Friday link pack #9

The photo above is when I met William Gibson during his “Idoru” book tour, at Andromeda in Birmingham, 1997.

Loved Ulysses 31 as a kid (can’t remember the ending though). Nice little find via Facebook The History of Ulysses 31: A Worldwide Hit Barely Registered in the US.

I’ve had the MP3 of this for years, but of course somebody would have uploaded it to YouTube. William Gibson’s epic Neuromancer, dramatised by the BBC. H/T to The Loop for reminding me I had this – very jealous he managed to buy William Gibson a pint, I just met him briefly in Forbidden Planet Birmingham at the book singing for Idoru (the first day I ever skipped sixth form).

Every time I read something about LinkedIn I get the guilty feeling that I should actually do something with my profile. If Tobias Van Schneider is giving it a recommendation, maybe I should schedule some time.

Mixed emotions on the impending end of Flash. When I started my professional career back in 2001 Flash was a big deal, and I spent years building sites and product specifiers with it. Even now I’d defend the “Lego Technic” quality of the IDE, and how quickly you could get a proof of concept demo up and running. Shame that Adobe never went fully down that route. Are Technica has a good article here.

Some seriously great work here Womb Stories H/T Creative Boom.

LA fireworks filmed by drone, set to Blade Runner Main Titles by Vangelis.

Deep dives going on in Spotify this week. I was fortunate to catch Stabbing Westward on tour with White Zombie on the Astro-Creep tour. This was the single at the time, What Do I have To Do.

And sometimes after a long day making things, you just fancy listening to the track from Cars, Life Is A Highway.

Amazing how often a working day can dissolve into this kind of thing – Malcolm In The Middle, Hal changes a lightbulb.

The DUST podcast keeps getting better. I can’t seem to link to specific episodes but if short “immersive science fiction audio stories” are your thing, you need to check this out.

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs H/T The Register


Friday link pack #7

The Project Behind a Front Page Full of Names

“Putting 100,000 dots or stick figures on a page “doesn’t really tell you very much about who these people were, the lives that they lived, what it means for us as a country,” Ms. Landon said. So, she came up with the idea of compiling obituaries and death notices of Covid-19 victims from newspapers large and small across the country, and culling vivid passages from them.”

How we made Airplane!

LibraryThing. Feels like a more community driven version of Good Reads, and it has an API 😎 (H/T Dense Discovery, issue #88)

Looking forward to kicking the tyres – Strapi reaches stable release.

100 things every UX designer should know, including A Nuclear Warning Designed to Last 10,000 Years.

I could easily get lost in Astronaut for a while (H/T Swiss Miss):

Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100
miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this
is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.

These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen (by anyone but you).

Astronaut starts when you press GO. The video switches periodically. Click the button below the video to prevent the video from switching.


Friday link pack #6

Cozy Lego

I’ve never heard the term before I listened to the “This Is A Test” podcast but wow these photos look amazing. Words don’t do it justice, go and check out Architeclego over on Instagram.

The Five Deeps

Great article over at The New Yorker about the expedition to visit the 5 deepest points of the 5 oceans. They also stopped at Titanic.

The real Lord Of The Flies

For his new book, Humankind: A Hopeful History, Rutger Bregman uncovered the real-life story of 6 schoolboys who were stranded on a Pacific island for 15 months in 1965-66. What he learned was not the familiar tale of savagery & death told in William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. Instead, the boys cooperated and thrived.

via Kottke

AR grab into Photoshop file? Well, this looks like the future.

When users take a photograph with AR Cut & Paste, the software finds distinct objects and automatically removes their backgrounds. In a video below, Diagne shows how a plant is captured on a mobile device before being snipped from the surrounding image. Once he hovers over the computer screen, the cut-out plant is placed directly into Photoshop.

via Colossal

Links Tools

Quick link to some useful dev tools

Fayaz Ahmed has posted a great list over on “I am surprised more people are not using these tools!!”. Some really nice inclusions for API, HTML email, image optimisation… Well worth a coffee and some digging into.

Apps Links

Friday link pack #5

CleanShot X for Mac

This screenshot/video capture tool is great – even lets you capture scrolling regions intelligently. 

Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

Missing IKEA meatballs? How to make your own.


Friday link pack #4

Future Crunch seriously nailed it in this week’s edition. So much good stuff in there, but here are some of their quick links from near the end of the newsletter:

At the beginning of every disaster movie, there’s a scientist being ignored

“I never hear scientists, true scientists, good quality scientists, speak in terms of nationality.” Never before have so many of the world’s researchers focused so urgently on a single topic. Nearly all other research has ground to a halt. — NYT

An open dataset of 47,000 articles on coronavirus has been created by Google and made machine readable, meaning researchers can use AI to generate insights. — Kaggle

Researchers from around the world have set up an online platform for volunteers who want to help them fight the coronavirus. There already over 35,000 volunteers.

There are now 95 treatments and 52 vaccines in development for COVID19 in over 200 clinical trials in the US, China and EU. — Milken Institute

The largest of these is being run by Oxford University. Almost 1,000 patients from 132 different hospitals across the UK with thousands more expected to join. — Harrogate

The Gates Foundation is building seven factories for each of the top seven vaccine candidates. “Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, so we don’t waste time.” — BI

Over a million people have joined up to create the world’s largest networked supercomputer, and it’s just successfully simulated the opening motion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. — Folding@Home

The Stockdale Paradox (H/T Daring Fireball)

Admiral Jim Stockdale was the highest-ranking military officer in the Hanoi Hilton. He was there for, I think, seven years, from 1968 to  1974. He was tortured over twenty times. And by his own account, Stockdale came out of the prison camp even stronger than he went in.

In preparation for a day I got to spend with Jim Stockdale, I read his book In Love and War. As I read this book, I found myself getting depressed because it seemed like his systemic constraints were so severe, and there was never going to be any end to it. His captors could come in any day and torture him. He had no sense of whether, or if, he would ever get out of the prison camp. Absolutely depressing situation. It’s like we can all survive anything as long as we know it will come to an end, we know when, and we have a sense of control. He had none of that.  

A deeper look at Apple’s latest changes and how the affect PWAs, via Ionic.

TL;DR: if it’s a home screen app the 7 day counter will never be hit, and if you’re using Capacitor/Cordova there is no counter as they use WKWebview.

Criterion announce “War Of The Worlds” Blu-ray

Really hoping this gets a UK release, that film is incredible.

The important thing is to not be afraid


Friday link pack #3

Location data of phones on a Florida beach during Spring Break
via The Loop

Life size pizza table and meatball pizza
via Under Consideration

Quarantined photographer executes fantastic FaceTime fashion shoot
via Cult Of Mac

‘RoboCop 2’: The crazy story of how Cain got his CG puppeteered head
“What’s ironic about that is – the stop-motion that Tippett Studio did in RoboCop 2 is astounding. In my opinion, Cain is the pinnacle of stop motion as a realistic VFX technique. It had never been done better, and now probably never will be. Because built right into Cain, in its earliest, crudest form, was the technology that would effectively end stop-motion as a VFX tool just a couple of years later. Nobody knew it at the time, but RoboCop 2 was a turning point in VFX, with its past and its future combined into a single character.”

The Story of ‘Sandstorm’ by Darude


Friday link pack #2

Nintendo Customer Support Goes Above And Beyond For 95-Year-Old Grandma’s Busted Game Boy

Nine Inch Nails make Ghosts V-VI available for free

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Reviews Space Movies, from ‘Gravity’ to ‘Interstellar’ | Vanity Fair

Flight 008 first podcast episodes are now online

“Eleven of the biggest writers in science fiction, through eleven unique stories, follow one single thread: a non-stop flight from Tokyo to San Francisco that passes through a wrinkle in spacetime and lands in the year 2040.”

I haven’t linked directly to Apple Podcasts etc because personally I use Overcast and I prefer to be easily offered the choice of player.


Friday link pack #1

Flight 008, a multi-part science fiction story

Following on from the XPrize “Seat 14C” science fiction competition from 2017.

“Eleven of the biggest writers in science fiction, through eleven unique stories, follow one single thread: a non-stop flight from Tokyo
to San Francisco that passes through a wrinkle in spacetime and lands in the year 2040.

With performances by an all-star cast Dan Stevens, Calista Flockheart, Reid Scott, Keith David, Alfred Molina, and Danny Trejo Flight 008 is an audio experience unlike any other.”

An opensource DIY self driving platform for small scale cars

As mentioned in the Talk Python To Me episode #255 “Talking to cars with Python” podcast, Donkey Car is “a high level self driving library written in Python. It was developed with a focus on enabling fast experimentation and easy contribution.”

Raspberry Pi computers in buggies, sounds good to me 😎.

Percussive Maintenance

It’s an old video, but it’s right up there with “have you tried turning it off and on again?”. Percussive Maintenance on Vimeo.

Elon Musk and a Starship a week

Great article from Art Technica, Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars