Technology as art

Technology as art

Feippo is an Etsy shop that has a clever little product. They have disassembled some of the most popular cell phones and mounted them in display cases:

They have various iPhones, iPads, Nokias, Blackberry’s, Huawei, etc. The framed versions run about $150-250, while they also have do-it-yourself kits where you can dissassemble your own phones and mount them for about $60.

Considering these are coming from China, I’m thinking someone came up with a clever way to sell our own e-waste back to ourselves.

Valve Steam Deck

Valve Steam Deck

Coming in Dec 2021, the Steam Deck. You can use it as a handheld or plug in any standard external display, keyboard, mouse – and use it almost as a full desktop.

Hardware:

  • Custom AMD based APU
    • CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
    • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
    • APU power: 4-15W
  • Display:
    • 7″ 1280×800 (16:10 aspect ratio) 60Hz 400 nits Touchscreen IPS
  • 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s dual-channel)
  • Storage (varies by model purchased):
    • 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1) – $399
    • 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) – $529
    • 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) – $649
    • All models use socketed 2230 m.2 modules (not intended for end-user replacement)
    • All models include high-speed microSD card slot
  • Interface controls
    • Gamepad Controls:
      • A B X Y buttons
      • D-pad
      • L & R analog triggers
      • L & R bumpers
      • View & Menu buttons
      • 4x assignable grip buttons
    • Thumbsticks: 2x full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch
    • HD Haptics
    • Trackpads:
      • 2x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
      • 55% better latency compared to Steam Controller
      • Pressure-sensitivity for configurable click strength
    • Gyro: 6-Axis IMU
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2×2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 5.0
  • Ports/expansion:
    • UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC
    • USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 40Whr battery + 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply
  • Weight: Approx. 669 grams

Software

  • Steam OS – customized for platform, but you can even load other game stores or even wipe the device and install another OS like Windows.
  • Cloudsaves work – so you can play on pc, save, load on the Steam Deck and pick right up where you left off.
  • Suspend and resume a game – but only 1 at a time
Fix for your pasta box being half full of air

Fix for your pasta box being half full of air

Bulky pasta types (such as farfalle and fusilli) require more packaging which means they are trickier to transport and lead to more waste (and boxes that seem to be half full of air). Scientists tackled the problem by designing flat pastas that can transform into 3D shapes when cooked. They do this by simply scoring the flat dough with specific grooved patterns, whose depth and spacing determine how the pasta will form when boiled. They can not only create classic pasta shapes (even spirals/etc), but new shapes as well.

They fed their data into computer models, which they hope will allow them to automate the technique and make it easier for food manufacturers to produce and deliver a loaded menu of morphing pastas.

In a Landscape

In a Landscape

Founded in 2016 by classical pianist Hunter Noack, IN A LANDSCAPE: Classical Music in the Wild is an outdoor concert series where America’s most stunning landscapes replace the traditional concert hall. He takes a 9-foot Steinway grand piano on a flatbed trailer to National Parks, urban greenspaces, working ranches, farms, and historical sites for classical music concerts that connect people with each landscape of Oregon.

To meet the acoustical challenges of performing in the wild, music is transmitted to concert-goers via wireless headphones. No longer confined to seats, you can explore the landscape, wander through secret glens, lie in sunny meadows, and roam old growth forests.

It’s a fantastic experience – so give it a shot if you have an opportunity to catch one of the remaining shows of the year.

Advoko Makes

Advoko Makes

Max has been slowly building a log cabin over the last few years in Karelia – a far northern territory adjacent to Finland. He has built a cabin, furniture, and even things like a water wheel to generate power, wash his clothes, and use as a lathe for making tools and other things he needs. He has good philosophical discussions on tool usage – and even crafts his own tools. Overall, it’s an excellent series of one man’s creativity and adventures in the wilderness – worth a watch for any DYI’ers to be inspired.

As others have pointed out, almost none of his techniques are really ‘new’, but that’s not the point. I have heard this also said about almost all creative endeavors: books, games, paintings, etc. It’s not the idea – it’s the artistry of the execution. Even seasoned entrepreneurs will tell you that ideas are cheap – it’s the execution that defines the success of the product. “There is nothing new – everyone has done everything at least once. What matters is how you present it.”

Besides watching his skills put to use to make amazing things, it’s most amazing to just sit and enjoy him presenting his thought processes and craftsmanship.