David already posted about the amazing TBD Catalog, which is filled with "design fiction" about the devices of the future; but I just read it and I need to rave about it.
What makes TBD so great is the incredibly layered and witty way that it comments on the hot technological questions of today by imagining a hype-ish, Skymall-esque catalog to sell them. Every bit of the book is brilliant -- not just the gadgets, but the ad copy (some of which feels like it was machine-generated or -translated), the spreads where all the art is glitched, or replaced with infringement notices stating the art isn't available in your region, to the delicious, delicious fine-print, each line of which is a cautionary tale about the problems, crises, opportunities and disruption that will attend a world where drones walk the dog and everyfuckingthing is crowdsourced.
TBD genuinely feels like an artifact from a semi-dystopian, utterly plausible, terribly absurd future. It's Terry Gilliam's Brazil by way of the home shopping network, with a dash of Ghosts With Shit Jobs thrown in for good measure. It's one of the best science fiction books of the year, and it doesn't have a plot, or characters.
This isn't just a brilliant antidote to banal futurists' forecasts -- it's also the most magnificent toilet-side reader since Randall Munroe's What If. It's $23, and worth every penny.
Studio North was commissioned to refit an old elevator shaft in a converted warehouse loft in Calgary; they built a tall, narrow library with climbable shelves whose hand- and foot-holds retract into the shelving.
Libretaxi is an open source project that lets anyone become a rideshare driver in less than a minute; it has more than 20,000 users worldwide, and is maintained by Roman Pushkin, who started the project in December 2016 and is now planning to quit his job and work on it full time.
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)
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 […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]