Technology | Anorak - Part 30

Technology Category

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.

Rich Kids of Instagram: Tumblr legends are spawned

TUMBLR of the day –  Rich Kids Of Instagram. “They have more money than you and this is what they do”….


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Posted: 29th, July 2012 | In: Key Posts, Money, Technology | Comment (1)

Apple pays $60 million and still doesn’t get iPad trademark in China

I DO like this story. It appears that Apple has handed over $60 million in China to buy the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark and yet it still doesn’t actually own those rights.


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.

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Posted: 28th, July 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Apple’s not so green any more

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.”

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Posted: 12th, July 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Comic Sans to become Comic Cerns on Microsoft OS 8

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.


[Your name]

Posted: 5th, July 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Higgs boson ‘God particle’ is brought to you in Comic Sans

THE Higgs-Boson God particle has been found. This momentous happening is brought to the world in Comic Sans, the font of authority:


Posted: 4th, July 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (7)

Drivers race over a massive Hot Wheels Double Dare Loop (video)

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 Wheels Double Dare Loop.

Comics are now real life. Growing up might not be overrated, after all:

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Posted: 2nd, July 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Fantastic weapons of war – gadgets of glory

FANTASTIC weapons of war – a gallery of things from the past that might have won battles and secured victory:

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Posted: 2nd, July 2012 | In: Flashback, Technology | Comment

The European International Submarine Races – human-powered underwater technology

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…


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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.

Posted: 27th, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Video Games are now hiring economists

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.

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Posted: 27th, June 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Facebook makes your email – email users fear for their children

FACEBOOK has just altered your email address to read 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”.

Click “Save” at the bottom of the page.

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Posted: 26th, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

The Twitter hunt for ‘racist’ Steve @Lapwnge: Ashley Cole and Ashley Young must be avenged

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.

The message was clear: we will not tolerate those uncultured (Daniel Pudsey writing for the LSE) East Europeans living in a backward land notorious for its extremist yobs (Sun) with endemic racism (Daily Mail).

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Posted: 26th, June 2012 | In: Key Posts, Sports, Technology | Comment

Facebook was born in 1976 – photo

FACEBOOK was born in 1976. Here’s that photo. (Click to enlarge.)



Posted: 24th, June 2012 | In: Flashback, Technology | Comment

For just $155, Excalibur Almaz will take you around the moon

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.

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Posted: 23rd, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Blow her hair with your car’s superwoofer (video)

THINGS to do with your girlfriend No. 981: Blow her hair with your car’s superwoofer. (This is how Wayne pulled Coleen):

Posted: 22nd, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Awkward Facebook photos

JUST because you have a camera does not mean you are a photographer, as you can see in this gallery of Awkward Facebook Photos:


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Posted: 21st, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Why Facebook sucks at revenge – a waitress’s story

IS Facebook good for revenge? No. Should you put everything up on Facebook? No. One waitress who vowed to avenge a bad tip fell foul of the rules – click the image to enlarge (NSFW):

Spotter: 4Chan, via Reddit

Posted: 20th, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Would you prefer Zuckerberg or the KGB has your information?

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.

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Posted: 20th, June 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comments (4)

Kiss your dancing fears away with the robot Tutu

CAN’T dance? Have trouble doing a Conga?

Help is herre. Behold, Ninna Thorarinsdottir‘s robotic Dancing Tutu*. Never be embarrassed again, dancing dad. Slip on a Dancing Tutu and all your cares are gone.

* Daning Tutu is brand name and must not be confused with the Farting Tutu, Desmond Tutu and Kajagoogoo’s Tu-Tu Shy. Also available in eco-friendly wind-powered model.

Vimeo link.

The Dancing Dress, by Icelandic fashion designer Ninna Thorarinsdottir.

Posted: 13th, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

The troll hater song

THE troll / hater song with Isabel Fay… (NSFW.)

Posted: 8th, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

Scientists invent glasses that make people shrink

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.

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Posted: 6th, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Chocolate and strapping helps rat walk again after spinal cord injury

WHAT you’re looking at is a rat experiencing “100 per cent recuperation” having had its back broken and then repaired with a treatment which helps grow new nerves.

The treatment involves chemicals, electricity and placing the broken rats in a special harness and encouaging them to make towards a piece of Swiss chocolate *. The movement “tricks” the body into repairing itself.

Chocolate can do that.

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Posted: 2nd, June 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Idiot complaints about Apple’s Foxconn

THERE are reasonable complaints one can make about conditions in the Foxconn factories that make all of Apple’s kit (and most of those for Microsoft, Dell, HP and so on). Excessive overtime, short holidays and so on.

Then there are truly idiotic complaints one can make such as this:

a living wage for Chinese workers, whom it says are paid half the salary of workers in Foxconn’s Brazilian factory,


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Posted: 31st, May 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Flashback: Tom Hancocks of High Wycombe invented The Segway in 1962

FLASHBACK: Tom Hancocks of High Wycombe invented The Segway in 1962

Posted: 28th, May 2012 | In: Flashback, Technology | Comment

FAIL: BBC article on bad spelling includes spelling error

THE BBC laments the “Poor spelling of ‘auto-correct generation'”, revealing the horror of a nation that has become reliant on technology to auto-correct text. We can no longer spell. The article is based on a survey conducted by vested interest group Mencap to promote its Spellathon Championships. Whilst Mencap just makes up words – spellathon? – to ensure its spelling is correct, the BBC tells us:

Ian McNeilly, director of the Natioanl Association for the Teaching of English, said: “I think it’s an easy, knee-jerk reaction – though an entirely understandable one – to blame technology for perceived declines in a whole variety of areas.

The BBC’s story was written by Ivor Typo (formerly of Anorak).

Posted: 23rd, May 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

How to park a car in Poland

FANS, neo-Nazi and vintage Nazis making the trip to see football’s European Championships are advised to park their vehicles in the aprpoved manner:

Posted: 21st, May 2012 | In: Technology | Comment