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from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2010-10-10

  • In what has to be one of the most closely guarded secrets in TV history, the "couch gag" opening of tonight's episode of The Simpsons was storyboarded and directed by none other than Banksy.
  • Approaches content management with the underlying goals of simplicity and openness, so you can build anything.
    Flexible: Gives designers and developers complete control over data structures, URL schemas, and every bit of markup.
    Powerful: Puts the Web's most exciting APIs at your fingertips with an easy-to-use, XML-centric data engine.
  • CityCamp London aimed to bring together people from various sectors, have an impact on government transparency and local governance using the web, encourage open data, and inspire projects that will outlive the three days- all with a particular focus on London. The variety of content, style, venue, and people enabled the event to go a long way to achieving these objectives, and ensured that it was the most interesting and thought-provoking conference that I’ve been to (how much do people actually learn/ gain from normal conferences where they just listen to presentations…?).

    The event was attended by a variety of people, including representatives from small companies/ groups like Learning Pool, LinkedGov, and Crisis Camp; big companies such as IBM, Accenture, Microsoft and Google; and local (certainly London-based) government. It was striking, however, that there was a lack of central government people in attendance.

  • Let the pre-fab invasion begin. ZETA Communities, a Bay Area-based green building startup, created its first net-zero modular demonstration home last year. Now the company has finished a 91,000-square-foot net zero energy factory, dubbed "z-Fab," and is moving from the home market to commercial buildings. Its next job is to build three schools in California: the Davis Waldorf School, the Live Oak School District Child Development Center, and Tierra Pacifica K-8 Charter School.
  • You might think it makes more sense to balance the white in your images, given that the term we use most often is "white balance," but since we're looking for all-around color accuracy the best balancer is gray. Why? It's the average tone and it's neutral. If you're sampling the white for color balance you're just sampling the high end of the spectrum (or pure white, if your photo is overexposed). In fact, when your camera is white balancing it's (generally) looking for a neutral gray area. The use of the 18% gray card is basically to tell your camera, "look, the neutral gray is over here!"
    (tags: photography)
  • Usability testing on a budget
    Test any website, including your competitors'
    You can even test your competitors' websites. Perfect for competitor benchmarking and comparison studies.

    Test protoypes, wireframes, online applications and more. You can even test on mobile devices like the iPad or iPhone.


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