Weekend links 723


Flags of the Undiscovered Planets: 3 (1985) by César Manrique.

• “That mysterious font is Festive, not Stymie.” Ray Newman goes looking for a typeface that immediately says “Britain in the 1950s”. I used to refer to one of its relatives as “the launderette font”, although it was also a common sight on shopfronts, public buildings and other mid-century signage. Today I know it as the slab serif named Profil (aka Decorated 035), although as Newman demonstrates, this is only one of several slab-serif variants popular in the 1950s and 60s.

The Man Who Killed Google Search is a deep dive by Ed Zitron into why Google’s search has turned to shit. I recently changed the search option for all the browsers on my machines to DuckDuckGo. It’s not perfect but it’ll do for now.

• New music: Daddy’s Gonna Tell You No Lie, music by Sun Ra performed by Laraaji and the Kronos Quartet; Chroma by Loscil / Lawrence English; Homage To Hennix (The Electric Harpsichord Reinterpreted) by Dave Seidel.

• At Colossal: Tune into your own brain waves with Steve Parker’s suspended constellations of salvaged brass.

• At Bajo el Signo de Libra: Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840): Icono del Romanticismo Alemán.

• At Public Domain Review: Maria Catharina Prestel’s Printed Cabinet of Drawings (ca. 1780s).

• At Unquiet Things: The teeming, tumbling, tangled cosmos of Madeline Von Foerster.

• Mix of the week: A mix for The Wire by FUJI||||||||||TA.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: 77 planetariums.

Planet D (Portishead Remix) (1994) by The Sabres Of Paradise | Planet Munich (1998) by Add N To (X) | Planet Vega (2000) by Air

5 thoughts on “Weekend links 723”

  1. Re search: I just switched the other way. DDG is underpinned by Bing and… Bing is… not good. The biggest problem I’m having with Google is the design is terrible in approximately every way. OTOH, DDG’s interface for search of/for visuals is much better so occasionally I use DDG for that.
    As for Zitron’s main point — to oversimplify, Google uses search to sell ads as opposed to using ads to finance making search better — well, it’s our times and Big Business’ primary focus: maximizing profits (the reason for which the US Founding Fathers fought for independence) and if the underlying product is good enough, fine. It doesn’t even have to be good. The current huge example is of course Boeing and, related, the related worsening of maintenance of their good enough planes.)
    That said, my primary search engine is an AI search bot, Perplexity, which does about all AI does well at this point (exclusive of providing something the Silicon Valley bros can hype): saves a little time in the search. Other benefits is by definition a much cleaner interface and, if one doesn’t like the search results, one can call it out so to speak and it will then try harder. Can’t do that with Bing and Google.
    My 2US¢.
    (Meanwhile, note (if it shows in comments) the email address FWIW.)

  2. You can get the best of Google via a Google Custom Search (CSE), such as Jurn – 5,142 arts & humanities journals indexed: https://www.jurn.link/ Test it with a sophisticated search query, though, since CSE’s don’t respond well to just a couple of keywords.

  3. Thanks, I’ve been more concerned by their screwing with the image search (yet again) since this is something I use a lot for work purposes. The thing that made me snap was the removal of pixel sizes, something they’ve done in the past. I no longer care whether they’re going to change things for the better (again) or for any general search tweaks. So long as other options exist I’ll use those instead.

  4. Mitchell: Sorry, your comment was dumped into the spam without my being told. Not sure why but tech-talk probably triggers the filter more than other subjects. Yes, DDG is based on Bing but I don’t mind this for now, I just want something that isn’t impeding very basic searches and which doesn’t involve having to use multiple interfaces.

    Dave: My pleasure!

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