Invention

Charles Babbage, one of the father of computers, once wrote: I will yet venture to predict that a time will arrive, when the accumulating labour which arises from the arithmetical applications of mathematical formulae, acting as a constantly retarding force, shall ultimately impede the useful progress of the science, unless this or some equivalent method is devised for relieving it from the overwhelming incumbrance of numerical detail. He meant that one day his computer -- at that time seen as a costly and useless device -- would be not just useful but required to make further economic progress. He was right in all but one respect: he thought that day was in the future. In fact, he was already living in it. Scientific and economic progress have always been limited by the available computational power -- but until quite recently, the level of power available never changed, so the limit was imperceptible. Now that computing power routinely grows by orders of magnitude, it is easier for us to grasp the...
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Five little problems with Twitter's UI

Okay Twitter, it's time you stopped getting a free pass. You have fucked up your interface, and it's time to fix it. Before we get to the UI problems, let's reiterate the bigger, older problem, captured just a second ago: This was cute when you were tiny and still getting over early technical mistakes on the back-end, but you're over that now, you've taken over a billion dollars in funding, you are basically CNN's only news source at this point. You can't be throwing 500s anymore, no matter how cute the whale is. But your problems go much deeper now: even when it renders, your actual user interface is significantly less useful and elegant. Allow me to rant briefly about a few issues. While I'm waiting for the whale to go away so I can take screencaps, here's a shot of the old-old Twitter (via): Problem 1: right-column layout The new layout puts tweets down the right, and a mish-mash of useless junk down the left. I know why you did this: you needed to increase the amount of attention paid to...
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