This simple table has an equally simple solution for hanging your bags

Everyone has a bag these days, whether it’s a backpack, a messenger bag, a handbag, or one of the more fashionable descendants of the fanny pack. Despite varying designs and sizes, almost all bags have two things in common, they have handles or straps, and you wouldn’t want to leave them lying on the floor in offices and coffee shops. Some tables in these public spaces now offer hidden bag hooks under the table, but these seemingly ingenious solutions come with their own drawbacks. A proper solution doesn’t have to be overly complicated or sophisticated, and sometimes, the simplest one wins. That’s the kind of thinking that may have gone into these ultra-minimalist tables that hide their bag hooks in plain sight.

Designer: Hajime Kumazawa

The need for bag hooks has been a rather recent phenomenon as more people flocked to coffee shops and communal spaces, including those in offices. There was even a phase when bag hook accessories became trendy because very few tables had such hooks built into them. Such tables are more common these days but still not standard, so you might find people awkwardly groping under a table just to check if there are any hooks for their bags.

Therein lies the fundamental design problem of bag hooks. Intended to hide bags from view, they sacrificed practicality and ease of use on the altar of keeping up appearances. Ironically, these tables are places where things can get a bit messy, either from food or from work. Hanging the bags beneath the surface doesn’t even help in getting them out of your way because they often result in uncomfortable leg positions to avoid hitting the bags in the first place.

The DTN Table design fixes this problem by being simple and honest about its purpose. It doesn’t pretend to be some stylish piece of artistic furniture by hiding bags from sight. Instead, it makes it super simple to hang bags on the four legs of the table, allowing for easy access and really getting out of the way of your legs. This might invite some messy arrangements, and it does limit how many people can hang their bags at the corners, but the purpose of the table is more for transient activity, like meals, meetings, and similar.

The table itself is unabashedly utilitarian in design, practically just a slab of melamine on top of four steel legs with aluminum die-casting. It is as minimal as it can be, with few options for different colors of the tabletop or the legs. It also comes in either rectangular or square sizes, and you can easily put them side by side if you need more space or more bag hooks. That’s not to say there’s nothing else to this table. By default, it comes with two casters and two glides to make it possible to move the table around just as easily.

Admittedly, the DTN Table might seem plain and unexciting on its own, with its singular visual quirk being the top of the legs that serve as bag hooks. Almost ironically, having those bags hang on the outside for everyone to see does add some flavor to these plain tables, making them feel like living places where people interact with each other, which is exactly what such tables are designed for in the first place.

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Samsung taps a former Mercedes-Benz designer to lead its mobile design team

Samsung’s mobile division has a new design chief. On Friday, the company announced the appointment of Hubert H. Lee to head up its Mobile eXperience (MX) Design Team, the unit responsible for designing some of Samsung’s most visible products, including its flagship Galaxy S series phones. Lee joins the electronics giant after a stint as the chief design officer of Mercedes-Benz China, a position that saw him lead the automaker’s design teams in China and the US. “His unique and visionary perspective will help shape the look and feel of Galaxy, building on the distinct design ethos that users know and love,” Samsung said.

It will probably be at least a year before we see Lee start to leave his mark on Samsung’s products. Prelease leaks of the company’s next Galaxy S series phones suggest they’ll look a lot like their Galaxy S22 predecessors. What’s more, with the way smartphone development timelines work, Samsung has likely already settled on a design for its 2024 flagship. Even then, don’t expect dramatic changes; from a design standpoint, phone companies have played it safe for more than a decade. Still, Lee could push for small but meaningful tweaks to Samsung's design formula — much like Evans Hankey did at Apple after Jony Ive's departure

This door lock concept protects your secret code from prying eyes

Smart, Internet-connected door locks might seem new to our awareness, but there have always been more sophisticated door locks that go beyond the typical knob and key combination. Hotels, for example, make use of key cards, while some businesses have a variety of options that include biometrics. Residential houses, on the other hand, often make use of locks where you input a sequence of numbers on a keypad, practically their PIN for unlocking the gate or the door. This seemingly easy yet secure system has turned out to be quite flawed, so this door lock concept tries to fix that by literally flipping the device on its head, hiding the code you enter so that even you can’t see what you’re doing.

Designer: Minjeong Kim

If you’ve watched crime procedural TV shows, particularly fictional ones, you might already be aware of how door locks with keypads can be easily defeated. Someone might be able to simply see the numbers you tap into the lock, even without resorting to complicated strategies like deciphering key tones or analyzing the wear patterns on the keypad. It doesn’t inspire much confidence, especially in places where doors are near heavy traffic or within easy sight. You could opt for a smart door lock, which has its own risks, but that often involves a hefty sum in turn.

SEE-Cret_ is a door lock concept that proposes a simpler solution to this problem. It still uses a secret pattern that only you know in order to unlock a door. But instead of a string of numbers, it’s more like a pattern of presses that you make on four buttons only. What makes it different from the run-of-the-mill lock is that these buttons are actually hidden behind the door handle so that no one, not even you, can see which ones your fingers are pressing.

The idea is that you simply hold the handle with four fingers other than the thumb, placing them on top of the buttons. After pressing the secret sequence, you simply pull or push the handle to open the door, depending on the design of the handle. With the buttons hidden behind a large rectangular plate, there is no way anyone nearby will be able to observe you discreetly. The only way they can learn your pattern is by closely observing the movement of your knuckles, which isn’t exactly a trivial feat.

There is one small disadvantage to this otherwise simple solution. This method of entering a pattern requires muscle memory, which could be harder to develop compared to memorizing a series of digits. The concept also doesn’t mention any kind of feedback to subtly inform the person of an incorrect entry other than the door not unlocking at all. Still, it’s a rather interesting concept for a door lock, especially since it also replaces the door knob so that you are basically getting two for the price of one.

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Today is the last day to use Dark Sky on iOS before it shuts down

The time has come to say goodbye to Dark Sky. Nearly two years after Apple purchased the much-loved weather app, and more than a year after announcing its impending shutdown, Dark Sky is about to stop functioning. Since September, an in-app notification has warned iOS users the software would no longer work come January 1st, 2023. In September, Apple also removed Dark Sky from the App Store (following an earlier delisting from the Play Store).

If you’re looking for an alternative, it’s worth revisiting Apple’s own Weather app before turning to the App Store. Since iOS 14, the company has gradually integrated Dark Sky’s technology into its native offering. For instance, the Weather app now includes next-hour precipitation alerts, which is a feature that was directly inspired by Dark Sky. That said, if you’re set on trying a third-party alternative, a few that are worth checking out include AccuWeather and Carrot Weather.

Big Tech critic Tim Wu is leaving the White House

After advising President Biden on technology and competition policy for nearly two years, net neutrality advocate Tim Wu is leaving the White House. The Biden administration announced the departure this week, noting Wu’s final day at the National Economic Council would fall on January 4th. Wu became a special advisor to the president in March 2021. He held a similar position during the Obama administration.

Wu told The New York Times he’s leaving the federal government to spend more time with his family. His post at the White House had required Wu to commute between New York and Washington DC, leaving his young children without their father for stretches of time. “There’s a time where the burden on family is too much,” he said. “I’ve been feeling the balance has shifted.” Wu told The Times he plans to return to Columbia University, where he was a law professor before his latest government stint.

Wu is leaving the White House at a critical moment during the Biden administration's efforts to rein in Big Tech. Last year, he co-authored the executive order that instructed the Federal Communications Commission to restore net neutrality and promised greater scrutiny of mergers. In July of this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued Meta to block the purchase of VR developer Within. Earlier this month, the agency also moved to prevent Microsoft’s merger with Activision Blizzard. Both cases are currently before the courts and are expected to be tough battles for the FTC. 

Meta buys smart lensmaker Luxexcel to further AR ambitions

Facebook parent company Meta has acquired Luxexcel, a Dutch startup specializing in smart eyewear. News of the purchase was first reported by De Tijd and later confirmed by TechCrunch. “We’re excited that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, deepening the existing partnership between the two companies,” a Meta spokesperson told the outlet. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Founded in 2009, Luxexcel began life as a prescription lens manufacturer. More recently, the company has made a name for itself in the augmented reality space. At the start of 2021, for instance, it partnered with WaveOptics, the display manufacturer Snap paid $500 million later that same year to buy. As TechCrunch points out, there are also rumors Luxexcel previously worked with Meta on the company’s Project Aria AR glasses.

The acquisition comes as Meta faces regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission over its purchase of Supernatural developer Within. The agency sued Meta in July to block the deal. The social media giant also faces criticism over just how much it's spending to further its metaverse ambitions. In October, a month before the company laid off 11,000 employees, Meta told investors Reality Labs, its virtual and augmented reality unit, lost more than $9 billion in 2022. It went on to predict the division’s operating losses were likely to “grow significantly year-over-year” in 2023.

Grubhub ordered to pay $3.5 million to settle Washington DC deceptive practices lawsuit

Grubhub has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to settle the lawsuit filed against the company by the District of Columbia over "deceptive trade practices." Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine has announced that his office has reached an agreement with the food delivery service "for charging customers hidden fees and using deceptive marketing techniques." If you'll recall, his office sued the company earlier this year, accusing it of charging hidden fees and misrepresenting Grubhub+ subscription's offer of "unlimited free delivery," since customers still have to pay a service fee.

The DC Attorney General's office also accused the company of listing 1,000 restaurants in the area without their permission by using numbers that route to Grubhub workers or creating websites without the eateries' consent. A previous TechCrunch report said the company had already ended those practices. Racine also said at the time that Grubhub ran a promotion called "Supper for Support" at the beginning of the pandemic and then "stuck restaurants with the bill" that cut into their profit margins.

Grubhub called the lawsuit frivolous at the time of its filing and said that the company was "disappointed [the AG's office has] moved forward with [it] because [the service's] practices have always complied with DC law, and in any event, many of the practices at issue have been discontinued."

Under the terms of the settlement, Grubhub will pay affected customers in the DC area a total of $2.7 million. Their cut will be credited to their accounts, and it will be sent to them as a check if it remains unused within 90 days. In addition, the company has to pay $800,000 in civil penalties to the District of Columbia and has to clearly mark additional fees people have to pay with their order going forward.

This modern electric cargo bike will make food delivery guys happy chappies

Fridays bring a sense of joy for the upcoming weekend, and perhaps the odd home party which calls for local snacks or fast food from the popular restaurant. You pick up the phone to order food like there’s no tomorrow and wait for the home delivery to arrive.

When the courier arrives with your food, everyone has their eyes lit up. But the person who brought home your delivery safely on time looks exhausted and disoriented.

Designer: Anastasia Berg

The motive of this concept cargo bike as the main project by Anastasia at HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences is to be more considerate about the comfort of delivery personnel around the world who go through chalk and cheese on the city streets to ship your home deliveries every single day without fail.

Taking Berlin as an example of food deliveries in a safe and healthy manner for the delivery personnel is the motive of this student project. Another major consideration is the need for dedicatedly designed cargo two-wheelers for food deliveries in the modern age. For the most part, such food deliveries are made using regular bikes or electric bicycles in the city.

This is D-VIL e-bike concept that takes into account every aspect of food delivery in cities. Things such as the need for riders/corporate offices, big companies, repairability, durability, recyclability and robustness. Some inherent problems with delivering food in crowded cities include the size of the bike, its agility while carrying stuff like bottles or heavy groceries, the need to constantly look at the phone for directions, and at times inclement weather conditions. All this creates a feeling of uneasiness and danger in the subconscious of the delivery person.

One undeniable disadvantage is constantly carrying backpacks in case there is no attached storage box with the vehicle. This can lead to long-term health problems. Other than that, it creates a restriction in traffic and hampers the driving experience. Add to all these problems the pressure of delivering things on time and the whole thing feels like a herculean task every single time around. Battery-powered D-VIL to an extent aims to get over all these problems with its array of the control panel, lights and cameras, and dedicated luggage compartment.

The glass roof on top provides protection from unpredictable weather conditions without losing out on the feeling of airiness while driving. For better stability, the rear wheel is a combination of two wheels joined together with a swingarm module, reinforced by an impressive suspension. Overall, the electric cargo bike has a more modern feel to it, just look at that driving panel and interior upholstery.

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NLRB says Tesla violated the law by telling employees not to talk about pay

The National Labor Relations Board has accused Tesla of violating labor law by prohibiting employees in Orlando, Florida from talking about workplace matters. According to Bloomberg, NLRB's Tampa regional director filed a complaint against the automaker in September for breaking the law when it told employees not to discuss their pay with other people and not to talk about the termination of another employee. In addition, based on the filing the news organization obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Tesla management reportedly told employees "not to complain to higher level managers" about their working conditions. 

Tesla has had to face several complaints by the NLRB over the past years. In 2021, the agency found that the automaker had violated US labor laws by firing a union activist and threatening workers' benefits. The NLRB ordered the company to rehire union activist Richard Ortiz and to remove all mentions of disciplinary action from his files. It also ordered Tesla chief Elon Musk to delete a tweet that the court had deemed a threat that employees would be giving up company-paid stock options if they join a union. The tweet in question is still live, and Tesla is appealing the NLRB's ruling in court. 

An agency spokesperson told Bloomberg that a judge will hear the complaint filed by the Tampa regional director in February. As the publication notes, companies can still appeal the agency judges' decision to NLRB members in Washington and then to federal court, so any corrective action may take years to happen.

Why is my iPhone getting hot?

iPhone getting hot

Is your iPhone getting hot? Are you experiencing an overheating issue with your iPhone, leading to a fast battery drain? There could be several underlying causes of this, which might be either software-related glitches or hardware malfunctions. While software issues can typically be resolved by fixing bugs or handling rogue apps, hardware problems may require […]

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