Friday, November 29, 2013

PowerUp 3.0

psfk reports: [edited]

Developed by pilot, industrial designer and TailorToys CEO Shai Gaitan, the PowerUp 3.0 attaches to a paper airplane and syncs it with the accompanying app. At the back of the device is a tiny propeller and rudder that helps the user control the airplane. It runs on a rechargeable battery that allows up to ten minutes of flight. The module is made of 'crash-proof' carbon fibre.

To use the PowerUp 3.0, one needs to attach it first to a paper airplane with the patented clips underneath the module. The user syncs the module with the app, and then pushes the throttle to full and launches the paper plane to the sky. The user needs to tilt their smartphones to steer the plane and push the throttle to control the speed.

The Kickstarter project was just launched recently but the campaign has already exceeded its target goal. Backers can get their own PowerUp 3.0 for only $30.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Type Connection

Type Connection helps you learn how to pair typefaces. Along the way you are provided with smatterings of type history and terminology.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Fast Company reports: [edited]

With bicycle culture and craft in ascendance, bike fever has spread past the artisanal frame builders and fixie fanatics to infest the every man. To wit: the fall launch of the Sandwichbike (anticipated by us earlier this year) by Bastens Leijh’s Dutch design studio, Bleijh Industrial. Leijh set out to prove that there are legitimate new ways to approach bicycle design and put it in the hands of the consumer.

“Having designed for several large bike brands, we concluded that the bicycle industry is a very rigid one, where the usual patterns of design, production, distribution, and sales are deeply ingrained,” says Leijh. “The Sandwichbike was created to show that it’s possible to create a perfectly functioning bicycle by a different approach: made from different material, put together differently, produced differently, and distributed differently.”

The Sandwichbike is fabricated from CNC-milled flat wood, not metal, and its components are connected via cylinders, rather than through welding. But perhaps the most exciting difference is its distribution. The bike is flat-packed and shippable internationally with assembly that the designers promise will not frustrate amateur bikers. “We don’t want to cater only to technically educated people,” Leijh says. “When you are not familiar with the anatomy of a bike, the Sandwichbike is a good way to get to know it.”

The frame consists of two 15-layer panels of CNC-milled beech plywood that sandwich the wheels and are locked in place using hand-milled aluminium cylinders. Since the first prototype seven years ago, it has been vetted by ergonomics experts, engineers, and product designers and, with fewer than 50 parts in the kit, it ships in a 17 kg box. “Unpacking your Sandwichbike should be like unwrapping a present,” says Leijh. The thrill should start as soon as it arrives at your door.

The Sandwichbike is available for €799 and starts shipping in Europe on December 1 and to the rest of the world in January. Shipping within Europe costs €25; international shipping costs are €150.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BMW i3

What Car? reports: [edited]

The Fiesta-sized i3 is powered by a 168bhp electric motor mated to a single-speed gearbox that drives the rear wheels. Its top speed is a modest 93mph but it has a range of between 80 and 100 miles, does 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds (0-37mph takes just 3.7 seconds) and can reach a full charge in eight hours on a regular domestic plug. Install one of BMW's wallboxes (£315) and the car's AC Fast Charging kicks in, with a full charge in four hours.

The car makes extensive use of lightweight construction materials, including carbonfibre for the main passenger 'cell', in a bid to claw back some of the weight that's added by the substantial battery pack under the i3's floor. The price you pay for this F1-style technology is £30,680 - or £25,680 after the government's £5000 electric vehicle grant.

BMW believes that many i3 customers are likely to get their car on a lease deal. The regular EV version costs £2995 front, then £369 per month over 36 months, which covers use of up to 8000 miles a year.

A range-extender version of the i3, with a two-cylinder petrol engine that just keeps the batteries alive once they reach a low charge level, is also available with a price premium of just over £3100. Its nine-litre fuel tank will double the car's range - and you'll be able to refill it with fuel if you want to go farther.

The i3 benefits from the direct power delivery that you get with an electric motor, which means all of its torque is available from standstill - and that makes it ideal for the city use that's intended to be the car's main function.

You can pull away smartly from traffic lights, and the strong response gives you confidence to nip in and out of traffic - up to around 30mph it is surprisingly quick. The electric powertrain is quiet, too; there's less of a motor whine than you'll get in the Nissan Leaf, for example.

The handling is perhaps the most surprising element of the i3 package, and due in no small part to the positioning of all that battery weight low down in the chassis. The i3 looks tall and narrow, and it is, but it manages to feel extremely agile from behind the wheel, with quick steering (just 2.5 turns lock to lock) and very little body lean in corners. It also has a turning circle of less than 10 metres (a full metre less than a current Mini's).

The ride is definitely on the firm side and it feels choppy in all types of driving. It is particularly caught out by sharp potholes, which send jolts through the cabin. There is also a fair amount of suspension noise over bad surfaces.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Non-pneumatic tyres

Core 77 reports: [edited]

Off-road vehicle manufacturer Polaris has announced their new Sportsman WV850, a 'military-grade' ATV kitted out with the NPTs.

"We have seen great success with NPTs in military and disaster relief scenarios," said Dovid Longren, Vice President of the Off-Road Division, "and are excited to bring this technology to the consumer market for extreme work applications."

While it's unlikely your average contractor will need to drive 350 miles after his tyres have sustained ".50 caliber ballistic damage," as Polaris has done in testing, it is nice to know that the NPTs have also been tested for 1,000 trouble-free miles of travel with a three-inch railroad spike jammed into the tread and structural webbing.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Adjustable Clampersand

Core 77 reports: [edited]

Core77 readers may remember the original Clampersand Coretoon by Tony Ruth, showing the typographical tool in sketchy form. And now, with much hard work and horn-tooting, we're pleased to present the fully-fledged and functional Clampersand. The glittering conjunction is made from aluminum, cast at the Batavia Foundry outside of Chicago.

The clamps receive a rough polish and a secondary base grinding, ensuring that they sit flat while clamped. While the Clampersand is fully functional, it is not recommended as an actual shop clamp, because the cast aluminum is a lower strength material than a traditional steel clamp.

Price: $40 from Hand-Eye Supply.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pencil - Paper gets a stylus reports: [edited]

Great tools inspire great ideas. Pencil is the most natural and expressive tool for getting ideas on Paper. Advanced technology meets beautiful design to keep you in the flow, without needing to switch tools. With Erase, Blend, and adaptive Palm Rejection, Pencil puts creative possibility in your hands.

Price: from $49.95

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


TNW reports: [edited]

After a few months in stealth mode, Infinit launching its file-transfer app for Mac (Windows and Linux coming soon) to the world in public beta.

Infinit is aimed at creatives, and lets them transfer gargantuan files with haste, claiming to be up to 23 times faster than WeTransfer and Hightail. Infinit caters for any size of file. You simply drag-and-drop your file to the desired recipient, who will then be prompted to accept the file transfer.

Infinit offers automatic pause-and-resume, which means that file-transfers are paused when an internet connection is lost, and automatically restarted when the connection is restored. Shutting your computer down doesn’t cancel the transfer either. And you can begin streaming a media file as soon as the transfer has started.

For launch, Infinit will be free to download and use.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brough Superior SS100 2014

BIKEEXIF reports: [edited]

Here is the new Brough Superior — the first all-new bike from the famous marque in seven decades. The rights to the brand name are now owned by the Austrian-based businessman Mark Upham, who has taken the bold step of commissioning a ‘new’ SS100, a vintage-flavoured machine with a mix of new technology and retro styling. It’s due to enter small-scale production in 2014 and will retail for just over $65,000.

The heart of the SS100 is a 997cc powerplant — an 88-degree liquid-cooled v-twin. The motor is the work of the French firm Boxer Design, and it’s an eight-valve DOHC unit capable of up to 140 hp.

In keeping with Brough Superior’s reputation for engineering, the frame is a mix of steel and titanium, and the swingarm is an aluminum-magnesium composite. Up front is a girder-style ‘Fior’ double-wishbone fork; like the back end, it’s suspended with an Öhlins shock.

The front brakes are four 230 mm discs aligned to look like a drum brake. The system has been designed by Beringer to reduce gyroscopic forces. The wheels are 18” front and back, and the dry weight of the SS100 is just under 400 lbs.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Lifehacker reports: [edited]

iOS users don’t have an equivalent of Android’s photosphere feature, but free app bubbli changes that. Bubbli creates 360-degree photographs, complete with sound — or 'bubbles', as bubbli calls them.

The app is easy to use. Simply 'paint' a sphere all around you, by standing in one place and moving your camera to cover all the white spaces with what the camera sees. When you’re done, you can choose to share this bubble with friends on bubbli or with your Facebook friends, or as a web link.

When you are viewing a bubble on your iOS device, you move the device around to see what the original photographer could see.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

London - Nottingham - Lincoln - Nottingham - London, 16-11-13

London to Nottingham
Alive - Empire of the Sun
I Cry - Flo Rida
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) - The Offspring
I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer - The Cardigans
Nothing - Drenge
Monster - The Automatic
Alone - Heart
For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
Little Green Bag - George Baker Selection
Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John & Kiki Dee
Whiskey In The Jar - Thin Lizzy
Eat Yourself Fitter - The Fall
Ashes To Ashes - David Bowie
Time Ain't Nothing - Green On Red
La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh) - Manic Street Preachers
Wild Tiger Woman - Giuda
Pay No Mind - Hanni El Khatib
Chain My Name - POLIÇA
The Rain - Oran 'Juice' Jones
Orange Crush - R.E.M.
Rock a Doodle Doo - Linda Lewis
A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off - The Magnetic Fields
Reflektor - Arcade Fire
Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie
Vehl - Kidnap Kid
Divine Hammer - The Breeders
The Name Game - Shirley Ellis
At Night In Dreams - White Denim
Are You With Me Now? - Cate Le Bon
Indie Cindy - Pixies
These Dreams - Heart
Hush - AM Radio
Shiny Shiny - Haysi Fantayzee
Steal My Sunshine - Len
Karmamemter - Popeska
Cannonball - The Breeders

Nottingham to Lincoln
Gay Bar - Electric Six
Fame - David Bowie
Rosalie - Thin Lizzy
John Wayne Is Big Leggy - Haysi Fantayzee
Everybody wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears
Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing - Stevie Wonder
Boogie On Reggae Woman - Stevie Wonder
Firestarter - The Prodigy
The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy
Lovefool - The Cardigans
Why can't I be you? - The Cure
Part Time Lover - Stevie Wonder
Solid Gold Easy Action - T.Rex

Lincoln to Nottingham
My Zero - Ezra Furman
We Can Work It Out - Stevie Wonder
You Get What You Give - New Radicals
I Can Hardly Make You Mine - Cults
Rehab - Amy Winehouse
Blackout - Breathe Carolina
Rise - Public Image Ltd.
Sit Down - James
Oh! You Pretty Things - David Bowie
Talk of the Town - Pretenders
Giant Tortoise - Pond
European Me - Johnny Marr
Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
Lucky Number - Lene Lovich

Nottingham to London
Stay Young - Silver Medallion
I got you - Split Enz
Handbags And Gladrags - Rod Stewart
Step - Vampire Weekend
So It Goes - Nick Lowe
The Children Who Wear Socks On Their Heads - Keston Cobblers Club
[ride friendship.] - The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!
Too Close - Alex Clare
Hard To Handle - Black Crowes
Show Me the Wonder - Manic Street Preachers
Jupiter & Teardrop - Grant Lee Buffalo
Judy Teen - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
Little Red Corvette (single) - Prince
Forever - HAIM
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
Underground - Ben Folds Five
The Wire - HAIM
Good Feeling - Flo Rida
Bird In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush), A - The Velvelettes
The Clapping Song - Shirley Ellis
Say When - Lene Lovich
Sugarcrush - Joanna Gruesome
Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Before Icarus - Isosine
Drive In Saturday - David Bowie
Here Comes the Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze
Ordinary Joe - Terry Callier
Close 2 Me - Giraffage
GMF (feat. Sinéad O'Connor) - John Grant
So Good At Being In Trouble - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Would You Love a Monsterman - Lordi
Boys Keep Swinging - David Bowie
Someday - The Strokes
My Favourite Game - The Cardigans
Speak Like A Child - The Style Council
You Make Me Feel - Sylvester

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sun Sill

Lula Dot reports: [edited]

Sun Sill is a device mounted under a window to automatically track and redirect sunlight indoors, which can then be reflected to wherever it is needed. This redirected sunlight maximises the health benefits of natural light and reveals the changing beauty of the sun’s light quality throughout the day whilst also reducing the reliance on electric lights.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sony Playstation 4

Polygon has produced a detailed and superbly illustrated review of the recently released games console.

Conclusion follows:

"The PS4 hints at plenty of possibilities. Local network play via the PS Vita has an enormous amount of potential. The PlayStation App and even the Playstation Camera may provide opportunities for developers to broaden the appeal of the PlayStation 4 beyond the hardcore audience it currently seems so intent on courting. Unlike the PlayStation 3, Sony's latest effort was built to evolve."

"But the PlayStation 4's focus on gaming — and only gaming — is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve — better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 — but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy. We're just waiting for a place to spend it."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brooks Cambium C17 Bicycle Saddle

Fast Company reports: [edited]

A Brooks bicycle saddle, like a baseball glove, or a pair of leather boots, needs to be broken in. It's part of the charm of a heritage brand: rich, stalwart materials mould to you over time, and last for years.

One problem: The 127-year-old company's bike saddles, when new, were making riders' butts hurt. And not every one wants to wait for the comfort that other products might afford instantly. So Brooks approached Ideo for help on a new (and, yes, bottom-friendly) line of saddles.

Brooks chose a vulcanised rubber base, with organic cotton lining (that’s wicked for waterproofing – something the old seats didn't have). The result is a bike seat that has all the aesthetic pedigree of the original leather models, minus the aching derriere. Male and female models are available for €145.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Friday, November 08, 2013

Pebble Smartwatch updates

Cult of Mac reports: [edited]

Today Pebble announced full support for iOS 7’s Notification Center and low-energy Bluetooth 4.0. In the past, you could only get push notifications from a limited number of iOS apps related to messaging, like Messages and Mail. Now, thanks to iOS 7, all third-party apps can send notifications directly to the Pebble, meaning that any apps you’ve enabled banner notifications for in iOS 7 will automatically push updates to the Pebble watch.

Pebble has also announced some interesting partners and new tools for developers to make better apps on the platform. Yelp, Foursquare, and GoPro are all partners with Pebble now, and they have apps in the works. Yelp will show you a list of recommended places near you, and you can shake your wrist to get a random recommendation. Foursquare will allow you to check in from your wrist. GoPro’s app will let you stop and start recordings and change settings like frame rate. According to Pebble, this is just the beginning in terms of big partners that are lined up.

Pebble’s 2.0 SDK for developers allows access to the accelerometer for fitness tracking, and a new Javascript API allows for better communication with the web in apps. Developers will also be able to store data directly on the Pebble instead of having to constantly push it from a smartphone. Better communication with Bluetooth will make it easier to pair your device with the Pebble—one of the biggest pains noted by early adopters.

The update to the iOS app with iOS 7 support should be available in the App Store soon.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Caterham Bikes

Wired reports: [edited]

Caterham is best known for its stripped-down street cars.

Caterham Bikes is launching next year, and the first two-wheeler on offer is the Brutus 750, what the new division is calling the 'SUV of motorcycles'. It’s basically a quad cut in half, with a 750cc engine sending grunt to a continuously variable transmission.

Two other concepts join the Brutus. The Carbon E-Bike definitely has a 'classic' vibe to it, with a faux v-twin engine mounted in the triangle — likely stuffed with the electric motor.

Then there’s the Carbon E-Bike, which Caterham calls 'a premium bike with modern styling inspired by F1 technology'.

Caterham Bikes doesn’t give any specs, powertrain information, or prices for any of its new two-wheelers, but promises that the Brutus will go on sale this spring, with the two others arriving later in the year.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Lockheed SR-72

Wired reports: [edited]

Lockheed Martin’s famed Skunk Works has unveiled the successor to the SR-71 Blackbird. The new airplane will be roughly the same size as the record-setting Blackbird, but will be able to fly twice as fast.

The new spy plane will be capable of Mach 6 cruise speeds, making it the first hypersonic aircraft to enter service, should it be produced. Only the rocket-powered North American X-15 was able to regularly fly those speeds, and the three examples built were used for research. The SR-71 Blackbird is legendary in aviation circles for its Mach 3 capabilities, and different iterations served as a spy plane for 35 years until its retirement in 1998. It still holds several records, including a flight from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 64 minutes, 20 seconds.

The new SR-72 is part of the U.S. Air Force’s plan for hypersonic capabilities that will allow fast reaction for gathering intelligence around the world. A Mach 6 airplane fills the gap between current surveillance aircraft that can loiter for long periods of time, but don’t have the ability to transit to a new area quickly.

The key to the new airplane, as it was with the SR-71, will be the engines. Lockheed Martin has been working with Aerojet Rocketdyne to build an air breathing engine that combines both a traditional turbine and a scramjet to deliver the Mach 6 performance.

Normal turbine jet engines have problems operating at speeds beyond Mach 2. The original SR-71 used a complicated system of a movable nose cone on the engine, along with vents that prevented shockwaves from interfering with the flow, and slowed the air down enough so that it could be ingested by the engine.

The new SR-72 will use a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) that will employ the turbine engine at lower speeds, and use a scramjet at higher speeds. A scramjet engine is designed to operate at hypersonic velocities by compressing the air through a carefully designed inlet, but needs to be traveling supersonic before it is practical to begin with. So far research projects from NASA, the Air Force and other Pentagon entities have not been able to solve the problem of transitioning from the subsonic flight regime, through hypersonic flight with a single aircraft.

The aerospace company says it may have a scaled demonstrator of the SR-72 technology flying by 2023. That airplane would be smaller, about the size of the current F-22 fighter and would be optionally piloted. The SR-72 could enter service by 2030.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Nikon Small World 2013

The Atlantic reports: [edited]

Nikon has just announced the winners of the 2013 Small World Photomicrography Competition. Started in 1974, the contest invites photographers and scientists to submit images of all things visible under a microscope.

Entries include close-up views of ladybug feet, mollusc radula, dinosaur bones and nerve structures in embryos.

via kottke

Sunday, November 03, 2013

London - Somerset - London, 02 & 03-11-13

London to Somerset
A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Goddess On A Hiway - Mercury Rev
Bonnie and Clyde - Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot
Time Ain't Nothing - Green On Red
Hips and Lips - Maxïmo Park
Head Home - Midlake
Where I Find My Heaven - Gigolo Aunts
People Got A Lotta Nerve - Neko Case
Conversation 16 - The National
Laura - Bat for Lashes
Pumped Up Kicks (original) - Foster The People
Lazy Line Painter Jane - Belle and Sebastian
Driving Away From Home - It's Immaterial
Tell More Lies - Republic Of Loose
Heavyweight Champion of the World - Reverend and the Makers
Alison - Elvis Costello
I'm Shakin' - Jack White
Baby Please Don't Go - The Amboy Dukes
Place - Lucy Rose
Mister Big Stuff - Jean Knight
I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
You Better, You Bet - The Who
The Rat - The Walkmen
Obstacle 1 - Interpol
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House - LCD Soundsystem
The Bends - Radiohead
Live to Rise (Music from the Motion Picture) - Soundgarden
Beat on the Brat - Droyds
Knucklehead - Lullaby Baxter Trio
Sophia - Laura Marling
New France (feat. Zola Jesus) - Orbital
I need direction - Teenage Fanclub

Somerset to London
Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
Valerie - The Zutons
Spacewalk - Lemon Jelly
Are You Gonna Be My Girl (alt) - Jet
All the Eastern Girls - Chapel Club
Stronger than me - Amy Winehouse
Nag Nag Nag - Art Brut
Spitfire - Public Service Broadcasting
The Only Place - Best Coast
Galvanize - The Chemical Brothers
Jezahel - Shirley Bassey
Guantan Amerika - Alex Chilton
Gigolo - The Crash
Stupid Thing (Live at the BBC) - Aimee Mann
Andrew In Drag - The Magnetic Fields
Soldier Girl (Album Version) - The Polyphonic Spree
Bad Girls - M.I.A.
Pounding - Doves
Sweet Little Mystery (alt) - John Martyn
I kissed a girl - Jill Sobule
Lost In Music - The Fall
I Just Started Hating Some People Today - Beck
Ready to Start - Arcade Fire
I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
Let's Dance To Joy Division - The Wombats
Try This At Home - Frank Turner
Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
Two Doors Down - Mystery Jets
Get Over It - Guillemots
Lay Your Cards Out - Poliça
Not Nineteen Forever - The Courteeners
No Diggity - Blackstreet & Dr. Dre
Snowden - Doves
The Ride - Joan As Police Woman
You Got The Style - Athlete

Friday, November 01, 2013

Pixelmator 3.0 FX

Life Hacker reports: [edited]

Most Mac users know that Pixelmator is pretty much the best Photoshop alternative you can get. That said, Pixelmator always lacked a few flagship features of Adobe's behemoth - until now.

They've now added layer styles. You can now easily apply non-destructive effects to any layer to quickly add drop shadows, reflections, gradients, and more.

And there is a liquify tool for moving around parts of your image, support for OS X Mavericks, and a new image editing engine to speed up just about every task across the app.

While Pixelmator still won't replace Photoshop for everyone, this update brings it close for handling most any common image editing task as well as or better than its far more expensive competition. If you've been holding out, you might want to give Pixelmator another look.

Available for £20.99 from the App Store