Items related to JavaScript

Using Wikipedia during the blackout

Wednesday. 18 January 2012. 08:30 UTC
Today Wikipedia is blacking out its entire english catalog (aside from the following links) to protest SOPA and PIPA. This is a worthy thing for Wikipedia to do, however, it can leave us information seekers in the lurch. We wrote this quick bookmarklet to unblock Wikipedia and we hope you find it useful. Just drag the following link to your browser’s bookmarks bar:

Unblock Wikipedia

Now load up any “dark” page on Wikipedia—for example, Devo’s discography—and click your new Unblock Wikipedia bookmarklet. You will see the black overlay disappear and the original content restored. (Tested in Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Firefox for OS X.)

How does it work? Wikipedia is still serving up its content, but it’s configuring those content pieces to be invisible. When you load up a topic page you’ll actually see the content payload appear for just a fraction of a second before it realizes it should be invisible. Here’s the code that the bookmarklet uses to hide the dark overlay and reveal that content payload:


If you found this post useful give us a retweet on Twitter. You can also live chat about the Wikipedia blackout in the Chatttr: Wikipedia Blackout room. Please note, the Wikipedia blackout protest is not a strike in the traditional sense. (How could it be when the majority of Wikipedia’s essence is the result of free crowd-sourced labor? Are you personally on strike right now as a Wikipedia contributor? If you are on strike, what does your strike entail?) The protest is a grab for media attention (one that we support) in order to alert and educate as many people as possible about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA before these measures can be snuck into law. Finding a way around the blackout is not “being a scab” or devaluing the protest.

Wikipedia agrees: Our purpose here isn’t to make it completely impossible for people to read Wikipedia, and it’s okay for you to circumvent the blackout. We just want to make sure you see our message. This is why they honor a page request by sending the actual content, superficially marked as “invisible” rather than send a page with no content other than the protest message. As a result of their protest’s architecture a user can disable JavaScript or merely hit Escape before the protest script loads, bypassing the blackout overlay altogether. But you have to be quick. If you forget to hit Escape, or if you’re just not fast enough, you’ll have to reload the page and try again. As that’s all a bit annoying anyway having the above bookmarklet is still helpful.

Warm regards to the following sites for linking to this blog post:
Gawker. What Even Non Nerds Need to Know About SOPA.
Print Magazine. Black Out.
Poynter Institute. How to access Wikipedia during Wednesday’s SOPA blackout.

Word-a-coaster at Selfridges

Monday. 09 January 2012. 09:00 UTC
Word-a-coaster is a New Years fortune dispenser created by It’s Nice That and Stewdio for the main window display of Selfridges’ flagship store in London. It contains 30,000 unique fortunes for 2012 randomly assembled from a collection of typefaces, phrases, and thousands of choice adjectives. The printed fortunes will be randomly dispensed to Selfridges customers from a custom-built roller-coaster beginning on Thursday, January 12th. Visit the Word-a-coaster project page for more information.

Goodbye 2011

Thursday. 22 December 2011. 18:00 UTC
The year is at its end—a moment to reflect upon twelve months of experiments, achievements, and blunders. 2011 opened with multiple trips to Karlsruhe, Germany to collaborate with the ZKM Center for Art and Media on a very early version of trans_actions. In February Stewart served on the judging panel for TED’s Ads Worth Spreading competition and tutoring a month long workshop at the RCA with Jürg Lehni. April was packed: More visits to ZKM, the Creativity and Technology conference posted my Code Play lecture video, Paola Antonelli wrote an article for Domus about data visualization that used Exit as an example, and I posted some odd X-Files triptychs. More after the jump…

Chatttr—come chat and draw

Thursday. 03 November 2011. 12:00 UTC
For a few months now we’ve been kicking around a hobby project called Chatttr—located at It’s a free-for-all chat room that allows users to create and share simple line drawings. But that’s just the surface of Chatttr. From the foundation upward we built Chatttr as an experiment in anti-social networking. What happens if there are no accounts? No login? What if multiple people can have the same username? Or change their username between each post? What if there’s no permanent archive? More after the jump…