Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Hoverboards, bikes, airplanes and more in our look around the web

Women-Led DJ Collectives Rule NYC’s Club Scene

The empowering women-centric DJ collectives that are dominating NYC’s clubs are full of longtime artists who have been playing venues for years. The collectives focus on collaboration and amplification in an industry where women are still underrepresented. “We don’t really talk about who the hottest DJ is. We’re more into cultivating individuality and ushering what you have out into the world” Emma Burgess-Olsen (aka Umfang of the Discwoman collective) tells the New York Times. Collectives (another one being Working Women) oftentimes act as reinforcements when women DJs are underpaid or mistreated—in some instances, they have been able to “magically double” rates. Tao Leigh Goffe (an assistant professor at Cornell, who writes about DJ culture and gender) says that men in DJing often have a more “ego-driven process. Women have a different approach. They’re more collaborative.” Read more at the NY Times.

French Inventor Flies Hoverboard Halfway Across English Channel

Last week, French inventor Franky Zapata previewed mobility technology that he claimed would propel him across the English Channel (from France to England) in only 20 minutes. His first formal attempt occurred earlier today. Though Zapata didn’t quite make it all of the way—waves in the channel displaced his refueling station (situated 11 miles from the English city of Dover) by centimeters and he ultimately miscalculated the landing—his attempt shouldn’t be deemed a failure. The “Flyboard,” as he’s named it, is a promising innovation for the mobility industry. Propelled by five small jets, Zapata’s sled-like device can hit a top speed of 87mph and steadily cruise at altitudes from 50 to 65 feet. Find out more at the New York Times.

Radiooooo Maps Music From 1900 to Now

Currently in open beta (which anyone can use or download), Radiooooo, “The Musical Time Machine,” is a goldmine for lost or forgotten tracks from around the world. Presenting their library as a map, the site allows users to choose a country and decade and then listen along as tracks (popular and obscure) rattle off. The track’s title and attributed artist appear in the bottom left corner and widgets for buying, “liking” and sharing let users act on discoveries. Further, users can contribute their own music discoveries to the database. Altogether, the site has begun to become a vast cultural resource. Spend a few hours listening to tracks from around the world and multiple eras (we got almost an hour into their collection of ’70s Uzbekistani music) at their site.

Toilet Paper Start-Ups, Sustainability and Subscription Services

Brands like Who Gives a Crap, Tushy, and No.2 are making changes in the world of toilet paper through subscription services, as well as sustainable and charitable aspects. For example, certified B corporation Who Gives a Crap donates half of its profits and offers unrestricted funding to select organizations that build and maintain toilets, septic systems and latrines in various communities in need, worldwide. Considering approximately 40% of the planet’s population has no access to functioning toilets, and companies such as Procter & Gamble (Charmin) and Kimberly Clark (Cottonelle, Scott) are still using “primarily, sometimes exclusively, freshly cut trees,” there are countless reasons this industry shake-up is necessary. Read more at Vox.

Microsoft Launches Closed Beta of Augmented Reality Minecraft Earth

Now in closed beta through London and Seattle, and set to roll out further this summer, Microsoft’s AR update to Minecraft—dubbed Minecraft Earth—will hope to reach all 91 million of the classic game’s users around the globe in due time. The game enables users to build digital cities on top of the real world, either alone or in collaboration with other players. Fast Company had access to the beta version in Seattle and described the experience “like playing with a toy nobody else can see” and referred to the technology as “impressive—with the potential to reshape the way gaming happens in the future.” That said, the experience triggered many bigger questions about gaming, AR and community. Read more about this first look at Fast Company.

Innovative Design Shines in the Tour de France

Currently in stage 16, this year’s Tour de France is a brilliant display of endurance, skill and innovative design. Aero and climbing bikes are crucial for standard and uphill stages, whereas time trial bikes are used to shave off seconds and on downhill legs. For a race that is often decided by no more than 1/100 of a second during each stage, and less than two minutes overall, every moment matters. Whether it be design that tucks wires and cables inside the frame (or forgoes them entirely in favor of electrical systems) or frames that are slimmed down to afford more aerodynamic lines, researched design can allow for smoother transfer and power, reduced soreness, and faster times. Identical riders can cut almost four minutes off their time by choosing the right bike. Read more about the bicycles used in this year’s race (which ends 28 July) at Wired.

Airbus Unveils “Bird of Prey” Hybrid Plane Concept

One component of Airbus’ goal of cutting aerospace emissions in half by 2050, the “Bird of Prey” concept debuted at the Royal International Air Tattoo airshow. This hybrid-electric engine passenger plane aims to mimic birds in various ways. Not only does it have a long tail and sprawling wings, it will arch like an eagle, have individual “feathers” that can be controlled on their own (for active flight control), and aerodynamics similar to a condor—meaning engines won’t cause lag. Find out more at Popular Mechanics. Transports Users into a ’90s’ Mac Desktop is so much more than a portal into a classic Mac OS from the early ’90s; it’s a web radio station of summery tunes, a streaming site of lo-fi VHS-to-avi videos and an honest-to-goodness fun time. Developed by Marty Bell (founder of Tens sunglasses), Niek Dekker, Lewis King and Aziz Firat, the website returns after its initial launch in 2014. This time, however, the design (which you can change under the “Themes” tab) and functionality have been updated and expanded. It’s an easy way to spend some time reminiscing about early computing, especially on a hot summer day.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.