FastCompany Magazine

The official Tumblr of Fast Company.

It’s easy to build something that’s more powerful than an iPad—and very, very hard to do it without introducing complexity.
Over at Medium, MG Siegler (parislemon) has a nice piece likening the iPad to a typewriter. He means the comparison to a defunct piece of technology as a compliment: Writing on an iPad with an external Logitech keyboard, he says, strips away all the distractions of other applications and web services and lets you focus on your thoughts and the words.
I know what he means. For almost three years now, I’ve used an iPad with a keyboard as my primary computer. About 85% of everything I’ve produced for publication in that time, I’ve pounded out on my tablet.
I like the fact that iPad apps run in full-screen mode and usually aren’t overwhelmed by interface clutter or features I’ll never use. I like the fact that I don’t have to spend much time maintaining my iPad, and don’t have to futz with stuff like anti-virus software. I like the fact that my iPad has built-in LTE wireless Internet which is (AT&T willing) available the moment I turn on the tablet. And I absolutely love the fact that I dependably get 10 hours of battery life on a charge, which means that I can be smugly productive while those who tote notebooks are frantically hunting for wall outlets.
In short, an iPad with a keyboard—my current fave is Belkin’s Qode Ultimate Keyboard case—is the closest thing I’ve found to the ideal general-purpose PC for me. I still run into folks who tell me I’m nuts, but there seem to be fewer hidebound naysayers than in the past. And more people like MG Siegler.
Read More>

It’s easy to build something that’s more powerful than an iPad—and very, very hard to do it without introducing complexity.

Over at Medium, MG Siegler (parislemon) has a nice piece likening the iPad to a typewriter. He means the comparison to a defunct piece of technology as a compliment: Writing on an iPad with an external Logitech keyboard, he says, strips away all the distractions of other applications and web services and lets you focus on your thoughts and the words.

I know what he means. For almost three years now, I’ve used an iPad with a keyboard as my primary computer. About 85% of everything I’ve produced for publication in that time, I’ve pounded out on my tablet.

I like the fact that iPad apps run in full-screen mode and usually aren’t overwhelmed by interface clutter or features I’ll never use. I like the fact that I don’t have to spend much time maintaining my iPad, and don’t have to futz with stuff like anti-virus software. I like the fact that my iPad has built-in LTE wireless Internet which is (AT&T willing) available the moment I turn on the tablet. And I absolutely love the fact that I dependably get 10 hours of battery life on a charge, which means that I can be smugly productive while those who tote notebooks are frantically hunting for wall outlets.

In short, an iPad with a keyboard—my current fave is Belkin’s Qode Ultimate Keyboard case—is the closest thing I’ve found to the ideal general-purpose PC for me. I still run into folks who tell me I’m nuts, but there seem to be fewer hidebound naysayers than in the past. And more people like MG Siegler.

Read More>

NPR (npr) One rethinks everything, even ditching the Like button.
Stark white and minimally designed, the new NPR One app looks like a paradigm of technology. But surprisingly, the app isn’t powered by algorithms, filters, or other pseudo-intelligence—it’s still good old human editor curation on the backend.
“For us, the algorithm that programs the app is very importantly focused on the human curation part of it,” says NPR VP of digital media Zach Brand. “A lot of people tend to think of it in terms of machine learning—which is a portion as well—but we have dedicated staff making sure that the most important stories are populated from the outset that represent the best experience right at the first moment. As we get to know the listener, it then tailors even more to them.”
Read More>

NPR (npr) One rethinks everything, even ditching the Like button.

Stark white and minimally designed, the new NPR One app looks like a paradigm of technology. But surprisingly, the app isn’t powered by algorithms, filters, or other pseudo-intelligence—it’s still good old human editor curation on the backend.

“For us, the algorithm that programs the app is very importantly focused on the human curation part of it,” says NPR VP of digital media Zach Brand. “A lot of people tend to think of it in terms of machine learning—which is a portion as well—but we have dedicated staff making sure that the most important stories are populated from the outset that represent the best experience right at the first moment. As we get to know the listener, it then tailors even more to them.”

Read More>

“Organs-on-a-chip” don’t look like much: They are very thin clear pieces of plastic, but when they are filled with cells, they take on a life of their own and mimic human systems far more effectively than simple petri dish cell cultures. - The Coming Human Body On A Chip That Will Change How We Make Drugs
No more animal testing and no more guesswork about whether drugs that work on animals might also work on humans. Scientists are making an entire electonic set of organs that can test our drugs quickly and easily.
Read More>

“Organs-on-a-chip” don’t look like much: They are very thin clear pieces of plastic, but when they are filled with cells, they take on a life of their own and mimic human systems far more effectively than simple petri dish cell cultures. - The Coming Human Body On A Chip That Will Change How We Make Drugs

No more animal testing and no more guesswork about whether drugs that work on animals might also work on humans. Scientists are making an entire electonic set of organs that can test our drugs quickly and easily.

Read More>

Tell it your prescription, and the experimental screen makes blurry images clear for you.
People with vision problems, rejoice: A team from Microsoft, U.C. Berkeley, and MIT has created an experimental screen technology that would allow you to view your devices clearly without your glasses. 
Read More>

Tell it your prescription, and the experimental screen makes blurry images clear for you.

People with vision problems, rejoice: A team from Microsoft, U.C. Berkeley, and MIT has created an experimental screen technology that would allow you to view your devices clearly without your glasses. 

Read More>

The three-year-old startup has developed a front-end interface for helping web shoppers find the perfect fit.
A woman shopping for summer clothes spots a dress on Pinterest and clicks through to the retailer’s product page. She zooms in on the pattern, selects the coral version, and decides the price is within her budget—but then, she hesitates.
For most online shoppers, that moment of hesitation is the result of inconsistent sizing, a problem costing the fashion industry over $3 billion per year.
Read More>

The three-year-old startup has developed a front-end interface for helping web shoppers find the perfect fit.

A woman shopping for summer clothes spots a dress on Pinterest and clicks through to the retailer’s product page. She zooms in on the pattern, selects the coral version, and decides the price is within her budget—but then, she hesitates.

For most online shoppers, that moment of hesitation is the result of inconsistent sizing, a problem costing the fashion industry over $3 billion per year.

Read More>

fastcodesign:

Curl up with your iPad while the archives are free

image

So far, the best thing about the New Yorker’s digital revamp is not the new site design, but rather the opening of the magazine’s storied archives. For the next three months, articles dating back to 2007 (plus select additional features) are free to all visitors, offering non-subscribers a chance to revisit some of the best design writing of the past decade.

Here are Co.Design’s picks for your weekend reading. 

Here’s what automakers can do when cars have built-in smartphone capabilities.
It’s no secret that cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common in today’s cars, dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. And starting this year, large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?
Read More>

Here’s what automakers can do when cars have built-in smartphone capabilities.

It’s no secret that cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common in today’s cars, dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. And starting this year, large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?

Read More>

The Internet of things will soon be spitting out more data than today’s transistors can handle, but HP thinks it has a solution: The Machine.
Imagine a single device that, like the people in Honey I Shrunk/Blew Up the Kids, comes in whatever size a storyline demands. It can be the size of a server and weigh hundreds of pounds, the size of a PC, a smartphone, or a miniature sensor.
Welcome to The Machine: HP’s vision for a universal building block of the Internet of Things. The Machine is designed to operate in a world where there’s dramatically more data that’s too big to move. The device—which HP says can fulfill the role of a phone, a server, a workstation—is a big bet for HP, as the growth of the PC market continues to slow.
Read More>

The Internet of things will soon be spitting out more data than today’s transistors can handle, but HP thinks it has a solution: The Machine.

Imagine a single device that, like the people in Honey I Shrunk/Blew Up the Kids, comes in whatever size a storyline demands. It can be the size of a server and weigh hundreds of pounds, the size of a PC, a smartphone, or a miniature sensor.

Welcome to The Machine: HP’s vision for a universal building block of the Internet of Things. The Machine is designed to operate in a world where there’s dramatically more data that’s too big to move. The device—which HP says can fulfill the role of a phone, a server, a workstation—is a big bet for HP, as the growth of the PC market continues to slow.

Read More>