Links for April 25, 2017

How sign language innovators are bringing music to the deaf

Playing roguelikes when you can’t see

Roguelikes have something that games like Skyrim and The Witcher lack – an ASCII interface. The visuals are unimportant, almost an afterthought. Sighted players must learn how to see through them, and use their imaginations to fill in the % signs and capital Bs as carrion and beetles. For many, this barrier is too high, but Moritz has never lacked imagination. For him, ASCII interfaces are a foot in the door, because they can be read aloud by screen readers – and he can picture the rest.

Biisuke Ball's Big Adventure Part 2

Links for April 22, 2017

Closing Communities: FFFFOUND! vs MLKSHK

MLTSHP (pronounced “malt shop”) is a volunteer-run effort to transition the community to a new home under a new name. Amber and Andre gave the code, assets, and anonymized database to a small workgroup of volunteers, who open-sourced the code with permission and raised over $3,000 in a fund drive to cover startup costs to get it off the ground.

Games that might have been

A couple of years ago someone attempted to make a list of every video game ever made, and put it in a 6.5MB flat file. Like any sensible person, I used it to train a recurrent neural network.

Dwitter – JS/Canvas sketching in the space of a tweet.

A Mind Is Born

Making a demo in just 256 bytes would be a formidable challenge regardless of platform. A Mind Is Born is my attempt to do it on the Commodore 64. In the absence of an actual 256-byte compo, it was submitted to the Oldskool 4K Intro compo at Revision 2017, where it ended up on 1st place.

Links for April 16, 2017

Being a woman in programming in the Soviet Union

In the programming classes, we studied programming the “dry” way: using paper, pencil and eraser. In fact, this method was so important that students who forgot their pencils were sent to the main office to ask for one. It was extremely embarrassing, and we learned quickly not to forget them.

Design Museum San Francisco

We’re a new museum focused on educating the world about design. We’re based in San Francisco, but don’t have our own gallery space. We’re a distributed museum with exhibits & events all over town.

La Tabla

La Tabla is a magical table—put things on it and they come to life. Make music and animations. Play games. Design your own pinball tables. Use your body, your friends, paper, drawings, game pieces—whatever strikes your fancy.

Links for April 13, 2017

'Ghost in the Shell': 4 Japanese Actresses Dissect the Movie and Its Whitewashing Twist

[Ai] Yoshihara: And the last scene where the mom hugs her daughter at the grave, that was weird to me. Because Japanese people, we don’t hug, especially mom’s generation. Maybe an intense look instead.

[Traci] Kato-Kiriyama: They’d be crying. And they wouldn’t be looking at each other, they’d be looking down.

The Director Of The Music Video That Predicted The Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad Speaks Out

If you were ever in doubt about the carnivorous nature of advertising, then this Pepsi ‘spot’ says it all. It so insults everyone’s intelligence that it’s disturbing, what is this culture that we choose to live in that engenders such naked cynicism, is advertising the pornography of capitalism? Vanillarizing our expressions of outrage, cashing in on the very frustrations that this system creates. Right now big business is laughing, clutching our hard earned dollar and hard earned dignity all the way to the bank. Our love, our sweat, our beauty is being sold back to us, two for the price of one.

The Chemical Brothers - Out Of Control

Links for April 9, 2017

LOOPY: a tool for thinking in systems – doodle dynamic systems diagrams in the browser.

LOOPY: A Post-Mortem

Eventually, I came to terms with the hardest (yet most obvious) lesson in design:


Therefore, if I couldn’t easily show positive & negative, then I shouldn’t have positive & negative. I threw that out, made all the nodes positive-only, and LOOPY was so much better for it.

81 creativity card decks

This is a collection on some of the research I’ve done to scout the field of cards around MethodKit. Analogue workspaces are boring. They often consist of whiteboards, flip-charts and post-its. Cards have the possibility to transform analogue work and meetings in both structured and creative ways.

Pink Trombone – the QWOP of speech synthesis.

Links for April 6, 2017

After tragedy strikes, a dev’s friends strive to complete his game

Fortunately, before he died, Morash had been working with Tung on a horizontal slice of Shard that showed how the game played out from beginning to end. That means his plans for the entire game are outlined in this in-progress demo. But there’s still a lot that remains to be done, and it’s too early to say how much will realistically be available in the released version of the game.

Glitch – collaborative coding/remixing web apps.

Welcome to Glitch!

Glitch (formerly Gomix, see below) is the culmination of a few years of work from our team, focused on a simple goal: making the easiest way for coders to create and collaborate, whether professionals or novices. Glitch works like this:

  • Create any app you can imagine, by remixing working code into exactly what you need.
  • Invite your friends and colleagues to collaborate with you, so you can code together in real-time.
  • Your app is automatically running and ready for the world to use.


Links for April 4, 2017

The CIA uses board games to train officers—and I got to play them

This is a two-team versus affair, Ruhnke says, because analysts need to be aware of how their targets work. “It’s a real brain-on-brain affair,” he says. “The fugitives we’re analyzing, they’re analyzing right back.” While I, unfortunately, didn’t get to explore all of the methods that each team uses to react to the other in this game, I did spy a “facial surgery” option on the board for Chapo’s side—which goes to show that Ruhnke’s game has made room for a vast range of response possibilities.

The Best Art

The Best Art is an ongoing artistic collaboration between the computer (MacBook Air, 13-inch, early 2015), and the human (Nicole He). The computer queries the universe and uses an algorithm to objectively calculate the best art for any given moment in time. The human executes the commands.

Strange Beasts

Links for April 2, 2017

Why Manic Panic Hair Dye Is Still Cool

Authenticity is the holy grail of every fan object; the goal of every marketing platform. It’s the glue that allows a group of otherwise completely normal people to devote parts of their lives to an inherently commercial object. Whether that object is a celebrity, piece of media, or product, fandom relies on a belief in the good intentions of its owners. By buying into what Manic Panic means, fans are trusting its makers with a very personal piece of their identity. It’s a hard bond to fake, and an impossible one to fake for very long, not even with vast amounts of market research and funding. And it’s totally impossible to “sprinkle some authenticity” over a product whose origins and ownership are suspect. “People really like that it’s a company that’s founded by punk rockers, not some business people who want to cash in on a trend,” says Snooky.

How inner city apartment developments have killed Australian rock’n’roll

Rock’n’roll music is made to be played in pubs and bars, where amplification is needed to be heard over the crowd. And playing with amps and loud drum kits requires musicians to have access to a space where noise can be made.

The space where this typically happened was so universal that it defined an entire genre: the garage band. So what happens when there are no more garages?

If we assume Byrne is right, you’d expect two things to happen. One, that the loudest music of our age to not come out of inner cities anymore. And two, that the music from cities will not be rock music.

Hi Stranger

Links for March 31, 2017

The NBA’s secret addiction

From Doo’s perspective, PB&J’s were a far better option than players seeking out, say, greasy junk food from arena concessions. “It was a win-win for everybody,” he says. But as the Garnett-Paul Pierce-Ray Allen Celtics steamrolled to a 66-win season and an NBA title, the secret to their success, so cleverly disguised between two pieces of white bread, was eventually leaked.... In time, as visiting teams swung through Boston, opposing players caught wind that a new day had dawned.

The Mayor’s Cup: Where did it come from and where did it go?

If you’ve been a big Twins or Red Sox fan sometime in the past thirty years, you’ve probably heard of the “Mayor’s Cup.” Roughly speaking, it is a coveted trophy passed between the Twins and the Red Sox each year during spring training depending on which team beat the other more times in their exhibition games. Or, rather, the Mayor’s Cup was a coveted trophy. After nearly decades of fighting over it, the entire thing seems to have been completely forgotten.

Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather

Links for March 29, 2017

Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?

The study authors considered several alternative explanations for the low numbers of women in those fields.... “The more a field valued giftedness, the fewer the female PhDs,” the study found, pointing out that the same pattern held for African Americans. Because both groups still tend to be “stereotyped as lacking innate intellectual talent,” the study concluded, “the extent to which practitioners of a discipline believe that success depends on sheer brilliance is a strong predictor of women’s and African Americans’ representation.”

How Zootopia Gets Its Own Point Exactly Backwards

The biggest problem with Zootopia is that the simplest version of its idea – “different animals living together as a metaphor for modern racism” – is already pretty gross, for the simple reason that race is not biological. It’s a complete myth, a cultural concept that we made up. A white guy has as much in common with a black guy as he does with a white guy with a different hair color. (Biologically, anyway. I have no idea what their favorite Pokemon are.) Every scientist in the world agrees with this, except the racist ones.