Today I get a new look for BBJ/work, which will ripple through the rest of the site once I have the time. I broke one of my own rules [which are made to be broken, after all], in that I designed it, but didn’t code it myself – instead my massive thanks goes to Tom for coding up my spiffing new template for kicks, and an Alias boxset.

The design is massively influenced by Jessica Helfand and Bill Drenttel‘s work, specifically the jacket design for Jessica’s book of essays on information and interaction design: “Screen”.

There are a few rough edges, and a few bugs, which will get ironed out in the next few days once I understand what’s going on. Leave bug reports or general brickbats in the comments to this post if you feel like…


Nodes. No point.

  • What does place mean to the connected? [via Chris]
  • Jeff Lash: Soft Skills for the information architect [via Christina]
  • Morlock’s lament:

    “Somewhere, somehow, we told people that everything about computers should be easy and intuitive. That you shouldn’t have to learn anything, or read manuals. That you should be able to grasp everything in ten or fifteen minutes. What nonsense. Some things just aren’t easy. Quantum mechanics. Tensor calculus. Navajo verbs forms. Old Norse. Getting rich.”Mark Bernstein

    I dig those cartoony introduction to quantum mechanics and old norse books however. Via Victor.

  • Punyhumans on Nokia’s 7600 and mankind inventing the tricorder 3 centuries early, except better than those Starfleet commies:

    Punyhuman#1: “what i’ve never been able to figure out is, how come the federation never figured out how to combine their ‘tricorder’ technology with their communicators? and, apparently, they develop something called a PADD around the TNG era. that’s three separate interfaces that we’ve been able to combine into one! what gives with that? star trek is my template for tech development, and it’s starting to piss me off — we’re surpassing them in usability! my illusions are like so totally shattered.”

    Punyhuman#2: “The Federation is run by Communists. Having a tricorder factory, a PADD factory, and a communicator factory lets them keep more proles on the dole. Of course, anyone who asks too many questions gets assigned to the Enterprise and issued a red shirt.”

  • Tom on
  • Alex Wright on Macromedia Central, from March this year

Sunny here. Work now.

Always-on redux

Fabio Sergio reprises some favourite themes of his after they were given a Rheingold-remix:

“We all know that most choices are not devoid of strong economical implications, and that the role of any type of currency, especially when social in nature, can make or break the hypothetical ‘freedom’ we are told to be enjoying in the western world. If everyone else will be instantly available, all the time, will it be culturally acceptable not to be? Within certain social circles is it even acceptable today? I can assure you that for most European teen-agers not having a mobile phone is akin to not having a car in the US…”

Worth a read, if you believe discussion of a culture can’t be made without discussion of it’s tools.

Bleakly, tangentially related quote of the day:

“I watch every day what you are doing as a society. While you sit by and watch your Constitution being torn away from you, you willfully eat poisoned food, buy manufactured products no one needs and turn an uncaring eye away from millions of people suffering and dying all around you. Is this the “Universal Law” you subscribe to?

Perhaps I should let you all in on a little secret. No one likes you in the future.”

From the literally fantastic, which Lee pointed me too. That last line has been playing on my mind all day, and probably will for a long while…

TV people think TV is dead.

Delegates at the UK’s most important TV industry conference voted on scenarios for 2010 and plumped for the end of linear, time-bound TV (3 years earlier than my 2013 stories…)

[scenario] 5 Death of linear TV: Broadband internet and personal video recorders (PVRs) grow rapidly and films and sports become available online causing broadband penetration to reach 35% and undermining pay TV. PVRs in 35% of homes mean that viewers watch 40% of programmes at different times and skip the ads.

How they voted: 39% of the delegates decided that the death of linear TV was the most likely scenario”

» MediaGuardian: The end for who?



If I may be permitted a Joi-Ito-style namedrop and photo, I spent an hour this afternoon with Will from iSociety at MarksBarfield Architects. They designed the London Eye, and have a new project SkyHouse that plans to reinvent high-density living. As well as having a wonderful, wide-ranging chat with David Marks (above) and Steve, who is their IT guru – it made me realise just how much I miss architecture…

Handheld Urban Accelerator

Anthony Townsend via Howard Rheingold via via Gizmodo via

“As every person completes more tasks, communicates with more people, coordinates activities among more social networks in the same amount of time, the aggregate effect is an acceleration of the urban metabolism.”

Watched “Run Lola Run” on tv on Sunday. I’ve always thought RLR was loads of fun, and one of the great bits of city-cinema. Lots of the maguffinalia of RLR wouldn’t stand now: the boyfriend in the phonebox, running to plead with Dad, the incommunicado gangster. Made in 1998, how would it be restructured now? Around smartmobs, camphones, and information-infused cities?

My first thought is Lola broadcast-texting all her low-life mates to shake down every tramp in a two mile radius of her boyfriend’s GPS location… Maybe coaxing a few mobs into life in the city to slow down the hoodlums… Would it be nearly as much fun to watch?

RLR is a pretty short and sweet film as it is. The “accelerated urban metabolism” might mean it was all over in 15 minutes!