Links for 7th September 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Systems Thinking: A Product Is More Than the Product

    "A successful product or service has to navigate a complex terrain of hurdles, constraints, technologies, and opportunities. There are myriad market forces, fundamental needs, competitive strategies, core competencies, and market adoption forces. And the product must deliver its promises, not only functioning well, but also providing pleasure in the interaction. This list only scratches the surface. I have deliberately left out numerous critical issues that determine a product’s viability and I am certain to have unwittingly left out even more.

    How to negotiate this thicket of issues is the subject of many books and specialized seminars. Not all companies manage, and even those that do face occasional failures. To me, however, the most important aspect for the delivery of a cohesive experience is systems thinking. It is amazing how few companies understand and practice this." Don Norman, via Chairman Bruce.

    Tagged with: designsystemsthinkingproductusabilityexperienceserviceinteraction

  2. In praise of browsing

    "Browsing and searching are different– browsing is about the journey, searching is about the destination. Searching is focused on finding specific information quickly and often leads to tunnel-vision, which can prevent you from recognizing useful sources that don’t match your preconceived ideas and assumptions. Browsing is about slowing down, opening your eyes, feeding your curiosity, and allowing yourself the opportunity to make discoveries.

    I believe it’s important to set aside time to browse on a regular basis– not just on the web, but in the physical world as well. Spend time exploring different bookstores (both new and used), visit libraries and museums, and search out unusual places you’ve never visited. Take a different route, walk around neighborhoods you don’t live in, look for hidden treasures." Can I get a hallelujah?

    Tagged with: researchbrowsingserendipitymanifestoknowledge

  3. WordPress hack: Choose the sidebar to use, post by post

    Tagged with: WordPresssidebarselectioncustomfieldtrickspostwebdev

  4. Want a Crash-Proof Site? A Paint-by-Numbers Guide to Using (and Surviving) Amazon S3

    Interesting; more of a kludge than something like JungleDisk, but less up-front sysadmin know-how involved, also.

    Tagged with: wordpresswebsitestorageamazons3cloudbandwidth

  5. More on religious objection to gay marriage

    "You’re implying it’s hateful and malicious of me to stand against those who oppose secularism, equality under the law, and individual rights. I am almost certain I misunderstand you here, but let’s be clear. I am quite capable of being deeply snarky about damned near anything (including myself), but I don’t think I’ve ever been hateful and malicious about opposition to gay marriage. I simply think that such opposition is profoundly wrong headed and not grounded on the social and moral principles of our society. It is certainly in many cases grounded in the social and moral principles of individual religious belief, but those are not equivalent and do not apply within the framework of American constitutional democracy." Jay Lake with the calm and considered zing.

    Tagged with: same-sexmarriageethicsdissentpoliticsreligionrightsdebateJay-Lake

  6. Chrome Plated Jackboots

    "To get to the money shot: transhumanism is going to influence the next century because, unless we are very unlucky indeed, the biotechnology, nanotechnology, and telecommunications industries are going to deliver goods that combine to fundamentally change the human condition. We've seen the tip of the iceberg so far: news stories like this would have been fodder for an SF story twenty or thirty years ago, and this video (playing pong! Using transcranial brain interfaces!) probably still is. But don't be deceived: we're entering strange territory.

    And what particularly exercises me is the possibility that if we can alter the parameters of the human condition, we can arbitrarily define some people as being better than others — and *can make them so*." Stross on fascistic transhumanism.

    Tagged with: technologyfuturismtranshumanismfascismideologypolitics

  7. Owning Eyeballs

    "Ah – nobody's going to stick an advertising driven augmented reality lens in their eye, right? How about for 'free' healthcare monitoring? Or because speed-dating is so much more fun when you have real time sexual preference look-ups on the people you're looking at? Or simply because the alternative ways of viewing at the world put you milliseconds behind your social network in the connectivity stakes.

    Yeah, this reasoning is all so base, ugly, techno-utopian. Sure, it *may* be about delivering the optimal augmented reality experience, but optimal for whom? There ain't no such thing as (looking at a) free lunch." Jan Chipchase FTW.

    Tagged with: augmented-realityARmarketingcorporatepersuasionbrandingcopromotion

  8. Archival Sound Recordings – British Library

    "Explore 44,500 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments." Sweet – another great resource from the BL.

    Tagged with: historymediabritish-librarysoundrecordingarchivessearchreference

  9. The powerful and mysterious brain circuitry that makes us love Google, Twitter, and texting

    "Ever find yourself sitting down at the computer just for a second to find out what other movie you saw that actress in, only to look up and realize the search has led to an hour of Googling? Thank dopamine. Our internal sense of time is believed to be controlled by the dopamine system. People with hyperactivity disorder have a shortage of dopamine in their brains, which a recent study suggests may be at the root of the problem. For them even small stretches of time seem to drag. An article by Nicholas Carr in the Atlantic last year, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" speculates that our constant Internet scrolling is remodeling our brains to make it nearly impossible for us to give sustained attention to a long piece of writing. Like the lab rats, we keep hitting "enter" to get our next fix." Unlike lab rats, though, we have this thing called "willpower", which always seems to be conveniently left out of these OMGinterwebz panic articles.

    Tagged with: internetpsychologyneurosciencesearchbehaviouraddictionattentiondopamine

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