Five short links


Photo by Holeymoon

Sourcetree – I don't often recommend commercial software, mostly because my personal stack's mostly open source these days. I've fallen in love with this tool for exploring my git repositories though. Git's new Mac app is fantastic too, but focused on 'doing things'. I've found sourcetree a wonderful way to explore and understand your code. I just discovered they've been acquired by Atlassian, so I guess I'm not the only fan!

The Sketchbook Project – I never lose my sense of wonder at how many ways the web can be used to drive creativity. By offering to scan people's sketchbooks they've motivated a community of artists from all over the world, and given me a vast set of material to browse through when my imagination needs a jump-start.

Smart Meter surveillance – How your electricity meter can reveal what TV channel you're watching. My German's not good enough to follow the main paper, but the abstract sounds very plausible. From my perspective not something to freak out over, but a good example of all the unexpected ways we leak information about our lives. We measure more and more things to improve efficiency, but the by-product is that the same data can be used for many unintended purposes too.

The Brown Revolution – An unfortunate name, but a compelling idea for sustainable grazing. I'm normally skeptical of agricultural 'silver bullets' like this, but I know from my experience maintaining trails how effective thoughtful drainage can be. When water's compressed into a narrow stream by a gully it will cut through even packed soil like a plasma torch, but keep spread out it in a wide sheet using a shallow 'rolling dip' and you'll have a surface that can survive years of storms.

Apple insiders remember Steve Jobs – I'm very sad we've lost Steve, he always seemed more like a super hero than a mortal to me. At the Guardian's request I contributed a few thoughts about my time working at Apple, and how he was a constant presence even though I barely met him. I'll be thinking of his family.

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