D&T Issue 14

The chemistry behind Beirut blasts, How UPI works, Generating AI stories and proving that PDF sucks

Hello there! It’s been two and a half months since we started D&T! Time really flies when you are locked up in your house pretending to live your life (I have tried everything and I refuse to zoom party anymore). Anyway, I hope this weekly link letter, still in its boyhood has provided some value to you in these dazed and confused times. Get it?

Puns aside here are some of the stuff we kept sharing at Canvs till before sunrise (get it?)

What went down in downtown Beirut a few days ago shook the world. Behind blasts like these (Check the Halifax explosion of Nova Scotia) lies the fragile chemistry of everyday materials we use. Materials like Ammonium Nitrate.

In a fundamentally lucid fashion Setu (one of India’s most promising API banking startups) has laid out why UPI was created, it’s various participants and the entire flow of how it works. This is a must-read and is highly illuminating. The link above is to the first piece – the basics. There are two follow up pieces of this write up: The transaction lifecycle and settlements.

Here’s a list of various design components like typography, patterns, shadows, color schemes, images, gradients etc which can be generatively played with.

A look into how tech geniuses and visionaries can be enabled in different ways to mitigate the inevitable harm these powerhouses can do when left unchecked. The piece tackles the perils of mythmaking around tech visionaries and why it’s imperative for us to understand what we do to ourselves when we put them on a divine pedestal.

Brain-to-brain interfaces promise to bypass language. But do we really want access to one another’s unmediated thoughts? Just because something can seem wonderful and dreamy doesn’t make it practical and good. By design, our output data rate seems low considering typing or talking as our output methods. In today’s age, we tend to jump the gun so often we believe language might be inhibiting us when it’s the one thing that probably has led to the evolution of our brains in the first place.

We often tend to blame ourselves for our ineptitude in Tech than blame the tech itself when things seem a little odd. These little oddities are quite often kept by Design, by teams that know what they are doing. Sounds like bad practice? It is exactly that. We took the time to write a semi long post for you to check the various types of Dark Patterns in Design around us. They have all done it, Netflix, Linkedin, Facebook you name it.

This is a technical find and you might want to miss it if you aren’t much into understanding how websites work at the front face. Otherwise it is solid spot to clarify doubts like what’s the difference between ‘class vs id’

While designing interfaces we often gauge the importance of available space and the most fundamental constraints like scroll behaviour or OS on the device. Gleaned from our years of experience as Designers, we have seen many other factors at play. For instance, the internet is typically slower on phones than desktops, capacitive touches work very differently on different devices and are a world away from high fidelity interaction that a pencil gives. This piece outlines some of the often-overlooked considerations in cross-platform design that’s worth a read.

Let’s join our hands together in our united hate for the lazy information display format : PDF. From the summary of the note by NNGroup itself: “Research spanning 20 years proves PDFs are problematic for online reading. Yet they’re still prevalent and users continue to get lost in them. They’re unpleasant to read and navigate and remain unfit for digital-content display.”

GPT-3 has been pretty popular among us humans. If you are able to figure out how to write the correct priors you’ll be able to generate a lot of good stuff out of it. Here’s for instance a book written by it.

Additionally here’s a nice little generative storytelling game referred to us by one of our friends: AiDungeon

Alright, I’ll see you next time! Do let your friends know about D&T if they’d be interested!
Canvs Club