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Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

The Bluetooth Name Has Its Roots in Viking History

Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

When Bluetooth technology was being developed in 1996, its creators struggled with naming the technology. As YouTuber Tom Scott explains in his latest video, their final choice came from an unusual place: Viking history.

In Jelling, Denmark—the country’s ancient capital—there is a set of thousand-year-old runic stones known as the Jelling Stones. The biggest of these, called the “Danish Birth Certificate,” was built by King Harald Bluetooth around 964 CE, honoring the founding of Denmark (and using that name for the first time) and the country’s conversion to Christianity.

During the early phases of the technology’s development, Intel engineer Jim Kardach called the project “Bluetooth,” a code name that wasn’t supposed to last beyond when the project went public. Harald Bluetooth was famous for uniting Denmark, he said, and the short-distance radio wave technology would unite cell phones and computers. He had just seen a picture of Harald Bluetooth’s runic stone in a book on the Vikings, after a Swedish friend tipped him off to the story.

The official name of the technology, for a while, was going to be either RadioWire or PAN (personal area networking). PAN won out in a board meeting vote, but because it would have been impossible to trademark, Bluetooth stuck in the end. Luckily, it made for a great logo, too. That bright blue squiggle used as the Bluetooth logo comes from the runes ᚼ and ᛒ. Or, in the Roman alphabet, H.B.

[h/t Digg]

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Pop Chart Lab
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Comics
The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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iStock
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technology
The Design Tricks That Make Smartphones Addictive—And How to Fight Them
iStock
iStock

Two and a half billion people worldwide—and 77 percent of Americans—have smartphones, which means you probably have plenty of company in your inability to go five minutes without checking your device. But as a new video from Vox points out, it's not that we all lack self-control: Your phone is designed down to the tiniest details to keep you as engaged as possible. Vox spoke to Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, who explains how your push notifications, the "pull to refresh" feature of certain apps (inspired by slot machines), and the warm, bright colors on your phone are all meant to hook you. Fortunately, he also notes there's things you can do to lessen the hold, from the common sense (limit your notifications) to the drastic (go grayscale). Watch the whole thing to learn all the dirty details—and then see how long you can spend without looking at your phone.

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