Can you call a concept a cultural phenomenon if different people conceive of it at the same time? Within the past few months, three publications have come to similar conclusions. The digital media agency Avenue A | Razorfish released a study called "Fast Forward: Designing for Constant Change." It consists of thirteen essays as well as research exploring how consumers' digital media habits are changing, and how this affects the design of user experiences and brands. The key take-away is: Today's online users are forced to adjust to constant change in increasingly volatile rich media environments, and they … Read more
Those of us who are artistically challenged need all the help we can get when it comes to design software. A new tool called Vector Magic--the result of Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory research project by James Diebel and Jacob Norda--seems to be a valuable addition to the arsenal of free apps available for creating and editing images online.
Basically, Vector Magic takes rasterized images (composed of pixels) and converts them to vector (or scalable) images. The result is an image that can be easily resized with no blur or pixelation--an ideal format for logos or other images that need to appear both large and small. Vector Magic supports the uploading of JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and TIFF formats, and can export its final products as EPS, SVG, or PNG files. A warning on the Vector Magic blog today warns users to be patient because of a recent upswing in the load on its servers, but I had no problem at all converting JPEG images of various sizes into vector images in no time at all.… Read more
And here we thought the 727 jet limo was insane. The vehicle pictured here might seem like an ordinary fire engine at first look--until it's turned around. From that angle, it's a work of insanity.
Not only is it modded with a turbine engine, but it's one from a Russian MiG fighter jet--making it "the largest turbine motor in a land vehicle anywhere in the world," according to LifeOnTop. The size alone would seem to lend credence to that claim, at 27 feet long and 5.5 feet in diameter.
If they add one of … Read more
My colleague Hunter Smith of frog design has used his entrepreneurial spirit to launch a budding start-up based on his two greatest passions: eco-design and skateboarding. Hunter's company, aptly named SuperGreen Boards, employs some of the most advanced eco-friendly technologies for producing custom longboards, slalom, and speedboards.
SuperGreen Boards uses bamboo, which is not only beautiful, strong, and flexible but is also sustainably harvested. Maple wood, known as the gold standard for skateboards because of its strength under the pressure of the rider, takes a minimum of 100 years to mature before it can be used. Bamboo, in comparison, … Read more
Scion is primarily known for two things: its young, trendy customer base and the customizability of its cars. Now the automaker is taking those two ideas forward in a novel way by partnering with Ridemakerz, a specialty retailer that allows its customers to build personalized scale models of production cars. Scion made the announcement of the partnership at the SEMA show here in Las Vegas, where Ridemakerz had set up version of one of its interactive stores. We wasted no time in rolling up our sleeves and getting to work building our own Scion xB model. Check out our gallery … Read more
While our main interest at this year's SEMA show was the wealth of new in-car gadgetry on display, we couldn't help but show some interest in the hundreds of modified trucks, classics and hot rods jammed into every available inch of Las Vegas Convention Center. We managed to tear ourselves away from the mobile electronics hall to get snaps of some of the more entertaining mods, particularly those at either end of the height scale. Check out our photo gallery to see a roundup of our favorites.
We've got to hand it to NEC and Nissan. As silly as we found the their SUV-inspired laptop, there's something admirably cheeky about their special edition that's supposed to match Nissan's March mini-car (aka the Micra in Japan), in all its striped insanity.
The pattern looks as if it was lifted from a drawer liner created by an overcaffienated interior designer of the '60s. It even comes with a slip cover made of the same material used for the car's seat upholstery, according to Digital World Tokyo.
We really shouldn't be surprised by any … Read more
When Lexus unveiled its IS-F sedan at the Detroit auto show this year, it was the first factory-tuned model that we had seen from the Japanese automaker. Today, Lexus unveiled a range of performance accessories to allow owners of standard IS250 and IS350 models to cash in on the "F" factor by pimping their rides with their choice of performance-enhancing components.
IS drivers will be able to choose from a number of dealer options, including upgraded brakes, a carbon-fiber engine cover, a performance air-intake, and F-branded 19-inch forged alloy wheels. According to Lexus reps, the accessories will be … Read more
Why is it that your typical office phone stinks compared with the one you have at home? Here are a few of the ways they are harder to use, do less, and look uglier.
Office phones are ugly: They are typically anonymous black blobs with boring key shapes and colors and utilitarian speaker grills. Stylistically they are circa 1985 and made with shiny black textured plastics that would embarass a home phone or cell phone.
Office phones are hard to use (part one): They typically come in two types: Those with just one cryptic "function" button that through … Read more