Category Archives: Design

To Scale: The Solar System

I’ve seen lots of representations of the solar system before, but this one is great. The distance from earth to the moon alone surprised me.

Inside The Mind Of A Designer

https://vimeo.com/113751583

Via Kottke, whose title I’ve appropriated and mangled.

Microsoft Research IllumiRoom

Windows 8 might suck balls but this is fucking awesome. I wonder what Ballmer will suggest to fuck it up….

Challenges of Getting to Mars

The “Seven Minutes of Terror” title is a bit silly, but the tech involved in getting Curiousity onto Mars is incredible.

Google Handwrite Mobile Search

Long overdue. Works too, me likey!

Handwrite enables you to search by just writing letters with your finger most anywhere on your device’s screen—there’s no keyboard that covers half of the screen and no need for hunt-and-peck typing.

New York Times Emphasis

The developers at NYTimes.com have come up with a fab way of allowing people to link to specific paragraphs in articles, and highlight sentences. Here’s a link to the instructions, for example. At the moment I’d guess it’s only nerds like me that’d use something like this, hopefully it’ll become a common design pattern.

Why do I always get the sloooow line?

Well, you don’t, however your probability of getting a slow line (in the example below) is 66%, which is why you always seem to come out worse off. Here’s a great video to explain, via Lifehacker. (Young ‘uns, you might want to read this first.)

(Every time I stand waiting at the Tesco self-serve checkouts, I wish they’d formalise the combined queue. I actually map out the rope barriers in my head…)

John Underkoffler does Minority Report

The reaction of the audience when he starts waving about is priceless. Once again, this is a long video (for the web), but keep going, the demos get even better as it goes on.

Let’s Paint Our Potholes

Let’s face it, they’re not going to be fixed in the short term, so how about giving them a quick shot of flourescent paint to at least let people know where they are? Better they swerve a few feet further back than at the last minute in a panic, or hit the damned thing and lose control. Might save a few expensive suspension repairs into the bargain.

(This article is actually about an idea by a couple of Italian design students to add colour to the tar, so that potholes are automatically highlighted when they appear, but the principle is the same.)

NYTimes.com: April is the cruelest month, wrote T.S. Eliot, possibly considering his tires and suspension, but March is pretty close. This time of year also brings new ideas for dealing with potholes.

One idea to help is to make potholes easier to avoid, even if they can’t be prevented or fixed. Several students in Italy have come up with a novel design idea.

Domenico Diego and Cristina Corradini of the Milan Polytechnic university call their plan the “Street Safe Initiative.” Their idea is to brightly color a lower layer of asphalt so that a break in the surface becomes easy to spot and the potholes easier to dodge.

“Webmaster” Heaven

This is terrifying. If you’re in an office, turn down your sound. Perhaps sunglasses might be in order too.

No hamsters though. Shame.