Buying Back Your Childhood

LIMITED TIME - LIMITED QUANTITY

My three offers are still live, time is running out, and if you haven’t taken advantage of any of them yet, then please be quick. I will not be offering these three pieces at these offer prices again anytime soon!

White Tiger is a 36inch x 24inch Museum Quality Stretched Canvas Print and you can buy it here.

Prowling Tiger is also a 36inch x24inch Museum Quality Stretched Canvas Print which you can buy here.

Swimming Tiger is a 36inch x 24inch Museum Quality Stretched Canvas Print and you can buy it here.

Once all three of each piece has been sold, the offer ends. The expiry date of these offers is 23/7/15, so you'll need to be quick!

NEXT GEN BIOMETRICS

Next Gen Biometrics
Next-Gen Biometrics
Press a fingertip to a smartphone nowadays and the device unlocks when it recognizes the fingers characteristic whirls and loops, otherwise known as the finger print. It does this either by measuring the pattern of different voltages generated by ridges and valleys, or by analyzing an image. But both methods can be rendered useless by dirty, sweaty or greasy fingers. Now, researchers are experimenting with a new way of reading human digits: ultrasound fingerprint sensors.

When a user puts his or her finger to the print-reading chip, an ultrasonic pulse bounces against it. The chip is coated with a layer of aluminum nitride, which can convert mechanical stress to electric energy or vice versa. When the ultrasonic pulse bounces back off the fingerprint, ridges and valleys return different patterns of stress, which can then be converted into electrical signals. By measuring the bounce from the ultrasound for longer period of time, the scanner can also sense the depth of the ridges and valleys.

This additional data gleaned from ultrasound pulses means that the system is also more secure than technology currently in use. If you can sense deeper characteristics, not just the shape, of a fingerprint, you can better tell the difference between what’s real or not.

If the new technology succeeds, wet and dirty fingers won’t foil the smart phone anymore. It will also be much more difficult to forge a fingerprint, the only downside to all of this of course is that by the time the technology is available, you’ll need to go out any buy another iPhone!

REDDIT

It seems that social media is always in the news, and rarely for the right reasons. Last week it was Twitter showing a flashing film, and now it’s Reddit’s turn.

Reddit CEO Ellen Pao was down voted from her interim position at the company last week, resigning after a chaotic week-long online protest.

Calling it a "mutual decision" between Pao and Reddit, the website is replacing her with co-founder Steve Huffman, the first CEO of the online community, according to Recode. The very public backlash against the site and Pao began when Reddit fired popular "Ask Me Anything" administrator and director of talent, Victoria Taylor.

Outraged moderators set several of their subreddits to "private," shutting down notable destinations /r/Books, /r/Science and /r/Music/. Pao had apologized earlier this week, admitting, "we screwed up," saying, "not just on July 2, but also over the past several years."

Acknowledging that moderators and users lost trust in the administration, she promised improvements at the website. However, that will now be the job of someone else.

RETRO

Apple 1
Apple 1

The Apple-1 computer of 1976 succeeded in seeing decades into the future, making a difference to the world of home and business computing since its release all those years ago.

The Apple-1 computer, born in 1976 of the computing genius of Steve Wozniak and the marketing drive of Steve Jobs, launched Apple Computer, a company that would define an industry and become the largest corporation in the world. What began as the attempt by two friends to design and build a microprocessor became the creation of the first personal computer, ultimately changing life around the globe.

After introducing their new creation to a small group of like-minded friends at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California, Jobs and Wozniak were able to secure an order for 50 computers from Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop, a small local retail outlet. The Apple-1 systems were sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor, but offered a pre-assembled motherboard, something that put them far ahead of the competing self-assembly kits of the day.

November 2014, a fully operational Apple 1 computer was sold at auction for $365,000 (£230,000).

It is the only machine known to have been personally sold by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, from a garage in California in 1976.

Fewer than 50 Apple 1 computers are now believed to be in existence. Yet despite its rarity, the machine was sold at way below auction house Christie's estimate of $400,000-$600,000. In October 2012, the Henry Ford organization paid $905,000 for one of the computers.

The original Apple Computer - now referred to as the Apple 1 - was hand-made by Steve Wozniak, an engineer who co-founded Apple, with Jobs, in the 1970s. When new, the machines sold for $666.66. To finance the building of the machines, Jobs sold his VW van, while Wozniak sold a calculator for $500.

I have mentioned many times that we are seeing a rise in the demand for anything retro, and it is really a case of buying back your childhood. Collectors of retro gather in auction houses up and down the country and all over the world to grab a memory from when they were eight.

A cursory glance around the internet indicates that even buying old video games is a growing and increasingly expensive market. People are becoming savvy that those old cassette tapes and Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges are increasing in value. It doesn’t look like its going away or reversing course anytime soon. There’s been countless articles written on the subject, on whether not it’s here to stay or just a ‘speculation bubble’ not unlike what comics suffered through in the 1990’s.

Having spoken to a number of "retro" collectors recently, the most common thing I hear is that "People like to buy memories back". Coupled with the analytics from my Pinterest Retro board (@beechhousemedia), retro it seems is becoming increasingly popular.

When creating the old school feel as art, I can tell you that creating something in an 8x8 pixel square that actually resembles something is hard. It is really hard. I have been creating digital art since I first had a Sinclair ZX80, before upgrading to a Sinclair ZX81, and Spectrum. I can say that it seemed much easier back in the day!

Now I produce art on the iPad and because the retina display is such high quality, this actually makes it a challenge when you are judging size. However, I can confirm that retro is in the works, and I will be producing a range of art works that will hopefully bring some memories flooding back to you. I am currently working on eleven or so pieces, purely because I like to do different things every five minutes.

I will also be setting up a new page on this blog that displays some of the upcoming retro art, and I will announce the date soon!

TURN OFF THOSE NOTIFICATIONS

No matter how hard you try not to look at your smart phone, alerts will ping, and your eyes will peep. Whether or not you act on alerts, they are distracting.

Academics from Florida State University have found that phone notifications make our minds wander, even if we don't pick up the handset. We start thinking about what the alerts could be and how we might respond to them.

"Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance," concludes the report.

OUT OF FOCUS

For the purposes of the study, a group of volunteers were bombarded with alerts, though they weren't told in advance to expect them. Those that got the notifications were less productive and made more mistakes. In fact the researchers found that just receiving an alert can be as much of a distraction as actually making a call or sending a text, and that could have implications for phone use in cars and many other scenarios.

So if you really want to get on with the task at hand and make some progress then just ignoring the buzzes and bleeps from your phone isn't enough, you have to switch it off altogether.

FORGE

Adonit's Forge iPad brainstorming app.

Adonit is tired of sitting on the sidelines as others build software to work with its line of iOS stylus. Forge, the company's first app, has been two years in the making, but it's more than a simple sketch app, it's a brainstorming tool.

Adonit's chief design officer, Peiter Buick, has suggested that Forge was inspired by employees within the company, built to duplicate the iterative process of storyboarding, sketching, and pinning ideas from every possible source onto your office wall. So, Forge is built around the concept of a wall.

The inspiration is evident once you begin using the free app. The first time you open it, you'll see the demo Wall and its sketches. A single sheet of paper contains a rough outline of a rider's head. In separate columns are different designs and colour options for a helmet, sitting atop the original outline.

In addition to the free demo Wall, you get a blank Wall of your own to begin creating and thinking through ideas. An in-app purchase of £2.99/US$4 unlocks unlimited Walls. It’s not a bad app at all, but if you’re anything like me, you will want to upgrade to get unlimited walls.

Visually it’s an appealing app, it is easy enough to dive right into, and best of all you can try it out before deciding to unlock the unlimited wall feature. If you need a cheap and decent brainstorming app, then this has you covered. There are other alternatives on the app store, some more expensive and some also free, but currently this is one of the better ones. Let’s hope that it is not ruined with developer updates that take away its usefulness.

GET FEATURED

So that’s todays round up of the arts and technology and I am going to start planning the rest of my summer features. One of these features will be for artists and crafty types who sell via print on demand and Etsy type services. If you want some exposure and be featured on this blog in one of the features, please do get in touch.

All I will need to start is a short bio, what type of art you like to work on and sell, and pick your own favourite piece. If you also include the URL so that people can stop by, that would certainly be useful! Each piece will be featured with no more than two artists per post. If you would also like to provide a small write up, then there is a great chance that it could be used on this site.

Either contact me via the contact us form at the bottom of this page, or connect with me on Facebook at https://facebook.com/beechhousemedia

I look forward to seeing your great works!

 

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