Tag: Design News

New Balance x Jaden Smith Hop Into ‘Trippy Summer’ With Sunny Nature-Themed Gear

Image via New Balance

Jaden Smith is no stranger to New Balance. Ever since their partnership started in 2020, Smith’s Vision Racers have been reworked and recolored in striking new shades. This fun new summer collection is no exception.

The Trippy Summer Pack, named after Smith’s upcoming song Trippy Summer, features two new iterations. The shoes are mainly white, but feature boldly colored elements on the sole in one and the body in the other. While the vibrant hues draw inspiration from the beauty of flowers and landscape, the ombre shades lean more towards encapsulating sunrise and sunset.

It looks to be in line with the visuals for his new music, too: centered around nature, celebrating its colors. Every single shade on the color spectrum seems to find its own place; none left behind.

“The collection seamlessly blends Jaden’s worlds of fashion and music, and moreover, is an expression of Jaden’s belief in the superpower of today’s youth to change the world through positivity and individuality,” writes the press release. The vibrant shades and lighthearted nature of the designs are reminiscent of the kidcore trend, a celebration of childhood optimism and overall feel-good wholesomeness.

Alongside the shoes, priced at US$150 a pair, the release will also include a matching hoodie and T-shirt for US$90 and US$45 respectively. The Trippy Summer Pack is available from July 30, perfect timing to meet the season’s peak. Take a look at the shoes below:

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A post shared by Jaden Smith (@c.syresmith)

Image via New Balance

Image via New Balance

[via Nylon, images via New Balance] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414887/New-Balance-x-Jaden-Smith-Hop-Into-Trippy-Summer-With-Sunny-Nature-Themed-Gear/

Alibaba Is Selling Designer Items Seized From Criminals For Discounted Prices

Image via Dongli Zhang / Dreamstime.com

These coveted products have seen a life of crime, and it’s not because they’re counterfeits. Sold in a category of their own on Chinese e-commerce marketplace Alibaba, they’re real luxury items confiscated from people convicted for breaking the law.

Since its opening in 2012, the Alibaba sub-platform Sifa Paimai (Judicial Auction) has hosted thousands of listings for Hermès bags, Gucci accessories, Rolex and Cartier watches, and even the Rolls Royce Ghost, at prices significantly knocked off from how much they were originally retailing for. According to Luxurylaunches, there are more than 1,200 Hermès products being auctioned off here, most especially Birkin and Kelly accessories. The majority of the items are authenticated, though the site claims no responsibility for the sale of fakes.

WWD notes that one white crocodile leather Himalayn Birkin sold for about US$63,720; meanwhile, the same model was purchased at Sotheby’s for about US$139,944. There was also a gray crocodile leather Constance long wallet, which would have been US$15,200 if you bought it directly from Hermès, that went to a new owner for US$6,171.

If you don’t mind the baggage these products carry, Sifa Paimai can be found here.

Screenshot via Taobao

[via Luxurylaunches, InsideHook, WWD, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414890/Alibaba-Is-Selling-Designer-Items-Seized-From-Criminals-For-Discounted-Prices/

NSFW Lamp Doesn’t Need Teasing To Be Turned On—Just Tug Its ‘Foreskin’ Down

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Monsby

Most lighting needs a button flicked to be turned on, but for this cheeky-looking lamp, its g(low) spot is clear and bright. It’s got a flexible outer skin just begging to be yanked, only to reveal a tip too beguiling to look away from.

Designed by London-based artist Monsby, the lamp mimicking an uncircumcised penis stands at nearly 10 inches in length and six inches in girth. To “turn it on,” simply hold its fabric cover down a firm grip and move it down the shaft.

The designer says the lamp took on several names during its downtime, including “Phallamp” and “Lampenis.” However, he eventually settled for the more subtle and graceful “Love in Light.” He had dreamed of the project “for more than five years,” and it took a year for it to finish.

“It is about love, light and life,” the artist described. “The most meaningful and optimistic lamp ever.” In other words, it’s here for your pleasure.

For those needing a biology lesson, the lamp is crafted from fabric, as well as hard wood, aluminum and biodegradable plastics.

And while it’s likely to attract a harem of interested buyers, only 50 of the Love in Light lamps are available, though their £3,500 (US$4,807) might leave some unsatisfied. If you’re okay with something with less experience, there’s also a prototype up for grabs.

Monsby has also created an NFT version of the lamp for hardcore crypto collectors, priced at 5.00 ETH (US$10,256). It’s an endlessly looping GIF of the skin being shifted down, if that’s your kind of thing.

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A post shared by Monsby (@monsbyofficial)

[via Hyperallergic, images via Monsby] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414888/NSFW-Lamp-Doesn-t-Need-Teasing-To-Be-Turned-On-Just-Tug-Its-Foreskin-Down/

Italy Bans Large Cruise Ships From Venice In Bid To Keep World Heritage Status

Image via Ubafoto | Dreamstime.com

As you would have heard, Venice is sinking, not only because of rising water levels caused by climate change but also because it is built on soft ground.

Likely accelerating the rise of sea levels is the presence of cruise ships on Venetian waters. And while protests and petitions have been launched over the years to add pressure on the Italian government about allowing big ships, matters were swept under waters due to the money these tourism vessels have been bringing. UNESCO had also threatened to strip Venice of its World Heritage status and forewarned that the city could be placed on its endangered list.

However, according to ArchDaily, the Italian government is finally yielding to these calls, and is officially and permanently banning big cruise ships in the Venetian lagoon to protect the city’s waterways, canals, and public squares.

Taking effect from August 1, 2021, the ban dictates that ships larger than 180 meters (590 feet) in length or heavier than 25,000 tons would no longer be able to enter the lagoon.

A large part of the strain could have hailed from a massive petition started by the UNESCO-backed Association of the International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice and signed by over 50 leaders in art, architecture, film, and fashion asking Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and minister of culture and tourism Dario Franceschini to have large cruise ships removed from Venice, ArchDaily reports.

The group argued that the ships were not only an “aesthetic intrusion,” but they were also cause for a “probable risk of catastrophe” to the weakening Venetian lagoon.

[via ArchDaily, cover image via Ubafoto | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414886/Italy-Bans-Large-Cruise-Ships-From-Venice-In-Bid-To-Keep-World-Heritage-Status/

This Vigilante App Has Apparently Caused More Problems Than Helped Solve Crime

Image via Citizen

You may have heard of an app named Citizen. With more than seven million users in over 30 cities across the US, the top-ranked news app of 2020 hopes to make communities safer.

To give you a better idea of how the app works, it was previously named ‘Vigilante’ before being rebranded to Citizen. Not just that, it’s been kicked off Apple’s App Store too.

The app, created by Soon Inc, says it is “a personal safety network that empowers you to protect yourself and the people and places you care about.”

According to a report by Granate Kim for Fast Company, the platform currently offers COVID-19 contact tracing, real-time 911 alerts, instant access to crisis responders, and “safety tracking” for loved ones.

Mass surveillance has understandably been a hotly debated topic over the years, though Citizen believes “transparency is the single most powerful tool against crime and injustice.”

However, the truth isn’t as pretty. Citizen has a track record of lending itself to racial profiling, harassment, and increased surveillance.

In May this year, a Citizen livestream with over a million viewers started a manhunt in California, after founder Andrew Frame offered a US$30,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of a suspected arsonist. Instead of nabbing the actual criminal, Citizen misidentified a homeless man. A Los Angeles police spokesperson even called the app “disastrous.”

“The [Citizen] app gives people the power to say who is and who isn’t suspicious, and who belongs in their community. These apps are a digital superhighway for racial profiling,” Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst a nonprofit privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation, told CBS.

Just last month, journalist David D tweeted about a false reported submitted via Citizen alerting to “30 men armed with guns” in his neighborhood, which turned out to be nothing of the sort. It was just a small gathering of family and friends.

Even more alarming, Citizen has recently tested an on-demand private police force that could be summoned with a push of a button. Thankfully, the app abandoned the new feature after just a month-long trial. Chances are, if the feature went live, neighborhoods would see hordes of policemen attend to “emergencies” that didn’t exist.

With the conversation surrounding police brutality and racial profiling, mass surveillance apps like Citizen could be doing more harm than good. Who is to say who should fit into their neighborhood, or which person comes across as suspicious?

While it’s definitely great to keep an eye out for possible crime, being the community snitch may not be the best course of action.

Last night @CitizenAppSFO allowed a blatant false report about 30 men armed with guns guns fighting over at Lake Merrit..Because there was an unfortunate shooting at the Lake last week, many freaked out when they this alert … cc @CatsCommentary pic.twitter.com/DGEFbNdas4

— Davey D (@mrdaveyd) June 28, 2021

[via Fast Company, cover image via Citizen] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414885/This-Vigilante-App-Has-Apparently-Caused-More-Problems-Than-Helped-Solve-Crime/

Canadian Condo To Open With A Co-Working Space, TikTok Recording Studio

Image via DesignAgency

A new multipurpose real estate project is hoping to establish itself in Toronto, Canada, targeting younger inhabitants through a wide selection of amenities encased in sleek, modern design.

The Verge development was designed by architects at Turner Fleischer, and interiors were done by DesignAgency, while developer RioCan Living helms the project. It’s located at the intersection of Islington Avenue and The Queensway, a well-connected and highly convenient area, and hopes to “revolutionize condominium living in Etobicoke.”

The development consists of two mixed-use buildings, 17- and 11-stories respectively, and will have some 545 residential units across both. Apart from this, it boasts more than 30,000sqft of retail space, with a new public park and service road to come alongside it.

But arguably the most interesting thing about this development is the prominence of its amenities. The list is summed up neatly by DesignAgency: “fitness center, yoga/meditation studio, pet spa, party room, cocktail lounge and an expansive outdoor terrace with barbecues, chess and shuffleboard games and an outdoor lounge offering south-facing views.”

As for work-related spaces, there is a co-working space, an audio-recording studio for podcasts and similar material, and a video-recording studio geared towards creating content for TikTok and other social media.

Since work-from-home culture has become more engrained into our daily lives, spaces like these provide a respite if the home environment gets too stagnant. In addition, the recording studios offer their users equipment, background, and tools that might not be otherwise easily accessible.

Verge should be ready for occupancy in Q1 2025, should everything proceed smoothly, RENX reports. Who knows what other TikTok-esque video-based social media we’ll have migrated to as a society then?

Image via DesignAgency

Image via DesignAgency

Image via DesignAgency

[via blogTO, images via DesignAgency] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414883/Canadian-Condo-To-Open-With-A-Co-Working-Space-TikTok-Recording-Studio/

Google Search Is Now Explaining Why You Were Shown Specific Results

Image via ReaLiia / Shutterstock.com

If the sort of results that show up in your Google search queries puzzles you, you can actually find out more by clicking on the three dots beside each link. The ‘About This Result’ feature was rolled out as early as February, and now, Google is offering more context by revealing why certain results are being displayed.

Previously, users expanding upon a result before clicking into the webpage would be able to discover a summary of the site, when it entered Google’s index, and if it’s encrypted, Fast Company shares. In an announcement published on Thursday, Google says it is adding a new section to the panel, called ‘Your Search & This Result’, to explain its side of the story: how its algorithm picks these results for you.

Naturally, content is displayed based on whether a page’s keywords match your search, but Google also looks around for related terms you might not have included in your query. For instance, if you look up “how to cook fish in the oven,” the search engine will additionally cull the web for pages with relevant terms, like “bake” and “recipe.”

Google says it also considers recommending pages linked up by other pages if they contain matching keywords. “It can also be a helpful indicator of whether online content creators tend to regard the page as useful for that topic,” explains Google product manager Elizabeth Tucker.

Finally, Google also takes note of how relevant a page might be locally, such as if the content uses your native language or is specific to your country and location. It finds that this would be helpful for users who need to find out location-varied details like “where can I get vaccinated?

While ‘About this Result’ won’t affect search results moving forward, Google emphasizes the importance of providing transparency so users can find out ways to generate more accurate results. Tucker detailed in a press briefing, “The goal here really is to help people understand results and find results that are helpful for them.”

Google has already begun rolling out the section, but it should be widely phased in by next week.

Image via Google

Image via Google

Image via Google

[via Fast Company, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414884/Google-Search-Is-Now-Explaining-Why-You-Were-Shown-Specific-Results/

Formula 1 Presents Iridescent 2022 Livery That ‘Animates’ Cars During Races

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Switching its course, Formula 1 has unveiled what it deems to be the most futuristic racing car of all time. Its livery for 2022 seems to have a life of its own, with an iridescent finish that flashes wildly during races.

The car’s animated reaction to light showcases “the different intensities of racing” while reflecting “the elegance and speed of the sport,” advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy London told DesignTAXI.

Beneath the psychedelic sheen is a recreation of F1’s checkered flag, capturing “both the champagne-spraying elegance and the breakneck speed of the sport,” described Wieden+Kennedy London’s senior designer Jonny Isaacson and lead designer Alexandra Thursby-Pelham in the press release. While the color-changing livery portrays a high-speed race into the future, it also represents F1’s journey through the ages.

The car’s body itself takes on a new form, most notably with a reshaped, more “neutral” front wing that’s less aerodynamically sensitive when drivers get near one another. 2022’s car also sports 18-inch wheels, as opposed to 2021’s 13-inch ones, for a more aggressive and prominent feel.

The hype film, produced by Wieden+Kennedy London and Paris design agency Golgotha, takes audiences on a chaotic sensory trip in line with the visceral, revolutionary design system.

Image via Formula 1

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

[via Wieden+Kennedy London for Formula 1] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414882/Formula-1-Presents-Iridescent-2022-Livery-That-Animates-Cars-During-Races/

Tumblr Bloggers Can Soon Charge For Access To Premium Content

Image via M-SUR / Shutterstock.com

Tumblr, like many other platforms, is introducing a new way for users to monetize their social media offerings. Bloggers on the site will be soon able to choose when to activate paid subscriptions and paywalls on their content.

As of now, the Post+ feature has only been opened to several invited US-based creators. Once it rolls out to entire site, bloggers will simply have to check a box to limit a post’s visibility. Post+ memberships will cost US$4, US$6, or US$10 per month.

“Post+ is a first step towards building a Tumblr for Gen Z, and what better way to support them than by getting them paid,” a Tumblr spokesperson told Engadget.

This new subscription feature is slated to be released more broadly in the fall. Tumblr has said it will be keeping a 5% cut of the payment, with the rest of the money going directly to the bloggers. However, creators may incur an additional 30% cut should they sign up on iOS or Android, as there is an existing surcharge for in-app payments.

“Not reserved only for professionals, or those with 10K followers or higher, Tumblr’s Post+ will push the boundaries of what’s considered money-making content on the internet,” the platform said.

[via Engadget, cover image via M-SUR / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414881/Tumblr-Bloggers-Can-Soon-Charge-For-Access-To-Premium-Content/

EA Play 2021 Seems To Have Left Out Its Most Important Announcement… Has It?

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via EA Play

The highly anticipated EA Play 2021 event took place on July 22 this year, giving fans a rundown of what they can expect moving forward.

Titles including but not limited to Grid Legends, Apex Legends: Emergence, and Lost in Random were given the spotlight at the 40-minute showcase, and a rework of sci-fi-horror classic Dead Space was teased at the end.

While all the titles have obvious work put into them and do ignite excitement in their own right, fans were left with a want for more by the time the stream was wrapped up. This is due to a cryptic, perhaps misleading paragraph in EA’s announcement prior to the day.

“Look, we’re not allowed to tell you much about this one yet, sorry. But we can say this Spotlight will highlight an extremely cool new addition to an extremely popular and long-running EA SPORTS franchise. We may have said too much already. Just keep your calendar free, OK?”

Fans of EA Sports have been long awaiting the return of some old favorites. The statement was interpreted to mean that an old title would be making a return, possibly having been remastered for a revival of the franchise. Especially prominent was Fight Night, a series focusing on boxing which was discontinued after 2011.

Speculations arose aplenty, but were met with relative, and understood, disappointment by many after it was revealed that the “extremely cool new addition” was the incorporation of the scouting feature in Madden 22, set to launch in August.

That’s not to say that the well-loved titles will never get a reboot, though. Announcements and game releases aren’t limited to a singular event, after all, and EA might decide to work some magic in the following months to come. Nothing’s promised.

In celebration of #EAPlayLive, EA Play members can take their skills to the Ultimate Draft in #FIFA21.

All you have to do is enter FIFA Ultimate Team from July 22-30 & an Ultimate Draft Token will be added to your club! No questions asked: Entry is on us. Let's #GetMoreGame. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/dpPU1SkYfC

— EA Play (@EAPlay) July 22, 2021

[via Forbes, image via EA Play] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414880/EA-Play-2021-Seems-To-Have-Left-Out-Its-Most-Important-Announcement-Has-It/

Formula 1 Presents Iridescent 2022 Livery That Has Cars ‘Animated’ During Races

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Switching its course, Formula 1 has unveiled what it deems to be the most futuristic racing car of all time. Its livery for 2022 seems to have a life of its own, with an iridescent finish that flashes wildly during races.

The car’s animated reaction to light showcases “the different intensities of racing” while reflecting “the elegance and speed of the sport,” advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy London told DesignTAXI.

Beneath the psychedelic sheen is a recreation of F1’s checkered flag, capturing “both the champagne-spraying elegance and the breakneck speed of the sport,” described Wieden+Kennedy London’s senior designer Jonny Isaacson and lead designer Alexandra Thursby-Pelham in the press release. While the color-changing livery portrays a high-speed race into the future, it also represents F1’s journey through the ages.

The car’s body itself takes on a new form, most notably with a reshaped, more “neutral” front wing that’s less aerodynamically sensitive when drivers get near one another. 2022’s car also sports 18-inch wheels, as opposed to 2021’s 13-inch ones, for a more aggressive and prominent feel.

The hype film, produced by Wieden+Kennedy London and Paris design agency Golgotha, takes audiences on a chaotic sensory trip in line with the visceral, revolutionary design system.

Image via Formula 1

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

Image courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy London

[via Wieden+Kennedy London for Formula 1] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414882/Formula-1-Presents-Iridescent-2022-Livery-That-Has-Cars-Animated-During-Races/

Ancient Military Vessel From The First Century Uncovered In Sunken Egyptian City

Image via Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

An Egyptian-French mission led by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) uncovered the remains of a wrecked warship. It’s located in the sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion, once Egypt’s largest Mediterranean port, and dates back to use in the first century BC before being crushed in rubble in the second century BC.

Dr Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Higher Archaeology Council, explained the ship’s wreckage in Monday’s press release: “The ship was set to dock in the canal which was flowing along the tribal face of Amon Temple, but drowned as a result of the collapse of the temple and huge blocks falling on it during the second century BC.”

In the statement, founding president of IEASM Franck Goddio also acknowledged the rarity of finding intact remains of an ancient fast ship. There is only one other comparable instance of a warship from the era being salvaged in a similar manner: the Marsala Ship, discovered in Western Sicily in 1971.

The flat-bottomed ship spanned 25 meters (82 feet) and had characteristics of Ancient Egyptian construction, Reuters reports. Other than the ship, the new excavation also resulted in the finding of a large Greek cemetery, which is dated to the early fourth century BCE, indicating the presence of Greek merchants in the city.

Image via Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The Egyptian-French archaeological mission of the European Institute of Underwater Archeology (IEASM), working in Alexandria, discovered the wreck of a warship from the Ptolemaic period, and the remains of a Greek funerary area dating back to the beginning of the fourth centuryBC pic.twitter.com/hdT7WJToZL

— Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (@TourismandAntiq) July 19, 2021

[via Smithsonian Magazine, image via Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414879/Ancient-Military-Vessel-From-The-First-Century-Uncovered-In-Sunken-Egyptian-City/

Dubai Induces Its Own Downpours With Drones, As It Has Had Enough Of Heat

Image via Wirestock | Dreamstime

This summer has brought brutal heatwaves to multiple corners of the world, affecting the US, India, even Siberia. Dubai, UAE, has also suffered its share of unrelenting warmth, with temperatures reaching up to 122ºF.

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, it seems, as the UAE’s National Center of Meteorology (NCM) decided to take matters into its own hands and create rain where rain wouldn’t fall. In 2017, the UAE invested all of US$15 million into nine rain-inducing projects.

The average precipitation in the country is only 4 inches, reports MSN. But thanks to drone-powered cloud seeding technology, a downpour hit, relieving the area of stifling heat.

However, after struggling for rain in the first place, the subsequent rainfall reported was torrential; so heavy that waterfalls began to appear in Ail Ain and made driving conditions hazardous.

Cloud seeding usually refers to manned aircraft firing chemicals into clouds to trigger precipitation. However, the system trialled in the UAE this time round involved drones firing electrical charge instead. When an electrical pulse is received, the water drops merge together to fall as rain. This is generally favored since it doesn’t use chemicals in the process.

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A post shared by المركز الوطني للأرصاد (@officialuaeweather)

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A post shared by المركز الوطني للأرصاد (@officialuaeweather)

منطقة النصلة #رأس_الخيمة #المركز_الوطني_للأرصاد #أمطار_الخير #أصدقاء_المركز_الوطني_للأرصاد #حالة_الطقس #حالة_جوية #هواة_الطقس #جمعة_القايدي #عواصف_الشمال pic.twitter.com/ZmoveP4OA7

— المركز الوطني للأرصاد (@NCMS_media) July 20, 2021

[via Boing Boing, cover image via Wirestock | Dreamstime] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414875/Dubai-Induces-Its-Own-Downpours-With-Drones-As-It-Has-Had-Enough-Of-Heat/

Tokyo Olympics Staff Will Wear In-Ear Devices To Prevent Heatstrokes

Image via lazyllama / Shutterstock.com

Summers in Tokyo, as with most the Asia-Pacific region, are both hot and humid, and are the unfortunate cause of many heat-related illnesses.

According to a report by The Guardian, there have been growing concerns that this could lead to more heatstroke cases during the Tokyo Olympics, especially with staff who could spend entire days standing in direct sunlight.

To help protect the Olympics’ staff, Alibaba has designed a cloud-based in-ear device to help measure their body temperature and heart rate, alerting for any signs of heatstroke. Staff members who are at risk of suffering from a heatstroke will receive real-time alerts on their smartphones, along with precautionary advice.

As per Engadget, Tokyo reported nearly 200 cases of heat-related deaths last year, which could only get worse as athletes and staff members brace for what could be the hottest Summer Olympics to date.

Hopefully, with Alibaba’s anti-heatstroke device, those exposed to the outdoor heat will be dutifully monitored and updated so as to keep them safe from any heat-related illnesses.

[via Engadget, cover image via lazyllama / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414878/Tokyo-Olympics-Staff-Will-Wear-In-Ear-Devices-To-Prevent-Heatstrokes/

NASA Reveals What Mars’ Interior Looks Like For The First Time Ever

Image via NASA

The surface of Mars has been of somewhat known territory since 1976, when NASA’s Viking 1 lander took the first ever image of it. But now, almost 50 years after, Viking 1’s descendant InSight has found information about the planet’s interior for the first time.

In the context of Mars, seismic waves cause “marsquakes,” which have allowed scientists to study the planet’s inner structure since 2019. The waves’ speed and shapes depend on the materials which they travel through. InSight’s seismometer, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), utilized these to come to its findings.

Three papers were published by a team of researchers in the Science journal, detailing the planet’s depth and composition. With a paper dedicated to each of the following areas, facts about its mantle, crust, and core were revealed, including a confirmation that the center of the planet is, indeed, molten.

Other findings include that Mars’ crust is thinner than previously believed, and might be made up of sub-layers. It goes 12 miles deep if there are two sub-layers, and 23 miles if there are three. Following that is the 969-mile-deep mantle before reaching the molten core, which spans a radius of 1,137 miles.

“This study is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” said Simon Stähler, lead author of the ‘core’ paper. “It took scientists hundreds of years to measure Earth’s core; after the Apollo missions, it took them 40 years to measure the Moon’s core. InSight took just two years to measure Mars’ core.”

But the SEIS and the team’s work doesn’t end here. New marsquakes are detected by SEIS pretty much daily, and the team is waiting for one that exceeds 4.0.

“We’d still love to see the big one,” JPL’s Mark Panning, co-lead author of the ‘crust’ paper, explains. “We have to do lots of careful processing to pull the things we want from this data. Having a bigger event would make all of this easier.”

Opening the lid on trash-bin foraging behaviors in suburban parrots, a case for intranasal #COVID19 vaccinations, and revealing the interior of Mars.

📕 Read the latest in Science: https://t.co/VP1LjsXCOR pic.twitter.com/FXSHoir14t

— Science Magazine (@ScienceMagazine) July 22, 2021

I’ve mapped the interior of Mars for the first time and found some surprises:

– Crust: thinner than expected, with maybe two or three sub-layers
– Mantle: a single layer (969 mi/1,560 km), simpler than Earth’s
– Core: larger than expected (1,137 mi/1,830 km radius), and molten pic.twitter.com/cLgQVkwBnz

— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) July 22, 2021

For the first time, seismologists have imaged the interior of another planet, besides Earth! Three studies just published in @ScienceMagazine present results for the crust, mantle and core of Mars, summarised in this Perspective by @DeepEarthExplor and me: https://t.co/3Am8Cd9hGQ pic.twitter.com/wyMowYFGYy

— Paula Koelemeijer (@seismo_koel) July 22, 2021

[via CNET, cover image via NASA] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414873/NASA-Reveals-What-Mars-Interior-Looks-Like-For-The-First-Time-Ever/

‘Spotify’ For Royalty-Free Music Aims To Unlock Thousands Of Tracks For Projects

Image via Slip.stream

For live-streaming and video creators worldwide, it can often be a pain to find affordable royalty-free music to use during filming sessions.

Now, a new subscription service aims to become the ‘Spotify’ of royalty-free music in order to streamline the way creators find and obtain background tunes for their creations.

Dave Carson, Dan Demole, and Jesse Korwin are the brains behind Slip.stream – a service offering thousands of royalty-free songs, streams, playlists, and FX sounds for creators to use in live-streams, online broadcasts, and even podcasts.

Currently, Slip.stream is still in its Beta release, though it already boasts over 50,000 full songs and 40,000 sound FX for creators to choose from.

According to Input, users are also allowed to monetize their work while using tracks from the service, making it a convenient one-stop-shop for both recreational users and businesses alike.

The company has also stated in its FAQ that it’s planning to launch a similar site for music creators, allowing them to upload their own music for other creators to use. While most of its details are still under wraps, musicians can request an early invite to the new site.

“Slip.stream is removing the friction around music rights and allowing creators to include music they love in their videos and streams, and musicians ownership of their creations, along with the opportunity to gain new fans and revenue streams,” the company said.

Creators can trial over 1,000 files for free, before deciding on a premium subscription that costs US$12.99 per month or US$95.99 annually. Click here.

[via Input, cover image via Slip.stream] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414874/Spotify-For-Royalty-Free-Music-Aims-To-Unlock-Thousands-Of-Tracks-For-Projects/

MAGACOIN Launches For Trump Fans, Has Private Info Exposed After Just A Week

Image via MAGACOIN

Just last week, a new digital currency named MAGACOIN launched, created by “America First Conservatives.”

Approximately 75 million MAGACOINs were first issued to symbolically represent the number of US citizens who voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The cryptocurrency makers have said 10 million MAGACOINs have already been donated to the ‘MAGACOIN Victory Fund’, which will be used to fund various MAGA candidates in the next round of elections. Though, of course, how much they’ll be able to cash out is dependent on how high the price of the coin soars.

“The greater the value of each MAGACOIN, the more resources the MAGACOIN Victory Fund will have to support and elect MAGA candidates nationwide,” the company said.

However, as per Input, just a week after its launch, MAGACOIN has faced a setback with details of its initial 1,000 or so backers breached.

According to The Guardian, “a website associated with MAGACOIN exposed the email addresses, passwords, cryptocurrency wallet addresses, and IP addresses of users who have bought in.”

In the exposé, the data revealed most of the cryptocurrency has gone to MAGACOIN’s creator, who is said to be “a pro-Trump consultant who owns an LLC associated with the cryptocurrency, and a Super Pac associated with the same consultant.”

Aside from its creator, MAGACOIN has also started an “Ambassador Program” of sorts, with chosen ambassadors being entitled to 1,000 free MAGACOINs from the get-go. The Guardian uncovered that current ambassadors include a talk radio host in Denver, and a person associated with a College Republican group called the Youth Federalist Initiative, so make of that what you will.

With the cryptocurrency marketplace gaining steam, it isn’t surprising that even MAGA campaigners have created a coin for themselves. Though, perhaps, it would be best to invest in better security measures before a wider launch.

[via Input, cover image via MAGACOIN] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414877/MAGACOIN-Launches-For-Trump-Fans-Has-Private-Info-Exposed-After-Just-A-Week/

Whitney Houston Is Heading To Las Vegas As A Hologram For Concert

Image via Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s estate has confirmed that An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour, created in partnership with Base Hologram, will take up a residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas from October 26 onwards.

A holographic Houston will take center stage, backed with a full live band, backup singers, and a team of dancers. This vision is being brought to life by well-known choreographer Fatima Robinson. Crowd favorites like I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) are guaranteed to be performed in the evening dedicated to celebrating the late singer’s lasting legacy.

“I’m extremely honored to have this opportunity to help craft this show in her honor,” states Robinson. “I always enjoyed watching this magnificent woman and voice on stage and to be able to play a role in recreating that and helping others have those same emotions and experience is special.”

Having been in the works since 2019, the show has suffered cancelations due to the pandemic, with notable disturbance to the European tour, with UK dates scheduled for late February to beginning March 2020.

Houston’s former Manager and President and CEO of her estate, Pat Houston, assures that the show is an ethical use of hologram and that it’s what the singer would’ve wanted. “Whitney is not with us but her music will live with us forever. We know we made the right decision partnering with BASE because they understand how important it is to produce a phenomenal hologram,” she states in the press release.

“Her fans deserve nothing less because she gave nothing less than her best.”

Tickets for the Las Vegas residency go on sale on Ticketmaster’s website on July 23.

Image via Whitney Houston

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A post shared by Whitney Houston (@whitneyhouston)

[via Variety, images via Whitney Houston] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414876/Whitney-Houston-Is-Heading-To-Las-Vegas-As-A-Hologram-For-Concert/

LG Adds Mic & Speakers To Air-Purifying Mask, Removing Your Gripes With Masks

Image via LG Newsroom

Last year, LG launched its high-tech battery-operated face mask, combining H13 HEPA filters with dual fans and a respiratory sensor.

Now, the brand has announced an update to the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, adding a mic and speakers to amplify a wearer’s voice.

The brand-new VoiceON technology “automatically recognizes when users are talking and amplifies their voice through the built-in speaker,” explained LG.

However, while the face covering uses replaceable air filters and fans to purify the air a wearer is breathing, it does not claim to protect against the COVID-19 virus.

According to The Hill, while the price of the upgraded LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier has yet to be announced, the company says it will launch first in Thailand this August, before rolling out to other markets.

For more information on the latest version of the mask, head here.

Image via LG Newsroom

[via The Hill, images via LG Newsroom] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414872/LG-Adds-Mic-Speakers-To-Air-Purifying-Mask-Removing-Your-Gripes-With-Masks/

Google Joins Olympics Hype With Adorable, Largest-Ever Interactive Doodle Game

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via Google Doodles

Google has joined the Tokyo Olympics fever with its largest-ever interactive Doodle game.

Aptly named the Doodle Champion Island Games, users can play as ninja cat Lucky as she competes in various mini-games in order to win the title of a sporting champion.

Created by Tokyo-based animators from STUDIO4°C, the game feels familiar to the 16-bit mini-games we used to play in the early days of the internet.

Soak in the nostalgia as you travel around the island to partake in Olympic activities such as table tennis, skateboarding, archery, and other challenges. Users can also pick one of four color teams to participate in the global rankings.

Can’t wait to get started? Head over to the game here, or watch the adorable trailers below.

[via CNET, cover image via Google Doodles] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414870/Google-Joins-Olympics-Hype-With-Adorable-Largest-Ever-Interactive-Doodle-Game/

Fully Self-Driving Cars Take To NYC’s Bustling Streets In Test For Competency

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Mobileye, an Intel Company

New York City is infamous for having overwhelming and intense traffic on its bustling city streets. It’s a challenging driving environment as is, but even more so when the vehicle is unmanned.

Mobileye, an Israeli firm owned by Intel, has begun to test their autonomous vehicle (AV) technology on the densely populated streets, including the Manhattan area. Two Ford Fusion cars were customized and sent out onto the streets after their test drivers received permits to allow them to keep their hands off the steering wheels.

The company focuses on main technologies: automated driving, advanced driver assistance systems, and mapping. In order to further hone these areas, the tech is hitting the road for firsthand experience.

It’s true that NYC is complex to navigate. Unlike most of the country, around half of its households don’t own a car, the press release writes. Its “intricate web” of a public transport system is described by the firm as “incredibly varied, heavily trafficked, and highly stressed” as a result.

Additionally, the very roadsthe cars are driving on are already “jam-packed with pedestrians, cyclists, cars, taxis, limousines, trucks, emergency vehicles, food carts… even horse-drawn carriages.” The company also indicates the “notoriously aggressive” drivers, “rampant” jaywalking, and double-parking. Every single one of these factors is perfect for testing and developing AV technology.

The Big Apple isn’t the only place the fleet is being rolled out in. Currently, the AVs are being tested in Detroit, Munich, and at home in Israel. There are also plans in place to test in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Paris, each location providing a new set of developmental challenges.

“By putting our self-driving platform to the test in such varied and demanding environments, we aim to hone our autonomous-vehicle technology so that it really can operate anywhere and everywhere,” Mobileye explains.

Mobileye has also released an unedited video with footage of a test drive, navigating the city’s challenging streets. Watch it here:

Image via Mobileye, an Intel Company

Image via Mobileye, an Intel Company

Image via Mobileye, an Intel Company

Image via Mobileye, an Intel Company

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A post shared by Mobileye® An Intel Company (@mobileye)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mobileye® An Intel Company (@mobileye)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mobileye® An Intel Company (@mobileye)

[via Reuters and CBS New York, images via Mobileye, an Intel Company] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414869/Fully-Self-Driving-Cars-Take-To-NYC-s-Bustling-Streets-In-Test-For-Competency/

Instagram Called Out For Censoring More Art With New ‘Sensitive Content’ Default

Image via PixieMe / Shutterstock.com

This week, Instagram launched a new feature allowing users to control how much “upsetting or offensive” content appears on their Explore tab.

Instead of creators the user already follows in their regular feed, the Explore tab displays posts curated by the app’s algorithm based on the user’s account activity.

However, some artists on Instagram are pushing back against this new feature, asking their followers to allow for “sensitive content,” as not doing so might cause their artworks to be censored.

Currently, the platform defines “sensitive content” as “posts that don’t necessarily break our rules, but could potentially be upsetting to some people.” This includes violent or sexually explicit images, such as “pictures of people in see-through clothing” or posts that promote substances such as drugs or tobacco.

With the new feature, users will be able to choose if they wish to “allow” or “limit” such posts from appearing on their Explore tab, or “limit even more” for more protection.

Content creators and artists fear that the new controls will impact the reach of their art, especially as “limit” was set by Instagram as the default setting.

“We don’t know how this will affect artists yet, but the fact is that overnight, everybody’s settings all of a sudden included an option to limit the content they see to varying degrees,” artist Clarity Haynes told Hyperallergic.

“I think of it as a kind of sanitizing of art, and it will most negatively affect artists who are pushing the envelope. Decorative art that is not challenging will be fine, but LGBTQIA+ artists, artists of color, and feminist artists will probably be affected by this.”

Image via Facebook

.@Instagram launches 'Sensitive Content Control' feature

The feature lets you manage how much sensitive content shows up in Explore https://t.co/87pli9OUG7 pic.twitter.com/FPZucoPfRa

— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) July 20, 2021

[via Hyperallergic, cover image via PixieMe / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414868/Instagram-Called-Out-For-Censoring-More-Art-With-New-Sensitive-Content-Default/

Pandora Boycotts Mined Diamonds For Lab-Grown To Make Jewelry ‘For Everyone’

Image via Pandora

In a revolutionary move by one of the largest global jewelry brands, Pandora announced its plans to move towards lab-created diamonds, leaving the traditional mined diamond in the dust.

“They are as much a symbol of innovation and progress as they are of enduring beauty and stand as a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda,” declares Alexander Lacik, Pandora CEO, in the company’s announcement. “Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”

Launching its first lab-created collection, Pandora Brilliance, the company hopes to make diamond jewelry more accessible. For example, a 0.15 carat bracelet will set you back just £250 (US$343). The collection also marks the company’s final pivot away from traditional mining.

Diamonds have a long history of wrecking the environments and ecosystems from which they’re mined. The industry is also notorious for worker exploitation. All these factors have led to boycotts and the search for alternatives. Come the pandemic, and production has fallen even further after an already downward trend.

Lab-made diamonds are actually cheaper than traditional diamonds. However, in terms of their characteristics, both are pretty much the same. The lab-grown ones are graded by the same cut, color, clarity, and carat standards. As Lacik tells the BBC, “We can essentially create the same outcome as nature has created, but at a very, very different price.”

Pandora Brilliance has also achieved carbon-neutral status, the status covering jewelry, packaging, and transportation. When the collection is launched globally next year, its diamonds are planned to be made using 100% renewable energy.

The diamonds are more accessible and definitely not so elusive. They remove the possibility of ever running out of diamonds to mine. And of course, there aren’t so many devastating side effects. “It’s the right thing to do,” Lacik affirms.

[via IFL Science, image via Pandora] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414867/Pandora-Boycotts-Mined-Diamonds-For-Lab-Grown-To-Make-Jewelry-For-Everyone/

Why Thousands Of Websites Like Amazon, McDonald’s, Airbnb Went Down Globally

Image via Mykhailo Polenok | Dreamstime.com

In one fell swoop at about 10am ET on Thursday, several websites, apps, and services were taken offline due to a glitch suffered by cloud company Akamai Technologies Inc. Reuters notes that this is the second major outage related to the firm in about a month.

DownDetector documented dozens of outages for popular websites like Amazon, Airbnb, Delta Air Lines, McDonald’s, American Express, Oracle, Home Depot, HBO Max, FedEx, Costco Wholesale Corp, and PlayStation Network, according to reports by BGR and Reuters. It is believed that over 32,000 websites were affected.

Oracle and Amazon both said that several of their offerings, including their cloud services, were impacted globally due to the disruption.

Thankfully, services resumed an hour later. Akamai confirmed that the blackout was the result of a bug in a software update for its domain name system (DNS), and that it had rolled out a fix. The company also stressed that the error was not caused by a cyberattack.

DNS allows users to access websites through a domain name, which serves as a gateway to a cloud network where content can be loaded.

“We are reviewing our software update process to prevent future disruptions,” said Akamai.

DownDetector is a bloodbath thanks to this Akamai outage. https://t.co/HQmXQ66nmm pic.twitter.com/MDPMnKUATE

— Duane Sibilly, Bit Plumber (@valthonis) July 22, 2021

Akamai Summarizes Service Disruption (RESOLVED)

At 15:46 UTC today, a software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directs browsers to websites. This caused a disruption impacting availability of some customer websites. (1/3)

— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021

We apologize for the inconvenience that resulted. We are reviewing our software update process to prevent future disruptions. (3/3)

— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021

[via BGR and Reuters, cover image via Mykhailo Polenok | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414871/Why-Thousands-Of-Websites-Like-Amazon-McDonald-s-Airbnb-Went-Down-Globally/

Sleep In A Tent Suspended By Trees In This Japanese Adventure Park

Image via Tree Picnic Adventure Ikeda

Have a calling for adventure? Step out of the dull sense of security that flat ground provides and try sleeping mid-air instead.

At the Tree Picnic Adventure Ikeda in Fukui, Japan, visitors can camp in a tent held in the air by trees—which means no jumping on the bed. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, though; the tree tent is only suspended four meters (13 feet) off the ground, Time Out Tokyo reports.

In exchange for the minimal back support, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the forest park all hours of the day.

Finding the courage to climb down would be worth it, as visitors can partake in several land and water activities being offered, including water rafting and speeding via a 1,673-foot zipline. For dinner, guests can head over to the barbecue pit for a warming meal with ingredients provided by the park.

The tent sleeps four, and it costs ¥16,000 (US$145) to spend the night in it.

Image via Tree Picnic Adventure Ikeda

[via Time Out Tokyo, images via Tree Picnic Adventure Ikeda] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414866/Sleep-In-A-Tent-Suspended-By-Trees-In-This-Japanese-Adventure-Park/