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29 SEPTEMBER 2013

Handmade in Britain: The Story of Wallpaper

"In the second programme in the series, presenter Paul Martin reveals the secret history of wallpaper from the 17th century to the present day.

The film explores how wallpaper, seemingly so fragile and easy to replace, provides a vital index of changing tastes in the home. The programme shows how from its earliest days wallpaper imitated other, more costly wall coverings: from the 17th-century papers that were designed to look like embroidered textiles to 18th-century flocked wallpapers. The latter, intended as a cheaper substitute for costly damasks or velvets, became a triumph of British innovation, coming to grace the grandest of state apartments and country house interiors.

Focussing on how wallpaper was actually made, the programme goes onto explore how it became one of the battlefields in discussions about design in the 19th century. For, although technological innovations in machine printing had allowed manufacturers to print elaborate designs with complex colour-ways, some commentators were shocked by the poor aesthetic quality of British wallpapers. The programme looks at how designers and reformers attempted to take the situation in hand: from 'The False Principles of Design', an exhibition organised by Sir Henry Cole, the first Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which sought to instruct the British public in good and bad design; to the pioneering work of Augustus Pugin and William Morris.

Finally, the film traces the fortunes of wallpaper in the 20th century. Patterned walls faced stiff competition from the purity of plain, painted or whitewashed walls, as advocated by modernists like Le Corbusier. However, new techniques, like screen-printing, allowed shorter runs of innovate wallpapers, which were aimed at architects and interior designers. And, as Paul Martin discovers, wallpaper is still flourishing at the beginning of the 21st century. A combination of digital printing, screen-printing and hand-printing allows companies, like Timorous Beasties, to produce exciting new designs.

Presented by Paul Martin, contributors include Christine Woods, Anthony Wells-Cole, Martha Armitage, Allyson McDermott and Paul Simmons (Timorous Beasties), as well as V&A experts."

First broadcast on 25 September 2013 on BBC Four as part of the Handmade in Britain series [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bm1rg].

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TAGS

16th century17th century18th century19th century20th century21st century • Allyson McDermott • Anthony Wells-Cole • antiqueart and craft • Augustus Pugin • bad design • BBC Four • changing tastes • Christine Woods • colourways • damask • deluxe item • design craftdigital printingdomestic material object • elaborate designs • embroidered textiles • flock wallpaper • good design • hand-printing • Handmade in Britain (series) • Henry Cole • industrial grime • interior design • interior designer • interior stylingLe Corbusierluxury • machine printing • makersmanufacturing technology • Marthe Armitage • Palladio Wallpapers • pattern • Paul Martin • Paul Simmons • poisonprinting processscreenprinting • stately homes • technological innovation • The False Principles of Design • Timorous Beasties • two-up-two-down • velvetVictoria and Albert Museum • wall coverings • wallpaperwallpaper design • wallpapering • William Morris

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 AUGUST 2013

Steve Jobs at the Insanely Great conference in 1980

"22 minutes presentation given by Steve Jobs at the Insanely Great conference in 1980. It's one of the very first known video footage of Steve Jobs. The quality of the video deteriorates at mid-point, but stick around, it's really worth the watch.

The Insanely Great conference happened just a few months after Apple visited Xerox PARC. Now with retrospect, it's pretty clear when listening to Steve that Apple is working on the Macintosh. He hints a few times of it's development but doesn't disclose any secrets."

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TAGS

1980Apple • Apple Computer • Apple I • Apple IIAtaribicycles • Bob Metcalfe • building computers • building tools • Californiacomputer historyComputer History Museumcomputer skills • corporate name • Cupertino California • hardwareHewlett-Packard • Insanely Great Conference (1980) • interactive videoMacintoshMacintosh computerpresentation • Regis McKenna • SciAm • Scientific American (magazine) • software versus hardware • Steve Jobs • Steve Wozniak • technological changetechnological innovationtechnology companies • tool building • tools • VisiCalc • Xerox PARC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 AUGUST 2012

Le Minitel Bye Bye on 30 June 2012

"Après 30 ans d’existence, le Minitel s’apprête à tirer sa révérence. Les plus jeunes ne verront même pas de quoi il est question, mais ceux qui étaient au collège ou au lycée dans les années 90 s’en rappelleront peut-être pour avoir recherché dessus leurs résultats aux examens du brevet ou du bac. Le Minitel, ou l’ancêtre d’internet ! Invention 100 % française, le 1er réseau dans l’histoire des télécommunications à permettre la “connexion de terminaux permettant la visualisation de données informatiques” disparaîtra le 30 Juin 2012, et avec lui la machine à l’origine du fameux “36-15″. Définitivement la fin d’une époque.

After 30 years of existence, the Minitel is preparing to take its final bow. The youngest will not even see what it is about, but those who were in college or high school in the 90s will remember perhaps have looked over their test scores. The Minitel, or the ancestor of the Internet ! 100% French invention, the first network in the history of telecommunications to allow ”terminal connection to visualization of computer data” will draw his bow on June 30, 2012, and with it the machine behind the famous “36 - 15 “. Definitely the end of an era."

(Vincent Laserson, 31 May 2012, De Jeunes Gens Modernes)

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TAGS

1980s19822012 • adult chatrooms • Apple Mac • beige plastic kitsch • chat roomcommunicationscybersex • De Jeunes Gens Modernes • design classic • deviceend of an eraFranceFrench • French invention • important technologiesinformation ageinformation technologyInternetle Minitel • Little French Box • Macintosh computerMinitel • Minitel Rose • network informationobsolescenceobsolete technology • precursor technology • product designredundant technologysocial networkingSteve Jobstechnological innovationtelecommunicationstelephoneterminal connectiontransitional technologies • Ulla • user-friendly • world wide web • yellow pages

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 AUGUST 2012

Computer History Museum: Selling the Computer Revolution

"The brochures selected here (just a fraction of the Museum's holdings in this area) show some of the more important technologies, companies, and applications in computing from 1948 to 1988. This covers the period from mechanical and relay-based computers to those based on the microprocessor - a remarkable transition that occurred over only 25 years. We hope you enjoy browsing through these historical documents."

(Computer History Museum)

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TAGS

1940s1950s1960s1970s1980sanalogue computerAppleApple LisaApple PCArs TechnicaAtari • BBC Micro • brochure • Burroughs Corporation • COBOL • Commodore • Commodore 64 • computercomputer historyComputer History Museum • computer revolution • David Ogilvy • device • file system • Fortranhistorical documentshistoryhistory of computingIBMIBM PC • IBM PCjr • important technologiesindustrial archaeologyindustrial designinformation ageinnovationMad Menmainframemarketing campaignmaterial culture • mechanical computer • microprocessor • museumPCproduct design • relay-based computers • retrosales brochureselling the computer revolutiontechnological change • technological evolution • technological innovationtechnologytechnology companiestechnology marketingtechnophobiaTexas Instrumentstransitional technologiesUNIVAC 9000 Seriesvintage technology • Wang Laboratories • ZX Spectrum

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 JULY 2012

Yahoo IP lawsuit: We patented Facebook's entire social network model

"'Facebook's entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo!'s patented social networking technology,' Yahoo claims in the lawsuit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Northern California. 'Prior to adopting Yahoo!'s patented social networking technology in 2008, Facebook was considered one of the worst performing Internet sites for advertising. Facebook's use of that social networking model has reportedly dramatically driven up Facebook's advertising click through rates.'

Nearly all the technology that makes Facebook successful is based on Yahoo patents, the company further states.

'For much of the technology upon which Facebook is based, Yahoo! got there first and was therefore granted patents by the United States Patent Office to protect those innovations. Yahoo!'s patents relate to cutting edge innovations in online products, including in messaging, news feed generation, social commenting, advertising display, preventing click fraud, and privacy controls,' Yahoo alleged in its court filing. 'These innovations dramatically improve user experience, privacy, and security and enhance the ability of advertisers to connect with users.'"

(Jon Brodkin, 13 March 2012, Ars Technica)

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TAGS

20082012 • advertisers connecting with users • advertising click through rates • advertising displayadvertising revenueArs Technica • click fraud • cutting-edge innovationsdisputeFacebookintellectual property rightsIPRlawsuitmessaging • news feed generation • online products • ownershippatent • patent dispute • patented social networking technology • patentsprivacyprivacy controls • security features • social commenting • social network model • social networking • social networking technology • technological innovationtechnologytechnology innovation • United States Patent Office • US District Court in Northern California • user experience • user profiles • Yahoo!

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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