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The One Thing Windows Vista Did Right The One Thing Windows Vista Did Right

Vista was bad. Coming five years after XP, it was heavily anticipated by Windows users who were impatiently awaiting something interesting from Microsoft as Apple’s star was on the rise. Yet when the OS dropped publicly in January 2007, it was immediately reviled by, well, everyone (except our expert reviewers). It…

Mansion from Blade Runner and House on Haunted Hill Goes Up For Sale in Los Angeles Mansion from Blade Runner and House on Haunted Hill Goes Up For Sale in Los Angeles

One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous mansions, known as the Ennis House, is up for sale in east Los Angeles. And even if you don’t know the house, you certainly know the movies that the famous building has appeared in, including Blade Runner (1982), The House on Haunted Hill (1959) and The Replacement Killers…

This Clever Wheelchair Redesign Lets Riders Steer By Simply Leaning to the Side

The convenience of never having to recharge a manually-powered wheelchair is often outweighed by the fact that riders must use both arms to steer it. Carrying something like a smartphone at the same time is a big challenge, so a Swiss design student was inspired to design a better wheelchair that allows riders to…

Why the Government Sucks at Making Websites Why the Government Sucks at Making Websites

In April, the day before taxes were due, the IRS’ online filing system failed, just as procrastinators were settling into the annual TurboTax panic. How did this happen, especially before the most important tax day of the year? And why does this keep happening to government websites?

The Top 7 Gadgets Shaped Like a Cube The Top 7 Gadgets Shaped Like a Cube

Amazon’s announcement for its new Fire TV Cube on Thursday was a great reminder that the cube just doesn’t get enough love in gadget design. Cubes are solid as hell. They’re elegant, simple, functional, and memorable. They beg the question: “What’s in the box?” As a reminder of all that and more, we’ve pulled together…

The Future Is Knit: Why the Ancient Art of Knitting Is High-Tech Again

When you think about knitting, you might picture grandmas clicking big wooden needles or something wintery, like a snow-covered lodge. But knitting is everywhere, producing just about everything you put against your skin each day, from socks and t-shirts to hoodies and beanies. And thousands of years after it was…

How Sex Toy Makers Pick Vibrator Colors How Sex Toy Makers Pick Vibrator Colors

Scoring a color’s sexiness calls for a sketchy rubric at best: Although someone appointed it the color of romance and passion, red is also the color of blood and chaos (see: panic buttons, fire trucks). Sleek, sophisticated black does double duty as the uniform of death. Purple can communicate richness, royalty,…

Does the New Gmail Feel Horribly Slow, Or Is It Just Me? Does the New Gmail Feel Horribly Slow, Or Is It Just Me?

Google graced us with a fancy, new Gmail.com last month, and like, great! It’s nice to have new stuff to play with, including a snooze option that should have arrived ages ago, and a smart replies feature I’ll try out but probably never consistently use. But there is one thing about the redesign that’s driving me…

Give the Finger to Jony Ive With a Case That Makes Your iPhone X Look Like the Original Give the Finger to Jony Ive With a Case That Makes Your iPhone X Look Like the Original

It’s easy to look back on the original iPhone 2G with reverence. It revolutionized the mobile phone industry, and paved the way for our lives to be taken over by mobile apps. And for the three of you who yearn for a modern smartphone wrapped in 2007 design aesthetics, Spigen’s created an iPhone X case that will make…

Microsoft Kinect Refuses to Die Microsoft Kinect Refuses to Die

Kinect was never for you. Yeah, you with the Xbox One that was bundled with a Kinect. That big honking spatial camera was an impressive piece of tech, but it never did you much good as a console add-on did it?

Kernit Is the Jim Henson-Inspired Typeface Muppet Fans Deserve Kernit Is the Jim Henson-Inspired Typeface Muppet Fans Deserve

Why are there so many songs about rainbows, but so few typefaces that evoke the iconic pupils of Kermit the Frog? Thankfully for Muppet fans, we now have at least one: Kernit.

Inside AMD's Quest to Build Chips That Can Beat Intel Inside AMD's Quest to Build Chips That Can Beat Intel

There are few gambles in the tech world as big as spending billions to build a new computer processor from scratch. Former AMD board member Robert Palmer supposedly compared it to Russian roulette: “You put a gun to your head, pull the trigger, and find out four years later if you blew your brains out.” Six years ago…

All the New Features Coming to Your Gmail that Seem Actually Useful

Google has officially announced the new look that’s coming to Gmail.com after images of its redesign leaked a few days prior. The revamp brings with it, besides a much-need paint job, some long-awaited features that users could only get through third-party email clients.

The Quest to Teach AI to Write Pop Songs The Quest to Teach AI to Write Pop Songs

David Cope didn’t set out to make anyone mad. In 1980, the composer envisioned a tool to help cure his creative block: a machine that could keep track of all the sounds and loose threads running through his mind, find similarities, and produce an entire piece of music inspired by it. So he built it.

Star Trek: Discovery's Version of the Enterprise Had to Be Modified for Legal Reasons Star Trek: Discovery's Version of the Enterprise Had to Be Modified for Legal Reasons

The finale of Star Trek: Discovery gave us a short glimpse at the most legendary ship in the entire Starfleet: the Enterprise, ten years before the original Star Trek television show. Befitting the different visual style of Discovery, the ship looks a little different than we remembered, but that apparently wasn’t…

This Experimental Typeface Cleverly Combines Braille With the Latin Alphabet This Experimental Typeface Cleverly Combines Braille With the Latin Alphabet

Exploring the limits of type design, Tokyo-based designer Kosuke Takahashi has developed Braille Neue, an attempt to combine Braille with the English and Japanese alphabets.

How Colors Are Discovered How Colors Are Discovered

In the early 18th century, German chemist Johann Jacob Diesbach was at work in a laboratory trying to make a red pigment out of cochineal insects, the tiny bugs whose extract dyes everything from food to lipstick. Diesbach hypothesized that he could combine the carmine extract with alum, iron sulfate, and potash to…

The First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Looks Like It Broke Off an Alien Mothership The First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Looks Like It Broke Off an Alien Mothership

The plan to 3D-print a bridge in mid-air was always bonkers. How could a technology best known for creating flimsy prototypes and personalized action figures be used for permanent construction projects? Well, the team at MX3D in Amsterdam just answered all of the hard questions and revealed it: the world’s first…

This Rusty Old Shipyard Might Be the Greenest Place in Europe This Rusty Old Shipyard Might Be the Greenest Place in Europe

AMSTERDAM—Walking into De Ceuvel feels a bit like walking into a post-apocalyptic utopia. A dozen or so houseboats litter the ground around a gathering place, where a rusted hull has been cut in half and converted into benches. Slanted solar panels pepper the rooftops of structures built out of recycled materials, all…

50 Engineers Spent Six Months Designing a Fidget Spinner That Set a New World Record

Just when you thought that the fidget spinner fad had gone the way of the dodo bird, hoverboards, and 3D TVs, a Japanese company, MinebeaMitsumi Inc., known for manufacturing electronic components, and Mitsubishi, used 50 engineers to design and build a near-flawless fidget spinner over a six-month period that…

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