A Night Before Christmas: The Alternative Tale

An excellent alternative Christmas poetry story written by my friend Alex Hales, A Night Before Christmas: The Alternative Tale (with excellent illustrations by Stew Wright).

Makes an excellent gift, secret santa or stocking filler for suitably silly adults. Currently £2–£7, Kindle edition or paperback.


Introducing the New Firefox: Firefox Quantum

It’s fast. Really fast. Firefox Quantum is over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago, built on a completely overhauled core engine with brand new technology stolen from our advanced research group, and graced with a beautiful new look designed to get out of the way and let you do what you do best: surf a ton of pages, open a zillion tabs, all guilt free because Firefox Quantum uses less memory than the competition. Your computer will thank you.

via Introducing the New Firefox: Firefox Quantum – The Mozilla Blog

Not Every Article Needs A Picture

Adults do not need pictures to help them read. I understand that not putting photos on top of every single article might seem like a big undertaking at first, but once a few braves sites take it up, others will quickly follow suit. Putting a generic photo of a cell phone on top of an article about cell phones is insulting. To be clear: I am not an iconoclast. Including images in a story can be a nice addition; the problem is that this has now become a mandatory practice. Not every article should require a picture.

via Not every article needs a picture | The Outline

Web development explained to a time traveler from ten years ago

I’m glad that you’re still interested in computers! Today we have many more of them than we did 10 years ago, and that comes with new challenges. We wear computers on our wrists and faces, keep them in our pockets, and have them in our fridges and kettles. The cars are driving themselves pretty well, and we’ve taught programs to be better than humans at pretty much every game out there — except maybe drinking.

Crazy what can happen in 10 years.

via Web development explained to a time traveler from ten years ago

Saying Goodbye To Firebug

Firebug has been a phenomenal success. Over its 12-year lifespan, the open source tool developed a near cult following among web developers. When it came out in 2005, Firebug was the first tool to let programmers inspect, edit, and debug code right in the Firefox browser. It also let you monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page, which was a huge step forward.

Firebug caught people’s attention — and more than a million loyal fans still use it today.

So it’s sad that Firebug is now reaching end-of-life in the Firefox browser, with the release of Firefox Quantum (version 57) next month. The good news is that all the capabilities of Firebug are now present in current Firefox Developer Tools.

via Saying Goodbye to Firebug ★ Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

Firebug was a revelation when I first downloaded it around 10 years ago. Live editing and learning almost as fast what mistakes I had made. So long friend.

Facebook’s News Feed experiment panics publishers

The new feature Facebook is trying out is called Explore. It offers all sorts of stories it thinks might interest you, a separate news feed encouraging you to look further afield than just at what your friends are sharing.
Meanwhile, for most people, the standard News Feed remains the usual mixture of baby photos and posts from companies or media organisations whose pages you have liked.
Sounds fine, doesn’t it? Except that in six countries – Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia – the experiment went further.
For users there, the main News Feed was cleared of everything but the usual stuff from your friends and sponsored posts – in other words, if you wanted to have your material seen in the place most users spend their time you had to pay for the privilege.

Its quite amusing watching Fb patch one problem and cause another, trying to fix the messes of their own doing. Too late for me, I quit. Too much noise to signal and value.

If this trial rolls out, it seems like a win for the people still using Fb and Fb itself ($$$), the losers are the groups and businesses who thought the free traffic would last forever.

via Facebook’s News Feed experiment panics publishers – BBC News

Google and the Resurgence of Italian Design

Once upon a time, we had products that were colorful, in shapes that were quirky, whimsical, and expressive. Interesting! And then, almost every tech product became white, silver, gray, black, flat, square, round, and minimalist. Boring.
But there are hints that this is changing. And one of the leaders of this change is, somewhat improbably, Google.

I really like the understated-playful dash of colour on the new Pixel 2 phones.

via Google and the Resurgence of Italian Design – prototypr