All posts filed under “Entropy

Shaping behaviour: Part 2

Shaping behaviour: Part 2

Speedometer, rev counter and fuel and temperature gauges on the dashboard of my 1992 Reliant Scimitar SST. Photo taken on B1098 alongside Sixteen Foot Drain, Isle of Ely, England. In part 1 of ‘Shaping behaviour’, we took a look at ‘sticks and carrots’ as approaches […]

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How much are bored eyeballs really worth?

How much are bored eyeballs really worth?

We’ve discussed deliberately splitting up articles to increase page views before – inspired by Jason Kottke – with some very insightful comments, but the technique used by the free file-hosting site Putfile goes way beyond simply inconveniencing the user. Most free hosting sites require multiple […]

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Shaping behaviour: Part 1

Shaping behaviour: Part 1

A couple of months ago I posted about the ‘shaping behaviour’ research of RED, part of the UK Design Council. At the time I noted in passing a classification of design approaches for shaping behaviour, mentioned by RED’s Chris Vanstone: “stick*, carrot or speedometer.” It’s […]

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Epson messes up my day

Epson messes up my day

My Epson Stylus Photo R1800’s been running low on ink in a couple of cartridges for a few days now. I’ve been putting off ordering them until this weekend. Now I find that when the printer believes a cartridge has reached 0%, it won’t print […]

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BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

From the BBC: ‘Police play down spy planes idea’: “Merseyside Police’s new anti-social behaviour (ASB) task force is exploring a number of technology-driven ideas. But while the use of surveillance drones is among them, they would be a “long way off”, police said. … “The […]

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Inconvenience: deliberate or accidental?

Inconvenience: deliberate or accidental?

Seth Godin mentions providing a ‘convenience’ feature for customers and then intentionally making it inconvenient to use: “Here at the White Plains airport, I’m noticing all these people doing things to me. Enforcing irrational rules. Intentionally putting the seats far from the electrical outlets so […]

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Review: Made to Break by Giles Slade

Review: Made to Break by Giles Slade

Last month I mentioned some fascinating details on planned obsolescence gleaned from a review of Giles Slade‘s Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America. Having now read the book for myself, here’s my review, including noteworthy ‘architectures of control’ examples and pertinent commentary. Slade […]

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Casino programmable*

Casino programmable*

Signal vs Noise talks about the casino experience – a world awash with designed-in architectures of control, both physical and psychological (and physiological, perhaps), truly environments designed specifically to manipulate and reinforce certain behaviour, from maze-like layouts (intentional route obfuscation – perhaps even more so […]

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Countercontrol: blind pilots

Countercontrol: blind pilots

In a recent post, I discussed a Spiked article by Josie Appleton which included the following quote: ‚ÄúPolice in Weston-super-Mare have been shining bright halogen lights from helicopters on to youths gathered in parks and other public places. The light temporarily blinds them, and is […]

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Designed to control rather than enable

Designed to control rather than enable

As Cory Doctorow says, “Your home and life are increasingly full of devices that seek to control, rather than enable you.” That, succinctly, is what this website’s about: design as something to restrict and control the user, rather than empower and enable. Products that enable […]

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Uninnovate – engineering products to do less

Uninnovate – engineering products to do less

Image from uninnovate.com I’ve just come across a very interesting new blog, uninnovate.com, which focuses on the phenomenon of “engineering expensive features into a product for which there is no market demand in order to make the product do less.” The first few posts tackle […]

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Some interesting aspects of built-in obsolescence

Some interesting aspects of built-in obsolescence

This San Francisco Chronicle review of Giles Slade’s Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America (which I’ve just ordered and look forward to reading and reviewing here in due course) mentions some interesting aspects of built-in (planned) obsolescence – and planned failure – in […]

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