Four short links: 17 April 2019

Infocom Source, Twitter Design, New Ways of Seeing, and Software Blowouts

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2019
  1. Infocom Source Code Uploaded — with some version control (retroactively manufactured from different versions of the source code). Uploaded from a hard drive of Infocom material copied at the time of the acquisition. Jason Scott described the contents. See also DECWAR source.
  2. I Kind of Hate Twitter (Jason Lefkowitz) — a very good product analysis of why Twitter drives unproductive behaviour. Example: Push delivery makes it hard to ignore what people are saying about you. If someone’s talking about you on the web, you have to go into Google and search to find that out. If someone’s talking about you on Twitter, though, it’s very likely right in your face. This can be flattering if people are saying nice things, but if they’re not, it can feel embarrassing and/or painful; and people who are embarrassed or wounded tend to do stupid things, like lash back at the person who did the wounding, that they regret later when the pain has worn off.
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  4. New Ways of Seeing — new BBC show from James Bridle which looks to be great. (via The Guardian)
  5. Why Software Projects Take Longer Than You Think—a Statistical ModelA reasonable model for the “blowup factor” would be something like a log-normal distribution. If the estimate is one week, then let’s model the real outcome as a random variable distributed according to the log-normal distribution around one week. This has the property that the median of the distribution is exactly one week, but the mean is much larger […]
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