Windows Phone 7's minimalist interface is "a true design marvel," the first really fresh and successful approach to a mobile platform since the iPhone, says Andy Inahtko. What I like about it most myself is how plain it is, how unashamedly computerized. It's a well-implemented answer to the shiny, gradated skeuomorphic style used by Apple and others, where natural textures and objects are emulated pseudo-realistically in the interface design. As perceived resolution gets higher, my feeling is that Apple's UI style — and Apple is very good at UI — becomes harder to do without it looking cheesy. A kind of UI uncanny valley, if you will. Adam Greenfield recently had a few thoughts on that, too.
Start your weekend on a relaxing note with Atlas Obscura's mini-documentary about the CIA rectal tool kit. Found within are files, a knife, a ruler, a drill bit, screwdriver, and similar everyday carry classics. "The seals have to be very tight, to prevent anything from seeping into the kit and to avoid sharp edges," says… READ THE REST
John Yoo is the Bush administration lawyer who authored its legal excuses for torturing prisoners. At first, he made a show of disliking President Trump, but like most Republicans he soon came around. Yoo now has a book out on how wonderful Trump is. At Reason Magazine, Gene Healy takes it to pieces: it's not… READ THE REST
The long-lost manual for the Zuse Z4, the oldest surviving digital computer has been found. The Z4 was the last computer the Nazis invented. Ahead of the Soviet invasion of Berlin, the Wehrmacht evacuated the machine west to Göttingen. It's inventor Konrad Zuse—inventor of the world's first programmable computer, the Z3—completed work on the Z4… READ THE REST
If your summer found you sweltering somewhere, from your house to your garage to your RV to a tent in the forest, now's the time to start considering your plan for next year. Baking in some tiny unventilated space is no way to spend your time, even during a pandemic. Air conditioning units don't have… READ THE REST
You can never have enough power. While that sounds like a line from Niccolo Machiavelli, it's also the regular refrain from pretty much anyone with a mobile device. It seems like no matter how long you charge up before you leave the house, it doesn't take more than a few minutes of texting, map directions… READ THE REST
"Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." That century-old quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson (sort of) is just as true today. If you build a better product, offer a better service or create a better infrastructure for customers, then with a bit of time and attention, the world… READ THE REST