Sweden's Twitter Account Will No Longer Be Run By Its Citizens

iStock
iStock

Sweden's official Twitter account is about to feel a lot less personal. As engadget reports, the country will no longer be giving members of the public the power to tweet for it, marking the end of the first social media experiment of its kind.

Instead of hiring a social media professional to manage its Twitter account, Sweden decided to go a different route in 2011: Every week, a different citizen was given access to the @Sweden handle from which they could tweet from their perspective as a regular Swede. The "Curators of Sweden" project was unique when it first launched, but it has since been replicated by countries such as Ireland and the Netherlands.

Sweden's approach to social media has won numerous awards over the years, but it hasn't always been a smooth ride. Some curators in the past have posted unfiltered tweets that you wouldn't want your employer to see—let alone your entire country.

Despite the occasional controversy, the project remained afloat until this year, when Sweden announced it would be handing off the handle to one last curator at the end of September. "Every project has an end, and now—after nearly seven years—it is time for us to move on. We will develop new formats where we can reach more people in more countries than before," representatives of Sweden wrote in a statement.

If you haven't had the pleasure of following the Curators of Sweden until this point, you can browse the project's 200,000 or so archived tweets at curatorsofsweden.com.

[h/t engadget]

The Pope's Swiss Guards Are Now Outfitted in 3D-Printed Helmets

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The Popemobile isn't the only innovative piece of gear used by the Pope and his posse. Though they still look traditional, the outfits worn by the Swiss Guard now include a high-tech piece of headwear designed by the 3D-printing design team at HP, Fast Company reports.

Members of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican's private army, wore the same helmet for more than 500 years. The steel hat is branded with the crest of Pope Julius II (the "mercenary pope" and the guard's founder) and embellished with a red feathered crest for special events.

Though it made for an iconic look, the original helmet had some practical issues. After baking in the Sun for hours, the metal would heat up and burn the guard's heads. Steel also isn't the most comfortable material to be wearing on your head all day, and because it rusts so easily, it doesn't make sense to wear it in the rain.

The updated helmets from HP solve these problems while maintaining the style of the old headgear. They're made from PVC plastic, which means they're lighter and resistant to UV rays. They're also water-resistant and don't need to be polished constantly to prevent rusting.

The hats are even more affordable than their more traditional predecessors. It costs $1000 and takes 14 hours to 3D-print each PVC helmet, while it took $2000 and 100 hours to forge a single steel one.

Interested in learning about more Papal upgrades? Here are some of the stylish rides the Pope used to get around in recent decades.

[h/t Fast Company]

This Smart Ink Poster Changes According to the Weather

Typified
Typified

With detailed weather data available at a glance on smartphones or on the Weather Channel 24 hours a day, checking the forecast has never been easier. But Typified, a Melbourne, Australia-based company, believes that some people would rather hang their weather forecast on the wall than look at their phone or television. Typified is currently enjoying a successful round of funding on Kickstarter for its Weather Poster, a mountable “screen” that depicts current weather conditions.

Look closely, though, and you’ll see it’s not really a screen at all. Instead, Typified is using paper and digital ink to create a dynamic display that can react to the changing weather with a Wi-Fi connection.

The silk-screen printed poster has a simple layout, with three weather icons—rain and snow, cloudy, or sunny—that correspond to four-hour intervals throughout the day. Using input from a tiny built-in computer, the ink in the icons changes color from blue to white to indicate current conditions and the forecast.

Typified is betting that people aren’t looking for another high-tech display for their home or office—the poster, which emits no light at all, is unobtrusive, and lightweight enough (3.4 pounds) to be hung on a wall with adhesive strips.

Buy one for yourself on Kickstarter, where a pledge of $135 earns supporters one Weather Poster and two years of free weather forecasts (subsequently $7.50 per year). The campaign runs through March 4, and the poster is set to be shipped to backers in July 2019.

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