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  1. Paul Ford: What is Code? →

    But the choice of a main programming language is the most important signaling behavior that a technology company can engage in. Tell me that you program in Java, and I believe you to be either serious or boring. In Ruby, and you are interested in building things quickly. In Clojure, and I think you are smart but wonder if you ship. In Python, and I trust you implicitly. In PHP, and we sigh together. In C++ or C, and I nod humbly. In C#, and I smile and assume we have nothing in common. In Fortran, and I ask to see your security clearance. These languages contain entire civilizations.

  2. The Ultimate Amazon Product →

    This is the problem Amazon has with so many of its new products: They are easy to see for what they are. They often feel, first and foremost, like solutions to Amazon’s problems, not yours.

  3. Outrage and the Endless Thanksgiving →

    Paul Ford:

    These differences of opinion have always been there, of course. They’re just more immediate now. Back in the days before the Internet it would have been incredibly unusual for someone to drive over to their ex-Marine uncle’s place, pop in a videotape, and say “please watch this video of police brutality.” Cultural gaps and chasms that previously we never crossed we now cross by default, all the time.

  4. Building 3D with Ikea →

    In the summer of 2004, IKEA decided to change the way they produced their product images. … “We made 8 or 10 quite bad product visualisations by today’s standards,” says Martin, “but it sparked something and we continued to work at it. In the fall of 2006 we first showed a product in the catalogue. The first CG piece of furniture was a chair called “Bertil”.

  5. How to Be Polite →

    People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment.

  6. Inspecting Yosemite’s Icons →

    I want to focus on my favorite visual update in Yosemite — the dock icons. Before Yosemite, Apple maintained a system for icon design through a checklist of mostly unstated and understood guidelines paired with a few specific recommendations in the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). With Yosemite, that system becomes more consistent, and regular, yet the HIG remains silent on the specifics.