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The morning radar: What we're talking about right now

When Gap released its new logo this week - large, black Helvetica text with a little blue box on the top right corner - the public reacted quickly. Some suggested the logo was designed by a child using an ancient version of Microsoft Powerpoint (and that was one of the milder jokes). Gap's marketing team was well aware of the chatter and responded quickly with a note on its Facebook page (using its old logo to post), acknowledging the feedback and announcing it would now crowdsource new designs. Good marketing move, but almost too good. We've been duped by marketing stunts and internet hoaxes too many times before that we wonder if the company just had an intern dash off a shoddy logo on purpose to attraction attention and get the original crowdsourcing plan underway.

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Not yet impressed by what your cellphone and all its associated apps and attachments can do? Well, this should finally wow you. A Dutch company has designed a gadget that when worn around the neck scans the body and transmits physiological data to your mobile device. "John, your heart rate is way too high. No need to impress us. Why don't you turn the incline on that treadmill down a notch?" we imagine it might say in a text message. The device can also forward data to your physician for follow-ups between appointments. This makes BrickBreaker seem like a stone-age app.

A Slate magazine staffer executes the Laura Ingalls test when she sees 21st-century technology: Would Laura Ingalls know what this was if she saw it? When surveying classrooms in public schools, she realized that many looked a lot like the ones in Little House on the Prairie - even a century later. The magazine launched a crowdsourcing project today in which its asking both for photos and descriptions of the most outdated classrooms in the U.S. and for suggestions on what a 21st-century classroom should look like. The winning submission (determined by votes and a judging panel) will actually be designed as a classroom in a new charter school. It seems like there's room for a lot of improvement: Photo submissions show peeling paint, slanted benches and filthy sinks. And in some cases, these classrooms don't look too different from Canadian ones.

 

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