Links to and fro. January 26 2011
  • Twitter can predict the stock market:
    “Measuring how calm the Twitterverse is on a given day can foretell the direction of changes to the Dow Jones Industrial Average three days later with an accuracy of 86.7 percent.”
  • Engineers hold our future in their hands.
    “Shortages of good engineers will define the limits of the economic growth of nations in the 21st century.”
  • Facebook is unnatural.
    “These are all pretty great ways to deal with this kind of news, but not at the same time. A Facebook discussion… would travel down several different paths simultaneously and I’d be stuck in the middle trying to participate with all subgroups in whichever way I normally interact with each. This has happened to me several times… It’s like being pulled in several directions at once, and the result is I just feel Facebook is completely useless for communicating with people.”
  • Mahalo 4.0: All about learning:
    “Jason Calacanis just gave a fun, very forthcoming overview of the history of Mahalo before describing its new mission: teaching stuff.”
20 Free Books on Linux, Open Source Software & Philosophy

Very often we only need some quick tips and tutorials to solve our problems. Nethertheless it is still great to dive in deeper, get a wider background of knowledge. So, books are still great.

This list is based on three compilation done by Linux Mint tumblr and my bookmarks about books.

All of the book are free, at least free as in free beer. Some of them are licensed under a free and open license. Most of the books are available in various ebook formats and paper versions, please consider to buy one if you like it. Now, enjoy the list:

General Usage & Administration

FLOSS & Philosophy

Creation & Programming

$ learn -cli -bash -o=brain.txt

More Books & Resources

Linkage 2 December 2010
  • The Bodyguard | Five Players
    There’s a man in a tube in a town in a desert. And he can’t get out. I’m going to help him.
  • Unconventional beauty: Leave Princess Theradras alone! | Border House
    The concept of a Princess has been drilled into our head as a beautiful, fair-skinned, Caucasian, damsel in distress who wears flowing gowns and is nothing but gracious and royal. How easily people disregard that the title is based on royalty and family ties, and that it is one of politics and not of choice. The fact that people think she is not worthy of being a princess just because she doesn’t look like something out a Disney movie is appalling to me. And not calling her feminine? She is a strong and powerful elemental who has birthed and raised the beginnings of an entire race, and is a royal princess in her faction of people. That’s a pretty cool woman, in my opinion.
  • Infinite Lag: A Seat at the Table
    Games have definite issues with gender equality, diversity, jingoism, and maturity amid other concerns; but as far as outward bigotry goes, seems to me there’s an awful lot more of that in the movies, on TV, and in political speeches than in videogames. I can think of many games I’d say have “problematic treatments of sexuality,” for example, but few that overtly encourage or legitimize bigotry on the level of a Jim DeMint.

UPDATE: Upgrading to WP 3.0.2 seems to have caused the RSS Digest plug-in to freak out, producing this gigantic post with links from way back when October was middle-aged. However, since all those links are completely worth it, I won’t be deleting them, but will merely hide them after the jump.

Keep reading

Linkage 3 August 2010

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Top 15 from the 28th+29th week: Typography, Web Development, Tools, Semantic Web & Data

Last two weeks were full of great links and resources, here you are:


  • Linux Libertine is a community driven Open Fonts project, delivering alternative font families and styles to fonts like Times New Roman, Linux Libertine and its tools are released under GPL/OFL licenses. The fonts cover the codepages of Western Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, IPA and many more. Furthermore, typographical features such as ligatures, small capitals, different number styles, scientific symbols, etc. are implemented in this font. Linux Libertine thus contains more than 2000 characters.

Semantic Web & Data

  • The ESWC discusses the latest scientific results and technology innovations around semantic technologies, some of the ESWC 2012 video lectures and keynotes are available, around the topics Social Web, Linked Data, Machine Learning, Semantic Web in Use, Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval.
  • The Data Hub is a community-run catalogue of useful sets of data on the Internet. You can collect links here to data from around the web for yourself and others to use, or search for data that others have collected. Depending on the type of data (and its conditions of use), the Data Hub may also be able to store a copy of the data or host it in a database, and provide some basic visualisation tools.

Social Web

Web Development

  • Jam is a package manager for JavaScript. It manages library dependencies and it supports automatically optimized custom builds of popular libraries.
  • Yeoman is a robust and opinionated client-side stack, comprised of tools and frameworks to support you to create web applications. It helps in scaffolding, compiling CoffeeScript & Compass, linting your scripts, image optimization, build processing, JS package management and unit testing. It isn’t released currently but you can enter your email to get notified if it gets available. Paul Irish spoke about it on Google’s IO 2012 conference.
  • On YouTube you can find all videos of the talks done at the EuroPython 2012 conference in Italy.
  • Motorola published Montage, a framework for building modern HTML5 web apps by providing modular components, real-time two-way data binding, CommonJS dependency management, and more.

Other Tools

  • If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. It can convert documents in markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, or LaTeX to HTML formats, Word processor formats (docx, odt), Epub, DocBook, TeX formats, PDF and Lightweight markup formats.
  • The goal of pdf.js is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering Portable Document Format (PDF) without native code assistance. It is community-driven and supported by Mozilla Labs.
  • Some of you read about Svbtle. There is a unofficial Wordpress theme to create the Svbtle feeling on administration/writing and viewing your blog. The theme misses the responsiveness of the original Svbtle layout but as the theme is open source, you can add it and push it back to the project owner.
  • Adobe published Brackets, an open source code editor for the web, written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS.
Linkage 27 November 2010
  • Discount thoughts: Cinematic Action Games: A Brief Critical Assessment
    To categorize cinematic action games as intrinsically shallow or lacking in value would be the worst sort of genre-as-pejorative thinking. Their approach to game storytelling has produced many strengths, but one central characteristic of the genre is also a critical weakness. The great artistic limitations of cinematic action games come from their disinterest in the player as a creative force.
  • How We Talk About Games: Graphics
    So why can I quote decade-old reviews of a game that’s only distantly comparable to Uncharted 2 and find the exact same statements, almost verbatim, that I find in today’s criticism? These statements aren’t wrong, but they’re shamefully insufficient. Critics are still speaking in vague superlative, as if they’re auditioning to be blurbed on the back of the box.

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Linkage 4 August 2010
  • How To Record And Edit Gameplay Videos Well, since I have already recorded a few hundred videos I thought it would be useful to know for many gamers and devs what recording and editing software is recommendable. Having a gameplay video / trailer for your game is essential these days… Way more effective than offering only a bunch of screenshots.
  • What I Discovered From Gaming Like A Girl The PlayStation Portable adaptation of Persona 3 adds an interesting twist: The ability to play as a female.

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Top 6 from the 30th+31st week: Colours, Javascript MV*, Wordpress, Photography, Adobe Font & Curiosity
  • Stuff print designers should be care about: The ColorHug is an open source display colorimeter. It allows you to calibrate your screen for accurate color matching. The ColorHug is a small accessory that measures displayed colors very accurately. It is held on your display and plugged into a spare USB port on the computer for the duration of the calibration.
  • Developers these days are spoiled with choice when it comes to selecting an MV* framework for structuring and organizing their JavaScript web apps. TodoMVC offers the same Todo application implemented using MV* concepts to compare the most of the popular JavaScript MV* frameworks of today.
  • If you need to administrate various Wordpress installations on different web servers, you may check out Infinite WP, an admin panel to manage multiple Wordpress sites: one single master login, instant backup and restore, one click update to manage plugins and themes.
  • Camerapedia is a free-content encyclopedia of camera information, a repository of information about all still camera brands and models. Check it out if you like analogue or digital photography.
  • Seems that Adobe started to dive into the Open Source movement, now they released Source Sans Pro, their first open source font, under terms of Open Font License. Maybe there is a future Adobe stops that Photoshop stuff and starts contributing to Gimp :)

In the light of current events check out the infographic and video of 7 Minutes of Terror, about the landing of Curiosity on Mars in around 9 hours.

Linkage 21 November 2010
  • Me and the Wii - Chris Hecker’s Website
    (…) I screwed up because I stupidly didn’t realize how my quotes would sound out of context. It never even occurred to me that they would or could be taken out of context. I never imagined somebody would read a single quote from a dense 10 minute comedic lecture and draw conclusions about my beliefs from that, not to mention draw conclusions about me as a person, or even about my wife, who also got insulting mails as a result of the rant and its coverage.
  • Homosexuality and Fallout: New Vegas: A gay marriage made in gay Heaven | FileFront
    As much as we like to talk about how videogames are art and worthy of cultural respect, there’s no denying that the medium has a lot of growing up to do. Nowhere is this more evident than with the general treatment of homosexuality within games. I can list on one hand the amount of gay characters I’ve seen in videogames that aren’t treated as borderline offensive jokes or identified almost exclusively by their gender preferences. Even the ones who are portrayed in a serious light are often so overwrought and needlessly camp that it looks patronizing at best and ignorant at worst.
  • Radiator Blog: Gay (But Not “Gay”) Characters in Video Games
    The argument that [all] gay video game characters should downplay their sexuality might be well intentioned, but is ultimately representative of the most dangerous kind of homophobia – a homophobia wrapped in intellectualism, appearing “tolerant.”

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Linkage 5 August 2010

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This edition of NewsRoom_Digest includes links of the day from Friday 22nd May.

The news cycle today continued on the path of post-Budget responses - from within Parliament and across the full spectrum of sectoral interests - to Budget 2015. This is reflected in well over 200 media releases and statements being loaded into the NewsRoom database between yesterday and this afternoon.

Definitely worth a read is the Child Poverty Action Group’s brief summary of the 2015 budget and its implications for children and families here:

Keep reading

The very Best of the "A List Apart" Summer Reading Issue 2012

A List Apart published a Summer Reading Issue containing 26 articles from their back catalog of 355 ALA issues. Remember that guys are publishing their vision of the web since beginning 1999!

The following selection contains only a few of the 26 articles from that summer reading issue list, it’s my fastly picked list of personal favorits:

  1. A Dao of Web Design – John Allsopp (ALA 58, 2000)
  2. Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign – Cameron Moll (ALA 206, 2005)
  3. Web Standards for E-books – Joe Clark (ALA 302, 2010)
  4. Fluid Grids – Ethan Marcotte (ALA 279, 2009)
  5. Responsive Web Design – Ethan Marcotte (ALA 306, 2010)
  6. On Web Typography – Jason Santa Maria (ALA 296, 2009)
  7. More Meaningful Typography – Tim Brown (ALA 327, 2011)
  8. The Discipline of Content Strategy – Kristina Halvorson (ALA 274, 2008)
  9. The Wisdom of Community – Derek Powazek (ALA 283, 2009)
Linkage 11 November 2010
  • The Escapist : Wussy RPG Girls
    If you’ve ever played a JRPG, particularly one from before the early 2000’s, chances are you’ve encountered the Wussy RPG Girl. Meek and doe-eyed, these healer characters double as the love interest and are usually billed as the “heroine,” though they seem to possess little power of their own. In fact, it’s rare that they do anything more heroic than grappling with low self-esteem or getting kidnapped - which tends to happen a minimum of twice.

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Linkage 2 August 2010
Many more links after the jump.
  • Game Cafe Robbed, Gamers Fight Back, Lots Of Punches To The Head A gaming cafe in Kaneohe, Hawaii was robbed last week, three youths storming in and demanding money from the customers inside. They got the money, but I don’t think they were ready for one guy to fight back.
  • Raptr: What are you playing? “Part Twitter, part Steam community, and part Facebook, Raptr is a social network that gives gamers a place to connect with one another over the games they frequently play.” — PCMag
  • Demake dump Here are a bunch of demake mockups that I’ve made for swedish gaming mag Level over the last years. Many of these were made quick and dirty (relatively speaking) in order to make deadlines, so they’re not all that pretty to look at. But I figured I should post them somewhere so they don’t just gather dust on my hard drive. Any feedback is of course appreciated.
  • YouTube - The Oregon Trail - Official Trailer In 1864, a family embarks on an impossible journey into the untamed American West. Based on the classic educational computer game, The Oregon Trail by MECC.
  • The Harm Of Gaming: We Present The Facts | Rock, Paper, Shotgun We’ve all noticed the British population is abandoning the church, turning instead toward shopping, DVDs and knife crime. But few have thought to check for a connection between PC sales and the numbers of people attending their local Church Of England church on a Sunday.
  • Project: MyWorld Walkthrough - Eurogamer Videos | Project: MyWorld turns the real world into a fun 3D social gaming experience. Project: MyWorld is a virtual recreation of the real world combined with 3D gaming and social media. It is the next generation of social gaming.

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Top 4 from the 26th+27th week: High Resolution Displays & Performance Optimization
Linkage 6 November 2010
  • Elder Game: MMO game development » How To Balance an MMO, And How To Stop
    Can you perfectly predict the weather? No, because it’s too complex — the “chaos factor” makes it impossible to perfectly predict. The same holds true of the balance of any modern MMO. This may be surprising. We create every aspect of MMOs, so why can’t we perfectly predict them? It turns out that the “chaos factor” in an MMO comes very quickly too — much more quickly than players realize — and there’s no way to model the entire possibility space.

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Top 9 from the 24th+25th week: Typography, Web Design, Social Web Petitions & Privacy

Typography and Font Stacks

  • Font­Friend is a book­marklet that enables testing of fonts and font styles directly in the browser with­out edit­ing code and refresh­ing pages, mak­ing it the ideal com­pan­ion for cre­at­ing CSS font stacks. Its features are: instant drag-and-drop font pre­view­ing right in the browser in any doc­u­ment, predefined font definitions, Google Webfonts and Typekit integration.
  • The Revised Font Stack is a mix between article, statistical research and testing font stack ingredients.
  • Code Style’s Font Stack Builder tests your font stack for Win, Mac and Linux support and can help to create robust CSS font-family declarations.

Social Media Campaigns

  • SpeakUp! is a plugin to create email petitions within your Wordpress powered campaign website. It comes with a lot of config options like signature goals, CSV export, Social Media integration and expiration dates. You can integrate that petitions simply by a shortcode insertion in your blog posts and pages.

Web Design Development

  • Rainbow is a code syntax highlighting library written in Javascript, lightweight, easy to use, extendable, and themable via CSS. Out-of-the-box supported languages are: Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, C, Shell, Scheme, Lua and C#.
  • jQuery Mobile router is a plugin for jQuery Mobile to enhance the framework with a client side router/controller that works with jQuery Mobile events. In addition, it extends jQM with a client-side parameters in the hash part of the url.
  • CSS3 Media Queries and the ‘view mode’ feature are now full W3C Recommendations. They let designers adjusting styles according to device capabilities (e.g. screen dimensions) and state (e.g. device orientation, fullscreen, minimized).


  • Ghostery is a browser plugin to increase your privacy. It tracks over 1,000 trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity. Ghostery allows zero-tolerance blocking of anything ad related, complete (visible) open communication with ad companies, or countless measures in between.
Linkage 2 November 2010
  • The Escapist : Philosophy of Game Design - Part Four
    It’s the end of the line. We went from Aristotle and Plato to empiricism with David Hume to Marxist aesthetics with Theodor Adorno. It’s been a haphazard, horribly incomplete survey across several different branches of Western philosophy. Some would say it was rambling - and to them, I would counter that all who wander are not lost.
  • Back In The USSR: KGB / Conspiracy | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
    A wonderful thing about the PC is that we’ve got a back catalogue of games that dwarfs every other platform. That’s a technical term, meaning the PC has more games featuring dwarves than other platforms have games.

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Top 7 from the 23rd week: RDFa, Microdata, PDF obfuscation & skateboarding

The last week’s link roundup digest was planned for Sunday but this post was lost in a space-time continuum. Now it’s here:

Semantic Web

  • RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax was published as W3C working draft, defining the RDF data model, introduces new datatypes for HTML fragments and language-tagged strings, and re-worked the XML datatype.
  • 1 year ago was launched, Dan Brickley wrote a nice roundup “SemTech, RDFa, Microdata and more” what happened since then, and he is giving a outlook about future developments like 1.0.
  • added an RDFa playground editor, a helpful tool if you wanna test your RDFa markup, or to learn RDFa. Especially the graphical view could help a lot.

Developers zone

  • in “OMG-WTF-PDF” Julia Wolf talked about PDF obfuscation and critical backdoors, it’s from 2010 but still interesting and importing for your security.
  • gmaps.js allows you to use the potential of Google Maps in a simple way. No more extensive documentation or large amount of code.
  • Anchor CMS is “built for art-directed posts.” Basically it is a very simple blog system, handling posts and pages, using a Wordpress-like API but without all the ballast. Funny that it is licensed under WTFPL.

Now, if you wanna know where skateboarding, innovation, hacking and FLOSS meet then check out Rodney Mullen at TEDxUSC on “How Context Shapes Content”: