Sep 022014


You've been able to visualize data with Python for a while, but Mac application PlotDevice from Christian Swinehart couples code and graphics more tightly. Write code on the right. Watch graphics change on the right.

The application gives you everything you need to start writing programs that draw to a virtual canvas. It features a text editor with syntax highlighting and tab completion plus a zoomable graphics viewer and a variety of export options.

PlotDevice's simple but com­pre­hen­sive set of graphics commands will be familiar to users of similar graphics tools like NodeBox or Processing. And if you're new to programming, you'll find there's nothing better than being able to see the results of your code as you learn to think like a computer.

Looks promising. Although when I downloaded it and tried to run it, nothing happened. I'm guessing there's still compatibility issues to iron out at version 0.9.4. Hopefully that clears up soon. [via Waxy]

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Sep 022014
Back in March this year, we announced that we had saved an important fifteenth-century manuscript from export: the only complete copy of the Catholicon Anglicum, one of the earliest Middle English-Latin dictionaries. Inspired by this fascinating linguistic and lexicographical source, in the intervening months we have been cataloguing other late...
Sep 022014

Pencil Sharpner

Just what math will be excluded per grade level in Common Core? The following is a list of topics that have be excluded K-3. I have the list of topics up until Grade 8 and can add them if you would like at a later time. It would be interesting to hear from fellow math fanatics. I wish we could go back to Seymour Papert, Marvin Minsky, and Alan Kay's ideas for educational reform.

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Sep 022014

Culturegraphy [], developed by "Information Model Maker" Kim Albrecht reveals represent complex relationships of over 100 years of movie references.

Movies are shown as unique nodes, while their influences are depicted as directed edges. The color gradients from blue to red that originate in the1980s denote the era of postmodern cinema, the era in which movies tend to adapt and combine references from other movies.

Although the visualizations look rather minimalistic at first sight, their interactive features are quite sophisticated and the resulting insights are naturally interesting. Therefore, do not miss out the explanatory movie below.

Via @albertocairo .

Sep 022014

The Biggest Lesson I Learned as an Apple Designer is a thoughtful piece that pushes back on the standard advice given out today of creating an MVP (minimum viable product) and learning as you go. It comes from a former Apple designer, Mark Kawano (who also wrote about Apple’s design culture), and suggests that MVPs just don’t make sense within the Apple process. Instead of “launching and learning”, Apple waits until their products are much more mature and offer a more complete experience:

“Waiting to launch a product until its “magical” moment goes against the concept of MVP, or minimum viable product, which has become so trendy in business over the past few years. It’s part of the lean startup mentality that became mainstream with Eric Ries’s best-selling book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The idea goes something like this: Build a product to the point at which it’s good enough, launch it quickly into the marketplace, and then make iterations as you go while learning from your customers.

Though there is wisdom in Ries’s ideas, entrepreneurs need to be very careful in their interpretation of what a minimum viable product actually is. If you’re launching something in a space where there are a lot of people trying to do something similar–for example, a consumer product–then the bar for MVP should be ridiculously high.

I think the pendulum has swung too far toward the “launch to learn” end of the spectrum of product releases. Frankly, many of the pieces of software that I love best have not been built this way, and instead were refined internally by a thoughtful and critical team of designers. That’s not to say that the products aren’t iterated on, all products are, but they aren’t iterated continuously in public for the means of “learning”. At the very least, the definition of “viable” should change depending on the maturity of competing software.

FYI: I’m writing a new book on how to communicate your product or service called Make them Care!. If you would like to be reminded when it comes out, sign up here. For an excerpt, check out Designing for the Next Step

The post Why Apple doesn’t do MVPs appeared first on Bokardo.

 Posted by on September 2, 2014
Sep 012014

Happiness meter for Huck Finn

As a demonstration of efforts in estimating happiness from language, Hedonometer charts emotion over time for literary classics. The above is the collection of charts for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

I wish I could say this meant something to me, but comparative literature in high school was never my strong suit. From a totally superficial point of view though, the chart in the top left shows happiness metrics — based on the research of Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth — through the entirety of the book. The chart on the right shows a comparison of book sections, which you can select in the first chart.

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Sep 012014
For more information about the Huth Hours, please see our post A Calendar Page for January 2014. September marks the beginning of the wine-making season in the northern hemisphere, and this is as true today as it was on the pages of our medieval calendar. In the opening folio, the...
Aug 302014

PhD candidates Sable Manson (University of Southern California) and 2013 HASTAC Scholar Vanessa Monterosa (California State University, Long Beach), presented their most recent work, “#DigitalFaith: College Students’ Spiritual Identities in Digital Spaces,” which examines the intersection between spirituality, digital culture, and higher education. Attendees participated in a thoughtful discussion regarding how the proliferation of and access to technology has created many alternative avenues for spiritual discovery and growth. 

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Aug 302014

We are curating maps for an installation we call the Mapmaker Manifesto, to be displayed at the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial this November and December!

Because of the short timeline, we've set a hard deadline of September 15, 2014 to receive submissions.

For more information, check out the official Call for Maps here: Send your submissions to manifesto [at] stamen [dot] com.

 Posted by on August 30, 2014