Cast your memory back to last summer. Sweep away memories of iPhone 5 leaks galore, and you might remember that the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) asked the FCC to reevaluate its radiation limits for mobile phones. Now a few seasons later, the FCC has finally wrapped up a report that responds to the GAO, and there are no changes to its RF radiation levels in sight because it feels comfortable with its current caps. “We continue to have confidence in the current exposure limits, and note that more recent international standards have a similar basis,” reads the report. However, given that its guidelines were adopted in 1996, new research on radiation and the proliferation of mobile devices, the FCC would like some feedback regarding its restrictions. It’s put out a call for comments from concerned parties and even federal health and safety bodies.
Though the freshly-released document didn’t rock the proverbial boat, it made one change worth noting. The pinna (outer ear) is now classified an extremity, which means the FCC allows devices to hit the tissue with more radiation. Feel like poring through 201 pages of regulatory minutiae? Click the source link below for the commission’s full dossier.
Filed under: Cellphones
Via: The Verge
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Last spring, Google took out retired iGoogle, Google Mini and other services as part of a ‘spring cleaning’ initiative to help it better focus its efforts, and round two of the clean-up has just hit today. This time around, Google Reader and others are getting the axe.
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Due to popular demand — flattered, thanks folks — and to the reality that it’s very hard to hold back my opinion on such a significant redesign I feel both the need and urge to provide a second opinion to Mark Kingsley’s refreshingly optimistic view of the American Airlines identity. Although by no means I share his same enthusiasm or praise for the work I will preemptively state that I do not feel this is the design crime deserving of capital punishment that many designers were either expecting or have made it out to be. In few words: it could have been worse. In far more words: read on.
I’m as much a fan of Massimo Vignelli as anyone and I believe in what he stands for and appreciate the strictness and spareness with which he and his Unimark brethren approached identity design but, let’s face it, that approach holds little value post-2010 and, graphically, things are starting to look dated. Whether you like it or not the clients commissioning large identity projects and the consumers paying for the service or product these companies represent do not care about the neutrality of Helvetica or the equity of a specific drawing of an eagle. Clients and consumers want things that look like they were designed today, not 40 years ago. The American Airlines logo last updated by Vignelli in 1968 looks exactly like a logo and identity designed in 196fucking8. That’s a very, very, very long time ago. Aesthetic values have changed and so have expectations of what things should look and feel like. This is not me trying to make an excuse for the shitstorm of gradient-, shadow-, and bevel-based logos that we’ve seen rain down on us at a large, corporate scale since 2003 when the same firm that redesigned American Airlines redesigned UPS. I hate to say it but can you really imagine Paul Rand’s UPS logo still used today? It would be anachronistic. I still relish the identities that can communicate without the need for unnecessary patinas like Fiji Airways and Starbucks. They give me hope that it’s still possible to communicate in simple ways. But as I have been saying for the past five years or so, this new, highly polished aesthetic is the direction we are headed and we have to move beyond our preconceptions and accept those logos and identities that make appropriate use of it. American Airlines’ new “Flight Symbol” is one of them.
I genuinely think there is merit to the icon. It’s an interesting abstraction of an eagle in full flight — as opposed to the old eagle which looked as if it were landing or going in to grab an armadillo off the road — and it also looks like an airplane’s wing. The “A” and star referenced in the press release are a stretch, but I can see them if I squint. This is far from my favorite icon of all time but I don’t think it’s as bad as people want it to be simply because it replaces an icon that history books have told us is great. My main concern would be that the new icon resembles Air France and to a (much) lesser degree British Airways in the sense that all three are a single, diagonal-wave-ish stroke. But to play my own devil advocate these two iconic airline brands serve as travel ambassadors for their respective countries and, perhaps, American Airlines could one day stand in that same role. Doubtful. But stranger things have happened.
The bigger tragedy in this redesign is the typography that accompanies the icon. It looks like an Adobe InDesign document that couldn’t load the fonts. At best it looks like a default system font and at worst like a pedestrian attempt at corporate typography. Those “e”s and “c” just kill me. There is something really annoying about them. It’s probably just a matter of personal taste.
The livery has gotten a lot of discussion with the most active complaint being the tail and its overly American design. Guess what, folks? It’s AMERICAN Airlines. If they want to wave the American flag in your face and blow your nose with it they are the one airline that can do it and have a damn good excuse for it. I actually like it because it’s an interesting abstraction of the flag’s stripes and gives the airline a bolder visual device to be recognized by. Perhaps it will be used more in print collateral or advertising. It has potential. My own critique on the livery is that the icon becomes very hard to read with the head of the eagle disappearing into the fuselage, a problem enhanced by the relatively small size of the icon vis-à-vis the size of the plane.
Overall, this is an appropriate evolution. It’s not terrible, it’s not great. It was needed. And Futurebrand delivered within what I can guess was only an extremely demanding and high stakes context.
Comments on this post are closed. Please refer to the main American Airlines post for discussion.
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Protected from wind and overheating by wooden slats that also filter natural light reaching the interiors, the single-story residential structure was meant to be a second house, defined by comfort and focusing on relaxation. Found in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, the holiday home was simply named “The Shelter”, hinting towards its ability to offer a secluded retreat from urban life. Part of the portfolio of multidisciplinary KG Studio + Asociados, it floats a meter above ground, with internal spaces distributed along a central spine that reinforces the passive bioclimatic architectural criteria. A transitional space constructed of the protective wooden screens helps protect the privacy of public and intimate spaces, at the same time opening the rooms to the outside landscape, offering interrupted panoramas. Sliding doors ensure a strong connection between inside and outside, generating an alluring bond without exposing interiors to the harsh climate. Elegant in its apparent simplicity, this home proves to be an inspiring solution to location-specific conditions.
You’re reading Wooden Second Skin Protecting Interiors From Harsh Bolivian Weather originally posted on Freshome.
The post Wooden Second Skin Protecting Interiors From Harsh Bolivian Weather appeared first on Freshome.com.
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Pretty much the only place you see vacuum tubes any more is inside a quality audio amp. But, once upon a time, they were the primary ingredient in any piece of electronic equipment, including computers. The glass tubes have since been replaced with the smaller, less fragile and cheaper to manufacture silicon transistor. There are, however, disadvantages, to transistors. For one, electrons tend to move more slowly though the semiconductors, and two, they’re highly susceptible to radiation. The second of those problems doesn’t affect us much here on Earth, but for NASA it poses a major obstacle. Engineers have finally managed to combine the advantages of both vacuum tubes and silicon transistors, though, in what has been dubbed “nano vacuum tubes.” They’re created by etching tiny cavities in phosphorous-doped silicon, bordered on three sides by electrodes that form the gate, source and drain. The term “vacuum tube” is slightly misleading however, since there is no true vacuum in play. Instead, the source and drain are separated by just 150 nanometers, making it highly unlikely that flowing electrons would run into stray atoms. In addition to their space-worthy hardiness, they can also potentially operate at frequencies ten-times as higher than silicon transistors, making them a candidate to push terahertz tech from experimental to mainstream. For more, check out the source link.
[Image credit: Shane Gorski]
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Who knows why tech tinkerers do what they do. We’re just happy to see those idle hands try the untested. Like this latest Arduino hack from modder Michael of Nootropic Design, who’s seen fit to rig a 16 x 32 LED matrix up to an Android phone for use as a secondary display. The outputted video, downscaled via OpenCV software to an appropriate resolution and 12-bit color, is admittedly unimpressive, as it chugs along at a paltry four frames per second. But that’s not the point of this can-do experiment — it’s all about the possibilities, however blurry and pointless they may be (although, we’re sure Barbara Walters would beg to differ). Ready to see this modjob in motion? Then head on past the break for a brief video demo.
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Gaikai beta goes live, brings Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2, Sims 3 and Second Life demos to your browser window
Remember Gaikai, the cloud computing service that lets you demo video games in your browser window without downloading a thing? It’s live, meaning it’s no longer just us tech journalists that get to give it a thorough try. Provided you have a blazing fast internet connection and both Flash and Java installed, four streaming game demos are a just a click (and possibly a survey, or a short wait) away, including three EA titles (Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2, The Sims 3) and Second Life. As we discovered in our initial hands-on, it’s not a flawless experience even with a fantastic internet connection, but it’s not meant to be — the entire point is to allow you to adequately sample a game right before making a purchase decision. It’s also a free taste of the future, and you don’t see those every day.
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