Why does unsavory developer activity seem to be increasing?
Earlier this week, I accidentally stumbled into the wrong part of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Inside an enormous, empty event space, a small group of young engineers tinkered with a futuristic machine that looked to be part hovercraft, part Mars rover. When asked what they were working on—just a stone’s throw from ringing slot machines and filthy nightclubs, mind you—one team member indicated that it was a lunar lander. Pardon?
“Well, like, it goes to the moon,” he explained matter-of-factly.
Today, Moon Express, the startup behind the project, unveiled the MX-1, its first spacecraft that’s designed to do exactly as the engineer described—to land on the surface of the moon. The privately held company, which is backed by billionaire Naveen Jain and is competing for Google’s Lunar X Prize, which is offering prize money to the first craft that can get to the moon, move 500 meters, and send back two broadcasts. The company is in Las Vegas for Autodesk’s University conference, where it plans to unveil the MX-1, which is in on track not only to deliver payloads to the moon by 2015, but potentially return to earth with treasures of its own. “One of the Holy Grails is to prove that we can bring something back,” says Moon Express CEO Bob Richards.
Remembering the man who pivoted an entire country.
Nelson Mandel has died at the age of 95. Here, we remember the man who pivoted an entire country.
“If you’re trying to cram three months of training into one week, the most important thing is separating techniques from attributes: If you’re trying to learn parkour, you need to figure out where you can cheat by refining technique and jumping to intermediate or advanced stuff. You also have to recognize that there are challenges and obstacles like tendons snapping because you don’t have the time to develop the increased power output or strength. The attributes take time to develop and they’re genetically limited, whereas the technique is something you can deconstruct and really learn quickly if you approach it with the proper framework and hacker mentality. Separating those two things out is very important.”
Lurking in dystopian corners of the Internet are superfans of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. They spread rumors about upcoming sequels and debate the nuances of Android science (is Harrison Ford’s character a human or a replicant? Will we ever know?).
More than 30 years after the film came out, they finally have something new to obsess over. Chicago-based artist James O pays homage to the cult classic with Skinjobs: A Blade Runner Zine! Twenty-five illustrators created art inspired by the film to be collected in a limited-edition anthology booklet printed by a Risograph, a digital printing system that prints single spot colors at a time and functions like an automatic screen printer. “Blade Runner presents such an immersive, detailed universe—perfect for exploring from a variety of perspectives,” James tells Co.Design.
In an economy driven by collaboration customers have already caught on—think Airbnb, Spotify, or Uber. But it’s not just for users: the model is fundamentally changing the way business—and businesses—work.
Windows! Free parking! A full array of open registers! Obamacare! (But no $12.50-an-hour pay.) Lessons in big-box evolution from inside store #5968 on opening day.
And they refuse to explain why. It’s time for the tech giants to do a little reconciling for their massive support of renewable energy policy and their support of a legislative group that’s now trying to punish people for generating their own solar energy.
With his devil-like hoof, tail, serpentine tongue, whipping stick, and sack full of misbehaving kids, Krampus emerged as Northern Europe’s bad cop to kindly Saint Nicholas more than three centuries ago. But when Saint Nick migrated to the United States in the 1800s and morphed into fat, jolly Santa Claus, Krampus stayed behind.
But Krampus finally gets his close-up in America thanks in part to Monte Beauchamp. The Chicago comic book publisher launched the cult of Krampus after he came across a cache of antique postcards printed in Germany 100 years ago during the golden age of chromolithography.
The now-obsolete printing technique produced unusually rich colors that gave rise to a fantasy postcard craze that swept Europe in the late 1800s and made Krampus something of a holiday greeting superstar.
When Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler founded the high-end gym chain SoulCycle, they faced an uphill battle. Their friends, for starters, told the cofounders and CEOs that their emphasis on indoor spinning was a dated idea.
"He said, ‘I don’t have the heart to tell you this, but you know spinning is dead,’" laughs Cutler, recalling the conversation.
But Cutler and Rice felt differently. “We were like ‘Well, I think we can still do it. I think we can still reinvent it,’” she says. “‘I think we can still create something we want as the user.’”
“It’s hard to dance like nobody’s watching, as the old saying suggests, when you’re filming yourself. By doing so, though, designer Karen X. Cheng documented her attempt to learn how to dance over the course of 100 days—and went viral in the process. Now she wants to help others apply the same incremental progress strategy to learning how to do anything.”