Balance, Design, Products
January 10, 2012
Eric Nakamura wears many hats: publisher and co-founder of Giant Robot, longtime arbiter of art and culture, gallery/store/restaurant owner, and popular blogger reporting about the unique and unusual from Asia and America. Regularly on the forefront of art, design and pop culture, Eric’s Tech Top 10 may surprise you with its mix of new and old…and nary a mention of any robotic companions.
Canon T2i DSLR: It changed the way I do things. I always thought that the great point and shoots were good enough, but they really weren’t. The photography with this camera is solid and the video is sharp. This Canon opened a lot of doors and that’s what you hope technology will do for you. The lens is a Tamron 2.8 17-50. I used to think a lens like this would suck, but no, it’s solid and great. I used to worry about it’s non compactness, but you get used to it and it’s no big deal to have a camera on you these days. You never know when the alien ship will land and having a camera might be a good idea.
Design, Products, Technology
January 4, 2011
Graphic designer by trade and industrial designer by heart, I founded blueantstudio andchairwhore five years ago, as a visual outlet from my everyday grind as a creative managing director at an advertising agency in South Florida. My home has been always surrounded by technology, mostly made by the fruit company, so I apologize in advance if you are allergic to apples.
Modern minimalistic would be a good way of describing my tech style; and I would pay a premium for a device that is well designed, wireless and made of hi quality materials. Sometimes, I find myself hacking existing technology and/or designs, in order to make them serve me better. I would love to start seeing more gadgets made of carbon fiber, ceramic and other composite materials. Here are 10 gadgets that make me happy when everything else fails (or for more details, please visit your nearest Apple store!).
Apple iMac 27″ i7: What can I say about my main home computer… That is 10 times faster than the quad core Mac Pro I have at work? The answer is yes. All my daily duties are done speedier than ever and with all that real estate for extra windows and palettes. You really don’t need anything else. Mine is maxed out with 12Gb of ram and it shows!
Apple iPad WiFi: I was there, the day of launch kind of hesitant to see what would I do with it. Almost a year later and I can put it down one second. My wife has her sight on it since she gave me the MacBook Air but I have bigger plans for the trusted iPad. Magazine reading, game playing, internet browsing device and also as a client’s presentation tool.
Apple iPhone 4: Every year is the same story. Wake up super early and make the line. The old ones get sold out pretty quick on the bay to Russian’s buyers for more that what I paid for them, so the early upgrade fee is less painful. A mini computer for the pocket. Browsing, twitting, facebooking, texting and playing. When was the last time you received a phone call?
Mechanical Watches: The very first portable gadget invented. I can stare hours to the tiny movement oscillating and the little gears moving at a perfect pace. I know a Casio may be a more precise choice but the charm of a watch that you have to manually wind every two days (or in the case of the IWC, 7 days), make you take two steps back and appreciate life more. It’s all the little things that matters.
DIY Wireless Speaker: Created this out of a necessity with prioritizing looks above performance. It ended sounding pretty good with a set of dolby 3.1, off the shelf components
Nintendo DS: Or should I call it the “baby’s pacifier”? This was Isabella’s first toy. A blessing at restaurants when she was fuzzy. Now she asks for mommy’s iPhone. (she understands that daddy’s toys are not for play unless under heavy supervision)
Apple MacBook Air: The “bestest” gadget is always the “latest” one! Literally got this tiny laptop one week prior to this article. Still on my honeymoon phase but I’m loyal as a penguin. (I should’ve used Linux then!) I call this “The Guillotine”. So thin and light… it’s ridiculous.
Apple TV: This particular AppleTV has a lot of meaning to me, as I was awarded 2nd place on the Unplggd Small Cool Tech contest a couple of years ago. It changed the way I watch movies today. I’m able to stream my whole video collection from the iMac to my TV and I can also watch previews of new movies using Apple’s portal. The $99 version of the new Apple TV will be sitting on my shelf soon and Isabella will have 80Gb of pure Disney movies with this awesome “hand-me-down”
iPod Nano: I bought this iPod exclusively to use it as a in-car-entertaintment. it holds all my music, easy interface and sounds great thru a direct connection between my car audio and the 30 pin cable. CD changer who?
Leica D-Lux 4: If you want quality pictures in low light and you are tired of the cheap, plasticky feel of other cameras, this is the best you can get for the price. Right now, I have an itch for a Leica X1. 2011 looks promising.
Technology/device I’m most looking forward to in 2011: There are two devices that I’m really hoping to get early 2011. One being the iPad 2 with the 2 cameras, so I can hand down my current iPad to my daughter Isabella; The other device that I’m excited to get, is the new MacBook Air (which I got as a surprise from my wife few days ago!). Being able to install CS5 in a package that is hardly any bigger than my current iPad is very convenient, not to mention that I can transfer files back and forward more easily between work, home and Macbook Air. Using the iMac in Display mode for the Air, is another big benefit. I guess the Leica X1 can take that spot on the queue now.
Tech or tech organizational tip: The 2 best tips that I can give are: Backup your data often and go as wireless as you can. Not only thru WiFi but also bluetooth. Keyboards, mouse, trackpad, speakers, printers… They are available right now and you should take advantage of that. Your desk will thank you later.
I never leave home without: Wristwatch, iPhone and iPad. I know The iPhone and iPad sounds redundant but they are two totally different devices that I use in very different ways: the iPad being more of a work/game related device (once you play your favorite game on an iPad, you will never want to play it on your iPhone!) and the iPhone is to keep me connected thru email, text and phone calls. The watch is just one piece of mechanical wonder
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 23, 2010
Cool Hunting began like most any blog: a depository of inspiring images, notable stories and designs observations of the site’s founder, Josh Rubin. In short time, the site has become synonymous with being always there, before everyone else, when it comes to the…well…the cool and creative. Cool Hunting has become amongst one of the brightest beacons online for culturally relenvant and dependably engaging content So whether it’s visiting a Korean grandmother for her kimchi recipe, launching a popup shop, or offering limited edition collaborative designs for charity, Josh and his team always execute with great taste. Here are ten tech items Josh uses and loves regularly, some cool and some surprisingly just pragmatic…
I’ve been taking photographs with Nikon cameras since I was 8 years old and went digital pretty early on. The full-frame sensor on the D700 blew my mind when I first started using it and it continues to make me incredibly happy as I take pictures with it ever day.
Gary Fong Flash Diffuser
The collapsible Gary Fong flash diffuser might look like a Rubbermaid left-overs container but it softens the strobe so well, who cares?
BlueLounge Cable Clips
I’m a bit anal about keeping things in my bag tidy and organized and use these cable clips on just about everything.
iLuv multi-USB Plug
With so many USB-powered devices that I use on the road having one plug with three outlets helps keep the number of accessories somewhat tamed.
Mophie back-up battery
A back-up battery that fits the universal Apple mobile device plug, this thing comes in handier for the iPhone than the iPad but is useful for either.
Vicky Pollard Mimobot USB storage
I loved Little Britain (the BBC version) so when HBO and Mimobot joined forces to make USB storage devices to launch the US version, I was stoked to get a Vicky Pollard of my very own.
Apple Magic Trackpad
As much of an Apple fanboy as I am, I was skeptical about this one. I fell in love with it right away because it was the most natural transition from my laptop trackpad, even inheriting all of my multi-touch settings.
Freehands Cool Hunting Editions Cashmere Gloves
I started Freehands with my father, Stanley, a few years back to solve the iPhone-in-the-winter conundrum. This year we made a Cool Hunting Edition of the cashmere gloves with gray-on-gray stripes.
Etymotics Custom Molded Earphones
The custom molded tips on these earphones make them fit perfectly and block out all exterior noise which helps the impeccable sound quality of the E4Ps really perform.
Livescribe Echo Pen
My note-taking has become revolutionized by this pen which simultaneously records writing movement and sound and can be played back by tapping anywhere on the page so you hear what was recorded when that note was being written.
In addition to editing Cool Hunting, Josh consults for select clients on strategy, content and design for digital products, services and publications. His clients have included Apple, Adobe, Vodafone, Nike, Google and MTV among many others. Josh helped to found the digital consultancy Bond Art + Science, was a Lead User Interface Designer at Motorola, a Design Director at Razorfish, in charge of product development at Upoc Networks and an intern at IDEO. He has a BA in Communications and Cognitive Science from Hampshire College and a Master’s in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU.
Josh gets excited about obsessive compulsive art, elegant uses of technology, creative design executions, delicious local food and general paradoxes. He lives in New York City with his husband and business partner, Evan Orensten, and their two Sealyham Terriers Otis and Logan.
By Gregory Han
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 14, 2010
Julie Wolfson is one of the most prolific online writers we know, dividing her time contributing to a myriad of sites that range from reporting as the lifestyles editor over at Angeleno-centric, LAist, to worldly tastemaker reporting for Cool Hunting, and even “gamer mom” video games new for IGN. It goes without saying that technology, especially that of the mobile variety, plays a big part in her everyday lifestyle. Here are 10 tech tools she can’t live without…
1. Blackberry Bold
Most days I am on the go covering a story. Having a Blackberry with me is key for keeping up with a flood of daily emails. Plus generally Verizon phone service is good. So as much as I would like to have an iPhone full of aps, my Blackberry serves me well.
2. Apple iMac
The large screen on my iMac helps me get through several projects at once. It is especially helpful when I am formatting photo galleries in Moveable Type for LAist and trying to keep track of my twitter feed at the same time. My Steel Casey desk is filled with some of my favorite things including StrangeCo’s blue King Ken, a Lalique Macallan crystal paperweight, a flash drive from Sesame Street, a mouse pad from Kidrobot, a mug from EA, PaperMate pens, a small bottle of Yamazaki 12 from a Japan Airlines flight, and my ticket to the Cloverfield premiere peeking out from behind my passport.
3. Apple MacBook
I also have a MacBook for when I am on the go. Currently has the eBoy skin from Gelaskins covering it. I am starting to think I could get by with an iPad on the road, so I am saving up for one. We have one iPad in the house, but when you live with three othere people (husband and two daughters) it is hard to gets my hands on it.
4. Leica D-LUX 4
I am listing my Leica D-LUX 4 as number 4 on my list, but in my life it is #1. I use it every day. I love the size of the camera, it is literally always in my purse pocket, or being carried around my neck. And since it is the only camera I use I took this photo of it in the mirror.
5. Kingston Card Reader
This Kingston card reader has served me well. I take so many photos for stories and also of my family, I tend to need to load them onto one or both of my computers every day.
6. HP Photo smart A616
Though most of the photos I take are for online and we occasionally order a Photo Book from Apple or Shutterfly, I still get request for printed photos. We mostly use it for my daughter’s school projects and sending photos to a few family member who are not so computer savvy.
7. Flip Mino HD
I use my flip for so many things. For home movies it works great. My kids love to make little horror films with it too. For work I have interviewed people and posted the videos on my YouTube Channel including Oscar the Grouch for LAist and Santino Rice from Project Runway for Design*Sponge. I also often use it to record people I am interviewing just for the purpose of transcribing the interview. It helps to load the video on my computer and be able to look at their face while I am transcribing. It is by far the easiest device I have for recording audio.
8. Whirlpool Cabrio H2 Low wash system and Accu Dry Dryer
The day your washer or dryer break down is a sad one. It means a big purchase of something necessary, but not so fun. Last month both of our 11 year old machines went on the fritz and we had to replace them. I love these new Whirlpools Cabrios so much that I took this image on the candlelight setting of my Leica. Though I must admit they make some fairly odd beeping sounds that when I am home working sometimes I think R2D2 is in the house.
9. Nespress Aeroccino
My Nespresso and I have a complicated relationship. Somedays I am thankful for the convenience and some days I am too much of a coffee snob and feel the urge to grind my own beans. Either way the Nepresso Aeroccino milk frother add some foaming warm milk to my morning caffeine fix. On the right is a Japanese ceramic hand grinder I bought at Intelligentsia. On a recent trip to New York I brought back some fresh beans from the Stumptown at the Ace Hotel and a cone filter from Muji. Fresh coffee with warm milk sounds good right now.
10. Nintendo DSi XL
For the last few years I have been writing about video games and have contributed stories to several sites including IGN’s What They Play. As much as I would love to play Wii and XBOX all day, I tend to spend the most time on my DSiXL. My new favorite game is Mario Donkey Kong Mini-Land Mayhem. Other recent obsessions included Scrabble, Picross, and I always loves search games like Mystery Case Files.