Untidy beds may keep us healthy - BBC

Failing to make your bed in the morning may actually help keep you healthy, scientists believe. Research suggests that while an unmade bed may look scruffy it is also unappealing to house dust mites thought to cause asthma and other allergies.

Dunning–Kruger Effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which “people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.” The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than in actuality; by contrast, the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.

"In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

Bertrand Russel

How to convert email addresses into name, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation

Save your email list as a CSV file (just comma separate those email addresses). Upload this file to your facebook account as if you wanted to add them as friends. Voila, facebook will give you all the profiles of all those users (in my test, about 80% of my email lists have facebook profiles). Now, click through each profile, and because of the new default facebook settings, which makes all information public, about 95% of the user info is available for you to harvest.

May 2

Install Wordpress in SVN using svn:externals

Note: This post requires working knowledge of SVN


  • Keep a complete Wordpress install in your SVN
  • Have the Wordpress core files checked out from their SVN
  • Have as many plugins as possible checked out from their SVN
  • Still provide versioning of your custom themes/plugins

Other Methods

  • Copying/exporting the Wordpress files into your SVN
    • Upgrading requires manually copying all the files over again
  • Checkout a copy of Wordpress
    • Directory will be a working copy of their SVN, any changes you make can’t be versioned in your SVN


  • Easy updates, change one line and run a command to download all the changes from a new version
  • Allows you to keep your own themes or plugins in your SVN
  • Easy to copy the same Wordpress install on multiple computers
  • If you need to hack core Wordpress/plugin files, any new changes from new versions will be merged, or provide you with an opportunity to resolve any conflicts.
    • Note that changes to these files cannot be committed to your SVN, however this should encourage you to not hack core files

Read More


StakeVentures has a good article on the new XAuth stardard/service

The problem that this aims to fix is really a UI one, not a security one. If you know the user already uses Google accounts and Meebo, there is no need to over clutter your user interface with login buttons to 40 different social networks.

The article includes some sample code for both parties, and a key criticism:

I find probably the biggest issue with XAuth is the choice of name. XAuth is not an authentication protocol. I would call it a discovery protocol. It has more in common with WebFinger (again in a complimentary way) than with authentication protocols like OpenID and OAuth.

I also think the choice of Extenders and Retrievers is confusing. I think using Provider and Client would be clearer. Lets not invent more terminology if it isn’t necessary.

HTML5 presentation

Demo of upcoming HTML5/CSS3 features written with HTML5. Best viewed in Chrome.

Snacksquare: A Foursquare Directory Of Deals And Venues

Select a city and it shows you all the venues currently offering deals on a Google map, as well as by badge.


The perfect iPad stand - you probably have one already.


The perfect iPad stand - you probably have one already.

“Simplifying the interface of the terminal would not be accepted by most users because, as ethnographic studies show, they take pride on manipulating Bloomberg’s current “complex” interface. The pain inflicted by blatant UI flaws such as black background color and yellow and orange text is strangely transformed into the rewarding experience of feeling and looking like a hard-core professional.”

UX Magazine: The Impossible Bloomberg Makeover (via Tanya Rabourn)

A great example of a case where listening to users will not produce the most usable design. We ran into the same phenomenon when I worked on Soundtrack Pro. In many cases we wanted to reinvent how particular audio editings tasks were done, but found editors resistant to anything other than the clunky old Pro Tools ways of doing things.


An easy way to find out when everyone is free for your next meeting or event. Click the grid for all the times that are good for you - you get a link to email to your invitees. They see your proposed times and click on when they are free. You visit your results page and see when everyone can do.

Canon to begin acquisition of the ".canon" Top-Level Domain name

Jenga Interview

Where I work, we do our best to weed out the unhappy and cynical employees before they even get hired. Coworkers who are constantly cynical and unhappy are absolutely terrible for morale, and we do whatever we can to avoid it both before and after hiring.

After each candidate goes through his/her well-rehearsed and pre-meditated interviews with HR and management, the entire engineering team (small company) comes into the room, closes the door, and starts a game of Jenga like it’s no big deal. Meanwhile, we strike up a casual conversation with the candidate and insist s/he play with us.

Without fail, the candidates true colors are almost immediately revealed. Candidate scoffs at the idea of playing a game in an interview? Obviously too uptight for our group and not capable of handling rapidly changing situations. Focusing on Jenga also takes the candidate’s mind off of all of the pre-meditated answers and pages of ‘interview tips’ articles that we’ve all read at one point or another. The trick is to treat the game of Jenga like it’s serious business so the candidate follows suit and forgets about the formalities of the interview and whatever persona s/he is trying to craft for the interviewers. If the person can discuss intense technical topics without breaking a sweat while playing Jenga, then s/he likely knows the subject matter pretty well.

Works every time. We end up with engineers who get along, think on their feet, are laid back, and known their stuff.

(via reddit)

The FCC Wants You to Test Your Broadband Speeds

Mar 7

The Pop-up Book of Phobias on Vimeo

Mar 6

Boba Fett. Playing Zelda music. In the subway. On an accordion. (via reddit)