Google Glass teardown

Google Glass teardown

“It’s surprisingly simple.”
Scott Torborg and Star Simpson unbox and teardown Google Glass

Shape of things to come

What’s Inside Google Glass?

Scott Torborg and Star Simpson: Growing up on a rich diet of dystopian tech fiction, we were filled with both intrigue and concern about Glass and decided to take our model apart to bring you a detailed view into the electronics guts of the device.

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Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is

Michael Crichton fax Chip Kidd doesn’t judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book — and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs.

Not what I was expecting from a TED talk!

Obama
Humans and other animals

If we wrote about the US with the language journalists use to cover foreign countries

GlobalPost goes inside the United States to uncover the regime’s dramatic descent into authoritarian rule and how the opposition plans to fight back.

BOSTON, Mass. — Human rights activists say revelations that the US regime has expanded its domestic surveillance program to private phone carriers is more evidence of the North American country’s pivot toward authoritarianism.

The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported this week that a wing of the country’s feared intelligence and security apparatus ordered major telecommunications companies to hand over data on phone calls made by private citizens.

Over the last decade, the United States has passed a series of emergency laws that give security forces sweeping powers to combat “terrorism.” But foreign observers say the authorities abuse those laws, using them instead to monitor ordinary Americans.

On a recent visit to the United States by GlobalPost, signs of the increased security apparatus could be found everywhere.

At all national airports, passengers are now forced to undergo full-body scans before boarding any flights. Small cameras are perched on many street corners, recording the movements and actions of the public. And incessant warnings on public transportation systems encourage citizens to report any “suspicious activity” to authorities.

“What exactly is terrorism? The term is used so loosely these days it could include just about anyone,” said one anti-government protester, who was tear-gassed and then arrested in 2011 for participating in a peaceful demonstration in New York, America’s largest city and its economic capital.
Peter Gelling, Inside the United States

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Double Fine’s Massive Chalice on Kickstarter

MASSIVE CHALICE is a single player turn-based tactics game within a multi-generational strategy campaign built for replayability.

As an immortal King or Queen, you must unite your kingdom under a powerful dynasty, eliminate the demonic threat, and reforge the MASSIVE CHALICE!

Amazon Storyteller is a smart new tool that creates storyboards automatically from uploaded movie scripts.

Amazon Storyteller

The project is currently in beta, but can automatically identify scenes, locations and characters from a script that has been uploaded to Amazon Studios, the company’s division for developing exclusive movies, comics and television shows. It then “casts” these objects from a library of assets that includes “thousands” of characters, props and backgrounds.

Nick Summers, The Next Web

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Amazon Storyteller

Amazon Storyteller is a smart new tool that creates storyboards automatically from uploaded movie scripts.

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Gravity: A Space Oddity

Or: How the future became the past

The first thing that struck me about the trailer for Gravity was how beautiful and terrifying it was.

My second thought was how sad it was to see the space shuttle.

In 1968 Stanley Kubrick and some very talented designers imagined a realistic space plane for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Pan Am Orion Space Plane

In 1981 NASA made the dream a reality with the first space shuttle launch. 30 years later, in 2011, the shuttle made its last flight.

Space Shuttle

Now in 2013 the space shuttle appears in Gravity. Science fiction has become historical fiction.

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The Charted Cheese Wheel

The Charted Cheese Wheel

I can’t vouch for its accuracy. The cheddar looks a little orange to me.

Miscellany

Cheese wheel infographic

A Chart of 66 delightful cheeses from around the world, assembled into one wondrous wheel. The cheeses are broken down by the animal that produced the luscious milk, and then by the texture of the resultant cheese, forming a cornucopia of cheese that range from the mild to the stinky and from the rock hard to the silky smooth.

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Humans and other animals

The trick to successful haggling

Psychologist Malia Mason, a professor at Columbia University’s business school, recruited volunteers to test a theory that assigning a precise value is a better haggling strategy than rounding your offer up (or down):

The study’s hard data will not be revealed until the paper is published this month, but the broad conclusion was unmistakable: people who offered or asked for precise amounts — including such arbitrary-seeming figures as $5,015 for a piece of jewelry as opposed to $5,000 — almost always wrung more concessions from the person on the other side of the table than those who opened with neater numbers. The reason, Mason believes, is that a precise number — rightly or wrongly — implies you’ve done your homework and know the actual value of the thing.

“It’s a powerful signal,” she says. “It suggests, ‘I know what I’m taking about.’” Even if the negotiations are protracted, a precise figure at least frames the discussion. “If you say you want $10 for something, the other party takes that to mean a range of $7 to $13. If you say you want $11, that range becomes $10 to $12. The initial figure exerts a kind of gravitational pull.”
Revealed: The One Big Secret to Successful Haggling

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Concept art for the Game of Thrones (2011) opening title sequence:

Our goal was to try to replicate something that looks and acts like a physical object. Art Director Rob Feng referenced Leonardo’s machines which have a timeless sense of design.
Angus Wall, creative director

And here’s a detailed look at the astrolabe from the centre of the world:

We show three close-ups of those bands that tell the pre-history of the world in relief-sculpture form. They tell about dragons attacking Westeros. They tell about how the different houses on Westeros got together and defeated those dragons, and how those houses, represented by their respective animals, bowed in allegiance to the Baretheon stag.
Angus Wall, creative director

I’m on a bit of a Game of Thrones kick at the moment, so expect more on this blog!

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Game of Thrones opening titles

Concept art for the Game of Thrones opening title sequence.

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