- Recipes for colors are still tightly guarded secrets, offering a competitive advantage to whatever company can produce the whitest white - or the blackest black. Apparently, sculptor Anish Kapoor has exclusive rights to use "Vantablack" (the most light-absorbent black available) in his sculptures.
- Trying to design systems for a nicer internet. Theories abound for why vitriol is more easily slung online, but one thing is certain: ugly behaviors of anonymous opponents are driving people away from platforms like twitter, and driving down their value for users and shareholders alike.
- When third party software can talk to the hardware in your hand or in your home, some funny business can take place - like intentionally draining your battery if you don't behave in the right way. For the connected future to work, trust and transparency in machine communications are critical.
- City Observatory dissects and disputes IDEO's take on getting around in Chicago and the Fordian future of cities still focused on the needs of cars. Ultimately it points to a common struggle in design practice - how can you address big, dynamic problems (in this case, a city) when armed only with a much smaller tool - whether product, service, or strategy?
- SimCity presented an autocratic, car-centric vision of urban planning to a generation of kids. Jane Jacobs would not be pleased.
- Is it a bug or a feature? Mobile and online interfaces for ordering food have enabled the emergence of a new type of food business in big cities - the "virtual restaurant" that lacks a brick and mortar sit-and-eat presence but still puts food into stomachs via apps like Seamless. On the plus side, it could be a great way for restaurateurs to test out business & menu assumptions in a lean way.
- Hardware continues to be hard, even for giant companies with deep pockets:Toshiba nixed a wearable device a mere week before it was supposed to launch.
Bias and Brains:
- The U.S. Department of Commerce finds that women-owned companies are far less likely to be awarded (often sizable) contracts with the federal government, and that the Small Business Association isn't doing enough to close the gap. Call it trickle down inequality.