fangmcgee writes: Sweatshop isn’t your average online cow-clicker. As its name implies, the game places you on the floor of an offshore factory that cranks out merchandise for high-street retailers in the West. Your job as manager: to hire workers to assemble hats, shoes, bags, and shirts at various speeds according to their skill level (or lack thereof in the case of the child laborers you also employ), all while keeping your corporate masters happy by raking in the big profits. Although it's a work of satire designed to raise awareness of labor inequities, Apple doesn't approve. The tech juggernaut removed the iPad version of the game from its App Store because it was “uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop.”
fangmcgee writes: Forget Google Glass; the tech giant is in the footwear business now. Or at least it was at the SXSW series of film, interactive, and music festivals in Austin on Monday. Together with Adidas, the technology giant unveiled its concept “Talking Shoe,” a smart sneaker designed to get people off the couch and exercising. But Google didn’t just see fit to give the shoe the usual moving parts (an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a pressure sensor, Bluetooth connectivity). The sneaker also boasts a personality, one that is alternatively cheering and jeering depending on your level of activity.
fangmcgee writes: In 2050, procuring a new wardrobe will be as easy as hitting a button on a Xerox machine. At least, that’s what industrial designer Joshua Harris proposes with his three-dimensional garment printer, a concept device that would harness technologies such as rapid prototyping to bring clothing production to living rooms everywhere. Urbanization, he says, is rapidly changing the way we obtain the things we need to live. One major opportunity for change? The clothing industry.
fangmcgee writes: Dita Von Teese did more than show off her curves at Manhattan’s Ace Hotel Monday night. The burlesque star and fashion icon also modeled what designers Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti are billing the world’s first fully articulated 3D-printed gown. Created in conjunction with apid-prototyping marketplace Shapeways, the Fibbonaci-inspired mesh number consists of thousands of laser-sintered nylon components, dyed black, lacquered, and embellished with more than 13,000 Swarovski crystals to achieve its “sensual flowing form.”
fangmcgee writes: Never let it be said that Barbie doesn’t have an eye for emerging trends. After forays into everything from aeronautics to zookeeping, America’s favorite plastic dilettante is poised to tackle the Next Big Thing: smart clothing. Unveiled at the 2013 Toy Fair in New York City, the upcoming “Digital Dress” doll features an interactive touchscreen frock that lets just about anyone “draw” their own animated designs, no programming experience necessary.
fangmcgee writes: Nike made history on Sunday when it debuted the first-ever football cleat built using rapid-prototyping technology. Weighing no more than 5.6 ounces, the “Vapor Laser Talon” boasts a contoured three-dimensionally printed plate designed to provide optimal traction, as well as help football athletes maintain their “drive stance” longer and more effectively, according to the sportswear giant.
fangmcgee writes: Beware the Ghost of Thrift-Store Past, warns televangelist Pat Robertson. On an episode of "The 700 Club" on Monday, the 82-year-old advised viewers to pray over purchases from Goodwill, lest satanic forces use them as a conduit for devilish shenanigans.
fangmcgee writes: You might want to keep a barf bag and plenty of Kleenex handy; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has revealed horrifying never-before-seen video of what goes on inside China’s fur farms. Narrated by The Newsroom actress Olivia Munn, the hard-hitting exposé opens with undercover footage of fur-farm workers restraining dogs’ heads in wire nooses and electrocuting them genitally with metal rods. Other workers are shown bludgeoning raccoon dogs, beheading rabbits, and ripping the fur of still-living animals as they writhe in pain.
fangmcgee writes: Making a ring from pocket change may be an old-hat concept by now, but for a web designer with no metalworking experience to take on the task of outfitting his fiancée? Now that takes amore. Michigan resident Richard Crawford decided that a store-bought wedding band would be too impersonal, so he decided to make one himself using a 1945 Canadian silver quarter from eBay. (His bride-to-be, elementary school teacher Sarah Bontinen, is Canadian.) Obviously he had to make do with whatever tools he had, but Crawford was also able to fashion a “very specialized jeweler’s tool” using a spoon and hammer.
fangmcgee writes: Anyone can sway to the rhythm of a catchy tune. But what if you could translate your body movements into actual music? That’s the idea behind Machina’s “MJ v1.0,” the world’s first jacket to combine a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controller with flexible motion sensors to operate multiple digital music instruments, computers, and other devices simultaneously. It’s even designed to be hackable. The Mexico-based technology firm is working on a “hackstore” that will allow users to upload their own presets. Ultimately, you’ll be able to make the jacket do whatever you want: engineer beats, mix video, even play games. Forget learning the guitar—this is the future of making music.
fangmcgee writes: Sean Miles is giving the term “walkie talkies” a brand new meaning. The U.K. artist has created a series of “handsets” by embedding cellphones into the soles of various vintage shoes, including a Christian Louboutin heel, a Nike Air trainer, a classic men’s brogue, and a Hunter Wellington boot. No new cellphones were harmed in the making of the wacky devices: Miles worked with O2, a mobile telecommunications provider that also pays people to recycle unwanted gadgets, to transform outdated Nokia and LG models into fully functional—and wearable—works of art.
fangmcgee writes: Sruli Recht’s Autumn/Winter 2013 menswear collection has plenty to delight and astonish: polygonal militia jackets derived from walnut wood, sweaters composed of unwound lambswool skeins, and even Trojan Horse-like veneer boots with hinged openings. No item is more surprising, however, than the Icelandic designer’s “Forget Me Knot” ring, a one-of-a-kind bauble made with a swath of flesh from Recht’s own abdomen.
fangmcgee writes: At Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week on Monday, Dutch designer Iris van Herpen debuted what she dubbed as the "first 3D-printed flexible dresses": a dramatic skirt and cape created in collaboration with MIT Media Lab's Neri Oxman and Stratsys, and an intricate dress developed in conjunction with Austrian architect Julia Koerner and Materialise using laser-sintering.
fangmcgee writes: Body armor isn’t just for police officers or public figures anymore. In the wake of a deadly school shooting in Connecticut, a Colombian businessman has announced a line of bulletproof T-shirts, vests, and backpack-jacket hybrids geared towards the U.S. market. Although Miguel Caballero says the idea of marketing to children never crossed his mind in the two decades he’s been in business, he received so many inquiries since the December 14 massacre that the demand became impossible to ignore. “We would answer that we do not make clothes for kids. But the emails kept coming,” Caballero said.