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Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

One of the professions near and dear to my hear is that of graphic design. I’m still not sure if it’s Brigadoon lost or a bullet dodged, but either way, I pay attention when I can. I recently encountered a gem of a Laugh Out Loud moment courtesy of Speak Up, namely the long-suffering lament, now a soulful metal ballad: “Make the Logo Bigger”. “I don’t wanna tell you how to do your job, but could you make the logo bigger?.

The comments on this posting are a real humor-drizzled slice of life on their own, leading to places like Von Glitschka’s “Day in the Life”, documenting a “Make this 400% bigger” post-it note, and the inspired nonsense (brilliantly conceived, if gigglingly executed) of The Bauhaus Rap.

SRC art, worldtree, copyright 2007

I’m happily blown away by all the great design tutorials on the web these days, like Illustration Class and Computer Arts. These folks sure know how to teach– they walk you through the workflow from sketch to finished digital product, or tool-by-tool techniques for specific effects. There’s many a happy afternoon here for design dilettantes like myself who are thinking of taking our sketchbook art to the next level.

SRC art, serpent nest, copyright 2007

Just started checking out the pro-mag Design Tools Monthly, especially their great Mac tools section. It’s almost enough to make me go out and get a Design certificate. But I really should upgrade my own website first. Hey, maybe I should make the logo smaller!!

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Nathaniel Talbott is really rocking my world with his recent essay comparing the transcontinental railroad with the ruby-on-rails phenomenon. As he points out, there are some surprising similarities in enabling markets and disintermediation– the physical railroad opened up new territories and new markets, and the rapid development cycle of ROR is enabling software customization of previously unaffordable (in time or money) types.

They [the co-op members trying to use a wacky uber-customized spreadsheet macro that breaks when you look at it cross-eyed] have little to no means of affecting the software that they use, and no real choices to use something else. And there are literally millions of others like them out there—small business owners, hobbyists, clubs, families and civic groups. But that’s the other, more profound thing that I think is changing and will greatly change how our kids think about software—one day we’ll look around and see everybody commissioning software, not just people with lots of money or people who can do it themselves. Tickets to the interior are suddenly affordable, and everybody’s buying one.

Everybody wins. Cool stuff happens. Ma and Pa Kettle can get custom software written affordably while GoogroSoft is still polishing paisleys on monolithic software applications.

OK, that last one is a bit Strata-filtered, but you know what I mean. Go read it, and if you’re not familiar with some of the background, such as the original Long Tail essay, NT is a nice guy and scattered links throughout his essay back to some of the prequel material.

Why, you may ask, is this tagged for sustainability? Because, in my opinion, the cottage-industry model of programming offers a lot of options in that area: telecommuting, bespoke efficiencies, disintermediated access to change, etc.

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Doing some remedial reading on this summer’s Great Twitter
Scaling
Kerfuffle, found a great quote from Phil at Progressive Data Solutions, in his writeup on Railsconf:

“To me, this question is a “shark-attack” question. Sure, you could get attacked by a shark if you go swimming in the ocean, but you should probably worry about other things first, like rip-tides, water temperature, etc. If you ask me this question, I will usually respond with numbers. It’s hard to argue with concrete numbers, and that’s what the Joyent presentation did a good job with. If Twitter is getting 11,000 requests per second at peak, they need roughly 32 cores to handle the traffic. Is your app going to be getting 11,000 requests per second? How about 1000?”

Nice!

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Go watch Hans Kessler presenting his mind-blowing data visualization of world health, economy, and myth debunking at TED 2006.

Using the nonprofit GapMinder Foundation site’s tools and database access, it should be possible to create similar correlations between results of conservation efforts like acquisition of permanent easement land by conservation trusts, annual bird and wildlife counts, water and wetlands analysis, and localized life expectancy, cancer, and economic data.

I want to see this. If it correlates the way I *hope* it will, it could be an extremely powerful tool for conservation, right-sizing, and healthy sustainability.

If you get to it before I do (likely!), can you please comment here or email me? Many thanks!

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