April 3rd, 2013
Twenty Awesome Covers From The US Space Program. My favourite is the cover for the manual for the NASA/Grumman Apollo Lunar Module: nothing else looks like the LM.
[Via Extenuating Circumstances]
January 9th, 2012
The USB Typewriter is a hilariously anachronistic yet strangely beguiling piece of kit.
I strongly suspect the image of an iPad strapped to the USB Typewriter is causing the late Mr Jobs to do somewhere in the vicinity of 200rpm even as I type this.
[Via Memex 1.1]
November 22nd, 2011
Future Drama: a compilation of designers of the (mostly quite recent) past's visions of the future, with a particular emphasis on videos depicting futuristic technology being deployed in real world situations.
You know the sort of thing: currently the trend is to depict elegantly dressed rich people toting around ultrathin tablet computers that they control via touch interfaces (often with some form of holographic display) whilst engaged in their job as a knowledge worker and/or high powered executive. Back at their hotel room after a hard day's collaboration, they use the device as a fancy videophone to chat with their cute pre-teen daughter back home about how school went today.
I snark, but I do find this sort of speculative work fascinating. Also, the Matt Jones blog post that pointed me in this direction is well worth a read: I've always seen this sort of video as a marketing tool aimed at gaining mindshare, but he's found that for designers placing their ideas on screen in the context where they'll be used can be immensely valuable, insofar as it helps them assess whether their ideas 'fit' in the real world. Good stuff.
[Via Comment #4 on a post at BERG Blog. TED Talk on a real-world Minority Report user interface via Wikipedia]
January 8th, 2011
Jonathan McCalmont on Digital: A Love Story: Nostalgia, Irony and Cyberpunk…
Look beyond the retro stylings, the dodgy music and the revisitation of old game-play mechanics such as making you scribble down important pieces of information, and you'll see that Digital: A Love Story is a game that is fiercely nostalgic for the idea of the internet's lost frontier.
Once upon a time, the internet was seen as a kind of digital Wild West, a wild and woolly frontier just outside of the embrace of civilisation where you were liable to encounter all kinds of things, both pleasurable and horrific: a cultural shatter zone outside of the purview of government. However, just as new settlers brought civilisation to the American West, the popularisation of the internet and its gradual integration into every aspect of our daily lives has brought civilisation to the online world.
By creating a fictionalised past with one foot in the 1980s (when computing was very much a niche hobby) and one foot in the 2000s (when the internet was large enough to start supporting discrete cultural communities), [Digital: A Love Story's author Christine Love] is offering us the chance to feel nostalgia not just for the by-gone age of an uncivilised internet but also for a fictionalised frontier where all kinds of technological possibilities seemed only a few inches out of reach.
[Via Tomorrow Museum]
March 9th, 2010
YouTube Closes Down For The Night. Strangely soothing, that music…