Posts Tagged ‘giveaways’

The Super Friends Are a Bunch of Design Thieves



The design world has been rocked by allegations that the Super Friends, the so-called crimefighters whose Saturday morning reality show once documented their exploits, are in fact a bunch of design thieves with little respect for the laws they are sworn to uphold.

Years ago the vigilante group decided to construct a headquarters. In the security footage screengrab below, you can see them inspecting the site under the guidance of Superman:


Without obtaining permits, the team then constructed their headquarters in violation of zoning laws, and subsequently angered local trade unions by having Aquaman perform the plumbing himself. The cell phone “selfie” taken below shows the team after completing the sub-basement.


It was implied that the structure was self-designed, indicating one or more of the Super Friends had a background in design or was associated with a name-brand architect. However, it has now been revealed that neither the ‘Friends, their associates nor even their foes have any connection with architecture whatsoever. For example, while archenemy Lex Luthor is often described as the “architect of destruction” of this or that, our research provides no evidence of his having obtained a degree in architecture from any accredited institution.

Instead it appears the design of the structure was ripped off wholesale from Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, the Art Deco structure designed in the 1930s by accredited architects Alfred T. Fellheimer, Steward Wagner, Paul Philippe Cret and Roland Wank.



The resemblance is too close to be a coincidence, and with mocking arrogance, the ‘Friends named their headquarters the “Hall of Justice.”

But it gets worse:

Footage obtained by Core77 of a never-aired episode of their eponymous show shows the Super Friends’ brazen disregard for design propriety. After the estate of one of the Cincinnati architects faxes a cease-and-desist letter to this so-called Hall of Justice…


…the team disregards the letter entirely, and retires to their rec room to play a massive game of Simon.


The Super Friends are no friends of designers, nor are they even good neighbors. Local residents have complained that the Hall of Justice hogs up an undue amount of bandwidth on the city’s free Wi-Fi, and a look inside explains why: The team insists on using Skype via a massive 5K display.


They are also reportedly active in the illegal torrent download community, using up yet more bandwidth. Here we see them viewing, en masse, a pilfered copy of Gravity.


Even the team members’ costumes may be of suspect origin. It’s no secret that the HoJ is a hotbed of gambling, with Green Lantern and Aquaman routinely placing massive wagers on NFL games. Even a casual inspection of their uniforms reveals a consistency with their betting histories.


Core77 Skype’d in to the HoJ seeking comment. Superman blocked the camera with his back and urged the team not to speak with us.


The original Cincinnati building, by the way, is now in trouble. Now home to the Cincinnati Museum Center, the onetime train station is in need of some $212 million in repairs. Later this year local voters will decide the building’s fate.


Design on the Rise: How Smart Design's Decision to Shutter Its SF Studio May Mark a Fundamental Shift in the Industry

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App rewards those who don’t touch their phone while driving

Everyone knows it’s dangerous to use a phone and drive, yet a surprising number of motorists still do it. Apps such as Rodedog have previously tried to tackle the problem with negative reinforcement, notifying friends whenever they get tempted to text behind the wheel. Now Romania’s SafeDrive wants to encourage good behavior by using a gamified points system that offers discounts on products and services when drivers leave their phone alone.

A collaboration between the Netherland’s XL Team and Romania-based KNS, the SafeDrive app enables motorists to create an account and start earning points by loading it up before they start their car. Dependent on the length and distance of the journey, drivers rack up points so long as they don’t touch their phone. If they can’t resist checking their device at a red light, the app warns them that they will lose any points gained for the journey if they choose to continue. Accrued points can then be exchanged for products and services from SafeDrive’s partners. Users can also track their trip histories and compare their results with friends.

Watch the video below to learn more about how SafeDrive works:

The app aims to provide an incentive for drivers to do the right thing when they’re behind the wheel. SafeDrive can be downloaded from Android and Windows phones, although a release date for iOS devices is yet to be announced. Are there other ways encourage drivers to stop flouting the rules of the road?


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‘Doctor Who’ Latest Villians are 3D Printing Mistakes

In the October 18th “Flatline” episode of BBC science fiction program Doctor Who, Bristol, England is overrun by the Boneless—villains from another dimension who reduce 3D lifeforms into static two-dimensional figures. Unbeknownst to viewers, these newest television villains were inspired by the curious shapes and images that result from mistakes in 3D printing.

For visual Effect Specialists AxisVFX, who were briefed to design the Boneless, “slightly-off” 3D glitches were the perfect inspiration for villains who straddle the line between the second and third dimensions. The glitches—which result from incorrect print settings, an uncalibrated machine, or user error—can render objects partially-complete, full of holes and, in certain cases, an unidentifiable tangle of plastic filament. Like the archetypal villain, 3D glitches originate from good intentions, until a part of the creation process goes awry.


AvisVFX, which had worked with 3D printing previously, drew similarities between the dimension-traveling Boneless and the printing process, where material is placed in successive layers to form a defined shape. If there is any shift in the layers, the resulting product is off-balance. Each Boneless character is designed to mimic a certain degree of layer shift: faces are warped, skulls are fragmented, and limbs sit one atop the other.

Though the Boneless look intimidating within the dark alleys of Doctor Who, 3D glitches have spurred their own (less menacing) following in art and design communities. While mistakes may frustrate printers, they add a level of complexity and abstractness that can make an object more captivating to its audience. Some 3D printing mistakes are so visually arresting that they have received more press than their intended designs.


As 3D printing becomes more ubiquitous in business, technology, and hobbyist circles, printers are expected to outgrow the stereotype as inventor toy and become established tools of service and creative communities. 3D printing’s transition from function to a form of expression opens the door for its abstract creations to be celebrated—or in the case of the Boneless, feared.

Motherboard // Doctor Who

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Smart Shaker Helps You Mix the Perfect Cocktails

If you’re looking to pull off perfect drink concoctions that have guests gushing for days, the B4RM4N will guarantee your drinks are divine. The smart shaker syncs with a phone app via Bluetooth and guides you through each step of the drink-making process, telling you what and when to pour and when to stop. The dazzling LEDs also light up to show you when to stop pouring each ingredient. There’s no need for measuring devices, scales or a bartending background.

To use the three-piece smart shaker, place it on your bar, launch the app (which will be available in Android and iOS versions), and press the connect button to get started. The B4RM4N app features a plethora of recipes, from classic cocktails to those with an exotic twist. Pick your drink of choice and the app will talk you through the pouring and mixing process. In addition to giving voice commands, the B4RM4N shaker has LED lights that illuminate as you pour. When you pour the right amount of an ingredient, the lights notify you by reaching the top of the shaker.


Whether you want to woo a date or please those with an exotic palate at your next party, B4RM4N gives you a fun, foolproof way to mix the perfect cocktails. No more fumbling through mixology books, asking guests how to make their drinks or causing cringes at the bar.

B4RM4N was created by husband and wife team Raphaël Terrier and Charlotte Saunier-Terrier after an evening of Raphaël stumbling through making a cosmo for his wife. Putting their heads together, they devised an app that would prevent cocktail making tragedies for even the most clueless of bartenders.


The B4RM4N app currently includes more than 110 recipes, and has the option to add your own concoctions and share them in the cloud with other B4RM4N users. The app will support Android and iOS mobile devices working with Bluetooth 4.0.

The smart mixology kit includes a shaker, strainer and cap, user guide and a micro-USB-charging cord.

B4RM4N is currently fundraising on Kickstarter, where you can currently pre-order a kit of your own for $99. The estimated delivery date is July 2015.


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360-Degree Horror Film for Oculus Rift

11:57 is a virtual reality short horror film that enables viewers to feel fully engulfed in the media content rather than more passively consuming. The 4-minute long film, made for the Oculus Rift headset and mobile, offers a first-of-its-kind 360-degree nightmare.

The Oculus Rift is revolutionizing the way people experience film and video games. For 11:57, it has been utilized to let the spectator feel as if they are the main character in the film. Rather than just watching the movie, the viewer becomes part of the actual set, with the action revolving around them.


The film was produced by the Amsterdam branch of international ad agency Sid Lee, which has hundreds of professionals working globally to creative transformative consumer experiences for brands. 11:57 has been brought to life as a Sid Lee Collective initiative, a formalized program that gives Sid Lee employees a chance to realize their personal creative projects by financing, producing, and showcasing them.

With VR technology by Wemersive and sound design by Audentity, the film was shot with a 360-degree rig mount and uses six GoPro HERO3+. The horror film aims to scare its viewers with a 360-degree nightmare and claims “You can scream but you cannot look away”.

A warning on the site says it contains intense audio, lighting, extreme low visibility, strobe-lights, special effects, sudden actions and an overall physically demanding environment, so it isn’t for the faint-hearted. 11:57 is available for download now, just in time for Halloween, and you can check out the official trailer below:


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