Ben Crair on how the humble period has taken on an aggressive tone recently:
“In the world of texting and IMing … the default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all,” Liberman wrote me. “In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. And what they infer, plausibly enough, is something like ‘This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it.’”
It’s a remarkable innovation. The period was one of the first punctuation marks to enter written language as a way to indicate a pause, back when writing was used primarily as a record of (and script for) speech. Over time, as the written word gained autonomy from the spoken word, punctuation became a way to structure a text according to its own unique hierarchy and logic. While punctuation could still be used to create or suggest the rhythms of speech, only the exclamation point and question mark indicated anything like what an orator would call “tone.”
Poignant piece about Everpix’s shutdown. This is the less glamorous side of startup life.
It feels like we’re going 100mph into the brick wall. And we’re still picking up speed. But we don’t know if the wall is going to be there.
Google has been tightening its grip on Android:
While Android is open, it’s more of a “look but don’t touch” kind of open. You’re allowed to contribute to Android and allowed to use it for little hobbies, but in nearly every area, the deck is stacked against anyone trying to use Android without Google’s blessing. The second you try to take Android and do something that Google doesn’t approve of, it will bring the world crashing down upon you.
I finally got around to migrating my site from shared hosting to a VPS on DigitalOcean. It took a lot more trouble to set up but I learned a lot in the process. I can now set up my own server in my sleep! (Ok not really…but it’ll be faster next time around.)
The ‘how it’s made’ video of the new Mac Pro is just fascinating to watch. What others think of as drab and uninteresting, Apple has turned into an art form. For those interested in the manufacturing process, Greg Koenig provides a detailed rundown of all the steps shown in the video.
What the Mac Pro video puts on display is Apple’s unique talent for bringing together disparate manufacturing technologies to produce incredible precision at extremely high volumes.
This video is worth watching after the release of the Population White Paper by the government projecting almost 7 million people in Singapore by 2030.
Singapore likes to be a world leader in many fields but I believe the one area they can and should be a world leader in is technology for high-density living. It is time (and perhaps somewhat overdue) for our government to rethink it’s approach to solving the overcrowding problem besides just promising to build more public housing and transit lines in their White Paper.
When was the last time HDB did something truly innovative after they revolutionised public housing in the 1960s? LTA, in recent years, seems to be reduced to an agency for adjusting ERP rates and investigating MRT breakdowns.
The ideas presented in the video are refreshing in their approach to this age-old problem. Our government needs to move faster in developing and adopting such new technologies into the design of our city to keep pace with the population. If done right, 7 million people could live comfortably in our precious 710 square kilometres of space.
Cities around the world have been plagued by overcrowding since the industrial revolution. It is not an easy problem to solve. Let’s be the first to solve it.
Marketing by Android manufacturers have convinced many people that each new phone should have a bigger screen and a radical overhaul in hardware design and software interface to be considered a worthy upgrade.
Personally, I think of Dieter Rams’ ten principles of good design, one of which is that good design should be long-lasting: “It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.”
Whether the iPhone’s design lives up to this, only time will tell. At least Apple believes in their design enough to go out of their way to keep the design unchanged for the next year or two.
Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for inspiring me in my pursuit of engineering.
The story of Bill Hewlett’s iconic computer in a pocket:
In perhaps the most famous design brief in electronics history Bill Hewlett challenged his engineers to shrink the 9100A into something he could fit in his pocket. Eventually Dave Cochran, the original HP-35 product manager, determined that it would be feasible using newly-developed integrated circuits and LEDs. A market research study, however, warned that the device would be too expensive and there was simply no market. That didn’t matter to Hewlett. He decided he wanted one and said ‘We’re going to go ahead anyway.’
And a revolutionary leap in technology was born. It would be hard to imagine what the scientific and electronics world would look like today had Hewlett listened to market research…