If you could just look away from the steady stream of Tumblr, Instagram and blog photos scrolling across your screen for a moment, we’d like to direct your attention to this poorly photoshopped album cover for a nerdy parody pop band. (Stick with us.) Twenty years ago to the day (July 18, 1992), the first picture ever was uploaded to the World Wide Web—by the guy who actually invented the Internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. And you’re looking at it. Thanks to the intrepid aesthetics crusaders at Design Taxi, who recently brought the photo to light along with its backstory (as you can imagine, it’s filled with happenstance). All right, now you can get back to uploading that rose-tinted cameraphone snap of your workwear-inspired crotch.
Word came down today that Full Tilt Poker, one of the largest poker sites on the internet, has been playing fast and loose with its bookkeeping. There’s $440 million missing, and more than a few people are likely headed to jail.
If you were waiting on a payout from them, it’s very bad news. If you were hoping to play an honest online game of hold’em at some point in the next decade, it’s just moderately bad news. But if you’ve ever had a nostalgic pang for the days of genuinely sketchy black-market games…it might actually be a good thing.
As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, trends and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the snow-day roll call.
If you were in grade school before the internet era, you might remember a certain pre-dawn ritual for days like this. We’re thinking of a radio and a seemingly unending list of snow-bound school districts…
Unless you heard your school on the list, you had a bus to catch. Unfortunately, the names were fast and if you missed your school, you’d have to wait another five minutes for the whole thing to repeat—making for one of the more dramatic radio broadcasts since Orson Welles.
The pop star/elf queen known as Robyn has given us a lot this year—in particular, a great album and an excuse for hipsters to listen to pop music—but apparently she’s got a few more plans. Also, she may have a future as an interactive ad guru…
To promote one of the underheralded singles of her latest full-length, “We Dance to the Beat,” the canny Swede has put together a self-remixing microsite that lets you tweak the song into your own version, or just scan through the grid of videos like an aleatoric DJ in search of the perfect combination. The result is a mind-boggling number of variations of the same basic rhythm, paired with leftfield videos for an aesthetic somewhere between Brian Eno and Zoo TV.
Of course, it helps that the original song is awesome, and unusually tinkerable…but we’re pretty sure this is what the internet is for.
A web version of that combo named Workflowy is currently changing lives in Silicon Valley with the tagline “a better way to think.”
The result looks like what you see to the left: a ranked, ordered list of whatever’s on your mind at the time. It’s not much to look at, but the right structure can do wonders for your thought process, and the folks behind the scenes claim to have built it up according to the structure of modern thoughts.
Of course, hawking a product with the pitch “it’ll change the way you think” is bound to be a little unsettling…but in this case, we’re pretty sure it’s an upgrade.
The Webby nominations came out this morning, and while there are plenty of nits to pick, we prefer to appreciate the oddball feats of cracked-out web obscuro that somehow made it through unscathed. For instance, this site promoting one Lawson Clarke, Male Copywriter, nominated for best landing page and best portfolio site. We don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s every bit as awesome as the logo suggests. Someone hire this man.
The trench coat is already one of the more iconic items in the menswear canon, so it hardly needs the ad treatment—but it couldn’t hurt.
Today, Burberry launched a site called Art of the Trench dedicated to classic outerwear piece in all its forms. You can see street style shots from all over—including this one from Mr. Schuman himself—which should give you some ideas on how to style yourself. We prefer a dark navy or black like the gentleman here, but dig around the site and you’ll find plenty of other ideas.
As for the timing, it might have done us a bit more good a few weeks back…but we’re not complaining.
We warned you before, and now it’s happening. Google is taking over your voicemail, and even though resistance isn’t exactly futile, we’re not sure why you’d bother.
As of Monday, you can import Google Voice to your current phone number, which means that, among other things, you’ll never have to listen through your voicemails again. Once you’re plugged into the Google Voice network, you can convert all your voicemails to text and sort through them like emails, which means you won’t have to skip through Aunt Gladys’s dictation of her travel arrangements before you hear from your Thursday night date. It’s simple, easy, and it’s the first step in a long road that most likely leads to the end of the phone bill.
But for now, let’s take it one step at a time.
The world of Flickr photography is massive, but it doesn’t take much browsing before one wishes for something a little more tangible. But that’s nothing the internet can’t solve…
The UK-based Biscuit Tin lets you interact with online snaps the way you would with developed stills: you can spread them on the floor, check inscriptions on the back, and generally get the kind of object-pleasure that’s so hard to come by in the virtual sphere. And since you’re drawing from your entire flickr feed, you’ll have a very big tin to sort through.
Good books get all the press but a good sentence is worth quite a bit on its own, especially if you’re trying to get through it on an elevator ride. And with tweets, status updates, and email signatures popping up just about everywhere, a perfect one can get surprisingly far.
That’s where Words Move Me comes in. Ostensibly a twitter clone, it’s devoted to those perfect turns of phrase that would be read aloud to the living room in simpler times. Nowadays, they’re posted on the internet and—once synergy catches up with things—auto-tweeted, transformed into Facebook quotes and generally set loose into the many-splendored world of social media. Even better, the site was set up by Sony to promote their new Kindle clone, which means you’ll be able to direct the whole affair from a handheld device about the size of…well, a book.
Sneakerheads are a pretty obsessive bunch, so it makes sense that they’d take to the internet in force. And since counterfeits make eBay too sketchy to rely on, it was about time someone started up a marketplace just for them.
The site is SneakerListing (hat tip to Josh Spear), and it’s an online flea market for a whole world of obscure sneakers, with many of them on sale for free. A quick tour digs up purple Nike Dunks, Jordan XXIs, and a whole cohort of heavily worn hi-tops. As for the high-end, there’s a pair of gold Ice Cream Colettes on the block for five grand, but somehow we don’t see them selling any time soon. Sites like this are perfect for obscurists—and there are quite a few—but these kicks won’t take the place of a fresh pair. On the other hand, if you’re putting a museum together…
Web-based culture criticism usually specializes in subculture mining or and oh-so-thinly veiled contempt, so it was only a matter of time before someone combined the two. This chart splits the art world’s nooks and crannies into two camps—stoner and douche—providing you with a handy excuse to snootily ignore just about anything. N.B.: By douche, we think they mean pretentious gallery-hoppers not clubrats…but we’re not sure which of the two is into Thomas Kinkade.
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