: I’m not quite convinced that the loss of “forgetting” is an inherently bad thing, but i’m sure it will take some time to adapt, both as individuals as well as a society.
  • Why Warhammer Failed: The title says it all.
  • Scholars Test Web Alternative to Peer Review
  • The Data-Driven Life: The article presents an interesting argument that data analysis can be a viable alternative to psychoanalysis when it comes to making well considered and measured decisions in our life, without trying to understand ourselves. “When we quantify ourselves, there isn’t the imperative to see through our daily existence into a truth buried at a deeper level. Instead, the self of our most trivial thoughts and actions, the self that, without technical help, we might barely notice or recall, is understood as the self we ought to get to know.”
  • A chat with Microsoft Principal Researcher Bill Buxton: Part one, two, three.
  • Tuning Canabalt: Some good advice on being lenient toward the player that i completely agree with.
  • What is data science?: Nice general overview of the field and its tools.

Previously & previously.

The September Reading List

I’m a huge fan of Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s The Sunday Papers features and i also enjoyed doing the Reading List after my vacation in August, so i figured i might as well try my hand at turning something like this into an ongoing, semi-regular feature.

So here it is, the September Reading List. A selection of noteworthy articles that i’ve enjoyed but not written about during the last month (with bits of August thrown in for good measure):

The Reading List

I spent the last week travelling with no laptop but only an iPad. It once again showed how terrible it is for posting to this website, because i don’t have a proper workflow in place and because it’s terribly difficult to establish your own workflows due to its limitations. There’s no shared file system (somewhat excusable) and copy & paste is functional, but too cumbersome for moving bits from one app to another. I’ll have to figure something out sooner than later, probably something similar to what Warren Ellis describes here.

Anyway, while i didn’t spend much time online, i tried to keep up with my feeds and managed to (almost) catch up with my Instapaper reading list. So here’s a short list of articles i enjoyed or found noteworthy, for your (hopefully lazy) monday morning perusal:

  • Initial Thoughts on Oracle vs Google Patent Lawsuit: Interesting analysis and commentary by Miguel de Icaza.
  • What Happened to Yahoo: Paul Graham shares his considerations on what went wrong at Yahoo. In short: too much easy money, not enough hackers.
  • Documents, Maps, and Files of a Fictional Architecture: Geoff Manaugh highlights an interesting project by architecture students Yuval Borochov, Lisa Ekle and Danil Nagy, who’ve taken a document-centric approach to world building. Architecture Fiction if you will. The project’s website can be found here.
  • Maps: Simon Parkin reminisces about Final Fantasy in his life. Snip: “I mean, deep down they function how we want the real world to function, right? There’s a set of rules and, if I follow them and do the right things in the right order, success is kind of guaranteed. That’s true of all videogames, but in JRPGs there’s the story too. They have a set trajectory that leads me out of the bastard confusion of adolescence towards an endgame of maturity and identity and, er, status I guess. And all you need to do to experience that is follow the breadcrumb trail and keep turning the cogs…”
  • The Prestige: Starcraft 2 Narrative Innovation: While Starcraft 2’s story might be construed as somewhat archetypical and hamfisted, Kieron Gillen describes how Blizzard is trailing some new ground: they are willing to bend the overall narrative structure of the game in order to make the player character look good and heroic no matter what you do.
  • The First Time I Played Doom Was Yesterday: Steven Totillo played Doom for the first time in the week leading up to this year’s Quakecon. It contains astute observations such as “The shotgun is, in all senses, instant puberty, which is to say, delicately, that to obtain it is to have the assumed added potency that a boy believes a man possesses vis a vis a world on which he’d like to have some impact”.
  • Yakuza 3 reviewed by Yakuza: Jake Adelstein convinces a few Yakuza to review the videogame Yakuza 3 for Boing Boing.
  • Wringing Art Out of the Rubble in Detroit: About Detroit’s growing attraction for artists and creative types.
  • Bad Connection: Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown: Interesting look on the challenges that AT&T is facing and the strains this puts on its relationship with Apple.
  • Warren Ellis: The death of TV as we know it: Warren Ellis wants to do TV even though it’s dying.
  • Don’t Be Ugly By Accident!: You’ve undoubtedly seen this already as it’s been linked all over the place last week, but just in case you haven’t – OKCupid casually informs us that iPhone users have more sex than Blackberry and Android users (don’t get me started on cause and correlation). Also: Panasonic Micro Four Thirds take the most attractive profile pictures.