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.
EARLIER this week Iran shot a monkey into space. It is feared that very soon Iran will firing monkeys at Israel. Anorak’s security expert tells us that at the current rate of technological progress, the next forty years should see Iran: discover Pot Noodle; build a computer smaller than a bedroom; have hands free dialling; syndicate Deal or No Deal; and learn that taking two bottles into the shower is not always necessary. For now, though, Iran is rejoicing that a monkey has made it into the great known, an event that follows the news that the country has invented a machine for amputating the fingers of thieves.
Iran’s ISNA news service has released images of three hooded officials holding a man’s hand in a vice as another turns a blade attached to what appears to be 1962 Signer sewing machine.
TIME to play Downton Abbey on the Super Nintendo:
CAR of the day is a 1959 BMW Isetta Whatta Drag with 730 hp Chevrolet V8 engine. It’s a three-wheel bubble car on fire. Would anyone be game enough to drive the thing? The Isetta never had a reverse gear. The only way in is through the front door. Once in, you stay in – unless you brake very hard and you can the car fall on your faces…
It has dual-circuit disc brakes with an AP balance bar, while the suspension is taken from an M3. The front wheels are wrapped around in B.F. Goodrich G-Force tires, while the rear custom 18×13 inch drag racing wheel has a Sumitomo HTRZ II tire.
Although developed to be fully functional, the vehicle is strictly for show and shouldn’t be used on roads or track because the “massive amount of torque produced by the Chevrolet 502 motor can be dangerous if driven improperly.”
The 1959 BMW Isetta Whatta Drag is expected to fetch between 75,000 – 100,000 USD.
So, we have Apple reporting its financial results for the most recent quarter. Profits were up (only very slightly, but they were). Sales were well up. Everything’s looking pretty rosy in hte Cupertino garden. At which point the shares drop 10% in minutes.
Despite that, Whiting says facial recognition software hasn’t been of much use to him. It’s simply too unreliable when it comes to spotting people on the move, in crowds, and under variable lighting. Instead, he and his team rely on pictures shared from other casinos, as well as through the Biometrica and Griffin databases. (The Griffin database, which contains pictures and descriptions of various undesirables, used to go to subscribers as massive paper volumes.) But quite often, they’re not looking for specific people, but rather patterns of behavior. “Believe it or not, when you’ve done this long enough,” he says, “you can tell when somebody’s up to no good. It just doesn’t feel right.”
DARPA’s mission is to prevent technological surprise for the United States and to create technological surprise for its adversaries. The DARPA SBIR and STTR Programs are designed to provide small, high-tech businesses and academic institutions the opportunity to propose radical, innovative, high-risk approaches to address existing and emerging national security threats; thereby supporting DARPA’s overall strategy to bridge the gap between fundamental discoveries and the provision of new military capabilities.
THERE been some recent whining from Microsoft about how they get to sell bugger all in China. As opposed to Apple who can’t make things fast enough. Some of this is of course because Microsoft sells software, something often ripped off in that lovely country. But there’s something else as well: and it’s a neat illustration of why Microsoft is, essentially, screwed.
China’s Internet population surges to 564 million, 75 percent on mobile
OOPS! Melanie Anderson accidentally sent a racy email intended for her finace Eric Knisz to everyone at her work. Melanie works at Aberdeen-based oil company ISS. Bruce Webster, HR director of ISS, says:
“Personal emails are not encouraged at work and we have taken the appropriate action with the members of staff concerned. They are absolutely mortified by the content of the email trail which was meant to be private and apologise for any offence caused by it going out with our organisation.”
EVER taken a photo of your meal and posted it to a social media site? No, not pictures of terrible food, like this RyanAir disaster. This is about those pictures of fine dining. Some eateries in the US have banned diners from photographing their dinners. Rebecca Jane Stokes is delighted:
I don’t like people taking photographs of their food at restaurants because it takes the food out of its context. Whatever people might say — and I’ve heard it so many times from so many diet proponents — food is inherently social. Do you need to have food around to have a good time with someone? No, of course not. But there is something primal and nourishing in sharing a meal with people you enjoy. Social interaction sustains us, so does ingesting food — and when both are of the highest quality in a place designed with respect for that, taking a quick pic with my iPhone feels like giving the entire event short shrift.
MODERN love: If pimply teenager Petter Kverneng gets 1million likes on Facebook, Cathrine will shag him.
Dr Xiuwen Yan, of the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, tells us:
“It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains. Under the pressure of increasing microorganisms with drug resistance against conventional antibiotics, there is urgent need to develop new type of antimicrobial agents.”
IN this video a departing Space Station Commander Provides Tour of Orbital Laboratory.
Given the muscle atrophying effects of living in space, in the future, the space station might be used as a fat farm, where the super rich go to lose weight:
A 67-year-old Belgian woman set out to drive 38 miles to Brussels under the guidance of her GPS navigation system but arrived in Zagreb two days and 901 miles later.
A FEW words on Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide this week. He was 26. If you’re reading this on RSS, thank him:
At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library. Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Mr. Swartz’s death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
HOW to asnwer your iPhone, like a Japanese master. Hands are so last season:
IN every disaster, an opportunity to raise your Facebook friends count. Australia is being melted by bushfires. So, the
good folks at Sellitonline have soem up with a way of helping the striken. Join their Facebook page:
“..the more people we get will determine how many generators we donate.“
It’s a huge fail. Says onr Facebook pal:
“F*ck off with your opportunistic marketing trying to take advantage of other people’s tragedy.”
PRESENTING the worlds largest simultaneous burnout. As a reader writes:
How clouds are made in Australia.
IN space, time moves at a different pace. Jesse McDougall explains:
There are a few dozen GPS satellites floating high above the Earth. Each satellite carries an atomic clock that, when on Earth, is perfectly precise and in sync with Earth time. However, when lifted to the less dense gravity of the upper atmosphere, the satellites’ atomic clocks speed up. Were an observer to fly up to one of these satellites and watch the on-board atomic clock, he would see no difference in the length of a second. It would still be that familiar tick, tick, tick of Earth seconds. At that level of gravity, he, too, would be moving faster through time and would therefore see one second to be one plain old second. But, from here on the Earth’s surface and from within our denser gravitational field, we can see that the seconds pass a little more quickly on the satellites.
Time is slowed by heavy gravity. Just as it’s easier to swim through outer space, than it is through the atmosphere, than it is through water, than it is through rock, time moves more quickly through less dense gravity. Time passes more slowly on Jupiter than it does here on Earth. And, as the impatient clocks on the Mars rover prove, time passes more quickly on Mars due to its lighter gravitational pull.
WHAT did Pakistanis view on YouTube when the site was live for three minutes? The site was banned in Pakistan when some dicks uploaded the ridiculous film the Innocence of Muslims. Banning it might have made the film the must-see smash among Pakistani youth. But the censors were taking no chances. YouTube was banned in September. The experts waited until YouTube was made pure, rid of all and anything that could be deemed offensive to Muslims. Also porn.
The country’s interior minister then ordered that the block be lifted. The world had had plenty to time to comply. Three minutes the site was blocked once more.
JOHN Witherow,editor of The Sunday Times since 1995, was asked by the Leveson Inquiry’s counsel, Robert Jay QC, if the title’s owner Rupert Murdoch influence the paper’s editorial. He replied:
“He doesn’t have any.”
HAVE a good journey. And buy a map. In a book. Apple’s iOS 6 system is mystery ride:
Tests on the mapping system by police confirm the mapping systems lists Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, approximately 70km away from the actual location of Mildura.
Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue.
Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.
THIS is Black Marble, ka Earth. The image was taken by the US’s Suomi spacecraft. There is no weather:
HITTING someone in the face with a water balloon is tremendous fun. I think we can all agree on that. Being hit in the face is less fun. Will Smith set up a slow-mo camera to record Norm Chan being hit in the face with water balloons. Not all of them break on impact.