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Life as a spot

Remember all those books and reports about “the future of work”? Well, the future seems to have arrived. A new report from Orange called The way to work states that, of 28.5 million UK workers, 3.64 million (13%) are self employed, 7 million (24%) are part-time workers, 7% are freelance workers, and 11% are in […]

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The birth of the transistor

Join Joel Shurkin, author of the book Broken Genius, on a tour at the Science Museum in London. He’ll be in conversation with the Curator of Computing and Information, Tilly Blyth. Their topic is the birth of the transistor; its marriage to the computer was one of the key moments of the information age. Monday […]

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Green electronics (cont.)

Greenpeace subjected some of the biggest names in electronics to their first global exam on their green credentials. Ranked on their use of toxic chemicals and electronic waste (e-waste) policies, only Dell and Nokia scraped a barely respectable score while Apple, Motorola and Lenovo flunked the test to finish bottom of the class. The Greenpeace […]

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The power used by television

Decentralised energy – using waste heat, and encouraging individual home owners to generate electricity with solar panels and new boilers – could provide nearly 70 per cent of all Britain’s electricity, and reduce emissions by as much as 60 per cent. The development of solar and and other micro generation technologies would, as a bonus, […]

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Stern, Monbiot, and the tasks of design

The publication of the Stern review of climate change economics by a former World Bank chief economist marks a step change in government responses to the crisis. It’s not just that Stern’s conclusions correspond broadly to what environmentalists have been saying for fifteen years. The fact that the report was commissioned by The Treasury, which […]

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Stuff-O-Meter

I’ve had a couple of requests for help from design schools who have entered the competition to design a stuff-o-meter. (Designs of the time (Dott07) has teamed up with Design and Art Direction (D&AD) in a challenge to design students to come up with a stuff-o-meter that would lift the veil on the hidden history […]

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Buy this book now!

Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century will be an indispensable overview of tools, models and ideas for building a better future. In next month’s New York Review of Books, Bill McGibben writes that the book “is nothing less than The Whole Earth Catalog, that hippie bible, retooled for the iPod generation. There are […]

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Design us a Stuff-O-Meter

The amount of matter and energy wasted during the manufacture of a single laptop computer (like the one your’re using now, perhaps) is close to a thousand times its weight on your lap. But this vast ecological rucksack remains invisible – out of sight and out of mind. Designs of the time (Dott07) has teamed […]

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New voting computers crisis

The Dutch computerised voting system is completely open to fraud, and bad guys could find out, remotely, how you voted. So argue Rop Gonggrijp and colleagues of the “We do not trust voting computers” foundation in The Netherlands. Gonggrijp and co are some of smartest hackers around, so we are sure they are right. A […]

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