After reading and talking so much recently about the concept of "democratic exclusivity" (first coined by Ed Cotton on the Influx Insights blog and then promoted by the relentless Piers Fawkes), I was delighted to finally experience it myself when I was strolling the streets of Paris last week. I spent a day (a micro-vacation!) in the not-so-touristy 6th district around Metro Vavin in Montparnasse (in fact, I rarely left it, which was a much more satisfying experience than zig-zagging from the left to the right bank all the time as I used to) and discovered "Le Timbre,&… Read more
- Two Indian companies made the top 20: Tata is #6 and Reliance came in at #19.
- General Motors made it on the list (for "products"), thanks to "concept cars like the electric Chevrolet Volt and the Detroit auto maker's renewed focus on design."
- For the first time, a Wall Street firm made the top 25: … Read more
In honor of Earth Day, let's look at a once-commonplace feature that has almost entirely disappeared from today's consumer electronics. To illustrate my point, here's a picture from my gadget archive, a perfectly ordinary Sony radio Walkman of mid-90's vintage:
Now let's look at the back:
Notice anything? No? Let's look closer:
What's that...a screw? Remember those? Yes, indeed, thanks to the constant drive for sleekness and cost-cutting you never see screws on CE devices any more, especially portable ones.
What does this have to do with Earth Day? A couple of … Read more
Honda announced its participation in the Hot Wheels 40th anniversary design contest by unveiling the Honda Racer, a 1/64th scale model designed at the automaker's R&D facility in Torrance, Calif.. Other entrants include Chevrolet, with the 1957 Corvette-inspired Chevroletor; Ford, with the Gangster Grin; Dodge, with the XP-07; and Mitsubishi, with Double Shotz. The design competition centered on the Hot Wheels motto of power, speed, and performance. The toy company obviously ceded the virtue of economy to Matchbox, which has models of the Mazda2 and Smart Cabrio.
Honda provided the following specs for the Honda Racer: … Read more
I am in Paris, attending the DMI (Design Management Institute) annual European Conference. Executives from design-centric brands, corporate design managers, agencies, academics, and students gather to discuss the power of design not only in bridging decision-makers in organizations with the needs of consumers but also in facilitating product, service, social, and political innovation processes. The attendee list is very international and includes representatives from Renault, eBay, SK Telekom, SAP, BBC, Microsoft, and Vodafone, as well as professors/PhDs from business schools ESADE and ESSEC. I will blog more soon.
Summer's almost here (at least that's what we keep telling ourselves), and that means it's finally time to take that pimp-mobile out of the garage. But if you're not the ATV type who would buy snakeskin tires, you'll need to find some other way to show off those wheels. One solution: 24k gold-plated alloys.
These 19-inch wheels would be the perfect complement to a $150,000 gear shift knob and other appropriately egregious accoutrements. And at just $6,000 each--or $23,960 for all four, according to Lussorian--they're a steal. Remember, you could … Read more
Where safety features are concerned, usually bicycles adopt ideas from cars. But SweetskinZ wants to do it the other way around.
The company got some ink last year with reflective bike tires that looked more like art projects than safety measures. Now it's applying this patented "SkinZ" technology to car tires, especially for ATVs in no-man's land.
Not only will these wheels increase visibility, but they'll definitely make a fashion statement as well. After all, how many tires have you seen on the road that look like snakeskin? Outside California, anyway.
Article updated at 8:05 p.m. PST.
Greetings, Earthlings. There's big, round news in the world of software, and its name is Google Earth. Hot on the heels of major improvements to Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth has had a few big announcements of its own. On Monday, KML, the markup language behind Google Earth, was approved as the international standard by the Open Geospatial Consortium. The Google Earth Blog also announced a research project to simplify placing images into precise locations within Google Earth. Anyone who's tried this knows it requires some advanced photo-matching techniques, so … Read more
Google SketchUp landed with a big splash last year, but it's not the only freeware option for budding 3D designers. From the makers of the popular scene-rendering program Bryce comes DAZ Studio for Windows and Mac, a powerful freeware 3D modeling and CAD program that looks great, but is a resource hog and can be sluggish for the average user.
The publisher recommends at least 256MB of RAM, but I found that to be wishful thinking at best. The program runs choppily on anything less than 1GB, although some of the more complex rendering was processed more slowly than … Read more
Apparently the people behind the Segway are finally starting to listen to the incessant mocking of the personal transporter as the ultimate in dorkdom. The evidence: It's preparing to debut a new RMP (Robotic Mobility Platform) at the RoboBusiness conference that looks more appropriate for a desert battlefield than a paved sidewalk.
It's a far more macho version of the first RMP released more than a year ago, which was developed for use by robots. The new model--which could cost as much as $50,000--can carry up to 400 pounds, according to MAKE, and has omnidirectional wheels for … Read more