Blog Posts

The NichePhone-S: A tiny little Android dumbphone

Jacob Kastrenakes, writing for The Verge:

As Apple brings smartphones to bold new places, another company is trying to take us back to a simpler, calmer, and much cheaper time. FutureModel plans to release a surprisingly accurately named device called the NichePhone-S later this month that runs Android but doesn’t seem to do much more than make calls, send texts, and stream music. It’s similar in shape to a credit card and looks like an odd little calculator.

Engadget Japan called our attention to the device and has some hands on photos with it. According to the report, the phone will come out in Japan on November 10th and sell for around $95.

The phone is supposedly running Android 4.2, though I don’t know how you’d be able to tell. Its screen looks like a digital clock; it’s not clear that there’s any sort of detailed interface here. Apparently, though, you’ll be able to record voice memos, play back music, and connect to Bluetooth headsets. I will be seriously disappointed if there isn’t also a calculator function.

It always feels that as soon you start making strides in a certain technology, there comes the novelty of pulling us back for nostalgia’s sake. Wouldn’t I just be better off with a 10 year old candy bar phone?

Facebook is testing a method to stop revenge porn on its Messenger app

Ians, reporting for Firstpost:

Facebook is testing a new method to stop revenge porn that requires you to send your own nudes to yourself via the social network’s Messenger app.

This strategy would help Facebook to create a digital fingerprint for the picture and mark it as non-consensual explicit media.

“It would be like sending yourself your image in the email, but obviously this is a much safer, secure end-to-end way of sending the image without sending it through the ether,” e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told ABC.

“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” Grant said.

“So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded,” she explained.

“The safety and wellbeing of the Facebook community is our top priority,” Davis said.

“Officer, I suspect my ex has some explicit photos of me and may use them in a harmful way. Please help.”

“Sure, just send me copies of everything you have. If I see them in the wild, I’ll stop it.”

The windows of New York, illustrated

Jason Kottke:

José Guizar is a Mexican designer living in NYC with an obsession for the city’s windows. For his Windows of New York project, he’s done dozens of illustrations of all styles of window from around the city (mostly lower Manhattan).

The Windows of New York project is a illustrated fix for an obsession that has increasingly grown in me since I first moved to this city. A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the streets. This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up.

Somehow I prefer these illustrations to the ‘fancier’ architectural renderings. They are bold, crisp and (in a certain way) more relatable.

Weekly Vision: November 12, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1) Harvey Weinstein hired an army of private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track actresses and journalists

2) Seeing Different – A Short Film on Stained Glass Craftsman Norbert Sattler

3) Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the disappearing iPhone (fantastic photography)

4) The tension between creativity and productivity

5) Colourful cabinetry offsets the white interior of this Bauhaus-era apartment

How much does a kilogram weigh?

Stefania Pandolfi, reporting for CERN:

The Kilogram doesn’t weigh a kilogram any more.

Together with six other units – metre, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, and candela – the kilogram, a unit of mass, is part of the International System of Units (SI) that is used as a basis to express every measurable object or phenomenon in nature in numbers. This unit’s current definition is based on a small platinum and iridium cylinder, known as “le grand K”, whose mass is exactly one kilogram. The cylinder was crafted in 1889 and, since then, has been kept safe under three glass bell jars in a high-security vault on the outskirts of Paris.

There is one problem: the current standard kilogram is losing weight. About 50 micrograms, at the latest check. Enough to be different from its once-identical copies stored in laboratories around the world. 

Fascinating; sometimes we just take certain bits of knowledge for granted, such as not realising that the kilogram like any scale of measurement is ultimately referencing a certain object.

The genius behind KFC’s Twitter account

This “news” is over a month ago but better late than ever.

And how classy was it to wait until someone figured this out?

Weekly Vision: November 05, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1) The $12,000 Marc Newson Hourglass for Hodinkee

2) Rural Italian residence combines traditional stone exterior with contemporary details

3) Private home with flamed wood facade

4) Marrakech museum with lace-like brickwork facade

5) Foster + Partners’ Apple Store in Chicago features huge glass walls and a carbon fibre roof

Can Face ID on the iPhone X be tricked?

Jonathan Morrison, another popular YouTuber, with a fun video trying his hand at fooling Face ID on the new iPhone X. He does go over the top with his props, but in the end he does manage to give a fairly conclusive idea of what does and does not work with Face ID.

YouTube really is changing the way we consume content; people are generating new and different bite sized pieces of materials, something which was quite hard to convey in a pure text or image format.

Oh, and of course someone has already covered whether this works with twins.

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