Monthly Archives: May 2006

A while back I had an idle wish for a firefox extension that autogenerated a 2d barcode (semacode or other) from the URL of the current page/thing/resource, so I could quickly snarf it into my mobile and take it with me.

Instantly-mobile deeplinky goodness with no fiddly typing.*

A random thought tonight while staring at my browser: how much info could I store in a favicon, if I made it a 2d barcode?


A favicon is 16×16, and readable datamatrix 2d codes go down to 10×10 and 3mm. Of course, readable here means by an industrial scanner from a crisp printed sticker, rather than a mobile phone and a fuzzy LCD display.

Here’s the semacode for the wikipedia entry on Blogjects (it was the 2nd workshop that Julian and Nicholas have run on those blighters this week, so it seemed an appropriate choice!)


As you can see, a fair slice of the data is cropped if we try for 16×16 in order to make a favicon.

Still – I wonder if there’s anything doable there? Could something useful and/or diverting be done in this little space in the address field?

If not, my original lazyweb wish for a firefox extension to create instant takeaway datashadows still stands…

* Yes, before Charlie gets all-up-in-my-face (;-) – I know winksite has semacode integration – but I want EVERYTHING I visit to have a code ,whether they like it or not!

Momus has been watching Super 8 home movies:

“I’ve been watching these movies in tandem with The Private Life of Plants, the David Attenborough TV series from 1995. Trees, of course, can live hundreds of years. Watching humans, in comparison, is like watching something speeded up, fleeting. We’re born, we reproduce, we die. We’re gone in a flash; there’s a yellow flare, some numbers, some leader and the spool runs off the bobbin.”


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Jones, originally uploaded by straup.

I feel 500 years old at the moment, and luckily I look it also.

Nice picture with the N72 though, Aaron…

Jonathan Glancey in today’s Guardian, on an upcoming must-see exhibition at the Barbican:

“Cities built out to sea. A city that encircles the globe. Houses that look like space pods. An “instant city” that can be constructed almost overnight. Visions like these are the stars of Future City: Experiment and Utopia 1956-2006, an exhibition opening next month at the Barbican in London. It will include some 300 intriguing and often baffling drawings, models and animations of attempts by the most radical architects of the past 50 years – from Archigram to Zaha Hadid via Shigeru Ban and Superstudio – to create the architecture of the future.”

And in his closing paragraph of the preview, Curly’s almost channeling BLDGBLOG:

“If only the members of Archigram or Superstudio had been able to buy, in the 1960s, the kind of cheap digital technology available on high streets today. They may not have been able to get their dream cities constructed, but they could have visualised them in mini-movies – much more enticing than so many drawings, lectures and models.”

Of course if he really was on the BLDGBLOG tip, then he would have followed through into newer media of the 21st century, i.e. gaming and avant-garde architecture…

Here’s the link to the Barbican website about the exhibition. It starts on June the 15th.

I’ve started playing with from Tiny Pictures.

Nothing much to report yet, but there is one little design detail that I’ll be stashing away for my own stuff (as long as Mr. Poisson et al don’t mind) which is not only going for a URL that is t9/predictive-text friendly, but also issuing identity elements (an auto-generated unique posting address to MMS pictures to, in this case) that are t9-compliant.

This makes it far, far easier and more pleasurable to set-up the service and integrate it with your mobile, which with these sorts of things is 75% of the battle won. Makes the thing feel very polished and considered from the start, which gives me the confidence to trust with a little bit more of my digital life perhaps.

My feeling is that despite all the hoo-haa about uglydesign/undesign’s success in Web2.0, it just won’t carry in the Mobile Web 2.0 world.