FYPA feed does links right

In the first of probably too many status updates about this site I’m happy to announce the RSS feed for FYPA.NET now deals with links intelligently.

If the item is a normal post it will link back here, as you’d expect. But if it’s a “link”, currently displayed here in red with an arrow pointing at it, it will link to the site in question, as it does here.

This potentially confusing behaviour is brought to you in the name of progress.

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If your website’s full of assholes, it’s your fault

One for the ASH-10 blog really, but of interest to anyone who’s decided to stop accepting that toxic comments on newspaper websites are just the way it is and want to know why “a company like Google thinks it’s okay to sell video ads on YouTube above conversations that are filled with vile, anonymous comments.” Anil Dash loads all his experience into a hammer and nails it.

How many times have you seen a website say “We’re not responsible for the content of our comments.”? I know that when you webmasters put that up on your sites, you’re trying to address your legal obligation. Well, let me tell you about your moral obligation: Hell yes, you are responsible. You absolutely are. When people are saying ruinously cruel things about each other, and you’re the person who made it possible, it’s 100% your fault. If you aren’t willing to be a grown-up about that, then that’s okay, but you’re not ready to have a web business. Businesses that run cruise ships have to buy life preservers. Companies that sell alcohol have to keep it away from kids. And people who make communities on the web have to moderate them.

I’ve noticed in the past that certain websites, usually of the “this is a free space with no censorship” type, bring out my inner asshole and I’ve made a decision to stay away from them. When I (sadly only occasionally) engage on Clusterflock I feel the weight of social norms and implicit rules on me and it feels good.

(Note: my inner asshole is way worse than Grumpy Pete, let me tell you.)

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The Charles Mingus Cat Toilet Training Program

This reads like a spoof but it’s on the Charles Mingus website and, hell, he wasn’t just a musician. We all try crazy shit like trying to get your cat to use the human toilet.

One day, cut a small hole in the very center of his box, less than an apple-about the size of a plum-and leave some paper in the box around the hole. Right away he will start aiming for the hole and possibly even try to make it bigger. Leave the paper for awhile to absorb the waste. When he jumps up he will not be afraid of the hole because he expects it. At this point you will realize that you have won. The most difficult part is over.

via Anna / bibliogrrl

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From Technologist to Philosopher

Ostensibly an article encouraging technology geeks to look outside their disciplines, this makes a strong argument for why children shouldn’t simply be taught skills for the workplace but should be taught how to think. Philosophy, or at least critical reasoning, should be taught on an equal footing with English and Maths.

I see a humanities degree as nothing less than a rite of passage to intellectual adulthood. A way of evolving from a sophomoric wonderer and critic into a rounded, open, and engaged intellectual citizen. When you are no longer engaged only in optimizing your products—and you let go of the technotopian view—your world becomes larger, richer, more mysterious, more inviting. More human.

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Making Desktop Webapps in OSX Lion

Using the Automator app in Lion you can open web pages in little (or big) floating windows on your mac.

I have no idea what this might be useful for, but I can think of a few things it might be interesting to do with. Maybe.

via DF

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How phone hacking works

The first thing to mention is that the phone hacking episode has nothing at all to do with actual ‘phone’ hacking. It is actually illicit voicemail access. Access can be gained by using some technical knowledge and or tools, but on the whole it is through system and process weaknesses.

It occurs to me I have no idea how to access my voicemail remotely and it never really occurred to me that I could. Thankfully (because I hate it as a way of storing information) I rarely get voicemail.

via DF

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In praise of John Coulthart’s Feuilleton

Feuilleton abounds with discussion of every genus of fantastic art, with many luscious images that few visitors will have seen.

Deserved praise indeed. You should subscribe.

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Mac OSX Maru

Mac OSX Maru

After Lion there’s nowhere else to go. This is Maru. via Bounder

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Exploring the biological edges of aerial photography

Trust BLDGBLOG to find something amazing and make it even more amazing by talking about it. This is a fantastic article starting with the above video taken by a pigeon in flight with a video camera attached and seeing where the notion goes.

I can find no explanation why the footage is so “shuttery” – whether it’s a technical issue with the presumably ultra-light camera, an effect of the wind or flapping or just the way pigeons move in the air. But I like it. A lot.

This is a bit of a perfect storm for me. The artist, Gerco de Ruijter, is exploring things in a way I would love to emulate while the blogger is writing about them in a manner I would aspire to. I am humbled and hungry to improve.

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