Piper: A Minecraft Hacker Toolbox

About Piper from With Piper on Vimeo.

Piper is an amazing little hacker toolbox based on a Raspberry Pi that shows you how to build electronics by playing Minecraft. Coming soon to Kickstarter so get ready to support!

Paul Ford on HTML5 and the Group That Runs the Web

Paul Ford, for The New Yorker:

You might have read that, on October 28th, W3C officially recommended HTML5. And you might know that this has something to do with apps and the Web. The question is: Does this concern you?

The answer, at least for citizens of the Internet, is yes: it is worth understanding both what HTML5 is and who controls the W3C. And it is worth knowing a little bit about the mysterious, conflict-driven cultural process whereby HTML5 became a “recommendation.” Billions of humans will use the Web over the next decade, yet not many of those people are in a position to define what is “the Web” and what isn’t. The W3C is in that position. So who is in this cabal? What is it up to? Who writes the checks?

Read it all at The New Yorker

Photography by Elizabeth Gadd

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Completely in love with Elizabeth Gadd‘s photography.

That Time Dennis Hopper Performed the Russian Dynamite Death Chair Act

Tinybop’s Human Body App

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You know about Tinybop, right? They make beautiful apps for kids, and their “Loves” section on the website links to oodles of other wonderful things (books, apps, games, etc.) that you will absolutely love. I don’t have enough time to even try all the wonderful things I’ve found there with my kids.

They have three amazing apps of their own: Plants, Homes, and The Human Body. All three are wonderful, but if you haven’t tried The Human Body yet, do it soon because at the moment, proceeds from the download are going directly to (RED)’s fight against AIDS. You probably can’t do a better job spending $2.99 anywhere else this week. Get to it!

Jonathan Stark “Mobile Last”

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“After all, HTML is responsive by default. If you approach the design by starting small and working your way up with both responsive web design and progressive enhancement, you get mobile for free.” –Mobile Last

Paying for Commitment

“Instead of defining hours per week in contracts with employees, freelancers or virtual workers, you define a commitment level. You don’t care how many hours they work, when and where, or how they mix their private and professional lives. The only thing you care about is how much you can count on the contributions, effort and collaboration of your workers, in the projects to which they have been assigned.” –Pay People for Commitment, Not for Time or Results

The Pioneer Spirit of Early Synthesizers

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Wonderful piece by Rhodri Marsden at The Long & Short about the beauty and intrigue of early synthesizers.

Listen to Wikipedia

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Wow. Mahmoud Hashemi and Stephen LaPorte created Listen to Wikipedia, an incredible audio experience on the web that converts the edits people make to Wikipedia pages into beautiful sounds. As people join, edit, save, etc. you hear a collection of bells, strings, and more that end up coming together as though intentionally organized. It’s just beautiful – I’ll put this in my headphones and listen while I work today.

The Art of Design T-Shirt

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Joel found this amazing shirt. I don’t think you can buy it, but boy I’d wear it. Info here.

UX Website Deck

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The Website Deck is such a cool idea and it is an absolutely incredible gift idea for anyone you know who works on websites for a living. Love someone but not sure what they do? Chances are they (or their teams) will benefit from having these around the office. It’s just a simple deck of cards that illustrate components and pages of a website.

At Springbox, we love to kick off projects with client workshops. The agenda varies depending on what the client needs, but I can see us having these in the room no matter what. Buy it now for just $19.

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It’s Better To Do Something Simple Which is Real…

… But never be so cautious you’re never experimenting.

Lots of wisdom in this Bill Evans interview about creative problem-solving with music that can be applied to almost anything we do.

“I don’t consider myself as talented as many people but in some ways that was an advantage because I didn’t have a great facility immediately so I had to be more analytical and in a way — that forced me to build something.

Most people just don’t realize the immensity of the problem and, either because they can’t conquer it immediately, think that they haven’t got the ability, or they’re so impatient to conquer it that they never do see it through. If you do understand the problem then you can enjoy your whole trip through.

People tend to approximate the product rather than attacking it in a realistic, true way at any elementary level — regardless of how elementary — but it must be entirely true and entirely real and entirely accurate. They would rather approximate the entire problem than to take a small part of it and be real and true about it. To approximate the whole thing in a vague way gives you a feeling that you’ve more or less touched the thing, but in this way you just lead yourself toward confusion and ultimately you’re going to get so confused that you’ll never find your way out.”

Thank you BrainPickings for the morning inspiration.

Tomi Ungerer

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I’ve enjoyed Tomi Ungerer‘s illustrations since I was little. I remember having Fog Island in the little reading center at St. Catherine’s Academy. It seemed like a mistake: the illustrations were so dark and the story so ominous to me as a young girl, I felt like I was getting away with reading something that shouldn’t have been available to me.

As an adult, I’ve come to love and admire Ungerer not just for his children’s books (of which there are many, and unfortunately many out of print), but for his art in general and his extraordinary life. Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, immigrating to New York, and becoming friends with Maurice Sendak (they shared an editor) are only some of the fascinating things to learn about this tremendous artist and thinker. His political posters and erotic posters have been banned and remain as powerful today as they did in the 50s and 60s. I gift his books to friends as often as possible.

Listen to his interview with Terri Gross for Fresh Air, and watch Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, the documentary about him.

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Pictured above: Three Robbers
Pictured below: Moon Man

Modernist Homes in Creepy Movies

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If you’re as taken with modernist architecture as I am you’ll love this list of famous modernist homes featured in creepy movies over at Azure. Above you see the Hoke Residence by Skylab Architecture as featured in Twilight, and below is the Vandamm House from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. It was modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

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Ashley Garmon’s 7AM Series

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“The 7AM SERIES collection is Ashley Garmon’s ongoing examination of how light is affected by different environments, in different seasons and at different times of the day. Cloud cover, temperature and each different area’s environmental elements will affect the light. This first installment is from California’s Venice Beach at dawn. There is one exception, the photograph “Blur 1,” (seen above) which was taken at the same beach at sunset.”

The entire series is just unbelievably beautiful. If you’re in Austin, do stop by Spartan to see the photographs in person. If you’re not, trust me, it’s worth a purchase.

Shop now.

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