Few can say they took packaging design cues from fast food burger containers… although Miniwiz’s Solarbulb has been making the rounds this week due to their CES presence, and the very interesting concept of a solar powered light that can screw on to your standard plastic water bottles, or on their POLLI-brick bottles that are interlockable to build larger structures… not nearly enough attention has been paid to their packaging prototypes and iconography on them! Basically these solar/wind powered portable device designers make incredible use of cardboard! Also noteworthy is their miniNOTE ~ a cardboard mailer/postcard with a solar panel and battery built in for your recipient to charge and use instantly! Such a beautiful gesture ~ can you imagine sending “power” to a bunch of your friends? Take a peek at close up pics of their designs and CES booth display on the next page!
Here’s what i love about vegas ~ you just never know what or where you’ll end up ~ tonight led us on an adventure into the vegas off-strip suburbs where we ended up tossing the latest ioSafe Solo external hard drive into the color changing rock fountain pool… pulled it out by a cord… then set it on fire! Only to cool it (with clouds of steam) with a hose… and take it all apart to show off the pristine hard drive contained with in… and of course we also cooked a standard hard drive as well, which didn’t fare quite as nicely…
Beyond the obvious fascination and amusement from the demo itself ~ it all lent it self perfectly for some fun photographing and video too! Luckily dan came with ~ so we have full video of all the excitement for you to see on the next page, and i’ve summarized the whole scene in a gallery of pics as usual! Fire in the dark is SO fun with the my new 5D ~ and as for the ioSafe Solo external hard drive, i think i’m sold. In this line of “work” i can’t imagine losing all my files… lifetime of photos… design work… the websites!… you name it! Granted its one of those problems you hope you never have to worry about, but if there *were* to be a flood or fire, i’d certainly feel better knowing my data would most likely survive it! While ioSafe is primarily known for their enterprise level products (massive, hefty “disaster proof hardware”) ~ this is their first introduction into the consumer space, and the pricing is impressive ~ the 500GB ioSafe Solo external hard drive is only $149, and the 1TB is $199 and 1.5TB is $299!
Go see the pics and videos as well as more details on how they work on the next page! (The first video shows the destruction of it… the second one shows you how to get the hard drive out of it after!)
Wordlocks! “Use words, not numbers” is their slogan ~ and honestly when i was first playing with them and chatting with their PR, it really brought out the inner child in me… they said you shouldn’t be able to make bad words with them, so of course for days they became my desk fidget toy as i’d work on things and try to find some… i did find quite a few strange ones even! (anyone on my facebook probably saw pics of these) BUT, that’s not the point… I’m not sure about you, but i’ve always been TERRIBLE with combination locks, not just remembering the numbers but trying to open them even! These pad locks, luggage locks, bike locks, and more make it a bit easier if you come up with a word that works… or better yet, an acronym? I can just imagine coming back to your gym locker watching people playing games trying to guess the word on your lock!
But to geek out for a moment, what i found most interesting is the background behind the Wordlocks… “After 20 years in the technology business as an engineer, most recently at Apple, Todd Basche and his wife Rahn (a Clinical Social Worker) quit their jobs and started Wordlock Inc. They expanded the family of products and created bike locks, TSA-approved luggage locks and recently launched the industry’s first Spanish-language padlock. Not only is the design of the lock patented, the algorithm that Wordlock created that allows for 100,000 word and letter combos on the padlock is as well. Wordlock has patented a number of software algorithms that maximize the number of words the lock can spell on its five dials (note each dial has 10 letters or 9 letters and a blank space on it).” Apparently the apple engineer and his wife have spent ridiculous amounts of time on algorithms to figure out the best letters to put on those wheels for the optimal number of possible “real” words in both english and spanish! The locks remind me of old physical word puzzles i had as a kid where you’d spin the rings to make the words… now if only i could rearrange the rings on these Wordlocks and invent MORE word options! But lets be honest, its not like we don’t have enough passwords to remember from everything online to root passwords to voicemail passwords to…. well maybe having words for bike locks and gym lockers and mysterious storage containers would help? See more pics of them all on the next page, as well as scanned in pages of possible combinations they recommend.
Eep! It’s here! I’m so so giddy right now that you’ll have to excuse these sloppy pics, but i’ve been bouncing up and down (despite the ridiculously dreary, rainy, weather) ~ but fedex came by with the best xmas/bday present ~ Canon 5D Mark II!!! And EF 16-35mm f/2.8 lens!!! Basically i’m writing this post to buy myself more time while anxiously waiting for the battery to charge… So check out unboxing pics, and side by side comparison pics with my 40D (and since these are IN the shot, they are taken with the TX1)!
News of this magical new battery doubling sleek iPhone case has been circulating, but only tonight (or i guess now its 4am… so morning?) did i really sit down and go through the press release and high res images ~ Not surprising, it’s Incase, so it’s gorgeous… and it’s available in 2 days! (Nov 28!) Actually what brought the Power Slider up was talking to dan about his super early flight to Pennsylvania this morning, and how there is the possibility there will be no internet (*gasp*) and hopefully some cell reception where he’s going… and how badly he wished he has the Incase Power Slider to magically double the battery life on the go!
So upon further inspection, the Power Slider deserved a full post ~ have you looked closely at it? like REALLY closely? To notice the mac inspired details like “A five-light LED battery status indicator gauges battery life and also denotes sync mode and charging.” Or the subtle single leaf logo on the front bottom left? How about the deepness of the camera hole on the back? And it has my favorite matte black soft-touch coating! Also love that its converted the charging to a more standard mini-USB, much more friendly when roaming in random non-iPhone friend cars without your own charger! I am curious how the 0.86” thickness feels in my hand relative to a normal iphone… So anyhow, check out the super closeups on the next page, i think this is definitely making the list of good gifting options for the holidays…
The new VDC Mimobot series is too cute. So cute and incredibly detailed, it’s creating quite a dilemma for me… while i have a few in my purse, on my desk, etc ~ there’s usually been a standout one that love and need to have, this time there are a few! Argh! Hehe…
Ok anyhow, i’m a little delirious from massive gift guide planning, inhaling the smokey smell from fires all over socal (our wishes go out to everyone who is dealing with the fires first hand - be safe!), and shopping like crazy online right now… I’ve been meaning to post these, and only after getting far too distracted by them a few times, here we go! As the press release says, “Boston-based design studio Mimoco releases Vimobot Design Contest MIMOBOT Series, the company’s first community-designed collection of MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives, preloaded with all-new mimoZine Digital Magazine Issue 4.” And the new goodies are so tempting, i love the new wallpapers and icons! You have to check out the close up images of the new designs on the next page ~ details like the mushrooms, hidden spiders and skulls in the tiki, squid in the tattoos, cherry blossoms down the backs, so much to see in these little guys! I’m currently tortured picking between the Mimoshroom by Bananafromcanada, Golden Panda by Shandurrah, and Yakuza by Eetteekers… check out the MANY pics on the next page!
From those pics my first thought would be some new modern ambient lighting… not the latest line of external hard drives. Always being on the go, and totally paranoid about losing photos/design files, i never travel without external hard drives… and i have some bigger boring ones from back in the day, and some sleeker new ones, but often the pretty ones worked terribly, the ugly simple ones were more reliable… and i’m so excited to see that brands like Seagate have really stepped up their design, realizing that its not even about accessorizing, so much as having more elegant solutions in the ext HD space. Especially with the prices dropping so much these days, aren’t external HDs like the new mix CD? Why bother with burning DVDs or filling tiny USB keys, when you can give someone a gift worthy ext HD filled with a lifetime of pictures and videos?
Anyhow, i’m ranting again - as you can tell, i’m pretty excited about the new era of external HD design… and i’m even MORE giddy to announce that Seagate has stepped up and sponsored this years NOTCOT Gift Guide 2008 (remember 2007’s?)! Which will be officially kicking off Monday! (Yes, yes, that’s why things have been a little quiet ~ my amazing winter intern, Alyssa, has been organizing some incredible discounts and giveaways for all of you ~ and i’m still madly scouring the net for fun products!) So you’ve been warned, gift guide madness starts Monday! (And while i’m trying not to do 31 days straight this year, it may get even crazier than last year!)
But for now… in our quiet before the gifting storm… How gorgeous are these new Seagate FreeAgent drives? So take a look at the details and unboxing on the next page ~ i had a lot of fun with this one!
Just got back from the midnight showing of Quantum of Solace… and as a total bond junkie… i still stand by my opinion that the last one was one of the worst… and this one… well, it was off to a good start! Decent intro graphics ~ like the color palette and sandy look ~ awesome techy glass wall and table touch UIs (details like having him spell out “G R Double E N” over the phone, and as he says “double” a W shows up and changes to EE) ~ the aston martin DBS chase scene in the intro ~ tom ford did an incredible job dressing him… The prada dress she wears through the desert is awesome… but seriously, no gadgets? at all? Painfully annoying semi background integrated text telling us when we were in russia, etc? (wtf was up with some of those fonts?) Range Rover was one thing, but Ford? The fight scenes were so badly chopped up, you couldn’t follow what was going on… And could sony’s product placement have been more blatant? I think the sony phones and terrible microPC must have been his only “gadgets”… and the villains weren’t nearly amusingly villainous enough either! Ok ok, anyhow, i think i just needed to vent! BUT… seeing it was a nice excuse for me to post more of Justine’s pictures (she seriously sent me TONS from her National Geographic night out in London).
Here are some quick snap shots of the fun Harrod’s Brompton store windows as they closed up the Bollinger champagne bar… as well as the Aston Martin DBS, the Sunseeker speedboat, Tom Ford suit and black Prada dress worn by Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko and the latest Omega. Front and center of the bar you can also see the limited-edition Champagne cooler in the shape of a Walther PPK bullet that was featured on Liqurious. Perhaps better than the gadgetry in the film is the motion activated display at Harrods, where upon walking by you trigger clips from the film to play… Anyhow, check out more pics and info on the next page!
Today’s the last chance to send me your info if you’re interested in visiting the Aston Martin Gaydon Factory for NOTCOT!
And i just got another semi-exclusive (well, they said 5 sites get access?) video about the design and history behind this handmade, gorgeous Aston Martin One-77… see the video and more stills on the next page!
Now, back to the gift that Justine received at the National Geographic first ever retail store opening… Firstly, from a design perspective, i love that NatGeo takes their yellow so seriously, from the magazine, to the bags, to the wrapping paper… and i’m impressed that they pleated their wrapping paper! (See the pic on the next page!)…
As for what’s inside, it might be one of the coolest gifts you could give someone this holiday season! The Genographic Project Public Participation Kit!
Quick description of The Genographic Project: “The Genographic Project is a global research partnership of National Geographic and IBM. With support for field research from the Waitt Family Foundation, Dr. Spencer Wells and a group of the world’s leading scientists will attempt to collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous people all over the world. The goal of The Genographic Project is to learn about the migratory paths our ancestors took and how humankind populated the planet.”
In this very CSI looking kit, you get a DVD about the project, a map of the migratory history of man, buccal swab kit, and a confidential ID# to access your results! See more pics of the kit on the next page, and i guess we’ll see if Justine chooses to share her results with us!
Aston Martin has just launched its One-77 ~ only 77 in the production run… they are saying over 100 buyers had already signed up and put down a £200,000 deposit without even SEEING this £1.2m beauty… Everyone was teased with the appropriately referenced upskirt shots coming out of the Paris Auto Show, where they only revealed a portion of the car under a cover! Where are they ending up? Only six in the U.S. to be exact, with just five destined to stay in the UK out of the total production run of 77 (says autoblog). You must admit its mesmerizingly beautiful, the curves are absolutely stunning…
“One-77 fuses advanced technology with stunning Aston Martin design to create possibly the world’s most desirable automotive art form. Based on a sophisticated carbon fibre chassis with a handcrafted aluminium body, this 7.3 litre V12 super car will deliver exhilarating performance for a strictly limited number of discerning customers.” Take a look at more sneak peeks of this luscious new design on the next page, and check out the video of what it’s all about.
So here’s where it gets really interesting ~ especially for our UK readers (or anyone who can be in the UK first week of Dec) ~ Aston Martin invited me to come out and tour their factory and see the car itself ~ unfortunately the timing is terrible and far too last minute as much as i’m dying to get out there! So, i thought i’d invite a reader to help cover it for me! SO, WHO WANTS TO VISIT ASTON MARTIN’S GAYDON FACTORY? Think you’re a perfect fit? Know a car lover with mad photography skills? More details on the next page after the pics and videos of this beautiful work of art. (I could stare at these for ages, i’m already jealous of whoever gets to go!)
Ahhhh, i couldn’t resist. Our friends at Hard Graft (previously known as Working Class Heroes) have done it again, this time launching new products themed around my favorite design feature… the brown leather pockets! Above are my two favorites i’m curious to get my hands on… the Key Too (keeps your car key and your scratchier keys separated) and the and the Pocket Wallet (literally a pocket! with a space for your cards and your cash!)… additionally there is a new laptop sleeve (ready with sizes for all our new macbooks too!) and a mouse pad/pouch ~ to appreciate all the details, see the pics on the next page!
Android logo is so freaking cute! Ok that’s my first half awake impression coming back from the T-Mobile store with the HTC G1 ~ And physically, its a really nice piece of hardware, clean sleek and understated (unlike *some* phones) ~ full pics on the next page of everything from the store displays and my #42 card to a proper unboxing, showing you all the bits.
Being a commitment-phobe, i opted to start my own t-mobile family plan of one ~ family of blackberry curve and G1. Screen looks a bit prettier than the iphone, the bounce up screen action feels great, and i’m totally smitten by the way its nice matte finish feels in myhands… also that slight curvature… ahh the details. Ok so beyond the unboxing and close looks at the hardware, i’m only just starting to poke at all the UI details, maps/email/phone/camera/etc, so far it looks great, only a few random bugs encountered when playing with things like street view, but will see how it goes - so more to come on that, but i just wanted to get some pics up before i ran out to a meeting! For the super thorough UI breakdown, check out Boy Genus Report ~ and see my pics on the next page!
Hi. So. I don’t even know where to start right now, in a nutshell ~ who was i kidding (maybe pretty much myself) that i would be able to work during an the all day FM Conversational Marketing Summit that our Federated Media family is putting on? I think i’ve been running around since early this morning - all day through the summit, getting to know the advertising/marketing world, meeting the people behind the campaigns we love and admire, then drinks… then dinner… then… well finally home to linhchi’s at like 12:30? Only to supposedly be up and do it again tomorrow? And be on a panel at 2?
Well you know me. I’m about to pass out (and sorry this post is a bit ramblier than usual, SO tired) ~ but i had to find SOMETHING to post and share with you! It just feels too wrong to be running around chatting with people who love our sites, and not post to do so! So, for anyone at the summit, yes, that was me… in the grass outside the cocktail reception, in that perfect sunset lighting, sprawled across the grass in a little black dress shooting pictures of our new macbook pro and macbook that dan and i might have ducked out of an afternoon session to run over to the marina to pick up. And while i am embarrassed to say that i have not actually booted either machine yet, and may not get to do the inaugural booting/transferring/notcot loading until AFTER tomorrow (how wrong is that?)… i did take a bunch of pics of the packaging and details in the grass in the presidio before getting back to “work” ~ meeting some incredibly insightful agency creatives, marketers, sales people that i’ve probably swapped far too much email with. So, take a peek at the pics on the next page, and more to come after i try to survive tomorrow…
For those at the CM Summit, come say hi at the 2pm panel i’m on? I’m so nervous! And for those not here ~ one of my biggest goals here as a publisher, is to get to know some of the people behind the ads and campaigns, and ultimately see what it will take to turn advertising on NOTCOT into as much fun as the content (really, we all know there’s no excuse for ugly, useless creative) ~ and how we can convince advertisers to support what the readers want to see more of! (On one thing i can leak… sounds like a really exciting competition with Adobe for CS4 is in the works, so get those creative juices flowing! And it just shipped today! I totally spaced on getting a copy while i was at the apple store…) As readers, any and all ideas you have on what you’d love to see more of ~ please leave a comment and i’ll do what i can to make it happen.
Incase Nylon Messenger Bag may be THE perfect messenger bag, their designers have figured out every tiny detail! I’ve gone through so many messenger bags (from Chrome, Timbuk2, Ordning & Reda, Tumi, a leather old J.Crew, Jack Spade, and more…) ~ but i’m totally impressed with how sleek, lightweight, and detailed this new Incase Nylon Messenger Bag is. As a 5’4” girl, it actually holds my 15” mcp and a lot of other stuff without making me look like a turtle (which is the case with my huge chrome one!) ~ the shoulder strap is sooo nicely cushioned, and brilliant detail to have the padded handle on the bag double as a key ring (good spare key stash?) ~ lots of pockets of varying depths and openings all around ~ and the biggest mystery to me when i first read about this… “plush faux fur” ~ turns out its a velvety soft lush black material to keep your iphone and laptop from being scratched! Nice that the stabilizer strap is completely detachable as well, and its a nice touch to have the large velcro pocket on the front, and that the clips on the main flap are sewn flat (not sure why that matters, but just a detail i really liked - aesthetically sleeker?). Anyhow, enough rambling from me, i took a bunch of pictures of the details for you to get a feel for it yourself on the next page!