James Adam by James Adam

Monday Links - Week 221

Pry open your eyes with matchsticks and let the interesting flow straight into your brain.

Stop working (so hard)

“Nowadays, I’m working 4-day weeks, and doing no more than an hour or two of intense work at a time. I take a lot of walks. I’ve lost weight. I’m happier. My wife is happier. I’m more present.” I know this is going to resonate with a lot of people (I’m not looking at anyone in particular, Chris) but it’s not about just taking things easy and worrying less.

The important point here, which is all too easy to miss, is the definition of concrete boundaries (in the authors case, some number of hours of work per week that’s under 35). Picking a specific goal and then sticking to it – or, in otherwords, wholeheartedly adopting a constraint – can be liberating. JA

Making a physical product

I’ve never heard of the game but I appreciate the level of transparency that the creator is displaying in detailing the breakdown of costs per game. CR

Being Google

Interesting article by Tim Bray, someone I respect from afar, about his experiences at Google.

I really like this quote, “Code reviews are way fiercer. The world doesn’t see this process but is in its debt”. CR

Teehan+Lax Site

There’s so much to love about the way this site is designed, it’s hard to know where to start. Great, bold, image-rich pages, thoughtfully-presented and often interactive information about their projects (and a focus on the challenges and approaches, rather than a by-the-numbers “this is what we did”), and lots of great little touches too, like hiding the site navigation unless you scroll up a little bit, at which point it slides back in from the top. (And, unsurprisingly, I also found reading about the history of how they built their company very interesting.) JA

Are Customers Addicted to Handset Subsidies?

I was pleasantly surprised to read this piece questioning phone subsidies on the O2 labs blog. While it may “only” be on the Labs blog, I can’t imagine this sort of public questioning by O2 employees just a few years ago. CR

Q&A: James Finn, Director of Communications Product Design, Telefonica Digital

Speaking of O2, I’ve been intrigued by TU Go since the proof of concept, O2 Connect, was being worked on while we were working on #blue. It’s the sort of service that would entice me to switch providers and something that I’ve wanted for a long while. CR

subvim - Vim customized to be like SublimeText

I’m making a concerted effort to use vim as my text & code editor at the moment - mainly to make it easier to do remote pairing - but Tom & James A use SublimeText, so I’m interested in seeing whether this vim configuration might give me the best of both worlds. JM

A response to replies I received on my post “An Open Challenge to App.net”

This is a good follow-up post to An Open Challenge to App.net.

It’s analogous to email. Can you imagine if you needed to create a Gmail account in order to send an email to someone else’s Gmail address? Conversations across the web should work like conversations across email. I use my existing email address to join any email conversation. I want to use my existing website to join any web conversation.

That paragraph, in particular, struck a chord with me. CR

Stop externalising your life

This pretty much sums up how I imagine most people are using services to share their experiences.

I love this quote, “You’re just a prism that takes bits of light and sound and channels them into The Cloud, to be stored with all the other bits of light and sound from everyone else. You become nothing more than the thumb operating your smartphone.” CR

Game of Life in APL

You’re probably familiar with Conway’s Game of Life (and if not, here’s a video of some examples). I am often amazed at the complexity and sophistication of the systems it’s possible to create using such a simple set of rules (see towards the end of that video for what I mean), but in the case of the video below, I’m amazed by the implementation of those rules.

I don’t know anything about APL, so to me pretty much everything the narrator is saying sounds like one layer of incantations layered upon the previous one. It still feels incredible though. JA

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