Photography often produces incredibly intimate results, but these self portraits by Erno-Erik Raitanen offer a different take—showing off his bacteria in fine detail.
The pictures weren't created using a camera, but his own bacteria, cultivated on the gelatin surface of film negatives. He explains:
“I have gathered the bacteria samples from my own body. The bacteria consumed the film surface producing photographic images that are entirely created by a chance. I have been removed from the process but, at the same time, the images are a product of my body; self-portraits.”
In reality, these aren't microscopic views of bacteria, but records of their activity on the surface of the film. The results are certainly bright, bold and colorful—but do you think they count as self portraiture? [Erno-Erik Raitanen via Photo JoJo via Peta Pixel]
Wall Street Journal reports that, in a push to broaden its user base, the music streaming service is sharing the data—and the music to match. The top-50 lists will be embeddable and entirely free to listen to, so even non-subscribers will be able to listen to the songs that are currently topping interent playlists around the world. The service—called Charts—is already live. [Spotify via Wall Street Journal]
Most people think of Skype as a secure means of communication, with messages kindly delivered using end-to-end encryption. But a new report by Ars Technica suggests that's far from the case—and Microsoft is often dipping into your communications.
Having teamed up with security researcher Ashkan Soltani, Ars sent fresh web links across Skype, and found that half of them were accessed by a machine with an IP address belonging to Microsoft as they traversed the internet. That means that Skype messages are sent across the web in such a way that allows Microsoft to study plaintext within them, and clearly its a technique it uses regularly. Matt Green, a professor specializing in encryption at Johns Hopkins University, told Ars:
"The problem right now is that there's a mismatch between the privacy people expect and what Microsoft is actually delivering. Even if Microsoft is only scanning links for 'good' purposes, say detecting malicious URLs, this indicates that they can intercept some of your text messages. And that means they could potentially intercept a lot more of them."
It's not clear how the text is scrutinized by Microsoft: whole messages could be being scanned on Microsoft servers, end-user Skype installs could send snippets to be checked, or something else entirely could be happening. What is clear, though, is that the ability to extract content is very, very real.
Perhaps it shouldn't come as a massive surprise that Microsoft wants to keep tabs on what's being sent using its Skype service—it has a duty to make sure its services aren't being abused, after all. But it's important for end users to be aware that their communications aren't as private as they perhaps thought. Now you do. [Ars Technica]
Image by RoccoAlpha under Creative Commons license
This is awesome. Herman Miller has announced that it will start making the iconic Eames Molded Chair in fiberglass... again. The fiberglass chairs were discontinued from production in 1989 and ever since then, the iconic chairs that decorate modern houses have been made with recyclable polypropylene. But now we're getting back to the good stuff.
First introduced in 1950, Ray Eames decided to discontinue the fiberglass model of the Eames Molded Chair in 1989 because its material chemistry was "detrimental to the environment" and the fiberglass couldn't be recycled. Totally sensible reasons.
Not anymore. Herman Miller has developed a more sustainable way to make fiberglass. The new manufacturing process (which cribs from the car industry) eliminates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) during production. Herman Miller describes the process of its new fiberglass:
The fiberglass is now formed and processed using a woven, “dry binder” method instead of the traditional “wet” process, eliminating wet glue adhesives and instead relying on a heat-activated, dry polyester. This has also eliminated the need for thermal oxidizers and other environmental control equipment in the production process. Combined with a new “monomer-free” resin, the production process for the new fiberglass chairs is emission-free and creates a safer environment for the workers handling it, as well as a greener, recyclable shell at the end of the chair’s useful life.
Even better, Herman Miller reformulated the color pigments to nail the vintage color options for the new old Eames Molded Chair. The nine vintage color options of the Eames Molded Chair and Side Chair will be available in Summer 2013. They'll come in wire, dowel leg, four leg, stacking and rocking bases.
Here's what the fiberglass version of the Eames Molded Chair looks like:
This awesome 8-bit retro music video from Joe Presser is a classic tale of love: boy meets girl, boy runs away from girl, girl undergoes grueling training regimen to hunt down boy and deliver smooches. It's like Forrest Gump but in reverse.
This is something Tobey MaguireAndrew Garfield Peter Parker would wear.
MoonSpider admits that he didn't actually make the suit himself but he connected all the right and talented people to get his creation off the ground. Still, it's impressive as hell. There are hidden zippers all around the suit, sneaky shoe uppers tied to the feet and incredibly detailed color representation. It's pretty much perfect.
The whole process is fascinating if you're into the DIY process (or appreciate thoughtfully detailed cosplay). MoonSpider first got the Spider-Man suit pattern in a digital painting file for printing on 4-way stretch lycra fabric at a dye sublimation printer. He describes the printing process, as basically "a giant printer that uses heat transfer to move fabric dyes from a printed color panel directly into the surface of the fabric by sublimating the ink from solid to gas."
The eyes are fantastic too. He got the frames made from black onyx and the lenses from flexible mirrored plastic with a white vinyl overlay. Perhaps the most important detail was to get the perfect seamstress since sewing in zippers to make the whole suit look like one piece is pretty difficult.
If you want to read more about the whole Spider-Man suit process (and you really should), head over here. It cost MoonSpider around $600, with a lot of the resources found from The Replica Prop Forum.
Given the fevered pace of China's infrastructure development, 16 years is ancient. That's why the two-lane concrete Zhuan-yang viaduct running through the town of Wuhan, Hubei in central China had to go—a bigger and better six-lane freeway was in the works. But to demolish the original roadway without harming the surrounding homes, engineers smothered the blast under a blanket.
The surrounding neighborhood tightly packed in around the viaduct wasn't the only concern for engineers in determining how to best bring down the structure—major, 100,000V power transmission lines, 30 local gas lines and the main national East-West gas pipeline ran underground parallel to the road as well. One misplaced stick of dynamite would sever power and light the area up like a giant Bunsen burner.
To prevent collateral damage along the 2.2 mile bridge—the longest longest reinforced concrete bridge demolition project ever attempted in China—engineers swaddled the Zhuan-yang viaduct with a cloth wrapper, secured it with wire then reinforced the covering with large water-filled bladders and sandbags. This wrapping prevented hunks of viaduct from exploding through surrounding homes and kept dust to a minimum as the structure fell, while the sandbags and bladders absorbed and dampened some of the blast's energy and noise.
The explosion itself lasted less than half a minute and, with the rubble neatly contained, the new mega-freeway should be up in no time. [ITV via The Atlantic - Cities]
A completely unknown guy in the world of math has made a breakthrough discovery that will help us understand numbers better. Basically, a guy who once struggled to find a job and had to work at Subway, is helping math geniuses understand the twin prime conjecture, one of math's oldest problems.
Now, Yitang Zhang, the mysterious man behind the discovery, isn't some chump on the side of the street. He earned a doctorate in 1992 from Purdue University and is now a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire but before his report was published, he was a complete unknown in mathematics. After he got his doctorate, he spent many years as an accountant and worked at Subway because he couldn't get a job in academia. Andrew Granville, a number theorist said:
“Basically, no one knows him... Now, suddenly, he has proved one of the great results in the history of number theory.”
What Zhang did is especially impressive because many number theorists thought the problem he's cracking was something no one was ever going to solve.
How did Zhang come out of nowhere? Simple. He just did his work and wrote it down. Zhang submitted a paper to a top journal, Annals of Mathematics, and when the editors ran through his paper, they discovered its genius calling it "first rank" and said that Zhang proved “a landmark theorem in the distribution of prime numbers.” The Simons Foundation says Zhang's paper was written "with crystalline clarity and a total command of the topic’s current state of the art, it was evidently a serious piece of work." Some guy no one knew of three weeks ago just solved an unsolvable problem.
For more detail on what Zhang helped make a breakthrough in (it involves proving that there are infinitely many pairs of prime numbers with some finite gap, a sieve and a hair's breadth), read the whole fascinating report at Simons Foundation. [Simons Foundation via Kottke, Image Credit: Shutterstock/AntonioGravante]
A Congressional investigation found that Apple has avoided BILLIONS in taxes. Senator John McCain said, “Apple claims to be the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer, but by sheer size and scale, it is also among America’s largest tax avoiders.” [NY Times]
In theory, social networks are supposed to make you feel closer to everybody. Oh, look! Jim is driving a tractor on Instagram. Wow, Sarah just invited me to her baby shower on Facebook. But the truth is, social networks do a really good job at making you feel left out too. Wait... why did my friends all check-in at the same spot on Foursquare? How come these drunken Instagram pictures look so fun? WTF, Thanks for the invite!
College Humor poked fun of everyone who uses social networks to see the events they're missing out on by making a trailer for a horror movie called FOMO: Fear of Missing Out starring Anna Camp. There are few things worse (there are a lot of things worse) than being alone on a weekend as all your friends party together and document their night on Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and more [College Humor]
This song, like the dress and the woman wearing it, is the sincerest form of flattery. In that they're all shameless knockoffs.
Everything about this music video from Shanzhai Biennial, a trio of artists—Cyril Duval, Babak Radboy and Avena Gallagher—posing as a “multinational brand posing as an art-project posing as an multinational brand posing as a biennial” is fake.
Living up to their Shanzhai namesake (the Chinese convention of knockoff goods) for this project, the group got Chinese model Wu Ting Ting to fein lip syncing to a Nova Heart rendition of Sinead O'Connors "Nothing Compares 2 U" while wearing a dress that looks suspiciously like a bottle of Head and Shoulders.
“The relevance of the song is right there in the title,” Radboy told Nowness. “We were searching desperately for a version in Mandarin and finally found a recording on an obscure and outdated Chinese social networking site by a pretty busted looking queen in his 40s—so there are four levels of separation there.” Two more and you win a free Kevin Bacon.
After languishing for years as a neglected acquisition, Flickr has finally been given the jumpstart it so desperately needed and deserved. As of right now, not only to you get a free terabyte of storage and extremely high res photo uploads, you get it in pretty stellar package. Here's what you're dealing with.
While the new Flickr is definitely a feast for the eyes, it seems to be very incomplete so far, as much of the core functionality is still stuck in the previous interface style. It seems safe to assume that eventually the whole experience will be pulled together in the spirit of the new, and based on how sumptuous those parts look already, we can't wait for that to happen.
You thought Chris Hadfield turned his back on us when he left the ISS earlier this month, didn't you? For shame, internet patron, for shame. Hadfield may be safely back on Earth, but the otherworldly videos continue to surface. And in this one, you get to see him make himself a game of darts MacGyver style. In zero gravity. On a spaceship. Because he is Chris Hadfield, and he can do anything.
Over on Tested.com, Jamie Hyenman and Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame lead us on this tour of an ISS astronaut's attempt at downtime. And when you're in outer space, having fun is, apparently, a job all its own. [Tested]
Nearly everyone and their grandmother has at least some sort of streaming service at their fingertips—or at the very least, they have a streaming service that someone is letting them mooch off of. But despite the prominence of Netflix, Hulu, and the like, there's still a good number of cinephiles out there who still love buying actual, physical copies of their beloved films. To somewhat keep up with the streaming masses, Limelight lets you access and share your catalogue of physical movies with the digital world.
What does it do?
Limelight visualizes your entire library of movies on one screen, letting you organize them between films to watch and films you've already watched. Tap the film's poster, and a brief description and rating care of Rotten Tomatoes comes up along with the option of watching the movie's trailer. You can also follow friends and share your own library with anyone—even if they don't have the app. A handy public URL gives anyone you'd like access to browse your lovingly crafted collection.
Why do we like it?
The app itself is beautiful, giving you a lovely view of movie posters along a clean, wooden bookshelf. Having all the information on any one of your films at a moments notice is an incredibly handy feature for any burgeoning collector—or casual fan, for that matter. And the fact that you can Airplay trailers certainly doesn't hurt. But the best part is by far the app's gift of a public URL, letting you share your collection with anyone with an internet connection. Managing and organizing your movies has never been simpler.
What do you get when you combine a 1:1000-scale model of Tokyo, 3D video projection mapping and catchy techno riffs? Three minutes of awesome, that's what.
To celebrate the ten year anniversary of its opening, the Roppongi Hills complex (part high-rise residences, part shopping district, part entertainment venue) created this wicked cool short, Tokyo City Symphony. By projecting 3D animation onto a 1:1000-scale model of the capital city, the video's producers were able to make the cityscape appear to dance along to the music.
What's more, you can generate your own 12-bar mix and share it on the Tokyo City Symphony website, adding it to a growing communal stream of user-created riffs. But why, oh why, didn't they include the ability to export your track to a ringtone? [Tokyo City Symphony]
We've already seen what the Leap Motion can do in apps that support it, but it stands to make your everyday OS-level boredom into a futuristic gesture-controlled wonderland too. This new video shows exactly what kind of applications you can look forward to on your Windows 8 machine, at it seems at least as cool as touch.
A similar video showing off the device's Mac potential is in the works as well, but we're already sold. The first stand-alone Leap Motion controllers start shipping this July for $80, and if using them is even half as cool as it looks, we're all in for a treat. [Leap Motion]
Sure, Yahoo just about killed Flickr, but today it's trying to restore its former glory. Just after the company this morning announced its $1.1 billion dollar acquisition of Tumblr, it showed off a completely redesigned version of Flickr with giant photos and more storage than you probably even need.
Here's what's up: Flickr's web interface is totally different—clean and simple with big, beautiful, full-resolution photos. The Flickr homepage? No more small thumbnails and a whole lot less white space. Now you'll see full-sized pictures. It's really quite lovely with a full-bleed photo at the top of your profile. Flickr's also getting gorgeous, full-screen slideshows, and when you upload and share your photos, you're not losing any pixels.
Search (above) has been totally revamped, powered by Yahoo tech of course. Again, images are bigger, and it's much more immersive and easier to find what you're looking for. Here's the explore tab:
And here's the single image view:
On top of that, you're now getting a full terabyte of storage for free. That's apparently 70 times more than any other service offers you, and probably more space than you even need.
Additionally, Flickr released a totally new Android app (in addition to the iOS app it updated in March) that lets you access your Flickr pics from anywhere. The new Flickr is live now, so if you head over to the site, you'll see a much prettier, image-centric, modern look.