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.
COMPOSER Alexis Kirke has become a “giant baton“. That’s the conductor covered in sensors inside University of Plymouth’s new wave tank. His arm movements influence the 24 giant paddles that create waves. If he moves his arms up, the music shifts in pitch. With joystick, the volume can be raised and lowered.
Presumably, if he clutches his head in his hands, it stops.
Said Dr Kirke of his Orchestra Of Waves:
”I wanted to be like King Canute, controlling the waves. ‘The show went very well and people in the audience were asking whether they could buy the music. You are in a building and hear the noise of the waves and the smell and see them crashing down. There’s no way of explaining what it’s like to have dramatic sounds synchronized with that.”
MEXICO’S narco gangs are revered and feared. Life on the US boarder can be brutal. The narco gangs operate like private militia. They have weapons. And, as we can see from these photos, they have vehicles:
EVERYONE knows that laser beams are ace. They go PYOW! and ZZAP! and make things explode in a most entertaining manner.
And now, lasers are going to be aimed at things in real life thanks to the EU spending 700 million euros to build the world’s most powerful laser beam! So we’ll be seeing baddies and planets blown up, right? WRONG. This megalaser is going after nuclear waste and cancer!
THE latest installment of the Gallic incomprehension of the most basic pieces of economics is that they want to charge Google for indexing the French newspapers. Something that is really very absurd indeed.
France’s new government has been making noise about forcing Google to pay for the privilege of linking to French news sites.
Google responded by threatening to remove all French news sites from its index, which would presumably eliminate the 4 billion clicks it sends to those sites every year.
FACEBOOK has been turning down the volume. Not all those followers who have taken the time to “like” your Facebook page are seeing all of your updates. You might not have noticed.
Anorak has a pretty modest Facebook following. We never paid much interest to it until recently. But the plan, as with all small and big publishers, is to spread the word and get as many people to like the site to follow our updates. The new Anorak site (a couple of weeks away) has ben designed to be more Facebook friendly.
THE thing that really defines Britishness, is the man tinkering around in a shed, coming up with hare-brained ideas. And so, in that spirit, British secret services considered sending “radio-controlled pigeons” on sensitive missions after World War II, according to a diary from a top intelligence officer, which has just been released.
Guy Liddell, then deputy director general of MI5, was briefed on how the flight pattern of pigeons might be controlled by Captain James Caiger, who oversaw the Army’s pigeon loft. Yes really. Liddell believed it might be possible to control pigeons with electric beams. Seriously.
ADVERTISING cars is tricky. I once worked as a copywriter on a Mercedes campaign. The brief escaped me. It was just a car. They are all the same. Ford proves the point. But theses adverts for Mercedes’ radar-based technology are brilliant.
IS FORD ready to close the Ford Transit Assembly Plant in Southampton? Union officials said it was a “very worrying time” for the 500 employees at the Southampton site, which has been making Transit vans since 1972. Have any of you been in one?
The remains of the Ford Transit van used to launch the mortar attack on Tempo RUC station, Co. Fermanagh, on Saturday evening. No-one has claimed responsibility, but the IRA have been blamed for the attack. Photo by Brian Little/PA. SEE PA STORY ULSTER Attack.
An adult female of Varroa destructor, a mite parasiting the honney bee (Apis mellifica). Frontal view, on the head of a bee nymph.Scale : mite width ~ 2 mmTechnical settings : - focus stack of 32 images - microscope objective (Nikon achromatic 10x 160/0.25) on 100 mm extension tubes + adapter
WANT to swan about like Margaret Thatcher? Well, if you’ve £10m to spare, you can. Runs the blurb:
Armoured coach ex Margret thatcher northern ireland 38 ton monster…10 MILLION is on the steep side were really open to offers,whats it worth,depends whose shooting at you i guess. would trade against something interesting.
HUZZAH! Fujitsu has invented a laptop computer just for women. And they’d named it after an air freshener. Floral Kiss is made by “female engineers…aiming to bring elegance to PCs”.
The press relsease is epic:
…Based upon the design concept of bringing elegance to PCs, Floral Kiss is a new series that was planned and developed primarily under the direction of female employees.
Number of women on the Fujitsu board of directors: one out of 12.
As the first PC to be released under the Floral Kiss brand, Fujitsu will be offering an Ultrabook™ developed in an all-out pursuit of elegance, from the size and design of the model to its accessories, mouse, AC adaptor and other peripheral devices, and even to the applications. Featuring the latest Windows 8 OS, a high-performance 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor, and 500GB of hard disk space, the new notebook PC’s specs are sure to make for a user-friendly experience. It also provides access to My Cloud, Fujitsu’s proprietary personal cloud service that will be available as a full-scale service from today.
Wow. Lots of technical spec there. And there is ends:
The new series also includes a model designed in collaboration with the jewelry brand “agete.” That model is scheduled to be exhibited at a number of agete’s shops.
The Floral Kiss series features a unified design sensibility that has been developed for the female consumer—from the PC’s design to accessories, such as the mouse and case, and optional add-ons. Users can select their favorite color from among three variations: Elegant White, Feminine Pink and Luxury Brown.
Not Gay Pink. Not Estate Agent Shirt Pink. No. Thsi is Feminine pink.
The top casing has been constructed with an elegant and refined gradation with gold trim, and it features a flip latch that can easily open the display—even by users with long fingernails. The power button is adorned with a pearl-like accent, and the power status LED and Caps Lock key are decorated with diamond-cut stone for a sophisticated look. An exquisite gold ring frames each key on the transparent keyboard, highlighting its elegant style. In addition, the outtake and intake vents all feature a floral motif design.
The included AC adaptor and wireless mouse are compact and fit easily into the hands of all users. At the same time, zirconia adornments and other details that give them a stylish appeal.
Nothing screams class like zirconia.
What does it do?
SCRAPBOOK automatically stores and organizes pictures and URLs of the items, retail stores, recipes, and other content that users come across when they are casually browsing the web. The application also allows users to create theme-based collages for saved content such as web captures.
What about porn? Does it bookmark porn? Finance? Banking? Sport? Pictures of cats?
With “12 Horoscopes by Fortune@nifty,” users can check their horoscope every day for the present and following day.
I’VE no idea whether this is just a spoof story that’s been fed to the Telegraph or whether there really are some people sufficiently deluded to think that this is a good idea. But there’s a story today that you can make petrol from air. And this is how you do it:
A small company in the north of England has developed the “air capture” technology to create synthetic petrol using only air and electricity.
Experts tonight hailed the astonishing breakthrough as a potential “game-changer” in the battle against climate change and a saviour for the world’s energy crisis.
The technology, presented to a London engineering conference this week, removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The “petrol from air” technology involves taking sodium hydroxide and mixing it with carbon dioxide before “electrolysing” the sodium carbonate that it produces to form pure carbon dioxide.
Hydrogen is then produced by electrolysing water vapour captured with a dehumidifier.
The company, Air Fuel Syndication, then uses the carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methanol which in turn is passed through a gasoline fuel reactor, creating petrol.
THIS is rather a fun little court ruling. After all the piling onto Samsung that Apple have done in courtrooms around the world now they’ve got to run ads in the UK praising them.
Well, Apple has just lost the High Court appeal to have that decision overturned, meaning that despite the backhanded compliment, it will still have to run adverts in the press stating that the Korean giant had not copied its tablet designs.
TWITTER has decided, for the first time, to block German’s access to the account of a neo-Nazi group. This is the first time Twitter has decided to act on a policy known as “country withheld content”.
“Never want to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly & transparently,” said Alex MacGillivray, the company’s general counsel, posted on Twitter Thursday morning in Germany.
“It’s not a great thing, but it’s a way of minimizing censorship,” said Jillian C. York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. “It’s better for Twitter if they can keep countries happy without having to take the whole thing down.”
TWITTER has banned Germany from reading the tweets from banned neo-Nazi group Besseres Hannover (Better Hanover). Why? Will reading their tweets create sympathy to their cause? Are Germans still so easily turned onto genocide and Uber Alles and all that? Sod Nuremberg rallies. You can whip the natives into a frenzy it 140 characters.
This is the first page Twitter has banned.
Fans and followers of @hannoverticker trying to view the page in Germany are met with the result: “Withheld account. @Hannover ticker’s account has been withheld in Germany.”
ARGUABLY, most technology firms use companies to make their components that aren’t exactly nice. Giant hangars of workers soldering away like battery hens enable us to have nice, tiny gadgets. However, Apple have a rather troubling relationship with a company called Foxconn, which has seen underage workers and suicide getting too many depressing column inches.
Foxconn are the world’s largest contract electronics maker, and they have admitted using students as interns as young as 14 in their Chinese factory. Workers have been pushed so hard that suicides have been alarmingly prevalent, to the point where Foxconn saw fit to install a net around the building to stop employees from throwing themselves off the top of the factory. Recently, there have been riotous breakouts.
FELIX Baumgartner jumped to Earth from 128,000 feet. Before him, the highest jump has been performed by Joseph W. Kittinger Jr., who made the record jump from 102,800 ft in 1960. Kittinger, a Captain in the US Air Force, had no sponsor. His mission was to test the effectiveness of Francis F. Beaupre’s parachute. Supersonic flight at high altitude was great. But what if the pilot had to eject? Would the parachute work? The jump was part of Project Excelsior. Up Kittinger went in an open gondaler over Tularosa, New Mexico. And then…he jumped:
In a tragic turn of events a deaf quadriplegic who found internet fame with his touching, witty Facebook and Twitter posts has died. 24-year-old David Rose captured the hearts of thousands as he took to the web with his seemingly unfaltering positive attitude and love for life despite the odds. But on Thursday he lost his life-long battle against the severe cerebral palsy he was born with that had committed him to existence in a wheelchair. He succumbed to pneumonia after being admitted to hospital with a cold late last week.
THE story of Gary McKinnon’s extradition to the USA is one of a man with a passion falling foul of the law. He hacked into scores of US State department computers. The man who has Asperger’s Syndrome was looking for evidence of alien life. The Americans wanted to interrogate the computer expert on their soil. The British dithered and then saved him. Others might want to admire his skills:
GARY McKinnon, from Wood Green, north London, will not be heading to a concrete box in the United States. Home Secretary Teresa May has blocked his extradition. Gary McKinnon hacked into US military computers.
Mrs May told MPs:
”After careful consideration of all the relevant material I have concluded the Mr McKinnon extradition would give rise to such a risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with his human rights”.
BEFORE twitter and Facebook, there was Goatse. If you do not want to be mentally upset, do not look him up. If you know who he is and why he is famous, you may care to buy some hooky merchandise. But DON’T. As his website says:
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are many merchandising attempts for goatse.cx around the web– none of them are real, none of them are official. Do not buy this gimmick merchandise. The official goatse.cx merchandise is coming soon!
Got that. Stick to the real stuff, fans of the extreme battered anus: