Ten years ago this month the Sunday Times published an article by Douglas Adams called "How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet". You can read it here. Some starting observations: It's a tragedy that Adams died, aged 49, in 2001, depriving us of more great literature in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, … Continue reading Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?
I've always found it strange that Eric S. Raymond chose the cathedral as his metaphor for closed development in free software, because the construction of our great medieval cathedrals must have been a very open process. Passing peasants were doubtless discouraged from picking up a chisel to hack at the nearest stone, but Gothic buildings … Continue reading Mobile Gothic: a flight of fancy
I love museums and art galleries. I love the web. So why is it I feel so uneasy about the use of the word "curate" in connection with online content? It certainly seems to be a hot term in the media industry, as seasoned hacks struggle to reinvent themselves in the face of impending old … Continue reading Lock up your marbles! Here come the curators
In a single Noisy Decent Graphics post, Ben Terrett effortlessly segues between my two preoccupations of the moment - agonised middle-class parenting, and the superiority of mobile web over fixed. How could I resist? "City kids are not like country kids", he notes, "... the space available to play is smaller... so they learn to play smaller." … Continue reading Play Small: why mobile challenges designers to make a better web
What a stroke of genius to commission Scott McCloud to tell the story of Google's new web browser, Chrome, in comic form. McCloud's own books have communicated his enthusiasm for the past, present and future of comics themselves. Now his fluid, conversational style perfectly captures the diverse passions of project team members - passions that … Continue reading Brushed chrome – the story of Google’s browser in comic book form
Carlo Longino on Mobhappy and Tarek Abu-Esber at Mobile Messaging 2.0 both asked this week "When Will The Mobile Web Be Mass Market?" - a question prompted by the declaration from Nielsen Mobile that we've now reached critical mass. According to Nielsen, 12.9% of the UK population used the mobile internet in Q1 2008. Now … Continue reading The mobile web: today, asparagus; tomorrow, the world
Greetings from 2008! I'm really pleased you've picked the Early 21st Century Social History module this term. You're going to love it. But before you dive into the wealth of primary evidence we've left on the net, there's something we need you to understand. We know it doesn't look good, but we weren't really shallow … Continue reading Note to future historians: We know it doesn’t look good, but we weren’t really shallow time-wasters in the Noughties