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.
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.”
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.
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.’”
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.”
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?)
FLASHBACK to the Highway Hi-Fi Phonograph:
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:
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…
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.
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.
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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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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
THE meteor that hit the Urals was recorded by a car’s dashboard camera. Many Russian cars have them. It’s about insurance. Can you prove that the man whose car you drove into the back of stopped very suddenly, as if – as if… – he wanted you to damage his broken old wreck? Sure, witnesses emerge from all sides to back up his claim of your recklessness, but with dash-cam you can argue your case.
Also, Russian driving is nuts. It’s not just about insurance. It’s about capturing those magic moments for posterity.
Things to looks out for:
IT’S been announced that Michael Dell is going to buy back his company and take it private. The buyout price is $13.65 a share for a total just north of $24 billion. The big questions is: why?
Clearly, the obvious answer is that they think the company is worth more than the stock market thinks the company is worth. That’s why you buy things: because other people value them at a lower price than you do. But why do they think this?
TO Taiwan, to see the road rager and his magnificent gloves:
THAT old DOS computer game, Another World. has just been ported over to the new BlackBerry operating system, BB 10. Which just goes to show that fashions in the business world really do go in cycles.
Eric Chahi’s seminal game work, Another World, is now available on BlackBerry 10 devices (so … uh, those of you with a Z10, though it also works on PlayBook). And not just any version, but the 20th Anniversary Edition, which adds updated graphics, a remastered soundtrack, and some gesture controls. The game’s one of several titles that publisher DotEmu is bringing to BB10, including notoriously difficult shooter R-Type.
CAN you see the gorilla? CBS news reports that 83 per cent of radiologists didn’t see the beast.
The 24 qualified radiologists were given lung CT scans, which each had about 10 nodules (abnormal spots), and were asked to find anything strange on the scans. On the last one, the dancing gorilla – about 48 times the size of an average nodule – was placed in the scan. The radiologists found the correct nodules 55 per cent of the time. But only 20 of them saw the gorilla, despite scrolling past it 4.3 times, on average.
THIS did rather make me giggle. A company that makes outrageously expensive mobile phones. Their latest model costing £7,000.
The Vertu Ti costs 7,900 euros (£6,994) and is made at the firm’s headquarters in Church Crookham, Hampshire.
The device had a titanium frame and sapphire screen but was not 4G-enabled, said its designer Hutch Hutchison.