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Launched in 1995, Core77 serves a devoted global audience of design professionals, corporations, students, enthusiasts and fans.

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    I try never to sit at airports, particularly at the gate while waiting for a flight. If you're going to be inside an airplane and sitting on your ass for the next several hours, I think you should try to keep your feet as much as possible beforehand.

    However, I'm able-bodied. For those with back or leg issues, frequent sitting could be a godsend, particularly in locations where there are no seats available. So I think that this wearable LEX Bionic Chair, as crazy as it looks, could be extremely useful to a subset of the population:

    The LEX weighs a little over two pounds, yet will support more than 260 pounds. They're going on Kickstarter for $245 a pop, and it's already been successfully funded, with 22 days left at press time.

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    In both the industrial design and architecture process, there is no such thing as instant gratification; clients must be kept happy, materials must be properly wielded, physics must be obeyed. All of that requires careful planning, patience and communication with others. So how gratifying would it be to conceive of a design and see it created within a matter of hours, with zero outside interference?

    Architect/designer Andrew McClure of Nomad Design recently had his young cousin teach him how to use "Minecraft." He then chose a site in the desert and quickly erected a client-free dream house, applying architectural principles and adding expensive features like cantilevers without worrying about what the engineers would say:

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    With electric cars, the darn things are so quiet that artificial noises must be piped into the cabins; as we learned with the I-Pace, Jaguar's designers even took the extreme step of hiring a Hollywood sound engineer to tune the X-Wing-Fighter-like noise that car emits.

    Even internal combustion engine cars now have fake noise, as they're so well-built and quiet that drivers accustomed to engine sounds might be turned off. "Automakers say they resort to artifice," reports the Washington Post, "because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine — but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler."

    Thus Ford has an Active Noise Control system that magnifies engine noise through the vehicle's speakers in the Mustang and F-150 pick-ups. BMW uses their more-honestly-named Active Sound Design. Volkswagen's Golf R has a dedicated speaker in the cabin connected to their growl-producing Soundaktor system.

    As examples of this, here's a BMW 140i xDrive with the fake sound alternatingly on and off:

    Here's a Ford F-150 Raptor, sound on, then off:

    In contrast, here are what some classic performance cars largely from the 1960s actually sound like (listen to that sweet Camaro):

    And here's a rundown of cars with fake engine noises:

    These skeuomorphic engine sound generators have drawn the ire of purists who, according to The Outline, have populated "internet forums and YouTube channels…filled with instructions about how to safely remove them from new cars."

    I'll reiterate an argument I made years ago*: Consumers should be able to downloaded custom "vroom tones," in the manner of ringtones, and control precisely what their cars sound like. This would give rise to mini App Store economy with amateur (or professional) sound engineers creating different medleys. And if, for instance, Hanna-Barbera licensed their Jetsons engine sound, I'd totally buy it.

    *- Never mind ringtones--how about vroom tones?

    - An update on "vroom tones" for electric cars

    - What Do You Want to Hear in a Vroom Tone?

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    Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple. If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than a few perks. We're seeking an expert Senior UX Designer to craft and

    View the full design job here

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    When you hear the phrase 'rapid prototyping' many people think of 3D printing or additive manufacturing. As the name suggests, rapid prototyping refers to fabrication of parts and prototypes in a quick and cost effective manner. These models are then used to assess, verify and test a design before proceeding to the next stage of the product development process.

    Recent advances in 3D printing technology, as well as lower prices and wider availability, have given this approach much of the limelight when it comes to rapid prototyping. However, other techniques can be used to rapidly prototype that in some instances offer a number of benefits over 3D printing. For example, CNC machining often delivers a better finished product while providing cost and time savings, which is ultimately the key aim of any product development process.

    Your choice in how to approach the process depends on the type of prototype that is required. If you are quickly testing out design ideas in the studio, or creating a 'looks-like prototype' to help the designer or engineer assess the aesthetic aspects as well as the size and scale of a prototype or part, then there are all manner of 3D printers available.

    If it's a functional or pre-production prototype that is required to assess the visual quality together with the core functionality and mechanical properties, 3D printing, especially industrial-grade Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machines, can often do the job. But as your requirements for the prototype increase, in many instances CNC machining is a better choice. Not least of all because the prototype can be made using the exact material that it will eventually be produced in when the final product goes into mass manufacture.

    Addititve vs Subtractive

    Whereas 3D printing is an additive technology in which prototypes are built up one layer at a time, CNC machining is a subtractive process in which tools cut away at a solid block of plastic or metal material to produce the object. The most common form of CNC machine is the 3-axis machine, which moves laterally on the x, y and z-axis to cut the part. More advanced 5-axis machines are capable of flipping a part over to machine both sides.

    CNC's ability to produce complex parts with extremely tight tolerances makes it a good choice for functional prototyping as well as low volume production.

    Key benefits of CNC machining

    The primary advantage of CNC machining over 3D printing is that there are very few material limitations. Prototypes can be made from a vast range of engineering-grade plastics and metals, including aluminum, brass, copper, steel and titanium, as well as materials like wood, foam and fiberglass. While there are quite a lot of materials available for plastic 3D printing, some of which are very durable and can even be used to make production parts, others don't demonstrate the mechanical properties to allow them to undergo functional testing.

    Metal 3D printing, otherwise known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering or (DMLS) or Selective Laser Melting (SLM), is coming along rapidly with companies already successfully investing in this technology, especially those within the automotive and aerospace industries. However, these metal 3D printers are expensive and although they are capable of producing complex parts that can't be CNC machined, they won't replace CNC machining completely for all parts. Rather, these two techniques are seen as complementary both in creating rapid prototypes as well as final production parts.

    A key advantage of CNC machining is its ability to remove large amounts of material quickly with high accuracy and very tight tolerances. Achieving +/-0.01mm from CNC machining is standard, 5-axis machines are capable of achieving +/-0.005mm. Achieving this level of accuracy with a 3D printer requires the print layer to be under 0.005mm, which then means the time to print even a small part can be very long. Considering the cost involved, it doesn't quite make economic sense.

    Examples proving the benefits of CNC machining

    Golf driver prototype

    As 3D printing is built up layer by layer, the surface quality can often be poor with visible marks. In contrast, CNC machining produces excellent surface quality. By way of an example, prototyping specialist 3ERP recently worked with a client on the creation of an improved golf club prototype that had originally been made in titanium using DMLS. While the main body of the prototype was of an acceptable quality, the plate had deformed during the DMLS process and so prevented the assembly of the two parts. To rectify the situation, 3ERP sanded the rough surface of the titanium body and then CNC machined a new plate in aluminum before the precise assembly of the two parts.

    In another example, 3ERP revisited a past project of a car model that it had been created in 2013 using stereolithography (SLA). The original intent was for the model to be crystal clear, but the SLA production process resulted in the appearance of visible layers. Using a new 5-axis CNC machine, they decided to recreate this model with the aim of testing the machine's accuracy and stability. The end result is a perfectly cut model with a smooth surface, demonstrating the superiority of CNC machining over SLA.

    Getting prototypes made

    While companies may choose to invest in CNC machines for creating functional prototypes and parts, this technology is typically quite costly and does require a skilled operator to ensure that the process runs smoothly. So in many instances it makes sense for designers and engineers to utilize a professional rapid prototyping service.

    CNC machines at the 3ERP facility

    As a prototyping specialist, 3ERP has a wide variety of in-house equipment for rapid prototyping including CNC machining services, vacuum casting and sheet metal fabrication. They also offer low volume manufacturing including low volume injection molding, pressure die casting and aluminum extrusion. With all this equipment at its disposal, 3ERP can benchmark the various rapid prototyping techniques and then use the best tool for the job depending on what's required.

    Some services will provide a quote, process the order on receipt of the design files and deliver the prototype as requested. However the advantage of working with specialists like 3ERP is that their experienced engineers can offer guidance as to which rapid prototyping technique is most suitable to guarantee the best result. They can also offer Design for Manufacture (DFM) suggestions to ensure the design is optimized and so reducing the rounds of prototyping, which will then help to further reduce time and costs.

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    The dumbest way to accidentally hurt yourself, or die, is to have a gravity-based mishap. Because as a species, we figured out that gravity could kill you way before we got to swordfights, shark attacks and driving Porsches into trees. Some early caveman was climbing a cliff and showing off, he lost his footing and plummeted, and the other cavemen learned a valuable lesson while poking his unmoving body with a stick.

    That's why I don't bungie jump, skydive or apply for roofing jobs. I prefer to die the American way, which is from heart disease due to poor diet, not some stupid physics-based reason that your eulogist has to write his way around.

    I also don't want to fall down stairs and injure myself. Here on the farm there are a couple of outdoor wooden staircases that are like a good Bon Jovi album. So I'm looking at design solutions for making them less slippery, of which there are many.

    If you're starting from scratch, using metal is an effective (and expensive) solution. Diamond plate steel like this is a popular choice.

    However, perforated aluminum seems to me like it would offer more grip. This design looks incredibly effective, though if you did manage to slip on it, it would probably not make for a comfy landing.

    For very muddy applications where drainage is paramount, you can purchase expanded carbon steel sheets like this and cut it to suit.

    For retrofitting existing stairs, a metal solution is perforated aluminum sheets like these.

    The little raised volcanoes provide grip.

    These aluminum strips can also be had in brightly-lit colors for better visibility.

    The advantage of going with metal is obvious: Durability. But if it's not in your budget, less expensive solutions exist. These textured treads are made from fiberglass and have much to recommend them: They're retrofittable, offer a choice of medium or coarse grit and feature bright yellow on the nosing for visibility.

    Those are affixed to the stairs with construction adhesive and a caulking gun. For a far easier installation, you could purchase rubber mats that simply lay on top of the stairs. These are probably fine with rain and snow, but presumably a pain to clean out if mud is involved.

    Going even simpler, at the big box home centers you can purchase inexpensive anti-slip tape.

    A DIY solution is to mix sand in with paint, and apply that to your (wooden) stairs to provide some texture. You can also purchase rubber or polymeric plastic grits to mix in with the paint.

    Lastly, I came across this DIY solution: The unknown person who did this appears to have routed out a channel in their treads, and inlaid a rubber strip.

    I am going to have to go with one of these solutions before winter comes, so if you've got a tried-and-true method you recommend, please do sound off in the comments!

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    The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment (MSBE) is an automotive design sketching competition and party, where today's and tomorrow's motor industry elite battle for recognition as the Middlecott Sketchbattle Champion. The recent San Francisco edition of the Sketchbattle consisted of two rounds of design sketching, lasting around 30-45 minutes each. Following the first round, a panel of top tier professional designers judged the sketches to determine who went through to the championship round.

    Each round had a theme. For the first round, designers had to sketch a taxi for 2050. Then, designers selected for the championship round had to shift focus and design an autonomous vehicle for long, rural commutes in Montana. This edition of the competition's judging panel included Chris Stoffel, Engineering Studio Lead at ZOOX, Tim Kentley-Klay, CEO and Co-Founder of ZOOX and Alikhan Kuljanov, Director of Design at SF Motors

    Art Academy, San Francisco student Philip Tandio walked away with the championship belt, a $1000 cash prize and a Brazen Sports watch, and the crowd walked away energized and inspired. As Micheal DiTullo stated in his recap of last year's SEMA sketchbattle, "So much of what we do is locked up behind closed doors for years, and sometimes forever. Getting a bunch of designers together and setting them loose is a good thing, even if only for a few hours."

    Middlecott Sketchbattle Champion, Philip Tandio, and his prizes!
    Read the full re-cap of the first San Francisco Sketchbattle here.

    To learn more about MSBE's mission and origins, we had a brief conversation with Middlecott Sketchbattle organizers, Brook Banham of Middlecott Design and and Frank Schwartz, founder of Advanced Automotive Consulting Services:

    How did The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment begin?

    Banham: The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment started in 2012 when my wife and I launched Middlecott Design, our Downtown Detroit design studio. When we launched the company, we wanted to have a party but with a twist. So I decided to host a live design sketching contest as an "entertainment" feature. The party was a great success, so we then went on to host a few more during the Detroit Design Festival and the next years Detroit Autoshow. That is when Frank came on board in 2013. With Franks huge connections with the auto design industry and business acumen, he was instrumental in helping to develop the Sketchbattle to where it is today.

    What is the overall goal of MSBE?

    Banham: The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment, has multiple purposes: 1. To expose students and their sketching and design skills to hiring professionals in an informal setting. 2. Where normally design is a highly secretive process done behind high security and closed doors, we showcase the process of design and sketching in a public domain 3. We invite both parents and their kids to the events in an effort to kick off the idea that design is a fun and satisfying career. 4. Sketching is inherently competitive; whoever has the best sketches gets the best job or gets their design realized.

    The ultimate goal of the sketchbattle is to have a design sketching contest in major cities internationally. We are already in Detroit, LA, LV and San Francisco. We want ultimately hold a Sketchbattle in every major Autoshow like, Geneva, Paris/ Frankfurt, Beijing/Shanghai, and Tokyo. We also have our sites on product design sketch battles held in cities that have strong ID presence like: London, Chicago, Portland, OR (Footwear Design), Milan, Singapore, Honk Kong etc. Finally, we are planning on Sketchbattles in more universal events like Art Basel/Miami, SXSW/Austin and maybe even Burning Man. Basically, we plan to expand the sketch battles into the mainstream.

    Schwartz: The overall goal of the MSBE is to elevate design and designers on par with professional athletes. Note, there are more professional football players in the United states than car designers in the world (NFL = 32 teams x 53 players + Arena Football + Indoor football etc). Our secondary goals are to crown the best of the best designers, expose the public to design and support local charities.

    The next Middlecott Sketch Battle experiment will be Oct 31st, from 8pm-1am, in conjunction with SEMA in Las Vegas. Get your tickets HERE, and bonus points for anyone that incorporates Halloween into their designs.

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    Position Summary: The Department of Industrial Design in the School of Design at Pratt Institute invites applications for an Assistant Chairperson to begin January 1, 2019. The Industrial Design department is a leading provider of both undergraduate and graduate education in the field. The Assistant Chairperson reports to the

    View the full design job here

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    "Cookie cutter" is often used as a derisive term for repetitive, unimaginative design. Which is totally unfair--watch how cool it is to form an actual cookie cutter:

    Relatively regular shapes like that Christmas tree and gingerbread man require multiple punches that move in at the same rate. But for more complicated shapes like, say, a moose, many more punches are required, and they must move at different speeds so as not to overstress the metal:

    No power? No problem. Even without the hydraulics, the punches can be attached to toggle clamps and operated by hand:

    These videos are from Kansas-City-based Cookiecutter.com. You can check out their Instagram here.

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    IAMRUNBOX was born out of a love of travel and a passion for running. When the founder Kirill Noskov started running to work in order to fit daily training into his busy schedule, he found it nearly impossible to pack his office attire without it getting wrinkled and creased on the way. Focusing on ergonomics, innovation and design he set out to develop backpacks and garment carriers that would promote being active every day, hold a laptop securely in place, and at the same time keep clothes wrinkle-free.

    IAMRUNBOX aspires to be a spark of active change in people's everyday lives by inspiring a healthy lifestyle and promoting running and cycling as green and sustainable commuting alternatives.

    View the full project here

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    Core77 may not be the biggest design blog in the world, but I believe we have the best readership of well-informed, practicing designers and/or folks who are savvy about the built environment through direct experience. So it's no surprise that we got some great reader feedback and recommendations on Part 1 of How to Make Non-Slippery Outdoor Stairs.

    Reader Frederick Fasola wrote:

    "If you are looking for an 'agricultural' (quick/cheap/effective) method, you can wrap the treads in chicken wire. This is very durable and very cheap if you have large expanses of decking. And if you don't mind the rustic look close up it's virtually invisible from any distance."

    Here's an example from YouTube:

    Reader Ben Johnson wrote:

    "Here's what we use for non-slip stairs in a food manufacturing plant, where the surfaces are perpetually wet (and not just wet, often wet with cleaning agents that makes things slipperier.
    "They also make nosings to put at the front of an existing tread - our main entry stairway is porcelain tile with SlipNot nosings mortared in."

    SlipNot offers four variants: Plate Stair Treads, Grating Stair Treads, Perforated Metal Stair Treads and Expanded Metal Stair treads.

    Responding to this photo we posted of someone having DIY'ed a rubber strip into their stair tread...

    ...reader Jason Campbell wrote:

    "I would replace the rubber strip option with these:"

    That's a silicone flexible heater strip, for keeping pipes and tubes warm. The strips are 1.5mm thick and are both flame retardant and moisture-proof.

    An anonymous reader wrote:

    "There is a reason teak has been used for years on boats. Wood in general is a nonslip surface it is [sic] when the stairs do not have the correct rise/run, are freshly oiled, covered in moss/algae or other issue that they become slippery."
    "Also take into account that if you are going to be shoveling snow off said steps, anything short of the expanded steel to let the snow through when stepped on, is likely going to be damaged and/or make the ice start and stick much more easily than just plain wood."

    Reader Stephen Hill wrote:

    "The correct clear polymer beads can also be mixed into a polyurethane or other clear finish to add grip without detracting from your (possibly) unpainted, natural stairs.
    "Also, for painted surfaces there is a ground walnut shell powder that can be added for even better (read more irregular) grip and texture - plus it's a great up-cycled/natural product."

    An example of the polymer beads Hill is referring to is Seal-Krete's Clear Grip non-slip grip additive.

    An example of the ground walnut shells is Duckback's anti-skid additive.

    Reader Mrten Boi wrote:

    "I concur with Stephen, there exists filler material for paint that provides grip. Think fine plastic sawdust. I'd think sand is too hard, damages the paint too much if it comes loose.
    "I've used the plastic filler dust on my (admittedly indoor) stairs and it works great."

    Thanks to all of the readers who sounded off! I'll investigate several of these options, and will provide a future update on which one I went with, how much it cost to install and most importantly, how effective it is here on the farm.

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    Glue is the most common fastener used in woodworking and it seems that selecting the right glue for the job is typically done by using whatever bottle of glue you have hanging around and without really figuring out which glue is best.

    Certain characteristics of glue such as open time are pretty well documented so what we were interested in testing is how the glue holds after it dries. It's a simple question - once the glue dries will the glued joint be strong enough to hold its position or must some other mechanical method of fastener also be used?

    We looked at three kinds of commonly used glues: Two-part epoxy, yellow wood glue (in this case Elmer's wood glue), and liquid hide glue (Old Brown - (we also love hot hide glue but we wanted for comparison an out of the bottle solution).

    To test this characteristic of glue we needed a type of joint where joint members, even when pinned down, shift position all the time.

    Members of Congress seemed perfect for the test.

    We took three politicians of various affiliations - our technicians did not think political party mattered because politicians shift positions all the time. Using each glue in turn we glued down each politician to their chair in the House of Representatives.

    We left the politicians alone for the duration of the test. At the end of the test (one session) we examined our results.

    Epoxy - The representative was still seated and had not shifted his position.

    Elmer's Wood Glue - The representative was disqualified when it was discovered that he had no positions on anything and voted on strict donor lines.

    Old Brown Liquid Hide Glue - The representative was solidly attached but under the heat of public scrutiny the glue softened and the representative was able to shift position. Fortunately one characteristic of hide glue is that it's reversible and a lobbyist was able to bring the representative back to his original position with little effort.

    Conclusion: Epoxy is the way to go if you have the votes going in. Otherwise use hide glue.


    This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.

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    So you wanted to go to Burning Man this year, but didn't feel like being dehydrated and stoned out of your gourd? Then you missed some magnificent structures, statues, kinetic sculptures, LED light shows, et cetera. But luckily for you, a chap named Mark Day shot them and edited the footage into a quick, easily-digestible two-minute chunk:

    Thanks to Day for letting us see all of that without even having to vomit mushrooms!

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    A Senior Industrial Designer is an independent thought leader and self-managed contributor within the Consumer Design team. They engage in project team discussions with autonomy and are empowered to make decisions on products on the behalf of the category design leader. They are deeply familiar with BISSELL's Global Product Development

    View the full design job here

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    If you haven't secured your ticket to our 2018 conference, Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business, yet or would like to learn about why this event is so special, look no further than this list of reasons why attending will be well worth your while:

    It's Focused

    This year, we decided to narrow down our conference theme to just one specific topic. It's a mysterious topic for most designers—one that isn't taught in design school and is often kept away from the ears of professional designers. You guessed it: business. Through a series of talks and workshops, you'll hear from other successful creative professionals on how, exactly, they got to where they are and what tools, tricks and techniques they use to get ahead. In addition to designers who have been there, done that, professionals working in the realms of PR, editorial and VC funding will give insights into what they search for in new design companies.

    Now What? will be head at A/D/O in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

    You Won't Fall Asleep

    Who here hates boring conferences? Same! We're tired of falling asleep during presentations (true story) and leaving conferences in a daze of confusion and monetary regret. So, with 'Now What?' we're taking a stand. Our mission this time around is to provide you with exciting content that will leave you feeling inspired, refreshed and ready to take a new approach to launching or growing your design business.

    via GIPHY

    The topics will energize you around this much.

    An All-Star Roster of Speakers and Workshop Leaders

    Some (but not all) of our extra-business savvy presenters this year. 

    Check out our full list of presenters here.

    It Will Be Honest

    The only thing we dread more than a boring conference is an uninformative one. When preparing for 'Now What?', we gave our presenters this brief: Cut the PR talking points, be honest about your experiences and provide clear, tangible advice based on lessons you've learned from starting your own design business. We worked closely with each presenter to discover a topic best fit for them to ensure valuable insights for you. Topics include manufacturing in China, best practices for design firms, the do's and don'ts of Kickstarter, how to own and maintain your design identity and more.

    Business Doesn't Have to Be a Drag

    As designers, we tend to focus on only design, which hinders us when we decide to branch out on our own, making the business side of things dreadful. Our goal with this conference is to turn "Now What?", an often daunting question asked during times of uncertainty, into an opportunity to explore and gain confidence.


    A conference isn't a conference without a passionate audience. You may not be passionate about business (yet), but we're guessing most of you are passionate about an idea worth starting a business for. No matter what stage of the process you're in, 'Now What?' will bring together a super-engaged community with one collective mission in mind: to learn how to launch and grow your own business. You'll interact with likeminded individuals and walk away with valuable connections that will help you get to where you need to be.

    Sound like your cup of tea? 

    Purchase your ticket to Now What? Launching and Growing Your Creative Business 

    We look forward to spending the day with you!

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    We're used to seeing autonomous car concepts, and even autonomous trucks. But Volvo is the first to break free from the incumbency of the form factors with Vera, their forthcoming driverless vehicle that looks pretty radically different from what came before:

    "Vera is an autonomous, electric vehicle that can operate with significantly less exhaust emissions and low noise levels. It is controlled and monitored via a cloud-based service, and has the potential to make transportation safer, cleaner and more efficient."

    The idea is that a fleet of these would "optimise transport in highly-repetitive, short distance flows with large volumes of goods, such as ports, factory areas and logistical mega centres, where it offers better delivery precision and flexibility."

    So for now, at least, it appears this is not intended to replace long-haul truckers. But when that step is eventually taken, whether by Volvo, Tesla or another company, there are going to be a lot of people out of work. Who should address that issue? Volvo? The government? The people that are going to be out of work themselves?

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    Jimmy DiResta is Shop Master on Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman's "Making It" competition show, and here he shows you why: The longtime shop veteran offers up a long list of his signature shop tips to make everyday tasks easier. Included are a trick for accelerating the hardening process for hot glue, the proper way to use spray mount, a UX hack for your garbage can, a quick way to organize tape and more.

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    For a pedestrian, "It's second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road," says Pete Bennett, Jaguar Land Rover's Future Mobility Research Manager. So understandably, even if you've got the light, you may be hesitant to cross the road if you see that a waiting car has no driver behind the wheel at all. That's why JLR's designers have added the following feature to a series of test vehicles at a facility in Coventry:

    "The intelligent pods [are] run autonomously on a fabricated street scene in Coventry, while the behaviour of pedestrians is analysed as they wait to cross the road. The 'eyes' have been devised by a team of advanced engineers, working in Jaguar Land Rover's Future Mobility division. The pods seek out the pedestrian - appearing to 'look' directly at them - signalling to road users that it has identified them, and intends to take avoiding action."

    I think the next step should be to sign a licensing deal with Pixar.

    "None of us will run you over."

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    Today, audio company Master & Dynamic announced their contribution to the expanding wireless Bluetooth earphone sector—the MW07 True Wireless Earphones

    The MW07s are currently available in four colorways (Tortoiseshell, Grey Terrazzo, Steel Blue and Matte Black) and are accompanied by a stainless steel charging case. The MW07's exterior is made from handcrafted acetate, a material most well-known for its use in luxury eyewear, and the charging case is made from stainless steal. PVD-coated stainless steel is used for both the acoustic enclosures housing dynamic 10mm beryllium drivers and the control buttons on each earphone.

    We're particularly excited about two main features of the MW07s. One being the sensors that detect in-ear placement, so music is both played and paused when the earbuds are placed in and taken out of the ear, and the other is the detachable silicone "fit wing". The "fit wing" is the ear insert part of the earbuds, and it comes in two different sizes, along with five ear tip sizes, making the fit customizable. 

    We haven't tested these out yet (we will update this article if we have the chance to try them out), but based on form factor and the "fit wing", the MW07s seem more stable than AirPods. I for one always prefer a secure fit in the ear rather than the loosely fitting Apple headphones and AirPods. Maybe it's the shape of my ears, but AirPods always slip out, making me paranoid to do anything but walk with them in. The opportunity to customize the MW07s is a feature that, even on its own, gives Apple a run for their money. 

    The inconspicuous earbuds provide up to 14 hours of listening. They hold 3.5 hours of battery life when fully charged, and the charging case holds an additional 10.5 hours of listening time. The case is easily fully charged in around 30 minutes.

    When it comes to actual audio quality, MW07s are almost like next-level AirPods. So as long as you're willing to break your all-Apple streak and cough up a little extra dough, these seem like a worthwhile upgrade. The MW07 True Wireless Earphones are now available for $299 here.

    What are your thoughts on MW07's features and design? do they address problems you've been having with your wireless Bluetooth earbuds? Let us know in the comments section below.

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