Retro Patents: poster vintage di brevetti moderni

Posters di brevetti – c’è il mouse del primo Mac, l’iPhone e il Kindle fra cui scegliere. Bellissimi:

Discover limited edition vintage patent prints that helped shape the technology, design and gaming industries. From IBM’s vacuum tube computers to Nintendo’s first cartridge based gaming consoles.

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❤️ Articoli consigliati

The Art of Design: una nuova docuserie di Netflix sul design

Video

The Art of Design: una nuova docuserie di Netflix sul design

8 episodi, arrivano il 10 Febbraio.

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Tecniche di deep learning per capire quando il tuo capo si sta avvicinando alla scrivania

Un diabolico side project di Hironsan:

I feel awkward when my boss is creeping behind. Of course, I can switch the screen in a hurry, but such behavior is suspicious, and sometimes I don’t notice him. So, in order to switch the screen without being suspected, I create a system that automatically recognizes that he is approaching to me and hides the screen.

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Il problema di Android con le emoji

La maggioranza dell’utenza Android non vede le emoji introdotte con Unicode 9, nonostante Google sia stata molto rapida nell’inserirle dentro l’ultima versione di Android. Al posto delle nuove emoji, vedono rettangoli vuoti. Jeremy Burge di Emojipedia spiega perché:

New emojis are bundled with system updates for iOS and Android, as emoji fonts and relevant Unicode support is provided at an OS level.

This system should work well, but the weak link is relying on manufacturers to provide updates in a timely manner.

Aggiornamenti che non arrivano mai, al punto da spingere WhatsApp ad utilizzare le emoji di Apple su qualsiasi piattaforma:

Snapchat, Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack all use emoji-replacement images on Android; in a trend started by Twitter with Twemoji which was released when the most popular browser on Windows (Chrome) didn’t include emoji support.

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Supporta Bicycle Mind — se ti piace, ovvio, eh — così: acquistando su Amazon (partendo da qua), abbonandoti alla membership o con una donazione. Leggi di più

Pesci nello smartphone

Retroscena di Ara, lo smartphone modulare e scomponibile nato come meme da un video caricato su YouTube, implementato da Motorola/Google, poi abbandonato senza conclusione poco dopo la nascita di Alphabet:

“One of the modules that we were working on was basically like a tiny aquarium for your phone,” said the source. “It was a little tiny biome that would go inside of a module and it would have a microscope on the bottom part, and it would have live tardigrades and algae — some people call them water bears. They are the tiniest living organism. We had this idea to build a tardigrade module and we’d build a microscope with it. So you’d have this app on your phone and you could essentially look at the tardigrades up close and watch them floating around.” Brooklyn-based art, design, and technology agency Midnight Commercial conceived the idea, and was commissioned by Google to build it, demonstrating the depth of what developers could create.

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Consigli per una tipografia migliore

The Design Team:

After reading extensively on typography, and seeing what works (IRL), I developed the following list of guidelines that have consistently helped me with typographic design. Hopefully, you can apply these tips to start improving the your own typographic design process — without turning you into a snob.

  1. Start by choosing a typeface for your body text.
  2. Avoid using more than two typefaces.
  3. Balance line spacing and font size.
  4. Keep your line length around 45–90 characters.
  5. Use a modular scale.
  6. Pay special attention to proper punctuation.

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Alexa: il sistema operativo di Amazon

Echo e Alexa sono due prodotti diversi: Echo è un device che sfrutta l’assistente di Amazon, Alexa è l’assistente in questione. Il recente CES ha visto una miriade di altri device che si integrano e sfruttano Alexa, alcuni in diretta competizione con Echo.

Amazon non ha bisogno di guadagnare un centesimo direttamente da Alexa, ma indirettamente guadagna con ciascun acquisto effettuato tramite Alexa. Alexa è più aperto di HomeKit – ciò va a discapito della sicurezza, ma aiuta nel creare un ecosistema interessante e vivace, nel velocizzare l’adozione.

Secondo Ben Thompson, il piano di Amazon è di trasformare Alexa nel sistema operativo della casa:

All kinds of hardware manufacturers are lining up to build Alexa-enabled devices, and will inevitably compete with each other to improve quality and lower prices.

Even more devices and appliances are plugging into Alexa’s easy-to-use and flexible framework, creating the conditions for a moat: appliances are a lot more expensive than software, and much longer lasting, which means everyone who buys something that works with Alexa is much less likely to switch

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Ci sono monete nei MacBook?

Gizmodo:

Earlier this week, an Imgur user named Greatease uploaded some photos that explain the key difference between an Apple SuperDrive and a run-of-the-mill optical drive. Namely that his or her SuperDrive had a US penny wedged underneath the plastic cover.

As an isolated incident, finding money crammed into a rapidly-spinning computer part is of course strange. Did it fall in? Is it serving some crucial operational purpose? Thing is, Greatease is far from the only person to discover loose change in their optical drive.

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Chiamami Adele

Wipawe Sirikolkarn ha analizzato i messaggi che si è scambiato per quattro anni durante una relazione a distanza – il risultato sono delle visualizzazioni molto minimaliste che raccontano la nascita (e la fine) di una relazione.

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Peter Thiel si spiega

Lunga intervista del New York Times a Peter Thiel, uno dei primi investitori di Facebook, fondatore prima di PayPal (assieme a Elon Musk), poi di Palantir, che sostiene che i monopoli siano una bella cosa, che pochi mesi fa ha donato un milione e mezzo di dollari a Trump, che durante l’estate ha portato Gawker in tribunale – riuscendo a farlo chiudere per bancarotta – per un articolo che non gli è piaciuto su un suo fatto personale.

Una persona abbastanza orribile, insomma, ma da conoscere:

“Maybe I do always have this background program running where I’m trying to think of, ‘O.K., what’s the opposite of what you’re saying?’ and then I’ll try that,” he says. “It works surprisingly often.” He has even wondered if his most famous investment, Facebook, contributes to herd mentality.

When I remark that President Obama had eight years without any ethical shadiness, Mr. Thiel flips it, noting: “But there’s a point where no corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring.”

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Phil Schiller sull’iPhone, 10 anni dopo

When we started on iPhone, we could envision that phones would change forever and get better. We could envision that we could surf the web on them. We could envision that we could get our email. We could envision that it would replace our iPod one day. All those things we could see. But the magical thing that happened along the journey of iPhone is that it also became our most important device in our life. That transition in how we interact with the world is something that I don’t think anyone could completely understand, until we were living with these and using them. – Phil Schiller, Phil Schiller on iPhone’s Launch

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Un dock per Apple Watch che imita il Mac Classic

Voglio. Preso.

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Gli occhi di Facebook

Provate a ispezionare una delle immagini del vostro news feed del Facebook: molto probabilmente avrà un tag alt, automaticamente popolato con attributi che la descrivono – sole, montagna, natura, etc. a seconda di quale che sia il soggetto. Questi attributi non sono inseriti dagli utenti, ma automaticamente da Facebook, che analizza ciascuna immagine caricata e prova a comprenderne il contenuto.

Un’estensione per Chrome vi dà un’idea della quantità di informazioni che Facebook può ricavare con questa tecnica, permettendovi ti testarne le capacità su qualsiasi immagine.

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La città degli iPhone

Il New York Times esplora l’entità delle operazioni di Apple in Cina – e il coinvolgimento del governo cinese per aiutare Foxconn, con sovvenzioni e infrastruttura, a mettere in piedi la più grande fabbrica di iPhone al mondo:

It all centers on Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China. Running at full tilt, the factory here, owned and operated by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn, can produce 500,000 iPhones a day. Locals now refer to Zhengzhou as “iPhone City.”

The local government has proved instrumental, doling out more than $1.5 billion to Foxconn to build large sections of the factory and nearby employee housing. It paved roads and built power plants.

It helps cover continuing energy and transportation costs for the operation. It recruits workers for the assembly line. It pays bonuses to the factory for meeting export targets.

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Il trucco di Signal per aggirare la censura

Signal, applicazione per inviare messaggi ed effettuare chiamate criptate, sta venendo bloccata in Egitto e negli Emirati Arabi.

Il team dell’app ha trovato una via per aggirare il blocco, e far sì che i messaggi vengano inviati e ricevuti lo stesso:

Signal’s new anti-censorship feature uses a trick called “domain fronting,” Marlinspike explains. A country like Egypt, with only a few small internet service providers tightly controlled by the government, can block any direct request to a service on its blacklist. But clever services can circumvent that censorship by hiding their traffic inside of encrypted connections to a major internet service, like the content delivery networks (CDNs) that host content closer to users to speed up their online experience — or in Signal’s case, Google’s App Engine platform, designed to host apps on Google’s servers.

“Now when people in Egypt or the United Arab Emirates send a Signal message, it’ll look identical to something like a Google search,” Marlinspike says. “The idea is that using Signal will look like using Google; if you want to block Signal you’ll have to block Google.”

The trick works because Google’s App Engine allows developers to redirect traffic from Google.com to their own domain. Google’s use of TLS encryption means that contents of the traffic, including that redirect request, are hidden, and the internet service provider can see only that someone has connected to Google.com. That essentially turns Google into a proxy for Signal, bouncing its traffic and fooling the censors.

(Via Bruce Schneier)

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Snopes

Il profilo del New York Times su Snopes – uno di quei siti di fact-checking che Facebook usa per verificare l’autenticità di quelle storie sospette di essere false:

Their first group of posts, back in 1995, tackled questions about Disneyland, such as whether there really was a secret restaurant at the park. (There was.) It was a time when the nascent web was seen as a force that would deliver enlightenment and truth to all.

Starting about two years ago, Snopes made an effort to professionalize itself. It added a dozen staff members just in time to become the go-to debunking site for an election full of venom. The number of unique users jumped 42 percent over 2015, peaking at nearly 2.5 million the day after the election.

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Macinbot

Phil:

Roughly a year ago, I got the idea of turning classic products design into collectible figure. This idea seemed to appear out of nowhere. But I bet it was a natural result of being a toy collectors and product design lovers for my whole life. Since the conception, I knew I need to make that idea happens or I will regret not doing so.

Now I am so happy to bring Macinbot Classic to live. It was not exactly easy. From the first sketch, numerous 3D printed test models, to the final prototype, It is incredible how much efforts needed to be put in this little guys.

Bellissimo, e lo voglio.

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Robot, intelligenza artificiale e disoccupazione

Eliezer Yudkowsky risponde su LessWrong ad alcune domande riguardo all’automatizzazione e alla disoccupazione, due cose che (dice lui, riporto io, semplificando molto: leggetelo per intero) potrebbero essere correlate in un futuro (molto) distante – quando e se avremo un AI superintelligente –, ma che per il momento non sono causa ed effetto:

A: 

Many people would hire personal cooks or maids if we could afford them, which is the sort of new service that ought to come into existence if other jobs were eliminated – the reason maids became less common is that they were offered better jobs, not because demand for that form of human labor stopped existing. Or to be less extreme, there are lots of businesses who’d take nearly-free employees at various occupations, if those employees could be hired literally at minimum wage and legal liability wasn’t an issue. Right now we haven’t run out of want or use for human labor, so how could “The End of Demand” be producing unemployment right now? The fundamental fact that’s driven employment over the course of previous human history is that it is a very strange state of affairs for somebody sitting around doing nothing, to have nothing better to do. We do not literally have nothing better for unemployed workers to do. Our civilization is not that advanced.

[…]

Q. But AI will inevitably become a problem later?

A. Not necessarily.  We only get the Hansonian scenario if AI is broadly, steadily going past IQ 70, 80, 90, etc., making an increasingly large portion of the population fully obsolete in the sense that there is literally no job anywhere on Earth for them to do instead of nothing, because for every task they could do there is an AI algorithm or robot which does it more cheaply. That scenario isn’t the only possibility.

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La Electronic Frontier Foundation ha comprato una pagina su Wired per invitare le aziende tecnologiche a prepararsi a Trump

Se volete farvi un regalo geek per Natale, sottoscrivete una donazione mensile alla EFF. Io l’ho fatto giusto un anno fa, di $10 mensili: vi spediscono pure una bellissima maglietta, per ringraziarvi.

(via Boing Boing)

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