Robotic cockroaches, ice phones and redesigning PRISM

Rob Walker, Yahoo News
Rob Walker
Yahoo! News
Mona Lisa Linkdown
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The Mona Lisa, redesigned by Jony Ive. Via the tumblr

by Rob Walker | @YahooTech

Between E3 and Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, it was a huge week for tech news. Can you remember any of it? Me neither. Let’s stop trying and enjoy these diversions instead.

Timeless Fashion: This wonderful little video brings predictions from 1939 about what we’d be wearing in 2000. An “electric belt,” a dress made of aluminum, a hilarious “electric headlight,” a chest-mounted telephone, and at least one totally inexplicable hat. Sadly that future is now our past, but remember when you all wore this stuff? Via New Media Rockstars.

Hard To Like: A cleverly maddening mini online game. Via Prosthetic Knowledge.

Speaking of Facebook: Don’t forget about the exciting new privacy option.

Speaking of the NSA: Last week I complained about PRISM’s awful graphic design elements. Naturally, unsolicited redesigns have emerged.

Good Call: Retro Thing reviews The Ice Phone, which “converts your modern cell phone into a retro desk phone.” It actually does look pretty cool.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? A Kickstarter campaign for “RoboRoach” involves creating tiny electronic “backpacks” that transmit pulses to a cockroach’s antennae (this involves “a short surgery”), ultimately allowing you to control the bug’s movements through your mobile device. Science! Needless to say, this macabre enterprise is already more than halfway to reaching its funding goal. Via PSFK.

Creative Reuse: What to do with your outdated laptop? Maybe this. (Thx, E.)

Tearing Google Glass To Pieces: If you’ve had that urge, this may be of interest. Via Sparkfun.

Educational Programming: This is not a video of obscene gestures from around the world; it is an example of “social construction.”

Vladimir Putin and Wendy Deng: Just that. Via none other than @page88.

Sour On Apple: Oh, now I remember that Apple event — I wrote about the company’s withering take on its own current iOS design. Jony Ive to the rescue, right? Well, insta-Tumblr jonyiveredesignsthings suggests not everyone is impressed. Curiously, no one seems to have submitted an Ive-style PRISM logo. Now’s your chance.

Have a Nice Weekend: And consider baking an egg in an avocado. I know I’m going to.