phiffer.org

Dan Phiffer Dan Phiffer builds websites, makes art, and teaches in NYC

The world is weird and wonderful!mapzen.com

A tile mural at the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park.

I wrote a post over on the Mapzen blog that I think came out nicely.

The territory means different things to different people. Depending on your perspective, the kinds of data that are captured about places may be missing, insufficient, or downright hostile. Who’s On First is opinionated—like all datasets, no collection is truly unbiased—but we hope to be aware of when we’re asserting our own opinions about places and create a framework where a polyglot of place-feels will be welcome.

The multifaceted maps we make simply reflect the weird and wonderful territory they represent.

I’m going to be adapting this as a talk at csv,conf. If you’ll be in Portland May 3, come out and say hello. (Bring your CSVs!)

Do not let the bastards grind you downtoe.prx.org

I was recently on my friend Benjamen Walker‘s podcast Theory of Everything, talking about digital security.

MP3 download

Related posts

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Next Epoch Seed Librarynextepochseedlibrary.com

I made Ellie and Anne a website for their project, the Next Epoch Seed Library.

[nextepochseedlibrary.com](http://nextepochseedlibrary.com)
nextepochseedlibrary.com

If the website design looks familiar, it’s because I used the same WordPress theme I developed for Ellie’s website.

See also: Ellie’s essay about the project

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The Whale is dead, long live Linky (updated)

I recently got this email about my project The Whale:

I am not a web developer or anything like that, but I am a person who has struggled with OCD and dyslexia for decades. A work like Moby Dick is normally not accessible to me because of the way I read. Your way of organizing it into small bitesize, all caps chunks has allowed me to enjoy this great literary work.

I know this is probably not what you had in mind when you wrote the code, but I wanted to thank you all the same.

I was floored. This is the most rewarding kind of feedback to get about a project.

And while that’s certainly not what I had in mind when I wrote the code, there is a part of me that enjoys the constant fidgeting with the text. All the clicking (or tapping) eases some part of my brain that might otherwise have me go impulsively check for new social media notifications.

I asked if there were any other texts that he might enjoy in this format, and then decided to generalize my project to show additional novels beyond Moby Dick. And so was born the project I’m now calling Linky. The current selection includes:

Update: Added three more titles to the list.

From [Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein](https://phiffer.org/linky/frankenstein#14)

If you have any ideas for other titles that might benefit from the Linky treatment, please let me know.

Let’s Encrypt (updated)

Update: since this was written, the letsencrypt-auto script has improved significantly. When I tried it again today (December 8, 2015), the process was basically just cloning the GitHub repo and running ./letsencrypt-auto. I’ll leave the original (outdated) information here for posterity.

As of today phiffer.org is being served using SSL encryption thanks to a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt. It’s a recently launched service, sponsored by Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (among others), intended to make HTTPS encryption ubiquitous on the web.

Hooray for [Let's Encrypt!](https://letsencrypt.org/)
Hooray for Let’s Encrypt!

Let’s Encrypt is very new, and there are still some rough edges, but overall I’m impressed by how smoothly the process went. I wanted to document my experience, in case it’s helpful to others (and future-me). This post is a bit more technical than usual and, because the service is new, much of it may not be relevant very long into the future. That said, I hope this might offer some clues for folks trying to get up and running on HTTPS.

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Radical / Networkslivestream.com

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Radical / Networks conference (which continues today!). There’s a bit near the beginning where my audio cuts out, but you can fill in the gaps by pressing ‘p’ (for presenter mode) on my slide deck.

I mention two books at the end that you can find here:

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The Whalephiffer.org

As a coding exercise for a course I’m teaching this semester I created this single-serving site serializing Moby Dick into tiny individual texts. Remember single-serving sites? Sadly many of those domains have expired, but one of the best of them—Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle—is still there, if a bit quaint. I ruthlessly stole the design.

the-whale

With apologies to Mat Honan. See also: Joshua Cohen serializing his novel PCKWCK (after Dickens’s Pickwick Papers) live on the Internet.

Link, source available on GitHub

Building a Network of Your Owndmlcompetition.net

Joanne McNeil and I made a proposal for the Knight Foundation’s Trust Challenge. There’s a people’s choice deal where you can vote for us!

The first workshop will show students how to create a website with shared hosting where students can learn how simple it is to start their own social network and edit pages with a shell account. In the second workshop, students will build a “darknet” or private network independent of the Internet. Using a simple wifi router, students will be able to communicate in an anonymous forum.

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2015 resolutions

I have some resolutions for the new year. By posting them onto a public weblog I believe they become officially binding.

  1. Write more, and read more to improve my writing.
  2. Live more in each moment. To that end, be more aware of how my time is spent.
  3. No new projects. Focus instead on fixing and improving things I’ve already begun.

In 2014 Ellie and I exchanged resolutions. Three times a week we each have our respective tasks: I have a regimen of stretches and exercises, and she is supposed to meditate for 5 minutes. We began last January and have been offering each other reminders when we forget to keep up.

My exercises—along the lines of Pilates or Yoga—feel part of my routine now. It seems that one has stuck, and now the resolution has become unnecessary. That ought to be a meta-resolution each year.

Ellie also does her own stretches and exercises, but doesn’t need the same spousal nudge to keep up with her routine. For the sake of balance, I’ll throw in a bonus fourth 2015 resolution: also make time for meditation.

  Writing  ·  January 1, 2015
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Occupy.here on de Correspondentdecorrespondent.nl

I was interviewed about Occupy.here for a recently-launched Dutch news site called de Correspondent. It was produced by Kel O’Neill and Eline Jongsma, who are wonderful people and doing very interesting things in addition to de Correspondent.

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(And yes, I am posting here again!)

Twelve years of phiffer.orgphiffer.org

Twelve years ago, on May 26th, I registered the domain phiffer.org. It started out as a kind of online sketchbook. The first thing I posted here was an experiment in direct manipulation of the page. The point was to surprise visitors with an unexpected opportunity to create something. It’s a very crude drawing interface, and a bit pointless, but I’m amazed that it still works (for the most part). Go web standards!

The site has gone through many permutations since then, but it’s still primarily my online sketchbook. I’ve adopted a fairly conventional weblog format, but I’m still interested in exploring that element of surprise. I’d still like to try out some new things here. More to come!

Link

Update: James reminded me of this box grid interface in the comments.

Events for May 23–June 3, 2012

Looks like the last time I posted events here was in 2010, just before Bushwick Open Studios. Well it’s that time of year again!

  • We Are All Anonymous, Tonight May 23rd, 7pm at Triple Canopy, 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY (sadly I won’t be able to make this, but it sounds awesome)
  • Flux Death Match: The New Aesthetic, Wednesday May 30th, 8pm at Flux Factory, 39-31 29th Street, Long Island City
  • Bushwick Open Studios 2012 with my Future Archaeology pals, June 1st and 2nd from 12–7pm. 1381 Myrtle Ave Apt 4C (entrance on Himrod St), near the Knickerbocker M train stop. I’ll be showing some of my recent photography work as well as Occupy.here.