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Hey! You're looking at the front page of recorder.sayforward.com which is a temporary storage place for articles I didn't read/evaluate yet. I also use this platform to prepare new content to post sayforward.com where audio/video/image material is hosted completely on my server. On the recorder instead, media is loaded from external sources, so don't get mad if some of them don't work anymore.

Please note that the content posted here is explicitly intended to help me remember certain things, i.e. it is not intended to entertain you in any way (although you certainly will find stuff that fulfills this criteria).

Now: Happy Browsing!

Efficiently Simplifying Navigation, Part 2: Navigation Systems:

  

How do we make navigation as simple and predictable as possible? As explained in part 1 of this series, the first two steps are to structure content in a way that naturally narrows the navigation options, and to explain those options in a way that minimizes the cognitive load on users.

 Navigation Systems

However, two more steps are required — namely, to choose the right type of navigation menu, and then to design it. The second part of this series addresses the third step and discusses which type of navigation menu is best suited to which content.

The post Efficiently Simplifying Navigation, Part 2: Navigation Systems appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

via Smashing Magazine

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Picturefill 2.0: Responsive Images And The Perfect Polyfill:

  

Not since the early days of web standards have I seen our community rally around a seemingly small issue: responsive images. Over the last four years (yeah, it’s been about four years), we’ve seen many permutations of images in responsive design.

Responsive Images And The Perfect Polyfill

From the lazier days of setting max-width: 100% (the absolute minimum you should be doing) to more full-featured JavaScript implementations, such as Picturefill and Zurb’s data-interchange method, we’ve spent a lot of time spinning our wheels, banging our heads and screaming at the wall. I’m happy to say that our tireless journey is coming to a close. The W3C and browser makers got the hint.

The post Picturefill 2.0: Responsive Images And The Perfect Polyfill appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Next-Generation Responsive Web Design Tools: Webflow, Edge Reflow, Macaw:

  

To prepare for a talk about the changing roles of designers and developers, given at HOW Interactive a few months back, I interviewed 20+ web shops. Validated by my own experience, I found that many of them faced challenges fitting responsive design into their workflow, and the role of most web designers had changed to include coding in some form or another.

 Webflow, Edge Reflow, Macaw

At least half of the designers knew HTML and CSS well but wanted a more visual way to get at it. Well, a new generation of visual responsive design tools has arrived. These responsive design tools are for anyone who understands HTML and CSS (or is willing to learn) and wants to visually design a responsive website — and have code to show for it.

The post Next-Generation Responsive Web Design Tools: Webflow, Edge Reflow, Macaw appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

via Smashing Magazine

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Is Neo4j 2.1 The Chosen (Graph) One?:

Neo4j 2.1 graph data transfer with built-In ETL via Dr. Dobb’s All

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A Short On How the Wayback Machine Stores More Pages than Stars in the Milky Way:

How does the Wayback Machine work? Now with over 400 billion webpages indexed, allowing the Internet to be browsed all the way back to 1996, it’s an even more compelling question. I’ve looked several times but I’ve never found a really good answer.

Here’s some information from a thread on Hacker News. It starts with mmagin, a former Archive employee:


via High Scalability

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9 Principles of High Performance Programs:

Arvid Norberg on the libtorrent blog has put together an excellent list of principles of high performance programs, obviously derived from hard won experience programming on bittorrent:

Two fundamental causes of performance problems:

  1. Memory Latency. A big performance problem on modern computers is the latency of SDRAM. The CPU waits idle for a read from memory to come back.
  2. Context Switching. When a CPU switches context “the memory it will access is most likely unrelated to the memory the previous context was accessing. This often results in significant eviction of the previous cache, and requires the switched-to context to load much of its data from RAM, which is slow.”

Rules to help balance the forces of evil:


via High Scalability

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My Neighbor Totoro In Virtual Reality: An anonymous reader writes “Nick Pitton, the developer behind the Spirited Away Boiler Room VR experience, has released his second project: the bus stop scene from Studio Ghibli’s famous movie My Neighbor Totoro, once again in virtual reality for the Oculus Rift. Pittom ‘hand-painted’ the textures in Photoshop to recreated the painted-background feel of the movie. For the characters (Totoro and the Catbus) he used a cel-shaded approached to approximate the animated look from the movie. For his next project, he plans to recreate the ship and characters from the acclaimed anime Cowboy Bebop.” Share on Google+

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Chasing the Heroine's Journey in Games - by Sande Chen:

In this article, game writer Sande Chen ponders how to find the heroine’s journey, or the internal life of characters, in games. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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English as a Lingua Franca, Diversity in Games, and Selling Indie Games - by Lena LeRay:

As Rami Ismail pointed out recently, English is the defacto lingua franca of video games. This affects both the diversity of the games we play and how games can be distributed. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Introducing Clustering III: Challenges and Pitfalls - by anders drachen:

In the previous post of this series we introduced the theoretical foundations of cluster analysis and the various categories of algorithms. In this post we take a specific look at the challenges associated with running a cluster analysis on behavioral tel via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Free to play and its Key Performance Indicators - by David Xicota:

When I ask other indie game developers what plans they have to make their games financially viable… I can’t tell you how many puzzled faces I get. It isn’t their fault, really. We’re in the video game industry because we love making games! via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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How art games are shaped by economics - by Daniel Cook:

Why are short form, content focused games like Monument Valley or Gone Home thriving at this moment in time? A look at how the current socioeconomic environment impacts the form of games that succeed. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Creating a Machinima game trailer with Unity - by Peter Cardwell-Gardner:

As a one man indie studio it can be challenging focusing on the non game dev aspects of your game, such as making a trailer. This details the unusual process I arrived at breaking Unity and making a machinima trailer for my audio puzzle game - Cadence. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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How Elegy for a Dead World Coaxes Forth Creativity - by Ben Serviss:

In Elegy for a Dead World, you play by writing about fallen civilizations. You may never know what happened to them - but in the process, you might learn something about yourself. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Revelatory Shock: Broforce Gets More Bros:

In order to stay true to the tone and spirit of Broforce, I have decided to compose some Broforce poetry, or Broetry, as it must be known according to The Only Laws That Matter. You are required to listen to this music while reading it. OK, let us begin. Ahem: Broforce / Like “breakfast” spoken […] via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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Are your non-paying players valuable? - by Balazs Juhasz:

In your gaming app only about 5% of the players will convert to become a paying user. Like it or not, about 95% percent of your users are just free riders - but are they still valuable? Yes - let me show you why. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Why Making Games Takes So Much Time - by Willem de Neve:

Creating games often turns out much more complex and / or time consuming than anticipated, even in a relatively simple title like ours. In this post you’ll find illustrative examples of these time consumers as we’ve encountered them in building Powargrid. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Shader tutorial: CRT emulation - by Svyatoslav Cherkasov:

Writing a shader that emulates CRT. Using Unity and explaining the shader principles. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Project 2501 : Homage To Ghost In The Shell:

Warning : The following post contains nudity/adult content. “Project 2501″ is a still photography project in homage to Mamoru Oshii’s groundbreaking anime Ghost In The Shell, itself adapted from Masamune Shirow’s manga of the same name. (“Project 2501″ is the codename given to the ghosthacker Puppetmaster in Oshii’s film.) The endeavor is spearheaded by director/CG […] via Halcyon Realms - Animation.Film.Photography and Art Book Reviews

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Privacy vs network effects:

Respected cryptographer and security researcher Ross Anderson has a fascinating new paper, Privacy versus government surveillance:
where network effects meet public choice
[PDF], which explores the “privacy economics” of mass surveillance, pointing out the largely overlooked impact of “network effects” on the reality of who spies, who is spied upon, and under what circumstances.

Read the rest via Boing Boing

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Judging a (Manga) Book by its Cover: Japanese Manga Book Design:

Japanese Manga Book Design: Five comics with great covers via PingMag : Art, Design, Life - from Japan

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Thoughts You Might Have As Indie Developer - by Koen Deetman:

As indie developers, we love to create games, we love to keep making them, and we want to earn enough to make a living. When you start out we have a lot of thoughts running through our minds. I would like to highlight a few of these thoughts via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Jack Churchill: Jack_Churchill_leading_training_charge_with_swordhttp://ift.tt/1m5CFYs via buzz.trendresistent.com

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Kickstarting a multilingual kids' picture book about humanism:

The Croatian Center for Civil Courage, a “feminist and free thinking organization,” is kickstarting a kids’ picture book called Humanism for Children, seeking funds to translate and publish it in English and German (it’s already in Bosnian and Croatian). The book consists of “Humanism is for everybody” (an introduction to humanism and scientific ideas) and “How to live a fulfilling life” — advice on being a “a thoughtful, jovial, rational and cheerful person” without religious stricture. £20 gets you an English copy.
Read the rest

via Boing Boing

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Local Multiplayer on 7 Platforms with 5 Revenue Models with SPiN WARS - by Thomas Bedenk:

This article will look back on our experiment of releasing our local multiplayer only game SPiN WARS on 7 platforms with 5 different revenue models, why we did it and what we learned from for our future Apps from Brightside Games. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Introduction to Unity Test Tools - by Lior Tal:

This post introduces Unity Test Tools - an official package that simplifies creation and execution of automated tests directly from the Unity editor. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Transistor - Overview video:

via Polygon - All

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Introducing Clustering II: Clustering Algorithms - by anders drachen:

Clustering is imminently useful for finding patterns in gameplay data. In this second post in the clustering series, we briefly outline several classes of algorithms and discuss the types of contexts they are useful in. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Responsive data tables:

responsive table

Alyson Hurt for NPR Visuals describes how they make responsive data tables for their articles. That is, a table might … via FlowingData

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Shelter 2 Really Wants You To Love Your Babies:

From a certain perspective, Shelter‘s badger kits were a resource one could strategically burn to skip a difficult situation. A small supply of hearts, continues, bullets, or smartbombs one shouldn’t waste but can afford to lose a few of. I’m glad Cara is in the USA right now or she’d ruddy well throttle me, and […] via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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A Big Ass MIDI Cube with Hakan Lidbo, Live at MIDI Hack Stockholm [Video, Code]:

It’s a big-ass MIDI cube. Okay, sometimes the name kind of sums up all of it. But among various wonders at MIDI Hack Day here in Stockholm this weekend, “developer/designer/entrepreneur” Per-Olov Jernberg has teamed up with artist Håkan Lidbo to bring a giant, inflatable green cube into the offices of Spotify and transform is into … Continue →

The post A Big Ass MIDI Cube with Hakan Lidbo, Live at MIDI Hack Stockholm [Video, Code] appeared first on Create Digital Music.

via Create Digital Music

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The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids: theodp writes: “‘The NSA,’ writes POLITICO’s Stephanie Simon in her eye-opening Data Mining Your Children, ‘has nothing on the ed tech startup known as Knewton. The data analytics firm has peered into the brains of more than 4 million students across the country. By monitoring every mouse click, every keystroke, every split-second hesitation as children work through digital textbooks, Knewton is able to find out not just what individual kids know, but how they think. It can tell who has trouble focusing on science before lunch — and who will struggle with fractions next Thursday.’ Simon adds, ‘Even as Congress moves to rein in the National Security Agency, private-sector data mining has galloped forward — perhaps nowhere faster than in education. Both Republicans and Democrats have embraced the practice. And the Obama administration has encouraged it, even relaxing federal privacy law to allow school districts to share student data more widely.’” Share on Google+

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Understanding an AI's Timescale: An anonymous reader writes “It’s a common trope in sci-fi that when AIs become complex enough to have some form of consciousness, humans will be able to communicate with them through speech. But the rate at which we transmit and analyze data is infinitesimal compared to how fast a computer can do it. Would they even want to bother? Jeff Atwood takes a look at how a computer’s timescale breaks down, and relates it to human timeframes. It’s interesting to note the huge variance in latency. If we consider one CPU cycle to take 1 second, then a sending a ping across the U.S. would take the equivalent of 4 years. A simple conversation could take the equivalent of thousands of years. Would any consciousness be able to deal with such a relative delay?” Share on Google+

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Data Mining Shows How Down-Voting Leads To Vicious Circle of Negative Feedback: KentuckyFC writes: “In behavioral psychology, the theory of operant conditioning is the notion that an individual’s future behavior is determined by the punishments and rewards he or she has received in the past. It means that specific patterns of behavior can be induced by punishing unwanted actions while rewarding others. While the theory is more than 80 years old, it is hard at work in the 21st century in the form of up- and down-votes — or likes and dislikes — on social networks. But does this form of reward and punishment actually deter unwanted actions while encouraging good behavior? Now a new study of the way voting influences online behavior has revealed the answer. The conclusion: negative feedback leads to behavioral changes that are hugely detrimental to the community. Not only do authors of negatively-evaluated content contribute more but their future posts are of lower quality and are perceived by the community as such. What’s more, these authors are more likely to evaluate fellow users negatively in future, creating a vicious circle of negative feedback. By contrast, positive feedback does not influence authors much at all. That’s exactly the opposite of what operant conditioning theory predicts. The researchers have a better suggestion for social networks: ‘Given that users who receive no feedback post less frequently, a potentially effective strategy could be to ignore undesired behavior and provide no feedback at all.’ Would Slashdotters agree?” Share on Google+

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Six Lessons Learned the Hard Way About Scaling a Million User System:

Ever come to a point where you feel you’ve learned enough to share your experiences in the hopes of helping others traveling the same road? That’s what Martin Kleppmann has done in an lovingly written Six things I wish we had known about scaling, an article well worth your time.

It’s not advice about scaling a Twitter, but of building a million user system, which is the sweet spot for a lot of projects. His conclusion rings true:

Building scalable systems is not all sexy roflscale fun. It’s a lot of plumbing and yak shaving. A lot of hacking together tools that really ought to exist already, but all the open source solutions out there are too bad (and yours ends up bad too, but at least it solves your particular problem).

Here’s a gloss on the six lessons (plus a bonus lesson):


via High Scalability

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Here's a 1300 Year Old Solution to Resilience - Rebuild, Rebuild, Rebuild:

How is it possible that a wooden Shinto shrine built in the 7th century is still standing? The answer depends on how you answer this philosophical head scratcher: With nearly every cell in your body continually being replaced, are you still the same person?

The Ise Grand Shrine has been in continuous existence for over 1300 years because every twenty years an exact replica has been rebuilt on an adjacent footprint. The former temple is then dismantled.

Now that’s resilience. If you want something to last make it a living part of a culture. It’s not so much the building that is remade, what is rebuilt and passed down from generation to generation is the meme that the shrine is important and worth preserving. The rest is an unfolding of that imperative.

You can see echoes of this same process in Open Source projects like Linux and the libraries and frameworks that get themselves reconstructed in each new environment.

The patterns of recurrence in software are the result of Darwinian selection process that keeps simplicity and value alive in human minds. 

A blog post on Persuing Wabi has some fabulous photos of the shrine along with a brief description of why it’s the way it is:


via High Scalability

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How Disqus Went Realtime with 165K Messages Per Second and Less than .2 Seconds Latency:

How do you add realtime functionality to a web scale application? That’s what Adam Hitchcock, a Software Engineer at Disqus talks about in an excellent talk: Making DISQUS Realtime (slides).

Disqus had to take their commenting system and add realtime capabilities to it. Not something that’s easy to do when at the time of the talk (2013) they had had just hit a billion unique visitors a month.

What Disqus developed is a realtime commenting system called “realertime” that was tested to handle 1.5 million concurrently connected users, 45,000 new connections per second, 165,000 messages/second, with less than .2 seconds latency end-to-end.

The nature of a commenting system is that it is IO bound and has a high fanout, that is a comment comes in and must be sent out to a lot of readers. It’s a problem very similar to what Twitter must solve

Disqus’ solution was quite interesting as was the path to their solution. They tried different architectures but settled on a solution built on Python, Django, Nginx Push Stream Module, and Thoonk, all unified by a flexible pipeline architecture. In the process they we are able to substantially reduce their server count and easily handle high traffic loads.

At one point in the talk Adam asks if a pipelined architecture is a good one? For Disqus messages filtering through a series of transforms is a perfect match. And it’s a very old idea. Unix System 5 has long had a Streams capability for creating flexible pipelines architectures. It’s an incredibly flexible and powerful way of organizing code.

So let’s see how Disqus evolved their realtime commenting architecture and created something both old and new in the process…


via High Scalability

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Paper: Can Programming Be Liberated From The Von Neumann Style?:

Famous computer scientist John Backus, he’s the B in BNF(Backus-Naur form) and the creator of Fortran, gave a Turing Award Lecture titled Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style?: a functional style and its algebra of programs, that has layed out a division in programming that lives long after it was published in 1977. 

It’s the now familiar argument for why functional programming is superior:

The assignment statement is the von Neumann bottleneck of programming languages and keeps us thinking in word-at-a-time terms in much the same way the computer’s bottleneck does.

The second world of conventional programming languages is the world of statements. The primary statement in that world is the assignment statement itself. All the other statements of the language exist in order to make it possible to perform a computation that must be based on this primitive construct: the assignment statement.

Here’s a response by Dijkstra A review of the 1977 Turing Award Levgure by John Backus. And here’s an interview with Dijkstra.

Great discussion on a recent Hacker News thread and an older thread. Also on Lambda the Ultimate. Nice summary of the project by David Bolton

There’s nothing I can really add to the discussion as much smarter people than me have argued this endlessly. Personally, I’m more of a biology than a math and a languages are for communicating with people sort of programmer. So the argument from formal systems have never persuaded me greatly. Doing a proof of a bubble sort in school was quite enough for me. Its applicability to real complex systems has always been in doubt.

The problem of how to best utilize distributed cores is a compelling concern. Though the assumption that parallelism has to be solved at the language level and not how we’ve done it, at the system level, is not as compelling.

It’s a passionate paper and the discussion is equally passionate. While nothing is really solved, if you haven’t deep dived into this dialogue across the generations, it’s well worth your time to do so. 


via High Scalability

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4 Architecture Issues When Scaling Web Applications: Bottlenecks, Database, CPU, IO:

This is a guest repost by Venkatesh CM at Architecture Issues Scaling Web Applications.

I will cover architecture issues that show up while scaling and performance tuning large scale web application in this blog.

Lets start by defining few terms to create common understanding and vocabulary. Later on I will go through different issues that pop-up while scaling web application like

  • Architecture bottlenecks
  • Scaling Database
  • CPU Bound Application
  • IO Bound Application

Determining optimal thread pool size of an web application will be covered in next blog.

Performance


via High Scalability

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Paper: SwiftCloud: Fault-Tolerant Geo-Replication Integrated all the Way to the Client Machine:

So how do you knit multiple datacenters and many thousands of phones and other clients into a single cooperating system?

Usually you don’t. It’s too hard. We see nascent attempts in services like Firebase and Parse. 

SwiftCloud, as described in SwiftCloud: Fault-Tolerant Geo-Replication Integrated all the Way to the Client Machine, goes two steps further, by leveraging Conflict free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs), which means “data can be replicated at multiple sites and be updated independently with the guarantee that all replicas converge to the same value. In a cloud environment, this allows a user to access the data center closer to the user, thus optimizing the latency for all users.”

While we don’t see these kind of systems just yet, they are a strong candidate for how things will work in the future, efficiently using resources at every level while supporting huge numbers of cooperating users.

Abstract:


via High Scalability

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Keynote Talks from OOP:

via Martin Fowler

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RFC 7258: Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack: An anonymous reader writes with news that the IETF has adopted a policy of designing new protocols taking into account the need to mitigate pervasive monitoring of all traffic. From the article: “…RFC 7258, also known as BCP 188 (where BCP stands for ‘Best Common Practice’); it represents Internet Engineering Task Force consensus on the fact that many powerful well-funded entities feel it is appropriate to monitor people’s use of the Net, without telling those people. The consensus is: This monitoring is an attack and designers of Internet protocols must work to mitigate it.” Share on Google+

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Storing two keyboard layouts in your brain at once: It’s possible:

I learned after my experience that people can switch on a word-by-word basis. via Ars Technica

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