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Ars Technica points us to the growing concern over App Store applications getting ripped off and/or copied by other developers. The applications they compare are two eBook readers: Classics and Classics: Jane Austen. Classics is popular, and was featured on Apple’s broadcasted iPhone ads. Classics: Jane Austen however is a mirror-image of the application, both in graphics and interface.
We’ve mentioned the Snuggie a couple times (here & here) this past year, so we thought it’d be appropriate to mention our invite to the Snuggie Pub Crawl in New York City. Similar crawls are going on in 15 other cities across the country, with Chicago’s, one of the most popular, already having racked up 2153+ registrants for their April 18th crawl.
We came across a planning concept showcasing Japanese streets completely paved in grass. While we can’t find any information about the idea or creators (all copy is in Japanese), the carefully composed images are quite interesting, albeit practically impossible to sustain and the concept completely feasible. [thanks for the correction, HR!]
The Telegraph reports that British children are given their first mobile phone around 8 years old. Doug Aamoth with CrunchGear makes a good point that the survey conducted was in an affluent area, which could slant the results, but nonetheless it’s worth noting that children are actively using mobile phones a great deal more than in previous years. Who are these kids calling? Mainly their parents, although the survey highlights that having a cell phone is more about having cool ringtones and games among friends, rather than serving as a solid communicating platform.
Two German artificial intelligence researchers have developed a hack for the Wii Fit that allows them to surf Google Earth terrain. While the Wii Fit has already demonstrated another capability in the internet-assisted health care realm, the hack gives it a fun new use by taking advantage of the boards 4 ‘wobbling’ sensors, converting them into steering and throttle, allowing the user to cruise over the satellite mapped ground like famed Marvel comic hero Silver Surfer.
Toys tend to move as much as their masters – and that’s why the smartly designed Fastronaut toys harness all that kinetic energy from throws, rolls and bounces to power themselves. LEDs on the toy-cars and action figures display how much power has been generated (great for teaching the kids about conservation), and each has a button when pressed plays design specific noises and sounds. One of the cooler toys attaches to the handlebar of a bicycle, charging a headlamp with its tethered-wheel-powered generator, after which can be removed from the bike and used in the living room.
Fujitsu is on their way to releasing color electronic newsprint to select test restaurant locations. Fujitsu announced the plan four years ago, and the technology finally seems to be ready for the public. The advertising-based medium uses wireless LAN services for content delivery and is robust enough to be handled by countless lunch-goers, running through an entire business day without needing a charge (e-paper only uses power when the information displayed changes).
New York commuters get to see some pretty spectacular performances in the subway on a regular basis – now add a theater performance to the review. The group that brought their noir thriller play to Central Park restrooms will be selling tickets to “IRT: A Tragedy in Three Stations”, set in a subway station early this February. This isn’t just any small production though. The full-scale theatrical production includes costume changes, props, set-dress and a cast and crew thirty-five strong. The Post reports:
Hamilton Nolan at Gawker wrote an interesting post about the decline of good advertising on television. It’s been quite noticeable lately (in New York at least) how many prime-time advertising spots have been bought by what seems to be infomercial and low-production-value spots. The glitzy Lexus ads have been replaced with advertisements for smock-like blankets with long-sleeves, Amish-made faux-fireplace heaters and strange, mouth-aligned goatee trimmers. Nolan writes:
Construction has begun on Madrid’s radically designed, sun & rain catching International Convention Center. Reminiscent of a massive telescope reflector, the structure will be a photovoltaic panel and glass covered cylinder resting atop its side, allowing sunlight to reach all its vast interiors. Award winning design firm MANSILLA+TUÑÓN’s 110 meter tall structure isn’t just pretty to look at – it showcases a 5,000 seat auditorium and numerous event spaces throughout, all while partially sustaining its numerous facilities with collected rainwater and electricity.
Photographer David Bergman captured 220 images of Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration, then stitched them together creating an incredibly detailed panoramic photograph. All of you photo-geeks will appreciate the technology going in to his project – Bergman clamped his Gigapan-mounted Canon G10 to a railing, allowing the robotic mount to photograph the action. He then processed the captured images on his Macbook Pro with Gigapan software, creating a ginormous 2 gigabite, 1,474 megapixel TIF file.
Some of us might fondly remember thumbing through the beautifully designed pages of those thin, gold-edged Golden Books when we were tiny. Learning the basics like the alphabet, numbers tables and quick stories about little red-hens and saggy, baggy elephants were matched by incredible (now vintage) illustrations. While still available, many of the books have been updated for the times – which is why Golden enthusiast Barbie Miller is showcasing hundreds of scanned original pages perfect for an afternoon of nostalgia, inspiration and for some of us, learning.