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Jeremy Edberg, the first paid employee at reddit, teaches us a lot about how to create a successful social site in a really good talk he gave at the RAMP conference. Watch it here at Scaling Reddit from 1 Million to 1 Billion–Pitfalls and Lessons.

Jeremy uses a virtue and sin approach. Examples of the mistakes made in scaling reddit are shared and it turns out they did a lot of good stuff too. Somewhat of a shocker is that Jeremy is now a Reliability Architect at Netflix, so we get a little Netflix perspective thrown in for free.

Some of the lessons that stood out most for me: 

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Trent Wolbe

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I played a hundred new huge-budget video games this week, but the only one that really made sense to me was a cellphone and Vita game called RYMDKAPSEL.

Like many tower-defense games the primary objective of RYMDKAPSEL is to grow and defend your population. But when designer Martin Jonasson set out to make a viable StarCraft for mobile, he discovered that StarCraft probably isn’t something you’d want to play on your phone, and its most memorable component would probably be how much it crashed your OS. So he boiled it down, reducing and reducing until he came up with the most efficiently brilliant game I’ve ever played on mobile.

The game begins on a vectorized orthogonal grid in space, your playable characters materializing as...

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(author unknown)

The first of a series of three articles about breaking games for QA purposes and your personal entertainment.

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Mixshape_large

Making a good mix for a party or workout is serious, time-consuming work, so why not throw some data analysis and computing power at the problem? MixShape takes Spotify’s vast music library and couples it with some heavy data analysis from The Echo Nest to give you a graphical representation of the high-energy peaks and down-tempo valleys of a given playlist. Once you have a base to work from (either your own Spotify playlist or one that’s automatically created for you), you can tweak the "flow" and duration of the mix, and Mixshape will automatically add, subtract, and rearrange songs to give you what it thinks you want to hear. The project is sponsored by Microsoft, which created a custom touch interface for it on IE10, although...

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What if game design isn't a process of creation, but of exploration? How do we navigate this strange design landscape?

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autotune lede

In January of 2010, Kesha Sebert, known as ‘Ke$ha’ debuted at number one on Billboard with her album, Animal. Her style is electro pop-y dance music: she alternates between rapping and singing, the choruses of her songs are typically melodic party hooks that bore deep into your brain: “Your love, your love, your love, is my drug!” And at times, her voice is so heavily processed that it sounds like a cross between a girl and a synthesizer. Much of her sound is due to the pitch correction software, Auto-Tune.

Sebert, whose label did not respond to a request for an interview, has built a persona as a badass wastoid, who told Rolling Stone that all male visitors to her tour bus had to submit to being photographed with their pants...

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google redesign feature lead

By Dieter Bohn and Ellis Hamburger

Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps.

Great design is not something anybody has traditionally expected from Google. Infamously, the company used to focus on A/B testing tiny, incremental changes like 41 different shades of blue for links instead of trusting its designers to create and execute on an overall vision. The “design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data” led its very first visual designer, Douglas Bowman, to leave in 2009.

More recently, however, it’s been impossible to ignore a series of thoughtfully designed apps — especially on iOS,...

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aaron swartz lead

I met Aaron Swartz in Cambridge shortly after he’d been indicted for downloading lots of JSTOR articles on MIT’s network in 2011. My Wired colleague Ryan Singel had been writing about his story, and I’d talked a lot with my friends in academia and publishing about the problems of putting scholarship behind a paywall, but that was really the level at which I was approaching it. I was there to have brunch with friends I’d known a long time only through the internet, and I hadn’t known Aaron that way. I certainly didn’t want to use the brunch to put on my journalist hat and pepper him with questions. He was there primarily to see his partner Quinn Norton’s daughter Ada, with whom he had a special bond. The two of them spent...

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