Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago today. To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. I’ve been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, I decided to try to solve what for me has always been the “mystery of Ada”.
There are no enemies in the game and nobody is killed, and yet since its launch in April 2014 Monument Valley has sold 5 million copies and generated $13 million in revenue by attracting a broad base of fans beyond hardcore and experienced gamers including kids, old people, families, and newcomers.
The problem with hunches is that it’s incredibly easy to forget them, precisely because they’re not fully-baked ideas. This is why for the past eight years or so I’ve been maintaining a single document where I keep all my hunches.
The first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control. A detailed profile of Nick Bostrom, transhumanist philosopher.
What you should not do, I think, is worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends. You shouldn’t worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world. When you can ask the opinions of people whose judgement you respect, what does it add to consider the opinions of people you don’t even know?
This is a story about two roads — Should and Must. It’s a pep talk for anyone who’s chosen Should for far too long — months, years, maybe a lifetime — and feels like it’s about time they gave Must a shot.
If I’m correct —and I think I am— the future for Model X owners won’t involve them being the only drivers of their own cars. It will involve them renting out their cars to everyone else for a price —with Tesla taking a cut— and the car driving itself.
The Internet is said to show our common humanity. Through its data, it is said to provide a kind of omniscience, and through its social networks, a deeper sense of connection. For those without access, it holds the promise of a better life. For those of us who use it a lot, its power to affect our lives is clear —but what is the nature of that effect? How does it change our behavior? The way we see others? The way we see ourselves?
The colossal grands ensembles were built after World War II to accommodate an increasing population of rural migrants and immigrants. Today, the deteriorating buildings are largely considered failed experiments.
Lately I’ve been pretty obsessed with Kurt Cobain. My husband accused me of having a crush on him. I don’t have a crush on him. But I do have a crush on my youth, nostalgia. I have a crush on what could have been, on trying to figure out what was.
I’d asked on Twitter for interesting databases, and someone told me: Check this one out! It’s full of corpses! But after I had a copy, I realized that it’s a strange thing to be in possession of a massive list of dead people.
Without the logos, could you tell which companies own which screenshots? Does it matter? The pattern’s become its own trademark. Just one of the popular yet mediocre ones plaguing modern screen-based design. What’s wrong?
A fully automated machine, which endlessly sings number-one ballads from the 1990s. As the computer program performs these emotionally loaded songs, it attempts to apply the appropriate human sentiments.
I believe the best software is an extension of the human brain. It lets us think naturally, and conforms to us, not the other way around. Translation of information should be the computer’s job, not ours. It’s what we built these digital slaves for.
Whether you use the title graphic designer, front end developer, software engineer, or something else entirely, we still have a similar question as the 16th century punchcutters: “How might a text be received and read more efficiently?”
I have tended since early boyhood to deal with loss — losing people dear to me — by turning to the nonhuman. When I was sent away to a boarding school as a child of 6, at the outset of the Second World War, numbers became my friends; when I returned to London at 10, the elements and the periodic table became my companions.
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in every sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist.
Though they started at opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, McCulloch and Pitts were destined to live, work, and die together. Along the way, they would create the first mechanistic theory of the mind, the first computational approach to neuroscience, the logical design of modern computers, and the pillars of artificial intelligence.
In software engineering, Cyclomatic Complexity is a metric which concerns itself with the number of ‘moving parts’ in a piece of code. These moving parts are usually points within some control flow (if, else, while, etc.), and the more of them we find, the greater our Cyclomatic Complexity.
You put the label aside to use for notes. You’ll be making a custom label once the tape is finished. Next, with side A facing you, you insert a number two pencil into the hole on the right side and carefully twist it until you’ve cleared the transparent part of the tape. The cassette is ready.
I had a friend who wanted to get better at painting. But she thought she had to be in Paris, with all the conditions right. She never made it to Paris. Now she sits in a cubicle under fluorescent lights, filling out paperwork all day.
The word “agile” has become sloganized; meaningless at best, jingoist at worst. We have large swaths of people doing “flaccid agile,” a half-hearted attempt at following a few select software development practices, poorly.
Two decades ago, he was the animating spirit of Netscape, the Web browser that launched the Internet boom. In many respects, he is the quintessential Silicon Valley venture capitalist: an imposing, fortyish, long-celebrated white man.
This recommended reading list is for anyone who wants to learn or deepen their knowledge in the disciplines of User Research, Usability, Information Architecture, User-Interface Design, Interaction Design, Content Strategy or Experience Strategy.
In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It’s not a parlor trick; it actually works.
I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers’ school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to learn.
On Thursday, April 4th, 1985, a blast of dystopian satire hit the UK airwaves. Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future was a snarky take on media and corporate greed, told through the eyes of investigative journalist Edison Carter and his computer-generated alter-ego.
Previously I wrote about clarity being the most important characteristic of a great interface. Let’s talk about icons now. They’re an essential part of many user interfaces. The thing is: more often than not, they break clarity.
The way I thought you used a dictionary was that you looked up words you’ve never heard of, or whose sense you’re unsure of. You would never look up an ordinary word — like example, or sport, or magic — because all you’ll learn is what it means, and that you already know.
Dumped or accidentally spilled from ships, blown from landfills, washed down every river in the world, plastic trash has been amassing since World War II in floating dumps, some of which exceed millions of square miles.
Taking not too serious leaps while tip toeing on the edge about everything and nothing without a point and purpose. I mean it would be nice if we really could grow forever, but what if infinite growth on a finite planet is a fairytale?
“He called me two hours later and said, ‘The first scene is fucking brilliant. Does it stay this good?’” remembers Gladstein. He called again an hour later, having read to the point where the main character, the hit man Vincent Vega, is shot and killed. “Are you guys crazy?” he yelled. “You just killed off the main character in the middle of the movie!”
André the Giant was a professional wrestler and maybe the greatest drunkard of all time. In fact, no other human has ever matched André as a drinker. He is the zenith. He is the Mount Everest of inebriation.
On the surface the question of how many ancestors you have might seem simple to answer. After all you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents and sixteen great great grandparents, do you not?
Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.
A user’s perception of an interface is inextricably connected to its form, content, and behavior. Just as industrial and graphic designers focus on form, interaction designers hold behavior as the foremost element to consider.