Friday, April 20, 2007

The Extraordinary Paper Scultures of Richard Sweeney

Sweeney's art concentrates of the construction of complex forms through repetition of simple elements and forms. Where the structure of the form is exposed and becomes an integral part of the beauty of the form itself. Inspired by nature and architecture Sweeney's works is driven by a search for using the least amount of materials to create complex looking structures.

View his site and his Flickr gallery.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

X Prize for Automobile Industry

The X prize foundation, the organization behind the prize, today launched a new prize for the Automobile industry. The prize aims to award the first successful car that achieves super fuel efficiency compared to todays typical production models, with the aim of breaking our dependence on oil with the aim of reducing environmental impact and global warming. The winners will receive a multimillion dollar cash prize. The winning car will have a fuel economy of at least 100 MPG (or equivalent), and must be viable for production of a run of at least 10,000 units.

The actual set of requirements to win the prize are posted here

The requirements have gone through many revisions and have been drawn up by industry professionals, but the final criteria is open for discussion and comments from the general public - so if you have anything to add you can do so via the Auto X Prize site.

About the X Prize Foundation:
"The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational non-profit prize institute whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs in space and technology for the benefit of humanity. On October 4th, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private craft to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. Because of the dramatic nature of the achievement, the X PRIZE Foundation is now widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. In October 2006, the Foundation launched the $10M Archon X PRIZE for Genomics for the first team to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days."
Visit the X prize foundation site for more info.

Hypnotic Glass Sculptures

These glass sculptures caught my eye, with their incredibly detailed and hypnotic inner landscapes. They are made by Padadino Hansen in California.

See more here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Will people pay more for DRM free music?

Apple announce today that it would be making all of EMI's music catalogue available from it's iTunes store WITHOUT Digital Rights Management - meaning that the music will be able to be copied to any other music player or played on any other computer without any software controlled restrictions.

Users will be able to choose between DRM protected tracks, or the unprotected alternative. The unprotected tracks will be mastered at a higher quality than the DRM protected tracks, so will offer better quality and be usable on pretty much any digital music player, but will cost about 1/3 more (about 30 cents).

This annoucement makes all the more sense of Steve Job's recent outspoken statement regarding the future of music distribution and his desire to see DRM free music. This now seems like clever positioning prior to this very interesting announcement. EMI will certainly appear as pioneering and brave following this announcement.

I am not sure that I find the DRM of Apple that intrusive(unlike the Microsoft equivelant), although I would prefer to have DRM music naturally so that in future I could use the music on any platform. So I am not sure I would pay a premium. Good on EMI though!

Read more at Apple.