Google is Your Menu

Last week, some of us finally made, a search engine as your interface to the UK government. Have a go, it’s actually quite useful. It’s a bit of an in-joke, but makes a simple point well; these days everyone finds everything by Google. Normal people don’t go to fat, carefully crafted “web portals” like […]

How many people will you influence this afternoon?

There’s one strange thing which makes the job of writing software quite unlike any other sort of artisan. You can finely craft something just once, yet thousands, even millions of people end up using it. Four years ago, I spent maybe ten evenings making the first version of a useful tool that I wanted myself. […]

Last Two Days at Burning Man

(Third and final part of a series. It’ll make more sense if you read First Two Days at Burning Man and Middle Two Days at Burning Man first. And What is Burning Man? if it’s still puzzling. The photo to the right is of the polyps I found in the desert on Friday. The photo […]

mySociety Job

The charity that I work for (“shadowy social-software funders mySociety” as we were described in NTK) are hiring. We’re looking for someone to make all the websites we’re building as easy to use as possible, as well as look good. Or as the job advert says, “Strong PHP experience” and “Fanatical obsession with usability”. Please […]

Middle Two Days at Burning Man

(This is a continuation of my earlier post First Two Days at Burning Man. The shoddy photo to the right is of illumination village where we stayed, our camp is just behind the big yellow shade structure at the front left. The thing on the right is the pink pleasure palace.) Thursday Ice run with […]

Your and my society

The last week or two I’ve started working for mySociety, a new charity which builds websites which are civically useful. We’ve got funding indirectly from ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) to build five interesting projects. First up is Fax Your Representative (working title) which is an updated version of FaxYourMP. You enter your […]

First Two Days at Burning Man

It’s hard to give a good feel for what Burning Man was like, since so much happens so quickly. Every line below is just a passing incident. Yet if it happened to you on a normal day, it’d be worth ringing up your best friend to tell them about it. Each morning, after breakfast, I […]

Californian Cities

I’m back in San Francisco after a road trip all the way down to San Diego. I’m flying back to Europe later today, so it’s time to post some impressions of America. California is itself quite diverse, and no doubt the rest of the US is even more so. When I arrived here, I was […]

What is Burning Man?

It’s clearly an arts festival. Crazy large scale modern art, sitting on the beautiful stark canvas of the Nevada desert. Grant funded mechanical theatre. On the first evening, we were taken to these twenty-odd sculpted divers hanging from a mechanical wheel (photo right). James and I raced round to the powering cycles on the other […]

Land of the Free

Tomorrow I’m going to the US for the first time. I’ve saved it up, mainly because I’ve been more interested in going to countries which contrast more with my own. Many who have been tell me I’ll be unnerved, confused, by American culture. Shocked. But somehow I can’t quite believe them, I expect it to […]