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Buenos Aires

Hot on the heels of the JC Report, we're off to South America's fashion capital for a spot of holiday and hopefully a bit of trend spotting too. I'll try to post whilst away but it may be even more sporadic than usual. Normal service will be resumed mid February.

3 Decades of Air

Being Hunted are celebrating three decades of the Nike Air trainer. Introduced in 1979 the Nike Air system has been the most successful sports shoe cushioning system ever. Nike is celebrating this over on its website too.

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According to a Canadian newspaper it's the end of coolhunting. Apparently in 2005 it was on many of the 'Not' lists when it came to 'Hot or Not' at the end of the year and also people don't need to be told what is in and what's out anymore 'cos everyone is cool now. Oh ok.

Surely pretty much the whole world is now driven by consumerism, having something that is equal to or better than your neighbours, colleagues or friends. In order to keep consumerism going people need to desire new things. First we had advertising telling us about these new things, then we had celebrity endorsements and now we look to the edges of society to find the next big thing.

Coolhunting won't ever die, it'll just rebrand itself and evolve. It's key to the economic growth of the world.

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Between You Me

Patryk Rebisz, a New York film maker has created a 4minute film shot entirely with stills.

"Seen by over 120,000 people online this 4 min long film was shot with still camera. A girl on her day off takes a hike through the streets of New York. As she runs she takes photographs of stuff on her way. She's assaulted in the evening and looses the camera. The "good guy" who tried to save her uses the camera as his only clue to where she might live."

This is really beautiful and must have been lovingly created. Already recognised by the Gotham City Short Film Festival and The Big Apple Film Festival this movie and director deserve big things.
See it here.

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Are iPods cool?

As the number of iPods Apple has sold reaches 42 million and companies like Levi's build iPod controls into its jeans has it come to the point where it's not just normal to own an iPod, it's actually not cool?

The iPod has completely revolutionised the way we listen to music. Rather than buying albums one at a time, sitting down and listening to them over and over until we know the words or every intricacy of the movement, we buy stuff, rip or download it and then it joins the thousands of other songs on our white device awaiting selection by the random Apple algorithm.

Does this mean that we no longer appreciate music as much as we used to? Is it coincidence that in 2004 and 2005 of approximately 200 albums that I bought there was only one gem? The other gems that I would have found in previous years have not received the attention they would have got in previous years when they would have remained on my CD or MD player until I'd learnt to like them. iTunes must take some of the blame as my desktop is now a glorified jukebox. Of course I can just play the CDs but it's so much easier to just press play and let it run!

The iPod has simply made it too easy to listen to lots of music once and miss out on the repeated listening that made people love music.

So how does this stop the iPod being cool? Well it's a great looking piece of kit, but if I don't focus on music as much as I used to and lose some of the enjoyment, the iPod is not actually benefitting my life. Oh yeah and my dad's got one, my aunt has one, all my cousins and all my colleagues - we're all just the same. Which isn't cool.

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The Google Backlash?

For so long Google has been the darling of the Internet. Right up to last week experts were predicting that its shareprice would reach $600 this year as it released more products and therefore found newer ways to sell advertising space.

However, the Google bubble, whilst not burst, seems to have been given a sharp poke.

The launch of Google Video has been a major disappointment to many people. Those who were expecting the people's iTunes for video have been drastically let down. jack Schofield at the Guardian says:
"the RSS reader was pretty bad, Google Pack has been described as an embarrassment and a mess, Google Base is at best unimpressive, I've not been to Orkut for ages, and, sorry guys, I've uninstalled Google Desktop and its ultimately disappointing sidebar. Did Google Search, Gmail and Maps set expectations no-one could live up to, or are we watching a company whose ambitions far exceed its abilities?"

Pretty damning stuff. And he's not the only one. Tech Dirt and Davenetics aren't too impressed and Engadget hardly gave it the thumbs up in their coverage.

So with Yahoo clearing up the tagging sites have Google lost their way and their innovation?

Car of the future

According to the Guardian, this is the city car of the future. They reckon that this car re-writes the rules after 100 years of motoring.

Developed over a four year period, the car has been created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as part of the Smart Cities research group. Their concept: a stackable, shareable, electric, two-passenger car. "Imagine a shopping cart - a vehicle that can stack - you can take the first vehicle out of a stack and off you go.

The MIT concept car is a complete re-think of vehicle technology. For a start, there is no engine, at least in the traditional sense. The power comes from devices called wheel robots. "These are self-contained wheel units that have electric motors inside," says Mr Chin. "The interesting thing is that the wheel can turn a full 360 degrees so you can have omni-directional wheel movements. You can rotate the car while you're moving, any direction can be front or back and you can do things like crabbing or translate sideways. It's almost like you imagine yourself driving a computer chair."

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The Royal interviews PSFK

The Royal magazine, a quarterly publication that focuses on all that is cool and up and coming, has a feature on PSFK in its latest edition.

Part of the KDU, the Royal has asked Piers of PSFK about his future plans, what PSFK is all about and the future of PSFK and trend spotting.

"There are 2 types of trend firms out there - the old and the new. The old are the 'names' - trend firms run by competitive megastars who coined a phrase in the 80s or 90s or published a book. They have all the old style clients and up until 18 months ago they were, rightly or wrongly, leaders of the pack. Then, mainly due to open digital media platforms like blogs, a new set of folk who used digital tools to openly report on what they were noticing. And what they were observing was different than what the old trend firms were saying."

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Look at Book

It's been a while since we've featured any art on here but looking through Josh Spear's best of 2005 I couldn't help but take a second glance at the Look At Book.

"For thirty-six weeks, a sketchbook was sent in random order between four artists: two in Brooklyn, two in Belfast. Each week they would send the book to the next artists giving each artist 5 days to complete a spread in response to the one they saw before. There was no communication between the artists except the preceding pages of the book. This book travelled over sixty thousand miles before it was completed, and the entries look awe inspiring."

Look at Book

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