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.
NASA’S mission to Mars is go! The mega-millions Curiosity rover is now roving Mars. The first photo beamed back is snapshot of the rover’s shadow. We live in the age of celebrity and self-promotion. You might laugh as the photo is spotted and heralded by the line that will reverberate down generations: “It’s a wheel, it’s a wheel!”
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA engineers work on Curiosity, a mega-rover at the Mars Science Laboratory, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, April 4, 2011. The rover is scheduled to be launched for lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida in the fall of 2011, and land on Mars in August 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
APPLE does not do it for the money. This is a nice claim but I wouldn’t want to run too far with it.
Sir Jonathan Ive, the man credited with shaping the iPad and iPhone and whose personal fortune is estimated at $130m, said today that Apple’s guiding principal was nothing to do with its balance sheet, instead it simply wanted to make “great products”.
“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth,” said the British designer. “Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”
“WE’RE happy with the performance of the electric car so far. Early indications suggest it works well around the city and may be making savings for us in fuel costs,” says Brighton and Hove mayor Bill Randall, a leading Green.
Mr Randall was referring to the electric Renault Fluence ZE he’s been road testing. As he said:
“I think it sends out a good message…This is great news, not just for the environment, but for the taxpayer too as the electric car won’t cost them a penny.”
Apple may be waiting some time yet before it gets the rights to use the IPAD name in China after reports from the region suggested that lawyers of its court room opponent Proview are requesting temporary seizure of the trademark until they are paid.
A report on technology news portal Sina Tech (via Marbridge Daily) claimed that Grandall Law Firm has submitted an “asset protection application” to Shenzhen’s Yantian District People’s court.
ONE could take this as a storm in a teacup or one could take it as the destruction of a great iconic brand. But Apple’s computer kit is now officially not green. In fact it’s now so not green that it’s probably illegal for any part of the UK government to buy it:
The city authorities of San Francisco have banned departmental purchases of Apple hardware after Cupertino dropped out of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) green-standards scheme.
“We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT,” Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, told The Wall Street Journal, “and we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation.”
TO Triberg, Germany, where the town’s mayor, Gallus Strobel, has marked out car park spaces for men or women. The spaces for women are wide, well-lit, and near to the exits. The spaces for men are tight and more remote. Strobel says men will like it because “men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges“.
That challenge, presumably, being how to pretend to be a woman in one of his car parks.
WHEN Dr Fabiola Gianotti used Comic Sans to tell the world about Cern’s ATLAS collaboration, we chortled.
Now Alby Reid has launched a petition calling on Microsoft to rename Comic Sans “Comic Cerns” in the Windows 8 OS:
I’ve just signed the following petition addressed to: Microsoft Corporation.
Rename the font ‘Comic Sans’ to ‘Comic Cerns’ in the Windows 8 OS.
We were all moved by Fabiola Gianotti’s incredibly strange choice of font in announcing the recent results of Cern’s ATLAS collaboration and feel that her use of Comic Sans has gone a long way to rehabilitate this awful, awful font.
In recognition of the work of Professors Peter Higgs, François Englert and Robert Brout and others in the description of the Higgs mechanism by which vector bosons gain mass by interacting with the Higgs field; and in recognition of the work of the scientists and engineers at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider, in particular the members of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations in their search for the Higgs boson, the quantum of the Higgs field; we believe that Microsoft should rename ‘Comic Sans’ to ‘Comic Cerns’ in Windows 8 and in future releases of the Windows operating system. Renaming Comic Sans to ‘Comic Cerns’ would be a unique way of recognising the groundbreaking achievements of these scientists and engineers.
READERS of a certain vintage will recall Martin’s Marvelloius Mini, the mainstay strip in the Tiger comics: Martin Baker owned a racing mini which he called ‘George’. With his mechanic pal, Tiny Hill, he’d travels the world competing in amazing races. He’d drive over mountains, rivers, jungle and active volcanoes. He could drive upside down. Fast forward to the 2012 X Games Los Angeles, and drivers Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy have driven twin race cars over a 66 foot tall Hot WheelsDouble Dare Loop.
Comics are now real life. Growing up might not be overrated, after all:
THE submarine races are on. No, not those once the kids in the Fifties use to go and watch by the lake. These are actual human-powered submarines being raced at Qinetiq’s Ocean Basin test tank in Gosport, Hampshire. These are the European International Submarine Races, contested by university students and amateurs – the winning sub is chosen by its design, build and performance around the course. It’s all eccentric and challenging. And, oddly, not a TV show…
Engineering students from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal ready their human powered submarine, Achimede V, before racing at Qinetiq's Ocean Basin test tank in Gosport, Hampshire. The craft, powered only by the person inside has to navigate a horse-shoe shaped course including a slalom section.
I KNOW, I know, it’s not quite what you would think is a sensible idea four years after the Great Financial Crash. But video games companies are starting to hire economists to help them design the games.
Here’s one such job ad. They really are looking for an academic economist to help them work out how to write the rules for the games.
This isn’t though to do with Angry Birds and the like. This is about the big online games where there are thousands, perhaps millions, of players. Certain of the games companies have got seriously out of their depth here. Once you start introducing money into the games, the ability to find gold, use that gold to buy powers or attributes, even feed real money in to buy gold, then you’re facing all of the same problems that central banks do in the real economy.
FACEBOOK has just altered your email address to read @facebook.com. You might want to sort this out, revert to what was once your own address. Here’s how:
Go to Facebook and access your profile. On “About” find your email address. Click “Edit”. Find your Facebook email address and click the button next to it to say “Hidden From Timeline”. Find the email address you want and next to it click ”Shown On Timeline”.
THERE was little racism in evidence at the Euro 2012 Championships in The Ukraine and Poland. The BBC and the tabloids had warned England fans about neo-Nazi gangs waiting to murder blacks, Asians and Jews. In “Anarchy in the Ukraine – ‘Nazi’ militia train yobs to fight our fans“, the Sun showed us local thugs rehearsing for murder with wooden knives. But Ashley Young’s family sat in the stands for England’s match with Italy came home not in coffin, as Sol Campbell told BBC viewers black fans might, but on the smart seats of a passenger plane.
FOR just $155, Excalibur Almaz will take you around the moon. They will also bring you back to Earth. No extras. It’s not Ryan Air. Although you do have to go to the toilet in your trousers. Excalibur Almaz might have the name of a Bond villain, but the firm based on the Isle of Man, are the good guys helping you live the dream of achieving space orbit without the need for a degree in science, slide rule haircut or a career in the armed forces.
The six-eight months trip you need $155 million. For that you get to use“six Soviet-era space vehicles: four re-useable re-entry vehicles and two Salyut-class 29-ton space stations, each with a capacity of 95 cubic meters.”
WOULD you prefer Zuckerberg or the KGB has your information? I think this might be the worst business plan I’ve seen yet this year. Worse than the Harriet Harman Valentine’s Day Mask, worse than the Wayne Rooney version of Trivial Pursuit (that was not about Wayne, but limited to questions the authors thought Wayne might be able to answer). The Kremlin is to launch its own online network:
The Kremlin is planning to create its own Facebook-style social network, where users with personal accounts will be able to upload content and discuss the issues of the day.
IN the 1980s, the Japanese grew rich on making things smaller. This process was mostly confined to electronic gadgets and poems. But now the country’s boffins are shrinking people. Scientists at University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Information Science and Technology have invented goggles athat trick the wearer into thinking the piece of food on the end of their fork, chopsticks or fingers is larger than it really is.
The goggles are linked to a computer screen that makes the food appear as much as 50 percent larger.