Friday, August 8:Guggenheim Bullies Journalist: Molly Crabapple reports for Vice on inhumane immigrant labor conditions on Saadiyat island in the UAE, where a new arm of the Guggenheim (and Louvre, and NYU) is being built. The Guggenheim holds its cards close and skirts responsibility when...
While still experimental, engineering techniques drawn from origami promise the development of pop-up devices that could assemble themselves from flat, composite materials cheaply and efficiently, the [Harvard and MIT] researchers said. Potential applications range from self-assembling satellites to shape-shifting robots that could be used in search-and-rescue missions. — online.wsj.com
Researchers at Harvard University and MIT have engineered a self-assembling paper robot inspired by the Japanese paper-folding artform origami. Since the journal Science published the report yesterday, the bots have been widely described as the "world's first Transformer."On that note, paper...
SketchFactor ... is a Manhattan-based navigation app that crowdsources user experiences along with publicly available data to rate the relative "sketchiness" of certain areas in major cities. [...]
The founders are also bracing for potential complications from an app that asks anonymous users to judge a neighborhood's sketchiness. After all, fear can be subjective. And the site could be vulnerable to criticisms regarding the degree to which race is used to profile a neighborhood. — crainsnewyork.com
Downey needed something tactile to work with, and he found it in a kids' toy. Spread out before him on the table are stacks of embossed plans ... marked up with brightly colored wax sticks. [...]
The sticks warm to the touch and bend easily; they can make precise angles, and—crucially for Downey—their tackiness makes them stick to paper. "Once I realized that, I thought, 'Oh, I could use that to draw on top of an embossed drawing.'" Suddenly, he had a way not just to read, but to make. — sf.curbed.com
But the intricate fantasy environments imagined for games like GTA V may well prove more useful than they seem. Now the technologies and tools developed by this multibillion dollar entertainment industry are making changes in the real world.
John Isaacs, a lecturer in computing at the University of Abertay, is one of those exploring the possibilities of game engines. In 2011, he developed an urban mapping application for his PhD project. — theguardian.com
The installation you see above is a project by Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki called "Wink," their entry into Kobe Biennial's Art Container Contest. The kaleidoscope concept uses mirrors (in keeping with Sir David Brewster's classic), but is also held together by zippers. Shirane and Miyazaki claim this makes it the first "architecture" based on zippers; proving you can create an adaptable, reconfigurable space using the same tech found in your pants. — engadget.com
A hacker with a smartphone can unlock your front door [...] Criminals and intelligence agencies grab data from your home thermostat to plan robberies or track your movements. According to computer-security researchers, this is the troubling future of the Internet of Things, the term for an all-connected world where appliances like thermostats, health-tracking wristbands, smart cars and medical devices communicate with people and each other through the Internet. — Al Jazeera
While security is seen as the obvious initial use for Jr., Roambotics has broader plans for the future. Telepresence is one, but the self-directed robot could also be used to spontaneously document social gatherings, or to keep an eye on sick or elderly relatives.
There's also the possibility of using Jr. as a 3D mapping system, effectively turning it into a Google Project Tango camera on wheels. — slashgear.com
There’s no smooth sailing for at least one of Google’s mysterious barges.
Parts of the $4 million boat, located in Portland, Maine, are being sold for scrap, a Google spokesperson has confirmed to Fortune.
Google’s three barges sparked a media storm of inquiries when they first appeared in 2013, raising questions about their purpose. Were they floating data centers? A secret lab to design and launch Google’s next stunning project? — fortune.com
Today, Uber is announcing UberPool, a new feature that will let you pick up other riders on the way to your destination and split the bill.
While the feature should do a lot to cut costs for passengers, not everyone will want to ride with a stranger in addition to the driver picking them up; Uber notes that the new feature also serves as a kind of “social experiment.” [...]
Starting August 15 a public beta will launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. — techcrunch.com
[Traces] helps users bridge the disconnect between their real and digital worlds, in order to tackle anxiety caused by our online lives. Traces is a part messenger, part surprise-gifting service that lets users leave digital messages at physical locations for their friends to pick up with their smartphones when they are at those locations. [...]
The sender can construct a digital gift using any combination of text, images, video, tickets and vouchers. — wired.co.uk
In just a few minutes I was hooked. . . The photos and video were stunning. By assuming unusual vantage points, the drone allowed me to “see” so much more of my surroundings than usual.
[The view] would have otherwise been impossible without the use of a private plane, helicopter, or balloon. With any of those vehicles, I would have needed a telephoto lens, and all of them would have made an unacceptable commotion on the beach. What’s more, I would not have been in the photos! — Martha Stewart
Purveyor of all things "Good", Martha Stewart has added her two color-coded cents to the debate on drones in a nearly gleeful op-ed for TIME magazine. Titled "Why I Love My Drone", Stewart gushes about her new "useful tool" and marvels at how large-scale planning projects like Chateau de...
...University of Washington engineers have designed a new communication system that uses radio frequency signals as a power source and reuses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to provide Internet connectivity to these devices. Called Wi-Fi backscatter, this technology is the first that can connect battery-free devices to Wi-Fi infrastructure. — ScienceDaily
Elon Musk’s Space Exploration and Technologies Corp. plans to build the world’s first commercial launchpad near Brownsville in South Texas [...]
The state is providing $2.3 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to bring an estimated 300 jobs to the launch site, which will bring about $85 million of capital investment into the economy [...]
In the region near the proposed launch site, at Boca Chica Beach in the state’s southernmost tip, two of five residents live in poverty. — businessweek.com
It's that time of year again. The Institution of Structural Engineers revealed the 2014 shortlist for their annual Structural Awards today. The awards recognize achievement, innovation, and excellence in the field of structural engineering in addition to promoting its significant role in the creation of inventive design solutions. — bustler.net
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