A round-up of what's online and on our minds

Published on .

  • It's been a busy month for Steve Jobs & Co.—not that that's anything new. But with the iPhone's upcoming release garnering all the hype, Apple used the distraction to redesign its entire website in the meantime. Its eye-catching, extraterrestrial front page proudly (and loudly) displays Leopard, an OS X upgrade. But look further and you'll notice several more alterations. Gone are the dull white tabs and blue drop-down menus. In their place, a movable tray of actual product images and icons to signify each specific product site, with the pages themselves rendered in a crisp black backdrop and a menu bar now decorated with white text. As sections on each page slide up and down via simple mouseover, it appears the site's functionality is significantly improved and the overall experience very much streamlined. It's sleek, simplified and and an aesthetically pleasing precursor to the upcoming mania that'll surely surround the iPhone.
  • The star tattoos have aligned as the ultimate hipster tome is now spotlighting one of the ultimate hipster 'hoods online. With the Virtual Lower East Side, Vice is giving visitors an inside view of the venues and music-loving patrons that make this downtown NYC area tick. Along with social networking opportunities via profiles, show listings, fave bands and potentially streaming songs, the centerpiece is a 3D map of the LES that highlights some of the neighborhood's popular concert venues via popup images of the actual spot. Though still in beta, vLES if off to a promising start with hopefully better interactivity to come. Just think of it as Second Life for the Pitchfork generation.
  • Noisy Decent Graphics alerts us to another interesting development in the UK museum scene—apparently The National Gallery has turned London neighborhoods Soho, Picadilly and Covent Garden into ersatz galleries, putting priceless works of art at various points on the streets. If you're around old London towne check out the map of The Grand Tour and see some real street art.
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