Around the Office: I Spy at CES, Hashtag is the Word, A Toronto Symphony & More!

Future Spotting at CES

We couldn’t help but pay attention to the new gadgetry unveiled at CES. Bored of his light and small phone, David was happy to hear about the new “Phablet” trend, which fuses a tablet and a phone into a device with about 5-inches of screen real estate. Andy dug some some Android phablets from US-based Vizio aimed at the Chinese market – not North America. Caroline and Daveed were impressed with “Papertab”, a remarkably thin and flexible tablet computer that looks and feels like a sheet of paper. For more electronic wizardry, we recommend checking out Verge’s list of stand-out CES finds.

“Hashtag” Named Word of the Year

Caroline was impressed that the word “hashtag” became the American Dialect Society’s word of the year. Hashtag typically refers to the practice of adding a hash mark or “#” to a word or phrase on Twitter to categorize it, grouping it with similar tweets, and generally making it more easily found. For instance you would use the hashtag “#YOLO” (short for “You Only Live Once”) to attach to an update. As a sign of the times, YOLO was also a competitor for word of the year.

Composed by Toronto

David is eagerly awaiting a performance of “A Toronto Symphony”, a collaborative symphony that has turned to Torontonians for the sounds, harmonies and melodies that represent the city. To facilitate this, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the MIT Media Lab launched Media Scores – a new web app that enables mass collaboration in shaping a composition. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will be premiering A Toronto Symphony on March 9, 2013.

Web Design Lessons from the Ancient Greeks

Since the Golden Ratio has been used as a principle of good design for thousands of years, and Andy thinks it’s just as applicable to web design. The golden ratio is a mathematical constant that is found repeatedly in nature and artwork. Studies have even found that small changes to an image that make it truer to the golden ratio can have a major impact in the brains of those looking. This is the sort of by-the-number design that’s acceptable.