An ever-connected generation is going asset-light

Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 0 Comments

Who said it and when? “The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That’s over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it’s going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade.” […]

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Kimberly Anne within the iframe

Saturday, 1 December, 2012 0 Comments

Without getting too technical here, it has to be said that the WordPress blogging platform which powers Rainy Day is a thing of wonder for it combines computer code with that most redeeming human trait: sharing. This is manifested in the proliferation of “plugins”, those nifty community-created software components that enhance the whole. A case in point is iframe, an elegant plugin that makes embedding clips from Vimeo such a snap. That said, let’s now enjoy “Bury It There” by the South London singer-songwriter Kimberly Anne.

[iframe src=”″ width=”100%” height=”480″]

Plan 28 is now accepting donations to build a computer

Monday, 29 October, 2012 0 Comments

An extraordinary 10-year project named Plan 28 to build the world’s first “computer” is now accepting donations via the JustGiving crowdfunding site. It will cost £250,000 to build the steam-powered Analytical Engine designed by Charles Babbage in the mid-19th century. The project, by the way, takes its name from “Plan 28” after the most comprehensive […]

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A web aesthetic that reduces to plain text

Monday, 1 October, 2012 0 Comments

The Brighton-based interaction designer Paul Robert Lloyd is less than pleased with the current state of play and he makes his feelings known for A List Apart in The Web Aesthetic. One of Lloyd’s guiding principles is “progressive enhancement” and he expands upon the technique with the example of the BBC News mobile site. Snippet: […]

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The UI, UX and DQ of #London2012

Monday, 30 July, 2012

A great event demands great respect and that’s what the great Dane, Jakob Nielsen, brought to the table before writing his latest column, “Official Olympic Website: UI Silver — but UX DQ“. The godfather of website usability applies his trained eye to the official site for the 2012 London games and gives Lord Coe & […]

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The smartphone is the fastest spreading technology in history

Tuesday, 10 July, 2012

“Although devices combining telephony and computing were conceptualized as early as 1973 and were offered for sale beginning in 1994, the term ‘smartphone’ did not appear until 1997, when Ericsson described its GS 88 ‘Penelope’ concept as a “Smart Phone”. Source: Wikipedia

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Taking the Microsoft Surface Tablet apart

Monday, 25 June, 2012

Danny Sullivan is devastatingly dismissive of the Redmond presentation in “Hands-Off: Microsoft Surface Tablet Review“: “Nice trick? No, you know what’s a nice trick? Bringing out devices that no one can actually use. I know they work. I could see that one of the Microsoft guys was all logged into his. But why not let […]

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Now: crowdsourcing crowds

Monday, 28 May, 2012

Launched last week, the Now iPhone app detects hot events taking place in four major cities: New York, Paris, London and San Francisco. Other metropolises will follow, no doubt. Berlin, Sydney and Vancouver are three on the Rainy Day list. The nifty thing is that the app rates “hotness” by analyzing the number of photos […]

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The May Day Firewall of China

Tuesday, 1 May, 2012

In mid-April, China’s “great firewall” system that blocks blacklisted foreign websites temporarily blocked all foreign websites. This was followed by an increase in website-blocking across the country. Then came the news that posts by weibo users with more than 10,000 followers will be individually vetted, and it is said that Beijing is also pushing the […]

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The (copy) code of the Samwer brothers

Wednesday, 7 March, 2012

It’s Code Year, and 408,000 enthusiastic, idealistic people, Rainy Day included, have signed up to learn about Object-Oriented Programming and other computing esoterica. The goal is digital literacy as opposed to slavishly following the commands of those who are creating the technologies that increasingly govern our lives. But what if this idealism is misplaced? Might […]

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Big Data, Big Bucks

Monday, 13 February, 2012

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, data was declared a new class of economic asset, like currency or gold, during the presentation of a report titled “Big Data, Big Impact“. Here’s the Executive Summary:

“A flood of data is created every day by the interactions of billions of people using computers, GPS devices, cell phones, and medical devices. Many of these interactions occur through the use of mobile devices being used by people in the developing world, people whose needs and habits have been poorly understood until now. Researchers and policymakers are beginning to realise the potential for channelling these torrents of data into actionable information that can be used to identify needs, provide services, and predict and prevent crises for the benefit of low-income populations. Concerted action is needed by governments, development organisations, and companies to ensure that this data helps the individuals and the communities who create it.”

Those fine aspirations aside, the reality is that it’s the indefatigable masters of data harvesting, Google and Facebook, who will benefit most from purse seineing the web. Big bucks beckon for these Big Data behemots.