— aleatory


I thought I knew what typography was about before. I mean, I never claimed to understand the need to appear obsessed over it. But in general, yeah sure, some types are easier to read than others. Some have a character of their own. Don’t choose comic sans. And a few other heuristics that steered you in a generally correct direction.

However as someone who takes a pretty guerilla approach to the matter I’ve never been exposed to anything approaching the Zeitgeist of typographic design.

Read More

The theoretical physicist Geoffrey West criticised existing accepted thought in urban theory before coming up with a set of constants that defined the relationship between city size and the output of it’s citizens (Each time a city doubles in size it’s per capita innovation, income, etc increases by 15% – and likewise the negative social actions of crime, pollution…). Previously he found a similar efficiency in biology where the larger an organism was the less energy per unit mass it required to go about it’s life.

It’s this track record in reducing a problem domain to a simple set of rules & constraints that is so impressive. The way in which theoretical physics practitioners go about solving for x – the sense of minimalism that drives the crunching of gigs of data and seemingly chaotic environment into understandable, predictable systems. It’s raw data visualisation in it’s purest form.

And then we have the humble infographic.

Read More

and yes, I know it’s just Budweiser.

Read More

bit.flow image courtesy Marc Wathieu

A grand title, considering the relatively niche aspect of government communications that piqued my interest in the subject. But it’s something that should perhaps be given much greater emphasis as society increasingly interacts with the state online.

Read More

Often wondered how the iphone safari browser renders pages and found out sometimes the zoom settings means visitors can miss important pieces of information around page edges.

Read More

10 years in the city I decided it was time to have a look around me. The Belfast Festival at Queen’s is quite high profile in the media but outside of the fanfair I knew little of the content. Turns out they put on a pretty electic show. I went for the Bateman play National Anthem, a Floodlit Belfast photo opportunity, a discussion about Carson, retro gaming exhibition and book talks from both Keith Jeffery on MI6 & Lord Ashdown.

Read More


Behavioural advertising involves the tracking of a web user’s surfing and displaying advertising that matches this data. I find the tracking of my surf history unnecessarily obtrusive personally and today found the online tool that will prevent marketing companies from collecting this data and profiting from it:

http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp

Incidentally I came by this information by way of Rapleaf,

Read More

I had initially hoped to keep my Big Society posts on the positive end of the political spectrum. Unfortunately there is a wide dearth between it’s high ideals and the complete and utter self-absorption espoused by vast swathes of the media and public at large. This is a post about why this self-absorption is wrong and who is at fault.

Read More

PDF won’t open in browser (Firefox/IE/Chrome) after updating to latest Adobe Reader 9? You just need to accept the End User Licence Agreement in the standalone version of Reader first.

Open up Adobe Reader 9 and click Accept. That’s it – you can close it and get back to using it in your browser from now on…

Read More

Wall St: Money Never Sleeps

Money never sleeps. A somewhat dramatic title but kudos for attempting to convey images of horror in a finance movie. The sequel to the 1987 outing that immediately turned into a cult hit with the very people it sought to ridicule has made a comeback to presumably add further quotes to the repertoire of trading desks around the world.

I watch relatively little film but occasionally find a reason to catch one that strikes a cord – the Hollywood interpretation of who needs scapegoating over the past four years seemed as good as any.

Read More