Saturday, 11 July 2009

TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year's TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

Look through some of the videos on the site. There are some very inspiring talks and demonstrations.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Evian's water babies

Evian's latest advertising campaign is strangely compelling yet disturbing at the same time. Soundtrack is 'Rapper's Delight' by Dan the Automator.

Sticky Thoughts

A stop-frame animation produced by Bang-Yao Liu for his degree at Savannah College of Art & Design based on his thoughts to meet a deadline.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Dirty napkin

This is a clever little marketing campaign in Austria, featuring scandalously naughty under-the-table scenarios for Studio Relax Erotik Massages, selling, well ... you could probably guess.

Augmented Reality App for iPhone 3GS

Acrossair has developed a new GPRS application which allows you to view where the nearest London tube stations are by simply pointing the iPhone camera in any direction.

Introducing Google Chrome OS

Google's recent re-labeling of it's applications from Beta to official has culminated in an announcement on their blog that they will be entering the operating system market with their long-anticipated Google OS, or Google Chrome OS as they would like to call it.

Since the launch of it's Android OS for mobile phones, it became clear that this sleeping giant is not just a one trick search engine pony. And with the market for netbooks increasing, currently 8% of the market share, PC manufacturers will welcome the competition to challenge Microsoft prices for software licensing.

This new emerging market is crucial as sales of these lighter and cheaper computers continues to grow. Microsoft's current OS, Windows Vista, is simply too big and cumbersome to install and run on the smaller hard drives and RAM. So they've had to extend the life of Windows XP which it officially killed off in June 2007.

With the migration of expandable storage and software online, Google has allowed Chrome to run on varying machine sizes. It can even be run on the chip that powers the Apple iPhone. Online usage is the key issue, where computers are no longer limited by their physical constraints. Google has also addressed users without internet connection with the launch of it's offline software, Google Gears.

With Microsoft Bing's recent foray into the search engine business, it looks like Google is fighting back. Interesting times are ahead.

Read more on Guardian Online.

Tokyo named most expensive city

The falling pound and lower rent has pushed London out of the top ten of the world's most expensive cities to live in according to the latest annual listings from consultants Mercers. London has dropped 13 places to 16th place because of the Sterling's poor performance against the dollar.

Tokyo and Osaka have knocked Moscow off the top spot down to 3rd place making it a one two for Japan. While Geneva has moved up four places to 4th and Hong Kong up one to 5th.

The survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Read more at Guardian Online.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Architectural video installation

An impressive art installation by Apparati Effimeri at the Itinerario Festival, of a video projected onto the surface of Cesena castle. Watch as the building mysteriously melts and morphs into various abstract shapes.

Japanese workers say 'Cheese'

In an effort to improve it's services, a Tokyo-based train company has introduced a smile scanning software to be used by it's employees. The 530 employees of Keihin Electric Railway Company have been beaming stupidly at a WebCam linked up to a computer which then analyses eye movements, lip curvature and facial wrinkles to determine the person's happy state which ranges from 0 (suicidal) to 100 (delirious).

Read more on Guardian Online.

Eternal Moonwalk

Like most things in life, the simplest ideas are always the best. In a fitting tribute to The King of Pop, the general public have been invited to contribute a video of themselves and become a part of the Eternal Moonwalk conga. You can even do a search of yourself or someone else and request that video gets played next. Genius!

Stand up for Humanity

Sculptor Antony Gormley's 'One and Other' centrepiece is a live installation where every hour of the day, for a hundred days, a member of the general public is encouraged to step up to the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, and do anything. The plinth, normally reserved for statues of kings and generals, is a unique opportunity for people to represent a cross-section of humanity.

The art installation is filmed live on webcam and will be available from the 6th July until the 14th October.

WebCam pop video

Japan leads the way once again in an eccentric use of synchronised webcams to create a unique pop video montage for Sour's 'Hibi no Neiro'.

Auto Erotica: Ken Block vs Ricky Carmichael

Top Gear presenter, James May gets up close and personal with Ken Block and his heavily modified 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI in another stunning production from the BBC. Watch him as he takes on Ricky Carmichael, the 16 times undefeated Motocross and Supercross legend, across a dusty Californian airstrip.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Auto Erotica: The Art of Gymkhana

If you can bear the first minute of blatant commercial placement, you will not be disappointed. Watch as rally stunt driver Ken Block navigates around a series of complex obstacles and tight spaces with precision driving. It's a wonder to behold.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

iPhone Travels: Trees spotted across London

Southbank: Walking in My Mind

Looks like the global epidemic of Swine Flu has finally branched out to other living species. These spot covered trees by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at The Hayward Gallery is part of the 'Walking in My Mind' exhibition which explores the inner workings of 10 artists' imaginations through immersive, large scale installation art. Now showing until the 6th September.

View on Google Maps.

Auto Erotica: Alfa Romeo Guiletta Spider

Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint

Introduced in March 1962 at the Geneva Motorshow, the car was designed by the renowned Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of Carrozeria Bertone. The car was named after it's aluminum 2.6 litre six-cylinder twin-cam engine.

iPhone Travels: City Life's a Beach

Thames beach

When the sun's out, the Thames isn't the first place you'd think about finding a beach. But this river has a surprising number of beaches that are accessible when the tide is low along the Southbank. Although the Thames is one of the cleanest urban rivers, over 1,000 tonnes of rubbish is removed every year by pressure group Thames21 who organise 50 volunteer events annually.

View on Google Maps.

iPhone Travels: Ganton Street, London W1

Ganton Street plug

Concrete architecture in Britain is ugly at the best of times. So, any introduction of colour is more than welcome in this palette of beige, like this luminous green plug designed by artist Paul Dart of James Glancy Design.

View on Google Maps.

Play Me, I'm Yours

Play Me, I'm Yours

Walking to Hammersmith Farmer's Market in Lyric Square I came across some music being played. Not noticing a music venue being there before, I was curious to know where it was coming from. Upon entering the square I saw a piano standing in the middle available for the general public to play.

'Play Me, I'm Yours' is a living artwork by artist Luke Jerram that has been touring since 2008. The project involves 30 pianos installed around the public spaces of London to encourage the city populace to engage and connect with each other.

Previous installations were hugely successful having travelled internationally to far away places such as Sao Paulo and Sydney.

The pianos will be available until the 13th July. Be sure to have a tinkle on the ivories when you walk past one.