Sky-Terra Towers Poised to Steal the Last Remnants of Sunshine from Humanity

via Gizmodo by Mark Wilson on 4/23/09

Sky-Terra were designed with the intent of creating a green space in the sky. But am I the only one who sees a flaw with this logic?

Sprouting between buildings, the Sky-Terra (another entrant in the 2009 eVolo Skyscraper Competition) hopes to create a neuron-like network of parks, pools, amphitheaters and bathhouses in the sky.

So far, so good.

But what happens to those poor souls living their lives under the Sky-Terra? What about those millions of people not on holiday, who’d just like to walk to work with some shard of sun on their face?

Have you ever seen those glowing fish from way deep in the ocean, with fluorescent skin you can see in complete absence of light? That will be the human race. So really, it’s not all bad.

[Inhabitat]

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60,000-Piece Lego Star Wars Hoth Diorama Features LEDs, Footprints

via Gizmodo by Jack Loftus on 12/21/08

Not only is this Lego Star Wars diorama of the ice world Hoth fun to look at, it’s got some gadgety goodness inside too. Oh, and footprints. Tons of tiny minifig footprints.

As the headline says, the 5′X10′ diorama is comprised of 60,000 Lego bricks. It cost creator Mark Borlase about $3,000 and four years of construction time to complete.

There’s also the 50 LED lights that illuminate the Echo Base hangar and bacta tank with a soothing blue. Motorized AT-AT wenches and a fully operational hanger door top off this gorgeous pile of eye candy.

And according to the block heads over at Brothers Brick the diorama also won the recent “Star Wars building challenge” and was featured in the official LEGO Magazine.

Impressive. Most impressive

[Flickr Set via Brothers Brick]

MacBook Nano or iPhone Slate Caught Online, Says NYT

via Gizmodo by Jesus Diaz on 10/22/08

John Markoff at the New York Times has updated his article on a potential Apple netbook—following Steve Jobs’ comments—with an interesting piece of news that reminds me of the first days of the JesusPhone, when an unidentified Apple device was detected for the first time in the traffic logs of some web sites. Markoff even provides vague specifics about this potential MacBook nano/MacBook touch/iPhone slate which was spotted in the logs of an unnamed “search engine company”:

UPDATED: That would seem to confirm findings that a search engine company shared with me on condition that I not reveal its name: The company spotted Web visits from an unannounced Apple product with a display somewhere between an iPhone and a MacBook. Is it the iPhone 3.0 or the NetMac 1.0?

Like with the original iPhone—which was spotted online in web traffic blogs—I won’t be surprised if this was real. Other Apple computers were detected online first as well, although some of them—like multiprocessor Macs running SETI or other distributed computing tasks—were never released. Unlike Markoff, however, I believe that Steve was completely honest when he said “we don’t know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk”, arguing that the company mission was to give more at the same price points, not less features for less money.

So out of pure instinct, I think we can rule out a MacBook nano netbook. Instead, if this is indeed a new unannounced Apple product, here in Gizmodo we are thinking about an iPhone HD with an updated 800 x 480 pixel display, probably coming in 2009. That resolution is something between the iPhone’s 480 x 320 pixels and MacBook’s 1280 x 800 pixels, which is completely reasonable: Other phones—like the HTC Touch HD—already have these ultra-sharp screens.

In addition to that, as Jobs pointed out in their financial conference call yesterday, they already have a strong entry in the small computing market with the iPhone. It is only logical for Apple—and probably less risky and cheaper—to keep the progress of the iPhone, upgrading the screen for one with a higher dot per inch count in the next model (but of course, I will always keep dreaming about the MacBook touch). [NYT]

Update: Some people argue that it may be a hackintoshed netbook, a computer running a modified version of Mac OS X. This may be the case, but I’m sure the “unnamed search company”—which won’t say the name of the Apple device—has plenty of hackintosh netbooks in their logs. On top of that, all hackintosh computers identify themselves as a Mac Pro, independently of their hardware.

Rumor: Xbox 360’s defect rate was as high as 68%

 
 

via Xbox 360 Fanboy by Dustin Burg on 9/8/08

According to VentureBeat’s own Dean Takahashi and his numerous insider sources, 68% of all the early manufactured Xbox 360 consoles were defective and Microsoft knew it. Takahashi does mention that it’s common industry knowledge that “early yields on electronic goods are almost always lousy”, but in the case of the 360, the problem was never fixed and production of the defective consoles went as planned. Because, you know, Microsoft had launch plans to stick to.
Again, this is all rumor seeing that Microsoft would never admit to such knowledge or such high defective rate numbers, but let’s say they knew that 68% of all their consoles had a potential for failure. If so, shame on them, but we think they learned their lesson.

[Via Eurogamer]

 
 

Lilypad floating metropolis isn’t the grim, mishmash future Waterworld promised

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 6/16/08
Lilypad-the-floating-metropolis.jpg
Belgian designer Vincent Callebaut, the Lilypad’s creator, describes the city as a “floating ecopolis for climate refugees,” but it looks more like a resort than a shelter. Inspired by nature, it’s designed to house 50,000 people displaced from the effects of global warming and other ecological disasters, and be entirely self-sufficient so it doesn’t contribute to the problem. As a floating city, it can really pick and choose how it gets its energy since wind, solar and hydropower are all easily accessible, and all food and water could be grown or processed. The artificial yet natural landscape won’t have climate refugees feeling like they live on a junker from Waterworld, either.

It’s just about the most fashionable way to weather any ecological nightmare. While the Lilypad may never see the light of day, any zero-emission city design is certainly a step in the right direction.

Check out the gallery below for more views of the Lilypad floating metropolis.

Vincent Callebaut, via Inhabitat

Ultima Tower is two crazy miles high, wants to be green

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 4/3/08

Ultima-Tower-2-miles-high.jpg

How tall is too tall? I guess we’ll know once one of these crazy building concepts ends up getting built — if it subsequently falls down, that is.

The Ultima Tower is a conceptualization by designer Eugene Tsui and it’s built around alleviating city congestion in this increasingly congested world. It’s debatably attractive shape is inspired by termite mounds and, instead of trying to brave the winds as your ordinary block-like skyscraper, it slopes gracefully to a point from a 7,000-foot-in-diameter base. The Ultima Tower is designed to provide good ol’ self contained arcology living, takes advantage of renewable wind energy, has its own water supply at its base and throughout the tower, and uses reflecting mirrors to boost the amount of natural light throughout.

I wonder what construction firms think when they look at concepts like this? At least Tsui made it aerodynamic — it’d be a pain if it created some drag against the Earth’s orbit.

Ultima Tower, via Inhabitat

Electronic Contact Lenses Give Future You Crazy Eyesight, Heads-up Display

Now that is what i need!

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 1/17/08

crazyeyes.jpg

Having the internet be constantly displayed no matter where we look is a dream we’ve had for years, but having to shove an electronic contact into our eyes makes us think twice. This prototype device, which has red LEDs and can be worn for up to 20 minutes (tested on rabbits) with no adverse effects. The contacts beam images directly into the eyes, which means you can have either superhuman vision by feeding a zoomed-in image to the device, or even heads-up displays like Arnold had in T2 or RoboCop had in RoboCops 1, 2 and 3.

[MedGadget]