John Maeda Heads to Silicon Valley; Tree Ornaments for Geeks, Toilets of the Future & More
While the world (including Charlie Rose) gushes about Amazon's grand plan to deliver by drone (read some uncomfortable questions AdAge's Simon Dumenco has for him here), Google has quietly been acquiring seven tech companies that could create humanoid robots perfect for dropping off packages at your door, reports the New York Times. While the project -- heading by engineer Andy Rubin -- is a "moonshot," so was Google Glass. And look where that's brought us.
Aaron Swartz, the late hacker and activist who we put on our Creativity 50 posthumously this year, was arrested by MIT police and the Secret Service, for the crime of downloading millions of articles from JSTOR. Now, a year after he committed suicide, Wired has obtained the video that actually led to that arrest, via a FOIA lawsuit brought by editor Kevin Poulsen. The camera was installed in a closet in an attempt to catch Swartz red-handed.
Wired knows that sometimes, candy canes, tinsel and balls just aren't enough to decorate your Xmas tree. So it's presented a list of geek-friendly ornaments that include periodic table cubes that actually feature the element within, stained glass dice, images of famous scientists and more. They'll all go perfectly with your bauballs.
The Atlantic calls it the "world's biggest small site," and indeed, photo-hosting site Imgur is among the most popular sites out there. From its humble, albeit cliched beginnings in a dorm room, the site, which bills itself as a way to upload images that more often than note end up on Reddit, is now starting to get social, adding chat features, among others.
Forget phones and drones. Engineers and techies are out to improve the one thing that we know needs improvement: the humble toilet. So if you're reading Gizmodo's list on a regular old porcelain throne, consider putting some money aside for some of these wonderful creations, like the Kohler Numi, which features a touch screen, foot warmer and motion sensor; the Inax Regio with a built in sound system; and TOTO, which has a toilet that analyzes your urine for health data.
John Maeda, a former MIT professor who has served as President at the Rhode Island School of Design since 2008, is leaving the post to be a design partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, reports AllThingsD. Maeda, who serves as a director on the boards of Wieden & Kennedy, Sonos and Quirky, will also lead eBay's newly created Design Advisory Board. As AllThingsD writes, the move is an indicator of how much stock Silicon Valley is placing in design investment -- Google Ventures, for example, which competes with Kleiner Perkins, has also been hiring design partners.