Tidbits | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

Interesting articles, videos and other tidbits from around the web.

Foursquare and Swarm  

Jon Evans:

Foursquare, which started life as “the check-in app,” is ripping check-ins out of its eponymous app and moving them to its new ambient-social app called Swarm. […]

Which leaves it seeming more than a little unfocused. The main Foursquare app has essentially become a Yelp competitor. Swarm is now a side business, presumably because check-ins are no longer a growth industry, and haven’t been for some years now.

This pivot kept me scratching my head. I was probably one of the last geeks to start using Foursquare. I liked how I could tell the app where I am and what I like and it would then show me what to do.

With the split I have to check-in in Swarm and then jump to Foursquare to read more about the venue. What a waste of time.

My close friends are using neither Foursquare nor Swarm. They do not check-in to show where they are. Socializing has never been my use case for checking-in.

I stopped using Foursquare short after the split.

Being Old  

Stan Hayward:

So, what does it feel like to be old?
It’s a bit like this, with a cat that has luminous eyes and sleeps on its back.

From time to time something reminds you of the past.

You remember things.
Mostly nice things.

Stan has done quite a few things in his life.

Sleeping Spies  

Photographer Martin Schlüter spent numerous nights in the empty headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) in Pullach. His images portray the soon to be abandoned offices. The BND will complete its relocation to Berlin in 2016.

The Interlace  

Houses stacked like building blocks.

I came across “The Interlace” on my way to the Gillman Barracks and it was one of the most fascinating buildings I’ve seen.

Now architect Ole Scheeren won the Urban Habitat Award. Well deserved.

Giant Peanut  

Michael Silverberg:

The University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design has built an ultra-thin exhibition hall that showcases the technical possibilities of computational design and robot-fabricated structures. It also looks like a giant peanut.

Check the post for more images.

Cold Tomatoes  

Jenni Avins:

McGee writes that tomatoes originally came from a warm place—the deserts of South America’s west coast—and therefore shouldn’t be stored at arctic temperatures. A tomato subjected to a refrigerator’s cold climate stops producing its aroma-making enzymes and starts to lose its flavor.


Myths About Apple Design  

Storehouse co-founder and ex-Apple designer Mark Kawano:

I think the biggest misconception is this belief that the reason Apple products turn out to be designed better, and have a better user experience, or are sexier, or whatever . . . is that they have the best design team in the world, or the best process in the world […]

It’s actually the engineering culture, and the way the organization is structured to appreciate and support design. Everybody there is thinking about UX and design, not just the designers. And that’s what makes everything about the product so much better . . . much more than any individual designer or design team.

He shares some more insight into the design process at Apple.

The Expert

You’re given an impossible task. No one understands. Because you’re the expert.

Pink Towers  

Suzanne LaBarre:

In Wuhan, the largest city in central China, developers are planning not one but two skyscrapers, both of which will edge out their Middle Eastern rival. Plus they’re on an island. And powered by renewable energy. And pink.

Start Early  

Mark Gurman:

Apple’s approach to developing hardware from the home is yet another indicator of the company’s integrated hardware and software philosophy. Like with iTunes arriving before the iPod and the Health app arriving on iOS before the iWatch, Apple is creating a Smart Home ecosystem via its software and planting its feet in the category before introducing actual hardware.

It’s similar to the way they launched iBeacon. At first they made sure that every device is equiped with Bluetooth Low Energy. When they released iOS 7 there were already hundreds of millions of capable devices out in the wild.

Four Tank Men  

Patrick Witty:

There was not just one “tank man” photo. Four photographers captured the encounter that day from the Beijing Hotel, overlooking Changan Avenue (the Avenue of Eternal Peace), their lives forever linked by a single moment in time. They shared their recollections with The Times through e-mail.

First Moon Party

New ad from period care package provider HelloFlo:

My favorite is still this Bodyfrom ad:

Beauty Around the World  

Esther Honig sent her picture to artists from more than 25 countries, asking them to “make me beautiful”:

Below is a selection from the resulting images thus far. They are intriguing and insightful in their own right; each one is a reflection of both the personal and cultural concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator.

Unlimited Drive  

Unlimited storage for $10/month. I’ve heard this before…

Major disappointment Bitcasa used to promise the same.

I hope Google is more reliable.