laughingsquid.com/the-isolator-a-bizarre-helmet-for-encouraging-concentration-1925/, posted 2011 by peter in design humor inspiration retro
The Isolator is a bizarre helmet invented in 1925 that encourages focus and concentration by rendering the wearer deaf, piping them full of oxygen, and limiting their vision to a tiny horizontal slit. The Isolator was invented by Hugo Gernsback, editor of Science and Invention magazine, member of “The American Physical Society,” and one of the pioneers of science fiction.
I once helped my uncle select a new laser printer for his small business. The printer was a Laserjet 5 made by Hewlett-Packard. That was 15 years ago; the printer still works beautifully. It is made of metal and feels robust. In contrast, current printers, whether from HP or anyone else, feel like plastic junk. Whenever I open a compartment on my current printer, I worry that I will snap off a piece of the case and break it beyond repair.
* No images, no external CSS
* No dependencies
* Highly configurable
* Resolution independent
* Works in all major browsers, including IE6
* Smaller than an animated GIF (3K minified, 1.7K gzipped)
* MIT License
How it works
Spin.js uses the CSS3 to render the UI, falling back to VML Internet Explorer. If supported by the browser, @keyframe rules are used to animate the spinner.
PsiXpda, who you may remember channeled some classic Psion nostalgia for their UMPC in late 2009, is planning a second attempt on the companion device market with a design that sticks more faithfully to the fondly-remembered Series 5mx.
Rather than attempt to squeeze a desktop OS onto the new PsiXpda, Pinnock intends to use Android, which should add up to longer battery life and more consumer appeal. Although we’ve seen Android MIDs with physical ‘boards before, they’ve always been intended for thumb-typing rather than anything more ambitious. No word on when PsiXpda intends to release the new model, but we’re tentatively curious to see if its second attempt can do a better job of living up to the Psion inspiration.
So, an Android device with a Psion keyboard? Yes please! If my Psion 5mx had wifi, or 3G, or GPRS, or Bluetooth, or any other reasonable way of communicating with anything else, I'd still use it to this day.
Oh look, Microsoft actually has sensible recommendations on applications using customized windows:
Most Windows applications should use the standard window frames. However, for immersive, full screen, stand-alone applications like games and kiosk applications, it may be appropriate to use custom frames for any windows that aren't shown full screen. The motivation to use custom frames should be to give the overall experience a unique feel, not just for branding.
Of course, these recommendations don't apply to Microsoft themselves, only to everybody else. Microsoft Office, anyone? Outlook? Or the absolute GUI monstrosity that is the Windows Media Player? In Microsoft's own applications, there are gratuitous custom window frames everywhere.
Font rasterisation is, in the author’s opinion, one of the most interesting fields of computer science. If music is the subjective application of physics, then font rasterisation is almost certainly the subjective application of computer science. The purpose of this article is threefold: firstly, to provide an introduction into the various methods available to aid in the rasterisation process; secondly, to provide a critical analysis of these methods against the needs of desktop applications; and finally, to relate this analysis to free software.
Figures, in the form of bitmap images, are used extensively throughout. This is done to ensure consistent results across different platforms. Since some of the figures make use of sub-pixel rendering, this article is best viewed on an LCD screen.
The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery has six main technical features that, when combined together, create the world's first all-in-one brewing appliance. This combination then allows you to make the freshest beer on the planet with minimum effort.
This thing looks ridiculously cool. Makes me wonder though... I'm sure a total noob (like me) can use it to make okay beer -- but would a skilled brewer (like I would want to become if I had one of these) be able to make excellent beer with it? Then I'd want one. Or at least I would if I had somewhere to put it. It's pretty stylish, but not something I'd want in my living room.
To start using Kern.JS, first deploy the easy-to-use Lettering.JS on your page. Once installed, come back here and drag the big blue icon to your bookmarks bar. Letters can be kerned by selecting and dragging them. For precision, try the arrow keys!
news.discovery.com/tech/carnivorous-furniture-powered-by-meat.html, posted 2011 by peter in design energy robotics
The table baits a mouse up through one oversized leg and to the center of the table, where a trapdoor opens and they fall into a chamber full of microbes which digest the rodent and use the energy to power the table's electronics (presumably the sensor that detects the mouse). Similarly, a digital clock is powered with the same type of microbial fuel cell, collecting its prey with flypaper. A spherical lampshade with holes modeled after the infamous Pitcher plant lures flies in, but they are unable to escape and eventually fall into the bottom of the light, where they become fuel. They've also modified a UV fly-zapper to retrieve power from the fly corpses it creates.
Design studio TO-GENKYO proposes a new method of tracking a foods expiration date by using a universally recognizable visual. Over the last year or so Japan had been struck by a number of scandals involving food companies tampering with expiration dates. The new design keeps people honest by changing colors based on the level of ammonia the food emits as it ages. After it has passed its expiration date the barcode is no longer readable, making it impossible to sell.