Tag: Design

Adobe Reinforces Creator Attribution By Inserting Credit, Edit History In Files

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

In this age, leaving your images up on the internet is a risky move. Not only can someone else claim them as their own, but there’s also the danger of your work being dragged into fake news dissemination and deepfaked content.

So to minimize the anxiety of your work being unleashed out there, Adobe has announced ‘Content Credentials’, a tool that’s essentially a hardcoded, sophisticated watermark for your files.

For image creators, they’ll be able to establish clear ownership of the work. Meanwhile, those who have downloaded the work would be able to tell where it comes from and check if it has been heavily manipulated.

Debuting as a beta experience, the Content Credentials option will be accessible by Creative Cloud users through several major workflows.

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

On the desktop version of Photoshop, creators will be able to weave identity information—and even an photo’s edits—into an image before exporting it. In addition to the usual metadata, these offer “new transparency options for creative professionals and casual artists alike, while also reinforcing trust in digital content for people viewing it,” describes Adobe VP Will Allen.

The feature is opt-in, so users can rest assured if they’re perfectly happy with the anonymity. If you’d still like some level of attribution, though, Photoshop lets you select which details you prefer to show; for example, you can leave your name in the metadata but remove an image’s edit history.

Along with these embedded credentials, creators can also double down on establishing ownership by linking their social media profiles and crypto wallet addresses to images via Photoshop for desktop. Given the prominence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Content Credentials would also be a handy tool for collectors to check if an artwork was indeed minted by the creator.

Anyone can then view an image’s transparency records by having it inspected on verify.contentauthenticity.org.

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Content Credentials will automatically be added to Adobe Stock assets, and will be visible when imported into the Photoshop desktop app or on the Verify site.

Adobe intends to expand this toolkit and make it open-source so developers can integrate Content Credentials in their own products too. The company says this capability should be ready en masse in the coming months.

The feature was announced at Adobe MAX 2021, alongside time-saving features like instant Photoshop selections by hovering your cursor over objects, Photoshop and Illustrator for the web, collaborative spaces, and new Neural Filters such as one that completely changes seasons in one click. To read more about the new Content Credentials feature, head here.

[via Adobe Creative Cloud] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416387/Adobe-Reinforces-Creator-Attribution-By-Inserting-Credit-Edit-History-In-Files/

Photoshop Introduces Impressive Neural Filters To Wholly Change Seasons & More

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

During this year’s Adobe MAX event, Adobe announced some stunning new updates to the Neural Filters in Photoshop to take photo editing to the next level. After all, “Photoshop” didn’t transcend its name to become a verb of its own for no reason.

Neural Filters draw upon the powers of Sensei AI, a machine-learning artificial intelligence tool that is well-versed in all things photo editing and Photoshop. In the upgrades announced today, Adobe has condensed the “many things Photoshop does well” into just a few simple sliders and buttons, saving enormous amounts of time and effort.

Three new beta filters are being shipped with the new update of Photoshop along with updates to the existing lineup; take a look at them below.

Landscape Mixer

With one click, users can now change the seasons. No, it’s not The Sims, but Sensei’s ability to combine two landscape images together in order to create an entirely new scene altogether.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Ever run into that fleeting moment of loss when trying to get all your things together in time to shoot during a golden-hour sunset only to miss it by two minutes because some clouds decided it would be a great time to make an appearance?

Well, never again.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Apart from being able to change the time of day, the ‘Landscape Mixer’ feature will also bring about the ability to create a winter wonderland from a photo taken in July from presets available in the library or an image of your own.

If there are subjects in the photo, like people, they will be automatically masked and harmonized with the rest of the color palette.

Color Transfer

‘Color Transfer’ extracts the color palette of one image and, as you might’ve guessed, transfers this to another. This will be great for the times a photo has a specific mood evoked by its colors and users would like to replicate that in a different image.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud


On a similar note, the ‘Harmonization’ filter will allow users to effortlessly combine two images even if they have different lighting and resultant mismatch tones.

Sensei AI will be able to match the colors and make the relevant adjustments when combining elements on two layers together.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Improvements to Depth Blur

After Neural Filters were introduced last year, Photoshop has had some time to gather feedback from users to teach Sensei AI with. One of the most notable improvements that is being announced for the existing filters is ‘Depth Blur’, which may also be known as Photoshop’s version of Portrait Mode.

As previously noted, the novelty of the feature meant that it wasn’t quite there yet. Surely, though, all good things take time, and AI is built largely on the process of learning—aren’t we all?

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

After the trials and tribulations Sensei AI has experienced since the filter’s debut, it is now back stronger than before: a new machine-learning model will help to retain the “natural” feeling of a blurred background while being able to keep the subject more in focus.

And as shown in the example below, the “depth” of perception for a single image can be altered just by toggling the slider to the right of the workspace.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe has also noted that too strong of a blurred background may make the image come across as unnatural, so it has added the option to introduce grain in order to compensate for this.

Its aim, it says, is to allow users to “create a beautiful bokeh effect to any image with just a single click.” The improvements shipped today are “a big step toward that aim.”

To find out more about Photoshop’s Neural Filters, Adobe’s website has a ton of helpful information. And for more on this year’s MAX 2021 event, the exciting new keynote can be viewed here.

[via Adobe Creative Cloud http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416386/Photoshop-Introduces-Impressive-Neural-Filters-To-Wholly-Change-Seasons-More/

Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator Are Coming To The Web, No Subscription Required

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe has always been a name synonymous with creativity, and this year’s reveals at the annual MAX event cement this reputation firmly in place.

Among some of its most popular software sit Photoshop and Illustrator, which have always been desktop-based apps with a more recent introduction to the iPad. They are, however, largely centered on solo working, and the easiest way to get immediate feedback would be to call someone over to the screen and point out the area in question.

But with the introduction of working from home, this isn’t as easy as it used to be. Sending the files of works in progress around also isn’t the best or most efficient way to get things done, and most importantly, it requires everyone to have the apps otherwise the file hits a dead end.

Removing all the pain in this process, Adobe has revealed that it will be bringing Photoshop and Illustrator to the web, which would be immensely helpful for clients and other collaborators who aren’t familiar with the software.

That’s right; the beloved suite of tools will be able to be accessed right from your browser without needing to download the apps or even a Creative Cloud subscription.

Adobe is hoping that extending these services to the web will allow creators to “open up your creative process, express your vision efficiently, and remove a ton of friction from the process.”

Adobe Photoshop on Web

Rather than juggling large PSD files over email, collaborators will be able to open and view the work in the browser, providing feedback with the ability to add comments, pins, and annotations. These can be viewed immediately on the creator’s side in the Photoshop or Illustrator apps on both desktop and iPad.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Creators will be able to share the document as a view-only link or with the ability for collaborators to join in and make edits directly within the piece.

In the case that the creator has also opened a version of the piece in their browser, a few simple editing tools will allow them to make the tweaks right there and then. Some of these include selection features like Lasso, Quick Selection, Magic Wand, and the marquee tools.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

These are largely focused on retouching and adjusting images, which is the most common thing that Photoshop is used for. These aren’t the only tools that will be included in the web version, however; with further developments, more will be coming soon.

This exciting new development to the Photoshop we all know and love is available now in a public beta. To access this, click on “Open in Photoshop on the web beta” in the header when viewing a Photoshop file in a browser. The tool will run best on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers.

Feedback is always welcome in order to hone the program, and this can be shared with Adobe via the feedback button situated at the top right of the browser app.

Adobe Illustrator on Web

Illustrator isn’t following far behind Photoshop, with a similar capability arriving to the browser for “just about any device” as well.

Like Photoshop, it will first feature some basic editing tools, the ones that are most commonly used. The app won’t have to be launched in order to make basic edits and collaborate in real-time, either.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Right now, the web version of Illustrator is available just as an invite-only beta. Signups are now open, though, and can be accessed here.

To start sharing Photoshop and Illustrator documents on the web, simply begin by updating to the latest versions of the apps.

In line with the groundbreaking new web tools, Adobe has shared its vision for Creative Cloud, which focuses just as much on the powers of collaboration as the tools used in bursts of creativity. For more information, check out updates from Adobe’s MAX 2021 keynote.

[via http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416385/Adobe-Photoshop-Illustrator-Are-Coming-To-The-Web-No-Subscription-Required/

Adobe Creative Cloud Teases ‘Canvas’ For Collaborators To Work On Files Remotely

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Since the dawn of the pandemic, most of us have had to double up our homes as offices. Not to mention, all collaboration, especially for creatives, has shifted online—and working with other creators on a project isn’t as easy as it was before.

In response to the demand for more seamless workflow, Adobe is introducing Spaces and Canvas within Creative Cloud to help you and your coworkers work together more efficiently, minimizing the amount of time you’ll need to pause work just to wait for someone to send additional files over.

Now, with creatives all over the globe working together on the same projects from afar, Spaces allows working groups to share repositories where all materials are stored. No more having to hunt down the one person with that specific file!

Simply head into the shared space to access, organize, or populate file libraries so you can your co-creators can work on the same assets without a hitch.

With Canvas, users will also be able to fully display all components of a creative project. In real-time, you and your team will be able to visualize all the ideas together up on the browser, so discussions or video meetings can flow more freely.

It’s also a key development for brainstorming sessions or project meetings, allowing for visual cues on the screen so everyone’s on the same page.

As of now, Creative Cloud Spaces and Canvas will be introduced in private beta, with a wider release scheduled sometime next year. For more information, head here.

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

[via Adobe Creative Cloud] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416382/Adobe-Creative-Cloud-Teases-Canvas-For-Collaborators-To-Work-On-Files-Remotely/

Adobe Photoshop Removes All Hassle With Selections—Just Hover Objects And Voilà

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

Among the entire slew of upgrades announced at the annual Adobe MAX creativity conference, one of the most important inclusions highlighted by Adobe is undoubtedly the time-saving upgrades to making object selections on the desktop version of Photoshop.

Soon, users will be able to select an object, in one piece, within an image just by hovering it. No more clumsy selections, or—egads—the lasso tool. See how the auto-masking feature works:

Video via Adobe Creative Cloud

It’s even quicker than one click!

Adobe is training its artificial intelligence (AI) machine, Sensei, to recognize more categories of objects as time goes on, making its Object Selection Tool more accurate than before.

If you still find that an object isn’t completely selected, simply drag a marquee over the undetected area to include it too.

Elsewhere, Photoshop has introduced a new one-click option that allows you to mask all objects in a layer. Instead of having to mask each item one by one, you can now generate masks for all the objects detected within the same layer. Just one click, and you’re done!

Image via Adobe Creative Cloud

For more information on the new features coming to Photoshop, head here.

[via Adobe Creative Cloud] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416381/Adobe-Photoshop-Removes-All-Hassle-With-Selections-Just-Hover-Objects-And-Voil/

NSFW: Donald Trump NFT Goes Up For Sale For $1 Million

Image via Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com

It looks like the digital era of Donald Trump is here. Not long after the former US president announced that he was returning to the internet to launch TRUTH Social, his own social network, with additional reports suggesting that he is starting his own “non-woke” media empire to take on tech champs like Netflix, a Trump-themed non-fungible token (NFT) has made its way online.

The digital art will be sold by Creatd, a small tech and digital content company from New Jersey. Insider reports that, on Monday, Creatd shares jumped 68% hours after people got word of the Trump NFT.

Even more astonishing is its price: Creatd is asking for a lofty 240 Ethereum (US$1.01 million).

The artwork is a looping image containing three candid, sequential photos of the entrepreneur signing a model’s bare chest—and her reaction. The woman is described in the listing as an “Ivanka lookalike.”

Image via PR Newswire

A static, censored version of the art, provided in the press release, is shown above. The full animation (NSFW) has been uploaded on OG Gallery, where the work is being sold.

The smutty photos were acquired from creditors of late artist and photographer Bob Guccione, who was also CEO of General Media, parent company of magazines like Longevity, OMNI, Penthouse, and Viva.

For a price of 240 ETH, the new owner will also receive the original high-res JPG of the photo, as well as a 1/1 physical copy of the picture in a gilded frame.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the Trump photographs are no exception,” details Creatd founder Jeremy Frommer. “We have waited a long time to sell these priceless images which were captured decades before they took on the significance and symbolism they hold today.”

[via CBS News and Insider, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416389/NSFW-Donald-Trump-NFT-Goes-Up-For-Sale-For-1-Million/

ISS Video Takes You Floating Around The Space Station In 360 Degrees

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via European Space Agency

Behold: the video to end all house tours.

Ahead of his return to Earth, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet made sure to record an epic 360-degree exploration of the International Space Station (ISS), where he’s lived for about six months.

In this stunning clip, you’ll be able to “float” around the microgravity environment by swiping the footage on your desktop or free-falling with the wobbly grip on your smartphone. The video only lasts a little over 50 seconds, but there’s much from the infrastructure to navigate at various angles.

Alongside Pesquet, you’ll be roaming the station’s five modules, from Node-3 to Europe’s Columbus laboratory. Take the immersive tour below.

[via DPReview and Digital Trends, video and cover image via European Space Agency] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416388/ISS-Video-Takes-You-Floating-Around-The-Space-Station-In-360-Degrees/

Picasso Artworks Fetch Over $100M At Auction In Under An Hour

Image via Sotheby’s

In August, it was reported that iconic Pablo Picasso paintings were going up for auction via Sotheby’s at the MGM Bellagio in Las Vegas. Last week, the 11 works sold for US$108 million, surpassing original estimates of US$70.5 million to US$100 million.

A portrait of the artist’s muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, fetched the highest price at the auction, eventually selling for US$40.5 million. It’s presumed to have exceeded the irreversible bid the painting had come in with, which is a rare occurrence as art pieces with irrevocable bids on the block usually sell on a single bid to the original backer.

The sale only lasted 45 minutes in total, with bidders seated in the Bellagio ballroom or tuning in via livestream.

The artworks have been on display in the hotel for nearly 20 years, with five of the paintings showcased right in the heart of the casino’s restaurant. They were introduced by the hotel’s previous owner, Steve Wynn, who had a substantial collection of blue-chip art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Other highlights include portrait Homme et Enfant (1969), which sold for US$24.4 million. And Buste d’Homme (1969), which had been displayed over the casino’s bar, sold for US$9.5 million.

According to ARTnews, MGM had wanted to sell these artworks in a bid to present more works by diverse artists. It still has an additional 12 Picasso artworks it will keep on view at the hotel.

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[via ARTnews, cover image via Sotheby’s] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416383/Picasso-Artworks-Fetch-Over-100M-At-Auction-In-Under-An-Hour/

Hyundai Motor Debuts Fashion Collection Upcycled From Discarded Vehicle Parts

Image via Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai is known for its cars and, in recent months, its robots too. What’s lesser-known is that, for three years, it’s been repurposing old vehicle materials to incorporate into its fashion venture. That’s right, the South Korean automaker is no stranger to making clothing.

For the 2021 edition of its annual Re:Style collection, Hyundai Motor Company has joined hands with fashion stores L’Eclaireur and Boontheshop to deliver 12 eco-friendly wearable items from discarded car manufacturing pieces.

Image via Hyundai Motor Company

This year, the trio utilized car airbags and seatbelts to create garments like track jackets, sweatshirts, zipper hoodies, and pants. Sustainable components used in the Hyundai IONIQ 5, like “Bio PET and recycled fibers,” were also added to make the clothing more wearable as well as illustrate the potential of biomaterials in fashion.

Image via Hyundai Motor Company

Image via Hyundai Motor Company

“With the third annual celebration of Re:Style this year, Hyundai Motor Company continues its dedication to facilitate the ‘progress for humanity,’ its brand vision and objective,” details the company’s global chief marketing officer Thomas Schemera. “We are stepping up our collaborations steadily with various industries around the world to usher in a sustainable future.”

Image via Hyundai Motor Company

“The Re:Style 2021 is one of them, and we hope this project serves as a focal point for young consumers worldwide to understand the impact of manufacturing leftover materials on our shared environment and how we can creatively and practically reutilize them,” Schemera continues.

The 12 pieces will be sold in limited quantities at the two fashion stores, both of which are also working to limit their environmental footprint in fashion. Proceeds from the sale will support Hyundai Motor’s future sustainability initiatives.

[via WWD, images via Hyundai Motor Company] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416384/Hyundai-Motor-Debuts-Fashion-Collection-Upcycled-From-Discarded-Vehicle-Parts/

Scientists Fired Lasers Into Diamonds And Stumbled Upon A New State Of Matter

Image via Vitali Prakapenka for the University of Chicago

In school, kids are taught the three states of matter: solid, liquid, gas. And the biggest conundrum would be non-Newtonian fluids, which can be both liquids and solids.

Oh, simpler days. Because now, a team of scientists from the University of Chicago is saying that that a “strange” new state of matter has been created in the lab, and it’s called “superionic ice.”

The team fired electrons between two pieces of diamond—the hardest known material on Earth—using a particle accelerator called the Advanced Photon Source. This caused an almighty 20 gigapascals of pressure in the sample water of water used in the experiment. Then, to heat things up, they shot lasers through the diamonds. Because, of course, like all ultra-cool things, lasers are involved.

Like the best of us at times, it succumbed to the pressure. The result? A brand new structure that was able to regress when the pressure was relieved.

At first, during the process, the scientists thought that something had gone wrong somewhere in the middle since the readings weren’t showing what they had predicted. Study co-author Vitali Prakapenka recalls that he thought they had triggered some “unwanted chemical reaction.”

“But when I turned off the laser and the sample returned to room temperature, the ice went back to its original state,” he marveled. “That means it was a reversible, structural change, not a chemical reaction.”

Before we have the time to go “wow,” the solar system might already be scoffing smugly, since this type of ice may already exist on planets like Neptune, which contain extremely high temperatures and pressures—the perfect conditions for it to form.

This awe-inducing superionic ice is described as a “solid oxygen lattice sitting in an ocean of floating hydrogen atoms” by Prakapenka. Its fluctuating state (or is it states?) means that it’s less dense and darker than regular ice, since it behaves differently with light, the team details in the paper published in the journal Nature earlier in October.

However, a lot more investigation needs to be done into this material. Areas like conductivity, viscosity, and chemical stability are yet to be explored. Although we’ve known of it before, it’s not exactly like the scientists have tugged their equipment to Neptune to be able to see it up close.

“It’s a new state of matter, so it basically acts as a new material, and it may be different from what we thought,” Prakapenka affirms. After all, the material was discovered thanks to it being different to what the scientists thought, too.

[via Futurism, image via Vitali Prakapenka for the University of Chicago] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416380/Scientists-Fired-Lasers-Into-Diamonds-And-Stumbled-Upon-A-New-State-Of-Matter/

‘Garden City’ In Paris Concept Envisages It As A Gorgeous, Green Place To Live

Image by Rescubika and featured with permission

Architecture firm Rescubika has come up with an incredible Garden City of the Crescent Moon concept visualized to serve as an enclave in the heart of Paris for sustainability and eco-conscious living.

The site, which follows the existing winding shape of Lac des Minimes in the Bois de Vincennes, is conceptualized to be located on the east of the French capital, within the largest public park the city has to offer. The team hopes to merge the relaxing greenery and its surroundings, with new ways to obtain locally-sourced food for those living there.

The project’s lead architect Benoit Patterlini believes it could support myriad plants and animals. He envisions it as a place where farmers can grow produce such as corn, beans, and herbs, as well as raise cattle sustainably.

In addition to agriculture and livestock, the new city could introduce farmers’ markets and farm-to-table restaurants to make use of the locally-grown ingredients.

Image by Rescubika and featured with permission

According to My Modern Met, the Garden City involves two main ideas: proximity and instantaneity. In order to minimize environmental impact, and make full use of locally-sourced goods, it’s key for the city to be within arm’s reach of its farms and production facilities. Instantaneity, on the other hand, is defined as the constituents’ ability “to enjoy urban facilities.”

With more thought being poured into urban design in recent years, with a focus on eco-consciousness, plans such as Rescubika’s could come to life in the near future. Who wouldn’t want to merge the conveniences of urban landscapes with a more sustainable way of living?

To view more enthralling concepts like the Garden City, visit the company’s site here.

Image by Rescubika and featured with permission

[via My Modern Met, images by Rescubika and featured with permission] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416378/Garden-City-In-Paris-Concept-Envisages-It-As-A-Gorgeous-Green-Place-To-Live/

Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS x Fendi Team Up To Launch Luxury, Form-Fitting Pieces

Image photographed by Steven Meisel for SKIMS, via Kim Kardashian

SKIMS, the popular shapewear line by Kim Kardashian, is banding together with fashion house Fendi for a collection of ready-to-wear garments that are sure to be seen on everybody who’s anybody.

Adorned with both brands’ logos, the collaboration capsule came to be when Fendi’s artistic director Kim Jones heard staff talking about Kardashian’s venture. According to W Magazine, the pair connected, meeting up in Cabo San Lucas earlier in March to brainstorm designs.

Those familiar with SKIMS’ usual offerings will be used to most items being below US$100—but unsurprisingly, this special release will see the luxury pieces range from US$100 to US$4,200 instead.

As per The Wall Street Journal Magazine, the collection is slated to include “tank dresses, knit crop tops, and matching high-waisted leggings,” in addition to tracksuits, dresses, and even swimwear.

If you’re eyeing any of the pieces, they’ll be gone quick, so be sure to head to the official site when the collection launches on November 9, 6am PST. Take a sneak peek below.

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[via W Magazine, cover image via Kim Kardashian] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416377/Kim-Kardashian-s-SKIMS-x-Fendi-Team-Up-To-Launch-Luxury-Form-Fitting-Pieces/

Burger King Opens ‘Vurger King’, Its First 100% Vegetarian Restaurant

Image via Burger King Spain

Beyond fries, fast-food giants have begun adding an array of vegetarian and plant-based items to their menu. Burger King was among the first, having introduced the Impossible Whopper. Meanwhile, McDonald’s has pledged to position itself as a go-to lunch spot for vegans in the UK by 2025.

In spite of these efforts, there’s one thing that’s been bugging eaters: the fact that plant-based options are fried in the same oil as meat items. At Burger King’s latest Madrid branch, however, there’s no risk of cross-contamination.

The first-ever 100% vegetarian Burger King outlet, dubbed ‘Vurger King’, will serve all of the chain’s meat-free menu items, like the plant-based Whopper, plant-based nuggets, and the all-new Long Vegetal, the vegetarian counterpart for the Long Chicken Sandwich.

Madre la Long Vegetal 😱 pic.twitter.com/oTZsFiTpgw

— Burger King (@burgerking_es) October 19, 2021

The restaurant’s offerings might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ll satisfy the cravings of the 13% Spaniards who have adopted a mostly or entirely vegetarian or vegan diet, according to numbers reported by ThinkSPAIN.

It’s worth noting that animal byproducts like cheese and mayonnaise will still be served in some of the items, but diners can request to have them removed.

Y si estáis por Madrid este mes, os invitamos al BK de Prado, un restaurante con productos únicamente vegetales. pic.twitter.com/PYk3hiKFoQ

— Burger King (@burgerking_es) October 19, 2021

Aside from the popup’s green façade, its interior of shrubbery on the walls and ceiling, plus imagery of salad leaves and other plant-based ingredients, remind guests that this isn’t the typical Burger King.

Burger King will trial the Vurger King idea in Madrid for a month. After which, it hopes to expand this popup concept to other European cities in the upcoming months. “We want to reach both people who base their diet on vegetable products and those who do eat meat but want to reduce their consumption,” a spokesperson shares in a statement published by B&T.

Posted by Burger King España on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

[via B&T and ThinkSPAIN, images via Burger King Spain] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416379/Burger-King-Opens-Vurger-King-Its-First-100-Vegetarian-Restaurant/

Samsung Moves Into Best Buy As One-Stop Shop To Get Your Devices Fixed

Image via ID 125364448 © Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime.com

If you’re tired of looking around for a reputable shops to fix your Samsung smartphones, you’ll soon be able to pop into Best Buy for authorized repairs.

The South Korean tech giant announced it will be rolling out official repairs to over 100 retail stores nationwide, after a successful pilot program at several locations.

The Geek Squad will be able to repair most devices on the same day, apart from foldable models, which will take a while longer. According to Gizmodo, it’s guaranteed that only genuine parts will be used.

Don’t fret if you no longer have warranty. The retail chain will still be able to service your smartphone, such as replacements for front and back screens, batteries, and even cameras.

Eligible devices include Galaxy S8 and up, as well as Galaxy Note 8 and up, though it’s not yet known if screen replacements will extend to foldable models.

For more information, or to book a service appointment, head here.

[via Gizmodo, cover image via ID 125364448 © Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416375/Samsung-Moves-Into-Best-Buy-As-One-Stop-Shop-To-Get-Your-Devices-Fixed/

Microsoft Envisions Private Office Pods To Keep You In The Zone When You Work

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image by Dustin Brown, Principal Art Director for Microsoft

As offices open up, you’ll be sharing your space with coworkers you haven’t seen in ages. Sure, the first 30 minutes of bonding over lost time might be just what you need, but beyond that mark, you’re probably going to miss your alone time and headspace.

With hybrid workplaces in mind, the Microsoft Office Envisioning Team conceptualized chic office ‘Flowspace Pods’ as “sanctuaries” for when you need solo work time for deep productivity.

The cozy felt modules are visualized with automated privacy “wings” that close at the sides to block out distractions, leaving users alone with their desk. Meanwhile, the space is hued with color-changing ambient lights to help occupants focus, and binaural beats serve as a relaxing noise-canceling feature.

The desk itself is optimized for concentrated work. The computer display is mounted on nearly the entire wall, allowing for up-close views of the screen and higher-quality video calls. Adjustable angles let the user complete tasks without straining their neck.

And when you’re done with this isolation, you can simply step out and resume collaborative work.

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[via Yanko Design, images by Dustin Brown, Principal Art Director for Microsoft] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416376/Microsoft-Envisions-Private-Office-Pods-To-Keep-You-In-The-Zone-When-You-Work/

NFTs For Kids Take Surprise Gift Bags Into The Digital Realm

Image via Cryptoys

Technology is evolving faster than many can keep up with it, and one of the newest things to come from this year’s developments are non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These are unique digital assets purchased with cryptocurrency, and ownership of such a token is unmistakably minted onto the blockchain.

With their explosive popularity and the way they have cemented themselves as an integral part in the tech, finance, art, and seemingly every other industry’s sectors, it looks like NFTs are going to be here to stay for a while.

Might as well get the next generation involved.

Enter ‘Cryptoys’, the newest product of Miami-based OnChain Studios. On Monday, the team announced that it had raised US$7.5 million to build an NFT-native digital toy company for the children of tomorrow.

Company co-founder Will Weinraub explains that the origin of the idea stemmed from his daughter, who really liked collecting blind boxes of toys. These give the buyer a few options of what could be inside, but the actual design isn’t revealed until the box is purchased and opened.

The thing with physical toys is that after the minute-long excitement wears off, they’re often put onto a shelf and forgotten about soon after. But by digitizing a product like this, it can live almost forever.

Hence Weinraub’s idea: “blind bags on the blockchain.”

Image via Cryptoys

‘Cryptoys’ are described by the team to be the next generation of toys: digital ones. They live on the blockchain, and will be fully interactive. As time goes on, they’ll be able to evolve and unlock new elements, such as games and experiences. Most importantly, because they’re NFTs too, they are belong entirely to the player.

These, when released from their ‘CryptoyCubes’—the digital equivalent of packaging; or the “blind bag” aspect—will comprise digital products, or toys, and be released in “drops” akin to NFT art products. As time goes on and more characters and toys are revealed, the universe will expand and open up even more possibilities in the future.

Image via Cryptoys

“Simply put, we want to build the most entertaining & accessible NFTs for collectors,” Weinraub states. “Cryptoys will blend aspects of gaming, collectibles, and entertainment to create something incredibly unique that we (& our kids!) can be proud of.”

[via The Miami Herald, images via Cryptoys] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416373/NFTs-For-Kids-Take-Surprise-Gift-Bags-Into-The-Digital-Realm/

YouTube Removed 7 Million Accounts Used By Underaged Kids This Year

Image via AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com

YouTube, which will testify at a Senate hearing this week, has removed over seven million accounts suspected of belonging to young children and preteens in the first nine months of 2021.

The company’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Leslie Miller, will inform Congress that the social media site has recently ramped up its automated removal efforts, with three million of the accounts being deleted in just the third quarter of the year.

Miller will be facing the same committee that Facebook’s first whistleblower Frances Haugen addressed earlier in the month. The latter had accused the site of “moral bankruptcy,” saying it often ignored users’ safety in favor of profits.

The internet’s premier video portal will report that 85% of the videos it removed for violating child safety policies in the second quarter were taken down from the site before hitting 10 views. According to CNET, it appears the page is enforcing a more aggressive stance on the removal of such videos, as compared to those which broke any of its other rules.

With increased scrutiny from lawmakers and the press on social media platforms, especially in terms of harmful effects on young persons, it’s unsurprising YouTube is offering up favorable results from new policies it has imposed to keep children safer online.

For example, only teens aged 13 and above are allowed to register for an account on the site. While younger kids are still allowed to watch videos, they must do so through ‘Supervised Experiences’, which limits the type of content available to them. Parents can opt to use ‘YouTube Kids’ as well, which is a separate app designed specially for children.

The platform has also begun enforcing stricter age restrictions on videos. Last year, it employed the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically apply such restrictions, with the algorithm deciding if a video should only be seen by users above the age of 18.

More information is set to be revealed at the hearing, which is scheduled to take place on October 26, 7am (PT). Other social media giants such as Snapchat and TikTok will also be testifying in front of the Senate subcommittee.

[via CNET, cover image via AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416372/YouTube-Removed-7-Million-Accounts-Used-By-Underaged-Kids-This-Year/

Amazon Joins Forces With UK Spy Agencies To Bring AI To Espionage

Image via Natee Meepian / Shutterstock.com

Data protection and privacy have always been relevant, but perhaps even more so as of late with the recent Facebook scandal still fresh in the forefront of people’s minds. It might thus induce more than a little wince to know that British spy agencies have just given the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform a contract to host classified information.

This deal reportedly covers using data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) for “espionage,” according to the Financial Times. The main agency involved was Britain’s GCHQ, and the agreement will also enlist its sister services, MI5 and MI6.

Some government organizations, like the UK Ministry of Defense, will also be involved during “joint operations.”

Sources close to the agreement reportedly confirmed that the data of all the agencies involved will remain held in Britain.

Reuters reports that the GCHQ has had plans to increase its usage of AI, which it has been using for basic things like translation over the last few years. This comes in response to the way AI is being used by “hostile states,” according to the news outlet, and partially also because of the “data explosion” that makes it most effective.

[via Reuters, image via Natee Meepian / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416371/Amazon-Joins-Forces-With-UK-Spy-Agencies-To-Bring-AI-To-Espionage/

Mastercard Creates Differentiated Notches On Cards For Visually-Impaired Users

Image via Mastercard / Business Wire

For most of us, choosing the right card to use at the ATM, for contactless payment at a coffeeshop, or to gain the most rewards points at a gas station is something we hardly think about. It’s muscle memory at this point, especially with the myriad choices we have from debit cards to credit cards, and an entire slew of mobile options.

However, for the visually-impaired, selecting the right card to use at a cashier isn’t so simple. In fact, it can be a real bother, considering most bank cards feel exactly the same, and can’t be told apart unless you’re reading directly off them. And with nearly 2.2 billion individuals worldwide who face difficulties seeing, it’s about time leading organizations make their transactions a little more seamless.

Now, Mastercard has unveiled a new design change that’ll help visually-impaired people quickly differentiate between the cards in their wallet—and it all comes down to just a single notch. The ‘Touch Card’ will come with different notches on the end: round for credit cards, square for debit cards, and triangle for prepaid cards, so users can tell them apart through touch.

“The solution can be very, very simple, but it’s anything but simplistic,” Mastercard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Raja Rajamannar, told Fast Company.

“Innovation should always be driven by the impulse to include. With one in seven people experiencing some form of disability, designing these products with accessibility in mind gives them equal opportunity to benefit from the ease and security of a digital world. No one should be left behind.”

Rajamannar, who is also the company’s Healthcare Director, teamed up with the UK Royal National Institute of Blind People to work on the idea, ensuring the new designs were usable in real-life scenarios. The team had considered other differentiating tools, such as Braille, but that was quickly ruled out when they learnt only 10% of blind people know how to read it.

In addition to the physical cards, Mastercard has included “sonic acceptance sounds” at its checkout points globally, which are used to signal the completion of a transaction. Rajamannar explained: “If you are a person who is sight-impaired, when you hear the sound, you know your transaction has gone through successfully.”

The Touch Card will be available to customers in the US from early 2022.

[via Fast Company and Mastercard / Business Wire, cover image via Mastercard / Business Wire] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416370/Mastercard-Creates-Differentiated-Notches-On-Cards-For-Visually-Impaired-Users/

1,000 Andy Warhol Sketches Are Now On Sale—999 Of Them Are Fake

Image via MSCHF

An artwork’s value very much depends on its authenticity. The thought of paying the same amount for a Banksy replica as the original, for instance, is pretty absurd.

For these Andy Warhol sketches, however, there’s a one-in-a-1,000 chance you’ll be acquiring the real one. That’s because disruptive art collective MSCHF has thoroughly forged the work, pricing every copy at US$250, so you won’t know if you’re getting an authentic piece or a dupe.

The Brooklyn-based collective, most reputed for launching Nike ‘Satan Shoes’ with Lil Nas X, purchased Warhol’s original Fairies (1954) sketch—featuring a trio of nude fairies playing jump rope—then reproduced 999 forgeries in a stunt it calls the Museum of Forgeries.

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A post shared by MSCHF (@mschf)

While the sketch was sold for US$8,125 at auction house Christie’s in 2016, MSCHF’s chief revenue officer Daniel Greenberg told USA Today that its value now stands at about US$20,000. This means whoever gets the original would unwitting make US$19,750, while everybody else would just own a cool, fairly affordable piece of art.

Video via MSCHF

The copies were produced through an intricate machine-generated replication process on paper, before being chemically aged to mimic the yellowed appearance of the original.

Image via MSCHF

After which, all 1,000 pieces were shuffled in a pile and put up on sale online.

By creating the Museum of Forgeries, the pranksters hope to highlight the apparent snobbery of the art world and its belief that only the wealthy and well-read can own famous artwork.

The project also stresses how so much emphasis is placed on an artwork’s authenticity instead of its aesthetics. “By forging Fairies en masse, we obliterate the trail of provenance for the artwork,” says MSCHF. “Though physically undamaged, we destroy any future confidence in the veracity of the work.”

MSCHF further describes on its website that “by burying a needle in a needlestack, we render the original as much a forgery as any of our replications.”

[via USA Today, images via MSCHF] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416374/1-000-Andy-Warhol-Sketches-Are-Now-On-Sale-999-Of-Them-Are-Fake/

Blue Origin Unmasks Plans To Open Commercial Space Station By 2030

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Orbital Reef

Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is planning to open a commercial space station and all-in-one business center floating in the middle of zero-gravity. Because space tourism is already so yesterday, right?

Named Orbital Reef, this space station is a collaborative effort between the private space firm and Sierra Space, with backing from some renowned names in the industry such as Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.

It’s been stated by the companies that Orbital Reef is scheduled to begin its operations in the second half of this decade, a date rapidly approaching.

Image via Orbital Reef

It aims to “open the next chapter of human space exploration and development by facilitating the growth of a vibrant ecosystem and business model for the future.” Plus, it includes the opportunity for someone or their business to get their own space address. Talk about a flex.

And how, pray tell, is this going to be accomplished? The “unique destination” is going to offer everything that it can, acting as sort of a futuristic “mixed-use business park” that is maybe a little more difficult to get to than your average one.

Image via Orbital Reef

According to Blue Origin, this space station will be able to host up to 10 people at a time, which rivals even the ISS’ capacity, with multiple “stations” for Boeing’s spacecraft to dock when its users travel to and from the structure.

Again, talk about a flex—imagine saying, “I passed the Moon on my way home from work yesterday.”

Among some of the services it aims to offer its “research, industrial, international, and commercial customers” are “cost competitive end-to-end services they need including space transportation and logistics, space habitation, equipment accommodation, and operations including onboard crew.”

Image via Orbital Reef

Some of the parties that the Orbital Reef intends to bring literally onboard include “seasoned” space agencies, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel firms, and high-tech consortiums. Of course, “future-minded investors” are certainly welcome.

Announcing #OrbitalReef – a commercial space station transforming human space travel and opening access to new markets. Our team developing the premier commercial destination in low Earth orbit: @BlueOrigin @SierraSpaceCo @BoeingSpace @RedwireSpace @ASU https://t.co/PP4wxrfkF3 pic.twitter.com/qJDdYg7BSv

— Orbital Reef (@OrbitalReef) October 25, 2021

[via Engadget, image via Orbital Reef and Blue Origin] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416369/Blue-Origin-Unmasks-Plans-To-Open-Commercial-Space-Station-By-2030/

US Government To Launch New Cyberspace Bureau To Combat Online Attacks

Image via The White House

The Joe Biden administration announced it will be introducing a new US State Department Bureau for cyberspace and digital policy, as part of its initiative to combat online security breaches.

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the nation has faced numerous cyber attacks in recent years. In March 2021, the head of US Cyber Command testified that the organization had conducted over two dozen operations to combat threats ahead of the 2020 elections.

Today’s news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which wrote that the new bureau will focus its efforts on three areas, namely: international cybersecurity; international digital policy; and digital freedom. As per State Department spokesperson Ned Price, it will also be appointing a special envoy to head meetings on critical and emerging technology.

Interestingly, according to CNN, this isn’t the first time such an organization has been set up. A similar office had been closed down by the Donald Trump administration, though it was later reinstated by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Biden administration reviewed Pompeo’s proposal, now taking the idea a step further by officially starting up a bureau to focus on cybersecurity issues.

“This structure will provide us with greater leadership and accountability to drive the diplomatic agenda with the interagency and abroad, and build on the extraordinary work that is already taking place across the Department,” Secretary of State Tony Blinken wrote in an email to the department’s staff.

Blinken stated that a formal announcement would come during a speech this Wednesday.

[via CNN, cover image via The White House] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416368/US-Government-To-Launch-New-Cyberspace-Bureau-To-Combat-Online-Attacks/

Breakthrough Brain Implant ‘Restores’ Sight In The Blind By Bypassing Their Eyes

Image via RUVID

Blindness is often characterized by eyes not working as they should, resulting in a loss of vision. Although largely irreversible, there have been some developments that allow users to see, such as artificial retinas. However, most of these tend to work with the eye.

As strange as it sounds when it comes to working with a loss of vision, the solution might just come in the form of something that doesn’t even include the eye in the equation.

A group of scientists from the Miguel Hernández University, Spain, have developed a new brain implant that will allow blind users to perceive simple shapes and even some letters by triggering function in the visual cortex.

While it does use an artificial retina, mounted onto a pair of ordinary glasses, its main tool is the network of 96 micro-electrodes that are implanted in the user’s brain, as the paper published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation this month details.

When light is detected through the retina, it’s converted into electrical signals. These are passed onto the micro-electrodes, which stimulate the visual cortex in the brain, which is how the person can see without their eyes.

It’s crucial to note that the implant doesn’t affect the brain’s function or stimulate other neurons that aren’t meant to be provoked in this process. The micro-electrodes can also be removed. Plus, the implant requires a lower electrical current than similar electrode setups that reside on the brain’s surface. This could make the implants safer to use.

Last year, when the setup was complete, a version with 1,000 electrodes was tested with success on some primates, although they weren’t blind.

However, this year, the team managed to test it on a woman who had been completely blind for more than 16 years. After around half a year of training with the new device, it was reported that she was able to identify the silhouettes of some objects and some letters.

“The research team is currently recruiting new blind volunteers to take part in these experiments,” the news release concludes. “In upcoming studies, they hope to use a more sophisticated image coding system that can stimulate more electrodes simultaneously, in order to reproduce more complex visual images.”

[via New Atlas, image via RUVID] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416367/Breakthrough-Brain-Implant-Restores-Sight-In-The-Blind-By-Bypassing-Their-Eyes/

Van Gogh Painting’s Stray ‘Brush Strokes’ Discovered To Be An Insect & Its Trail

Image via Vincent van Gogh / the Kröller-Müller Museum (public domain)

Life as an insect seems pretty simple until you fly into a sticky mass of pretty-looking color and find yourself in a not-so-pretty situation. The only way out is to scramble in a flurry of panicked limbs until you either make it out or succumb to the hues.

Then, that struggle is forever immortalized. Because those colors belong to a Vincent van Gogh painting, the artist’s revered status means that the evidence left behind is now worth millions.

That’s the tale of a discovery made in the July 1889 piece of Van Gogh’s olive grove paintings, a 15-part series that is now an exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art after being the subject of a three-year research project carried out by a global team of curators and conservators. Right in the middle of the Olive Grove, a tiny insect had left an even tinier trail.

Adventures with Van Gogh | @DallasMuseumArt has opened a show on Vincent’s series of 15 olive grove paintings. Among the discoveries of a three-year research project was finding a trail left by a small insect that crawled through the artist’s wet paint. https://t.co/AIDdYUkbsg

— The Art Newspaper (@TheArtNewspaper) October 22, 2021

This hadn’t been noticed in the time this painting has been on display at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands. Despite being 18cm (7.08”) long, which is almost a quarter of the painting’s height, it was lost thanks to its minute size and the painter’s brushstrokes. Only when the painting was examined under a microscope was the track revealed.

Where did it come from, and where did it go? The insect could’ve been trapped in Van Gogh’s studio indoors, or at the scene of the painting: the olive grove itself. More investigation into the painting suggests the latter; apart from the insect tracks, it turns out that this piece of work has many other hidden secrets in its midst.

The Art Newspaper reports that a fragment of some segment of flora—a blade of grass, perhaps, or the stem of a plant—was found embedded into the painting, along with what looks like a seed and some sand particles. In a different painting in the series, Olive Trees, the paint had embalmed a grasshopper.

Van Gogh created this series of paintings between June and December 1889, inspired by the olive groves around the asylum he stayed at in Saint-Rémy, France. “My ambition is truly limited to a few clods of earth, some sprouting wheat. An olive grove,” he once purportedly wrote to his friend, Émile Bernard.

It’s unclear if the voyaging insect managed to escape or was buried alive in paint following its unfortunate run-in with the arts. But unlike the grasshopper in the other painting, there’s no trace of this one. We can hope that it clawed its way out.

[via The Art Newspaper, image via Vincent van Gogh / the Kröller-Müller Museum (public domain)] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416366/Van-Gogh-Painting-s-Stray-Brush-Strokes-Discovered-To-Be-An-Insect-Its-Trail/

‘The Matrix’s Famous Green Code Comes From A Bunch Of Cookbooks

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Video screenshot via Warner Bros.

Just like the mysterious Nickelodeon slime, if you licked the iconic lime-green code in The Matrix franchise, you’re bound to taste something. What’s that? You taste sushi?

That cryptic “rain” of text isn’t anything ominous, unless you’ve been using fish left out on the counter for a day. Back in 2017, production designer Simon Whiteley revealed to CNET that the combination of Japanese hiragana, katakana, and kanji characters that have prefaced every Matrix franchise are simply sushi recipes from his Japanese wife’s cookbooks.

“I like to tell everybody that The Matrix’s code is made out of Japanese sushi recipes,” Whiteley admitted. “Without that code, there is no Matrix.”

So, you’d be right to suspect The Matrix code of its fishy undertones—it’s been a sushi menu all along. Now, to tackle another glitch in the matrix: Did you just eat? Then why are you hungry again?

[via Munchies and CNET, cover image via Warner Bros.] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416365/The-Matrix-s-Famous-Green-Code-Comes-From-A-Bunch-Of-Cookbooks/