Tag Archives: day

Snapchat Opens A Store–And Takes Aim At A Trillion-Dollar Industry

The social media company is looking at e-commerce as its next big revenue channel, and it’s starting with some brand-new Jordans.

Snap had limited success selling its own Spectacles glasses, despite releasing special kiosks in cities across the world to launch them. But maybe the company will have more luck with sneakers: tonight at an NBA All-Star event in downtown Los Angeles, Snap began selling Jordan brand shoes within Snapchat. It’s part of a new plan that could one day make Snap a sizable competitor in the $3 trillion world of e-commerce.

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general design discussion • Re: Machines v. Humans

Mr-914 wrote:
Second, I don’t think designers are to blame. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in architectural products for my whole career, but the designers I meet are excited about wood, marble, stone, leather, glass: all materials that are imprecise or inconsistent. We (designers) love to try to use that give a human/natural touch to the products.

What does the forum think?

I agree with you here Ray. I think there was a brief moment where there was a cohort of ID graduates that wanted everything to be minimal, put shapes, and matte/gloss white, black or red plastic (IE easy to model in CAD and render)… but most designers I know are into old things, things that patina, things that are made not manufactured, and a lot of us are always trying to squeeze that into production work…. that sad thing is when it does make it, it can flop in the marketplace. A lot of the Polk Heritage product I worked on did not meet sales goals. Of course there were tons of other factors, the right distribution was not lined up, there wasn’t a deep enough targeted media buy to reach the right person, time was not spent free-seeding product with influencers…. but on the end of the day it is a poor reflection on the design language, and when we toned it down, kept the form language but went back to black plastics, the sales went up… The only things I were able to save outside the forms were a slight brushed nice finish to all of the metallic (instead chrome or silver paint…) and some interesting textiles for the grilles (though that was a knockdown drag out fight to keep!)

I think there is a bit of a “safe” mentality when it comes to purchasing decisions. IE,” I’m in Best Buy, and all of the other choices are black plastic rectangles, so that must be the right thing to get. This mahogany and white speaker must be the wrong thing to get…”. Most people want product like that to blend in. When they are in a retail environment and all of the other products are black plastic bricks, that seems to blend in. When they come home maybe they realize their room is not made of black plastic bricks and that thing actually stands out now!…. a couple of years after the heritage launch I was able to bring the walnut finishes and white back for independent retailers, so they would have something different from Best Buy and Amazon, and they crushed with it. It was the right distribution channel with a true sales team and a nicer retail environment to help the user make sense of the product.


This MIT Startup Is Developing A Fitness Tracker For Your Brain

The Embrace smartwatch was designed for epilepsy patients. But its impact could be much broader.

What would it be like if you could look at your watch and catch your mood forecast for the next few days? If you knew your stress levels were likely to be 40% higher tomorrow, would you make sure to go to bed early and get enough sleep? Would you plan to grab coffee with a friend who always makes you laugh early in the day?

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MWC 2018: What to expect from the biggest phone show of the year

Mobile World Congress 2018 will host some of the biggest phone launches of the year

It’s almost time for Mobile World Congress again, the annual event held in Barcelona where the biggest names in phones and mobile get together to show off their latest gadgets. The event kicks off with a press day on February 25, and we’re expecting more than one flagship to make its debut.

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Category: Mobile Technology

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transportation • Re: Commuter Bicycle recommedations?

mike_dnhm wrote:
I pretty much own every type of bike under the sun, so its not as ridiculous as it sounds. You can get one brand new in Aus for $550:
https://www.reidcycles.com.au/granite-1-0.html
So 440 USD isnt that crazy..

Dang. That is inexpensive. Cheaper to ship to Oz from China? :wink:

And I wholeheartedly agree that the OP should get a bike with enough clearance for a minimum 32mm tires and fenders like a CX. But it does not negate the fact that diamond frames don’t work for short people and tires should be smooth for pavement and the only place for a heavy tread is mud.

I would also advocate the simplest bike for a commuter. More stuff just means more stuff to fix. Needing to fix a commuter means you have to do it before you go to work the next day. When I get home, or to work, the last thing I want to do is fix my bike. (Although like you, I have several bikes and could substitute, but us bike nuts are the exception) While not for everyone, my commuter is fixed with a single rim brake, platforms and 35mm Panaracer Paselas. Probably could get a good $200 on Craigslist for it. Perfect tool for the job.


Killer cells target leukemia broadcasting ‘come and get me’

Researchers used CRISPR gene-editing to equip certain immune cells with a homing beacon to target leukemia.

Leukemia is a deadly cancer in which rogue white blood cells roam the bloodstream, slowly killing the body that gave them life. But it has an Achilles’ heel. Many leukemia cells are betrayed by a molecule on their exterior surfaces known as CD19.

“We’re trying to design smarter cells.”

When activated, CD19 will kill the cancer cell to which it is attached. To cancer biochemists, CD19 is like a tiny radio signal broadcasting to the world, “I’m leukemia. Come and get me.” But when a body is without the immune cells equipped to hear CD19’s siren song, the leukemia is free to carry on its lethal business undeterred.

So, researchers created leukemia-specific human immune cells that track down and kill any leukemia cell exhibiting the CD19 signal.

Developing better hunter-killer cells to target cancers is part of what goes on in the lab of Stanley Qi, assistant professor of bioengineering and of chemical systems biology.

Though this is still basic research, Qi’s approach could one day lead to new ways to treat the roughly 170,000 Americans who were diagnosed with leukemia and other blood-related cancers last year.

Beyond leukemia

But leukemia is just the beginning. Cancers of the blood system account for a mere fraction of all cancers, most of which are solid tumors—clumps of cells that grow inappropriately in breasts, ovaries, lungs, and prostate, for example.

Solid tumors take refuge within a complex microenvironment of molecules, hormones, and growth factors that help these unwanted cells spread and suppress the immune system agents that seek to kill the tumor.

Qi hopes to prove that his technique could work on all cancers because it targets a beacon found not just on leukemia, but on almost every type of cell in the body, including solid cancers.

By using CRISPR to hack ever more precisely into the genome, Qi believes it may one day be possible to bioengineer therapeutic agents to dial in on not just cancers, but other diseases that use the same radio-like signaling that has already used to attack leukemia.

Tuning the antennae

Qi’s team used the CRISPR gene-editing technique to modify cellular receivers known as G protein-coupled receptors—GPCRs for short.

One of the largest and most important families of chemical receptors in human physiology, GPCRs are like cellular antennae, constantly searching for biochemical signals that allow cells to communicate and to function together as tissues.

“…we can now create GPCR antenna devices that recognize virtually any molecule imaginable…”

When antennae molecules recognize a particular signal—a molecule like CD19, for instance—they initiate a cascade of cellular communications with the nucleus that triggers a broad array of genetic outcomes ranging from immune responses to chemical generation to cell reproduction.

When GPCRs detect opiates, for instance, they instruct cells to flood the body with pleasure-enhancing, painkilling dopamine. As such, GPCRs are the gateways—the input/output devices—by which various important hormones, proteins, fatty acids, and drugs communicate on a cellular level.

GPCRs are found on the surface of almost every cell type in the body. Of the 20,000 or so genes that make up the human genome, 800 alone are dedicated to distinct GPCR variations. “That’s a huge proportion of our genetic code,” Qi says, noting that some 40 percent of all drugs already on the market today target GPCRs.

‘Vaccine’ kills cancer in mice

Therein lies the excitement in this research. By developing a technique that can turn the plethora of GCPRs into tattle tales for different illnesses and dysfunctions, Qi’s team developed a platform for hacking into the body’s biochemical communications network to battle disease. In the cancer example described above, the team has been able to recalibrate the GPCR antennae to home in on key molecules present in the tumor microenvironment.

Doing the ChaCha

Qi has dubbed their variation of the CRISPR technique “ChaCha” for the way it involves a dance of two molecules to modify the genetic code of GPCRs.

“With ChaCha we can now create GPCR antenna devices that recognize virtually any molecule imaginable, including hormones, cellular growth factors, and synthetic drugs,” he says.

While there are existing CRISPR techniques that target GPCRs, ChaCha has two key advantages. First, it’s dose dependent. A GPCR trained to recognize a specific hormone, for instance, would be able to modulate its response based on the relative presence of that hormone—more hormone would mean a greater response, and vice versa.

“This is a programmable logic by which cells can figure out what their charge is and when they have completed an assigned task,” he notes. “We’re trying to design smarter cells.”

The second advantage is that ChaCha is reversible. A cell modified for a specific task could be returned to its normal state once its duty was complete.

“As bioengineers, we want total controllability,” Qi says. “ChaCha-modified cells would cease working when the cancer cells are gone.”

Light acts as precision weapon to attack cancer

Early clinical trials have been promising and are already leading to new leukemia therapies. What has been most revolutionary, however, is a growing ability to use living cells as therapies, opening a world beyond traditional chemotherapies.

Qi and collaborators are excited by the broader prospect of adapting their genetic approach to an array of diseases ranging from solid tumors to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and autoimmune disorders like lupus.

Asked about next steps for ChaCha, Qi says he plans to continue to test the bounds of his technique to make it easier to create cells to attack disease or to conjure desirable chemicals in the body. There has already been commercial interest in the approach.

“We are just at the beginning of a very exciting period in predictably designing living cells for medical uses,” Qi says. “Now we’re moving quickly and in the right direction.”

The researchers report their findings in the journal in Nature Communications.

Primary funding of this research was provided by the Stanford School of Engineering, the Stanford School of Medicine, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Cancer Research Institute.

Source: Stanford University

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Sorry, but Lady Doritos are not a thing

Yesterday, news outlets around the world clutched their pearls and reported that PepsiCo was about to launch a line of “Lady Doritos” aimed at the delicate palates of women who can’t handle the crunch and crumbs of regular Doritos. The story was driven by comments made by PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi on a podcast. As we noted, the story didn’t ring entirely true, so we reached out to Pepsi for comment to see if, in fact, Lady Doritos are imminent.

Based on the company’s response, it looks like women are just going to have to continue to strap on Doritos like feedbags and crunch loudly and proudly like everyone else.

According to PepsiCo:

The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate. We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day. At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve and we’re always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers.”

While PepsiCo may be creating snacks targeted at women and their snack needs, Nooyi, as one of the few female CEOs at a Fortune 500 company, probably knows better than to give the world Lady Doritos.

"Digital deforestation" reveals lost Mayan city

LiDAR mapping of the jungle around the ruins of Tikal (pictured) have revealed thousands of previously-unknown ...

In the modern day, archaeologists make many of their discoveries not by traipsing through the jungle Indiana Jones-style, but with high-tech scans. Now the ruins of a gigantic Mayan city have been discovered under the blanket of the Guatemalan jungle, by bouncing lasers through the trees to reveal thousands of previously-unknown structures.

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business practices • Re: Freelance Product Designer Startup Costs

I think it depends what your goals are.

I freelanced for years, as a little side thing, for fun, and to keep the portfolio diverse. Almost all of my work was word of mouth. I did this with an EIN. It doesn’t cost much in money or effort and it prevents your SSN from being all over the place. (of course now I have LifeLock so it is kind of a moot point).

Once I left the security of a full time gig, I set up my studio with the intention to grow, so this is what I did:

- Trademark the business name $800-$1500

my personal name, this was with intention to form a studio around my expertise/experience

- Accountant $1500

I did hire a very good accountant that costs about this much. He is more of a complete financial services provider, so I do taxes through him, he helped me get all the insurance I need (life, personal disability, umbrella coverage, this stuff is important and expensive, but if your right arm in an accident, you want to have disability coverage). He helped me get 401k’s and SEP IRAs in place. He also can run payrolls for me, and when he does my taxes he runs them multiple different ways and is able to do things that TurboTax can’t. One of my best friends is a designer at TurboTax. The accountants basically use a professional version of TurboTax that allows them to run things multiple ways and make exceptions with reasons. It is worth it and the he basically pays for himself.

- Legal (contracts, etc) $1500

I hired a lawyer who mainly works with athletes on contracts and endorsements to put together my standardized contracts, master services agreements, NDA’s and contracts for subcontractors as well as file my LLC. Having worked at larger firms, and on the corporate side, I’ve seen the benefit of having contracts multiple times. If anything it just puts everything in black and white right up front. I will do this, at these times, and you will pay me that at these times. It forces some disciplined thinking up front. When people are afraid of signing contracts, that is a red flag.

- Any business licenses (not sure if needed or not) ~$200?

Had the same lawyer handled that at the same time

- Creating LLC ~$200+

Had the same lawyer handled that at the same time. This is important not only for liability, but also for taxes. By filing an LLC you can file your taxes as an S Corp, then run payroll to yourself (and once you get employees, to them too)

- Website $1500

Made mine myself. I used Everweb, because when I made it Squarespace and Wix were very new and I din’t quite trust them. When I eventually get around to redoing it I’ll like use Squarespace or Wix. Just hasn’t been a priority as I’ve been booked a quarter out for the last year and most of my business comes from word of mouth.

- Logo & Business cards $300-$400

Do it yourself, print on moo.com

- CRM system $0-$1200/yr

Why?

- Computer hardware & software ~$3000 (this is a given)

This might be more, depends on your needs. I tend to really like my gear, so I spent a bit more than this.

- plus marketing costs – $ unknown

Haven’t needed, but eventually I’ll probably step up to something here.

- plus anything else not identified – $ unknown

There are always other costs. Traveling to tradeshows/conferences, your car, and don’t forget to make a budget for your living expenses and a rainy day fund. Sometimes the hot water heater goes or something.