Code Mode Light: Let People Know When You're in Your Coding Zone


Wed, Apr 23, 2014 21:00 EDT 9546* by capnasty NEWS

Built by Palette Industries and hand-lettered by Jessica Hische, the Code Mode Light is a limited edition light that warns others when you are in your coding zone.

Jessica Hische has spent a lot of time learning web design and development over the past few years — and a lot of time asking her husband for help. “I noticed his concentration was impenetrable when he was coding and to bring him out of it was to wish death upon yourself. Once I started doing web work myself I would go into silence zone mode or code mode often. Now I use the term to describe any time I’m in the zone with work and can ignore just about everything else.” She wanted to make something for her wall to let her studio mate know her code mode status, “so he wouldn’t think I was ignoring him. I just get too deep in work to know when he’s talking to me!”



What is Wrong With American Sidewalk Cafes

#Culture, #Opinion

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 20:00 EDT 9549* by capnasty NEWS

On The Smart Set, Wayne Smith looks at the history of the sidewalk cafes and explains everything that's wrong with the American version. If you've ever found yourself opting on sitting outside of a stripmall's Starbucks at the edge of a dull parking lot, or right next to a noisy intersection, this piece will hit home.

And here I sit — next to an overflowing dumpster screened partially from view but not in the least from aroma by cheap latticework from Home Depot. Or I’m curbside on a city street where every few minutes a bus passes and emits a great sooty plume of diesel exhaust, which gently alights upon my meal like finely ground pepper. Or, perhaps in the saddest tableaux of all, I’m sitting outside in front of a strip mall, corralled by some cagelike ironwork posted with stern wording against seating yourself, and overlooking an asphalt lagoon consisting of thousands of car windshields each reflecting the sun’s rays directly at me, as if I’m part



Using Drones to Create Graffiti

#Art, #Technology

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:00 EDT 9548* by capnasty NEWS

Motherboard looks at KATSU, notoriously famous artist and vandal, who is planning to expand the range of graffiti using drones. With a quadcopter armed with a spray can, the device would allow him to reach "canvases or walls hundreds of feet high."

Just as autonomous drone technology in the military sphere will challenge structures of accountability and responsibility, KATSU’s graffiti drone, which he hopes will soon be capable of autonomously creating its own artworks, challenges our notions of authorship, creativity and power: Who's the artist, the human or the machine? Likewise, just as the drone has expanded the physical and surveillant reach of militaries and governments, what will it mean in the hands of the citizen and the artist? In the cities where artists constantly seek to place their artwork in the most unreachable places, the drone could become a powerful tool of art and vandalism.

Metropolitan police departments everywhere may have another reason to be



Exploring New York's Off-Limits Areas

#Art, #Photography, #Adventure

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 11:00 EDT 9550* by capnasty NEWS

Animal New York has released this mini-documentary titled Exploring Off-Limits New York, which follows 2e's night adventures as he bikes from abandoned building to abandoned building, taking some remarkable photography. Above, an image from 2e's Instagram account, titled Reminiscing the Queens dream. You'll recognize a few photos from the video.

For five years or so, the twenty-something-year old studied this hidden New York. He knows the history and the anatomy of every spot. Stepping into the Greenpoint Terminal warehouse, he talks about the rope, jute and hemp moved through it until the big fire gutted everything. He steps over that one loose step in a dust-covered staircase. He weaves, climbs, burrows in smooth, practised motions.

Half an hour later, he’s at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge. The East River reeks of floating shit, but above, the clamoring traffic shines through the grates. From the crashing bank of the river, there’s a kind of view you



A Speculative, Interactive Map of 'Game of Thrones'

#Art, #Literature, #Television, #Data

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 10:00 EDT 9551* by capnasty NEWS

This interactive but highly speculative map of the world of Westeros from Game of Thrones was created by carpediem, a member of the fansite. In a way, the map kind of mimics the behaviour you'd expect out of Google Maps.

I really enjoyed the fan-made maps I've seen from Tear and serMountainGoat, so I thought I might try to make my own contribution. I started with serMountainGoat's images as base layers, then I added overlays to outline the political regions, show the noble families for individual towns, and trace the paths of major characters. Each of these overlays is controlled by a slider mechanism that allows you to show or hide spoilers depending on how far you've read in the books. Alternatively, you can use the slider to choose how much of the HBO TV show you've watched.

Next, I made all of the town & ruin markers clickable-- they'll take you directly to the appropriate page of the Westeros wiki. I also added some code to parse the URL so that you can link



Space Art from the 70s

#Art, #Space

Tue, Apr 22, 2014 21:00 EDT 9540* by capnasty NEWS

On the NASA website, a lovely collection of space colony art from the 1970s, looking like the kind of stuff you'd find on the covers of yesteryears sci-fi novels. Above, a cutaway of a Toroidal Colonies, capable of housing 10,000 space colonists.

Three space colony summer studies were conducted at NASA Ames in the 1970s. A number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made. These have been scanned and are available here as small, medium, large, and publication quality jpeg images. Scans by David Brandt-Erichsen.

Images are not copyrighted. Please credit photos to NASA Ames Research Center.
NASA image use policy.


Improbabilita': Unlikely, Impractical Objects That Could Actually Exist


Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:00 EDT 9543* by capnasty NEWS

Italian illustrator Giuseppe Colarusso has this collection of images titled Improbabilita'. It features unlikely objects that borderline with the impossible but which could actually exist. The above image appears courtesy of Giuseppe Colarusso.


"Begone queues and awkward pre-poo chit-chat": Is the Toilet Free?


Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:00 EDT 9545* by capnasty NEWS

On the Made by Many site, Callum Jefferies has this amusing entry titled Is the Toilet Free?. The post explains how a Raspberry-Pi-powered toilet-in-use detector was engineered in order to allow users to know whether or not the bathroom was available.

A few of us Many have been working on a side project that we’ve aptly named Is the Toilet Free? Its purpose to provide an at-desk indication of whether a toilet is free in an effort to remedy that laborious walk to the loo only to find that they’re all engaged. Begone queues and awkward pre-poo chit-chat. (Some of many struggles at MxM.)


Convert the Screen of an LCD Watch to a Negative Display


Mon, Apr 21, 2014 20:30 EDT 9544* by capnasty NEWS

Fascinating How-To on the watchuseek watch forums on taking a G-Shock DW-5600 and converting its LCD screen into a negative display. The process itself isn't rocket science, but taking the watch apart requires some careful surgical precision. The guide is a few years old, but the cool factor still high.

You’ve all probably seen my various attempts at stealthing a few of my G-Shocks. My Stealth Mudman and my basic bezel stealthing projects for example. Both of which were relatively straight forward. The Mudman was largely a swapping and dyeing project and the bezel stealthing was just a matter of removing the lettering off my DW-5600 — both were fun to do though.

This project was a little more adventurous for me and as you will see quite a bit more complicated. It involves doing some pretty nasty things to the screen of a G-Shock, so if you’re faint hearted this is probably not the ideal DIY project for you. If you’re still reading this and, like me,



Game of Thrones Pop-Up Book


Mon, Apr 21, 2014 12:00 EDT 9542* by capnasty NEWS

Released on March 25th, 2014, this Pop-Up Guide to Westeros illustrated by Michael Komarck and engineered by Matthew Reinhart, showcases some incredible pop-up illustrations of the Game of Thrones saga. The book is published by Insight Editions.

Featuring stunning pop-up recreations of several key locations from the series, including the formidable castle of Winterfell, the lavish capital city King's Landing, and the Wall's stark majesty, this book-designed by renowned paper engineer Matthew Reinhart-takes you into the world of the series like never before. Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros features a total of five stunning spreads, which fold out to create a remarkable pop-up map of Westeros that is perfect for displaying. The book also contains numerous mini-pops that bring to life iconic elements of the show, such as direwolves, White Walkers, giants, and dragons. All the pops are accompanied by insightful text that relays the rich history of the Seven Kingdoms



Ant-Sized Micro Robots


Mon, Apr 21, 2014 11:00 EDT 9541* by capnasty NEWS

Fascinating video by SRI International showing off their magnetically actuated micro-robots to be used for the construction of elaborately small devices. There's surprisingly little information about them on the official site.

SRI is developing new technology to reliably control thousands of micro-robots for smart manufacturing of macro-scale products in compact, integrated systems.


"Graphene is one of the few materials in the world that is transparent, conductive and flexible -- all at the same time."

#Future, #Technology, #Science

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 10:00 EDT 9539 by capnasty NEWS

Although graphene has been around for a decade, it has only been gaining interest in the last few years when "two physicists at the University of Manchester were awarded the Nobel Prize for their experiments with it." The material is ultra-light yet stronger than steel, can conduct electricity and could be used to create "flexible devices, supercharged quantum computers, electronic clothing and computers that can interface with the cells in your body."

So what do you do with graphene? Physicists and researchers say that we will soon be able to make electronics that are thinner, faster and cheaper than anything based on silicon, with the option of making them clear and flexible. Long-lasting batteries that can be submerged in water are another possibility.

In 2011, researchers at Northwestern University built a battery that incorporated graphene and silicon, which the university said could lead to a cellphone that “stayed charged for more than a week and recharged in just



Cornerround: Corner Protector for Books


Sun, Apr 20, 2014 21:00 EDT 9538* by capnasty NEWS

Cornerround: Corner Protector for Books

Following a similar principle as the phone protector, the Cornerround protect the delicate corners of books from accidental falls. The product, featured on the Design Nobis website, received the bronze award in the Gift Items Design category.

For the meticulous readers who cares their books a lot, corneround is a perfect product which supplies a longer protection for the covers and enables a lifetime use of the books. Corneround is not only used for books, it is able to preserve also all your documents such as notebooks, personal agendas, or a stack of paper attached together regardless of the paper or book sizes.


Snacks Quarterly: For the Distinguished Snack Enthusiast


Sun, Apr 20, 2014 11:00 EDT 9537* by capnasty NEWS

Created by Alexander Barrett and Brad Simon, Snacks Quarterly is an online publication that brings a variety of artists together to share "their insights and ideas on the subject of snacks and snacking." This isn't about food one eats for nourishment, but simply about the decadent pleasure of those meals between meals.

It’s the food we eat not to sustain ourselves, but out of pure desire that gets to the heart of who we are as a people.

[...] Essays, illustrations, anecdotes, and practical snacking tips post four times a year on our beautifully designed, ad-free website.

If you’re a casual snacker, a professional snacker, or if you’re interested into delving deeper into the world of snacks, let Snacks Quarterly be your guide to a purposeful snack-based lifestyle.



Where Nobody Lives


Sat, Apr 19, 2014 21:00 EDT 9535* by capnasty NEWS

The Maps By Nik Tumblr showcases maps of America locating the areas where absolutely nobody lives. While portions of Alaska would be expected, western United States is a surprisingly barren and desolated area with vast swats of "zero population."

A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.

Green shading indicates unoccupied Census Blocks. A single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from shading.



"Steve knowing your name was an honor. But also occasionally a terrifying responsibility. That was the bargain."

#Life, #Workplace

Sat, Apr 12, 2014 11:00 EDT (9507) by capnasty NEWS

Don Melton, the guy best known for starting the Safari and WebKit projects, has this wonderful write-up on his experiences working for Steve Job. Chockful of great moments and great phrasing.

Ken and I hadn’t seen Bud in months, not since Eazel shut down, so were all making guesses about the reason for his visit. Tiring of the conjecture, I finally just stood up, cupped my hands and called out to him.

“Hey, Bud! Come over and see your old pals when you’re done to talking to that guy.” Bud looked up — slight pause — and “that guy” turned around to stare at me.

It was Steve Jobs. Of course.

I will forever remember his look — a slightly lopsided and tight-lipped half-smile, eyebrows narrowed as if to say, “I don’t know who you are but I won’t forget that.”


When I sat back down at least I didn’t say something smartass like, “I am so fired,” in front of my two



Hipsters Love Coffee, Parody of Annoying Coffeeshop Customers

#Food, #Humour

Sun, Apr 13, 2014 11:00 EDT (9509) by capnasty NEWS

Very funny video by Nacho Punch highlights the kind of creative crowds coffee shops attract, in case you were ever pondering on the idea of opening such a place yourself.

You've either met these people or you're one of them.


Don't Look Down

#Workplace, #Video

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 10:00 EDT (9522) by capnasty NEWS

Vocativ, which was featured back in December with their mini-documentary about the men who clean Mumbai's sewages, is behind this video titled Don't Look Down. It follows New York's "wall dogs," who paint wall-advertising on the side of buildings.

Imagine strapping in, clipping on, and jumping off the roof of a building - every day. In an age with instant communication at your fingertips and digital marketing on every platform, there are those who still get out messages the old-fashioned way, with a paintbrush and some attitude. They call themselves "wall dogs," says one veteran of the trade, "because we are chained to a wall all day by our safety harness, and we work like dogs." Vocativ spent a day with these blue-collar artists as they paint advertisements high above the streets of New York City.



Pornostagram: the Rated-X Instagram

#Internet, #Sex, #Photography

Sat, Apr 12, 2014 21:00 EDT (9508) by capnasty NEWS

If you thought Instagram was too clean, there's an alternative for those that want to see more than closeups of feet or Starbucks cups: Pornostagram (NSFW). The service does exactly what Instagram offers, complete with filters, but allows people to post however much about themselves they want to show off.

Although Lechemia says Pornostagram is the only app on the market that allows users to apply Instagram-like filters to their content, it’s actually one of many apps that have attempted to capitalize on the burgeoning phenomenon of social porn, which has been heralded as the future of the adult industry. While there are a multitude of NSFW social spinoffs on the market, such as the Facebook-inspired Fuckbook and the Pinterest-inspired Pinsex and Snatchly.

Yet few have managed to find a significant audience (though it should be mentioned Pornostagram has seen impressive usership), in part due to the obvious social stigma attached to sharing one’s pornographic tastes



Lab Grown Vaginas


Tue, Apr 15, 2014 21:00 EDT (9519) by capnasty NEWS

The Kurzweil website brings to attention the work being done by a research team led by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Reportedly, the team was able to grow vaginal organs and implant them in human recipients. The vaginas, which were engineered out of the patients' own cells, have completely normal function.

“This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said Atala. “This may represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive surgeries.”

The teenage girls in the study were born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare genetic condition in which the vagina and uterus are underdeveloped or absent. The treatment could also potentially be applied to patients with vaginal cancer or injuries, according to the researchers.

The girls were between 13 and



Hacked Prius Uses Power from Trolleybus Overhead Wires

#Art, #Travel

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 12:00 EDT (9500) by capnasty NEWS

On The Bold Italic, Sierra Hartman speaks with Jon, a man who modified his Toyota Prius to sport trolley poles. The trolleys actually work, allowing the vehicle to get its electricity from the municipal overhead wires used to power the trolley busses. Jon is a little vague about how he is able to do this, but the article is a fascinating read.

A couple months ago I was walking out of Golden Gate Park onto Fulton around 8th Avenue. I stepped onto the sidewalk just in time to see a Prius roll by with a pair of giant antennae mounted on the roof. At first I thought it was just some kind of art-car getup, but then I realized the antennae was the same power pole doodad that MUNI buses use (I later learned they’re called “trolley poles”). Not only that, they were actually running along the overhead power cables for the 5 line. The driver cruised past with a high-pitched humming noise as I stood there thinking, “No. Fucking. Way.”



Comic Neue: the New Face of Comic Sans


Thu, Apr 10, 2014 10:00 EDT (9493) by capnasty NEWS

You can now download Comic Neue for free, a font that takes the classic lines of the much derided Comic Sans and gives it a lovely facelift.

Comic Sans wasn’t designed to be the world’s most ubiquitous casual typeface. Comic Neue aspires to be the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy.

The squashed, wonky, and weird glyphs of Comic Sans have been beaten into shape while maintaining the honesty that made Comic Sans so popular.

It's perfect as a display face, for marking up comments, and writing passive aggressive office memos.


Wireless Phone Service Providers Could See Facebook and Google as Competition


Thu, Apr 10, 2014 11:00 EDT (9498) by capnasty NEWS

It looks like both Google and Facebook are planning to compete with wireless providers by using their own services. On one end, you have Google, with their expanding Google Fiber, which would provide voice services by relying on "on Google Fiber Wi-Fi hotspots for data connectivity and for VoIP calling." On the other side, you have Facebook, which has now launched in Europe a WhatsApp SIM card offering "a mobile data and mobile voice calling package of 600MB and 600 minutes," for a nimble $14. This may also tie in as to why Facebook is pulling its chat feature away from their main app and forcing people to shift to Messenger.

Could this be an important part of why Facebook bought WhatsApp? There has been plenty of speculation about how Facebook might launch a smartphone, but what if it actually intends to challenge mobile operators directly as an MVNO by using WhatsApp as its proxy?

WhatsApp plans to roll out voice over IP services, which would essentially turn the app into a



Williams Syndrome: the Opposite of Autism


Mon, Apr 14, 2014 20:00 EDT (9513) by capnasty NEWS

On the BBC, Health reporter Pippa Stephens looks at Chris Steel, a man born with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes him to be "empathetic, social, friendly and endearing." Unfortunately, while wonderful sounding, sufferers "tend to have a low IQ, making tasks such as counting money difficult."

"Chris can talk to anyone and doesn't need a response," his mother Judy says.

Judy says he is also "great to take to parties" as he happily introduces himself to new people.

But there is a flip side of this social ease. Judy says Chris is "too trusting", and has been taken advantage of.

She said he also needs people around him to be happy and guide him in what opinions he should have.

People with WS may make prolonged eye-contact, and be over-engaging, which can put them in danger.


Glow-in-the-Dark Highway Markings

#Art, #Driving, #Future, #Travel, #Environment

Fri, Apr 11, 2014 21:00 EDT (9506) by capnasty NEWS

As part of an artistic project by Dutch-based Daan Roosegaarde, a stretch of highway near Oss now sports about 500 metres of glow-in-the-dark highway markings. The special paint, developed by Heijmans, is capable of absorbing light during the day and glow for up to eight hours at night.

Early April 2014 the first Glowing Lines was constructed on the N329 provincial highway near Oss (Province of Noord-Brabant). The artwork was designed by artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and the road was constructed by Heijmans. This makes the project the first light-emitting highway pilot in the world. The Glowing Lines are part of the internationally known and award-winning Smart Highway concept. With this concept for the intelligent highway of tomorrow, Roosegaarde and Heijmans are jointly working on innovating the Dutch landscape in which poetry, design, technology, safety and an energy-neutral future converge.

Much has been written about intelligent highways since the eighties.



Skimming Instead of Reading is Bad for Your Brain

#Literature, #Science

Fri, Apr 11, 2014 11:00 EDT (9503) by capnasty NEWS

According to cognitive neuroscientists, humans have developed "digital brains," giving them the ability to easily skim through the "torrent of information" available online. While beneficial to find the information we want quickly or determine if what we're reading is something we actually want to invest time and effort in, this new brain is competing "with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia."

Researchers are working to get a clearer sense of the differences between online and print reading — comprehension, for starters, seems better with paper — and are grappling with what these differences could mean not only for enjoying the latest Pat Conroy novel but for understanding difficult material at work and school. There is concern that young children’s affinity and often mastery of their parents’ devices could stunt the development of deep reading skills.

The brain is the innocent bystander in this new world. It just



Why 9:41 is the Time Always Displayed on Apple Products


Wed, Apr 16, 2014 10:00 EDT (9521) by capnasty NEWS

Tuaw explains why, on Apple's advertising, the iPad and the iPhone almost always their time set to 9:41 and 9:42 respectively. From the Secret Lab site, Jon Manning explains:

“We design the keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation. When the big image of the product appears on screen, we want the time shown to be close to the actual time on the audience’s watches. But we know we won’t hit 40 minutes exactly.”


Drop Dropbox

#Internet, #Politics, #Companies

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 21:00 EDT (9504) by capnasty NEWS

TechCrunch reports that Condoleezza Rice, who you might remember as playing a "controversial role in the Bush administration," has joined Dropbox's board. While Dropbox needs someone with her international talent and experience in order to "help it at once deal with foreign governments that have blocked its use," it didn't take long for calls to boycott Dropbox to show up.

This is deeply disturbing, and anyone — or any business — who values ethics should be concerned.

Why is this? Because she was a part of the Bush administration? Because she is a Republican and we should hate Republicans? I mean, come on, isn't Al Gore on Apple's Board? He's no saint!

No. This is not an issue of partisanship. It makes sense that Dropbox would want an accomplished, high-level, well-connected individual on their Board of Directors as they prepare for their IPO. There is no doubt that Condoleezza Rice is an extremely brilliant and accomplished individual, having obtained her



The Bradley Timepiece: Watch You Can Touch to Tell the Time


Fri, Apr 11, 2014 12:00 EDT (9502) by capnasty NEWS

After a successful campaign on Kickstarter, the Bradley Timepiece is now available for purchase. What makes this watch unique is that thanks to its unusual design, you can tell what time it is, in complete darkness, simply by touching its face. The BBC has this piece on the watch, explaining its surprisingly popularity with sighted users.

The Bradley Timepiece, a watch designed for blind people and named after a Paralympian gold medallist who lost his sight in Afghanistan, is up for design of the year at London's Design Museum. But it's mostly being bought by sighted people, writes Chris Stokel-Walker.

The watch has a stark, circular titanium face. There are no hands. There are no numbers. Around a groove in the centre a ball-bearing rotates to mark the minutes. Around the edge of the watch, another ball bearing rotates to tell the hours.

The Bradley was designed for the use of blind people, the latest in a long line of efforts to help those without sight efficiently



Revisionist History

#History, #Opinion

Mon, Jan 26, 2004 2:00 EST (673) By Tim King ARTICLE

When these same people see lies as truth, there is no chance of history being understood on its own terms, and no chance for a society to continue to improve. Nationalist or culturalist bias in a history text is a very dangerous issue because of the danger of lapsing into propaganda and societal lethargy.