Technology | Anorak - Part 31

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.

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

Priscilla Chan’s guide to marrying a billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg (photos)

PRISCILLA Chan is now what Americans call Mrs Mark Zuckerberg. . Husband and wife now both get to call Mrs Zuckeberg ‘mom’. Psychiatrists, take that and run with it. Can is, of course, the Harvard graduate who presented Zuckenberg with a list of dating rules when she moved to be near him in Palo Alto, according to  Sarah Lacy’s book Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good. As the book told us:

One date per week, a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time, not in his apartment and definitely not at Facebook.

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Posted: 20th, May 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment (1)

Man invents perpetual motion car

YAZOOKS! Tang Zhenping, a 55-year-old farmer living in Banjiehe, China, has invented the world’s first wind-powered car. When the electric car hits 40mph, the desk fan in the front spins, charging the engine and enabling Mr Zhenping to drive on for days.

He tells Sky News:

“I’m not doing this just for the money.”

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Posted: 17th, May 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

Canadian MP says everyone who eats is a copyright thief

COPYRIGHT is a big issue. And the debate involves all manner of idiots. Take Canada’s Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dean Del Mastro. In his mind, if you copy a CD – one you’ve bought – onto an iPod or any other MP3 player – you a thief.  Yeah. Really. He actually says:

“It’s like going to a clothing store and buying a pair of socks and going back and saying by the way it wasn’t socks that I needed, what I really wanted was shoes. So I’m just going take these, I’m gonna format shift from socks to shoes and I’m not gonna pay anything because it was all for my feet.”

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Posted: 16th, May 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

The yellow Lamborghini Gallardo sandwich – video

SO. You got a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo and set off for a drive in Chicago. You tear away formt eh lights and then decide to park between two vehicles moving in the opposite direction…

Posted: 16th, May 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Smartphones: the fastest growing technology ever

ONE way of looking at the current economic world is that it’s a complete disaster. Slow to little growth (and don’t even start talking about Southern Europe), mass unemployment, a general dirge of it all being pretty crappy.

One the other hand, there are bright spots: what economic growth there is is in the poor countries, meaning people are moving from absolute, $2 a day type, poverty to the unaccustomed luxury of three square meals a day.

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Posted: 15th, May 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Magnetic Dave Hurban turns himself into a mobile ipod and keys holder – photos

ALL hail Dave Hurban inventor of the strapless watch. Hurban, of Newfield, New Jersey, has imbedded magnets into his arm and stuck his iPod Nano to them. Ave is thus also the inventor of the handless saucepan, the mobile ironing board stand (take care with that one, Dace) and a great way to ensure you and your car keys are never far apart. All inventive stuff. But Dave is no “Magnet Boy”. Brazil’s Paulo David Amorim, raw animal magnetism means pots, pans, mobile phones, forks and dogs, should the pet’s collar be metal. Dave may also take care when passing through airport security – news is that al Qaeda’s dastardly killers have found way to implant bombs inside people. Pass the rubber gloves…


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Posted: 14th, May 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Scumbag Steve’s open letter to Annoying Facebook Girl – meme to meme

BECAUSE memes are people too, Blake Boston – aka memeville’s Scumbag Steve – has reached out to the meme community and penned a letter to Annoying Facebook Girl. Her name, we do not know. But for now let’s call her Violet Elizabeth.

Boston is here to help. He understands his good fortune. You can spend an age concocting an alter ego that will turn you into a celebrity. Sacha Baron Cohen worked hard to create Borat and Ali G. He did well. So too did Steve Coogan with Alan Partridge. Barry Humphries gave us Dame Edna. But what of Hale & Pace, who in the pre-internet dark age created The Management, Rowan Atkinson was Mr Bean and Jim Varney launched Ernest on an unready world. All were horrible. All required the comic to be horrendously unfunny in a bid for fame and popularity.

It was pathetic.

Then Blake Boston slaps on a baseball and a dog’s bedding arrives, and in a trice he’s Scumbag Steve. And he’s a hit!

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

Crab-powered computers are now possible!

GOOD news! Crab powered computers are possible, Cancel the hamster wheel! Solar panels and wind farms are dead!  Japanese researchers have a break through:

Yukio-Pegio Gunji of Kobe University in Japan and colleagues realised that when two swarms of crabs collide, they merge and continue in a direction that is the sum of their velocities …

They first tried the idea with simulated crab swarms … they then tried the logic gates for real, using swarms of 40 crabs. The crab swarms were placed at the entrances of the logic gates and encouraged to move by a looming shadow that fooled them into thinking a predatory bird was overhead. The results closely matched the simulation, suggesting that crab-powered computers could indeed be possible.

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Posted: 25th, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Smuggling iPhones into China – the airtime plan piracy

THIS is a slightly weird case. A woman found smuggling Apple’s iPhones into China. When, erm, all iPhones are actually made in China:

A Chinese woman has been stopped at the border after trying to smuggle over 200 iPhone 4S devices from Hong Kong into the Apple-mad nation hidden inside empty beer bottles.

The woman was caught red-handed by customs officials at the Sha Tau Kok border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen and claimed she was taking the bottles to be recycled, according to MIC Gadget.

However, on closer inspection the bottles reportedly felt suspiciously heavy, and showed signs that they had been cut in half and taped back up. In total 216 shiny new iPhones were discovered, shoved in three to a 750ml bottle.

Obviously something weird is happening, as with PJ O’Rourke’s point that you can’t get Cuban cigars in Cuba. But here, with Apple, it’s not the stupidities of communism, it’s the way that mobile phones are generally sold. That is, with an airtime plan.

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Posted: 23rd, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

My boyfriend @c*ntdestr0yer is a real romantic – Facebook lovers tell all

MEANWHILE on Facebook a woman tells the world that her lover is a sweetheart.

@cuntdestr0yer might be the nom-de-tweet of Valentine Mortensen.

Spotter: @Reddit

Posted: 23rd, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

Hunter Moore down – who now holds No 1 Internet Bully title?

HUNTER Moore has relinquished control of his “revenge porn” website, which featured photos of naked ex-lovers, their real names and how to find them on social networks. Most posts are of women. The people posting them were looking for revenge and to cause hurt – the stuff was submitted by exes and embittered friends. Although some of the photos might have been hacked or self-published in a bid for web fame and twitter followers.

You want a leaked sex tape? You can’t handle a leaked sex tape.

So. What of Moore? His site enjoyed the tagline “Pure Evil”. He became a cover story in the Village Voice. He said:

“I’m scared I’m going to get fucking murdered in my sleep if someone finds out where I live.”

Adding of the victims:

“We’ve all masturbated to you or laughed at you, and it’s done. It can’t get any worse.”

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

The Ammazza blog killer is an attack of freedom

IN Italy, plans are afoot to curtail free speech on the internet. The idea is that anyone libelled online can get instant satisfaction. The so-called “Ammazza blog” (blog killer”) proposal is outlined by Marco:

In order to protect people from online defamation, this law states that each webmaster of whatever website must rectify within 48 hours (even if you’re a private blogger who just left for the weekend!) any page on the website itself, if somebody just tells him or her (how?) that they consider themselves wronged by that page. No discussion or reply allowed, no judge needed, and the fine for not “rectifying” within 2 days is 12K Euros.

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Posted: 19th, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Digital TV for Ulster Scots in ‘Northren Ireland’: Whit Is The Deegital Cheenge-Ower?

THE Digital Changeover is coming. “Digital UK is the not-for-profit company leading the UK’s switchover to digital television”. It’s got advice for TV viewers in all regions of the British Isles. And that includes the “Ulster Scots”:

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Posted: 15th, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Time-lapse video of the skies over Chile’s Atacama Desert

MEANWHILE… in Chile’s Atacama Desert Babak Tafreshi is watching the skies and recording it in a time-lapse video:

Walking on the desert near Paranal between the scattered stones and boulders on the pale red dust feels like being on Mars, but under the Earth sky. One of the most astonishing experiences under such a starry sky is the view of the Milky Way. In several scenes of the film, the setting arc of the Milky Way is captured over the cloud-covered Pacific coastline.

Posted: 9th, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

The 10 biggest idiots on Facebook

THE 10 biggest idiots on Facebook include: the thief who logged into his Facebook profile in his victim’s home and forgot to log off; the woman who pinged her dad’s death room; the plane masturbator; and the consummated affair…


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Posted: 6th, April 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

Car advert says Mitsubishi Magna is great for storing hookers in the boot

HOW do they sell cars in Australia? Why, by advertising the capacity to transport hookers and sprout chest hair in the Geraldton Guardian…

Click to make bigger.

Spotter: Rent The Roo, via Tim Blair

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

Ministers save Royal Mail with GCHQ powers to snoop on your emails and web porn

THE end of the free internet is nigh. The Government is to monitor all emails, phone calls, text and websites you view. Of course, GCHQ already does just that. But soon it will be legal.

GCHQ will have the right to see your online activity without a warrant. They can spy on you in what the wonks call “real time”.

The way to avoid detection is to sign up to some dark recess of the internet, like Friends Reunited, AOL or LibDem Online. Or do as Al Qaeda did last year and restart your fax machines.

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Posted: 1st, April 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment

Apple’s Foxconn interns paid better than Lib Dem interns

SO there was this great big campaign, with petitions and plays and online sign ups and the usual ignorant outrage displayed on Twitter and Facebook about how appalling the working conditions and pay were at Foxconn. You know, the giant seris of factories in China that make everything for Apple and HP and Microsoft and all.

We’ve now got the results from an in depth investigation into those working conditions and pay.

The general finding is that poor people work long hours for not much money. Well, yes, that’s true, that’s what being poor means, working long hours for not much money. Shrug, that’s what poor people in poor countires do, that’s why we describe them as poor and that’s why we’d like them to carry on having an industrial revolution so they can become rich like us.

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Posted: 30th, March 2012 | In: Key Posts, Money, Politicians, Technology | Comment

The Amazon Kiva robot in action – video

WHEN Amazon bought robot-making company Kiva for $775m  we wanted to see how the things worked. It’s brilliant. If the robots could read the books and then implant the knowledge straight into the human brian, more time would be saved…

Spotter: interesting

Posted: 30th, March 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

The AKAI ‘portable’ VTR 1/4″ video tape recorder – the birth of home-made porn

WHEN was user-generated pornography born? Before the camera phone it was 1972 and amateur filmmakers were getting to grips with the AKAI “portable” VTR 1/4″ video tape recorder. The tapes required no processing, so negating any need for trips to that special shop at the back of the precinct. It had a “hands-off  operation”.

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Posted: 30th, March 2012 | In: Flashback, Technology, The Consumer | Comment (1)

Liam Stacey’s sentence is an attack on free speech

HAVING seen Liam Stacey, 21, sent to prison for his racist tweets aimed at footballer Fabrice Muamba and twitter users, what has happened since? Well, the righteous have been congratulating themselves on their successful twitter hunt.

For this tweeter it was an “I was there” moment:

Saska Shepherd ‏ @saskashepherd  – I’mgladLiamStaceyhasbeenjailed. I’msureI’moneof100’swhoreportedhisracisttweetstothepolice. #prayformuamba

This tweeter thought of Liam Stacey’s death:

Milan Enslin ‏– I wouldn’t really care if Liam Stacey died.. He’s a sick man, fromthe scum of the earth… #moreracistthanjohnterry

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Posted: 29th, March 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comments (33)

Faces of the day: Richard Lee Norris’ full face transplant – photos

THIS is Richard Lee Norris, the recipient of an extensive full face transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. In 1997, Mr Norris accidentally shot himself in the face. For 15 years he hid his face from the gawping world. Then he was given a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw.

Says Dr Eduardo Rodriguez, the lead surgeon:

“It’s a surreal experience to look at him. It’s hard not to stare. Before, people used to stare at Richard because he wore a mask and they wanted to see the deformity. Now, they have another reason to stare at him, and it’s really amazing.”

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Posted: 27th, March 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1)