May 6th, 2013 | people I know
The day I can do without a keyboard case for the iPad, I’m getting one of Miranda’s Moodycases. These things just look gorgeous.
May 5th, 2013 | brainjuice
May 5th, 2013 | researchmaterial
The network is the drone’s native environment. So, we must – like our colleagues in biology – see them as part of this wider ecology, if we want to better understand their use and their meaning.
A great “state of play” talk by Honor Harger, who ran the IMPROVING REALITY thing I spoke at last year.
May 5th, 2013 | researchmaterial
Anab Jain gave an updated version of her barnstorming “Design For The New Normal” talk at NEXT13 that was heavily buzzed about. Shamefully, NEXT13 hasn’t gotten a video of it up, but Anab has put up the text and slides of the talk. It’s an upgraded download of the present strangeness, and very much worth your time.
May 5th, 2013 | paper and process
Because, if you’re a regular reader, you know I’m shit at keeping track of things. So this is one of those posts that’s mostly for my own benefit. That I’m burying on a Saturday night.
I have Skype and WhatsApp. Hilariously, almost nobody has my Skype and WhatsApp IDs.
The first two screens of my phone are always the most-used apps, and the apps I kind of feel like I should be using more. If I’d shot this yesterday, Days would have been on there, but I tried that app today, and it didn’t seem to be in the mood to let me use it, so.
Downcast is a pretty good podcast app. A damn sight better than having to manage them through iTunes or Apple’s appalling Podcast app that I’ve railed about before.
You may, if you haven’t passed out already, have noticed there’s not a writing app in the first two screens. There are a couple in the back screens. But I don’t want a writing app staring at me on the phone, demanding I write something in it. (The WordPress app, on the other hand, is there specifically to taunt me. I am way out of practise with this blogging shit.) The phone is, first and foremost, a thing that gathers information. And I live on this goddamn phone. I can and have written on it, using a foldaway Bluetooth keyboard, and it works fine. But I find – and here is the proof, horribly, now I look at it –- that, as much as I talk about devices needing to be equipped as communication and creation tools, it’s become a consumption device.
Which is kind of an interesting thing that I didn’t realise until I put this up here.
May 4th, 2013 | brainjuice
May 2nd, 2013 | stuff2013
|So I’ve been messing around with Vine occasionally over the last few months. I followed some very heavy users – all strangers –- to get a sense of how it was being played with. As a professional writer, this can leave one with the sense that one is the only person in the world who doesn’t leave the house. Or have friends. Or eat, apparently, because damn I looked at a lot of food and coffee. Shades of early Instagram.|
|I’d always liked the idea of social short video – remember 12seconds? Vine is very much a refinement of that idea, with much better tools. I have to give it to them: the app is very well done.
I don’t know if it’ll ever leave the app-testing folder in the back of my iPhone, but I think I’d like it to. It has that essential Instagram-like appeal of making me smile whenever I open it. Matt Sheret once called Instagram the Twitter you look forward to opening. Also, John Hodgman’s Vine is frequently wonderful.
April 30th, 2013 | brainjuice
April 30th, 2013 | mobilesignals
I’m at an event in Brixton with authors Lauren Beukes and Ben Percy. It sold out weeks ago, but it’s not very big, so I’m expecting a relaxed evening. It’s an overnight trip, because my experiences of trying to get out of Brixton late at night to make the last train have been grim. One time someone tried to stop me getting the last Tube by throwing themselves under it.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t specifically to spite me. But still.
April 30th, 2013 | thinking
Kieron Gillen unwittingly provides the slogan for the Tumblr years. (via)
It’s not a bad one, as accidental slogans go. (Though I am still sad that “It’s all about control, Luigi” never caught on. It could have been the new “son i am disappoint.”) Though it’s interesting to me that Tumblr’s own gif tumblr hasn’t been active in months. The Storyboard team there got fired recently, replaced by an algorithmic solution to surfacing content that was rolled back the same day because it didn’t work. Amusingly, it turned out today that the statement about the Storyboard group firing was actually written by one of them.
It’s a very Tumblr thing. Kieron’s tumbling through the servers now, alive and looping as pure Tumblarity. Tumblr loves nothing more than a GIF.
I don’t have much of a presence on Tumblr, but I like it there. I loved the early tumblelogs that Tumblr moved so quickly to emulate, and what they’ve made out of that cheeky sticky-fingeredness is quite remarkable. Especially given that they seem to have no visible business model beyond convincing investors to give them money. Which, I guess, is also impressive: until such time as they have to monetise and their actions in that regard impinge on the tastes of a user base sometimes as touchy and rabid as the old LiveJournal crowd.
I’d like to think that Tumblr will solve their obvious problems before they crash down like asteroids. I’d also like to think that most users have copies of their most-loved Tumblr posts. The year of All I Want To Be Is A GIF would be a very sad thing to look back on, if it turned out you’ve died when the servers were switched off.
April 29th, 2013 | brainjuice