John Gruber points out three skinny laptops announced today still come with thick, chunky VGA ports: vestigial curiosities, given that you can hardly buy projectors and monitors these days without getting adapters thrown in free. Industrial designers seem shackled to spec-sheets, to boilerplate corporate RFPs which will mandate them for all time.
My favorite example of this phenomenon is Sony's Vaio X. While this is a company that randomly generates a new laptop design every three months and pays no attention to what succeeds and fails, the Vaio X was a good one. At the time, it was the only decent Windows alternative to the MacBook Air. Yet it had this freaky metal protuberance poking out the side: a VGA port.
Close inspection revealed that the Vaio X was barely a hair's width thicker than the port. They even, as I recall, carefully molded the chassis' underside so that it went around the VGA port casing rather than over it -- only on the more visible top side did they add a layer of plastic for appearances' sake.
Photo: Notebook Check
I know that VGA ports are important to many people, but do you see what happened there? Sony set out to make the thinnest laptop in the world, then designed the entire thing around the thickness of the VGA port.
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]