Category Archives: Technology

The Best and Worst Redesigns of PRISM's Atrocious PowerPoint

“There are plenty of reasons to be discomforted by the recent NSA PRISM scandal, chief among them the total obliteration of any remaining notion of privacy we might have had. But there’s another less pressing, yes, but still confidence-shattering concern that has echoed around our internet’s hallowed halls this past week: the fact that this massive, top-secret, data-mining government enterprise allowed a drunk eight-year-old to design their PowerPoint slides.”

via The Best and Worst Redesigns of PRISM’s Atrocious PowerPoint.

Export Illustrator Layers and/or Artboards as PNGs and PDFs

I finally found a script to do this. If you design in Adobe Illustrator, here’s a must-have add-on. Major time-saver. Works in CS6.

From Matther Ericson, ericson.net

link: Export Illustrator Layers and/or Artboards as PNGs and PDFs | Matthew Ericson – ericson.net.

This Guy Reinvented the Wheel … by Turning It Into a Cube

“What’s better at being a wheel than … a wheel?

“That is not a rhetorical question or a Zen kōan or the start to an awesome joke (sorry). Inventor David Patrick, an avid skateboarder, stumbled (or, you know, skated) onto a way to reinvent the wheel as something that he claims is better than the tradition cylindrical model — something faster, more stable, and more ground-gripping. Its inspiration, Patrick says, ‘came from a cube.’ He calls his creation the ‘SharkWheel,’ and he has patented the invention — and is now raising money for its production on Kickstarter. (A week into the campaign, the modified wheel has taken in almost double the amount of its original $10,000 funding goal.)”

via This Guy Reinvented the Wheel … by Turning It Into a Cube – Megan Garber – The Atlantic.

Transgenic silkworms spin glowing fluorescent silk

If your greatest problem with your silk clothes is that they don’t look impressive enough under black light, you’re in luck. Researchers in Japan have genetically engineered silkworms that spin silk that glows under fluorescent light.

via Transgenic silkworms spin glowing fluorescent silk.

A Human Stem Cell Has Been Cloned For the First Time

The implications here are huge, from both a medicinal and ethical standpoint. In the past, other scientists experimented with cloning processes that avoided ethical quandaries like extracting fetal cells, but none of those were nearly as reliable as this one. And this approach might be able to work with adult skin cells—removing fetuses from the equation—but it’s still too early to tell.

And while the stem cells generated here definitely aren’t intended to be used to produce actual, living, human clones, there’s no reason to believe they couldn’t be. And life potential like that is bound to raise all sorts of questions.

via A Human Stem Cell Has Been Cloned For the First Time.

Movie Aspect Ratios

Filmmaker IQ

The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio from FilmmakerIQ.com on Vimeo.

John Hess traces the evolution of the screen shape from the silent film days through the widescreen explosion of the 50s, to the aspect ratio of modern digital cameras.

This lesson is part of the FilmmakerIQ course: "Everything You Need To Know about Aspect Ratio"
http://filmmakeriq.com/courses/everything-you-need-to-know-about-aspect-ratio

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Buycott App Helps People Boycott Koch Brothers And Monsanto

buycott

Last year at the Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner proposed an idea for an app that allows people to check to see if the Koch brothers were behind that product. Not many people knew that the Koch Brothers own Georgia-Pacific Paper. Quilted Northern toilet paper, Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels, and a few other common paper products do contribute towards the Koch brothers’ revenues. Boycotting a few paper products might have seen like something non-worthy of creating an app for, but then Koch Industries bought a company called Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies. That included lycra, stain-resistant carpet, and the list kept compiling until the idea for Buycott was born to keep it all straight by just scanning a bar-code (and can be downloaded here).

via Buycott App Helps People Boycott Koch Brothers And Monsanto – Americans Against the Tea Party.

“When you use Buycott to scan a product, it will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, ad infinitum). It will then cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in the campaigns you’ve joined, in order to tell you if the scanned product conflicts with one of your campaign commitments.”

Is LinkedIn the Creepiest Social Network?

From Gizmodo:

“This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. In fact, it stems from something I noticed way back in August of last year. After digging for answers and even a couple attempts at contacting their customer support, I’ve concluded that LinkedIn is by far the creepiest social network.

“The primary reasons LinkedIn is the mustached, trench coat and wire frame glasses wearing mouth breather of the internet are the “People You May Know” and “People Also Viewed” features.

“Let’s begin with the “People You May Know” feature. Every time I sign in, I’m startled by one of the names they suggest. My reactions range from ‘How did you know I know them?’ to ‘There’s no way you should know I know them’ to ‘Ok, I don’t know that person, but they have the same name as someone I do know, and you shouldn’t even know that.'”

Continued at Gizmodo: Is LinkedIn the Creepiest Social Network?

New App Reveals The Sustainability Of Every Clothing Material You Can Think Of

Last year, Nike made its dataset of sustainable materials–developed over an eight-year period–available online for the public to use. The big reveal was part of the company’s Open Challenge for Sustainable Materials, which asked visitors to "select materials beautifully, simply, and accurately, based on sustainability."

This month, Nike made that challenge just a little bit easier with the Nike Making app, now available through iTunes. The app is essentially a portable version of the database that has been available for a little over a year. Designers can look at 22 product materials–including silk, down, cotton, and polypropylene fabric–and find out their environmental impacts in four categories: waste, water use, energy, and chemistry. Performance and aesthetics are also taken into account.

via 1 | Nike's New App Reveals The Sustainability Of Every Clothing Material You Can Think Of | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.

iDiot: toy robots hooked on smartphone

IDIOTS from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

It’s not a secret we love robots here at BLR, so we wanted them to be the heroes in our latest promo clip. Luxury cars with powerful engines to drive through roads under severe speed restrictions, cable TV that allows us to pay to watch all kind of sports, all from our comfortable sofa, and of course, hyper expensive cell phones that do almost everything but making a decent phone call.

Yes, our happiness is based on things we don’t need and governed by entities we don’t control, so what? Sit down and turn on the tv!

The robots were taken from real Japanese robot model kits, and they now hold a privileged position in our freak museum. The bad guy spits real smoke out of its mouth! The environment is made of cardboard houses that were integrated with the help of camera tweaks. It all serves to the purpose of creating a dumb homogeneous atmosphere in which we’re defined by what we’ve got, that is, the same lame things.

Don’t take the message too seriously. This is a promo video we’ve done to laugh at ourselves. We all have an i-diot inside, and it’s so fun!

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A tale by Big Lazy Robot VFX
Music and sound design by Full Basstards