Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tech Links: February 28, 2013

Source: Instagram via Scribbledwings


Amazon’s ‘price parity’ clause attracts attention of German antitrust regulator

Half of Amazon Book Sales are Planned Purchases: "It’s well known that book lovers are quite happy to spend time in a bricks-and-mortar bookshop to see what sort of interesting titles they find and then go home to buy on Amazon where the prices are often cheaper. Indeed, it’s been identified as such a significant problem that HarperCollins CEO Victoria Barnsley recently made the interesting suggestion that bookshops ought to charge people to come in and browse, an idea that has had a somewhat chilly reception."

RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales

Sale of Used E-books Getting Closer

Quick Pic: The Golden Mistake

"The Golden Mistake" by Erica Dorn , 2011
"I made these custom ‘mistake’ keys for my keyboard… Solid gold  Command and Z keys. The ones we are constantly pressing to go back in time."

Hacks: The Craft Camera

The Craft Camera, a DIY Cardboard Camera!
Via: Ufunk

While you’ll find plenty of DIY guides for building film cameras, it’s not the same story for digital.

The Craft Camera aims to solve that issue. It’s a simple DIY digital camera built out of cardboard and a low-cost electronic system from Arduino. The camera stores the images on a memory card that plugs into your computer.

Art: A Million Times

by Humans Since 1982 | Posted by

"A Million Times" by Humans Since 1982

Created out of 288 analogue clocks which are powered by 576 electric motors so that the minute and hour hands can be controlled independently. By doing so the hands are left constantly dancing in slow motion and as they rotate they form elaborate patterns and even work together to display text. Watch the video demonstration of the piece working below. Stockholm based studio Humans since 1982 will present their kinetic work "A million times" at Design Days Dubai / Victor Hunt Gallery from March 18 - 21 2013.

Tech: Wearable Gesture Controls

Motion Technology is certainly being pushed hard with the introduction of Leap Motion last year. This area of technology gives the regular user, an experience like that of Tom Cruise and there is a new addition to this futuristic market. Whilst many other devices use camera based gesture control, Thalmic Labs have offered another solution.

With the wave of your hand or a turn of your wrist, MYO will transform how you interact with your digital world. The MYO armband lets you use the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone and other favourite digital technologies. A completely new approach to gesture controlled technology, the MYO monitors muscle activity by strapping around your forearm.

Link Round-Up: February 28, 2012

What's in your Bag? is a fascinating Tumblr sure to appeal to your inner O.C.D. impulse... or, at least, your inner Kinder. 

David Neevel only likes the chocolate cookie part of the OREO, so he built a machine to remove the creme.
Is it just me or is sportswear beginning to look a lot like uniforms out of some sci-fi movie?

Morris Scott Dollens was an active and creative science fiction fan from the earliest days of sci-fi fandom, starting with making the fanzine Science Fiction Collector via hectography at age 16. He went on to illustrate covers for various other fanzines and wrote short stories, but largely left those creative endeavors for technological hobbies and jobs related to photography and recording from the 1950s to 1960s. Following the moon landing in 1969, he began creating small-scale astronomical paintings that he mailed to sci-fi conventions all over the country, where they were part of convention art shows. He also made miniature scenes of space exploration, which he crafted as teasers for a movie, Dream of the Stars, which he sent to magazines and book publishers, but his movie was never made.

Steampunk Tower Defense. Keep the baddies from smashing your brass-n-gears base with effects that rival even your finest local magic lantern show.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tech Links: February 14, 2013


Amazon Beats Apple as America's Most Trusted Company

Amazon Now Accused of Causing Unemployment

Amazon shares climb on Kindle e-book optimism

High stakes if Apple e-books antitrust case goes to trial

How Much Money Amazon Is Making From The Kindle

Link Round-Up: February 21, 2012

Colonel Sanders Dressed cosplaying Dragon Ball Z
Source: Kotaku

Dan writes about games for a living. Dan's dad does not play games. an plays games with his dad. Much amused frustration is had by both parties. 2011, 2012, 2013. Episodes range in duration, but are usually between 15 and 20 minutes. Good videos to start with include Bioshock, Mario Kart Wii, Minecraft, and Scribblenauts Unlimited.

Dr Ainley, is there such a thing as insanity among penguins? What makes a penguin abandon its life and quest into the heart of Antarctica? What is a life well-lived for a penguin, anyway? What makes a human spend a year in a frozen wasteland? Is scientific curiosity kin to the derangement of the penguin? A short clip from Werner Herzog's excellent film, Encounters at the End of the World.

Life Advice from Machines

Neil Gaiman Interactive: The twelve tales [PDF] are written, but words are only half the story – now Neil wants your help bringing them to life. The next step is to illustrate them. You can read the tales, watch a short video of Gaiman explaining the project, then make some artwork and upload it here to the corresponding month/story. Mr. Gaiman said, "I wrote in three days of madness last week: over 9000 words of tales, each one very different, each one inspired by a reply to a question I'd twittered to the world."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gadgets: Ring Clock

Ring Clock | post by

Ring Clock by Guszt√°v Szikszai

Ring Clock is a mechanical ring, which displays the current time. It has three rings for displaying the hour, minutes and seconds.The current time is highlighted, and there is an indicator so the wearer can know which way to put it on.

Photography: Camera Collection

"Camera Collection" by photographer Jim Golden and stylist Krisitn Lane 
Prints available for purchase from Big Cartel. US$90

This piece was created for Nike’s in-house photo studio. The final print will be 10x8 feet and will hang in the studio’s atrium. Portland’s photography community banded together to help assemble this massive collection of cameras for this shoot.

Featured Site: Duolingo


We’ve looked at several startups built to help us learn coding languages, but when it comes to learning human languages our options are pretty limited. Obviously, we’d like to see a Matrix-style system of learning as soon as possible, but until that’s commercially available (c’mon, science!), you might want to try Duolingo. Here are the facts:
  • Duolingo is completely free. No subscription fees, or even advertising. More on that here.
  • 34 hours of Duolingo = 11 weeks of university-level language study, according to an independent assessment of Duolingo’s process.
  • Learn along with your Facebook friends, and take Duolingo on the bus, plane or train with their free iPhone app.
  • Ashton Kutcher is an investor in Duolingo. While he may not be bilingual, the man can spot a promising startup.
Try it out, and tell us what you think! Or for those who, shall we say, have already jumped on board the Duolingo train, “racontez-nous ce que vous pensez!”

Link Round-Up: February 14, 2012

News: JFK Space Centers Plans Angry Birds Exhibit for Spring

Astronaut games are simple pleasures: Even while hurtling through space at around 17,500 MPH (a statistic memorized during a childhood of astronautic ambitions) in a metal tube, with almost no leisure time, astronauts still make the time to make up – and play – games.

How Digital Comics Change the Way Comic Books are Drawn—And Imagined

The Best Part About A Shark's Twitter Account

Spacewar!, one of the world's first digital games, is a primer on creative design: How one of the world's first computer games is a celebration of the future of game design.

Photo: Coral Reefs

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Study: Entertainment Devices

Age, Gender Determine 'Go-To' Devices:
"In the 18- to 34-year-old demographic in particular, TV’s edge is slipping. Just 30% of that group said they expected TV to be their primary source of news and entertainment this year, with 28% saying it will instead be their laptop computer, and another 17% citing their smartphone."

Trivia: What Does E=mc2 Mean?

What Does E=MC2 Mean?

E=mc2 is a version of Einstein’s famous relativity equation. Specifically, it means that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. While seemingly simple, this equation has many profound implications, chief among them being that matter and energy are actually the same stuff. Pure energy in the form of motion can be converted into matter, through the creation of a particle, which has mass. However, as the equation implies, it takes a huge amount of energy to create a tiny bit of mass.


OpEd: Computers Are Going To Disappear

Computers Are Going To Disappear:
"Unfortunately, using a computer sucks. The workflow for interacting with a computer goes something like this:
  • 1. I want to know something
  • 2. I decide to ask the computer
  • 3. I get the computer ready to accept my question
  • 4. I pose my question so that the computer can understand and enter it
  • 5. The computer returns information relevant to my answer
  • 6. I search that information for an answer
  • 7. I know the thing I wanted to know
I interact with the computer for steps two through six, but I only care about steps one and seven. I want to get rid of every step that involves a computer, and, luckily for me, computers are getting smart enough to do those steps for me.
That’s why computers are going to disappear. They’re learning how to do everything I use them for. There are three awesome examples of this that are leading software to help computers disappear."

Tech: QR Codes Embedded into Sidewalk

QR Codes Embedded into Sidewalk to provide tourist information:
"Rio De Janeiro has embedded QR codes into their sidewalks to help tourists learn more about the city and more easily get to where they are going. The codes have been embedded into the city’s traditional mosaic sidewalks in the form of black and white tiles. When the tiles are scanned with a smartphone, a local map and information is provided to the user in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Brazil plans to embed roughly 30 QR codes at beaches, vistas and various historic sites around the city, helping Rio’s two million foreign visitors each year get around."

Humor: Hierarchy Of Digital Distractions

Photo: Landsat Spacecraft Launches

News: Mobile Data Traffic to grow 13-fold

Mobile Internet data traffic to grow 13-fold by 2017, says Cisco:
"One point also worth highlighting is that it appears researchers are forecasting mobile data traffic to increase sharply because of more devices online — not users.
By 2017, Cisco is predicting there will be 5.2 billion mobile users — up from 4.3 billion in 2012. But they also predicted that there will be more than 10 billion connected devices (including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections) within four years — up from 7 billion total in 2012."
Source: CNET

Tech: 10 Most Impressive Smart Cities

10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth:
"It wasn’t too long ago that the term ‘Smart City’ was not on very many people’s radar screens, but today smart cities are popping up all over the place and people are becoming more familiar with what that entails. In case you’re not familiar with the term a smart city uses information combined with technology to improve quality of life, reduce environmental impact, and decrease energy demand. This list of the smartest cities on the planet takes those factors into consideration, as well as the ‘smart’ plans the city might have for the future."

Tech Links: February 13, 2013


The 50 Best Employers In America

Amazon e-Book Sales Soar, Physical Publishers Grounded by Lengthy Payment Cycles

Barnes and Noble's hardest lesson: It pays to be small

Before He Died, Steve Jobs Said He Wanted Apple To Make A Car

Check Out Google's Crazy New Offices In Tel Aviv

Dish’s Charlie Ergen on Ads, Wireless, Cord-Cutting, Culture and Blockbuster

Live Recap: Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaks at Goldman Conference

The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Link Round-Up: February 8, 2012

This birdhouse inspired by Google Maps tells birds where home is.

Infographic: The Science of Smart.

5 Famous Scientists Who Started Their Work As Teens

10 Fascinating Facts About Earth

Blogger Bug Girl explains the finer points of male spider anatomy and, also, probably way more than you wanted to know about Peter Parker's personal life.

Megan Reardon of Not Martha wrote about seven iPhone games that she loves: Megan's recommendations for iPhones games to play on long flights.

New Recruit Hands His Drill Sergeant The Worst Best Reason For Joining The US Military Ever

Plain Chicken has posted a recipe for Pizza Pancakes. Who say you need to choose between breakfast and lunch?

There's a Tumblr devoted to Skyrim Confessions. Surprisingly, not one of them involves peeing into a bottle rather than pausing the game.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Link Round-Up: February 7, 2012

Bossa Studios created the surgery game "Surgeon Simulator 2013" in a weekend. It's somewhere between Operation, advanced medical training simulations, and splatterpunk films.

H&R Block’s Tax Guide for Procrastinators

Here Are 12 Scientific Findings That Were Actually Faked

Khan Academy has a short series of videos featuring LeBron James asking science and statistics questions, with his "good friend Sal" answering them. They cover stuff like the odds of LeBron making three free throws versus one three pointer and what muscles you use when you shoot a basket. They're an engaging introduction to Khan Academy's videos.

Video Distraction: Home Office of the 21st Century

In this 1967 clip from the CBS news series, The 21st Century, Walter Cronkite predicts what the home office of the year 2001 would look like. He was a bit off, but oddly enough, this is exactly how I always imagined my retro Bond-esque villain lair would look one day... except one of my walls will be a giant shark tank.
With equipment like this in the home of the future, we may not have to go to work. The work would come to us. In the 21st century it may be that no home will be complete without a computerized communications console.

Infographic: Submarine Cable Map 2013

Photo: Okunoin

Source: Japan Guide
"Okunoin is the site of the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most revered persons in the religious history of Japan. Instead of having died, Kobo Daishi is believed to rest in eternal meditation as he awaits Miroku Nyorai (Maihreya), the Buddha of the Future, and provides relief to those who ask for salvation in the meantime. Okunoin is one of the most sacred places in Japan and a popular pilgrimage spot."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Video Distraction: Stardust

Stardust by Jay Razonable

Stardust is about Voyager 1, launched in 1977. Operating for 35 years and 5 months, it is the farthest manmade object from Earth.

Tech Links: February 6, 2013


And you thought the efforts to lock down the design of their devices was extensive. Apple has trademarked the interior bits of their stores. Where do you put the little “TM” or “R”? The restrooms?

Marc Andreessen predicts the end of traditional retail. "Retail chains are a fundamentally implausible economic structure if there’s a viable alternative. You combine the fixed cost of real estate with inventory, and it puts every retailer in a highly leveraged position. Few can survive a decline of 20 to 30 percent in revenues. It just doesn’t make any sense for all this stuff to sit on shelves. There is fundamentally a better model."

Netflix's goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix

Quirky is a design and manufacturing website for inventors. In 2010, one of their users, Bill Ward, came up with an idea for a dustpan called the Broom Groomer with a comb-like edge for cleaning off all the dustbunnies and stuff that builds up on your broom. Turns out, gadget company OXO came out with a very similar design in 2012 called the Upright Sweep Set. Last week, the folks at Quirky staged a protest and paid for a billboard that accused OXO of ripping off their design. OXO responds on their blog with a mini-lesson on patents and international intellectual property rights.


Website is claiming a world-wide exclusive by revealing the full spec for the upcoming next-generation Xbox, codenamed Durango.


TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.

Reading & Discussion

Aaron Swartz: The Punishment Did Not Fit the Crime

The Learners Bill of Rights, a set of “Principles for Learning in the Digital Age,” is the outcome of a twelve-person meeting held in Palo Alto last week to explore the voice of the educated in online learning discussions: As we begin to experiment with how novel technologies might change learning and teaching, powerful forces threaten to neuter or constrain technology, propping up outdated educational practices rather than unfolding transformative ones.

Mark Zuckerberg's Hoodie

Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: "competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops."

A recent Atlantic article magazine raises the question of whether online dating discourages long term commitment. This is not the first time Atlantic has raised concerns about online dating sites. In 2006, the tone of an article on the topic was neutral. Not so much in 2010, 2011, and more recently. But perhaps we just all need more data.

Lecture: Surviving a Nuclear Attack

Trivia: United Kingdom Flag

I'm not entirely certain this is true, but some people claim this is how the Union Flag of the United Kingdom was designed.  I would point out that they omitted the Welsh flag.

Photo: Roppongi Hills

Friday, February 1, 2013

Link Round-Up: February 5, 2012

Via: Reddit

46 Reasons My Three Year Old Might be Freaking Out

Behold the exquisite chessboard (and other games as well) that King Charles I took with him to his execution.

Here’s a point-n-click adventure that’s part psychological thriller and part puzzler, Traumata. Try to uncover the main character’s past while trying to overlook that to talk to other characters, you have to “use” them.

HP Lovecraft answers your questions about everything from dating to bagpipes.

The new Ghostbusters freemium mobile game from Capcom's Beeline Interactive is now available on the App Store for iOS devices. Via Joystiq

While, ostensibly a promotion for a camera company, the world's record for the largest snowball fight was staged earlier this year by Snow Day and benefited the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County. It also looks like it was a lot of fun to participate in.