Design Talks Plus

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I recently discovered a really great show on NHK World called Design Talks Plus. Each episode covers a different aspect of design, with a main guest who talks on the subject — for the recent episode on “Icons,” the guest was noted creative director Kashiwa Sato. The latest episode is a good one too, looking at the urban renewal currently happening in Shibuya, and includes an interview with artist Akira Yamaguchi, whose art I’ve always really loved (and I used to have an awesome t-shirt with his art on it, that I wore to death).

I watch NHK World through its app on Apple TV, and although it’s great that you can watch past episodes on-demand, they unfortunately only seem to share the last 2 episodes, and I’d really love to watch the rest of the series.

Nintendo Monthly iPhone Wallpapers

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I use the Line app once a month, and for the exact same reason every time: to check the new messages from the official Japanese Nintendo account, for the purpose of downloading the new iPhone calendar wallpaper it shares each month. Pictured above, the wallpapers we’ve gotten for July, August, and September (which is now adorning my iPhone lock screen, a bit ahead of schedule). I absolutely love these.

Salyu x Salyu

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been excited about any music coming out of Japan in quite a while, but as I mentioned in that quick post on the new episode of Codex, I am absolutely in love with the new album by Salyu (using the name “Salyu x Salyu”), s(o)un(d)beams, produced by Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada). It’s basically like getting a new Cornelius record, but an inspired one (something I did not feel with 2006’s Sensuous).

Here is a video for the first single from the album, but even better is to experience it using the Chrome Music Mixer (and here’s another video that sort of replicates the same effect). There’s also an iPhone app music visualizer based on the album.

Digital as Expensive as Print to Produce?

To produce? Maybe for the content itself (although for the most part, content is shared between the two), but one of the biggest selling points for going digital is to save on printing costs and distribution. I do still have problems with some of the points this piece from Forbes brings up though on the content production side of things. I get that producing videos for a digital edition adds costs, but the idea that including more photos in the digital edition also raises costs is ridiculous — we’re just getting to see more from a shoot, the parts that usually end up on the cutting room floor.

The question of bandwidth could be an issue, but really, is there actually an alternative to releasing magazines for the iPad than through the iTunes App Store? The article gives Zinio as an example, suggesting that all magazines sold through that device are doing it through its own servers. Is Apple really not getting any cut from sales that are done through the iPad app though? If so, then I guess we can expect to see the release of a Conde Nast (or Time, Inc., etc.) app, that will house all of its magazines.

Update: A reader suggests that the point about the photos is not so ridiculous, considering that most photographers are paid for each photo published. I assumed they were paid for the shoots.

Bonnier’s News+

Bonnier’s Mag+ — a concept for a magazine on tablet — was all the rage when it came out earlier this year, and now Bonnier follows that up with another new concept, News+, this time presenting what a daily newspaper could look like on iPad. Again, some really interesting ideas here, and I’m wondering how closely the upcoming Daily digital newspaper from Apple and Rupert Murdoch will come to looking like this. (via Cédric Riveau)

Still Can’t Download Wired in Background

Well this is disappointing. One of the things I was most looking forward to with the 4.2 iOS firmware update for iPad was the addition of multitasking, and therefore the ability to download stuff — like gigantic issues of Wired — in the background. Sorry folks, switching to another app after you start the download simply pauses it, waiting for you to return. Come on Wired, fix this. And if you’re wondering, this month’s issue clocks in at 351MB, so we’re on a downward trend in terms of size at least.

The Humument App

Now this is a very cool idea for an iPad book-related app:

In 1966 British artist Tom Phillips set himself a task: to find a second-hand book for threepence and alter every page by painting, collage and cut-up techniques thereby creating an entirely new version. He titled his altered book A Humument. The first version of all 367 treated pages was published in 1973 since when it has been continuously revised and there have been three new editions. The Humument App has just been developed for the iPad by Tom Phillips, it combines the most recent 367 full-colour pages with an entirely novel interactive feature, The Oracle.

The Humument App was released today on the iTunes App Store, and sells for $8. (via @craigmod)