Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Free Typeface – IBM Plex

After decades of using Helvetica (and paying millions of dollars for the privilege) as its corporate font, IBM has decided to design its own typeface. IBM Plex is a work in progress, and includes sans serif, slab serif and monospace versions.

To my eyes they look like a not very beautiful committee mash-up of Din, Bell Gothic, News Gothic and Archer, but if you fancy trying them out, all 48 styles are available for free download at Font Squirrel.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

A Potpourri Of iPhone X Reviews

The Verge has produced a comprehensive no-nonsense review.

DxO has reviewed the iPhone X's camera, and concludes that, for stills, it is the best smartphone camera available. Their conclusion follows:

“For portraits, the improved telephoto lens delivers sharp results even indoors, and the bokeh simulation produces a natural and pleasing background blur. Outdoors, exposures are outstanding, with great dynamic range, impressive skies, good fine detail, and punchy color rendering. Add to all that the extra features on the front-facing camera, including a Portrait mode for blurred-background selfies, and the iPhone X delivers one hell of a smartphone camera.”

On a less serious note, Wired has published an amusing summary of some of the more gushing iPhone X reviews.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor

Mashable reports: [edited]

The Nucleus 7 allows users to stream sounds directly to their Cochlear implant from their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

People living with severe to profound hearing loss will be able to listen to music, play games, watch videos, get directions from Maps, or make FaceTime calls.

Users can control the sound processor on their iPhone using the Nucleus Smart App, which monitors the device's volume, battery and location with the Find My Processor feature.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Free Fonts - Arima

Font Squirrel reports: [edited]

A typeface with soft edges and a calligraphic feel, designed for screen reading. Both families come in 7 weights, Arima Madurai has extended language support for Tamil and Latin scripts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Robots More Accurate Than Human Surgeons

BGR reports: [edited]

A new study aimed at comparing the steady hand of a human surgeon against the cold precision of the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) revealed just how much better a bot really is, and what that means for patients going under its knife.

The research pitted the surgical bot, which is still in active development, against a human surgeons operating on a human analog — in this particular case, it was pig tissue including muscle, fat and skin. The cuts made by both the human doctors and the STAR were judged based on how precise their cuts were as well as how much damage was done to the flesh surrounding the incision.

The STAR system not only produced more precise cuts in terms of length, but they were also closer to the 'perfect' line and the incision caused less damage to the flesh.

The STAR could one day be completely autonomous. “I really believe that this is the future of surgery,” study co-author Axel Krieger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland said. “I believe this will come about first for small sub-functions of surgery and get more and more complex. Similarly to autonomous cars, where small features such as brake-assist slowly morphed into more and more autonomy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Get To Anywhere On Earth In An Hour

Bloomberg reports: [edited]

Elon Musk is planning to build a new rocket ship code named “BFR” capable of traveling anywhere on Earth in under an hour.

If the concept becomes reality, Musk said a journey from New York to Shanghai can be done in about 30 minutes.

“If we are going to places like Mars, why not Earth?” Musk said at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. Toward the end of Musk’s presentation, an animation played on a big screen behind him, showing scores of people getting on a high-speed ferry in New York, then boarding the BFR on a platform in the water. The spaceship then travels to Shanghai in roughly half an hour.

"Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60," Musk wrote in an Instagram post after he’d left the stage without taking questions. "Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft. Forgot to mention that."

The BFR would contain 40 cabins capable of ferrying roughly 100 people at a time.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Robots Performing Dental Surgery

Independent reports: [edited]

A robot has carried out a dental operation without help from humans for the first time, carrying out implant surgery on a patient in China.

Although medical staff were present during the one-hour surgery in Xian, Shaanxi province, they did not play an active role.

Two new teeth, created by 3D printing, were successfully implanted into a woman’s mouth, the South China Morning Post reported.

The robot followed a set of pre-programmed commands to fit the implants into the patient’s mouth, and was able to make adjustments as the woman moved.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Techniblogic reports: [edited]

PearlMountain provides an online logo maker – DesignEvo free of charge. There are over a million icons as well as hundreds of fonts and shapes available.

Once you enter the app, popular searches are displayed under the icon search panel such as computer, Facebook, sale and technology. With a click on the desired icon, you can add it to the editing canvas and customize it at will. Each icon can be scaled, flipped, rotated and coloured.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

66-year-old man sees in colour for the first time

Born colourblind, William lived his whole life in back and white. For his 66th birthday, his family decided to pitch in together to buy Enchroma glasses that have colour correcting lenses that help the colourblind see colour. This video is his expression to opening his gift and witnessing color for the first time.

via kottke

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Apple Watch Series 3

Trusted Reviews reports: [edited]

Apple announced three new iPhones yesterday, along with a 4K Apple TV. All of them are lovely pieces of technology, but its most interesting announcement was that it has made significant improvements to its Apple Watches, with its top model now possessing cellular connectivity.

You’ll now be able to take and make calls from your Apple Watch Series 3, and it’ll use the same number as your iPhone. You’ll also be able to stream music thanks to the cellular connection through Apple Music directly from your wrist.

There’s a new S3 dual-core processor delivering 70% more performance than the previous chip. This means Siri can now talk through the built-in speaker, reading out useful information without you needing to look at the display. There’s a new W2 chip for wireless connectivity, including an 85% boost to Wi-Fi performance and 50% increase in power efficiency for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (v5).

An altimeter is now included. This means elevation data can now be obtained, which is great for runners, cyclists and skiers alike. It also means the Apple Watch Series 3 will detect the flights of stairs you climb, useful if you need the added motivation to take the stairs in lieu of the elevator.

The display is the antenna for LTE and UMTS, which is a clever feat of engineering when many antennas are integrated into the strap making them stiff and uncomfortable. The Apple Watch Series 3 will also use a e-SIM, which also cuts down on the size. This means the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 are almost the same size.

The Series 3 will start at £329 for the GPS model and £399 for the cellular + GPS option. The Series 2 will drop to £249.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

SanDisk Ultra MicroSD UHS-I 400GB card

PC Mag reports: [edited]

The 15 x 11 x 1mm SanDisk Ultra MicroSD UHS-I 400GB card is Class 10 rated and offers transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s.

It carries the A1 Application Performance rating, meaning 10MB/s writes, random read IOPS (Input/output operations per second) of 1,500, and write IOPS of 500.

Price: $249.99

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Kickstarter reports: [edited]

We made the Cyclotron the most versatile and technically advanced bike available today.

The Cyclotron is equipped with

– Spokeless wheels
– Airless tires (solid polymer, last +6,000 miles)
– Internal E-Gear Box & Encapsulated Drive Train
– Integrated Smart Lights & Li-Ion Battery

[Ed. Cautionary note, this was due to be shipping in June, which has left some backers questioning whether this will every be produced.]

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Essential Phone

The Verge has published a generally positive review of Android creator Andy Rubin's smartphone.

Snippets follow:

"Although it runs standard Android, it's meant to act as a vanguard for Essential's new ecosystem of smart home devices and services connected by the mysterious Ambient OS."

"Available unlocked or at Sprint, the $699 Essential Phone is an ambitious device. It has a unique way to connect modular accessories, starting with a 360-degree camera. It has a bold take on how to make a big, edge-to-edge screen paired with top-flight materials such as ceramic and titanium."

"The 5.7-inch screen on the Essential Phone is bigger than what you'll get on an iPhone 7 Plus or a Pixel XL, yet the phone itself is much smaller. It’s much closer in size to the smaller counterparts of those phones, the iPhone 7 and Pixel."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Great 78 Project

kottke reports: [edited]

Through the Great 78 Project, the Internet Archive has been digitising 78rpm records produced from 1898 to the 1950s. Over 25,000 recordings are currently available from artists like Edith Piaf, Irving Berlin, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington.

Click here to browse/listen to the songs.