Turning a buck on the spare space on your hard disk

Thursday, 22 January, 2015

If we’re happy to rent out the spare room to travellers, and ferry strangers about town in our cars, why shouldn’t we then offer any excess space on our hard drives to people who need somewhere to store their files?

Enter Storj, a decentralised, encrypted cloud storage facilitator. So, security and legal concerns much? Such a service seems open to numerous avenues of abuse, but these issues appear to have been thought through though:

When someone uploads a file to our network (i.e. using MetaDisk) the file itself gets shredded (sharded) in lots of different small chunks (shards) on the client side and each one gets encrypted before it even goes out on the internet and our network. These file shards then get distributed all over the network and hosted on DriveShare nodes all over the world. So even if someone has access to one of the DriveShare nodes HD the data hosted on it is meaningless as it will only be composed of small file chunks which are also encrypted.

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Progress bars that make making progress more fun

Wednesday, 21 January, 2015

Artwork by Viktor Hertz

Progress bars for downloads, web pages, and the like, generally aren’t much to write home about. It’s time therefore that some of the ideas of Stockholm based graphic designer Viktor Hertz, whose work I’ve linked to before, were incorporated into the apps we use regularly.

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Learning how to load the dishwasher, many illustrated guides

Monday, 19 January, 2015

Back in the day I used to read the writing of Toronto based Web accessibility consultant Joe Clark whenever he posted something. Pertinent reading for a web designer it was. Times have changed, and like myself, Joe has moved onto other things.

His latest project has involved collecting as many instruction manuals for dishwashers as he could find, and posting scans or screen-grabs of them on Flickr. It’s a good thing too, because up until now I’ve no idea how to properly load a dishwasher, nor had I really tried to find out either.

Via MetaFilter.

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Presenting the chess grandmasterati

Thursday, 15 January, 2015

When you hear the term “Chess grandmaster” was sort of image forms in your mind? Chances are it may be a little out of date

But that may be changing, at least partly because of Magnus Carlsen. The 23-year-old Norwegian, the reigning world champion, is blond and square-jawed; from certain angles, it’s as if you’re looking at Matt Damon. He has modeled for a clothing label, G-Star, in print ads (shot by Anton Corbijn, co-starring Liv Tyler) and television commercials (co-starring Lily Cole). And he has been aggressive about embracing new technologies. Mr. Carlsen has 85,000 Twitter followers and recently released an app, Play Magnus, that lets fans challenge simulations of him at different ages, from 5 to 23.

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In and out of The Louvre in ninety minutes on a Sunday afternoon

Friday, 12 December, 2014

You’ll never guess what the highlight of my trip to The Louvre was. Well, I did study the painting in question for my art history course at high school, and to say that there’s more to it than meets the eye is a veritable understatement.

Viewing the work is likewise the focus of many other visitors to what is one of the best known art museums in the world, but do most of these people zip in and out only to see it, or do they take the time to see more of the treasures within?

Unsurprisingly visitors to The Louvre can be cast into one of two camps, short stayers, people who spend about ninety minutes there, and long stayers, those who stop for at least six hours. Surprisingly though, there is little difference in how much either type of visitor sees, it comes down to how long they take in any given art piece.

Having say an hour to gaze at the Mona Lisa would be a luxury. The jostling crowds make staying in its presence difficult for any longer than a few minutes though.

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A history of web design for web designers

Thursday, 11 December, 2014

disassociated.com takes its origins in what now seems a primordial desire of mine to be a web designer. That I had no knowledge, or for that matter, experience, in the field was irrelevant, a mere detail. I made it, for a time, but soon realised I was really looking for a way to publish online, rather than build online.

Still, it all remains a reminder to me that anything is possible, should you set your mind to it.

Anyway, for those who came in late, a brief history of web design for designers, by Sandijs Ruluks, will take you through some of the milestones, and major developments, in the field that is web design.

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A guide to the extensive, and varied, controls of a aircraft cockpit

Monday, 8 December, 2014

We’ve all seen photos of aircraft cockpits seemingly crammed with controls and instruments, but are all these dials and buttons for real, or do only a few matter? Needless to say, all are important, and do indeed serve a purpose.

The engine information shown: On the top left are two dials; they indicate the N1 setting for the left and right engine. N1 is a measure of engine power – at 100% N1, the engine is producing maximum power (right now the engines are at 22.5% N1). The second row shows the engine’s EGT (exhaust gas temperature, currently 411°C), another measure of engine power and also an important thing to monitor – if the exhaust gas is too hot, you’re in trouble. To the right of the dials is a grid where engine warnings would pop up. On the bottom right are the fuel gauges; it shows the fuel in each of the three tanks and the total fuel onboard (40,200 gallons).

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Creative success in the Internet age, it’s pixel by pixel in a way

Monday, 8 December, 2014

US artist and entrepreneur Molly Crabapple talks success, and making a living, working as a creative online. This snippet however would sum things up for many people, whether creative, online, or not:

I’ve never had a big break. I’ve just had tiny cracks in this wall of indifference until finally the wall wasn’t there any more.

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Is there such a thing as an unusual flying car? Apparently there is…

Friday, 5 December, 2014

It’s flying cars you want? Well as it happens there is some choice when it comes to such vehicles… even if this particular selection is deemed to be unusual.

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We are transparent machines, but just who does that benefit?

Friday, 5 December, 2014

We claim to crave privacy, yet we can’t resist divulging all manner of information about ourselves to anyone who wants to absorb it.

Do you know what that makes us? Transparent Machines, that’s what.

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