Rumpetroll

Tadpoles swimming together

Rumpetroll, Norwegian for tadpole, is a browser game where you swim and chat.

This is the logical evolution of IRC.

(Via Hacker News)

Mozilla Seabird phone – amazing but only a concept

I just watched the video for the Mozilla Seabird phone, and it left me both impressed and frustrated.

Frustrated because there's a vast difference between coming up with a concept and designing a product.

Q: Does Mozilla have plans to produce a mobile phone?

A: No. Mozilla produces Firefox for Mobile, the popular Firefox browser for mobile phone systems such as Nokia Maemo and Android.

I appreciate that in this instance Mozilla are just showing off what's possible, but it's important to remember that this is fiction.

One of the reasons that companies like Apple hold a lot of respect with me is that they only show products when they are actually products. Showing off concepts is fine if you can deliver on those concepts, but if you can't then you are just setting up your customer for disappointment.

Debussy – The Girl With The Flaxen Hair

I am in love with this piece of music at the moment. It amazes me that even though Claude Debussy died in 1918 his music still sounds so contemporary — at least to me!

It's on YouTube if you can't/don't use Spotify.

Atheist extremism

Pope:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

[...]

As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a 'reductive vision of the person and his destiny'.

Hitler:

I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

— Mein Kampf

Atheist extremism indeed.

Marlo Stanfield

Marlo Stanfield: Hello my name is my name

My name is my name.

iTunes 10

iTunes 9 and iTunes 10 icons

Among the many announcements that Apple made yesterday was the release of iTunes 10. My first reaction is that I don't like the icon. The main problem I have with it is that it isn't a thing.

The Mail icon is a stamp. Safari is a compass. iCal is a desk calendar. Automator is a robot.

I understand that a CD probably isn't a valid metaphor for iTunes any more, but by not representing a real object it stands out as unusual amongst Apple's other icons.

On top of that the new icon doesn't have a very good silhouette. Maybe that's not an issue — the new icon is definitely iconic. But most of Apple's icons, and most third-party icons that I like, have a distinctive outline.

Various icons in silhouette form

I don't know. I might get used to it. It's not a bad icon, I just had a bad first reaction to it.

Among the UI changes the biggest difference is that the close, minimize and zoom buttons are arranged vertically instead of horizontally.

iTunes button changes

It makes the playback area a little tidier, but it seems like a fundamental change to a common user interface element. I say "seems" because I'm not sure how much of a problem it is. The close button is still in the same place, which is the only button you care about 99% of the time.

The sidebar icons are now monochrome which looks alright.

The default view for music is the "album list view".

iTunes 10 album list view

I really like it. You could get the same effect by enabling the Artwork column in list view in iTunes 9, but it makes sense to have this as a separate view since most people never enable or disable columns.

There are some cosmetic changes. The only notable one that I haven't touched on are the buttons along the bottom that now look less like buttons.

iTunes 10 buttons now look less like buttons

That's about it for things I've noticed in the last 12 hours. Overall fairly positive.

Swarmation

Swarmation screenshot

Swarmation is a game in which you and a number of other players each control one pixel and must form shapes within a time a limit to score points. It's really addictive.

That's my blue dot there.

(Via Node.js Knockout)

Finder

Finder

Sometimes I like to close down all my programs and press command and tab, just to see the Finder icon sitting on its own.

Celsius

There is a well known rounding error in Google search's built-in calculator, so that

1000000000000000 - 1000000000000001 = 0

So I wasn't too surprised when I read that Google produced the following result:

0 degrees Celsius + 0 degrees Celsius = 273.15 degrees Celsius

Except this isn't a mistake.

"Degrees Celsius" measures an absolute temperature, and that absolute temperature is 273.15 kelvin, or 273.15 Celsius degrees warmer than absolute zero.

0 degrees Celsius = 273.15 kelvin

Which means that if you rewrite the first calculation using kelvin it looks like:

(273.15 kelvin) + (273.15 kelvin) = 273.15 degrees Celsius

Q: Can SATA cables affect audio quality?

A: No.

(Via Ben Goldacre)