Silicon valley is more Flintstones than Jetsons when it comes to women

Silicon Valley elites like to think they’re miles ahead of the rest of the world. But when it comes to openness toward women, they are as behind as everyone else. “We are going backwards in a field that is meant to be all about moving forward”, Hillary Clinton told Silicon Valley in a speech this week. I almost jumped out my chair with joy. They needed to be given that message loud and clear.

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Wolf Hall

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell. A study in reserved acting. If this man isn’t showered in awards in the next few months, there’ll be more heads rolling.

I’d like to write a review of the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall that is as masterly as the series itself, but I don’t think it’s possible. So I’ll just say this: if you haven’t seen it, order the DVD now.

It is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV. There was some criticism from viewers that “nothing happened”. But it did. Over six episodes some of the most important moments in British history happened. But so sparingly, it made you realise that events don’t always happen accompanied by musical stings and contrived cliffhangers. One minute you’re crowning a new queen, and before you know it…

That’s how history happens.

Now my Wednesdays are empty. I’d pay my license fee twice over for more. In fact, when MPs next debate whether to scrap the license fee they should just send Mark Rylance round to sit silently in the committee to remind them what it makes possible.

A quick note to the BBC: more of this please, but you have to stop your continuity announcers talking over the end titles. It ruined the atmosphere every damned week. To the Tower…

A brief history of user experience design

Image from Henry Dreyfuss's classic text
Henry Dreyfuss’s classic text “Designing for People.”

A good primer on user experience design here by Ali Rushdan Tariq:

Think about the last time you ate at a restaurant. What cuisine did it serve?

What made you to choose that particular restaurant? What was your first impression as you walked in? Were you asked to wait till you were ushered to an available seat? How was the menu arranged? Did food come quickly enough? How did it taste? How was the customer service? Did your squaring up go smoothly? Would you go back again?

Your answers to these questions, including all the emotional highs and lows, encompass the restaurant’s user experience (UX).

[…]

Today, UX has grown into an important design discipline that continues to grow and evolve. And while it’s fairly new, its multidisciplinary history can be traced all the way back to the Renaissance—if not earlier.

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3D-printed cities: is this the future?

WinSun’s 3D-printed building in Suzhou industrial park. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

The words “we print architecture’s future” adorn the wall of a showroom on the outskirts of Suzhou, a rapidly urbanising city in eastern China. Arranged around the room are samples of odd-looking concrete wall of varying thickness. Outside, across the car park of this otherwise unremarkable industrial estate, is a grand, neoclassical mansion that recently became a global internet sensation . It is the world’s first 3D-printed villa.

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First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims

I think I’d want to approve the body first. The one I’ve got was no prize draw.

A surgeon says full-body transplants could become a reality in just two years. Sergio Canavero, a doctor in Turin, Italy, has drawn up plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body and claims the procedures needed to carry out the operation are not far off.

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Apple adds racially diverse emoji, and they come in five skin shades

Complaints about the lack of racial diversity in the emoji characters impelled the Unicode Consortium, an industry body devoted to developing software standards, to add skin tone options. The tones are modelled on the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognised standard used by dermatologists.

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