Products | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

The Hidden Structure of the Apple Keynote  

Watching Apple unveil their newest product is great entertainment.

Onedown  

ONEDOWN is a humane rat trap. The trap rests precariously in a horizontal position on a circular foot. Bait inside would lure the rat into the trap, a metal insert in the base coupled with the weight of the rat will tip the trap and bring it to a vertical position indicating that a rat has been trapped. Then the rat can be released instead of killed.

Moving Walls Transform a Tiny Apartment Into a 5-Room Home  

I love these transforming rooms. This is the first time I’ve seen one that only spans half of an apartment.

Watch a 100-Year-Old, 28.5-Liter Engine Scream to Life  

Check the linked article for more information and a second video.

Car Concepts Between Past and Future  

David Obendorfer creates new versions of classic cars.

A Learning Music Player  

I’d like to see the information synced back to Spotify.

Gorilla Glass

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take a look back at the history of glass before they explain Gorilla Glass.

(The videos were produced by Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning.)

Torturing IPhones  

Josh Lowensohn visited Apple:

A few blocks away from Apple’s bustling campus in Cupertino is a rather nondescript building. Inside is absolutely the last place on earth you’d want to be if you were an iPhone. It’s here where Apple subjects its newest models to the kinds of things they might run into in the real world: drops, pressure, twisting, tapping. Basically all the things that could turn your shiny gadget into a small pile of metal and glass.

The interesting thing is, that inside Apple, away from the glamorous marketing world, there are the same laboratories as everywhere else.

50 Pounds of Clay  

Chanpory Rith cites a parable from Art and Fear:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot”albeit a perfect one”to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work”and learning from their mistakes”the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Selling the Experience

Former Apple CEO John Sculley explains how Apple isn’t selling products but experiences.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review  

John Siracusa has published a new one of his exhaustive OS X reviews. Great read.

Carrot  

Carrot is designed with you in mind. It’s a seamless experience, meticulously crafted, from beginning to end. It’s not just a vegetable, it’s what a vegetable should be.

;-)

Computer Generated Rooms  

60 to 75 percent of all IKEA product images and 35 percent of all non-product images are computer generated. Kirsty Parkin looks into how it all works.

Superintelligence  

In his article “Will Superintelligent Machines Destroy Humanity?” Ronald Bailey reviews Nick Bostrom’s book “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies”:

Bostrom argues that it is important to figure out how to control an AI before turning it on, because it will resist attempts to change its final goals once it begins operating. In that case, we’ll get only one chance to give the AI the right values and aims. […]

An example of the first approach would be to try to confine the AI to a “box” from which it has no direct access to the outside world. Its handlers would then treat it as an oracle, posing questions to it such as how can we might exceed the speed of light or cure cancer. But Bostrom thinks the AI would eventually get out of the box, noting that “Human beings are not secure systems, especially when pitched against a super intelligent schemer and persuader.”

Fascinating read. Another book for my to do list.

3D Manipulation in a 2D Image  

Photo-editing software restricts the control of objects in a photograph to the 2D image plane. We present a method that enables users to perform the full range of 3D manipulations, including scaling, rotation, translation, and nonrigid deformations, to an object in a photograph.

This is absolutely fascinating. I’m dreaming of a way to recreate entire 3D scenes from 2D photographs. This is getting us a step closer.