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.
THIS all sounds good: Apple Wants The iWatch To Predict Heart Attacks. “What if your wristwatch could tell you that you were about to have a heart attack? You’d be able to chew some aspirin to prevent it. You’d be able to call 911 and get the ambulance on the way. You’d be more likely to survive. Perhaps a large portion of the 600,000 people who die of heart disease every year — would not.”
And “for the first time, scientists have created human lungs in a lab — an exciting step forward in regenerative medicine, but an advance that likely won’t help patients for many years.”
Are human being becoming cyborgs?
The cyborgization of people with health issues, of course, is already under way. Diet computers are already in use. Some even weigh food before you eat it, and calculate its calories, fat content, etc. (I don’t use one of those, but I do use a Polar heart rate monitor when I run, so that I can keep track of my heart rate and make sure I’m not slacking off. As far as I know, nobody’s integrated the exercise computer with the diet computer to keep track of both calories consumed and calories burned in one device, but I may have missed it.) Then, of course, there are computerized insulin pumps that take the place of a pancreas by automatically releasing small amounts of insulin — some according to computerized blood sugar models not too terribly different in concept from the blood-gas models used by dive computers. The most sophisticated personal computerized medical devices today are probably the implantable cardioverter defibrillators that monitor heart rhythms and administer a shock if the owner’s heart stops or goes into fibrillation.
Praise be the engineers…
The changes that THC produces in the gut a process formally known as “microbial translocation,” isn’t as complicated as it sounds. During HIV infection, one of the earliest effects is that the virus spreads rapidly throughout the body and kills a significant part of cells in the gut and intestine. This activity damages the gut in a way that allows the HIV to leak through the cell wall of the intestines and into the bloodstream.
When THC is introduced into this environment, it activates the CB2 receptors in the intestines to build new, healthy bacterial cells that block the virus from leaking through the cell walls. In other words, the body works hard to keep bad stuff in the intestines and the good stuff out.
Put another way: HIV kills the cells that protect the walls— THC brings them back. Reducing the amount of the virus in the lower intestines could then help keep uninfected people uninfected.
Worth a try, no?
ANDERS Behring, the Norwegian who murdered 77 in 2011, is suffering. The Playstation 2 in his cell is out of date. He writes in a letter to the prison that such an antiquated machine is akin to “torture”. Video games have always been part of Behring’s life; he used Call of Duty to sharpen his aim and World of Warcraft to conceal his plans.
So. He ‘s going on hunger strike until he gets a newer Playstation 3 “with access to more adult games that I get to choose myself”.
“Other inmates have access to adult games while I only have the right to play less interesting kids games. One example is ‘Rayman Revolution,’ a game aimed at three-year-olds. The hunger strike won’t end until the Minister of Justice (Anders) Anundsen and the head of the KDI (the Norwegian Correctional Services) stop treating me worse than an animal.”
RADIOHEAD, sulkiest of the sulky, a band so pious that they’ve had their blood replaced with sour grape juice, have released a new thing. They’ve not bothered with vinyl or CD or even a download which pretends to be free. No, they’ve worked with studio Universal Everything to create a ‘living, breathing, growing touchscreen environment’.
It is called the PolyFauna app, which can download for nothing on your phone and has been made as a collab with the band, Universal Everything, producer Nigel Godrich and artist Stanley Donwood.
ONCE the Atari 2600 hit its stride in ’81, there was simply no stopping the tsunami of video game offerings. The transition from coin operated arcade games to systems you could play in your living room can’t be overstated – it was revolutionary. But with this influx of new entertainment came a cornucopia of bad games. Here are five of the worst offenders.
This TRS-80 game basically was about preventing other people from using up your toilet paper. Think about this for a moment: It was the dawn of the video game revolution, the prospects were limitless, the future full of possibilities…. and they make a video game about preserving toilet paper?
RETRO tunes on retro machines: Ed Cobb’s Tainted Love played by 13 Floppy Disc Drives and one Hard Disk Drive. Stand down the kazoo orchestra:
Buzz me, Huff me, make me up Worthy
What to learn from Tumblr, Buzzfeed, HuffPo and Upworthy…yes, really
Which media organisations have mastered making the web jump to their own sick tunes? Buzzfeed and The Daily Mail. The rest of the media runs like pissed wolves behind these lean beasts. The Daily Mail turns its enemies into obsessive readers. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool of liberal mung bean-munching Guardian readers find themselves stumbling over to the “Sidebar of Shame” to read about a revolving cast of celebrities about whom the Mail writes bizarrely detailed dispatches.
YOU Tuber Feilim Mchugh told his father he’d failed his driving test. He then filmed the reaction. her father’s reaction driving test. The videos - “My Dads reaction to me ‘failing’ my driving test, priceless…” is terrific.
Filmed in Drumkeerin, Ireland, swearing is liberal:
WHO foresaw the internet? Thank to Paleofuture, we know it to be WAlter Dill Scott in this 1934 piece for Everyday Science and Mechanics magazine. Scott, was president of Northwestern University when he peered into the rosy-fingered future.
With radio, fax machines, TVs and pictures, students could learn anywhere. A the mag noted:
The university of twenty-five years from now will be a different looking place, says President Scott of Northwestern. Instead of concentrating faculty and students around a campus, they will “commute” by air, and the university will be surrounded by airports and hangars. The course will be carried on, to a large extent, by radio and pictures. Facsimile broadcasting and television will enlarge greatly the range of a library; and research may be carried on by scholars at great distances.
Forgive me but I think this is rather amusing, a website called Forgotify. The business structure of whic is that the more successful it becomes then the faster it will close itself down.
Err, yes, that’s right. The more people use the site then the faster it will go out of business.
THERE was Luxury Aloft the Martin Mars Flying Hotel. What was once a US Navy flying boat was now swanky. In 1945, air travel was a thing of wonder. It was sophisticated, stylish and offered the promise of romance. War was over. Technology used to drop bombs and catapult men into French onion fields was being harnessed for wonderment.
DOCTOR Who fans all know that the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside. In late 2012, to prove it, Greg Kumparak built a tiny TARDIS that fits on a desk which uses augmented reality to expand its inner dimensions.
Take a look at his video to see how he did it:
You can read how Greg built his “Lil’ TARDIS” at his website.
IN 1972, Toyota unveiled the greatest RV never made.
YES, yes. We all know that cyclists can be really annoying. They sometimes run red lights on empty roads and mount the pavement when drivers can’t. And yes, we know that they’re mostly bearded, middle-aged men who drink porters and have pot-bellies from a enviously rich diet… but really, when it comes down to it, they’re probably going to die if you toy with them on the road.
That pretty much makes you a murderer for not liking someone because they read The Guardian.
TECHNOLOGY has been rocketing along so quickly, it’s difficult to put on the breaks, stop for a moment and get a perspective. Sometimes you just need to dig your heels in and take a look backward. As the current rushes you madly onward, it may do you good to just pause and see how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.
Taking a look at progress in technology as whole is much too broad; our heads will likely explode if we try and take it all in. Instead, let’s just look at your phone – that thin little rectangle you have in your pocket or are looking at right now…
It can do more than Hubot could ever dream of. And while it is unlikely Hubot was capable of dreaming, it could play AM/FM radio, check the temperature, tell the time, and play Atari 2600 games. Hubot came with a price tag of $3495 in 1981 – adjusted for inflation that comes to $8957 (£5432). For that kind of price, Hubot better be able to do dishes, kill intruders, and stimulate pleasure centers on command.
Alas, it did not. But let’s look at a single function on your mobile device that you likely take for granted: voice messages.
To read this advert, it sounds as though your very life is going to change thanks to an answering machine. Indeed, the Phone Butler will rid you of your cumbersome existence, and introduce you to the jet-setting world of recorded phone messages.
Now you can spend your vacations and nights out on the town with complete ease, knowing that all your calls and messages are being handled efficiently, and are waiting at home for you!…. Don’t worry about missing calls while you’re out doing yard work, in the shower, shopping, sunbathing, or socializing with the neighbors, you’ll never have to make a run for the phone again!
It’s hard to imagine that something as commonplace as voice messaging was sold as an answer to prayers just a few decades back. That would be like saying having no phone cord was a miracle of science – hey, what a sec…
“You see, with our cordless phone you’re not tied down by the cord – because there is no cord!”
No longer was mankind tethered; he was free to roam from patio to garage to toilet with splendid freedom. Advertisements announced this latest break with great fanfare. Of course, no longer being “tethered” meant you were also never out of reach. So, in a twist of fate, going cordless resulted in less freedom. Who knew?
In the ‘80s, you knew you “made it” if you could conduct business from your tub… preferably while sporting a self-important smirk. Once again, the advertisers are driving the point home that your tech devices no longer require terminals – they are wherever you are. Our younger generations will never know the type of world where you have designated phone and computer locations – things haven’t just become portable, they are damn near bodily appendages.
Another thing future generations will never know is the telephone queue. The very thought of actually having to wait your turn to use a phone is madness. But there’s a flipside to this: If you knew you had to spend a painful amount of time waiting in line every time you had to make a call, wouldn’t you use the phone less? And if so, might you be doing something more enriching or enjoyable with the time?
That’s crazy talk. Let’s move on.
One thing that we’ve all collectively dreamed about in our science fiction is the “video phone”. Every futuristic depiction worth its salt had one. Of course, now Skype, Face Time and the like are just boring parts of life – no more shocking than your washing machine or toaster oven. Who would have thought that a technology so anticipated would so quickly be taken for granted?
Well, we could stand in amazement at the many examples of brilliant communications technologies which have become mundane overnight. However, the current is quickly pulling us onward. No time to linger in quiet appreciation; in the time it took you to read this article, at least three of your tech devices have gone obsolete.
WHEN do you know if it’s true love? Japanese lingerie manufacturer Ravijou has taken the guesswork out of foreplay by inventing a bra clasp that only unhooks when “true love” is detected. If that significant other is only after a quick fumble or your valuables, the clasp stays closed.
SO hooked on gaming are some Chinese players that they wear nappies to avoid taking bathroom breaks. The New York Times has produced this short film on how the wired youth are weaned off electronica at treatment camps. The attitude of one therapist is that the internet is akin to “electronic heroin”, which suggests he has no idea how heroin works.
This is how China treated heroin addicts in the 1930s:
THE good people at Vital Findings have looked at predictions made in the 1950s and 1960s to see if they’ve come true. Is the future now?
Many things have some to fruition. But not jetpacks. Jetpacks have been massive let down. And where the hell is my flying car?
High-speed travel has been limited by laws against speed and idiocy.Oh, the idiocy…
WHAT face do you pull when the train pulls into the station? One surprise looking at Adam Magyar’s super slo-mo films (50 frames per second; one 12 second moment spans to 8 minutes of film) of faces on the platform is how few people eat on trains in Tokyo, New York and Berlin. Also, no sly looks to the left and right to study the competition for seats and space?
WE’VE been having all sorts of lovely fun the last couple of years as people uncover the stories about how little the various internet companies pay in tax. Google sells everything in from Ireland, as does Facebook, meaning that they pay tax on their UK profits over there. Well, with a cure deal that lets them send all their profits to Bermuda without tax. Amazon does much the same from Luxembourg: meaning that the poor old British taxman never sees a penny in tax on the profits being made in the UK.
All of this is, of course, entirely legal. So, the call has been that the law must be changed so that these companies are paying more tax. And everyone went off to the OECD (the club for rich countries) and they said OK, we’ll have a look at it.
Proposals for a tax crackdown on digital companies such as Google and Amazon are to be dropped, as governments push ahead with measures affecting the global economy.
Designing special tax rules for internet companies would not be viable, given the growing digital presence in large parts of the economy, an international task force has concluded.
PLENTY of small companies out there have found themselves sliding down the Google search results after they paid some consultant or other to improve their web rankings. Because the consultants then go out and buy links from blogs and other websites: something that tricks the Google search engine into thinking that the site is more important than it is.
IT’S unusual for someone to go through two entire technological revolutions in their own, one, lifetime, but I think it might be happening to me. Might have to hope I can hang on for another decade or so to see it entirely becoming true perhaps. But I’m referring to the rise and the fall of the PC.
Personal computer sales slipped even further in the run-up to Christmas, capping the worst annual decline in the PC industry’s history.
Research firm Gartner estimates that worldwide PC shipments for the three months ending in December dropped 7pc compared with the same period in 2012. It marks the seventh consecutive quarter of decreasing PC sales.
It means PC sales plunged a total of 10pc in 2013. Shipments of desktop and laptop computers have never fallen so dramatically. The numbers show that annual PC shipments have now dropped to levels last seen in 2009.
OK, we might not think that is all that dramatic: they’re still shipping 90 million or so after all, even with those declines.