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.
THE Leveson Inquiry report has been criticised for not addressing the impact of the internet on the press, and the way it was published today was symptomatic of old-fashioned print publishing that doesn’t put user need at the centre, writes Martin Belam.
There were a lot of jokes on Twitter today that you could pay £250 to get the Leveson Inquiry report in print, or download it for free on the internet, which served as some kind of analogy for the state our newspapers find themselves in.
HAPPY 40th Atari! Amber Frost reminds us that “40 years ago today, with only a $500 out-of-pocket investment, engineers Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney introduced PONG to the market on the Atari game system. From those two humble lines and a single, noble dot came a great pioneer in computer, arcade, and console gaming. Atari is even where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple got their start.”
LEXXA Ridley, 20, (real name?) is the mo-del helping dad Kim flog a 1977 Datsun 280Z on eBay. Says Kim Ridley: ”If I felt bad about it, I wouldn’t do it.” He owns Ridley’s Rides in Eugene, Oregon. ”Girls and dogs attract people’s attention.” Dogs with Girls is the dream – see the Ridley advert of Max, the family’s golden retriever, riding in a sidecar while Lexxa straddles a bike.
IS this the world’s best ever voicemail message:
He Bible fell. Oh…She just hit him over the head with a Bible
SPACE. The idea is that if you don’t know what you’re looking at (we don’t) you get experts to call it soemthing. So you have dark matter. You have dark energy. You have…SPACE. A new study says the universe is not making anything new right now. Stars are not in vogue. The big machine operated by whales that makes them is breaking down. Caleb A. Scharf notes:
First, 95% of all the stars we see around us today were formed during the past 11 billion years, and about half of these were formed between roughly 11 and 8 billion years ago in a flurry of activity. But the real shocker is that the rate at which new stars are being produced in galaxies today is barely 3% of the rate back 11 billion years ago, and declining. This indicates that unless our universe finds a second wind (which is unlikely) it will only ever manage to produce about 5% more stars than exist at this very moment.
This is, quite literally, the beginning of the end.
DEAL of the day: Richer Sounds is selling a 103 inch-screen telly – Full 3D. Professional quality. The Panasonic TH103VX200 is a dream screen that’s simply without rival – for £75499.95. The advert promises “Lowest price Guaranteed”.
Typo? Probably. But it’s also believable pricing. And we wonder: can a TV be too big?
WHEN student Andrea Hernandez from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy in San Antonio, Texas, was told to wear a tracking device to check on her movements, she declined. She said the radio frequency identification (RDIF) tracking device was akin to wearing the mark of the Beast.
The beeper is part of the “Student Locator Project”. The school needs to prove students are in attendance to get funding. It need to prove to the treasurers that bums are on seats. Students show the chipped lanyard at all times. If they want to vote, use the cafe or the library, students must show their chipped ID. It’s the same technology used to track prison inmates.
TIME to powder the old nose. And thanks to the “Shaped by time” by Studio Toer, the powder tells you when it’s good to go. What the powder is, the website does not say. Celebrities, Colombian drugs barons, jihadis and unibombers might care to top up the clocks as they see fit. (They can then take the clock into their prison cells and do time, literally.)
The blurb does tell us:
“Shaped-by-time” is a clock that shapes itself by the passage of time. Because it’s looking for the most efficient way to move itself through the matter it will create an organic form by the slow repetitive movement of time. Time is slightly visible when the clock starts running, after a few days it excavates itself out of the matter and time will appear. From then on it slowly starts creating it’s organic form in which it will find it’s ideal shape. When you want to forget time, shake it a bit and it will start all over again with finding it’s way. Like time heals wounds, this clock litterly [sic] heals itself by time.”
YOUR brain on alcohol. Your brain on drugs.
WERE you around in the 1970s? Did you keep fit with the latest kit? We’ve pulled together some of the devices available in the brown decade. If you have any of these items, please let us know if they worked:
Ladies who crunch Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
FLASHBACK to 27/04/1995: EXPERIMENTS BY NASA SCIENTISTS HAVE SHOWN THAT COMMON HOUSE SPIDERS SPIN THEIR WEBS IN DIFFERENT WAYS ACCORDING TO THE DRUG THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN.
WE know. Anorak needs work. The tech is not A-grade. We need to improve. Traffic is being lost. Readers are let down. We’re not alone. Nicholas Carr writes:
Back in 2006, a famous study of online retailing found that a third of online shoppers (those with broadband connections) would abandon a retailing site if its pages took four seconds or longer to load and that nearly two-thirds of shoppers would bolt if the delay reached six seconds. The finding became the basis for the Four Second Rule: People won’t wait more than about four seconds for a web page to load.
In the succeeding six years, the Four Second Rule has been repealed and replaced by the Quarter of a Second Rule. Studies by companies like Google and Microsoft now find that it only takes a delay of 250 milliseconds in page loading for people to start abandoning a site. “Two hundred fifty milliseconds, either slower or faster, is close to the magic number now for competitive advantage on the Web,” Microsoft search guru Harry Shum observed earlier this year. To put that into perspective, it takes about 400 milliseconds for you to blink an eye.
PARTURITION chairs were used by women when they were giving birth. Is sitting down more comfortable than lying down when giving birth? Are these the models for the moden day electric chair?
His car featured: printer, laptop, two mobile phones and sat-nav.
Police told him to stuff all the office equipment into his boot. They fined him 120 euros for speeding.
Had they looked under the bonnet, they would have found three interns running very fast, a broken swivel chair and half a packet of Mentos.
The list, made up of more than 400 recipients, consists mostly of journalists, but also includes an address appearing to belong to a provincial governor, an Afghan legislator, several academics and activists, an Afghan consultative committee, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, an Afghan warlord whose outlawed group Hezb-i-Islami is believed to be behind several attacks against coalition troops.
MIXING 3d printing with real world objects – a sandstone block built from lego, blending real objects with 3d printing. Greg Petchkovsky does the work with Lego. But what else could this technology be used for?
Alfio has an amputed leg. He wonders if the technology could help him.
Every morning before putting on the sleeve and the prosthesis, I have a dressing bandages and cotton to absorb the bumps and shape the stump with the convex tip. This is very annoying… I tried to make the molds by dipping the residual limb in bowl of silicone. It’s not good.. Do you think that this process is applicable in my case?
IN Instagram, the Devil, and You, phtographer Kenneth Jarecke muses on Instagram. The Associated Press has been experimenting with Instagram. We get them in a feed. The file contains not one memorable photo of the US election. The images are all about the photographer saying “I was there. I took this. Look how close I got to the action.” It’s enthusiastic, fan-based photography.
THE Word’s first 3-D printing booth means you can create mini action figures of yourself.
Spoon and Tamago reports:
What’s being called the world’s first 3D printing photo booth is set to open for a limited time at the exhibition space EYE OF GYRE in Harajuku. From November 24 to January 14, 2013, people with reservations can go and have their portraits taken. Except, instead of a photograph, you’ll receive miniature replicas of yourselves.
FACE of the day: Chris Loaring, Venom extraction technician from Venomtech, a company that provides venom for research, demonstrates how to extract venom from a tarantula during the preview of Pain Less: the future of relief, a new exhibition opening at the Science Museum in central London on Thursday 8 November until July 2013. The free exhibition explores the future of pain relief and the different ways that pain management is being developed.
Last year, nearly 6 billion painkillers were sold in the UK.
Living in pain is not living much at all. It is horrendous. If the drug help – take them. And if anyone in power is reading this, legalise marijuana. It can help:
I’M sure we’ve all done the trudge down to the second hand bookshop when the shelves get overloaded. Get back 50 p a copy for the old paperbacks sorta stuff. Or the equivalent at the CD shop, even bundled up the stuff and gone to a car boot sale.
The big question in this modern digital age is whether we’re going to be able to do the same with out Kindle books, online videos and MP3 music files.
The short answer is: No.
IN this video a man playing Hole In The Wall on his Xbox Kinect kicks his cat into the camera filming him. The cat’s lucky. Had the camera not been there, the mighty kick would have sent it to China:
GOOGLE Maps can help you in everyday life. They can explain how things work, where you;re heading and where you are:
COMPOSER Alexis Kirke has become a “giant baton“. That’s the conductor covered in sensors inside University of Plymouth’s new wave tank. His arm movements influence the 24 giant paddles that create waves. If he moves his arms up, the music shifts in pitch. With joystick, the volume can be raised and lowered.
Presumably, if he clutches his head in his hands, it stops.
Said Dr Kirke of his Orchestra Of Waves:
”I wanted to be like King Canute, controlling the waves. ‘The show went very well and people in the audience were asking whether they could buy the music. You are in a building and hear the noise of the waves and the smell and see them crashing down. There’s no way of explaining what it’s like to have dramatic sounds synchronized with that.”