The biting video promo for “Fotoshop by Adobé” (pronounced a-do-BEY) imagines the popular image editor marketed by Revlon et al. The scary thing is how close the video is to reality.

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Mompreneurs look to family life for product inspiration. And maybe Steve Jobs did too.

The rise of “mompreneurs” has been helped by the rise of Internet and social media, which allow child-raising women to exchange ideas without having to leave the house….

“In many households, moms are the chief buyers. And in the new millennium, if they can’t find what you need, they just invent it themselves.”

THAT was true for Ms. Monosoff, who couldn’t figure out how to stop her 8-month-old daughter from unrolling all of the toilet paper and stuffing it down the toilet. “I was like, ‘O.K., where’s the gadget?’ ” Ms. Monosoff recalls. “I was trying to figure out how to design something like that, but I really had no experience. Then I was buying shampoo at a beauty supply store, and I saw a hair permanent rod, that little roller thing, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that might work!’ ”

She worked on a rough prototype of what would become the “TP Saver.” The basic concept is that a small, plastic rod — that grown-ups can lock into place — keeps the toilet paper from unspooling.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=ffac44920a28697da6e791ee5ef96652

(This mom ends up a commercial success–though one hopes other moms would question whether we really need more gadgets manufactured in China.)

Steve Jobs was renowned for his attention to design detail, calling Google’s senior vice president for engineering one Sunday morning with the urgent message that, “The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient.”

It turns out one of Apple’s most “human” design features was also Jobs’ idea. If you’ve ever watched a loved one sleeping, you know why that rhythm is so compelling.

But the greatest example of Mr. Jobs’s attention to detail and design can be found in the little millimeter-sized glowing light that appears on every MacBook Laptop. The light, known as a sleep indicator, glows when the laptop is closed, or sleeping. Competing laptops have this feature too, but Apple’s is different.

The Mac sleep indicator is timed to glow at the average breathing rate of an adult: 12 breaths per minute. As with the space between typographic letter on the Macintosh, only Mr. Jobs could pay attention to such detail.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=73fab914e0c92349501d148ba10d64eb

One author in the New York Times argues that those who run our government should take a cue from Jobs’ focus on the human scale.

After all, if you wanted to really get a picture of how the national culture has evolved in the last few decades, particularly in the urban areas that drive economic growth, you could do a lot worse than to study Apple’s string of innovations. Mr. Jobs understood, intuitively, that Americans were breaking away from the last era’s large institutions and centralized decision-making, that technology would free them from traditional workplaces and the limits of a physical marketplace.

This was the underlying point of “think different” — that our choices were no longer dictated by the whims of huge companies or the offerings at the local mall. This was the point of a computer that enabled you to customize virtually every setting, no matter how inconsequential, so that no two users had the exact same experience. This was the essential insight behind devices driven by a universe of new apps, downloaded in seconds depending on your lifestyle and interests.

At the same time, while Mr. Jobs saw a society moving inexorably toward individual choice, he also seemed to understand that such individuality breeds detachment and confusion. And so Apple sought to fill that vacuum by making itself into more than a manufacturer; it became a kind of community, too, with storefronts and stickers and a membership that enabled you to get your e-mail, or video-conference with your friends, or post a Web page of your vacation photos.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=13f8170588e641086d46aff02e1a48af

Is that guy in the weight-loss ad really as buff as he looks? How far can you enhance that snapshot for the school newspaper and still have it represent reality? This software tool rates photographs on how far they have been manipulated.

The photographs of celebrities and models in fashion advertisements and magazines are routinely buffed with a helping of digital polish. The retouching can be slight — colors brightened, a stray hair put in place, a pimple healed. Or it can be drastic — shedding 10 or 20 pounds, adding a few inches in height and erasing all wrinkles and blemishes, done using Adobe’s Photoshop software, the photo retoucher’s magic wand.

“Fix one thing, then another and pretty soon you end up with Barbie,” said Hany Farid, a professor of computer science and a digital forensics expert at Dartmouth.

And that is a problem, feminist legislators in France, Britain and Norway say, and they want digitally altered photos to be labeled. In June, the American Medical Association adopted a policy on body image and advertising that urged advertisers and others to “discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.”

Dr. Farid said he became intrigued by the problem after reading about the photo-labeling proposals in Europe. Categorizing photos as either altered or not altered seemed too blunt an approach, he said.

Dr. Farid and Eric Kee, a Ph.D. student in computer science at Dartmouth, are proposing a software tool for measuring how much fashion and beauty photos have been altered, a 1-to-5 scale that distinguishes the infinitesimal from the fantastic. Their research is being published this week in a scholarly journal, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences….

From left to right, photographs show the five levels of retouching….The effect, from slight to drastic, may discourage retouching. “Models, for example, might well say, ‘I don’t want to be a 5. I want to be a 1,’ ” he said.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=ef370676c5e736ec41a3325885e56f55

Give linguists 140 characters and they’ll predict whether you’re a guy or girl two times out of three.

“Remember when the Gay Girl in Damascus revealed himself as a middle-aged man from Georgia? On a platform like Twitter, which doesn’t ask for much biographical information, it’s easy (and fun!) to take on a fake persona but now linguistic researchers have developed an algorithm that can predict the gender of a tweeter based solely on the 140 characters they choose to tweet. The research is based on the idea that women use language differently than men. ‘The mere fact of a tweet containing an exclamation mark or a smiley face meant that odds were a woman was tweeting, for instance,’ reports David Zax. Other research corroborates these findings, finding that women tend to use emoticons, abbreviations, repeated letters and expressions of affection more than men and linguists have also developed a list of gender-skewed words used more often by women including love, ha-ha, cute, omg, yay, hahaha, happy, girl, hair, lol, hubby, and chocolate. Remarkably, even when only provided with one tweet, the program could correctly identify gender 65.9% of the time. (PDF). Depending on how successful the program is proven to be, it could be used for ad-targeting, or for socio-linguistic research.”

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/07/28/2244236/Linguists-Out-Men-Impersonating-Women-On-Twitter

This result follows a recent spate of articles in the mainstream media arguing that language reflects how you think. While emphasizing cultural rather than gender divergences, some of this research suggests profoundly different worldviews. For example, the Pormpuraaw people of aboriginal Australia speak of “my southwest foot” instead of “my left foot.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868.html

Street art just got more homespun, thanks to “Hardcore Chicks With Sharp Sticks.” You go, grandma!

Graffiti’s Cozy, Feminine Side NYT > Home Page http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d13cf59391fa2b6c5101200b9f65fca0

“Yarn bombing” seems to be having its moment in pop culture….

Yarn bombing takes that most matronly craft (knitting) and that most maternal of gestures (wrapping something cold in a warm blanket) and transfers it to the concrete and steel wilds of the urban streetscape. Hydrants, lampposts, mailboxes, bicycles, cars — even objects as big as buses and bridges — have all been bombed in recent years, ever so softly and usually at night.

It is a global phenomenon, with yarn bombers taking their brightly colored fuzzy work to Europe, Asia and beyond. In Paris, a yarn culprit has filled sidewalk cracks with colorful knots of yarn. In Denver, a group called Ladies Fancywork Society has crocheted tree trunks, park benches and public telephones. Seattle has the YarnCore collective (“Hardcore Chicks With Sharp Sticks”) and Stockholm has the knit crew Masquerade. In London, Knit the City has “yarnstormed” fountains and fences. And in Melbourne, Australia, a woman known as Bali conjures up cozies for bike racks and bus stops.

DIY couture may not yet have hit the runways in Milan and Paris, but it’s alive and well in new media circles.

For her performance Cast, U-Me Intermedia MFA student Amy Pierce didn’t make her own wedding dress as much as invite others to make it for her. Her choice of material–a plaster body cast that required her to stand motionless for four hours–was a metaphor for the marriage contract that was particularly, well, “fitting.” (Like any good bride, she eventually fainted.)

Meanwhile designer Mary Huang has developed an application that turns drawings into dresses, courtesy of a handy mathematical algorithm.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/11/03/24/1157201/An-App-That-Turns-Any-Drawing-Into-a-Dress?from=rss via Byline

“A new app by interactive designer Mary Huang called Continuum, lets you turn any drawing into a customized three-dimensional garment. From the article: ‘Huang dubs her software “D. dress”—the “D” stands for “Delaunay triangulation,” an algorithm she uses to deconstruct each dress into a series of triangular planes. Any adjustments in necklines, skirt lengths, or sleeve types are achieved by adding or subtracting triangles. “Lo-res triangular models are more abstract,” Huang admits, “but this abstraction prompts people to imagine what the resulting dress would look like rather than expect an exact rendition of the screen image. The triangulation also insures that almost any drawing will produce an interesting form.”’”

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One cause of the pay gap between men and women may be how women approach negotiations, researchers say.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=82f8526d06b2c3fca4e0d823b8fb6581 via Byline

One cause of the pay gap between men and women may be how women approach negotiations, researchers say.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=82f8526d06b2c3fca4e0d823b8fb6581 via Byline

One cause of the pay gap between men and women may be how women approach negotiations, researchers say.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=82f8526d06b2c3fca4e0d823b8fb6581 via Byline

Bookmark: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zAYPCYonGY4/Girl-Gamers-More-Hardcore-Than-Guys Jon Ippolito’s notes: “Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play.”

You can find more of Jon Ippolito’s bookmarks at – http://delicious.com/1000_people

Bookmark: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zAYPCYonGY4/Girl-Gamers-More-Hardcore-Than-Guys Jon Ippolito’s notes: “Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play.”

You can find more of Jon Ippolito’s bookmarks at – http://delicious.com/1000_people

Bookmark this category

Bookmark: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zAYPCYonGY4/Girl-Gamers-More-Hardcore-Than-Guys Jon Ippolito’s notes: “Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play.”

You can find more of Jon Ippolito’s bookmarks at – http://delicious.com/1000_people

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