Updating @datahole

Datahole's Twitter avatar Datahole is a Twitter account I have been ‘maintaining’ for over four years. In practice I’ve simply been letting it run itself.

It takes RSS feeds from Ars Technica, Wired, The Guardian and Bruce Schneier‘s blog and looks for stories containing words like ‘leak’, ‘phishing’ and ‘password’.

Then it adds in unfiltered posts from The Register’s security news and The Open Rights Group.

Last night I updated the look and feel of the account with a new avatar, header and background image. Besides these cosmetic tweaks I added two feeds from the blog of security expert Brian Krebs, specifically his categories ‘latest warnings’ and ‘the coming storm’.

How? And why? →

Liberal

Quote

If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
John F. Kennedy accepting the NY Liberal Party Nomination, 1960

The adoption of the word ‘liberal’ as an insult in right-wing American politics is something I’ve never understood.

Obscure and invented punctuation marks

Andorpersand

An andorpersand

There’s something fascinating to me about obscure punctuation marks. I think it’s that I have great sympathy for smart people who attempt to solve problems that regular people don’t really care about.

Flavorwire recently posted a roundup of interesting real punctuation marks (an article that seems to have been cribbed from an older mental_floss post actually). Most of these are the creations of Hervé Bazin who proposed new exclamation and question mark variations to signify acclamation, certainty, doubt, love and others.

Hervé Bazin's punctuation marks

Hervé Bazin’s proposed punctuation marks for acclamation, certainty, doubt and love

On the lighter side, College Humor has recently invented eight new punctuation marks (that it thinks) we desperately need.

Mockwotation marks

Mockwotation marks

The mockwotation marks are my absolute favourites. I would do away with the actual quotation mark elements and just keep the wavy hands.

Similarly, I wonder if there could be a fun use for an air quotes / scare quotes punctuation mark? I would use them to distance myself from some awful turn of phrase by indicating that it’s not something I would usually say.

Air quote punctuation marks

More punctuation fun →

As one Posterous closes, another Posthaven opens

posterous In news that must have surprised no-one, Posterous has announced that it will be turning off the lights in a few months.

On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.

Now two of the original co-founders of Posterous — Garry Tan and Brett Gibson — are soon going to launch a new blogging platform called Posthaven that pledges never to be acquired and to be a home for your blog that will last forever.

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Ideas for Minecraft

Skeleton skull For me one of the big appeals of Minecraft is imagining what features I’d like to see added to the game.

The Minecraft developers are actually surprisingly receptive to ideas from the community, often incorporating suggestions and making alterations to the game based on player feedback. And if an idea isn’t really suitable for the game but is very cool anyway, there’s always the thriving modding community to make it a reality.

Personally though, I just like the thought exercise. My outlet for these ideas has been the Minecraft Suggestions subreddit. I recently realised that I had contributed many more suggestions than I realised over there, so I thought I would compile (most of) them here.

Be warned: This post is geeky, even by the standards of this blog!

‘Brain Bats’ this way →

Discourse: The WordPress of forum software

Discourse logo Discourse is a new discussion platform (ie: forum software) from Jeff Atwood, Robin Ward and a host of other smart people who have founded a new company together. As Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc they intend to create ‘the WordPress of forum software’.

Discourse is a product that is badly needed. Most forum software in use today is showing its age1, but forums themselves are still going strong.

Forums are the dark matter of the web, the B-movies of the Internet. But they matter. To this day I regularly get excellent search results on forum pages for stuff I’m interested in. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t end up on some forum, somewhere, looking for some obscure bit of information. And more often than not, I find it there.
Civilized Discourse Construction Kit – codinghorror.com

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