Monthly Archives: March 2008

Masters & Hustlers: Chess and New York City

A chess site by two Columbia students, called Masters and Hustlers focuses on chess in New York City. It’s a great, romantic, and powerful idea and a good watch (there’s lots of video). During my first post-college job, at a Quaker peace group, I worked with a middle-aged black guy who did counter-recruitment (see note […]

Goodread Moment: Bailing on a book!

My goodreads email has become my only must-read email from a social network site. I am always curious to see what people are reading, adding to their shelves, and eager for the moment when someone writes a comment. This morning, I got this: Fun on so many levels. This seems to be the book to […]

Bionic Eye at U Wash

I missed this in January, but Nuts and Volts pointed it out to me in this month’s issue: contact lenses with circuits capable of superimposing visual data on the natural stream of light coming into your eye. The press release displays an interesting journalistic emerging journalistic formula for announcing or describing new technologies: lead with […]

Ayn Rand Dating Site, Ayn-Rand Bash

Hilarious NYT article about how people use the bookshelves of others as gauges of: their intelligence, sex-worthiness, compatiability as friend or boy/girl-friend. Lots of really funny lines.  Initially dug the article because it contained a funny cut-up of Ayn Rand fans and a link to an Ayn Rand dating site (I wonder what the binaries.pictures-style […]

Bottom of the T: Richard Sennett on Craft

Richard Sennett’s new book on craft seems to challenge some of our assumptions about the virtues of generalism. I just started the book last night, and there’s a much bigger argument in the book: that by separating our minds from our hands, our homo faber life from our homo laborens life (he uses the Arendt […]

Finally, a tight design argument against Agile

Talking to Agile advocates, has been, in my experience almost like talking to Ron Paul supporters:  they never let go, can turn anything into an argument for Agile, will play any cheap rhetorical trick available to turn honest concerns into small-minded opposition, and point with fervor to companies you’ve never heard of as shining beacons […]

How did this come about?

I want to know.  I used to have this silly habit of finding unusual, small things in larger product ecosystems and wondering how the person who makes them talks about himself at parties:  “My company makes the little metal slugs at the top subway handles that keep them from moving too far,” or “you know […]

Design, Control & Jane Jacobs

When people ask me for interaction design (IxD) book recommendations (one of the few things I believe I do exceedingly well is recommend books), I always steer them towards Steven Johnson’s Emergence, away from Jakob Nielsen, and sometimes toward Jane Jacob’s Death and Life of Great American Cities. I also show them a great photo/coffee […]

In the spirit of Nothing New

at least in the last 25 years . . . When I was trying to think of things that really jazzed me in interactive, I had trouble coming up with recent items. My problem was predicted by User InfoTechnoDemo, an interesting little book, or MEDIAWORKBOOK, by MIT Press. It has an early passage that we’re […]

Recommendation systems: Another Reason to Like GoodReads

For some sad reason, I was thinking about software design and development this morning.  Then I stumbled into doing some GoodReads reviews, ranking, and shelving. During this session, I noted that The Mythical Man Month is pretty much spent (we’ve absorbed it all several times over, and those who haven’t won’t be able to get […]