*notcot - 04.09.08 , 20:55 - 9 Notes

Anthro eNook vs IKEA PS

enookikea.jpgBack in October of 2005, I wrote about Anthro’s new eNook, a thin, wall mounted laptop/charging hideaway… it was a brilliant idea, but with a $399 price tag, it was a bit steep to prioritize over buying a proper desk or chair… Well today i noticed that three years later Ikea has jumped on the design (oh ikea, *shakes head*), and in standard Ikea fashion, they moved the decimal point to $39. Far more tempting isn’t it? And while i don’t condone copying… at that price it is tempting to organize tech charging into a hidden box on the wall… See further comparison imagery below!

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*notcot - 04.07.08 , 17:17 - 1 Notes

Portal: Bondage + Assisted Suicide?

glados.jpgARGH, does anyone else still get the Portal song stuck in their head? If not, feel free to see the video after the jump and see if it buries itself in there for you too. Game play, addictive music, the awesomeness of portals to pop in and out of… put that all aside. Kotaku pointed out this insightful analysis (and imagery!) over at Game-ism… where he (with the enlightening assistance of his wife) visually analyzes GlaDOS in Portal, and as even you can see in the images, she’s pretty much tied up and hanging upside down taunting you endless throughout the game… until you “free” her… and he ventures into theories that you are being trained to accomplish her assisted suicide?

The second time I played through I turned the director commentary on, and got confirmation by way of a description of the things they attempted to make GlaDOS look like as they were making the game. What turned the light bulb on was the line “Botticelli’s Venus hanging upside down, but we decided to go with something else and use some feminine lines within the structure.” I’m paraphrasing; it’s late and I don’t feel like booting up the game again to get the quote exactly right. The spirit is there in the paraphrase, though, because I think they went for something much more sinister than a Venus.

In a follow up post, he even completely dissects the SONG lyrics! Using this to further back up the assisted suicide concept. I feel silly, but beyond gameplay, its fascinating to see the artists rendering of how he views her, as well as reading all of this analysis of what is so easy to just play and ignore.

Portal ending credits and closing song by Jonathan Coulton embedded after the jump for your viewing pleasure.

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*notcot - 03.28.08 , 11:30 - 6 Notes

Blackberry 9000… PSP+iPhone?

blackberry9000.jpgOver at Engadget Mobile, they’ve gotten their hands on one of the future Blackberries… the elusive 9000! Which looks like a blackberry that got with an iphone and a PSP… this chimera has the body of the iPhone, the glossy ui of the PSP, and the brain of a Blackberry… with a very impressive result that makes me slightly sad when i look at my new curve now.

Basically the exterior design seems very iphone like with its sleek black face and chromed out edge… and the simple white on black icons (down to the style) and the way they glow is much like those sexy infographics seen on the PSP and PS3… does that wavy wallpaper seem very sony/apple as well? See some of the images of the slick UI after the jump, as well as a video… i can’t wait. i’m drooling already.

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*notcot - 03.10.08 , 16:29 - 4 Notes

Amazon Kindle Unboxing!

kindlemain.jpgBlame the Kindle for the extra quiet Monday as far as posts go. This unexpected new toy showed up on the doorstep this morning, and i’ve been a bit distracted since. In all honesty, as far as first impressions go… i LOVE the packaging and use of playful typography and book like packaging… as well as using the same patterns on the non-slip rubbery back of the kindle itself. As for using the actual Kindle to read books/newspapers/blogs/wikipedia… i was skeptical, never figured it was for me. But, i’m kind of hooked. Unlike the Zune experience, this worked like a breeze out of the box. Finds its connection, lets me scroll around, even give me a little intro/walkthrough as one of the first files to check out… and the readability of the screen is SO nice on the eyes… (i’m *this* close to getting a new macbook pro and ditching this current one to go back to a matte screen before they get rid of them all)… flipping pages is a such a nice gesture, and i’m in love with the mirrored little scroller squares. I know i’m a bit late to the game on this one, but check out the pics after the jump to see how nicely done the packaging is!

So far, i have impulse bought the new Sophie Kinsella book Remember Me (embarrassing as it is, i’ll admit it, i read a few of those Shopaholic books on the beach while on post-uni euro trips) to try out, and have been surprised how quickly i’ve been flying through the pages between working on the laptop today and taking calls on the pearl (this may be terrible for multitasking!)… i am also trying out the WSJ and NYTimes subscriptions, but so far it feels a bit too RSS like for my tastes, and i think newspapers are still most fun in print for me, but this is definitely nice to slip in the purse. And of course… i’ve browsed the NOTCOTs on the web browser, and while we’re not the best optimized for advanced kindle rendering… in default mode its not half bad! Also tried browsing gmail a little…. anyhow, check out the unboxing pics below, probably more to come on this new toy later…

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*notcot - 03.04.08 , 12:38 - 26 Notes

Incase MacBook Pro Hardshell

hardshell.jpgIncase sent over a MacBook Pro Hardshell case in Plum a few weeks ago (i spaced, and the pics of this review got momentarily lost in the pending MT posts, apologies!) ~ if you recall, it was in that gorgeous press kit! So below you can check out pics of it in person (and how nicely my NOTCOT sticker subtly shows through!) as well as images and info from the catalog of this *coming soon* case. Currently only the Incase Hardshell cases for Macbooks are available on their site. Additionally there is a video walkthrough from Incase on how to properly put one on! See all the details below.

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*notcot - 03.01.08 , 16:58 - 6 Notes

Grand Theft Auto IV Special Edition

GTAstuff.jpgGrand Theft Auto IV Special Edition comes with lots of fun schwag - Special Edition is presented in a customized Grand Theft Auto metal safety deposit box and contains Grand Theft Auto IV in special packaging, The Grand Theft Auto IV Art Book with never-before-seen production artwork, Selected Soundtrack CD with exclusive material to this release, Rockstar Keychain for the safety deposit box keys, and a Limited Edition Rockstar Duffel Bag And Amazon pre-orders also get a free Liberty City GTA License Plate as well. Retailing at $89 and releasing on April 29, 2008 for the PS3 (and the 360). I impulse bought my PS2 specifically for GTA back in college… and now i’m extremely tempted to impulse buy another PS3 (the first one i bought i left for my ex)… although perhaps its worth holding out for the super slim PS3 to come? Trailer videos below!

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*notcot - 02.25.08 , 09:28 - 25 Notes

Adobe Light-Field Camera

adobecam.jpg I think i nearly drooled on my keyboard reading about this Adobe Light-Field Camera. I am by no means a traditional (or even a good) photographer. I know i’d be no where without Photoshop, playful compositions, and a fancy camera. As a product of my technology, i am sitting here dreaming about what could be done if each image could contain 19 different depths of field… a magical adobe “focus brush” that would paint using the seemlessly morphing interstitial images the software already created from all the image data. Watch the video after the jump.

Seriously this fly-eye lens capturing multiple perspectives and instantly being able to process all the various pieces of data completely changes the possibilities of not only photo-editing, but HOW we perceive photography and imagery… ok, i’m giddy for the day. See more images and the video below!

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*notcot - 02.18.08 , 18:24 - 2 Notes

iHole of Scot Hampton

ihole.jpgiHole… yes, someone has gone and done it - made use of that gorgeous iPhone box and turned it into a camera! Scot Hampton announced “the world’s first iHoleâ„¢; the revolutionary analog photographic device constructed from the recycled packaging of digital technology.” (i wonder if he really trademarked that?) on his blog Feb 13th… see more of the fun pics after the jump. He suddenly has me overflowing with silly homemade cameras from recycled packaging ideas… like a collection of portraits of products as taken by their packaging?

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*notcot - 02.15.08 , 15:28 - 2 Notes

Incase Press Kit

incasepk0.jpgIncase: A better experience through good design. The UPS and FedEx guys always seem to make my day. Today it was the delivery of the Incase press kit that has my love of packaging design gushing. With a tagline like “a better experience through good design”, you would think it would be hard to live up to… but apparently not, from the time i sliced the tape open on the box they continued to surprise me with impressively high quality new products for 2008, incredible attention to detail in the catalog/boxes/design, extremely efficient use of space, and ultimately the whole press kit experience was like a designer’s babuska doll of surprises. So come unbox it with me in the photos after the jump! And more to come on the incredible macbook pro hardshell case soon…

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*notcot - 02.07.08 , 11:57 - 0 Notes

Oscar Motorola ROKR E8

motopage.jpgOoooh fun packaging for the personalized Motorola ROKR E8’s going to Oscar nominees. “Each nominee received their ROKR E8 in a personalized, custom-made box. Keeping up with the latest red carpet trends, the ROKR E8 arrived encased in a keepsake box wrapped in an iridescent faux iguana print with a contrasting, yet complimentary, textured inside. Female nominees received a fashionable fuchsia colored box (with a rose pink interior), while the male nominees received a handsome cobalt colored blue (with a dusty blue interior) box. Each box was personalized with the nominee’s name and category.” Not so sure about the “faux iguana” thing… (but i’m biased i do miss my childhood iguana that grew from about 6” to 6’) Check out more on the press release! And congrats to Ellen Page and Johnny Depp! via Laura Sweet

*notcot - 01.31.08 , 23:18 - 8 Notes

Working Class Heroes Unfold

unfold1.jpgSneak peeks from the latest from the Working Class Heroes which will be available Feb 4th… introducing the Unfold laptop bag. This new “premium cognac leather”/”washed slate cotton canvas” combo will be perfectly filled with a 17” macbook pro, but when using a smaller laptop (macbook air?), it takes a cue from the trendy Foley and Corinna style city totes you can easily have it folded in half to more of a messenger bag proportion. With “comfy handles and a reinforced shoulder strap, the bag is also padded with a protective layer to keep whatever you carry safe”. Its interior is a soft cotton lining with small leather logo. See more images of the Unfold after the jump!

Seem familiar? Working Class Heroes has been previously seen on NOTCOT and the gift guide due to my obsession with their brilliantly designed grey wool felt and leather laptop sleeves i have two of.

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*notcot - 01.30.08 , 17:25 - 11 Notes

Not Your Usual Zune Review

zune1.jpgSecret: after CES, i kind of wanted to love the Zune. Well i got curious enough to want to play with one at least… they’ve been doing great things with the arts community (i really do love those crazy Zune Arts animations - and their artist collaborations for Zune designs are fun), they’ve been supporters of NOTCOT with advertising, and the packaging/design details/UI were intriguing… i really do like the font they use on their main interface, and the way it glows as you scroll around! But sadly, much like the ratings option they give you… i’m going to have to rate the experience so far with a ‘broken-heart’… i’m not even sure what that means? Is it that i no longer love the song? Basically i’m completely behind on posts today b/c i had to delve into the painful world of windows - which for this Zune i actually tried to give a second chance. I blew through one dell xp laptop, and had to move on to a tiny sony vista machine before i was able to even get it to let me play a song. Anyhow, more on all of that below… but while i spent ages installing, etc, i fell in love with the design details and packaging… particularly the Zune Premium Headphones. See many pics of the packaging and headphone details ~ as well as the CES Zune section with all the artists pieces up after the jump!!!

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*notcot - 01.28.08 , 14:31 - 2 Notes

Gameboy Bricks

gameboybricks.jpgThe gameboy has always been quite the brick in retrospect, but will always be my first console (my parents didn’t let me have video games, but i had won the gameboy, so they HAD to let me have it!). I would love to have a pathway to some crazy secret gameroom in the woods made out of these in my future backyard. Can you imagine making bricks of PS2s, XBOXs, Wiis, PS3s, PSPs, etc etc etc all creating different paths to different places? So many possibilities ~ and although i feel like i’ve been reading about these Gameboy bricks for a while, i somehow only recently discovered the full set of images in the Souvenier section of Gieskes, where you can also purchase bricks for about 30 euro each. I love seeing the process ~ check out more images after the jump!

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*notcot - 01.25.08 , 21:52 - 6 Notes

Nokia 7900 Crystal Prism

nokiaprism.jpgOn new collaborations, Nokia brought Parisian artist/designer Frédérique Daubal on to design the 7900 Crystal Prism. The result is a playful combination of her multifaceted collages, the return of the 80’s geometric motifs, Nokia’s latest in technology (this 3G phone boasts a 2mgp camera - with video, 1GB internal memory, push email, music player), a “dazzling sapphire crystal centerpiece”, matching headset, and variable color options for the keypad. I’m excited to get hands on with this one to play with the 49 different colors you can change the keypad to and the laser etched multifaceted aluminum backing. And if Frédérique Daubal sounds familiar to you, you have probably seen her work everywhere from Colette to Paul Smith ~ and my personal favorite are her Super Family buttons (see image after the jump) which were on NOTCOT.org… and exploring her portfolio, i just discovered her awesome buttons for Bumble & Bumble too! So check these out after the jump as well as some closeups of this fun new phone!

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*notcot - 01.22.08 , 19:41 - 0 Notes

iPod Box Speaker

ipodrecycle.jpgTurn that gorgeous iPod Nano or Shuffle plastic box that you probably kept (if you’re into nice packaging) ~ but had little to use it for ~ into a speaker! With Japanese Bird-Electron’s nearly DIY speaker system that recycles your ipod packaging into your portable speaker system.. For americans check out Audiocubes that has it in stock for $40. The Japanese site, All About, has (what i think is) a review of the speaker over in their men’s style section. Lots of pictures, including one of it installed in a water bottle after the jump! So if you don’t have an ipod box, there are lots of other options to get creative with! via Acquire.

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