Clay Shirky's posted a nice little analysis of the evolving user-interfaces for social network services on Many2Many. The thing he nails down really tight here is that negotiating friendship is something we're actually pretty good at -- until we're asked to port representations of those relationships to the digital realm. Computers are best used to do stuff that's hard or boring (repetitious counting and sorting, for example) and, IMO, it's a bad idea to ask them to take something that's neither hard nor boring and make it a little of both in the service off some ill-defined reward. By which I mean: I already know who my friends are, and it's not hard to know that; but exposing an exhaustive list of my nuanced social relations is damned hard, and none of the YASNSes offer me any serious benefit for doing so.
[N]ow [Orkut has] added this linear scale of friendship that would be laughed out of a freshman sociology course, and then they say tell me the data is private. Of course it's not private -- that data isn't for me, it's for Orkut. I don't need it in the first place, because I am a monkey, descended from a long line of such monkeys, whose main talent consists of keeping track of relationships. Measured on the time scale of our social capacity, fire is a recent invention and agriculture is still a novelty.
The "how good a friend are they" data is useless or worse for me, but useful for Orkut, because they are desperate to represent social networks numerically, which is why they keep adding things to an interface they should be subtracting things from. The problem isn't the cost or refinement of accepting a friendship transaction, the problem is that friendship isn't a transaction, something almost no social networking service understands.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]