Interview with an Adware Author

Re-found this link the backyard, never posted here. A little behind-the-scenes on spooky software.

SLINGERS. Thieves, spaceships, casinos, The Future and The Sixties


They are hoping to shoot the pilot in 2010. I hope so too. TV producers: you need this kind of stuff.

A Plan for Spam from Eight Years Ago

Paul Graham, the head behind Lisp, tackling spam in an all-interesting essay from 2002:

I don’t know enough about the infrastructure that spammers use to know how hard it would be to make the headers look innocent, but my guess is that it would be even harder than making the message look innocent. Assuming they could solve the problem of the headers, the spam of the future will probably look something like this: Hey there. Thought you should check out the following:

“Pion” (image sequence)


I am left speechless by how little the jaw moves. From Christine Ericsdotter’s Ph.D. (via Ian Mansfield)

Mandelbulb: 3D Mandelbrot Fractal


double pi=3.14159265;
double r    = sqrt(x*x + y*y + z*z );
double yang = atan2(sqrt(x*x + y*y) , z  )  ;
double zang = atan2(y , x);
newx = (r*r) * sin( yang*2 + 0.5*pi ) * cos(zang*2 +pi);
newy = (r*r) * sin( yang*2 + 0.5*pi ) * sin(zang*2 +pi);
newz = (r*r) * cos( yang*2 + 0.5*pi );
Don Dodge – Hint: The Answer is in The Name

Is this guy the living definition of an ass-licker?

Gmail is new, fast, web based, and has all the features I need. I especially like the way it threads conversations making it easy to keep everything in context. And of course the search capabilities are world class.

Mate, it’s been there since 2005.

FORGOT: Steve Jobs has a nice summary of quotes from the guy on his blog.

Long Duration Exposure Facility

Satellite Material Sampler

CMD1 porn2. Although not for a cellphone, rather to analyse the suitability of a range of materials for space use. The LDEF is an oldie form 1984, and the NASA webpage describing the results of the experiment is an impact-resistant oldie from the web of the ’90s. (via @plugimi)

  1. Colour and Materials Design. One of a number of ways to indicate the selection process of materials to be used in the manufacturing of a product. Some like it, some think it should not be set apart from the design process. 

  2. If there is any such thing. I don’t think there is, but fair enough, porn is an auxiliary by now. (Sasha Grey is in London until Wednesday by the way) 

Eight Ways to Kill an Idea

Flushing ideas

Out of all eight, this one is the truest in my view. (via @bruces and @madebymany)

Pillars of Wisdom by Paul Williams (video)

Still from Pillars of Wisdom

As I have come to know this landscape I am continually reminded that even though we live beneath the gaze of giants, made with our own minds and hands, it is our simple joys that continue to define us as human.

Traktor’s Pedigree (video)


“How are you guys doin’ back there?”

I love Traktor. The Swedish filmmakers haven’t been adding much to their site lately, but I am happy to have found this new-ish gem. No date as usual and not much information aside from the title.

TRAKTOR is a group of filmmakers. We make films, not websites.

OK. Digging a bit deeper than usual in my archives I also found this old PDF scan from Creativity magazine (June 2003). Reborn.

Russian Flying Fortress vs. Nazi Flying Saucer

Flying Fortress

Found on English ᴙussia on a wild browsing session. Fantastic. Particularly since it came on sight after a series of quasi-serious renditions of former top-secret Russian airplane concepts. And then you go: “Huh?”

What Happened to Hypertext?…

Jason Kottke was asking in 1998. A lot more has happened, but to be honest hypertext stays pretty much planted where it was back then –from what I can remember.

James Wines, 1970

Curl, turn, slide, cut, subtract, translate.

James Wines, SITE

Similar Twins On Similar Google

Link in the title. Sorry couldn’t resist.

A ritual

This was at the loose end of a chain-browsing session. I find it slightly hypnotic: a series of careful movements concealed by halo of mechanical mystery. The sound is worth listening to as well.

Shoot video wherever your fingers are

Apple launched the iPod nano with video camera today. It’s obviously all over the place, from DF to the WSJ along with Jobs standing vertical again. Copy that. I’m not a gadget review kind of person, but this time I am really puzzled by a detail that I haven’t seen discussed yet: what are the camera and mike doing on the lower-left corner of the device? Out of four corners Apple seem to have chosen the least suitable one from a usability standpoint. It is most likely due to internal layout constraints, as camera modules are still the hardest space hogs along with connectors to sort out in such small devices. It is interesting though that a company constantly striving for perfection and almost always unwilling to compromise on their industrial design, found that solution to be acceptable for the new iPod nano: to have a firm grab your fingers will either be on the screen or on the camera; any other position will be pretty awkward for what I can see so far.

So simple yet so right

It may not affect your sleep patterns, nor make you more productive, but it definitively helps straighten-up things a little. It’s an app, for Mac and PC, to adapt the colour temperature of your screen to the time of the day and the type of lighting around your desk. I like how, despite the intrinsic coolness of the idea, the authors felt like collecting research snippets on the detrimental effects of wrong lighting to make it even more convincing.

Seven healthy males were exposed to the light sources of different colour temperatures (3000 K, 5000 K and 6700 K) for 6.5 h before sleep. The horizontal illuminance level was kept at 1000 lux. Subjects slept on a bed in near darkness (<10 lux) after extinguishing the light, and polysomnograms recorded the sleep parameters. In the early phase of the sleep period, the amount of stage-4 sleep (S4-sleep) was significantly attenuated under the higher color temperature of 6700 K compared with the lower color temperature of 3000 K. Present findings suggest that light sources with higher color temperatures may affect sleep quality in a view that S4-sleep period is important for sleep quality.

Type It Quick (iTunes Link)

OK good – though it could be bettter. Now I want a Markdown soft keyboard for my iPhone. Gruber pensaci tu.

Why The Lucky Stiff on The Setup

software is the computerized SOUL. it’s like little personalities, it’s great.

You’d better know who Why was.

Wooster Sapiens


As found at the Bristol zoo. About time…

McDonald’s Internet Site Terms and Conditions

From Eddie:

The following trademarks used herein are owned by the McDonald’s Corporation and its affiliates: 1-800-MC1-STCK, Always Quality. Always Fun., America’s Favorite Fries, Arch Deluxe, Aroma Café, Automac, Big Mac, Big N’ Tasty, Big Xtra!, Birdie, the Early Bird and Design, Black History Makers of tomorrow, Bolshoi Mac, Boston Market, Cajita Feliz, Changing The Face of The World, Chicken McGrill, Chicken McNuggets, Chicken Selects, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cuarto De Libra, Did Somebody Say , Donatos Pizza, emac digital, Egg McMuffin, Extra Value Meal, Filet-O-Fish, French Fry Box Design, Fruit Buzz, Gep Op Mac, Golden Arches, Golden Arches Logo, Good Jobs For Good People, Good Times. Great Taste., Gospelfest, Great Breaks, Grimace and Design, Groenteburger, HACER, Hamburglar and Design, Hamburger University, Happy Meal, Happy Meal Box Design, Have You Had Your Break Today?, Healthy Growing Up, Helping Hands Logo, Hey, i’m lovin’ it, It Could Happen!, “it’s what i eat and what i do”, Iam Hungry and Design, Immunize for Healthy Lives, Kiwiburger, Lifting Kids To A Better Tomorrow, Mac Attack, Mac Jr., Mac Tonight and Design, McDonald’s Racing Team Design, Made For You, McBaby, McBacon, McBurger, McBus, McCafe, McChicken, McDia Feliz, MCDirect Shares, McDonaldland, McDonald’s , McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Game, McDonald’s All American High School Jazz Bank, McDonald’s All Star Racing Team, McDonald’s Building Design, McDonald’s Earth Effort, McDonald’s Earth Effort Logo, McDonald’s Express, McDonald’s Express Logo, McDonald’s Is Your Kind of Place, McDonald’s Means Opportunity, McDouble, McDrive, McExpress, McFamily, McFlurry, McFranchise, McGriddles, McGrilled Chicken, McHappy Day, McHero, McJobs, McKids, McKids Logo, McKroket, McMaco, McMemories, McMenu, McMusic, McNifica, McNuggets, McNuggets Kip, McOz, McPlane, McPollo, McPrep, McRecycle USA, McRib, McRoyal, McScholar, McScholar of the Year, McSwing, McWorld, Mighty Kids Meal, Mighty Wings, Millennium Dreamers, Morning Mac, Quarter Pounder, RMCC, RMHC, Ronald McDonald and Design, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Ronald McDonald House Charities Logo, Ronald McDonald House Logo, Ronald Scholars, Sausage McGriddles, Sausage McMuffin, Single Arch Logo, Speedee Logo, Super Size, Teriyaki McBurger, The House That Love Built, The House That Love Built Design, twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesoniononasesameseedbun, Vegi Mac, We Love to See You Smile, What’s On Your Plate, When the U.S. Wins You Win, World Children’s Day, World Children’s Day Logo, World Famous Fries, You Deserve a Break Today, McDWireless.

Skating Around a Roller Coaster

Dirk Auer

This is for Brendan Walker. And that one above is Dirk Auer from Germany. Imagine him meeting Dash Macdonald.

Three. Two. One. Rifle.

Three. Two. One. Impact.

Inside a Predator drone control center. It is clearly staged, still the emotional detachment of the pilots comfortably sitting in an air-conditioned truck comes through nicely. What is really missing there is a McDonalds meal sitting next to the joysticks.

Mark Andrew Webber

Carved Linoleum Map of Paris This is making the rounds a lot lately. I spent some time reading through his website and taking a look a the rest of the work. It’s impressive. No wonder at 23 he was already awarded an ADC Silver Cube. However, what really caught my attention were a few lines at the very bottom of the about page which read:

I have arthritis in basically all of my joins but mainly my hands, and more so in my right hand, so being right handed is annoying, but the pain I get when carving at times drives me forward, I’m not going to stop doing this art I love, a lot of pain goes into each piece I work on but that just helps me to drive to finish it and not quit as I could easily do.

Keep it going.

New Botanics

Plant taxonomy needs an update. Where would this fit?

  • Wind tunnel tested to 60.4m/s (136mph)
  • RF transparent foliage tested at Loughborough University including effects of rain and ice
  • UV resistant and flame retardent foliage
  • Fatigue relieving base details
  • Extendibility – expand to multiple users at minimal cost
  • Multi-user capabilities (up to 3 users, taking up to 6 antennas at each level)
  • Design to BS6399, with full account taken of the effect of the wind pick-up on the foliage
  • Full orientational flexibility of antennas from unique support frames that enable the antenna to be disguised by foliage

Yes, it’s the tree mast I was mentioning in the previous post.

Bioland, 2009

Peebler-Dish This one came through Brad Peebler tweeting his disconcert. I am not sure whether he actually took the picture or not, or whether the tree was cut on purpose -my hunch is that it wasn’t- but I actually find it quite honest as a solution compared to hose hideous tree masts. A tree-less trunk, or a trunk with a new purpose? Signal quality replaces air quality. How often do you find yourself concerned about the quality of the air around you compared to the times you end up hunting for the Fourth Golden Bar Of Wi-Fi? Next step I would imagine will be to de-tree a whole forest, and reuse the trunks to create the successor to the Very Large Array.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole

Now joins the limited group of things I know about, thank to the convincing tweets from Moleitau

A. Thousand. Frames. Per. Second. (in full colour HD)

SprintCam These guys have the toy. See the demo video linked in the title of this post. Then watch it again.

Mars Attacks, Terra Nukes

Dog destruction

Nice bingo from Wired.

Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas

Read it, read it, read it. Recreational vehicles, nod office, automobile snack conveyor, sleep-in cubicles, skylight oven, hidden showers, grindplayers, self shorting sedans, view-cabs, folding bike-vests, walking treadmills, automobile abandonment zones, pedal train, sanitized reincarnated garbage… all by Steven M. Johnson.

Are you not reading it yet?

Too Small For Me

Shirt Proto

Man’s shirt modeled in subdivision surfaces and printed on Objet. The one you see is a small scale test. By far one of the hardest models I’ve ever built, as most of it had to be a single volume. Actually, only the buttons and the stitching (not visible) are separate geometry.

More on this later…

The Extreme Google Brain

Beautifully written post on male-brainedness in relation to Google.

Their brains are beautifully suited to the genteel eugenics program that is the Google hiring process but are broken for real-world use.

Maybe I am just discovering hot water, but could it be that the whole secret to Google’s success is to provide a shelter of realization for extreme nerds?

Fresnel Beauty

Hope The Fresnel lens has never been so elegant. Instant classic by Paolo Rizzatto1 and Francisco Gomez Paz. Absolute must see, the work in progress pictures on Francisco’s Flickr stream.

  1. For the uninitiated, Paolo Rizzatto, together with Alberto Meda whom he often collaborates with, are the Daft Punk of Italian design. 

21:9 TV And An Awesome Promo Site

Philips, I admit it, this is actually cool; great job.

Citroën Karin

Want! It’s so beautiful. Citroën Karin

Vimeo Special Edition for Honda Insight

Surprising. Can someone explain me how they did this (the webpage, not the filming)?

Disappearing Car Doors

Just watch it. The video is so odd; it says 2007, but the whole thing feels like it’s been filmed in the 80’s. Which makes it even more futuristic. Via David Weiss.

Karim Rashid is Still Wearing Pink

This year at the Fiera I’m showing 39 new projects.

Feeling the crisis…

One good side of this crisis is that it makes us all consumers consider for a moment, regardless of how well off we are or how poor we are, what and why we have what we have in our lives.


There’s a certain naivety now, that you pick up a magazine, y’know, if I could just make one funky chair that gets attention I’m gonna be famous. I think that’s kind of a wrong approach, you know, there’s something about the impatience of popular culture that’s happened, where we all have this kind of desirous want to be famous, to be immediately recognized.

I see…

You are so gentle to talk to, it’s really beautiful.

Emera Desk Lamp, by Luca Magaro

Emera by Luca Magaro Still from Vivo, a small design firm with studios in Rome and Milan, a nice take on a desk lamp. I love the RGB LED dimmer switch being fully exposed and not preset-based.

Twister by Mirko Schwiedrzik

Twister Trashcan Nice. Quite twisted for a trashcan. More info and press kits on Vivo’s website (which, on a side note, would greatly benefit from a complete redesign…)

Sterling on Design Fiction

Writers cling hard to the word, to semantics, to meaning and sensibility. Design, by contrast, is less verbal. Design is busily inventing new ways to blow itself apart. Design is taking more risks with itself than literature. That is why contemporary design feels almost up to date, while literature feels archaic and besieged.

From Tony.

As usual, here is a more readable PDF version of the same article

Look at this fucking hipster

Makes me want to rush out and buy a 21 gears mountain-bike.

He Processed Me

I first encountered Ballard on the back shelves of used bookstores, and thought he was one of the best treasures I ever discovered there. I always felt, reading his work, that I didn’t process a Ballardian piece of fiction; instead, it processed me.

Jeff VanderMeer on Amazon’s book editors’ blog Omnivoracious

We Lost J.G. Ballard

A Twitter memorial seemed the best way to participate.

Faith-based Publishing

Money redefined on Schott’s Vocab (in the comments).

Electro Cutie

I wish I found it first.


Oh, the Internet of the 90’s (ASMBLR) Convoluted1 but welcome re-find. I used to know this one back in 1999. Its once spectacular minimalism has now turned into glitch art, the new baroque.

  1. Daringfireball sent me to Zeldman who gave me his book for free. Get a copy yourself; it’s an oldie, but if you filter out the obsolete noise, what remains is actually interesting. 

Italian Domains Registration Procedure or May The Italian NIC Drown In a Mountain of Faxed Letters

In order to register an Italian TLD of the .it flavour you re required to follow the most anachronistic procedure ever:

  • Start the request as for any other TLD in the known world (I use Gandi, a fabulous non scammy maintainer from France).
  • Download a PDF version of the LAR, a contract letter written in Italian, where you accept legal requirements and other similar bureaucratic jam. The rest of the world does this (if ever) with a FORM and a checkbox.
  • Make sure you read through it carefully, because there are a few catches hidden in the bureau-lingo. For example, if you are an Italian national you have to provide you fiscal code (don’t ask what it is…) whether if you are just European you must provide your passport number. Great. Someone thought this out really well in Italy.
  • Sign the letter. With a pen please. Not digitally. It easier to counterfeit it if you use a pen, Italians love counterfeiting.
  • Once the whole thing has been compiled you have two options to send it back. Email it. No, you can’t, sorry bad joke. You have to either post it or send it by FAX1.
  • (optional step) If you are sending by snail mail, send something along with it. Be it money or a nice salami, every little helps.
  • Then pray, but pray something Catholic. Of course, there is no feedback whatsoever on whether your FAX was received or not, when it going to be processed, how long will take…
  • In case of fail repeat the procedure, but make sure you do it in less than 14 days.

As of Tuesday 28th of April, more than 20 days since I started the registration, the domain is yet to be seen.

  1. What is a FAX you are asking? If you were born in the 90’s, a FAX machine is nothing more than a scanner-printer attached to a 16k analogue modem. 

Lost And Found – Clay Shirky at Design Interactions

After the recent newspapers crisis-related articles, a bell rang in my head and I “found” this little video gem in my Vimeo account. I totally forgot I had it there. Unfortunately it is just an excerpt of a much longer talk, but if you have never seen the man talking, this is a good start. Watch it, watch it! He talks about a lot of things, amongst them is “getting a tool right” in reference to online publishing systems. I told you, he is engaging. Watch it. I do not have it yet, but friend says his latest book, Here Comes Everybody, makes a lot of sense and it is a pleasure to read.

Material Formation in Design


Flat to compound, through a laser cutter and some brilliant work by Elijah Porter.

I have a thing for this sort of stuff. See here