Vasilis van Gemert asked me to curate a list of classic articles for the Daily Nerd, but what constitutes a classic?
Goals, resolutions, call you what you will, here are a few ways I intend to become a better, more productive person this year.
More on Bitcoin from Charlie Stross:
BitCoin looks like it was designed as a weapon intended to damage central banking and money issuing banks, with a Libertarian political agenda in mind – to damage states ability to collect tax and monitor their citizens financial transactions.
Alex Payne on Bitcoin:
Most charitably, Bitcoin is regarded as a flawed but nonetheless worthwhile experiment, one that has unfortunately attracted outsized attention and investment before correcting any number of glaring security issues.
To those less kind, Bitcoin has become synonymous with everything wrong with Silicon Valley: a marriage of dubious technology and questionable economics wrapped up in a crypto-libertarian political agenda that smacks of nerds-do-it-better paternalism.
Such criticism – that of the selfish logic behind the libertarian ideology prevalent in the Valley – will only grow louder in the coming year. Time to disrupt the disrupters, I say.
This weekend I will move into a new flat, the first I’ve owned rather than rented. While I’m trying not to see buying a property as an act of settling down, that I’ve bought somewhere in Brighton suggests I’ve found a city I’m happy to call home. This is partly thanks to Clearleft, the design agency I joined in 2009.
Hal Lasko is a 97-year-old man who uses Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 to create artwork that has been described as ‘a collision of pointillism and 8-Bit art’.
Since Mikey joined us in February, the number of designers working at Clearleft is at an all time high. As the company grows, we want to maintain the same level of knowledge sharing and collaboration that happened more spontaneously with a smaller team.
Although it’s easy to feel envious of Andy’s travels around the world, his writing is vivid enough to make you believe you had joined him. His latest series of posts, detailing a trip trough Africa, are no different. It sounds like an amazing continent, one that offers the intrepid traveller some incredible sights:
Great rich earthy trails of red, amber and ochre form streaks across huge plains of deep green foliage and scrubland. Huge white outcrops soar up through groves of yellow-pocked acacia trees, chunky bare-trunked baobabs and the fluttering sprouts of the banana plants…
Blade-like roads slice directly through villages where bright white eyes peer out from under the leafy shade of communal trees, and terracotta coloured, tin-roofed houses are lined up like matchboxes to each side of the varying qualities of tarmac – which range from rough to barely present.
Yet this beauty is threatened by a persistent danger, be it from wild game circling your isolated camp, or from fellow humans in a crime-ridden city:
It was repeated to me a few times that you don’t stop at red lights after dark in Johannesburg, nor do you drive with your windows fully up (it stiffens the glass which makes it an easier task to smash with a crowbar at an intersection). Security is a massive concern of daily life, and every brick built house squats in a concrete or iron-fenced compound, and comes with a big board showing which particular company will provide the armed response. It’s quite a strange sight for European eyes.
What an experience.
Julian Assange reviews Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen’s new book, ‘The New Digital Age’:
Google, which started out as an expression of independent Californian graduate student culture – a decent, humane and playful culture – has, as it encountered the big, bad world, thrown its lot in with traditional Washington power elements, from the State Department to the National Security Agency.
Exhibit A: PRISM.
“Time for big school.”
A brief thought about collaboration.
Last month I wrote about Bradshaw’s Guide, a project that brings George Bradshaw’s 1866 descriptive railway handbook to the web. Today I’ll cover some of the typographic decisions I made, and how they lead me to believe that we still lack the necessary tools for web typography.
The uncut interview of Stephen Colbert’s visit to Google’s New York office.
My short break in California has so far included four hour-long trips on Caltrain as I hop between the cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto. These short periods disconnected from the web, have allowed me to catch up on my reading list.
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