Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wood Type Samples

Patricia M has compiled a beautiful Flickr Collection of old wood type alphabets.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nutter Bicycle Multi Tool

Full Windsor reports: [edited]

Featuring all the essentials for fixing your most common bike headaches. The Nutter combines all the tools you need when out riding into one simple unit. Its unique design and distinctive form turns the tool into a handle, giving you more leverage than other multi tools on the market. The tool weighs 110g.

Contains: nylon tyre lever, 15mm box head spanner, spoke key, 3,4,5,6,8mm hex tool bits, phillips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, T25 torx bit, magnetic tool bit extender, bottle opener.

Housed in burnt brown or jet black leather and recycled inner tube pouch.

Price: £39.99

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

F.W. Holler Company Demo Multi Tool

Wired reports: [edited]

A product of the F.W. Holler Company, the knife was manufactured in Solingen, Germany. John S. Holler decided to expand the company and created a demo piece to showcase the its products and craftsmanship. This object would hang in a window or be displayed in a case when the company traveled around to world expos.

Its handle is about 10 inches long, 6 inches wide and 4 inches deep. There’s two dagger blades, a serrated bread knife, a few pairs of shears, a couple of saw blades, a corkscrew, a lancet, button hooks, a cigar cutter, mechanical pens and pencils, and a piano tuning fork. Oh, and a .22-caliber pin-shot revolver. The tool weighs 9 pounds, and with everything fully extended, the object reaches about a foot in diameter.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Aeromobil 2.5

core 77 reports: [edited]

Following its debut at SAE Aerotech about a month ago, the Aeromobil 2.5 has been getting attention from the likes of Flying and Drive, because it's designed to do both. Industrial designer and engineer Stefan Klein has been working on the design for two decades, logging miles while clocking in at Audi, BMW and Volkswagen. Co-founder Juraj Vaculík is credited as an 'ad man' and 'angel investor'. Based in Slovakia, Aeromobil's latest working prototype is the proof-of-concept for the third generation of the flying car.

The Aeromobil features a kind of 'variable-sweep' design, where the wings neatly tuck behind the cockpit when not in use; when extended, the wingspan is 8.2m. Meanwhile, the 100hp Rotax 912 engine powers travel speeds of up to 160kph on the road and 200kph in flight, with a takeoff speed of 130kph.

Klein says that in car mode the Aeromobil fits into a standard parking space and can be refuelled at a standard petrol station.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Steve Huff has produced an excellent, real-world review of Olympus' flagship Micro Four Thirds camera.

If you have any interest in photography, the whole review is worth reading, but this excerpt it telling...

"The facts are plain and simple. There are really are no limits with this system in 2013 . It may lose some in high ISO ranges from 6400 and up and it may not have that last 5% of bite that a Leica M has but it easily matches an APS-C and in many cases, exceeds in beauty of rendering and that is thanks to the lenses. But even if I have said it a million times, usability and joy of use go a long way, and this camera has it."

"With a camera like the E-M1 or E-M5 you can take images in any situation. You can go for wide and large depth of field or achieve very shallow depth of field. You can shoot with one of the best macro lenses ever as well as an amazing fisheye and ultra wide zoom. You can use a fast 2.8 pro zoom or even one of the best portrait lenses made today. You can go as fast as f/0.95 in three focal lengths and get gorgeous results."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shapeoko 2

core 77 reports: [edited]

Designer Edward Ford worked for four years to design a machine that anyone could build in order to turn their ideas into physical objects with precision. The Shapeoko 1 is being used to fabricate machine parts, carve works of art, and start businesses by a worldwide community of users.

Shapeoko 2 is Edward's response to the enthusiasm and bold experiments of the open-source community. Numerous design changes and improvements have been implemented to improve the user experience

It comes in two versions: a 'Mechanical Kit' for $299 for the savvy hardware hackers and a more consumer-friendly 'Full Kit' for $649.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Skully P-1 Motorcycle Helmet

Skully Helmets reports: [edited]

With Synapse integrated Heads-Up Display (HUD), Skully provides you with an advanced situational awareness system, showing navigation and blind spot data, allowing you to stay focused on the most important part of your ride - the road.

The Skully P-1 has a patented integrated rear view camera system with a 180 degree viewing angle. The rear view camera feeds video to the HUD to provide you with complete situational awareness.

Life is too short to retread the same steps. With Skully Nav the world is your track. No need to plan your route or to pull over for directions. Just ride. When you are ready, Skully will show you the way back with HUD GPS maps.

Introducing Bluetooth pairing and voice control for Skully helmets. Pair your phone to the helmet, and unlock the connectivity potential of your mobile device while riding. The Skully P-1 allows you to control the interface with your voice. You can control your music, send texts, make calls, and change your destination all hands-free.

Available 2014

Monday, October 21, 2013

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The Lumix DMC-GM1 is a pocketable camera with a 16 megapixel Four Thirds sensor. It uses the same Micro Four Thirds mount that its larger Olympus and Panasonic siblings, and will be sold with a specially designed 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom sporting a smaller diameter for the GM1's diminutive form.

Despite its M43 sensor, using the GM1 gives the impression of using a point-and-shoot. The controls are crowded together, and the GM1 lacks a command dial. Its exposure mode dial and focus ring are positive additions for advanced users, but it feels like it could offer just a little more in terms of direct control.

The touch screen takes the place of some of those functions, so testing it in real-world shooting will be key to understanding how the camera handles.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

London-Nottingham-London, 19-10-13

London to Nottingham
Bred For Breeding - Strangers
Bartender - The Royalty
Willing to Lose - The Wellspring
Knot In My Heart - The Zolas
Boarding Time - Sizarr
Peregrino - Eby
Karmamemter - Popeska
Playing for Keeps - Elle King
Fly So Free - Luella and the Sun
Heart in your hand - Warrior Spirit Band
Look At Me - Vaudeville Smash
Blues de Bernadette - Lost Bayou Ramblers
Luna Lovers - Las Cafeteras
Booggéré - Plaster
Ghostwriters - Paper Lions
Roll With The Times - Tumbleweed Wanderers
Darkest - Les RAV
Sakura Kaoru - Kao=S
Life Won't Let You Down - Suite 709
A Shoulder To Cry On - Glossary
Lowdown - Elijah Ford & The Bloom
Long Live the King - Natori Blue
Long Way Down - The Sideshow Tragedy
[ride friendship.] - The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!
Magic Idea - Solar Year
Sarah Beth - Nightmare and the Cat
Santa Leone - Pájaro
Mambo Mexicano - Y La Orkesta
Freedom From A Shothun Blast - Dubb Sicks
Swimmer's Ear - Nerves Junior

Nottingham to London
Close 2 Me - Giraffage
Midnight Never Ends - Phil Moffa
What It's Bout featuring stic man of dead prez - Truth Universal
Workin' Man Zombie - The 4onthefloor
Division Street - Ravens & Chimes
Euthanizing A Dream - NiT GriT
The Hard Way - Fly Union
Someday - Pirates Canoe
Aujourd'hui, ma vie c'est d'la marde - Lisa LeBlanc
Trillmatic - ST 2 Lettaz
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Count On You - Patrice Pike
Life is Good To Me - Gripin
SIX MONTHS IN A CAST - The Trouble With Templeton
Perfect service - Mompox
Forever Changed - Daltonians
You A Lie Remix (Feat. Rick Ross) - Rockie Fresh
Danger - Kevin Lester
Coal - Curly Castro
Outlaw You - Shooter Jennings
When The Right One Comes Along - Striking Matches
Magazine - WALL.
Navega - Cuchillo
Across The Grain - Deco
The House We Grew Up In - The Weeks
L'Amour - Karim Ouellet
I Want You Back - Lake Street Dive
Turn It Up - Texas Hippie Coalition

Friday, October 18, 2013

iPhone 5s camera, a professional photographer's opinion

Austin Mann is a professional photographer with work published by National Geographic, NY Times and Washington Post. He recently took a tour of Patagonia to assess the quality of the iPhone 5s camera. It's worth reading the (image-packed) article, but here's his conclusion:

"The iPhone 5s beats the 5 in every camera test and in many ways I prefer it to my DSLR. Sure it has its pros & cons... but for the first time ever, I didn't bring my Canon 1DX and I didn't regret it one bit. That's saying a lot.

The quiet beauty behind the iPhone 5S is what I find most powerful. The upgrades they made here aren't ones that sell phones... instead, they focused on making the pictures better, even if it's silent innovations in features no one even knows about... it's not max megapixels or other flashy specs. The results are amazing and at the end of the day, people are going to really like the pictures coming from their iPhone 5S... and that's really all that matters!"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot RX10

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

With the same 1" sensor as the RX100 II, the RX10 offers a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens with an F2.8 constant maximum aperture. It uses a Bionz X image processor with offers improvements in resolution, noise reduction, and diffraction reduction. Other features include a tilting 3-inch LCD, OLED electronic viewfinder, Wi-Fi with NFC, and 60p video recording.

Available for purchase in November with a $1300 MSRP.

For a hands-on preview, click here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

LightZone now Open Source

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

LightZone is powerful raw image file developer and editing software, with a polished, pleasant user interface and decent help files. Online forum support is available and it has a growing, active user community.

LightZone 4.0 is now Free (as in Freedom) software and it is available from under a BSD license for Windows, Mac and Linux.

LightZone uses the dcraw library to open raw files, software that is well maintained and periodically updated.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ten Health Myths That Won't Die

LifeHacker has published a balanced article that examines ten widely held beliefs about food and exercise.

Monday, October 14, 2013


The Atlantic has curated a wonderful collection of airship images.

via Kottke

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fitbit Force

9to5Mac reports: [edited]

Fitbit has premiered the new Force fitness tracking watch as its flagship product. The biggest differentiator for the Force is the OLED display, wrapped in Fitbit’s signature water-resistant rubberised bracelet design. Instead of simply depicting steps taken as dots, the new Force can bring you detailed tracking information including steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, and floors climbed (thanks to the inclusion of an altimeter).

The Force features even deeper iPhone integration by sending call notifications directly to your Fitbit, as long as you are running iOS7 on an iPhone 4S or newer. However, early-adopters will have to wait for this feature as it will not be launching alongside the new device. Of course, the Force is also capable of all previous Fitbit offerings like tracking your sleep, wireless Bluetooth 4.0 syncing, and silent wake ups. The battery stores enough juice to last 7-10 days.

If you're in the US, the Fitbit Force is available today for $129.95 from

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nest Protect

Wired reports: [edited]

Nest Labs, the team behind the Nest learning thermostat, has unveiled a new product called the Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

The Nest Protect includes a photoelectric sensor for smoke, a carbon monoxide detector and speaker. It also contains an ultrasonic activity sensor, which allows you to hush it by waving at it.

"Safety shouldn't be annoying," says Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering. "These products are supposed to keep us safe, yet people hate them. We wanted to change that".

To prevent the Nest Protect beeping in the night to let you know it has a low battery, it will briefly glow green when you switch a light out in the room - signalling all is well with the detector - or yellow, to tell you to check the batteries.

While the Nest Protect remains discreet, it does remind you of its presence by emitting a gentle white glow underneath, a bit like a nightlight to automatically light the way in the dark.

There is an accompanying smartphone app. The Protect checks itself regularly and will send notifications to the app when the battery is low. The app also lets you remotely check the status of your house using your phone, and makes guidelines and buttons to call straight through to the emergency services pop up on your screen in case of emergency.

Nest protect comes in both wired and battery versions, meaning professional installation isn't required. The Protect will cost £109 and will be available in November from Apple, Amazon and John Lewis, or direct from

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

World's first net-positive nuclear fusion reaction

io9 reports: [edited]

In order for fusion power plants to be feasible, they have to produce more energy than they consume. It's a challenge that's confounded scientists for years. But researchers at the National Ignition Facility just made it happen.

Nuclear fusion is the process of making a single heavy nucleus from two lighter nuclei. The change in mass produces a lot of energy, as shown in Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation. Harnessing fusion has been the Holy Grail of physics, a game-changing solution that could provide a virtually unlimited source of cheap energy.

Scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the United States used 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser — a huge laser rig the size of three football fields — to heat and compress a tiny capsule of hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place. That's about 3.3 million Kelvin, or 5.9 million degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting implosion of the fuel in the capsule releases usable energy.

During an experiment last month, the amount of energy released through a fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel. It's the first time this has been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.

This is a step short of the lab's stated goal of 'ignition', where nuclear fusion generates as much energy as the lasers supply. This is because known 'inefficiencies' in different parts of the system mean not all the energy supplied through the laser is delivered to the fuel.

But the latest achievement has been described as the single most meaningful step for fusion in recent years, and demonstrates NIF is well on its way towards the coveted target of ignition and self-sustaining fusion.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 reports: [edited]

This project aims to uncover some insights about colours on the web, in particular, some questions I've struggled with as a designer. With a crowd-sourced data-set, the ultimate goal is to answer questions like: What is the most common colour/s or hue/s on the web? Do certain industries prefer certain colours over others? What colours are generally found together?

Why not just use the CSS? Unfortunately, the colour that makes up a web design is not just the background and text colour found in the CSS. The overall impression of the website includes the images, so this app takes screenshots and analyses colour values of each pixel. This is not a 100% foolproof method, but screenshots are kept so they can be reanalysed later on with better colour-matching algorithms.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Olympus Pen E-P5

Digital Photography Review have published an in-depth review of Olympus' flagship compact Micro Four Thirds camera.

Conclusion snippets follow:

For the first time the E-P5 is a PEN model that offers a competitively complete camera - with the image quality, focus speed and user interface all coming together to offer a strong package. Of course its rather high pricing (£850, body-only) means it has to stand up to the E-M5 - one of our favourite mirrorless cameras so far - but if you want something a little smaller, the P5 does a good job.

And, while we weren't sure we'd find reasons to use it, the ability to easily transfer images to a smartphone (yours or someone else's) proved to be rather liberating. The ability to grab good quality images and post or email them immediately further suppresses any temptation to use a phone camera. The Olympus system isn't quite 'click to send' but it's one of the easier to configure and initiate systems we've so far encountered.

However, its inability to correct image shake at what should be usable shutter speeds means we don't feel able to unreservedly recommend the E-P5. We're hoping an improvement can be made to the camera's stabilization system but, as it stands, there's too much risk of your best shots being undermined - something that's unacceptable at this level. As such, we can't give the E-P5 as high an award as it would otherwise receive.

Friday, October 04, 2013

iPhone 5s Camera Performance

DPR Connect has published an extensive review of the iPhone 5s' camera and software.

Conclusion Snippets:

The iPhone 5s, running Apple’s fresh iOS 7, is an excellent phone with a very good camera. Image quality under most conditions is among the top of the class of 'conventional' smartphone camera units: you have to look to the Nokia Lumia 1020 to find something that’s hands-down better across the board.

The camera app is supremely easy to use, and the 5s’ powerful processing makes for class-leading burst speed and excellent responsiveness. Users looking to upgrade from older iPhones shouldn’t be disappointed.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Martin P12 Jetpack

Gizmodo reports: [edited]

Technically still a prototype, the P12 is promised to be very close to the final version of the Martin Jetpack that could be available commercially sometime in mid-2014. However, you'll want to keep your $5,000 deposit in your pocket a little longer because the first units will be exclusively sold to first responders like police and fire personnel who will help field test the jetpacks.

With a top speed of just 46 mph you'll have to put your Rocketeer fantasies on hold for just a little while longer. But with a suggested range of about 20 miles or half an hour on a full tank of premium gas, this could be the perfect commuter that isn't effected by traffic gridlock. Albeit, a very, very expensive commuter with an expected price tag pushing $200,000, plus the cost of getting your Sport Pilot's license in the US at least.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Free Font - Paihuén Mapuche

Creative Bloq reports: [edited]

Chile-based graphic designer Benjamín Rivera is the man behind today's font of choice Paihuén Mapuche. The name refers to the indigenous people of Chile and Argentina (Mapuche), with paihuén being part of their native language, translated into 'being at peace'. Developed as a personal project, Rivera generously now offers his design as a free download for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

First Carbon Nanotube Computer Unveiled

BBC reports: [edited]

'Cedric' is only a basic prototype but could be developed into a machine which is smaller, faster and more efficient than today's silicon models. Nanotubes have long been touted as the heir to silicon's throne, but building a working computer has proven awkward.

"In human terms, Cedric can count on his hands and sort the alphabet. But he is, in the full sense of the word, a computer," Max Shulaker.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are hollow cylinders composed of a single sheet of carbon atoms. They have exceptional properties which make them ideal as a semiconductor material for building transistors, the on-off switches at the heart of electronics.

While single-nanotube transistors have been around for 15 years, no-one had ever put the jigsaw pieces together to make a useful computing device. CNTs do not grow in neat, parallel lines. The Stanford team built chips with CNTs which are 99.5% aligned - and designed a clever algorithm to bypass the remaining 0.5% which are askew.

They also eliminated a second type of imperfection - "metallic" CNTs - a small fraction of which always conduct electricity, instead of acting like semiconductors that can be switched off. To expunge these rogue elements, the team switched off all the "good" CNTs, then pumped the remaining "bad" ones full of electricity - until they vaporised. The result is a functioning circuit.

The Stanford team call their two-pronged technique "imperfection-immune design". Its greatest trick? You don't even have to know where the imperfections lie - you just "zap" the whole thing.

Shrinking the transistors is the next challenge for the Stanford team. At a width of eight microns (8,000 nanometres) they are much fatter than today's most advanced silicon chips.

Image by Norbert Von Der Groeben