“At its best “Talk to Me” makes you aware of how our relationship to design has become more emotional and intuitive. Ms. Antonelli points out that “we now expect objects to communicate, a cultural shift made evident when we see children searching for buttons or sensors on a new object, even when the object has no batteries or plug.”—MoMA’s ‘Talk to Me’ Focuses on Interface - Review - NYTimes.com
So let’s face reality - everyone forgets to bring back Library books sometimes. And when they do, they rack up fines. Sure, the fines aren’t that steep, but over time, they can add up. Here at NYPL, if you rack up $15 or more in fines, your card gets blocked and you can’t check out books anymore … and that’s sad. In this economy, even a small amount of money might be too much for some families, so one forgotten returned book becomes the end of the library for a while. So this summer, we are helping kids eliminate those fines (whether they be $1, $15 or more) with our new Read Down Your Fines program! Kids should sign up for our Summer Reading Program, then head down to their local library and explain that they want to read down their fines. For every 15 minutes they read, they get $1 off their fine.…
“Doors covered in light switches to confuse visitors and doors within doors for the children to use; everything has a fun element to it. This door has little Pantone reference panels for every color they can see in the nature around them.”
“This morning Google released its first U.S. edition of its magazine Think Quarterly. A limited number of business executives will receive a copy by snail mail. For everyone else, a free version is available online. The New York Times reports that the print edition is bound with a magnetic cover, has heat-sensitive end paper, comes fastened with a blue ribbon, and is embossed with an old-fashioned seal. Think Quarterly is a big, glossy ad for Google, with its lead pages dominated by advertising execs, its text peppered with McKinsey-speak (“we kept iterating”), and a feature story highlighting the good work Googlers are doing around the world. That’s not to say that Think Quarterly is pure marketing puffery. Several of the essays provide genuinely thought-provoking insights into the future of the Internet and society, such as Google software engineer Amit Singhal’s piece describing how search technology could be much more personalized, less limited to text, and smarter. An end-of-the-book profile trots out futurist Ray Kurzweil to provide a few nuggets of thought on the prospect of the Singularity.”—Google Makes a Magazine—In Print, With Actual Paper - Rebecca J. Rosen - Technology - The Atlantic
“Google decided to make privacy the No. 1 feature of its new service… This isn’t to say Google is perfect. Last year the company has had its fair share of privacy problems. This happened most recently when it started Google Buzz, a social networking service, which turned into a privacy disaster and resulted in calls in Congress to investigate the company. With Google’s latest offering, it seems that the company not only learned its lesson about the importance of privacy for consumers online, but also realized that Facebook hasn’t learned about the importance of this issue either.”—Privacy Isn’t Dead. Just Ask Google . - NYTimes.com
“If you’re in a call and make a second one, your first call will be put on hold while you talk on your new call. You can switch between calls by pressing the “Resume” button on the call you want to talk on, which will automatically put the previous call on hold. Receiving incoming calls while you’re in another call is just as easy: you’ll receive a notification of the incoming call and can choose to accept it or not. If you take the new call, the previous call will be put on hold. Whether you make a second call or not, you can now put any call on hold — useful in case you need to talk to someone in the room or grab something off the stove. Just press the “Hold” button and then “Resume” to start talking again.”—
To: Mayor Ford & City of Toronto Executive Committee
I love my community library. It’s essential to the children and adults in our neighbourhood.
I fear privatization of some or all of the operations of the Toronto Public Library will result in less access to the information and other vital services our public libraries offer at little or no cost as branches are closed, hours of operation limited, staff cut, user fees increased and fewer books are purchased so that some corporation can make a profit.
Privatization would also mean that our city which would lose a powerful educational and cultural force that opens books and opens minds, taking from Toronto a public service that all other great cities jealously guard.
I urge you to keep our libraries open, fully publicly-operated and working for Toronto’s citizens rather than corporate shareholders.
“The ‘walk-around bookmark’ offers a way for users to carry diverse books at easy access on their person while keeping track of the page. the construction utilizes a shoulder strap and stretch band, in conjunction with a bookmark placed within the book.”—ddpstudio: walk around bookmark
“Digital design agency magneticNorth has collaborated with BBC R&D to create Maestro, an interactive installation that gives children the chance to conduct the BBC Philharmonic orchestra… Maestro is part of the Music Boxes exhibition at MediaCityUK which is, in turn, part of the Manchester International Festival. Using Microsoft Kinect technology - which is similar to PlayStation’s motion-sensing EyeToy technology - Maestro enables a player standing in front of a screen showing a fish eye lens view of the London Philharmonic orchestra to use their hands to control the tempo and dynamic of the orchestra, just like a conductor.”—Creativereview.co.uk - BBC R&D and magneticNorth: Maestro Installation
“CycloClean is a Japanese designed bike which purifies water with pedal-power. Aimed at the developing world, the bike can suck up, scrub clean and then store water from pretty much any source. Then all you need to do is ride home. It works like this. You park up next to a muddy river or dubious looking lake. Lower a hose into the water, hitch the bike up on its stand, and climb back on. The rear wheel is kept off the ground, and the pedals now power a pump. Water is forced through a primary filter before moving on to an activated carbon filter, like the one you may have in a Brita jug at home. Finally, the water passes through a “micro-filtration membrane filter” before being stored in the vessel of your choice. The CycloClean can process three tons of water in ten hours (you might want to take turns riding it). That’s enough to supply 1,500 people for one day. some smaller figure may be easier to understand: you’ll get five liter (1.3 gallons) in a minute. Filters should last for up to two years.”—Bike Purifies Water with Pedal-Power | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
“The Manhattan courthouse is famous for its clean architectural lines and grand outdoor staircase leading to Foley Square. But inside is a Dickensian maze of dark wood and battered cabinets. And paper. Tons of paper. Piles, boxes, and rooms packed with summonses, exhibits and briefs. So much paper. More than two million pieces in 80,000 new civil suits a year, with some 360,000 more files in the basement. Lawyers sometimes use hand-trucks to wheel in new stacks of documents. “We’ve run out of space to put the paper,” said Edward M. Kvarantan, one of the court clerks, while at the next table another clerk sorted through the latest piles to arrive at the court, at 60 Centre Street, where big civil suits are handled. When the file cabinets filled up, Mr. Kvarantan said, “we began to put the files on top of the cabinets, but it didn’t look very good.” The digital revolution has now, finally, and perhaps improbably, made it here to this courthouse, State Supreme Court in Manhattan, whose staircase is featured so often on television that some people would not be faulted for thinking it is a stage set for “Law & Order.” The court is the setting for the first full “e-court” in the state and is part of efforts by more than a dozen court systems nationally to move toward a paperless future that has come slowly to state courts, where old habits die hard. (Federal courts, and much of the rest of the world, have been online for more than a decade.) For the past year, New York State has for the first time been requiring lawyers in about 6,000 cases dealing with commercial disputes in the Manhattan courthouse to “e-file” their cases over the Internet. Clerks and judges then process the documents from the first gripe, through the spiteful arguments and on to the final rulings, all the while providing full public access — and all, at least theoretically, paperlessly.”—At State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Visions of Paperless Future - NYTimes.com
“Departing on the inverse trip Aug. 9 — traveling from Los Angeles to New York — is Christopher Boucher, the author of “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive.” Published by Melville House, the book looks in part like a manual for a vintage VW Beetle but is actually a novel, in which the protagonist is a reporter living in Massachusetts raising his son, a ‘71 Beetle.”—
“Despite the city’s efforts to become more bike friendly, male cyclists in New York continue to outnumber female cyclists three to one, just as they have steadily over the past two decades. Data tracked by the city and private groups shows the gap between male and female cyclists is even wider in areas where vehicular traffic is more concentrated. These figures lag not only far behind most major global capitals like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, where women make up the majority of cyclists, but also behind American cities like Portland, Ore., that have narrowed the gender gap. “Within the United States, New York is far behind in terms of the percentage of women cyclists compared to cities like Washington, D.C., and San Francisco,” said John Pucher, a professor of planning and transportation at Rutgers University who is working on a book about global cycling trends… “Other cities in the United States and Canada have indeed made cycling much, much safer than it is in New York,” Mr. Pucher said.”—Number of Female Cyclists Lags in New York, With Safety as a Concern - NYTimes.com
“On Monday Djokovic will supplant Nadal as the No. 1 player in the world… Noting that her son had finished the previous four years ranked third in the world, behind Roger Federer and Nadal (or Nadal and Federer), [Djokovic’s mother] said, “For four years it was Roger, Rafa, Rafa, Roger. Now it is Novak, Novak, Novak, Novak.”—Djokovic Overwhelms Nadal for Wimbledon Title - NYTimes.com
“BiblioCommons, an 18-employee company from Toronto, is trying to bodycheck the library industry into the information age in such places as New York, Chicago and Ottawa. Taking the lead from social media, BiblioCommons, which launched in 2006 with funding from Knowledge Ontario, private investors and subscriptions, brings book readers, movie watchers and music listeners together. Using BiblioCommons catalogue software, library patrons can search for items like books or DVDs or other material, then rate and review it, create best-of lists, follow other reviewers, view recommendations, and post likes and recommendations to social media sites. “There’s nothing radical about BiblioCommons whatsoever,” says co-founder Beth Jefferson. “This is really about taking and packaging things that are completely standard in the rest of the Web and integrating them into the search-and-discovery environments of libraries.”—Toronto startup drags NY libraries into the future - The Globe and Mail