On April 3rd 1973, Martin Cooper made the first mobile call on the nine-inch (and 28-ounce) Motorola DynaTAC. Dialing up a rival at AT&T, he apparently said that he was ringing “to see if my call sounds good at your end.” While briefcase-size models had come before it, it’s Motorola’s truly mobile phone that became the go-to power accessory for the likes of Gordon Gekko, Zack Morris and, er, American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman. Since its heyday, however, the AMPS analog networks that the phone used to run on have now largely disappeared, replaced by digital ones that have added better call clarity, not to mention data connectivity at ever-improving speeds. We’ve come a long way.
Via: Sky News
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You may have seen the announcement earlier today that AOL is acquiring gdgt and that Ryan Block and I are going to be rejoining the company. A lot of you may have no idea who I am, but I’m the guy who created Engadget and for a while there was the only person who wrote for it.
When we left Engadget in 2008 to start gdgt we left on exceptionally good terms. AOL even invested in our new company. But even though the relationship has been good all these years, I never honestly expected we’d have the chance to return, and I can say that it feels good to be part of the family again. I’m insanely proud of the work that Tim Stevens and the Engadget team have done to grow the site into a tech news powerhouse that it is today. The Engadget of 2013 far exceeds anything I could have hoped for it when it launched back in 2004.
I also wanted to say thanks to everyone who reads Engadget. You’re the ones that made Engadget something that people cared about, and I’m not sure I can properly express my gratitude for that.
Ryan will have a post up soon with some more details about how we got here and why bringing gdgt to AOL makes sense, but for now I’ll just say how happy I am to be back and how much I’m looking forward to getting back into the mix. And while I won’t be taking a day-to-day role at Engadget — I’ll still be overseeing gdgt — I will be taking on the role of executive editor-at-large and getting involved in different ways, so expect to see more of me soon!
Filed under: Misc
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Owned by Pearson Australia Group after it purchased the Australian Borders and Angus & Robertson online businesses in 2011, Bookworld is an online book, music, and video retailer with over half a million existing customers and a focus on Australian authors and artists. It also has a very clear target of beating Amazon by offering lower prices and free delivery. Earlier this Fall, Bookworld introduced a new identity designed by Interbrand Australia.
Interbrand Creative Director Mike Rigby explains “our solution was born from asking ourselves a very simple question: have you ever wondered where the characters go when you close the book? The answer is, they go to Bookworld — where books come from.”
This thought led to the literal creation of a “Bookworld” — a magical place where every book in the history of literature comes from. The fun, engaging and entertaining brand plays out across a series of illustrated, genre specific landscapes. From Crime City, to Horror-Ville and everything in between. Bookworld is also a place that’s full of characters. And many famous personalities and archetypes populate the communications. From Sherlock Holmes, to Frankenstein.
The new logotype features a simple and bold “B” that is reminiscent of a book with the subtle “W” designed to look like a Bookmark. The logo is also designed to open up in animation — much like a book — revealing the magical world within.
— Interbrand case study
The old logo was fine, but it was as exciting as that of a law firm’s and with such a great, simple name it was a real shame it had gone unexplored. The new logo solves both issues — no more boring logo and exploding the notion of a book world. The logo is such a simple and clever idea: not so much the “B” that passes as a book but the bookmark that poses as a “W”. That’s the detail that makes the logo work. Then adding the animation element where the “B” flips open to reveal the humorous worlds within it brings it so well to life, not to mention the pop sound the bookmark makes when the “B” closes back up. Beyond the logo and into the Christmas campaign (below) the identity starts to border on appearing as a children’s book publisher, but the upscale typography, clever writing, and backstabbing politicians in the animation help bring it back to adulthood. As the brand evolves it would be good to give it a bit more of an edge to avoid an overly friendly feel. Nonetheless, it’s a fun identity that should help get it some attention and fight those Amazonians.
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Launched in 2004, SB Nation (short for Sports Blog Nation) is a massive network of more than 300 blogs run by paid sports writers-slash-fans. Combined, SB Nation pulls in 100 million pageviews a month through 20 million unique visitors, 80% of them dudes. While there is a mothership blog that covers sports in general, SB Nation’s real appeal are its local and team blogs, dedicated to the micro concerns of fans in different cities and for specific sports and teams, i.e., there is SB Nation Chicago for all of its citizens but there is also Bleed Cubbie Blue for the MLB’s Cubs, Windy City Gridiron for the NFL’s Bears, and Blog a Bull for the NBA’s Bulls. Over the years, each blog has been given free reign to design its own logo based on its own puny, insider-ey name — the result has been humorous yet mostly crummy, rectangular pieces of artwork. Earlier this month, in preparation for a relaunch of the look and functionality of its blogs, SB Nation introduced new logos for ALL blogs through a unified approach, designed by London-based Fraser Davidson. ALL of them, designed by Fraser Davidson. 300-plus.
With a format chosen and a designer ready for more, the hard work began in earnest. We refined the legacy questionnaire template so bloggers could suggest elements and ideas, and have meaningful input on their marks without much effort. Some bloggers wanted to keep the soul of their old marks, and asked to port existing imagery into the new format. Others chose to change it.
It’s no easy task to have 300+ branding conversations in 7 weeks.
The questionnaires became creative briefs, which we passed to Fraser so he could work his voodoo. Each new design he returned was run by our legal team. (Since our sites are not official team blogs but still identify closely with teams, we need to be careful about trademark violations). Following legal approval, we’d send the mark to the bloggers for review. Because of this project’s size and scope, we limited revision rounds to just one. Thankfully, the overall reception to this change was positive.
I have no intention of critiquing every single logo. Some of them are fantastic, others are lame. Some are perfectly executed, others are a little funky-looking. It doesn’t really matter. It’s the overall effect and shock-and-awe effect that the redesign has: (1) it instills a sense of confidence among SB Nation readers that these blogs are not fooling around and mean business and (2) it makes it easier to jump from sport to sport or city to city and find consistency not just in the format of the logos but in their high quality. These are 300-plus great sports logos, with all the pros and cons of looking like sports logos. But many professional sports teams would be lucky enough to look like any of these 300-plus logos. Did I mention 300-plus logos were created? In seven weeks. It’s pretty amazing. This is the equivalent of a hat trick, a home run, a 360-two-handed slam dunk, and punt return touchdown all in one.
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It’s Time To Think Outside The Box
Picture this: a completely inspirational and information-packed one-day event just for you, the in-the-trenches package designer.
It’s not some get-together to showcase your best work or some esoteric meeting of the minds. It’s a real, down-and-dirty, put to good use forum for you to pick the brains of nine of the top creatives in the country (we’re talking Coca-Cola and Apple here people).
So join The Dieline Forum in L.A. (woot, woot!) and explore everything from new ways to do killer work on a tight budget to reinventing your brand. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to mix, mingle and network—you never know where your new-found connections might take you!
Interested in attending The Dieline Forum? GET REGISTERED. Early Bird ends in 30 Days. Register by August 31st and save $50.
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Getting to grips with the Android 4.0-toting MK802 mini PC earlier this month just left us wanting more. Luckily, ARMdevices.net recently took a tour of the Shenzhen factory where it’s born to bring us a hands-on straight from source. The MK802 is one of a couple of devices we’ve seen recently, around the size of a USB stick and pre-installed with your favorite flavor of Android. And since its release, even those who aren’t keen on frozen desserts have been toying with the little droid. To see a blow-by-blow of how it all fits together, hit up the ten-minute tour after the break, but don’t expect Foxconn levels of glamour. As you can see from the painter at the beginning, Health & Safety isn’t top of the agenda.
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O Meltemi, we hardly knew ye. In fact, we didn’t know ye much at all, since Nokia never made the OS official. Nonetheless, claimed insiders have told AllThingsD that the reputed Linux-running alternative to S30 and S40 won’t ever see the light of day. Nokia’s deep structural cuts are to blame, and we imagine Nokia’s previous drive to whittle down its OS portfolio will have come into play. CEO Stephen Elop and other executives never directly acknowledged Meltemi’s existence during the cutback-related conference call, although Elop did admit that some projects were screeching to a halt behind the scenes — possibly the closest Espoo will come to saying that the platform was ever real. Sad, to be sure, but between the new Asha Touch line and ever-cheaper Lumia models, we’re not too worried about whether or not Nokia has the low end covered.
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All those fancy slabs sneaking their way through federal inspection take their toll, and the friendly folks at the FCC are starting to feel it. According to an official statement from the Federal Communications Commission, it’s receiving applications for more wireless device authorizations than ever before, and it’s exhausting its pool of identification codes. In addition to expanding its allotment of identifier codes for companies requesting equipment authorization, the feds also considering new ways to improve the authorization process, such as clarifying administrative requirements. The bottom line? We won’t see any shortage of devices breaking through the federal lines any time soon. Check out the FCC’s official statement after the break.
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In August of 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to split its business into two separate companies: One, to remain Kraft Foods, the “high-margin North American grocery business” that will manage brands like Velveeta, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and Oscar Mayer; the second, unnamed at the time of the announcement, the “high-growth global snacks business” to manage brands like Cadbury, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Tang, and Trident. In March, Kraft Foods introduced the name for the new global snacks company — Mondelez International — after an internal employee contest rendered 1,700 names for consideration. Earlier this month Kraft Foods confirmed that shareholders overwhelmingly approved the name change as well as unveiling the new logo. No design credit given.
“Mondelez” (pronounced mohn-dah-LEEZ’) is a newly coined word that evokes the idea of “delicious world.” “Monde” derives from the Latin word for “world,” and “delez” is a fanciful expression of “delicious.” In addition, “International” captures the global nature of the business.
— Press Release (March 21, 2012)
It’s no secret that I
don’t like hate the Kraft Foods logo — see spots 6 and 5 in 2009′s Worst list — so I was very skeptical about anything good coming out of the same company. Even more so with a weird name like Mondelez and its, like, totes ridics pronunciation. I have to say: I’m extremely surprised by how nice the new logo is. It’s bouncy, it’s flowy, it’s perfectly kerned, and it even manages to tie in to the Kraft Foods logo with those two teardrop shapes. I am a little troubled by the accent over the “e” which appears nowhere in the written communication — I understand this is meant to be an international company and perhaps a faux accent that is neither a grave accent nor an acute accent will confuse/comfort international business people, but it just seems odd to contradict the name. I wish “International” was center-aligned, but I can see how it would bump against the “M”. Unfortunate but passable. What’s important to remember is that this is a corporate brand, not consumer, so it serves to endorse the products it sells, which is something that usually leads to crappy, boring logos but this one will sit nicely in one or two colors in all those crazy brand packages around the world.
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