Monday, 27 July 2015

Hugh MacLeod’s Illustrated Guide to Life at Microsoft

For the last wee while, Gapingvoid has been working with Microsoft, to create a body of work that expresses the company vision under its new CEO, Satya Nadella.
The Microsoft Stories cartoon series “Hugh MacLeod’s Illustrated Guide to Life at Microsoft” launched today during OneWeek 2015!

The team and I have traveled to Seattle for Microsoft OneWeek. I will be giving two talks: one on Creativity, as an update to “Ignore Everybody“, and another on Company Culture as the key to being happy at work. We’ll be premiering the new work there. Windows 10 is also being released to the public during OneWeek, so it’s a pretty big event.

This project was really interesting because it isn’t promoting Microsoft by writing pre-set promo messages in cartoon form. The idea was about seeing the company, from an artist/outsider’s perspective, and trying to get an understanding of its essence and how it has changed.

And I see it, of course, in terms of Culture. I see it in terms of the personal motivations that drive the company.

Sure, Microsoft sells software. Sure, Microsoft is big. Sure, Microsoft is good at some things, less good at other things. We all know all this.

That’s not what interests me the most. Why not? Because all big companies like Microsoft make software and are good at some things and less good at others.

What’s more interesting to me are all the “Freaks” who work there. The world-class scientists, engineers, futurists, and yes, marketers who don’t think about what they can sell today, but what can be theoretically possible in 10, 20, 30 years. And then aim for that.

Trust me, it’s freaky stuff. I’ve seen some of it, up close. But it does create the eventual future, and the rest of us lesser mortals fall in line eventually.

I embodied this idea in my favorite cartoons in the series: “The freakier we get, the better we get.”

I see this “Freak Culture” as what makes Microsoft such  an interesting and powerful company. The products are just an extension of that, not the other way around.

And yes, this is why we at Gapingvoid focus so much on Culture Change.This stuff matters, this stuff is interesting, this stuff is is what REALLY drives business. And the companies that remember that and take it seriously, will be the winners. End of story.
Thanks to Microsoft for a killer opportunity to help make a difference. We could not be more pleased or excited.
Rock on!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Thursday, 23 July 2015

FinTech Investments Quadruple: Top Trends To Watch

Investments into FinTech startups recently quadrupled, growing from just over $3BN in 2013 to over $12BN in 2014. And consider alongside that another trend showing that crowdfunding will surpass VC in 2016 as a funding source- given that crowdfunding itself is a segment of the FinTech market.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bring Gmail’s Archiving Feature to Microsoft Outlook for Mac (without scripting)

The Archive feature in Gmail comes handy when you would like to preserve an email conversation forever but at the same time move it out of your main inbox. While a thread is selected in Gmail, you can press the Archive button, or hit the “e” keyboard shortcut, and the selected thread is removed from your inbox but continues to exists in the “All Mails” folder.

Microsoft has just launched a new version of Outlook with Office 2016 for Mac but there’s no built-in option to help you easily archive messages similar to what you have in Gmail. You can obviously move email messages to the Archive folder through the Message > Move > Choose Folder.. menu but that is no match to the simplistic option available in Gmail. Press ‘e’ and you’re done.

Add Gmail-like Archiving to Outlook

Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you emulate Gmail’s archiving functionality in your Microsoft Outlook. The tutorial is for Office 2016 but it should work with previous versions of Outlook on Mac OS X as well.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook, select any message in the inbox and press the keyboard shortcut Cmd+Shift+M to move the selected email message into another Outlook folder.

Step 2: A search window will pop-up. If you are using Gmail with Outlook, type All Mail in this window to select your Gmail’s archive folder (see screenshot). Or you can type the name of any other Outlook folder that you plan to use for archiving messages. Click “Move” to move the selected message.

Gmail Archive Folder

Step 3: From the Outlook menu, choose Message > Move and make an exact note of the highlighted menu item corresponding to the folder that you selected in the previous step. In this example, the menu is available as All Mail (

Outlook Menu

Step 4: From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences, then click Keyboard. Click Shortcuts, select App Shortcuts, then click Add (+). Choose Microsoft Outlook from the Application dropdown, type the menu name exactly as noted in previous step and put Cmd+E as the app shortcut.

Create Outlook App Keyboard Shortcut

Click Add to create the app shortcut, switch to Microsoft Outlook, select one or more email messages and press Cmd+E. If you’ve followed the steps right, the selected email messages will instantly be moved to the Archive (All Mail) folder of Outlook, much like Gmail.

The story, Bring Gmail’s Archiving Feature to Microsoft Outlook for Mac (without scripting), was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 14/07/2015 under Apple Mac, GMail, Microsoft Outlook, Software.

'Minions' Trailer is Most-Shared Summer Movie Promo

Trailers for 'Jurassic World,' 'Magic Mike XXL' and Adam Sandler's 'Pixels' were also heavily shared across Facebook and YouTube according to social video advertising platform Unruly.

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What Taco Bell Food Are You?

What Taco Bell food best fits your personality? Take this quiz to find out!
What Taco Bell Food Are You? - What Taco Bell food best fits your personality? Take this quiz to find out!

Review: ZTE Axon

Review: ZTE Axon

ZTE isn't just backing championship NBA teams in the US, it's also backing a high-end phone dubbed the Axon.

This Android 5.0 Lollipop handset, teased for a month with mysterious marketing campaign, is part of the Chinese manufacturer's "plan to define an affordable premium handset."

"Affordable" and "premium" are typically polar opposites in the world of smartphones, but ZTE is striving to make an inexpensive metal phablet that has a 5.5-inch display.

It costs less than many of today's Android flagships, and we got a chance to test out its specs and design before it's delivered to its unlocked customers later this month.

Axon ZTE review

Release date

ZTE did a solid job at ensure the Axon Pro didn't leak ahead of today's announcement. That doesn't mean the phone is conceptual or far off, however.

The official Axon Pro release date is late July, while pre-orders begin today on site like Amazon, eBay and Newegg.

Don't expect this ZTE handset to show up in carrier stores like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. It's an unlocked 4G LTE phone.


ZTE Axon Pro costs $449.98, which is unsurprisingly lower than most high-end flagship phones that the company is trying to live up to.

Compare that to the $600 LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6, or the even pricier $650 iPhone 6 when they're bought unlocked, and it seems like a good deal.

ZTE Axon Pro's price is sandwiched in between these high-end rivals that are often deceivingly and low-end unlocked plastic handsets like the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, Asus Zenfone 2 and OnePlus One.

Specs and performance

The ZTE Axon specs seems to back up the company's intentions of delivering a premium device at an affordable price, though I'll wait for proper benchmarking in a final review.

Axon ZTE review

It boast a 5.5-inch LCD display with a quad HD resolution of 2560 x1440 and 534 pixels per inch. That's the same size and resolution as the LG G4, though the LCD tech behind it is slightly different.

Behind the Gorilla Glass 3-protected display is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0 GHz Octa-Core. That's the same chip that's on the LG G Flex 2 and HTC One M9.

Axon's performance is unlikely to be hindered by its memory thanks to a high ceiling 4 GB RAM. It also has 32GB of RAM, but no micro SD card slot.


This isn't the world's thinnest smartphone, with the official ZTE Axon dimensions at 6.06" x 2.9" x 0.37" (154 x 75 x 9.3mm).

Axon ZTE review

It feels solid in the hand with a weight of 6.10 oz (175 g). Some people prefer a weighter phone (read: HTC owners), and that's exactly what you get thanks to the aluminum design.

The phone, with a non-removable back, comes in three colors: Chromium Silver, Ion Gold and Phthalo Blue. Even the blue has a bit of gold on the buttons and around the camera.


All phone manufacturers should focus on developing the best camera within their budget, and that's something the ZTE Axon promises.

Axon ZTE review

It features a dual lens 13-megapixel camera in back of the phone, sort of like the HTC One M8. It lets you quick auto focus and the ability to refocus later on. Shooting 4K video is also possible.

The front-facing "selfie" camera is 2 megapixels and shoots 1080p video.

AT&T, T-Mobile compatible

Axon ZTE review

It's a GSM smartphone with 4G LTE bands, isn't compatible with Verizon and Sprint's CDMA networks. Luckily, one of T-Mobile's latest deals will pat your early termination fee from another carrier if you switch.

Bonus: if you order the phone right now, ZTE is throwing in JBL E13 headphones for free.

Apple Pay Is Here: Everything You Need To Know

Six months after launching in the US, Apple's contactless payment system is launched in the UK at thousands of stores.

Joe's Fancy Funeral

Joe was known as a stingy bastard, so when he died it quickly went around town that Joe's will provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral....

News: The Real Story Behind 8 Famous Photographs

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it doesn’t tell the whole story. Here’s what’s really happening in these iconic photographs.

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Government Warned Over 'Snooper's Charter'

"Ramming through" legislation on online surveillance is "not a good idea", the author of a new review tells Sky News.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Jared Zichek — Collectible Figurine Maker

Jared Zichek is a Figurine Maker who relies on a long list of tools to keep his limited edition resin figurine-making business, Golden Age, flowing smoothly. Listen in on this week’s episode of the Cool Tools Show to hear Jared discuss his business and offer insight into how these tools have become an essential part of his day-to-day operations.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Podcast on iTunes |RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show Notes:

Paasche AEC Air Eraser Etching Tool $50

“I got this [mini sand blaster] specifically for finishing 3D prints, resin 3D prints. Because even the best 3D prints have traces of layering usually and it can be quite challenging to remove it without hurting surrounding details, especially if you have like an organic type sculpt like, say you sculpted a woman’s dress and you don’t want to obliterate the folds. I loaded it with baking soda and I think I put it at about 40, 45 psi on my compressor. I sprayed it and it worked pretty well. It removed most of the layering without really obliterating the surrounding details.”

3M Acryl-White Glazing Putty $17

“I’ve been using this for about a year. It cost us about $16.50 on Amazon. It comes in a very large tube that will last you for several years. It’s similar to a Tamiya White Putty which is a very nice fine filler putty but it’s much less expensive. It’s ideal for filling small holes, scratches, and other surface defects on resin 3D prints. It has a quick drying time. It dries in about 30 minutes. It can be sanded very smooth and it blends well with the surrounding surface, and also has low shrinkage.”

PJ Tool & Supply All Purpose Polishing Compound (Blue) $2-7

“I found this on PJ Tool and Supply. It’s an all purpose polishing compound. It costs $6.25 for 14 ounces, and a 1-inch buffing wheel is $2. These buffing wheels are for a Dremel tool.”

Miniature Buffing Wheels $2

“You take the buffing wheel and you stick it into the block of polishing compound and get some on there and then you apply it to the print you’re polishing. You’ve got to do it at a low RPM and you should wear eye protection. Because if you do it at a high RPM, you can burn the plastic.”

Moment of Inspiration 3D Modeling Software $295

“The guy who made MoI used to be a developer for Rhino. I’m not really familiar with CAD programs. I work with stuff that’s used for making games. But it was pretty intuitive, pretty easy to use and you can really quickly create a mechanical and man-made type hard surface models like guns, planes, robots, cars. It has a very useful Boolean capability where you can add and subtract, combine objects quickly to make complicated mechanical shapes and then you can apply nice fillets and chamfers to the edges. It’s just something that’s harder to do with like a polygon modeler like Softimage.”


Everyone who’s anyone knows Isaiah Berlin’s essay, “The Fox and the Hedgehog”, written around the postulate that “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” It’s a good essay, although too famous for its own good. I would not presume to dispute the divine wisdom of Archilochus. But I’ve always thought that, applied to academic philosophy, the following would be more apt: the fox knows a variety of medium-sized things, the hedgehog knows an extremely large number of small things. Generalists, specialists. And having Big Ideas is yet a third thing. Having One Big Idea isn’t like slipping through the dappled forest, lightly, alertly. But it also isn’t waddle, hunker, clench. Waddle, hunker, clench. Write a tight little article, in which you anticipate 14 objections to your point and answer them, one by one. Defending yourself by preemptively making it too much bother for a potential predator to attack you from any conceivable angle is a classic academic tactic, but not a Big Idea thing.

Nietzsche agrees with me. “To be prickly towards what is small, seemeth to me wisdom for hedgehogs.” (Zarathustra,49.2)

What we need is a theory of how, sometimes, hedgehogs, in my sense, can soar – can cover a lot of ground, despite their anatomic unsuitability for dashes through the forests of thought.

Perhaps sometimes they sprout wings! Or perhaps they stick, like burrs, to some larger, fast-moving thing. They were in the right place at the right time to get picked up and carried along.

Also, we need a better animal to stand for the One Big Idea style: fiddler crab? Bull moose?

Also, there are the angler fish: philosophers who seem to have One Big Idea, but it’s a lure, a trap, in dark waters. Nietzsche, Wittenstein. Behind the glowing ‘Idea’ is the philosopher’s personality itself. He will eat you up!

Nietzsche on foxes – well, their hunting – is also interesting. From “Schopenhauer As Educator”:

Then there is a certain drive to dialectical investigation, the huntsman’s joy in following the sly fox’s path in the realm of thought, so that it is not really truth that is sought but the seeking itself, and the main pleasure consists in the cunning tracking, encircling and correct killing. Now add to this the impulse to contradiction, the personality wanting to be aware of itself and to make itself felt in opposition to all others; the struggle becomes a pleasure and the goal is personal victory, the struggle for truth being only a pretext. Then, the man of learning is to a great extent also motivated to the discovery of certain ‘truths’, motivated that is by his subjection to certain ruling persons, castes, opinions, churches, governments: he feels it is to his advantage to bring ‘truth’ over to their side.

So you have foxiness, to catch foxes. But it is related to a kind of hedgehogish derpiness – prickly defensiveness re: one’s priors.

I’ve been here before, admittedly. I am a bit of a hedgehog, though I like to think of myself as so foxy. Who isn’t? Who doesn’t?

Spacecraft data boosts Pluto's size

Pluto has just been found to be ever so slightly bigger than we thought, having a diameter of 2,370km.

Lock bug prompts Range Rover recall

Land Rover is recalling more than 65,000 cars to fix a software bug that can unlock the vehicles' doors.

Syriza set to rebel over ‘humiliation’

Greek PM likely to rely on opposition to pass most intrusive programme ever mounted by EU

Audi Backward Driving Stunt Could Have Been Enabled by Camera

The Audi captured on video driving backwards for miles though the Hollywood Hills may have been equipped with a parking assist camera that made the stunt less difficult.

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Mapped: The sunniest spots in America

The temperature outside may still be searing, but the U.S. has already passed its peak sunlight for the year. From here on, days across the country will get a little darker, as this series of maps by Wonkblog's Chris Ingraham show. The maps display the amount of sunlight that different parts of the U.S. receive throughout the year. "Between 1979 and 2011, the absolute sunniest day of the year has been July 8, according to the CDC's numbers, which ultimately come from NASA. On the flip side, the least-sunny day of the year is Dec. 26," writes Ingraham. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are just coming out of the period of peak sun in the lower 48. So go soak up some sun while you still can.

Nintendo Boss Satoru Iwata Dies Of Cancer

The 55-year-old, who led the Japanese video game company through years of growth, has died from bile duct cancer.

PM in bid to eliminate gender pay gap

David Cameron is to press ahead with plans to force large firms to publish data on the gender pay gap among staff, saying he wants to eliminate the problem "within a generation".

The reinvention of Reddit

Reddit has re-hired its co-founder as new chief executive following the resignation of Ellen Pao. Steve Huffman took to the site to discuss its future

Ukraine leader attacks Greek ‘disaster’

Yatseniuk says political repercussions being felt in Kiev

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Conditions Of Greece Agreement With European Union Revealed

As Greece continues to struggle with economic turmoil and the European Union tries to sort it out, HuffPost UK Comedy can exclusively reveal the EU's proposed terms of Greece staying in the Eurozone:

greece conditions of agreement

(Created for HuffPost UK Comedy by David Schneider and Klein Borrill.)



Obviously, my analysis of the Greek debt crisis was wrong. My crucial error was the assumption that, having held the referendum and being faced with an unacceptable offer, Tsipras would choose exit from the euro rather than capitulation. Judging by this interview with Varoufakis (H/T Chris), that’s what Tsipras thought too, until, too late, Varoufakis told him it couldn’t be done. Certainly Tsipras’ actions were consistent with that interpretation.

Syriza has clearly been beaten. But I doubt that the outcome will work well for the other side in the long run. (Nearly) everyone understands that the debt can’t ultimately be repaid. But the German voting public hasn’t been told that. A deal that had some kind of quasi-automatic mechanism for writing down the outstanding balance (for example, by multiplying up the proceeds from asset sales) might have got around this problem. As it is, an explicit writedown will be needed at some point, presumably after Syriza has been forced out of office. That will be incredibly unpopular in Germany, while making clear to everyone else the locus of sovereignty in the post-crisis EU.

Update Commenters generally disagree with my take on the Varoufakis interview. I’m not wedded to it. The crucial point is that exit from the euro is extremely difficult, and that this fact will be used to punish any eurozone country that tries to resist the controlling powers.

Spotted face of distant Pluto coming into focus

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is closing fast on an unexpectedly spotted Pluto, the most distant planetary body ever explored.