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Apple’s Ex-CEO Designed a Smartphone for the Developing World

John Sculley, the former Apple CEO famous for firing Steve Jobs in the '80s, believes he’s created a smartphone that strikes the elusive balance between quality and affordability. Last week, his company Obi Worldphone announced the release of two new handsets, the SF1 and SJ1.5. The phones will go for $199 and $129, respectively, and will be targeted at buyers in the developing world.

According to WIRED, over the next few years, one billion people in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are expected to buy a smartphone for the first time. Tech companies, including Sculley’s own year-old Obi Worldphone, are scrambling to infiltrate these emerging markets. Their new phones offer a cheaper alternative to the premium brands currently dominating markets like Brazil, while providing higher quality than the knock-offs that are sold on the streets.

The phones are high-quality in appearance as well, thanks to Beats by Dr. Dre designer Robert Brunner. To set the Android-powered phones apart from their competition, he designed them to have a square top, round bottom, and seamless, rolled edges for a sleek silhouette. The screen on the SF1 is also elevated slightly above the body of the phone, which further protects the glass from breaking and brings the interface closer to the user. 

In just the first quarter of the year, local brands and Chinese manufacturers saw an average growth of 73 percent in smartphone sales. Obi Worldphone hopes their new products are appealing enough to steal sales away from their cheaper competition in developing countries. To start they plan to target the untapped markets in Nigeria, South Africa, Vietnam, Turkey, and Pakistan. For many customers, the SF1 and SJ1.5 won't just be their first smartphone—it will be their first computer as well.

[h/t: Wired]

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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
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Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books

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