The optical illusion that's momentarily intriguing the internet presents a simple "isometric" field of cubes, Q*Bert-style. Click and drag across it and the cubes will rise and fall in series of waves. They also start to flash wild colors... or do they? Yes, they do! Read the rest

Javascript dress

Thinkgeek's $59 JavaScript Code Fit & Flare Dress comes in sizes 6-14; no word on what the code does (I hope it's malware that poisons OCR systems!) (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Puke, I am your Phava: code that works both as PHP and Java

Devin Ryan created a computer program that is valid, and produces identical output, in two completely different languages, PHP and Java. Read the rest

Make any song swing

Swingify attempts to turn any song into a swing version of itself. Upload an audio file, select the hardness of swing you prefer, and listen. Read the rest

John Whitney Music Box: a psychedelic music machine for the web

Behold the John Whitney Music Box, a realization in music of the motion graphic concepts of John Whitney. The animation and audio are by Jim Bumgardner, who first developed the web app 10 years ago.

You may notice some interesting links between the visuals and the audio, especially if you are a musician. For example, when the pattern forms a 3-arm starfish, the chords you are hearing are diminished chords, which consist of minor thirds, an interval in which the notes are 3 chromatic steps apart. The chords you hear always bear this type of relationship to the pattern you are seeing, consisting of intervals which match the arrangement of arms.

I generated the audio using my sound synthesis program, Syd, which provides a very elegant way to accomplish this kind of thing. Unfortunately, Syd is horribly supported these days (I haven’t updated the Macintosh version since before OS X). Here’s a sample Syd patch which was used to generate the audio (I actually used 3 similar patches and mixed the results together).

Bumgardner commented on a recent Reddit thread:

I made the Whitney Music Box nearly 10 years ago. It seems like it gets rediscovered on Reddit about every 18 months. Invariably, I see the same comments: 1) Aphex Twin 2) Bowser's castle 3) Hypnotoad 4) Microtones are creepy 5) Awesome on drugs. And, much to my relief, no one seems to mind that its still implemented in Flash!

There are many variations and each plays perfectly full-screen. Read the rest

Cleartext is a text editor that only lets you use the 1000 most common words in English

If you're the sort to use fancy words, try Cleartext, a simple Mac text editor that won't let you.

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Convincing machine-generated Shakespearean sonnets on-demand

Tristan Miller and Dave Morice created a website that produces highly-authentic Shakespearean sonnets. The trick: rather than randomly-generated Markov gobbledygook that evokes the flavor while crudely hitting the meter, each generated sonnet reuses whole lines from the body of Shakespeare's poetic work. The results are more convincing, at the cost of more commonplace repetition.

Writes Miller: "unlike some other poetry generators, this one ensures that the poems have the correct rhythm, rhyme scheme, and grammar. Dave first published the method for generating the poems back in 1991, but this is the first time it's been implemented on the Web." Read the rest

Should a programming conference host a reactionary weirdo?

LambdaConf is a conference for people who are into functional programming. If you don't know what that means, it suffices to say that these are stout, yeomanly Hobbits of computer science. What's news is that they invited Mencius Moldbug to speak at it. Moldbug (real name Curtis Yarvin) is a Hollywood archetype of coders: the programming whiz who has strange and comically retrograde opinions of minorities, slavery, ladies, etc. So. Should he be invited to speak?

LambdaConf founder and chief organizer John A. De Goes wrote in a blog post that the conference decided to keep Yarvin as a speaker in order not to set a precedent of discriminating against attendees because of their beliefs. "LambdaConf does not and cannot endorse any of the wildly different, diametrically opposed, and controversial opinions held by speakers, attendees, volunteers, and vendors," he wrote. …

Jon Sterling, organizer of LambdaConf workshop PrlConf, decided to cancel the workshop, writing in an open letter: "We cannot possibly organize a workshop under the umbrella of a conference that values the free expression of racist and fascist views over the physical and emotional safety of its attendees and speakers."

Not all who oppose Yarvin's views say they will boycott the conference. The writers of a forthcoming book on the programming language Haskell say they are coming to support other speakers and attendees.

There's a passage in one of the Hannibal Lecter novels, probably Silence of the Lambs, where it's made clear that the good doctor, though incarcerated as a serial killer, is still engaged as a professional in his field of study. Read the rest

Make Escher-style tessellations online

Jo Edkins' online design a tessellation widget makes it easy to create tessellating patterns in a style similar to that of M.C. Escher… albeit without the fastidious pencilwork. There's also a simpler grid tessellation widget and one for triangles too. Read the rest

Linify "draws" photos with straight lines

Linify Me accepts JPG uploads and redraws the images using only straight lines. The effect is ghostly yet technical, resembling something human-drawn but not enough to be confused as such. Watching the picture emerge over time is strangely meditative. Unless you've uploaded a picture of Trump, that is, in which case it's just another example of something slowly going wrong on a computer.

Read the rest

Color Clock renders time as hexadecimal color value

Jack Hughes created The Color Clock, whose background color is always a hexadecimal RGB representation of the current time. You can download screensaver versions too. Read the rest

Real-time fractal zoomer on the web

Following up on yesterday's fractal fun, here's a real-time fractal zoomer on the web.

Use the arrow keys to pan, A and Z keys to zoom, S and X keys to change the threshold.

It's by Jonathan Alpers, using WebGL and Three.js, and was featured on Chrome Experiments in November. Read the rest

Fractal fun on the web

You like zoning out in front of fractals, right? Of course you do!

FractalJS is the easiest fractal zoomer yet: just pinch-zoom or scrollwheel and watch it go. There are several sets to choose from, a smoothing option, lots of color schemes, and it's all open-source.

Alternatives: Calvin Metcalf's Leaflet has Google Maps-style controls and Alson Kemp's WebFract3D renders sets in three dimensions for an especially bizarre experience.

Bonus: Here's a Mandelbrot set being generated on a 50-year-old IBM mainframe.

Found any cool fractal stuff on the web lately? Read the rest

Ad bad

I'd love to read The Next Web's article titled "Ad-blockers aren’t ‘immoral,’ but maybe you’re using them wrong", but it is impossible because of the hilariously broken full-screen ad superimposed upon it. Read the rest

Javascript is the most popular language at GitHub

"Based on the historical GitHub Archive and GitHut data starting in 2012, we analyzed the most common developer actions within GitHub and turned it into [these] infographics"

Interesting factoid: four of the top five entries were introduced in 1995, and the other (CSS) in 1996.

The Most Popular Programming Languages in to GitHub Since 2012 [loggly] Read the rest

“The Queen of Code,” new short documentary on computing pioneer Grace Hopper

My only objection is that it's not a full-length documentary.

Guardian open-sources website code

The Guardian not only has a new responsive design coming, and they've made the source available under an open-source license. Just in time to learn to code! Read the rest

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