Category Archives: Technology

Consumption Atlas


I just found this really well-designed site which shows your greenhouse pollution, water use and eco-footprint. You can search by postcode and state. It also has tips and FAQs. It’s not so much to content that caught my attention but the great design, easy navigation and short loading times that did. Have a look at the Consumption Atlas and see for yourself.

Yours in design,


Mobile Phones in Japan


During a recent trip to Japan I discovered how technologically advanced Japanese mobile phones are. Many Japanese phones can listen to the radio and watch TV, can be used as a debit or credit card and swiped through checkout lines or to buy everything from mascara to jet planes. They also can be swiped and function as a season ticket or train ticket. However I mostly witnessed the QR Codes and Data Matrix Codes on everything including receipts, buses, business cards and billboards. These Codes are 2-dimensional, square bar codes that can be read with your mobile phone camera provided you have the correct reader software installed. The codes were initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, however they are now used to link to everything from URL addresses, photos and video data which are launched when the bar code is scanned. Users can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites. I can’t wait until this technology hits Australia!

For more information on this topic please visit mobile tagging.

Yours in design,

Top 5 [a little bit weird] USB devices

Number 5: USB air darts
You can aim this cute set of three darts with your mouse and fire them off by clicking. The easy way to settle an office dispute.

Number 4: USB Fridge
Always wanted to keep your beverage chilled so you can stay at your computer longer? This little fridge takes 5 minutes to get down to 8°C, weighs 365 grams and has a blue LED light.

Number 3: USB Heated Slippers
These individually powered slippers will keep each foot toasty with their two heating settings, at the same time as ensuring you don’t venture far from the computer.

Number 2: USB Aromatherapy Oil Burner
Add a drop of the included aromatherapy oil and insert into a USB drive. “Scent 2.0” just needs to get warm and the lavender smells will spread around your office and keep you feeling calm. 

Number 1: USB Eye Massager
The marketing pitch says it all: “USB Eye Massager is the latest designed health care product specially for the person which long time use their eyes, such as the computer operator.”
The massager automatically turns on once plugged into a USB port. There’s two different speeds, “high speed” and “low speed,” ensuring that you don’t over-stimulate your eyeballs with its delicate strokes. Mmm relaxing!

Buffett says brand is the business


Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor, now says that brand is the most important factor in deciding where to invest. The Financial Times on 11 October reports on a recent talk to investors in Germany, where Buffett asked what might be the criteria for deciding whether to buy a company. ‘Traditionally, the first criterion Is a strong balance sheet. But Buffett only put that in third place. His second criterion was a good management team. In first place, he put brand’. Even in hard times, brand is the key to long-term growth. That, presumably, is why Buffett is backing Goldman Sachs. And that’s why businesses in trouble – while of course fixing their balance sheets and clearing out their management teams – must also urgently invest in their brands.

Courtesy of Brian Boylan, 13 October 2008,

Yours in design, Janet-eratops