The VW Beetle: How Hitler’s idea became a design icon

The remarkable thing about the VW Beetle is not just  its stupendous success and popularity but the fact that this car was developed from an idea of Adolf Hitler. It went on  to become  much loved by Californian surf dudes, college kids and free loving hippies, perhaps exceeding all expectations of the erstwhile Nazis and…

A Search Engine That Finds Vulnerable Internet-Connected Devices Such as Cameras and Baby Monitors

“Google crawls for websites. I crawl for devices,” says John Matherly, the tall, goateed 29-year-old who developed a new search engine called Shodan in 2009. Shodan crawls the Internet looking for devices, many of which are programmed to answer. These are devices that use Internet Protocol (IP) such as security cameras, medical devices, baby monitors and…

Strawbale Housing

Straw is a waste material that can be used for building houses. Bales of straw are treated and arranged to form walls. Straw bales can be a highly efficient building material. Brief Applause: Straw Bale House Here is a tweet about a video on strawbale construction: “ healthy living * Houses of straw – the rediscovery of…

Building with Laterite

Laterite is a beatiful gold-and-red coloured stone, with a wonderful earthy tone, that was very commonly used as a building material in Kerala, India, as well as other parts of South Asia. It can be left exposed without plastering. Laterite will always be sort of rough-hewn, because it is an agglomerate, unlike granite which is…

Sean Parker dissing Twitter

Even multi-millionaire Silicon Valley whiz-kids have moments of irrational jealousy. Here is Sean Parker, founder of Napster and ex-president of Facebook (he was played by Justin Timberlake in the film Social Network), commenting on an article in Forbes.com: Twitter is FAR from a Facebook competitor. To call Twitter a competitor is like saying Potato Chips is competition to…

Dealing with disruptive personalities at work

Many- a-time, disruptive personalities thrive in dysfunctional work environments. The initial expectation would be that such a person will soon be set right. But this usually does not happen, for a variety of reasons, but mostly due to inertia and typical dysfunctional office dynamics. Do not count on external forces to deal with a disruptive force in your…