The pointe shoe in ballet is a piece of technology critical to the performance of dance. While mechanically tough, its design is simple and flexible enough for personal modification and tailoring to the individual dancer's needs. Spanish artist Lesia Trubat has taken the pointe shoe into the 21st century, sewing in LilyPad Arduino controllers and sensors and integrating their operation with iOS, allowing the dancer to turn pressure and motion into a dynamic and novel expression of this centuries-old art form.
2015: The Year of Emoji Diversity - The Unicode Consortium has released a technical report detailing a new method for handling the representation of multi-ethnic groups in emoji that may work its way into Unicode 8.0 [more inside]
Unleashing Genetic Algorithms on the iOS 7 Icon - In the pursuit of something just a bit tighter than Marc Edwards' superellipse approximation, Mike Swanson applies genetic algorithms to the task of making a better button-making script.
"At the time, Groening was best known as the artist of the comic Life in Hell, as The Simpsons has not yet premiered. The brochure was titled, 'Who Needs a Computer Anyway' and interspersed Groening’s Life in Hell style illustrations with standard information on Apple’s Mac computers." Apple once hired Matt Groening to do some illustrations for them.
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
"When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide: ‘People Staring at Computers’ ": A year ago (previously on MetaFilter), Kyle McDonald created an art project that landed him in some trouble with Apple and the attention of the US Secret Service. He writes about it for WIRED. [more inside]
Slam poet Marshall Soulful Jones performs "Touchscreen".
Graphic designer Susan Kare was responsible for much of the look of the original Mac operating system. Now, you can take a peek inside the notebook where she sketched out on graph paper the icons for cut and paste. (previously)
The US Secret Service has raided the home of an artist who collected images from webcams in a New York Apple store. The tumblr is still up, as is a explanation of the project by the artist at F.A.T.
Head Tracking for iPad: Glasses-Free 3D Display - Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of the Grenoble Informatics Laboratory track the user's head using an iPad's front facing camera, using the positional data to create the impression of depth without the use of specialized glasses [more inside]
Apple’s Tablet Computer History - A collection of beautiful prototype designs for some of Apple's early tablet computers from the 1980s and 90s, including the famed Newton [ related | via ]
"[T]he most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do."
"He’s a minimalist and constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity." John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview [via]
MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Code - The Computer History Museum and Apple, Inc. release the source code to one of the first major drawing tools and graphical libraries for personal computers, one that managed to fit inside a paltry 128 KB of memory. [more inside]
This is James Savage's spare room, which contains one hundred Apple computers. He has more than 150 in his house and all of them are working perfectly, from an Apple II+ and a Lisa to the latest MacBook Pro. (One entrant among many in Gizmodo's Best Computer Rig contest.)
Parasitic Subway Projector: High concept German art students cram a Mac mini and a projector into a suitcase and mount it to the side of a subway car with suction cups. The resulting images, projected onto the tunnel walls, make for a fascinating work of public art. [QuickTime] Link via: The Unofficial Mac Weblog
" Jim's ghost was in my ear, and I felt terrible". Like all top classic-rock franchises, The Doors can exploit a lucrative afterlife in television commercials. Offers keep coming in, such as the $15 million dangled by Cadillac last year to lease the song "Break On Through (to the Other Side)" to hawk its luxury SUVs. To the surprise of the corporation and the chagrin of his former bandmates, drummer John Densmore vetoed the idea. He said he did the same when Apple Computer called with a $4-million offer, and every time "some deodorant company wants to use 'Light My Fire.' "
The Mac is a typewriter. The ElectriClerk combines a 1988 Mac SE with a 1923 Underwood typewriter to produce "a fully-functional retrofitted prop computer." (Hmmm...where have I seen this before?) [via dive into mark]