Quick Takes, April 4th

Part of a series of simple internal newsletters I did for a client, posted here early 2015 but back-dated to the original dates.

Built in obsolescence, un-repairable products, unmodifiable products, obfuscated inner workings, etc. Do you then really own the product you pay for? How about software, when you are fully immersed in a giant’s stack of products? An open hardware answer to this is Andrew “bunnie” Huang and Sean "xobs" Cross’ Novena laptop, going into the production stage through this Crowd Supply campaign. —Novena Open Laptop

++

Climate change reports have been coming out one after the other and now the IPCC has released its version, warning that “[n]obody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change” and that it poses a threat to food stocks and human security. Unusually strong words from the IPCC. —Climate Change a Threat to Security, Food and Humankind

++

A crucial telecomm package, which includes net neutrality provisions, has passed in the European Parliament. It also brings major roaming reforms. Amendment 234: “‘Net neutrality’ means the principle according to which all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender, recipient, type, content, device, service or application.” —European Parliament Passes Strong Net Neutrality Law, Along With Major Roaming Reforms

++

The Future Everything Festival has really been drawing our attention with a repeatedly excellent list of speakers. In his Beyond The Beyond blog, Bruce Sterling starts with the “tools” theme and goes from the Whole Earth Catalog to makers to design fiction. —Future Everything Festival, Tools for Unknown Futures

++

A good overview of Medellín’s renewal as an innovative city putting the emphasis on it urbanismo social (social urbanism) agenda. —Latin America’s New Superstar

++

“This month, architects in Amsterdam started work on the world's first completely 3D-printed house. It'll take three years and quite a bit of money to finish. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, a company claims to have printed ten houses with inexpensive industrial scraps in less than a day. What's the difference?” —How a Chinese Company 3D-Printed Ten Houses In a Single Day

++

Germany manages its housing stock in a completely different manner than most Western economies, making sure prices stay low and actually even go down at times, making for a more stable market and less effect on the economy. —In World's Best-Run Economy, House Prices Keep Falling

++

From Flipboard’s engineering blog: how do they make those beautiful layouts? By mixing human-designed templates with thousands of variations selected by a series of heuristics balanced through the company’s technology. —Layout in Flipboard for Web and Windows