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.
DOES playing violent videos games make you violent?
Christian Happ and his colleagues recruited 60 students (20 men) with varied video gaming experience and had them spend 15 minutes playing the violent and bloody beat-em-up game Mortal Combat vs. DC Universe on the Playstation 3. Some of the participants played the morally good character Superman, while the others played the Joker, the baddie from Batman. Apart from that, the game experience was the same for all participants – their time was spent in hand-to-hand combat against a variety of other computer-controlled game characters.
Another twist to the experiment was that before the game began half the participants read a bogus Wikipedia article about their character, designed to encourage them to empathise with him. For those playing Superman, the article said how he’d come from a loving family. The Joker article described how he’d suffered abuse in his childhood.
WHEN is bus shelter not a bus shelter? When it is the victim of an alleged “assault”.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after an incident at Bracknell bus station. Courtney Buses said some services were delayed after a man allegedly headbutted a bus and a bus shelter at 1.20pm on Thursday. A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman said officers were called at 1.22pm and a man was arrested on suspicion of assault.
WHEN Mahogony Grandison , of Huntsville, Alabama had her car towed away, insults was added to injury. Instead of the $200 fee levied at her freind, wgo also had her car remove, Grandidon was $350. Her bill included a $150 charge for swearing at the towers.
She says: ”I explained multiple times it was not me. I even apologized for the person who did curse them out. They were not hearing it.”
Is wearing an offence. It’s all about the style of swearing, rather than the substance. Ever since Brendan Behan swore on Panorama in 1956, the objection to swearing in public has been eroded, although not in Alabama. In Joe Moran’s book Armchair Nation, the author recalls another magic moment on the telly:
A few years later, just after Ulster Television had begun in 1959, the man with the Sisyphean task of painting the railings on Stranmillis Embankment alongside the River Lagan in Belfast appeared live on its teatime magazine programme Roundabout. The interviewer, Ivor Mills, asked if it was ever boring painting the same railings all year round. “Of course it’s fu*king boring,” the man replied.
The channel’s managing director, Brum Henderson, waited anxiously for the inescapable tsunami of complaint to arrive at the studios. In the event, not a single viewer, even in this deeply religious region in which play swings were padlocked on Sundays, rang or wrote in.
Mrs Grandison should, of course, contest the bill, which seems hard to enforce. In 2001, Britain’s Metropolitan Police sent out a memo to staff: ”The courts do not accept that police officers are caused harassment, alarm or distress by words such as ‘f**k, c***, b****cks, w****er.”
You’ll have noticed that Anorak uses little stars in place of the full words. This is because the internet is run by American companies like Google and Facebook, for whom hardcore smut and beheadings are fine but swearing is not.
‘Wood [sic] you bloody believe it?’ as Mahogony might say…
Third-Dimensional Television 1953:
This is third-dimensional television, as transmitted in a test by the North West German radio television studio in Berlin on Nov. 9, 1953. Two images are transmitted, as in all true 3-D processes. They are blended into one picture through the use of special polarized glasses, lying in front of the television set. At left is a mask with which to cover the screen for a more clear-cut, called Roka-Kinne, was developed by Robert Karst of Berlin (27 Gneisenau St.) He says standard transmitters and receivers are used.
It never did catch on.
TOMMY Edison, who has been blind since birth, talks about what it was like growing up without sight.
A SLEEPY driver crashed into Sleep Experts mattress store in Dallas, Texas. The female driver she fell asleep on the way home.
She was not hurt.
WHAT’S the worst part about working at Google ? That question was posed to readers of Business Insider. Some answers err on the creepy side of Norman Bates’ slippers. A selection now follow:
When it’s standard to be awesome, and the work isn’t particularly tough to begin with, it’s hard to differentiate…
Some people end up losing their drive by working at Google. They get accustomed to not trying their hardest, but still having an awesome day-to-day life.
Some caveats: Many Googlers are clearly among the brightest in the world in their field, and they’re able to run full stride in their work. If you take your career into your own hands, you can find a role that challenges and stretches you as much as any other job in the world.
DOES Apple lace its products with deliberate planned obsolescence? Err, no, despite the claims there isn’t any deliberate planned obsolescence in Apple’s iPhones. So much so that it’s really rather amazing that the New York Times published a piece even suggesting that there is.
Apple could be deliberately making your iPhone slower when a new model comes out, an influential tech columnist has claimed.
Catherine Rampell, who writes in the New York Times, said that Apple could be engineering the new operating system so it only works properly with the newest version of the product.
She added her iPhone 4 became a lot slower when she downloaded iOS 7 – and that the only solution seemed to be to buy the iPhone 5.
Rampell accused Apple of having run out of ideas so was trying to ‘brainwash’ its customers into buying the new iPhone 5S and 5C because they look nice.
Rampell’s claims are likely fuel conspiracy theorists who have long held that Apple engages in ‘planned obsolescence’, a term which has been around since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
The strategy director of a chip company – Freescale Semiconductor’s Kaivan Karimi explained how for a fifty cents your device can be trained to know what you’re thinking before you do. Speaking at the Gigaom conference this week in San Francisco, he explained how it’s just about measuring your pulse, and your sweat:
“your device will know you significantly better than you do, or than your loved ones do. This will lead a lot of good stuff.”
Heartrate from emotion is different from heartrate from exercise, Mr Karimi says – so once you have those you can pretty much monitor what a person’s emotions are.
By making a watch that can take readings of the pulse and skin moisture on your wrist, and linking it up to your iPhone, the device will be able to “read your mind”, Mr Karimi said.
A British man threatened to “pwn” US government web services before uploading a mocking video to a government website, and stealing the personal details of FBI agents, court documents allege.
Lauri Love, 28, of Suffolk, was arrested yesterday morning under the Computer Misuse Act by the UK’s National Crime Agency and was released on bail until February 2014. The former Glasgow University student is the son of a vicar in Suffolk, the Telegraph reports. The Mail says that Mr Love was a leading member of the Occupy movement who carried out his sophisticated attacks from his parents’ house.
THERE’S been intensive debate….well, let’s call that screaming matches….about whether Apple is avoiding tax or not. Everyone points to the Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich as irrefutable proof that they’re skiving swine.
The thing is that this isn’t tax avoidance. It’s most certainly not tax evasion for as all agree it’s wholly and entirely legal. But it’s not even tax avoidance: for this is how the corporate tax system is set up to work: this is how it was designed. Companies, when they sell overseas, are taxed on the profits they make in their home country. That’s it, that’s all. And Apple will indeed be taxed on their overseas profits as and when they take those profits back into the US. That’s also just it: there is no more to the story than that. At the very best the entire structure delays the payment of tax: but it most certainly does not mean that the tax has been avoided.
IF you saw a giant chicken crossing the road, would you pull over to let it cross safely? What about if the huge chicken was clearly not a chicken but a man dressed as one? Police in Lake Elsinore, California, dressed as a huge pecking bird to see if drivers yielded for pedestrians.
And – get this – drivers didn’t stop. Some sped up.
SAMSUNG wants to put its computers on your face. And has just landed a patent for a new device that will do just that.
Google has staked out the space of face computers and though little demonstrable desire has been expressed for the devices – its Google Glass has been the poster child for the technology.
The idea is you walk around with a pair of glasses with a built-in computer that sits on top of one of your ears. The lenses are transparent screens through which you see the world, but also any stuff that Google wants to push on there, weightloss adverts, vouchers, that kind of thing. You know what Google likes to tell you about.
What they’ve done is go to Google, typed in part of a query and seen how Google autocomplete finishes it off:
WAS iOS 7 created in Microsoft Word? Maybe. Vaclav Krejci has made an exhausting video of his duplication. Watching it is hard work but couples with the sound it is a challenge. Still, Vaclav is a true Anorak, a master forger of the internet generation:
ON Facebook you can now watch videos of Kenneth Bigley, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley being beheaded.
The one problem is that you must be 13 or older to view them. Only then will you be able to understand that the beheadings are not sensationalist and gory but presented in a way that will “condemn” rather than celebrate the acts. This way you will learn that beheading a man is wrong.
ONE investor in Apple, Carl Icahn, has demanded that Apple should throw $150 billion of the company’s money at shareholders. It seems like a reasonable enough idea, given that the company’s money does actually belong to the shareholders, but there’s a couple of minor problems. The most obvious being that despite Apple having $150 billion in cash it would have to go and borrow to pay that amount to the shareholders:
Mr Icahn took to Twitter to disclose that he had used a dinner meeting to press the tech giant’s chief executive Tim Cook to carry out further share buybacks. He said he had “pushed hard” for more share purchases by the iPhone and iPad maker.
Buybacks reward investors by lifting earnings per share and Apple shares rose 2.4pc on the news the influential investor was pressing the company over its share purchases.
“Had a cordial dinner with Tim last night,” Mr Icahn said on Twitter. “We pushed hard for a $150bn buyback. We decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks.”
Mr Icahn later told CNBC that he had invested $2bn in Apple. He added that the tech group’s finance chief had also attended the meal with Mr Cook.
ONE of the things that’s become increasingly apparent in the development of this ‘ere internet thing over the last couple of decades is that everyone’s reading it at work. We seem to have shifted the “finding out the news” thing away from free or leisure time into the working hours of the day and the week.
Anyone who has ever run a website knows this little point: traffic starts to rise from a particular timezone as people start to arrive at work in that timezone. UK traffic is pitiful before about 8.30 am and rises strongly after 9.30 am. It then falls away again around 5 pm. US traffic starts to rise around 8 am East Coast Time and continues to rise until the Californians get in several hours later.