Over the Transom – Vol. 2

A collection of follow-ups and links to stories and developments that I found interesting or important in the past week, that I think you’ll find worth reading about too.

Google Maps Goes Indoors

There was an interesting announcement from Google this week about the roll-out of a new variant of their Google Maps technology. It seems Google’s coming indoors, quite likely to a mall near you. Using a wifi triangulation scheme (tip of the hat to @redtype for that tidbit), that appears to be sensitive to the Z axis, Google will not only know where in the building you are, but also on what floor. Google is of course an advertising company, first and foremost, so it’s no surprise that malls will be the first locations to be mapped. Google’s involvement in this technology should move it forward though, regardless of motivations. Potential wayfinding and interpretation applications abound.

A Book Apart

A lot of non-fiction/instructional books on computer/technical topics are close to unreadable. They tend to be 1000 page monsters that make the subject they purport to explain so complex that they become discouraging to the reader. Jeffery Zeldman’s A Book Apart series on web design is something else entirely. Each of the six books is a concise and highly readable exploration of a specific topic related to current best practices in web design. They’re an almost magical blend of theory and practical instruction. I’m definitely no web guru, but Ethan Marcotte, author of Responsive Web Design, had me understanding and using media queries within an hour. If you do web work, you owe it to yourself to check these books out. The entire series is currently on sale at 30% off, a perfect opportunity.

Via: @readywater

Raspberry Pi

I’ve written about this amazing open source hardware project previously. I continue to have great admiration for the designers of the hardware and the really clever choices they’ve made to keep the cost so astoundingly low. A comprehensive article on the Raspberry Pi appeared in the Register last week which covers this device very thoroughly, including the reasoning behind some of those design choices. If you’ve been wanting more info on this project, look no further. Progress toward availability of Raspberry Pi continues — 100 beta boards were produced last week and are currently being tested.



I think that’s the reaction of most people who watch this clip. Powerful stuff.

Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.

Via: @khoi

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