advertisement advertisement Since its January launch, social-finance tool Bundle has hooked users — and FastCompany.com — with a tantalizing premise: See how your neighbors spend their money. Once we answered a few simple questions, the site crawled spending data gleaned from the U.S. government and Citigroup to find different demographics adults who lived near us, like us, and on a similar budget (e.g., single New York males making $40,000 a year). Then, it let us “go deep” into their pocketbooks to find out, say, where they buy groceries, and what percentage of their monthly income goes toward rent. It’s a valuable tool: Once you’ve peeked at your neighbors’ bills, you can adopt their most relevant spending and savings habits, or just rest easy knowing your life is not a freakish pursuit of status and comfort. But it wasn’t a very practical one, since you couldn’t sync to a bank account or catalogue specific … [Read more...] about First Look: Bundle’s Savvy New Features Prove It’s More Than Just a Pretty (Inter)face
Resolution about new year
advertisement The half-life of an Internet meme is shorter than the life of a ripe avocado. Double Rainbow Guy, Steven Slater, Bros Icing Bros–those have all come and gone faster than you can make guacamole. ChatRoulette was the hottest fad on the Internet for a solid few weeks, only to lapse into an endless parade of eye-scorching man-parts with little of the joy it originally inspired. Mashable is reporting that ChatRoulette is currently down, sporting a message stating: Interviews with ChatRoulette’s founder, Andrey Ternovskiy, showed that the teenage ingenue is thinking bigger than other quick-made Internet celebrities like, say, Christian Lander of Stuff White People Like. Ternovskiy had entertained huge offers for ChatRoulette, but turned them all down in favor of keeping the property himself. He even partnered with Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who will be played by Justin Timberlake later this year in The Social Network, though TechCrunch hears that … [Read more...] about ChatRoulette Is Down, New Version Coming Tomorrow–But Do We Care?
Brad Pitt is more than just a voracious consumer of design–he is, perhaps, one of design’s greatest philanthropists. The proof is his two-year long effort to build houses–designed by some of the world’s best architects–to New Orleans’s Katrina-decimated Ninth Ward. advertisement Yesterday, Pitt’s organization, Make it Right, released 14 new home designs. Eventually, the foundation aims to build 150 houses in the area. The 14 architects are a formidable lot: Atelier Hitoshi, Bild Design, Billes, buildingstudio, BNIM, Constructs, Elemental, Gehry Partners, GRAFT, Kappe Architects, MVRDV, Pugh + Scarpa, Waggonner & Ball Architects, and William McDonough + Partners. An elegant design by Elemental, which looks like a dead-ringer for a modern Swiss mountain retreat (and, come to think of it, this moving house we featured): MVRDV produced a raised house that’s very reminiscent of another work we’ve seen of theirs, the astonishing … [Read more...] about Brad Pitt’s Foundation Unveils 14 Home Designs for New Orleans
advertisement advertisement Last Wednesday, Haitian president René Préval asked the international aid community for $3.8 billion to rebuild his shattered country after January’s devastating earthquake. In what amounted to a fund-raiser at the United Nations, he received pledges of $5.3 billion over the next eighteen months. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton promised $1.15 billion on behalf of the United States. Most of the money will be spent on rebuilding schools, hospitals, roads, and basic infrastructure–the question is where? The earthquake destroyed much of the capital of Port-au-Prince, killing 300,000 residents and leaving 1.3 million homeless–nearly half of whom have become internal refugees. Haiti’s reconstruction plans include earmarking $500 million just to lease or purchase land for temporary settlements. They may be more than temporary. As I noted back in February, a number of urban planners and economists within and … [Read more...] about Is Haiti a Laboratory for New Urbanists? What the Country Really Needs Is Old Urbanism
Algae is one of the hottest new biofuel materials, with over a dozen companies attempting to make the slimy stuff a viable feedstock. Most of them rely on the natural simplicity of the organism–sun and water turn CO2 from algae into fuel–and a few, including OriginOil, use LEDs to grow algae in the dark. Now a group of researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology wants to take OriginOil’s technique a step further and grow algae in abandoned mines. Old mines are actually an ideal location for algae. When algae are grown in outdoor ponds, scientists often fear that Still, there are some downsides. LEDs are expensive and require lots of electricity to run, so there is a danger that more energy could be used in the lighting process than is ultimately generated by the algae. That isn’t stopping the Missouri researchers. The team is experimenting with algae in artificial mines, and a real mining operation is scheduled to go online sometime in the … [Read more...] about Abandoned Mines: The New Algae-Harvesting Powerhouses?