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An UrbanDaddy Publication

The Next Great Leap in Tie Technology


We’ve seen the future of the necktie, and it is terrifying.

This Business Card Presenter Tie was created in a single-day whirlwind of creativity as part of Dominic Wilcox’s Speed Creating Project, but it’s only a matter of time before it changes the world. From afar it looks like your standard business-issue neckwear, but pull a tab and the tie lifts up Dilbert-style to present a dangling business card.

Of course, in a business setting, you’re probably trying to avoid making the other person burst into hysterical laughter…but maybe it’s different for creatives.

See the terrifying device in action»

Last Chance


Remember that crazy self-destructing fade-to-black film we were gushing about a few months back? (We won’t be hurt if you don’t.) As it turns out, the whole thing was a chemical misstep on the way to producing genuine, workable polaroids—so they won’t be making more of it any time soon.

The good news is, they’ve found 500 more packs kicking around the factory, and if you’re quick enough, you can snap one up.

But in the time it took us to write this, they sold six more packs. So sooner is probably better.

Beatles for Sale


Following in the footsteps of Radiohead’s USB box set earlier this year, the Fab Four’s catalog is being digitally repackaging into a handy USB drive, concealed in this plastic apple along with a few mini-documentaries, rare photos from the archive and digitally enhanced liner notes.

It’ll set you back nearly $300—thanks to the usual New Medium price hike—but it’s handier than carrying around a dozen jewel cases. Still, we might hold out for the Stones’ tongue drive.

The Death of the Button


Prepare your eulogies. The button is not long for this world.

TechCruncher and professional prognosticator MG Seigler just rounded up a few recent Apple and Microsoft advances and came to one solid conclusion about the future: it involves a lot of touchscreen-tapping. Keyboards and remotes are being replaced by tablets and smartphones, and the first casualties will be the strangely pleasing mash of buttons that’s sitting in front of you right now. We’ll miss it—hey, we still have a typewriter somewhere—but we’re not about to stand in the way of progress.

Just savor every keystroke.

A Rager


The fashion world has provided fodder for dozens of movies, but this week’s model is definitely the most portable…

It’s called Rage, it features both Lily Cole and Jude Law (the latter in drag), and at the moment, the only place you’ll see it is on a mobile phone. The film takes the form of a series of faux-interviews—with a murder thrown in to keep the plot moving—so it should play pretty well on the small screen…but how many folks are willing to watch it there remains to be seen. Babelgum has been posting sections of the film serially through their mobile app, and you’ll be able to see the whole thing there by the time Monday rolls around. Of course, with a single camera setup and limited sets, it’s not quite as monumental as what you’ll find in theaters…but as the film equivalent of fast fashion, it does just fine.

See the trailer»

Pulling Rank


Inboxes are pretty cluttered these days, and there are more than a few startups clamoring to clean them up. The latest is one called Gist, which aims to integrate email and social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to give you a beefed-up version of your Outlook Contacts. But as often happens with Big Picture tech ideas, there’s a side effect that’s rapidly becoming the main story: You get to rank your friends.

Instead of arranging emails by time like every other PopMail app, Gist uses the power of social media to rank your contacts from most important (boss, date, tailor) to the somewhat less important (chain-mail loving aunt, tech-savvy president). The good news: you’ll get a head start on the next meeting request. The bad news: If it catches on, getting a foothold in a new contact’s inbox will get a whole lot harder.

Maybe you could send them a telegram?

Somebody’s Watching Me


It was fun for a while, but the thrill of social media is not what it used to be. After enough idle time, it gets to be a pain having that Facebook page that following you around—and not just because it still lists Clerks as your favorite movie.

With the help of augmented reality tech and facial recognition software, that pesky feeling is about to become very very real. This Augmented ID concept from Tat hones on a person’s face and proceeds to surround them with their various online simulacrums, from professional LinkedIn pages to the occasionally ill-advised Facebook quote. You’ll be able to tailor what shows up—Tat even goes so far as imagining separate “work” and “play” profiles—but we can’t help wondering if you really want all that following you around.

On the bright side, you won’t have to worry about remembering anyone’s name.

See a video that explains it all»

The Voice of Reason


Over the past decade, the internet has left a long trail of upended industries in its wake—most notably music, publishing and feline photography—but so far the phone companies have skated by more or less untouched.

There have been a few attempts at startup telephony, most notably Skype and the recently revived Ooma but one of the heavy-hitters is about to give it a shot too. We’ll give you a hint; it starts with a G…

And ends with an “oogle”»

The Streets is Watchin’


Street art has always been a bit too politically prickly to fit in with the web 2.0 crowd…but that’s no reason to stop trying. After all, populism is populism, and if street artists managed to make nice with auction houses, who’s to say they can’t fit a few iPhones into their repertoire?

Adidas’s new Urban Art Guide (via NotCot) is one of the first tries, and it handles it as well as could be hoped…at least, if you live in Berlin.

More on the Urban Art Guide»

Trans-Europe Bike Lane


If you don’t feel much of a yen for nostalgia bikes, there’s always the futuristic option.

Of course, there’s all manner of moped out there, but this Ultra Motor Bike is the first one we’ve seen put its lithium battery on proud display. The white metal replaces the usual old world charm with a more technological aesthetic, and you'll have to adjust your biking gear accordingly. We'd say a little less corduroy and a few more synthetics. At the very least, they'll keep you dry.

Is it too late to land Kraftwerk for a sponsorship deal?

Listen Carefully


The deep end of the hi-fi pool can be hard to manage, but it’s worth a dip or two—especially if you’ve ever wanted to hear every last backup singer in Pretzel Logic.

The Gizmodo kids have spent all week detailing the particulars of the stereo kingdom—including an economic breakdown of six-figure speakers that should come in handy for anyone considering a stereo that costs more than their car—but our favorite post is this gem taking you inside the ear of a bonafide audiophile, with the help of a $350,000 stereo setup.

The real surprise is exactly which music gets play on such a system. Naturally, the Buzzcocks don’t do terribly well, but the 70s seem to have been a pretty fertile decade for audiophile fodder. Gizmodo’s particular trip down the rabbit hole featured an Eno-assisted David Bowie (“Heroes”), a post-Eno Roxy Music (“Avalon”) and a remarkably lush sidetrip into the world of French techno (Air’s Talkie Walkie).

All rich, nuanced sonic landscapes…but was a little Daft Punk too much to ask for? We’d say journalistic integrity demands nothing less.

Weaponized Bacon


As you may have noticed, the internet’s gone a bit bacon crazy in the past year or so. But we always assumed it would stop before it got dangerous.

We were wrong.

This is the latest entry in the bacon wars, a protein-packed cannoli of death known as the Flaming Bacon Lance. It’s made entirely of prosciutto—which we like to think of as weapons-grade bacon—and it spits enough flame to melt through a stainless steel tray.

There’s even a cucumber model for a vegetarian equivalent...but somehow it's just not the same.

See the flaming bacon lance in action»

Detroit Revisited


Much as we like cars, the four-door is getting a little long in the tooth. Where are the cars we were promised in Total Recall?

It looks like they’re almost here. This is the PUMA prototype, a collaboration between GM and Segway that might be the electric urban raider the world’s been waiting for—whenever it goes into production, that is. At the moment, the main problem is presentation…

Those hazard stripes aren’t doing anyone any favors, and the whole thing could stand to be a bit sleeker. Lest we forget, it was design that made the difference between the iPod and the slew of mp3 gadgets that came before. Is anyone out there ready to throw a few sketches together?

See the PUMA in action»

The App Race


We’re used to buying complete packages, and the iPhone certainly looked like one. Lately though, it seems more and more like what we bought was just an empty box waiting to be filled up with awesome. And they’re finally getting around to it.

Exhibit A: the Coachella app that keeps you up to date with all the showtimes and lets you plot your own course through the madness of the festival. If only there were some kind of social network…

Exhibit B: The best work we’ve seen from Trent Reznor since those videos that terrified your parents. We’re talking about the Nine Inch Nails iPhone app, which brings together just about everything you could want.

Let us count the ways»

ScarJo, PhilCo, and April Fools


Better, Faster, Stronger A newly remodeled Scarlett Johansson graces the pages of French Vogue. [Kanye West’s Blog]

Rise of the Machines: With April Fools on the horizon, Lifehacker rounds up six tech pranks that you can try without risking any permanent bodily harm when you’re found out. [Lifehacker]

Great Phils: Kempt favorite Phil Collins’ six best performances as a session drummer. Not bad, but we’d love to see a little Eno in here… [PopDose]

Demanding: HP takes one giant leap towards print on demand magazines, bringing the dream of an all-nipslip issue of Vanity Fair that much closer to reality. [PSFK]