SM friend and Plasq co-founder Keith Lang has written an awesome must-read essay on the significance of Apple’s use of rounded rectangles throughout its history. What started as an observational insight by Steve Jobs, the design attribute has influenced both software and hardware. Jobs surmised that rounded rectangle are everywhere in everyday things and appear friendlier. Thus, Apple’s human-friendly UI quest began…
In the world of UX, we’re either creating new products, or re-inventing old ones. What if we “pre-invented” something? Take a successful modern product and imagine what it would look like decades ago.
That’s what filmmaker “whoiseyevan” did with the beloved classic Ghostbusters. In this retro-fit, the film stars Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, and Fred MacMurray. There’s even the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – circa 1954. The trailer features a swingin’ upbeat soundtrack! Of course, the film doesn’t really exist. It’s a collage of carefully assembled clips.
Last week the filmmaker released a frame-by-frame version showing how it was made.
A pair of Brooklyn-based filmmakers are taking the idea of locally-produced food to the streets of New York City.
Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis created Truck Farm – converting their old Dodge pickup into a rolling grow-op. They used green roof technology and organic compost. As well, some solar powered time-lapse cameras are recording the garden’s progress. Check out their entertaining intro below.
SM friend and former design colleague Mike Kurtz pointed us this launch of supreme gaming headphones that he helped design. It’s WOW. The promise of the headset which ships in a couple of days is mind blowing. The Psyko brand is also awesome.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) became a common industry term around 1997 – along with new product releases like the “Softswitch”. 12 years later, it seems that “VoIP” has found its place in popular culture. This morning’s WonderWord is proof!
My home internet died a few hours ago. For a net-o-holic, this isn’t good. I figured the cheap DSL modem was the problem. After a 15 minute call to Bell Canada’s excellent Indian tech support center, a new modem was going to be MAILED to me. ahh, ok…
While I wait for the Canada Post stagecoach to arrive, I decided to experiment. Using my vintage HP 6236B Triple Power Supply, I calibrated the modem’s required 5.1 vDC 2a. Instant success! Who cares if the power supply is the size of a chihuahua, it works. It appears that the power adapter that comes with the 2Wire model isn’t the best. Playing with the variable power supply, it also appears that the modem itself is very picky – gotta be 5.1 volts! 4.9 won’t do.
Looking at that ancient Hewlett-Packard logo got me thinking… how can a brand so radically change over a short period of time? In the 70s, mention HP, and one thought of oscilloscopes. Most people have never seen an oscilloscope! HP also used to be about robust, expensive, reliable lab equipment. Today, HP is everything from cheap consumer electronics to consulting services.
Pawning stuff relating to popular movies, or tv shows have been the norm for decades. Walt Disney himself played that game at a whole new level!
HBO’s one and half season old True Blood series is gaining an amazing cult following. It’s Facebook fan page has over 500,000 members. Me included!
HBO is about to release a carbonated orange drink named after the fictional name of its series. The premise of the show is that vampires were able to live productive lives in society, once a company was able to manufacture and bottle synthetic blood. Tru Blood.
The HBO store is packed with stuff! It’s brilliant that HBO is merchandising this. The glass bottle looks awesome. A 4-pack costs $16. USD and is set to ship mid-September. Order here.
Despite all the doom and gloom for media producers, I’m sure innovative business models will continue to emerge.
The latest thing to grab my attention is Subaru’s PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle). With this set of technologies which consists of a dual-filtration air-intake system, fuel injectors, catalytic converters, and an engine control module, you can reduce your car’s smog forming pollution down to 1 pound per year (comparable cars have 4 pounds of emissions or more according to Subaru).
It’s a solution that you can buy today that works. So it got me thinking couldn’t we retrofit our existing cars this way? I’m guessing the short answer is no, but if I could I would. Anyone out there with suggestions and ideas on how to reduce emissions from your existing car, let us know in the comments.
It sounds like this would be a good investment to buy cars with PZEV technology. Reducing smog is good, actually removing carbon emissions from the air would be better. Imagine cars of the future that are mobile air-filtration systems that suck emissions out of polluted air. Yeah, we’re quite a ways off from that I’m sure.
Unfortunately, the Subaru PZEVs don’t have incredible fuel savings at the pump. They’re pretty average when compared to a smaller car. GM’s Chevy Volt seems to be a far better choice, in theory if you stick to short distances, you’ll never need to fuel up with gas. If you have clean hydro power then it makes sense to go electric. Actually, even if you have dirty electric, it probably still makes sense to invest in this technology that’s heading in the right direction.
I’d be tempted to get a Chevy Volt when they come out next year if they weren’t so expensive. The Volt has a lot going for it, the gas engine only runs to generate electricity for the electric engine that powers the car. That should make the gas engine more efficient. This idea takes the traditional hybrid car and flips the engines around. The more powerful electric engine is equivalent to 150 hp, and the gas engine is about half of that. Some day, the combustion engine could be replaced with a different type of chemical reaction (such as a plasma engine) to generate electricity, this could potentially reduce the emissions even further.