Following on the heels of Phonebloks
, a Google/Motorola formed a design group called Project Ara
. The Verge
recently interviewed Paul Eremenko
, the project lead, about progress made towards modularization of mobile phone components, overcoming engineering issues, and the group assigning itself an ambitious timetable to succeed in delivering a sellable product within two years, or disbanding.
The Nordic Society for Invention & Discovery
has brought never-before-seen and totally exclusive technologies into the world, such as the Aaltopuck
(an ice hockey puck modeled after Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase
), the Flower Shell
(a shotgun shell that shoots seeds into the ground
), the Wall of Sound
(an 8000-watt iPod dock
) and No More Woof
(a device that wraps around your dog's head and translates his or her brain waves to computerized speech
services that power email and other technologies we use each day are themselves massive energy consumers. Gigaom reporters have written a pair of in-depth articles about efforts by Amazon
to build infrastructure and source their own energy.
suggests a different way for dealing with obsolescent hardware, through modular design on a common base
Meet the Dread Pirate Roberts
- the man behind booming black market drug website Silk Road
A six-minute documentary snippet
discusses Kubrick's camera modifications for special
, low-light f/0.7 Zeiss lenses used to film candlelit scenes in Barry Lyndon
, now available
by aspiring filmmakers.
, the world's largest underground tunnel boring machine
that will soon begin digging a controversial
roadway underneath downtown Seattle, similar to Boston's Big Dig
from the mind of a 5-year-old tech geek. [more inside]
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
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
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.
- providing tools for creating interactive data visualizations for the web
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]
Composer Samson Young
leads an impromptu iPhone orchestra
in one of his pattern sequencer compositions
at the 2009 Hong Kong Biennale, and once more here
at the Hong Kong Art Fair 2010.
"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it.
" The Atlantic
's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview
(~25 min Flash video) [via
(NSFW) is a wearable haptic device for controlling video gameplay based on realtime male masturbation. Construction photographs
The Secret Origin of Windows
, recollections of the development and release of Windows 1.0 and 2.0 by its project manager Tandy Trower
"So, that’s my long and winding history of a little postcard from the Upper West Side of Manhattan!" Suzanne Vega writes about
writing the hit song Tom's Diner
, coping with its numerous remixes, and its part in the birth of the MP3 music compression format.
Bill Gates files a bug report: "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail
. That's my job."
delete adult scroll conflict for
(or: 10 minutes of Perl scripting with Vista)
In the same spirit as the Open Net Initiative
and Committee to Protect Bloggers
that both track global internet filtering, Sami
ben Gharbia's Access Denied Map
tries to track the blocking of sites like Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others by governments, as well as efforts by activists to keep them accessible or to challenge their blockage.
What is the relationship
between the optical groove
in a record or wax cylinder and sound, and how can we use this
to recover analog recordings from the past? Dr. Carl Haber explains IRENE
(.pdf; begin at slide 44 for audio samples).
, shows advances in his multitouch interfaces a year later
. YT video 1
. YT video 2