links for 2009-08-01

  • The central idea behind UCD is that designers create experiences based on a rich and nuanced understanding of observed and implied user needs over time. UCD grew out of a functional, usability-oriented philosophy that began in the workplace, but it has since expanded beyond the purely functional to take into account many dimensions of the user’s experience, including emotional needs and motivations
  • As a systems-thinking, ridiculously rational INTP, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to, “Stop overthinking!” After all, rational thinking isn’t naturally associated with creativity. I admittedly find it difficult to act on creative whim, preferring designs that are the logical outputs of a rational thought-process. To me, a “beautiful” design is one that is logically coherent and rich with meaning.
  • Researchers working in Japan say they might have the breakthrough archivists are praying for – a sealed permanent memory bank that will be easily readable now and far into the next millennium.
  • For the past 40 years, the whole of modern electronics – not just computers, but games consoles, mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, personal video recorders and so on – has been driven by Moore’s law: the observation in 1965 by Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore that manufacturers can put roughly twice as many transistors on a chip every two years. This has produced a stream of smaller, faster and cheaper chips, advancing at an exponential rate. But Moore’s law could soon come to an end. And not because, as frequently predicted, we’ve run into insurmountable technical problems – but because chip factories cost too much to build.
  • As more of us live more of our lives in digital contexts, it seems plausible that immaterialism will become more common. Consuming things made of bits might sound weird, but actually it offers a lot of the same attractions that make people consume things made of atoms.
  • Scientists may be closer to understanding how to grow replacement bones with stem cell technology. Many scientists are trying to create bone-like materials derived from stem cells to implant into patients who have damaged or fractured bones or who have had parts of diseased bones removed. The idea is that, ultimately, these bone-like materials could be inserted into cavities so that real bone could meld with it and repair the bone.
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