By Peter james

Gear / News - 5 months ago

How They Make Those Squishy Air Pillows Inside Amazon Boxes

Nearly every time I open a boxed shipment—MacBook dongles, a dozen yo-yos, a 3-pack of blank VHS cassettes—the empty portion of the box is filled up by small, translucent air pillows. They're fun to squish, and even more fun to pop loudly. The brand names printed on them—AirSaver, Uline, Mini Air—a...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Adobe Flash Will Finally Die Off in 2020

In 2010, Steve Jobs banished Adobe Flash from the iPhone. It was too insecure, Jobs wrote, too proprietary, too resource-intensive, too unaccommodating for a platform run by fingertips instead of mouse clicks. All of those gripes hold true. And now Adobe itself has finally conceded. The company ann...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Figma Wants Designers to Collaborate Google-Docs Style

Screens were different a decade ago; thicker, wider, tethered to walls. There were screens in our pockets back then as well, though they weren't yet as hungry for eyes. Today's screens are far more advanced than the ones from 2007, but many of the tools graphic designers use to fill them with digit...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Humanscale, the Classic Design Tool, Gets a Second Life

Apple messed with a cardinal rule of industrial design when it made the iPhone 6. The glassy screen, 5.5 inches on the diagonal, was too large for people with small hands to reach the top. To compensate, the company introduced Reachability—a quick double tap of the home button that shifts the scree...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

RIP Microsoft Paint. Thanks for All the Hideous Doodles

In 1996, the year my father brought home our first Gateway desktop, there was little for a ten-year-old to do on a computer. I'd play Minesweeper and browse Encarta, but my favorite way to waste time was fooling around with the palette of rudimentary drawing tools on Microsoft Paint. The simple gra...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Great News! You Can Mute Gmail Threads

Somehow, you’ve found yourself 10 emails deep on a Gmail thread that’s seemingly never going to never end. Someone hit Reply All just to say OK. Another person chimes in to say Mike was left off the original thread, so they're adding him now. Mike replies to say hi; someone else replies to say hi b...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Surfboard Shaper Danny Hess Makes Truly Gorgeous Wooden Boards

Carve: Hess’ laminated wood frames start off pretty stiff—great for an airplane wing but not so much for surfing, where maneuverability is key. He uses a router to hollow out the rail band and promote flex at certain points on the board. Near the back, he carves even more from the frame to add the...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Turn Off Your Push Notifications. All of Them

Push notifications are ruining my life. Yours too, I bet. Download more than a few apps and the notifications become a non-stop, cacophonous waterfall of nonsense. Here's just part of an afternoon on my phone: "Hi David! We found new Crown jewels and Bottle caps Pins for you!" "Everyone's talking a...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Throwing Shade: 7 Polarized Sunglasses for Summer Fun

When you try a new pair of polarized sunglasses, you never know you've made a mistake until it's too late. Buy them in a store or online, and your misstep becomes painfully clear just a few squint-intensive hours later. So let us do the work for you. We got our hands on a dozen pairs of polarized s...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

Gadget Lab Podcast: Talkin' Glass With Steven Levy

Glass is back—not as a consumer product, but as an enterprise product. Backchannel editor and longtime WIRED contributor Steven Levy stops in to tell us how factory workers are taking advantage of Google’s “assisted reality” wearable to streamline their production and training. This marks Glass’s em...

Gear / News - 5 months ago

HP Spectre x2 (2017) Review: The 2-in-1 Laptop to Beat

In the high-walled world of 2-in-1 Windows tablets, it has been Microsoft’s Surface Pro that has caught the eye of consumers, critics, and Wall Street. The Surface Pro is the device against which every other 2-in-1 device maker compares its wares – and some, like HP’s latest version of the Spectre x...