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.
PHOENS replaced by sandwiches is a Tumblr blog in which phones are replaced by sandwiches. It’s pretty simple. And sandwiches might be better than an apple:
TO Monywa, Burma, where a man on a scooter is trying to zip through the open toll gate. He never makes it:
THE elite love Google. It’s hard to pick just one example that epitomises the love the rich and powerful have for the big internet search advertising firm. It might be the sight of Eric Schmidt, Google’s billionaire chairman, nipping into Downing Street to talk business with David Cameron. They don’t talk about how via Google you can access images of paedophilia and all manner of abuse. They talk money and influence. And they know each other well:
Rachel Whetstone is Global head of communications and public policy at Google and is married to David Cameron’s former chief of staff, Steve Hilton. Naomi Gummer was formerly adviser to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, but is now a public policy adviser to Google. Amy Fisher Was a press officer for Google, and is now a special adviser to the Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.
Also, Amy Fisher, once Google’s European PR supremo, works for justice secretary Chris Grayling. Sarah Hunter, once Tony Blair’s advisor on media policy, and Lord Derry Irvine’s god-daughter, works as UK’s had of public policy.
The Guardian, which has focused on News International’s chumminess with the Tory Party, reported on Gummer thus:
Row after Tory peer’s daughter is given job in culture secretary Jeremy Hunt’s department. Naomi Gummer, daughter of Cameron ally Lord Chadlington, appointed in a ‘highly unusual’ move
IN photos: the as yet unnamed baby born to Ruth Carter and partner John Traverse from Warrington, Cheshire, who are the first in the world to give birth to a baby using EEVA IVF technology. The baby girl weighing 5lb 15oz was born today at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
EEVA is one of the most recent and ground-breaking advances in reproductive technology and uses time-lapse imaging systems, allowing embryologists to capture huge amounts of information, previously unattainable, about the way in which early embryos develop. This system allows embryos to be observed without removing them from the incubator and, as such, more closely resembles similar conditions that an embryo would see inside the body.
NEWFORD Parts Centre, Abbey Village, Lancashire, sells car parts. Ford was unhappy that the company was listed on the internet as Newfordcarparts.co.uk. So. Ford sued. And won. Ford motors says Newford Parts Centre was “trading off its fame, history and reputation to boost its own business”. The company had been trading on that web address for 14 years online, and 40 years offline.
Images from the offending website looks like this:
THIS might not be good news for people who (follishly) invested in Facebook stock at the IPO. There’s a distinct possibility that we’ve already reached peak Facebook and that it’s just not going to get any better from here.
There’s four things that determine how much money Facebook can make. How many users it has, how much time they spend using it, how many ads Facebook can show them in that time and the price FB can charge for those ads. To boost profits Facebook would rather like all four to be rising. However, in the mature territories, that’s not what seems to be happening.
Who owns Commander Chris Hadfield’s version of Space Oddity? Copyright issues are trickier than space travel
SPACE Commander Chris Hadfield sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity as his finale to his International Space Station show. And when he did, he potentially opened a can of worms (and lawyers). You can send a man to live in space. No sweat. But it’s much harder to work out who owns the words he says when he’s up there.
The song “Space Oddity” is under copyright protection in most countries, and the rights to it belong to Mr Bowie. But compulsory-licensing rights in many nations mean that any composition that has been released to the public (free or commercially) as an audio recording may be recorded again and sold by others for a statutorily defined fee, although it must be substantively the same music and lyrics as the original. But with the ISS circling the globe, which jurisdiction was Commander Hadfield in when he recorded the song and video? Moreover, compulsory-licensing rights for covers of existing songs do not include permission for broadcast or video distribution. Commander Hadfield’s song was loaded onto YouTube, which delivers video on demand to users in many countries around the world. The first time the video was streamed in each country constituted publication in that country, and with it the potential for copyright infringement under local laws. Commander Hadfield could have made matters even more complicated by broadcasting live as he sang to an assembled audience of fellow astronauts for an onboard public performance while floating from segment to segment of the ISS.
iNotRacist -is the app. that will identity you as a non-racist. Bit discounts for politicians, policemen and golfers:
HOW do teenage girls use their phones? Answer: all the time. Bianca Bosker spoke to a 14-year-old girl about her life on a white iPhone S.
These are the pick of the quotes:
“I’ll wake up in the morning and go on Facebook just … because,” Casey says. “It’s not like I want to or I don’t. I just go on it. I’m, like, forced to. I don’t know why. I need to. Facebook takes up my whole life.”
Casey only parts with her phone during the hours she’s at school, when she leaves it in her locker. The rest of the time, she and seven friends keep up a running conversation over text messages.
HAVE you ever jiffawed at a jif? The inventor of the Gif says the thing should be pronounced Jif. Gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format. That’s graphic not jraffic. But Steven Wilhite says the ‘G’ of Gif should be used like the G in Germany. Said Steven (pronounced. Ste-veen):
“It is a soft ‘G’, pronounced ‘jif’. End of story.”
Of course jif is now known as cif.
IN this video, the hapless scooter boy suffers three accidents in a very short space of time.
I have no end of sympathy for him. The first time I ever drove a scooter was on a ‘fun’ track in Hampshire. I ended up wrapped around a fence in the car park. The next time I drove one was in Italy. As I headed towards the queue of terrified locals stood at the bus stop opposite the scooter hire shop, I knew that motorbikes and me made for an unhappy mix. Fortunately, I managed to twist the handlebars in time to slap into the bike renter’s car, which I then hired:
WHO owns the videos you make and post on YouTube? Well, if you make one yourself playing a Nintendo video game, they do. Alan Wexelblat writes:
The basic idea is that if someone makes a video of themselves playing a Nintendo game and uploads it to YouTube any ads shown with that video will be of Nintendo’s choosing and revenue from it will flow to Nintendo. Ads may appear beside the videos or actually be inserted before and after the video when people go to play it.
The problem here is that “Let’s Play” style videos are a pervasive form of information and sharing throughout the industry. I did a quick YouTube search for “let’s play” for this blog post and got back over 9.1 million hits. People create these videos to show off their skills, to highlight interesting things they’ve seen such as game “easter eggs”, to provide guides or walk-throughs, or just to share a bit of fun with friends. There are a few professional or semi-professional games writers who use this style of video to promote themselves or their channels, but they are a tiny minority of that nine million.
Nintendo has positioned its action as a gentler approach; rather than trying to ban content related to Nintendo games, they just want to make money off it by changing the video that an individual uploaded. Yeah, um, guys that’s not a whole lot better. It also comes across as cheap and lazy – rather than creating content for YouTube that fans and players would want to watch, Nintendo is just taking over other peoples’ content.
Nintendo is not alone. Google is there to help:
Nintendo will accomplish this by using YouTube’s Content Match ID system, which allows publishers, television networks or record labels to identify if content being used in a video is something from their products. Those entities can then monetize those videos.
And lest you think Nintendo look like swine, they explain:
“We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube. That is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.”
No, Instead of making you a criminal they will just take your money instead. Oh, the irony…
NOTE: In 2013, Nintendo made an annual profit of 7.1bn yen (£47m).
IN 1951: anyone uncertain of how to use a telephone was being educated:
WAR is utterly terrifying. It’s ugly. But in 1942, T.W. Smith, Jr., owner of the Sun Rubber Company, and designer, Dietrich Rempel, created something to give children nightmares: the Mickey Mouse gas mask, as approved by Walt Disney.
AUSTRIAN physician Stefan Jellinek founded The Electro-Pathological Museum in 1936. Hr provided the content in Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern (Electrical Protection in 132 Pictures). DEath and electricity went hand-in-hand. But with this book, you would be forewarned.
If you can identify all the contraptions, let us know.
THE French have decided it would be a good idea to tax all the smartphones, TVs, tablets and the rest in order to subsidise the creation of French movies n’ stuff that people can watch on their smartphones, tablets and TVs. This is truly insane:
The French government is considering creating a new tax on smartphones and tablets in a bid to raise millions to support the creation of digital cultural content inside France.
The proposal, handed to President Francois Hollande today, outlines a one per cent tax on the sale of Internet-compatible devices, targeting companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon.
The tax would yield about 86 million euros per year. The revenue would help cultural industries create French content such as music, images and videos.
CAR driving music with a film car chase montage. Can you name the films?
IN the early 1990s, the world was in peril. Telephones were falling into pies, to the floor from desks and very possibly being mistaken for carrots. But help was at hand. The Phone Relief Ultimate Hands-Free Headset was here.
BANG WITH FRIENDS is a site that boasts:
The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night.
Your friends will never know you’re interested unless they are too! (Completely private & discreet until both friends are down to bang!)
In 1981 technology stopped the ‘Arctic region becoming equatorial and the tropics suddenly changed to polar temperature’
IN 1881, the London St James’s Gazette reported on the end of life on Earth. The news was picked up by Australia’s Bendigo Advertiser:
The London St James’s Gazette writes :—
” This planet, it seems, is threatened with serious changes by the extension of the telegraphic system. A timely note of warning to this effect is given by one of the American papers. Polarity, it observes, depends upon a current of electricity passing at right angles to the direction of the poles. The polarity of the earth depends upon the electric or heat currents of the sun, and it is highly probable that the earth’s inclination to the ecliptic is governed by its polarity. If, therefore, there were instantly established sufficient electrical connection by wires around the earth, with the earth itself, to instantly equalize the current and produce a complete reduction of all electrical excitement, what would be the effect on the polarity, and secondly on the inclination to the ecliptic ? May there not be a sudden change of polarities — the Arctic region becoming equatorial, and the tropics suddenly changed to polar temperature? The sudden melting of the vast ice fields would produce another glacial flood ; the present race would disappear, and the man of the quaternary would begin life ever again at the antipodes. All this is to be accomplished by the continuation of complete circuits for telegraphing around the globe. Of course tremendous earthquakes would follow, as the polar diameter is twenty-six miles too short and the equatorial twenty-six miles too long. Whether this theory prove correct or not, there cannot be a doubt that something has of late gone wrong with atmospherical arrangements, and perhaps the telegraph wires are not wholly blameless in the matter.”
SOME people hate Earth so much that they’ve applied to live on Mars, even though Mars looks like an arid death hole. More than 78,000 people from 120 different countries have applied to leave Earth, which frankly makes them traitors and we should round them up and boo them into oblivion.
The openings come from a new reality TV series from Dutch non-profit organisation Mars One.
IN Skills of Defensive Driving, the Australia Department of Transport pops the sex comedy soundtrack into the player and keep your eyes on the road. This was made by Film Australia in 1973:
Episode 2: Easter Time
Episode 3: The Car Behind
Episode 4: The Head On Collision
Great intro. An inspiration for Police Squad.
Episode 5: Cross-roads crash
IN 1967, IMB hired Jim Henson to educate their staff. His Muppets were here to help. Cue the Cookie Monster: