Audio Clock

Audio Clock
Audio Clock

Another app. to fuel my love of the display of time on an iPhone. Audio Clock by Kojiro Futamura makes your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch into a beautiful clock and a music player. Audio Clock is designed for not only a time utility but also for a digital animation art as interior objects that always on your bedside, desktop and sideboard. Audio Clock is free to use the basic function as a clock and more than 40 different themes are available via in-App Purchase.
App. Store
Via Mocoloco.


Neilson: More US Consumers Choosing Smartphones

According to the latest research from Nielsen, the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S last Fall had an enormous impact on the proportion of smartphone owners who chose an Apple iPhone.

Among recent acquirers, meaning those who said they got a new device within the past three months, 44.5 percent of those surveyed in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1 percent in October. Furthermore, 57 percent of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they got an iPhone 4S.
Android continues to hold the lead among all smartphone users, with 46.3 percent of all smartphone owners surveyed in Q42011 reporting they have an Android-based mobile phone.
As of Q42011, 46 percent of US mobile consumers had smartphones, and that figure is growing quickly. In fact, 60 percent of those who said they got a new device within the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.

Look to Asymo’s “The rise and fall of personal computing” for evidence of how smartphone adoption is disrupting where we as a percentage do our computing.


Samsung’s Smart Window


More demonstration than something you will be installing in your home, Samsung’s Smart Window is nonetheless an interesting step forward in our march towards ubiquitous computing. Perhaps transparent devices aren’t that far off after all. One quibble which has been pointed out extensively is their blatant copying of other software UI. Surely there is more than one way to design a weather widget.
People love these demos, it’s been so heavily reported that I bet my mother will asking when she can install this in her kitchen.
*Best experienced with audio off.
Via OhGizmo!


Every Presentation Ever: Communication fail


Too funny and true.
The film missed an important point (a technology fail) or put it in the wrong place. I have sat through about 28 presentations in the past 6 months, presented by ‘normal’ people (meaning not a techie or someone gives a presentation on a daily basis) and without fail the large majority could not start without major effort. Their is no plug-in play in the powerpoint universe. It’s painful, not funny, as people negotiate different powerpoint version issues and fidgeting with how to get the slides and notes to display properly. Simple hand drawn slides using an overhead projector is far superior. Yes there is some Mac user smugness in me as I keep an ancient 12″ Powerbook ready for any presentation (as I know it just works) or on occasion I simply plug-in a iOS device and go. But it really shouldn’t be so painful to show something so simple regardless of the platform used.
Via swissmiss.


R&T Waxed Canvas Field Bag

R&T Waxed Canvas Field Bag by MimsMaine
A beautiful original find. The Field Bag is handmade by Natasha Durham
in Maine, all are one of a kind and built to last. Bags like this are far nicer the their mass produced brethren or their overpriced luxury brand cousins. The bag features a rather shoulder strap with solid antique brass hardware, 14oz waxed canvas outer, leather detailing, somewhat unfortunate English knob closures and a bunch of pockets for items like your iPhone and passport. My only nitpick is that that strap is way to short and should be adjustable.
R&T Waxed Canvas Field Bag by MimsMaine


Japan’s Keitai Culture

Japan's Keitai Culture
Japan’s mobile industry and keitai culture have gone hand in hand in innovating cell phone features. This article in Pipeline Magazine gives us some clues as to how.

Yumiko wakes to the alarm on her cell phone. The charm dangling from her keitai is the likeness of Hello Kitty, and it jangles as Yumiko fumbles to disable her phone’s alarm. She strives in vain to stretch away the chill of morning as she begins her day. A day like any other, in which her cell phone, the Japanese term for which is keitai denwa–literally, “hand carry telephone”–will play a large part.

One notable outgrowth of Japan’s unique ethnography has sprung up around the cell phone. In the so-named “keitai culture” the humble cell is king. For over a decade, feature phones in Japan have filled roles Westerners typically ascribe to PCs. So pervasive are cell phones in the daily lives of Japanese that they have taken on something of a “social appendage” status. Keitai sits at the apex of a love triangle with culture on one corner and technology on the other. These three both influence, and are influenced by, each of the others.
So, what challenges or opportunities does keitai present to Japanese mobile carriers? How do they relate to and foster keitai culture, while at the same time, how does keitai influence them? How does that relationship translate to monetization?

Yumiko buys a can of coffee from a vending machine and pays her train fare using her cell phone. The train pulls in at the station, and Yumiko confluences with the tail end of a stream of rush hour commuters boarding the train. Gone are the days when the rail line hired dedicated Oshi ya–or “pushers”–to physically push commuters into packed railcars. Now, station staff fill that role as rush hour demands. A college student utters quiet apologies as he crams Yumiko forward. A recorded voice pleasantly admonishes passengers to refrain from talking on their cell phones and requests riders set their phones to mana modo–“manners mode” or “silent mode.” Having heard the announcement countless times before, it occupies only a peripheral part of her attention, like the sound of cicadas on a summer night. Standing shoulder to shoulder in the railcar, she is busy looking up reviews on tablet devices, wondering how she could use something so big in such a cramped environment as this. She then picks up where she left off on the keitai shousetsu–cell phone novel–she had been reading. This one is a particularly racy pregnancy romance, which Yumiko devours in 100-word morsels downloaded via SMS.

Japan’s mobile industry and keitai culture have gone hand in hand in innovating cell phone features; some things we take for granted, even features that are just now gaining momentum here, have been around in Japan for ages. Short message service (SMS) first sprang up in Europe in the mid-’90s, but in the early ’90s, Japanese were already engaging in a proto-texting via pagers, which used a numeric lingo based on the Japanese words for numbers. Mobile gaming saw mainstream popularity in the early 2000’s.

Japan’s Keitai Culture: Galapagos Now!


The art gallery in your pocket

The art gallery in your pocket
Humans Invent reports on Phone Arts, an international collaborative project experimenting using only the mobile phone as the medium to create unique compositions. I think they are creating some interesting work, Phil Barker of Humans Invent is not so convinced:

The results are inevitably varied – with some pieces of artwork looking like they belong in a modern art gallery, and others looking more like a doodle in Microsoft Paint. Unfortunately, despite the promising premise, one recurring theme from the Phone Art contributions is a lack of overall detail in most of the pieces – a lot of the creations are based on colours or movement, highlighting the limitations of a relatively small screen and finger-based input. Some of the pieces do show a lot more evidence of thought and imagination, however, with a surprising amount of depth and detail.

Phone Arts.


How Style Differs From Design

How Style Differs From Design
Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, arguably the 20th century’s most famous furniture designers, is the principal of the Eames Office, which sells merchandise related to the family’s namesake line of chairs and promotes their legacy. He answers a few questions in this edited interview with Kristiano Ang.

My grandmother said that what works good is better than what looks good. That’s because what looks good can change.
Newspaper put design stories in the style section, but style is different from design. Design is about problem-solving, addressing needs and working with constraints. I talk to a lot of young designers and say, “don’t worry about your style.” Take care of problems, and everything will take care of itself.
What inspires me is the richness and complexity of the world. It’s a completely magical phenomenon that includes humans, the built environment and the natural world.
My grandparents said the role of the designer is that of a good host and anticipating the needs of guests. This is a really beautiful idea. It puts the human being and their experience at the center of attention in a very pragmatic way. We’ve gotten into this habit that says design is different from function.

How Style Differs From Design


Speeding Around The World in Under 5 minutes Time Lapse


On my bucket list of activities to do with the kids.

17 Countries. 343 Days. 6237 Photographs. One incredible journey. Follow the adventure at http://kienlam.net/around-the-world and http://kienlam.net
After I quit my job last year, I packed a bag, grabbed my camera and bought a one way ticket to London. 17 countries later, I compiled this time lapse of the many amazing places I came across.


Suitcase symphony


Jeriel Bobbe has turned his trolley suitcase into a musical instrument using relief paving stones.

“Whether they are stone slabs, tactile pacing for the blind, or a grid for wheelchairs, there is music in everything.” Jeriel Bobbe has used his trolley suitcase as a musical instrument on his weekley way from home to the train station. Taking his inspiration from these walks, he has designed a range of relief paving stones to create your own composition: me-lo-dy.
These wheels will pass on vibrations to your suitcase, which acts as a sounding board. The distance between the openings determines the pitch and their depth determines the volume.

There is an interesting rhythm to the sounds of luggage, sounds of voices, and wire of machine noise working in concert at the otherwise deathly airport terminal.


Studies reveal addictive nature of smartphone use

While addiction to apps or texting is not a recognized medical condition, there have been numerous studies produced on whether the technology causes more harm than good. A study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine found that teens who spend a lot of time on texting or on social media are also more like to use drugs or alcohol and get into fights.

A recent article in the New York Times by author and brand consultant Martin Lindstorm claimed the top three most powerful affecting sounds in the world are baby giggles, the Intel chime and a vibrating phone.
Weldon confesses to feeling lost without his phone. He never turns it off.
“Even when it’s charging, it’s on,” he said. “I left it once and went home on my lunch break just to get it.”
Smartphones also can be habit-forming, according to a study by Helsinki Institute for Information Technology and Intel Labs. Researchers found that smartphone users in the U.S. and in Finland checked their phone repeatedly throughout the day, usually for less than 30 seconds.

I am like many chained to my phone but I don’t think that my behaviour constitutes addiction, yet.
Studies reveal addictive nature of smartphone use


Koreans Voting by Mobile Phone

Korean opposition Democratic Unified Party is opening up it’s leadership election process to ordinary citizens and allowed them to vote through their mobile phones. It’s an experiment that could reshape the election culture in Korea.

According to the DUP, more than 643,000 citizens have applied to be part of its electoral college, a turnout that surprised party officials who predicted a maximum figure of 250,000 to 300,000.
Another merit of mobile voting is that it enables political parties to accurately reflect public sentiment in electing their leaders. Hence, they are moving to use it in selecting their candidates for the parliamentary and presidential elections.
Ultimately, mobile voting is likely to accelerate the transition of party politics to what is called citizen politics by opening the way for massive participation of citizens in political processes. This transition will be also fueled by the penetration of social networking services, which contributes to stimulating young electorate’s interest in politics.
Yet voting on the cell phone is not without its negatives. For instance, it can make a leadership race of a political party a popularity poll, as citizens participating in the vote are likely to choose candidates based on the familiarity of their names rather than a scrutiny of their policies or qualifications.
Mobile voting can also distort the outcome of a poll if a certain political group tells its followers to become members of the electoral college and vote for the candidate of its choice.
These and other adverse effects, however, do not outweigh the merits of mobile voting. Hence, we believe it is the way domestic political parties should go in future. Yet it would be better if they can minimize its negative aspects.

Korean Herald: Voting by Mobile Phone


Making It in America

Making It in America
In the past decade, the flow of goods emerging from U.S. factories has risen by about a third. Factory employment has fallen by roughly the same fraction. The story of Standard Motor Products, a 92-year-old, family-run manufacturer based in Queens, sheds light on both phenomena. It’s a story of hustle, ingenuity, competitive success, and promise for America’s economy. It also illuminates why the jobs crisis will be so difficult to solve.

Why is anything made in the United States? Why would any manufacturing company pay American wages when it could hire someone in China or Mexico much more cheaply?
The combination of skilled labor and complex machines gives American factories a big advantage in manufacturing not only precision products, but also those that are made in small batches, as is the case with many fuel injectors. Luke can quickly alter the program in a Gildemeister’s computer to switch from making one kind of injector to another. Standard makes injectors and other parts for thousands of different makes and models of car, fabricating and shipping in small batches; Luke sometimes needs to switch the type of product he’s making several times in a shift. Factories in China, by contrast, tend to focus on long runs of single products, with far less frequent changeovers.
It’s no surprise, then, that Standard makes injectors in the U.S. and employs high-skilled workers, like Luke. It seems fairly likely that Luke will have a job for a long time, and will continue to make a decent wage. People with advanced skills like Luke are more important than ever to American manufacturing.

Making It in America


Making of a Suitcase at the Globe-Trotter Factory


A video highlighting the making of a suitcase at the Globe-Trotter factory.

Each case is uniquely constructed from vulcanised fibreboard; a special material invented in Britain during the 1850’s consisting of multiple layers of bonded paper. Handles are produced by the leather team who also form the iconic Globe-Trotter corners over a period of 5-days on antique Victorian presses.

Via Brog?
Seems all I have time for these days is a video between breaks. After tomorrow, a lull.