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.

Both Apple and Samsung found guilty!

BOTH Apple and Samsung Guilty! Probably the best result possible in the ongoing patent wars between the two companies. They’re both very naughty little boys. Unfortunately this is the verdict in the South Korean case, not in the girt big one in California.

A South Korean court has fined both Apple and Samsung, ruling that each infringed the other’s patents in building their mobile devices and banning some of their products from sale in the country.

The Seoul central district court ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 2 from shelves in South Korea, citing they infringed two of Samsung’s telecommunications patents. The court also ruled that Samsung infringed one of Apple’s patents related to the screen’s bouncing back ability and banned sales of the Galaxy S2 and other products in South Korea.

Sales of devices recently released by Samsung and Apple including the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S3 smartphones were not affected.

The basic problem is that so many damn patents are being issued on so many damn stupid things (Apple appears to have one on a rectangular shape with rounded corners for God’s Sake!) that it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to do anything in the high tech space without falling afoul of one patent or another.

The best hope of cutting through this mess is that more of the cases are decided as this court has. You’re all fucking up so you’ll all have to sit down and sort it out properly. Given that the politicians have no real clue about what is happening here it will have to be either that or the courts themselves imposing some sort of solution.

What is really annoying though is that government is for sorting out these sorts of things. And, as above, they’re clueless and can’t/won’t do anything. So we in hell do we have to pay for all this government which isn’t sorting out the problems which government is there to sort out?

Posted: 24th, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment (1)

What happens when a squid listen to Cypress Hill (video)

EVER wondered what happens to a squid when it listens to Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Brain? You’re not alone. Over on It’s OK to be Smart Joe Hanson shows us that goes on inside a microphone affects animal tissue. Backyard Brains hooked a squid housed at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA to an iPod.

The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

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Posted: 24th, August 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

The TOTO toilet bike runs on poo

THE dream is now a reality. No longer will you need to speed on the hard shoulder of the motorway? Wave goodbye to asking for the toilet key at service stations. Japanese toilet maker TOTO present the Toilet Bike Neo, as seen on display in its Fujisawa showroom. TOTO rolled out the eco-friendly three-wheel 250cc motorcycle with a specially customized toilet-shaped seat that runs on bio-fuel from the discharge of livestock or waste water. TOTO employee Akiko Matsuyama wears the look of a woman who has used her last TenaLady. Freedom is ours! Have incontinence will travel.

Update: TOTO says the bike does not run on human poo and wee. Not even on human gas. Still, it does run on modified livestock waste, the four-star, leaded cow sort. Yours might be more 2star, unless you’re a vegan, in which case it’s more of drip feed system akin to that zippy waste water.


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Posted: 23rd, August 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (3)

In photos: The FIRA International RoboWorldCup at At-Bristol

THE FIRA International RoboWorldCup is being staged in At-Bristol. The international competition includes climbing, weightlifting, football, sprinting and a marathon, and is taking place for the first time in the UK. The Plymouth University team is the first UK squad to enter. (Agents are not allowed, neither are lovers, groupies nor ambush marketing.)


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Plymouth University's robots at the FIRA International RoboWorldCup taking place for the first time in the UK at At-Bristol.

Posted: 22nd, August 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

“I promise I am not smoking crack” declares Apple lawyer to judge

THIS Apple v Samsung patent fight is actually getting rather interesting at last. The judge asked one of Apple’s lawyers yesterday whether he was smoking crack, leading to distinguished counsel having to deny it.

Judge Lucy Koh has grown increasingly irritated with lawyers on both sides of the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, but she hit a new boiling point on Thursday when Apple presented her a 75-page list of potential rebuttal witnesses for the four hours it has remaining in the trial.

“This is ridiculous,” the San Jose Mercury News reports Koh as saying. “Unless you’re smoking crack, you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called.”

The judge has ruled this trial with an iron fist, allowing each side only a limited amount of time to present evidence to the jury. One reason being that if Apple could drag the trial out over months and months then they would have won: Samsung currently isn’t allowed to sell some of its products in the US and won’t unless they win this case.

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Posted: 17th, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

School lunch scanner gives children mark of The Beast

TO Moss Bluff Elementary school, Lake Charles, Louisiana, where fears abound that the new dinnertime palam scanner is turning the children to the Devil.

Says parent Mamie Sonnier, sounding not a little like Annie Wilkes.

 “I was very, very mad. Disappointed.”

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Posted: 17th, August 2012 | In: Strange But True, Technology | Comment

How not to use Twitter

THIS is how not to use twitter. Let’s say that you’re a very rich person indeed. Billions of $ worth of rich. And in fact you’re so rich that lots and lots of money is spent on your security each year. Maybe, like $2.7 million is spent on keeping you safe from attack and or kidnapping each year.

Or perhaps you’re the teenage daughter in a family like that. So this is how not to use Twitter:

Alexa Dell’s overenthusiastic social networking habits were curbed after she unintentionally disclosed details about her father’s whereabouts. His security team is understoof to have considered the posts compromising.

The 18-year-old was a keen user of Twitter and the photo-sharing website Tumblr, ostensibly using it like any other teenage girl to update her friends and followers on the minutiae of her daily life.

But many of her posts were stamped with a GPS location, showing exactly from where it was sent. Her posts also included the exact dates she and her family were arriving and departing certain cities and the location she was shopping.

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Posted: 14th, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

How a joke about NBC and stupid Americans went viral on Twitter

ON Twitter, the closing ceremony to the London 2012 Olympics was punctuated by Mic Wright @brokenbottleboy tweeting:

NBC Commentator: “That is not actually Batman but a British folk hero known as Del Boy. Sort of like Robin Hood…”

It was a joke. But, apparently, many tweeters thought it was real. He adds:

My tweet about the NBC commentator and Del Boy was a joke. Speaks volumes that people thought it was a genuine quote.


People, including BBC journalists, are now copying my joke tweet about NBC commentators as fact :S #closingceremony

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Posted: 12th, August 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Daily Mirror uses Pedobear to illustrate ‘vast network of child perverts’ on Twitter

AS the papers salute Mo Farah, the Somalia-born double gold meal winner for Team GB, the Daily Mirror readies its readers to the post-Olympic descent. The paper choses the morning of the final day of the London 2012 Games to leads with the news that paedos are out to get your children:

“TWITTER PAEDOS EXPOSED – Police swoop as we reveals vast network of child perverts”

After sport and bonking, drugs-taking celebs, what tabloid readers next like to look at is a story on paedophiles, especially in the summer months. The number of child rapists is not high. The number of readers who like reading about them – and politicians and hacks who like to talk about them – is huge. What better story than one of peados to illustrate all our fears? Is this interest in paedophiles healthy? No. Is the Mirror just tapping into a subject that it feels will unite its readers in a common revulsion? Yes. Does that story foster mistrust, telling us all that it’s not only strangers you need to be fearful of but every adult, even those in a virtual world behind your computer screen? Yes. From being a nation of winners the Mirror reminds us that we are locked in fear of one another, insular and suspicious. The paper says:

“Vile perverts using social networking site to find victims and trade intelligence”

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Posted: 12th, August 2012 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, Technology | Comment

Curiosity Rover beams back full colour photo of life on Mars

THE Curiosity Rover has landed on Mars. This is the first full colour photo to be beamed back from the red planet. It’s a 360-degree view of the Gale Crater, the landing site for the Curiosity rover. 360-degree view. NASA explains:

Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.

The images were taken late Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT) by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.

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Posted: 9th, August 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

The most incredible photos of life on Mars

WHEN Nasa’s Curiosity bot landed on Mars it beamed back photos. We’ve taken a look, and can now bring you the every best of them. There is life on Mars. Here it is:


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Spotters: Curiosity as ArtDavid Silverman,MOC-0271 – Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, Flikr,Earth From Mars, Not Shopped Mars

Posted: 8th, August 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment

‘It’s a wheel, it’s a wheel!’ – photos of Curiosity’s mission to Mars

NASA’S mission to Mars is go! The mega-millions Curiosity rover is now roving Mars. The first photo beamed back is snapshot of the rover’s shadow. We live in the age of celebrity and self-promotion. You might laugh as the photo is spotted and heralded by the line that will reverberate down generations: “It’s a wheel, it’s a wheel!”


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NASA Mars Curiosity's mega-rover's Mars Science Laboratory Mast Camera is seen at the Mars Science Laboratory, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, April 4, 2011.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)


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

Apple doesn’t do it for the money – oh no, Jonathan Ive!

APPLE does not do it for the money. This is a nice claim but I wouldn’t want to run too far with it.

Sir Jonathan Ive, the man credited with shaping the iPad and iPhone and whose personal fortune is estimated at $130m, said today that Apple’s guiding principal was nothing to do with its balance sheet, instead it simply wanted to make “great products”.

“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth,” said the British designer. “Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”

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Posted: 1st, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Brighton’s Green mayor pays £70 taxi fare when electric car fails

“WE’RE happy with the performance of the electric car so far. Early indications suggest it works well around the city and may be making savings for us in fuel costs,” says Brighton and Hove mayor Bill Randall, a leading Green.
Mr Randall was referring to the electric Renault Fluence ZE he’s been road testing. As he said:
“I think it sends out a good message…This is great news, not just for the environment, but for the taxpayer too as the electric car won’t cost them a penny.”

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Posted: 29th, July 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

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