Weekly Web Harvest for 2022-01-23

Ryan Broderick on Twitter: “We built a thing! I’m part of a group called @digivoidmedia and we recently teamed up with @wttdotm to build what we’re calling the Super Fungible Token. Simply put: You feed it a link to any image (or NFT) on the internet and INDEX — Deep Sea Diving on the Web Part creative prompt, part act of protest, part meditative exercise, our hour-long expedition departs once every week. Each session we’ll pick a platform, discuss what its algorithms might be hiding, and then divide up into teams — divers, researchers, excavators, and cartographers — and plunge the platform’s depths for signs of life. We’ll use what we find as materials to create new works, talk about what we learned, and return to our days with water between our toes. Vector Halftone Maker – Interactive PNG/SVG halftone pattern generator fun and useful with a million choices A Bug in Early Creative Commons Licenses Has Enabled a New Breed of Superpredator | by Cory Doctorow | Jan, 2022 | Medium If you put a CC license on your work, its explicit message is, “I want you to re-use this.” Not “I am a pedantic asshole with a fetish for well-formed attribution strings.” The point of CC is not to teach the world to write attribution strings: it is […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2022-01-16

The Einstellung Effect – Futility Closet Psychologist Abraham S. Luchins discovered a discouraging phenomenon in 1942: When people find a problem-solving strategy that works successfully in multiple trials, they’ll tend to adopt the same strategy even in situations when more efficient solutions are available. –explains a lot about issues we have with technology analytics.usa.gov | The US government’s web traffic. luetkemj/wp-query-ref: WordPress Query Comprehensive Reference I use this all the time in WP. Mark worked with me at VCU way back when. Can’t Help Myself I’m pretty sure I am this robot. The secret of Arctic ‘survival parenting’ – BBC Future One of its guiding principles is that rather than following a fixed schedule, the whole family adapts to whatever tasks need to be carried out, be that earmarking, travelling or other joint activities. Within that framework, children make their own choices. Wiki History Game Joshua Kaplan © 2021 Basic best practices for buttons – Effortmark

Screenshot of the carbon rating saying "Uh oh! This web page is dirtier than 99% of web pages tested."

Detox Site – Energy-conscious website breakdown

The following is what I wrote for this year’s DLINQ Digital Detox. It was strange writing without footnotes. It’s also a lot less of my normal writing voice. I was writing for a bunch of strangers rather than you, my dear readers.1 It’s easy to use the web without thinking about it much. Modern processors, increasingly accessible broadband, faster cellular options, and better batteries all work together to make consuming vast amounts of data as seamless as possible. That data consumption is directly tied to energy consumption in ways that aren’t obvious. Seeing Rabih Bashroush’s research on the energy consumed by streaming Despacito seven billion times on YouTube (now at 7.7 billion views) opened my mind to the complexity involved in calculating energy usage across our distributed systems. The challenge of this post is to talk about energy consumption on the web in a way that makes sense to people (most of whom don’t build websites) through the lens of rebuilding a website in a more energy efficient way. I’m going to limit technical explanations and fight my desire to wander into the energy consumption of data centers, crypto-trends, wifi vs cellular data, etc. I will link out to lots of different pages where you might pursue some of these asides if it interests you. Walking the Talk Since the […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2022-01-09

John Schreiber on Twitter: “Keep hearing of train burglaries in LA on the scanner so went to #LincolnHeights to see it all. And… there’s looted packages as far as the eye can see. Amazon packages, @UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pen This whole thing is crazy . . . including the Twitter customer service stuff that ends up getting intermixed. Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think – BBC Future Rabih Bashroush, a researcher at the University of East London and lead scientist at the European Commission-funded Eureca project, calculated that five billion plays clocked up by just one music video – the hit 2017 song Despacito – consumed as much electricity as Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic put together in a single year. So Loud That it Hurts – Why You Need to Try Data Sonification The second reason to use sonification is accessibility. There are plenty of people in the world who can’t clearly see the thing you want them to look at. For some of them, that problem is permanent – they might be blind or partially sighted. For some it’s temporary – they might be recovering from an eye infection, or outdoors on a sunny day with a phone screen that doesn’t cope well […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2022-01-02

Tech Startup Wants To Gamify Suing People Using Crypto Tokens The new company plans to let everyday Americans bet on civil lawsuits by buying and trading associated crypto tokens in “initial litigation offerings.” The Website Obesity Crisis “This poignant story of two foods touching on a hospital plate could almost have been written by Marcel Proust, for whom the act of dipping a morsel of cake in a cup of tea was the starting point for an expanding spiral of vivid recollections, culminating in the realization, nine volumes and 3 megabytes of handwritten prose later, that time and memory themselves are only an illusion. The javascript alone in “Leeds Hospital Bosses Apologise after Curry and Crumble On The Same Plate” is longer than Remembrance of Things Past.” “This is part of a regrettable trend, made possible by faster networks, of having ‘hero images’ whose only purpose is for people to have something to scroll past.” Faculty Spotlight: Math Professor Is UVA Swimming’s Secret Weapon With an advanced degree in accounting, DeSorbo is no stranger to numbers. But in a sport like swimming, it can be difficult to know how to make use of the data. “A lot of coaches are overwhelmed with the amount of data that we get,” DeSorbo said. “You get it, but you don’t always know how […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2021-12-26

SurveillanceU – When Virtual Proctoring Goes Wrong After petitions against virtual proctoring launched across the U.S. and YR’s own coverage of this trend, we built a simulator to show how virtual proctoring can flag normal behavior as suspicious. This isn’t an exact replica of the software, but it’s real close. No worries, this interactive does NOT collect your data, or video; the experience runs solely on your browser. The Future Is Not Only Useless, It’s Expensive This is how NFTs make me feel: like the future is useless but expensive, and world-altering technology is now in the hands of a culture so aesthetically and spiritually impoverished that it should maybe go back to telling stories around the cooking fire for a while, just to remember how to mean something. AND It is also obviously a pyramid scheme, in which the need for a salable commodity is imperative and endlessly renewed, but the commodity itself does not matter because it is useless — not even useless the way all art is useless, because you can get the images and whatever grains of nourishment your hungry little soul might find in them for free, but useless the way a canceled stamp is useless, useless like a receipt or an envelope that has been torn open. NFTs are an occasion for commerce masquerading […]