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links for 2009-11-29

  • The online resource for sustainability in the Learning and Skills sector. What is 'sustainability'?
    Want to embed sustainable development in your curriculum? These new Sustainable Development Curriculum Guides are here to help 'Embedding Sustainable Development in the Curriculum' is aimed at staff within learning institutions and provides information on how to embed sustainability into what and how they teach.

    'Creating the Conditions for Embedding Sustainable Development in the Curriculum', provides guidance for senior managers on how they can support the embedding of sustainability within the curriculum.

  • From small local agencies to sprawling federal departments, governments across the country are using the web to make more information available to citizens. Activists and software companies envision a new era of government accountability. But they're grappling with a range of technical and philosophical obstacles. Tech Tuesday explores the roles and responsibilities of governments, software developers and activists.
  • Serious information used to be relayed in words, graphs and charts – pictures were just pretty window dressing. That's all changing, says David McCandless.

    E-mails. News. Facebook. Wikipedia. Do you ever feel there's just too much information? Do you struggle to keep up with important issues, subject and ideas? Are you drowning in data?

    In this age of information overload, a new solution is emerging that could help us cope with the oceans of data surrounding and swamping us. It's called information visualisation.

  • If there's anything good that has come out of the financial crisis it's the slew of high-quality graphics to help us understand what's going on. Some visualizations attempt to explain it all while others focus on affected business. Others concentrate on how we, as citizens are affected. Some show those who are responsible. After you examine these 27 visualizations and infographics, no doubt you'll have a pretty good idea about what's going on.

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links for 2009-11-28

  • In a recent blog, No More "Social" Media: It's Knowledge Media, Andy Krzmarzick proposed to change the name Social Media into Knowledge Media. In a following post, Gov 2.0 moves beyond ’social media’ — and why it’s more than semantics, Chris Dorobek wrote: “But the term “social media” is, in fact, dangerous because it gives people the opportunity to discount there very powerful tools with a broad brush… At the end, the power of these tools comes from their inherent ability to enable information sharing and collaboration, not from the social aspects”.

    These are valid suggestions and concerns. I have, however, some thoughts about the effects of terms we choose to describe things and I would like to suggest an alternative.

  • Loving WordPress is SO easy! You got thousands of great looking blogs, custom themes, free themes, premium themes and designers go beyond that by using WordPress as CMS for their non-blog projects. A while back I showed you 10 non-blog websites powered by WordPress, and now it’s time to take a look at 10 more!
  • The Design Need: You have an interesting article and want to give it a suitable title and advertise a link to the article somewhere else.
  • Snap quiz: Who won the 2009 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize? The fact that somebody might actually know the answer to such a question represents a real achievement for Canadian writers and publishers, who habitually fret that an image-addled world has forgotten them. Douglas Coupland would call it a “syzygy,” which is what happens when three celestial bodies line up to make an argument. Bettors would call it a “Triple Crown.” The effect is similar: Awarding three national literary prizes on consecutive Tuesdays every November has added new dimensions of drama to what was formerly a one-night coronation.

    The answer to the question above is Annabel Lyon, author of The Golden Mean, who dominated literary buzz and fall sales before the coveted Giller, which she lost to Linden MacIntyre. Her distinction lay in earning nominations for all three – the Giller, the Governor-General's and Writers' Trust awards – and the drama was her failure to win one until this week.

  • Google Wave, the search giant’s latest experiment in post-email communications, is hardly out the gate, with some of the first 100,000 private beta testers still waiting for their invites. (I just finally got mine today, two weeks after launch). But Google Wave already has a few secrets. The one that surprised me is that even though not that many people can use it yet, Google Wave already works on the iPhone.

    There are two ways to get Google Wave to work on your iPhone. The first way is to simply go to wave.google.com in mobile Safari on your iPhone. It warns you that you are not using a browser supported during the preview, but if you click through, it works pretty well. The site has obviously been optimized for Webkit-based browsers like the one on the iPhone and Google’s own Android phones (I tried it on Android, and it works there as well). You can select different conversation “waves” (or threads) and contacts, or dive into a specific wave.

  • The first thing that you should focus on is improving your ability to write clean, unambiguous, maintainable code. The following books should greatly help you with that:

    1. Test-Driven Development (Kent Beck)
    2. Refactoring (Martin Fowler)
    3. Implementation Patterns (Kent Beck)
    4. Code Complete: 2nd Edition (Steve McConnell)
    5. Working Effectively With Legacy Code (Michael Feathers)
    6. Clean Code (Robert C. Martin)

  • Photography often plays a major role in web design. So It’s no surprise that many web designers have an interest in it. However, there are so many aspects to photography such as lighting, composition, and equipment features that can make it difficult to master. In this article I’ve rounded up 10 of the best blogs that consistently produce valuable tips and resources to help you with your photography.
  • Designers have traditionally focused on enhancing the look and functionality of products. Recently, they have begun using design tools to tackle more complex problems, such as finding ways to provide low-cost healthcare throughout the world. Businesses were first to embrace this new approach—called design thinking—now nonprofits are beginning to adopt it too.
  • When it comes to security on the Mac, most of the people giving advice want to sell you something. Well, unclench for a few minutes to read this quick, painless and absolutely free guide to making your Mac more secure right now.
  • The publication is a lay-person’s guide on the issues related to predicting photographic print permanence. It applies to both traditional and digitally printed images. The problem to date has been a lack of accurate and coherent information on the subject by independent experts. Most information has been published either by the material manufacturers themselves or by the popular press in a sometimes over-simplified manner. The intended audience for this guide is the home imaging consumer, though others concerned with the care of photographic prints—retailers, wholesalers, pro-labs, and advanced amateurs or “pro-sumers”—will also benefit.

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links for 2009-11-27

  • Google Wave is a hot topic at the moment. The ambitious group collaboration and micro-messaging platform started rolling out in beta via an initial batch of 100,000 invitations two months ago. Many people still want invitations. Among those who’ve tried it, some criticize it, some praise it. For now it has a lot of usability problems that are described below. Yes, you should look at Google Wave. But there is no need to desperately long for an invitation yet.

    Nevertheless, this post outlines how you’ll probably use Google Wave in the future and also gives you advice on how to implement it in your company or your team of coworkers. It also reveals some big usability problems in the current version.

  • Launching a new website can be an intense experience. Preparing yourself for the launch and making sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row will ensure that your launch is successful. Today, I want to discuss with you ten things you must do before a new site launch.

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links for 2009-11-26

  • Has spam comments, caution
  • One of the most important aspects of running a freelance business is getting and staying organized. Most freelancers wear so many different hats and have such a wide variety of responsibilities that organization will be one of the critical factors in determining what percentage of working time can be dedicated to income-generating activities.

    Organization is key to achieving optimal productivity and efficiency, which of course are important for any freelancer who wants to earn a living without working ridiculous hours. In the life and work of a freelance designer there are many different aspects that must be well organized. In this article we’ll take a look at a number of different ways that freelancers need to be organized, and I’ll point out some helpful resources along the way.

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links for 2009-11-25

  • This is part six of A Beginner’s Guide To WordPress – in part five I touched on some of the different concepts that are associated with WordPress sites – one of those was themes.

    There is such a wide choice of themes around now that it can be difficult to make a decision about which is the best one to go for. In this post I cover seven things that you should consider when choosing a new theme for your site.
    Free and Premium Themes

    Before covering the main points, it’s worth providing some background information. There are typically two types of WordPress themes – ones that are free and ones that you pay for (i.e. Premium themes). Premium themes are generally better designed, look nicer, and have a wider range of functions that you can make use of. However, there are also lots of good quality free themes that you can download and start using straight away.

  • The mission of this site is to provide photographers with information and inspiration that will help improve their skills and inspire to create more interesting photography. I have listed 10 other sites that I have found to also be very helpful. They contain tons of information that will get you on the right path and help you take your photography to the next level.

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links for 2009-11-24

  • Search, Status Cheat Sheet
    This is a quick guide to the operators and restricts supported by wave search.
    Keywords
    about:[keyword] — finds waves which have [keyword] occurring anywhere. Same as [keyword].
    title:[keyword] — finds waves which have [keyword] in the title.
    caption:[keyword] — finds waves which have an attachment where [keyword] occurs in the caption.
  • LIVING IN STREAMS In his seminal pop-book, Csikszentmihalyi argued that people are happiest when they can reach a state of "flow." He talks about performers and athletes who are in the height of their profession, the experience they feel as time passes by and everything just clicks. People reach a state where attention appears focused and, simultaneously, not in need of focus at the same time. The world is aligned and it just feels right.
  • It’s okay to write a bad paragraph, but publishing one will only endanger your bond with your readers. Before showing your writing to anyone, you should always go back through and check your paragraphs to make sure they are in tip-top shape.

    Here are some questions to guide you:
    1. Does it pass the Guy Kawasaki test?

  • It’s the best time to take a look back at the best of the best things that happened this year. A number of green competitions were held this year and a number of entries managed to make an impression. Designers and companies from around the world came up with some really innovative and eco-friendly ideas, concepts and products. Here we bring to you the winners from the best green competitions held in 2009.
    (tags: green design)
  • It's prediction season again and we've pulled together our best prognostications for the 2010 social media season.
  • I'm on the board of CommonCrawl.Org, a nonprofit corporation that is attempting to provide a web crawl for use by all. An interesting report just got sent to us about the use of robots.txt files within the .Gov Top Level Domain, a standard known as the Robots Exclusion Standard.

    In examining about 32,000 subdomains in .gov, it turns at least 1,188 of these have a robots.txt file with a "global disallow," meaning robots are excluded from indexing this content. Even more curious, on 175 of these sites, while there is a global disallow, there is a specific bypass that allows the Googlebot to index the data. You can look at the raw data on Factual.

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links for 2009-11-23

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links for 2009-11-22

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links for 2009-11-21

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links for 2009-11-20

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