Independent news, views, opinions and reviews on the latest gadgets, games, science, technology and research from Apple and more. It’s about the technologies that change the way we live, work, love and behave.
How big is space? The 2MASS Redshift Survey is trying to find out. After 10 years toil,we can see the universe rendered as a 3D map. It features – get this- 43,000 galaxies within 380 million light-years from Earth.
It is awe-inspiring.
When Ashley was blind, her nearest and dearest described colours to her like this:
Yellow. I didn’t touch anything for this, they just told me that whenever you laugh so hard you can’t stop, that that happiness is what yellow looks like.
Green. I held soft leaves and wet grass. They told me green felt like life. To this day it is still very much my favorite color.
Like millions of you, I’m not buying the New iPhone 7 because: a) they told me the iPhone 6s was the greatest phone ever and could not be beaten, and I beliveed them – still do!; b) the new cameras are so clear they force you see your own life as it really is; c) something about tax and stuff.
In the Guardian, you can read one man’s reasons for opting out:
….because they had pulled the Double Irish, the European commission has ruled, Apple deprived the EU of $14.5bn over the last 10 years. The EU ordered Apple to pay the taxes with interest at the end of August, a decision whose logic the company refutes.
No. The EU does not set tax rates.
This is hardly surprising: Apple is a massive multinational, and behaves like one despite its sanitized image. It has a long track record of looking the other way on suppliers’ human rights abuses, documented by the New York Times and other outlets. And it pays a tax rate lower than that of 99.99% of the human beings reading this story right now – and they clearly work harder at that profit margin and squeezing their supply chain now than they do on their actual technology. And in the last few years it is beginning to show.
d) They’re expensive.
On July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 blasted into space. In this video the blast off is stretched from 30 seconds of action to over eight minutes of viewing time.
“The Saturn V vehicle produced a holocaust of flames,” says NASA.
Lock up your sons and daughters – the sex bots are coming. The Mail warns:
Teenagers may lose their virginity to sex robots in the future, a leading expert predicted yesterday. Professor Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of robotics at Sheffield University, warned that android sex dolls may have damaging consequences for society.
He said that just as the rise of internet porn took the Government by surprise, a similarly seismic robot revolution is on the way – with far-reaching consequences.
Seismic stuff. did the earth move for you?
“It’s not a problem having sex with a machine. But what if it’s your first time, your first relationship? What do you think of the opposite sex then? What do you think a man or a woman is?… It will get in the way of real life, stopping people forming relationships with normal people.”
How do you fend off carjackers? On YouTube, we find an answer:
When this foot switch is pressed, two things happen. One, a 14-thousand volt spark would appear here in this nozzle, and then you have these four jets here shooting out gas. Liquid gas from the gas bottle in the boot. Liquid gas, as soon as it exits over the spark here, will ignite and a ball of flame will shoot out of both side of the vehicle. Incapacitating the hijackers immediately.”
Amazingly perhaps, the system’s legal in South Africa – provided the driver is acting in self defence as depicted in this mock-up.
Do you trust machines? Would you buy a driverless car? To Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, where a 23-year-old woman who followed her car’s SatNav instructions ended up in a harbour.
Ontario Provincial Police say the driver “took a wrong turn into Little Tub Harbour… weather conditions and the driver being new to the area, a fully submerged vehicle was the result,” police said. The woman escaped by sliding from the car’s window and swimming 30 metres to the shore in 4°C water.
YouTuber **Sally71** has created the “DON’T TOUCH!!! BOX – a variant of “The Most Useless Box Machine”.
This is a new chart of cosmic exploration from Pop Chart Lab. It “traces the trajectories of every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor to ever slip the surly bonds of Earth’s orbit and successfully complete its mission — a truly astronomical array of over 100 exploratory instruments in all.”
Big news in the Daily Mail that Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is “gunning down rivals” by playing Call of Duty on his PlayStation.
Those rivals had best watch out. The Daily Mail told us Call of Duty turns you into a murderer – maybe:
He shoots! He shoot! He keeps on shooting until the game is over and his wife call him down for dinner…
Wind turbines reduce the amount of CO2 being released to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. Well, that’s the idea. And then you see this picture from Sweden.
The rotor blades of a wind turbine to ice up bringing the blades to a complete stop. To fix the “problem” a helicopter is employed (burning aviation fuel) to spray hot water (which is heated in the frigid temperatures using a truck equipped with a 260 kW oil burner) on the blades of the turbine to de-ice them.
The aviation fuel, the diesel for the truck, and the oil burned to heat the water, could produce more electricity (at the right time to meet demand) than the unfrozen wind turbine could ever produce. (Before it freezes up again).
Cars have gotten a lot safer. In this 2009 video by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu collide head-on. The new car is far heavier, so maybe there’s bit of give in that the Malibu would have been more likely to hit a lighter car. But that Chevy airbag fires out fast:
We glimpse into the future with paleoanthropologist Dr. Matthew Skinner of the University of Kent. He says that as the world’s temperature alters, we will see humanity adopt. You will grow webbed feet and fingers, a third eyelid and lots of hair.
People of the Forest of Dean, Norfolk and Westminster, as you are.
In the race to get their children ahead, those Other Parents will stop at nothing. They will buy Baby Einstein books, move to the best school catchment zones and transport their loved ones in get-out-of-my-way-4x4s, the bumpers of which are the ideal height by which to brain other people’s less lofty brood. Now they can buy “Babypod“.
Slither a Babypod speaker up a vaginal tract and blast the foetus with sweet music. If you’re having twins, use two speakers, so fostering the kids’ individuality.
Oh, and, mum and dad can listen in, too, via split headphones which hang out of the vagina. What can possibly go wrong?
What more can any pregnant woman want than having more stuff crammed up her private Clown Car?
And take care when cutting the umbilical cord, guys. Those phones are pricey!
Spotter: The Guardian
The car’s the star in the tabloids. Manchester United players love a Bentley.
Daily Mail: “Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal arrives at favourite restaurant in a Bentley”
The car’s value is not stated.
Daily Mail, December 21: “Defender Chris Smalling rolls into Carrington in his sporty Bentley following United’s 2-1 defeat by Norwich on Saturday”
Not before the defeat. After it.
Daily Mirror, January 3: “Memphis Depay spotted in £250,000 Rolls Royce – hours after being slammed by Ruud Gullit”
Make the link. Can you? The Mirror seems to be suggesting that Depay is so upset at what Gullit said about him he’s downgraded his car. Depay risks being mocked by his Manchester United teammates for looking cheap. Right?
In other team news:
Daily Mail, January 5: “Like many of the most gifted players, Arnautovic is a mixture of raw ability, eccentricity and insecurity. He arrives at Stoke’s training ground from his Cheshire home every day in a personalised Bentley.”
A Bentley has very secure locks.
With SkyDeck, there is a whole new layer of air travel class. SkyDeck, created by the Everett, Washington-based Windspeed Technologies LLC, is, it says here, a “revolutionary new in-flight entertainment product.”
It’s a bubble atop the plane. You can reach it but stair or lift. The creators’ say:
“We have not been approached by the airlines yet, however we have started to receive enquiries from private jet owners who would like to consider having one installed on their aircraft.”
It looks utterly terrifying.
The Daily Express says a company claims they’ll be able to “RESURRECT THE DEAD by 2045”. To which the obvious response is: but will that be too late to save the last Daily Express reader?
Josh Bocanegra says his new company Humai area aiming to bring the dead back to life…. by freezing human brains for extended periods of time using cryonics, a deep freezing technology using very low temperatures, and then putting them into artificial bodies. But Josh claims the company’s ultimate goal is to preserve a human brain BEFORE a person dies.
As you were Daily Express:
The Daily Express: keeping the dead newsworthy.
Avid technophile, program developer, and educator, William Ralph “Bill” Fink, whose master functions were harnessed by Microsoft Corp. as a technical evangelist has sadly passed away at the age of 46.
Mr Fink, from Belleville, Illinois, encountered an unhandled exception in his core operating system, which prematurely triggered a critical STOP condition on Wednesday, December 16, 2015.
He is survived in legacy by his wife, Rhonda Michele, nee Gardiner, Fink, his children, Cassidy Gardiner and William John Fink, his parents, William and Nancy, nee Kaiser, Fink, and his brothers, Michael and Matthew (Kelly) Fink.
Diagnostics indicated multiple cascading hardware failures as the root problem. Though his hardware has been decommissioned, Bill’s application has been migrated to the Cloud and has been repurposed to run in a virtual machine on an infinite loop. < END OF LINE >
In this advert professional skydiver Jeff Provenzano show us that so hip are Nvidia Shield tablet computers that anyone owning one can experience the thrill of skydiving with their cat by simply turning one on.
The selfie-stick met its match with Evan Griffin’s dad, who borrowed his lad’s Gopro for trip to Las Vegas. Dad wanders here and there, stick raised, narrating to the folks back home what they’re looking at.
They’re looking at you, dad.