Anorak

Technology | Anorak - Part 18

Technology Category

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.

Mr Carron’s Falling Cone for Victorian daredevils

xplanes Mr Carrons Falling Cone for Victorian daredevils

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Posted: 15th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Meme heroes in real life

AN internet meme is based on a single photo. If that picture is of you, and you’re deemed to look like a douche, a good guy or a nutjob, then it’s hard cheese. Your internet persona is now set. Bad Luck Brian might win the lottery. But he’s till Bad Luck Brian. Success Kid has yet to sit any meaningful exams. Does everyone love Good Guy Greg? Is there no-one who has bad word to say about him? It’s a little known fact that Scumbag Steve has donated a kidney to Nelson Mandela, saved a bag of kittens from a canal and is working on a cure for cancer.

Here are the meme heroes in real life:. Featuring: Bad Luck Brian, Success Kid, Really High Guy, Hipster Barista, Sudden Clarity Clarence, Good Guy Greg, First World Problems, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Sheltering Suburban Mom and Scumbag Steve.

Scumbag Steve  Meme heroes in real life

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Posted: 13th, March 2013 | In: Celebrities, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The insane Czechs makes a hash of the 4G auction

THIS should be a spoof but unfortunately it isn’t: they’ve managed to get the economics of this situation entirely the wrong way around:

As bidding topped £680m, the Czech regulator pulled the plug on the 4G auction, saying that to continue would risk pushing cripplingly high prices onto the winner’s customers as well as delaying deployments – both to the detriment of the country’s citizens.

The Czech Republic was hoping for a fast deployment, and the regulator had placed a reserve of 7.4bn Czech Koruna (£250m) on the bands being auctioned off, but with four operators determined to divide the bands into three bundles, the bidding got out of hand and the regulator decided to pull the plug rather than taking the money.

This is insane.

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Posted: 12th, March 2013 | In: Money, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


British researchers find signs of extraterrestrial life on meteor

PA 13974968 British researchers find signs of extraterrestrial life on meteor

DON’T worry. The simple organisms from the great beyond are going to invade and tell us what to do. It will be okay:

“Researchers in the United Kingdom have found algae-like fossils in meteorite fragments that landed in Sri Lanka last year. This is the strongest evidence yet of cometary panspermia — that life on Earth began when a meteorite containing simple organisms landed here, billions of years ago — and, perhaps more importantly, that there’s life elsewhere in the universe.”

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Posted: 12th, March 2013 | In: Technology | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


1956 Hard Disk Drive – loading IBM’s storage unit on a PAA jet

1956 hard disk drive 1956 Hard Disk Drive   loading IBMs storage unit on a PAA jet

PHWAOR! Cop a load of that hard drive being loaded on a Pan American Airways jet. It’s as big as a car:

In September 1956 IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the first ‘SUPER’ computer with a hard disk drive (HDD). The HDD weighed over a ton and stored 5 MB of data.

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Posted: 10th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Moon Towers of Austin Texas

moon tower The Moon Towers of Austin Texas

EVER seen a moon tower? In the 19th Century moon towers were “the future of municipal lighting was glowing orbs suspended high above cities”:

Aurora, Illinois — ironically named only in retrospect — was one of the early places to experiment with artificial moonlight. The town contracted with Charles Francis Brush, an inventor and an entrepreneur and one of Edison’s chief competitors in the race to electrify America. In his wonderful book The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America, Ernest Freeberg describes what it’s like to be a town lit, suddenly, by imitation moons. Brush installed his enormous lights, Freeberg notes, via six iron towers studded across Aurora — structures “rising like gigantic pencils over the city’s rooftops.” Stretching high above the skyline, Brush arc lamps provided intense light to the areas directly below them. They also, Freeberg writes, “bathed the surrounding fields and ‘lonely outskirts’ of the city with something like ‘full summer moonlight.’”

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Posted: 10th, March 2013 | In: Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Irish senator wants laws to stop fraping (Facebook rape)

FRAPE Irish senator wants laws to stop fraping (Facebook rape)

EVER been fraped? Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has been highlighting the perils of fraping to the Oireachtas communications committee. She says:

“Take for example the form of fraping – where you’re raped on Facebook, where a youngster has their status open and another person puts a message on there as if they wrote it.”

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Posted: 10th, March 2013 | In: Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Google Streetview records something odd in Temperance Street, Manchester M126HR

MEANWHILE on Temperance Street, Manchester M126HR, the Google Street cam reveals locals going about their merry way. (Is she asking a young Rooney for directions?)

manchester M126HR Google Streetview records something odd in Temperance Street, Manchester M126HR

Posted: 8th, March 2013 | In: Technology | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Highway Hi-Fit Phonograph

FLASHBACK to the Highway Hi-Fi Phonograph:

hifi highway 8 Highway Hi Fit Phonograph

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Posted: 7th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Technology | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Games and gadgets to play on the toilet

RIM shot! It’s not numbers one and two on the toilet any more, folks. Technology means you can play toielt basketball, toilet golf and toilet fishing – not as disgusting as it sounds:

icarta-toilet-paper-and-ipod-holder-580x435

Posted: 6th, March 2013 | In: Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kia launches the ‘Provo’ car – in orange (Northern Irish orders rocket)

kia provo Kia launches the Provo car   in orange (Northern Irish orders rocket)

HATS off to Kia, whose Provo car is available in orange. It aims to seduce both sides of the North Irish sectarian divide. Not everyone is pleased:

“Lawmakers from Northern Ireland formally appealed Tuesday for the South Korean carmaker to junk the name of its planned super-mini sports coupe because “Provo” is the nickname for the dominant branch of the outlawed Irish Republican Army, the Provisional IRA.”

Also available with black and tan interiors…

Posted: 5th, March 2013 | In: Cars | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Apple’s the best damn thing that’s ever happened to Chinese workers

YES, we all know the complaints. That those Chinese workers assembling the Apple products are paid a pittance, it’s all a shame and the company are capitalist bastards for exploiting the poor so.

Or we could look at the actual facts and decide that Apple’s the best thing that’s ever happened to the denizens of the perfumed east. For it is exactly that Apple and other companies expanding their operations there that is pushing up wages. Which is, I hope we’d all agree, what we’d actually like to happen? That the poor get rich?

Wages in Sichuan and Henan have surged 120 percent in six years because of economic growth, increasing local competition for labor and slower population-growth nationwide.

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Posted: 4th, March 2013 | In: Money, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Company says it invented podcasting before podcasting was possible

patent podcasting Company says it invented podcasting before podcasting was possible

CAN you claim to have invented something that technology enabled you to do? Did the first person to pilot a car invent driving? Sure you made the world’s first pencil, but he drew with it. That makes the artist the inventor, right? This is, of course, bonkers, but in the USA such things are debated in courts of law.

This month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it is to take on the genius who invented podcasting. Texas-based outfit Personal Audio LLC is suing a few big-name podcasts for breach of patent.

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Posted: 28th, February 2013 | In: Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Taliban now endorse TVs – what programmes won them over?

anorak 1 taleban tv 300x225 Taliban now endorse TVs   what programmes won them over?BETTER known for endorsing holy war and the death penalty for rape victims, the Taleban have taken to giving their stamp of approval to consumer electronic products.

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Posted: 27th, February 2013 | In: Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Google Maps grasses up man cheating on fiance

THE internet has done wonders for people’s sex lives, enabling them to flirt more confidently and meet other people without having to brave a bar filled with stouty burps first. However, with every silver lining is a dirty great raincloud, as one Russian lothario soon discovered.

While browsing Google Maps, a Russian lady found that her other-half was having it away with someone else. Marina Voinova, from Perm (where everyone looks like the Liverpool FC squad in the early ’80s), was looking for an address online and, when switching to the Street View feature, she saw an image of her fiance cuddling up to another woman.

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Posted: 26th, February 2013 | In: Strange But True, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Scientists make suit that give you Spidey Sense!

PA 11538832 Scientists make suit that give you Spidey Sense!

GREETINGS web-slingers! You may look good in lycra and have a boss that shouts at you all the time, but that’s where you and Spiderman’s similarities end… UNTIL NOW!

Clever science sods have made a suit which, sadly, doesn’t enable you to climb walls and snog Mary Jane, but probably more impressively, actually gives you Spidey Sense. That’s right – you’ll tingle at danger!

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Posted: 25th, February 2013 | In: Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The 10 best premium-rate phone lines of the 1980s

IN the 1980s, fans could get close to the stars on telephone chatlines. The messages were pre-recorded. But the billing was live.

The New Kid On The Block had a message for you:

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Posted: 24th, February 2013 | In: Celebrities, Flashback, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Margaret Thatcher’s battle bus sells for £17,000 (photos)

 Margaret Thatchers battle bus sells for £17,000 (photos)

MARGARET Thatcher’s 28-tonne ‘battle bus’ used for her Northern Ireland tour has sold for £16,940 at auction. The bus weighs 38 tons, seats 32 passengers and can survice a 7.62 bullet / handbag-encased brick.

margaret-thatcher-car-1

Posted: 23rd, February 2013 | In: Cars, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Apple and Microsoft gadgets are more expensive in Australia because of politicians and their taxes

 Apple and Microsoft gadgets are more expensive in Australia because of politicians and their taxes

THE Aussie politicians are getting all angry at the tech companies because Australians have to pay more for their shiny shiny tech than do Americans. But you would think that someone devious enough to actually get elected would have the brains to work this out, wouldn’t you?

The IT Pricing Inquiry being conducted by Australia’s House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has issued summons to Apple, Microsoft and Adobe.

The inquiry kicked off in 2012 and is investigating why Australians pay more for hardware and software than those overseas.

At current exchange rate one Australian dollar buys $US1.03. Yet Australians often pay more in Australian dollars than Americans are charged in their currency.

An example of the discrepancy can be seen in the price of a 16GB WiFi iPad with Retina Display. In the USA the fondleslab costs $US499. In Australia it’s $AUD539.

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Posted: 22nd, February 2013 | In: Money, Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Facebook fail: New York dentist invites dead football star to open offices

FACEBOOK is a great way to connect your business to its customers. Lalor Creekside Dental asked its Facebook followers to help pick a celebrity to be there for its new office grand opening in April. Who would go to Binghamton, New York, to see Dr Teeth and the gang? The star selection box included such notable faces as: Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carey, Robin Williams, Meatloaf and Steve McNair. Who? Steve McNair, the American football star who made a name with the Tennessee Titans.Well, pick him if you want to see something amazing. He died in 2009.

facebook fail 1 Facebook fail: New York dentist invites dead football star to open offices

Spotter: June

Posted: 21st, February 2013 | In: Sports, Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Whinging about salaries at tech companies is plain stupid

 Whinging about salaries at tech companies is plain stupid

THIS does get depressing, vaunted media experts pronouncing on matters economic without actually understanding anything about economics. The Observer’s John Naughton wants us to get all upset about the way that these vast fortunes being made in hte tech comapniues only go to the entrepreneurs and the engineers. The average staff doing the average jobs just get the usual crap.

Well, yes, that’s how the system is supposed to work:

These vast revenues, however, are not being widely shared. Instead, they are mostly enriching the founders and shareholders of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook et al. Of course, those who work at the heart of these organisations – the engineers, developers and the executives who manage them, for example – are richly rewarded in salaries, stock options and lavish perks. But these gilded employees constitute only a minority of the workforces of the big tech companies and most of their colleagues have decidedly more mundane terms of employment – and remuneration.

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Posted: 19th, February 2013 | In: Money, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0