- How to build and outfit a home using Universal Design principles.
- Mapping pocket sizes in women's clothing compared to men's clothing.
- An amazing long read from Fred Scharmen: a history of designing around how we might live beyond earth, and the potential psychological difficulties of becoming dislocated in space, apart from our usual frames of reference.
- Los Angeles' mass transit management is moving to implement airport-style body scanners for their subways.
- Alexis Madrigal for The Atlantic looks into the weird world of selling hyper-specific goods online that arise from searches and the best guesses of software: "Perhaps actual people have always had an infinity of different desires, but it was never possible to satisfy each and every one. Now, though, under certain circumstances, Walmart.com or Amazon can host hundreds of thousands of products, each designed to ensnare ... well ... maybe just one customer."
- Farmers are gaining leverage against gargantuan agriculture companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, due to changes in farming business strategies, namely technology for better tracking of commodity markets and expanding storage capacity.
Up in the Air:
- The unpredictable and deadly airstrikes in Syria have led to a staggering number of deaths and injuries. Volunteers have put together their own ad hoc early alert networks with human and digital watchers, with human plane spotters, sensors, data analysis and phone apps. Early research suggests these efforts have already saved hundreds of lives.
- Online marketers are dialing down efforts devoted to social media as returns diminish, controversy swells, and daily active users decline across multiple platforms. Instead, marketers are turning their attention back to search engine optimization. Brian Feldman, writing for New York Magazine, suggests that SEO-oriented strategies (while riddled with problems) is ultimately about providing relevant information, and is preferable to the 'reptile brain' emotional hijacking approaches that played so well on social media.
- Researchers at Stanford have created a system to automatically synthesize realistic sounds to nearly perfectly sync up with digital animation.
- On the Media has a great episode this week that explores the rise of video game (and life in general) live streaming on Twitch as a major mass media development.