Technology | Anorak - Part 34

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.

SOPA and PIPA: When lending is a thought crime and theft is ok

THE Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are not universally popular. Neither SOPA nor PIPA are all that close to be cemented in law. Right now they look like bad Bills that seek to turn us – the consumers – into thieves who need to prove our innocence.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are a response to lobbying by the entertainment industries upset at websites publishing their content for free. The Bills seek to kill file sharing sites that push content illegally. Offline this is called fencing stolen goods. Should the online world be different to the offline world? Is freedom of information on the internet something else, to cherish and foster? But can’t you pass on a book or magazine you bought or a DVD you rented to a friend? Can you download a song from a cousin’s collection? Is that theft?

One other thing: if you look at a photograph of a naked child in a book on a shelf have you downloaded it, like a paedophile? Are you a thief for downloading a song, or for listening to one on a friend’s player? Is the unique thing about the internt that it leaves an evidence trail? If you heard or saw what you did not pay for – what was shared – have you committed a thought crime? If you are a creator and some part of that shared song or book affected your thinking, are you a thief who needs to pay royalties to your inspiration?

But that is not all. The Bills would make it illegal for any US-based internet service providers, advertisers and payment processors from working with the outlawed sites – even if they are based abroad.

Wikipedia went dark in protest – but left the SOPA page remained live:

“The court order could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for ten such infringements within six months. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.”

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

How to read Wikipedia during the SOPA live blog blackout

WANT to read Wikipedia during the 24-hour online protest against the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)?

The BBC advises accessing non-English Wikipedia pages and using Google Translate to make your work easier to fake.

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Posted: 18th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

Rupert Murdoch attacks morality of Stop Online Piracy Act

RUPERT Murdoch has used his new Twitter account to slam the White House and Google over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)  the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA?) and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). (Is the acronym decided upon before the words that explain it?)

Murdoch says Google of a friend to the film pirates, calling the web giant a “piracy leader”.

Murdoch tweeted about his online search for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol:

“Google great company doing many exciting things. Only one complaint, and it’s important. Just been to google search for mission impossible. Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case.”

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

The Page Turner: Joseph Herscher’s machine makes reading easier

NEWSPAPERS and magazines are such hard work to read. Thankfully, Joseph Herscher has a machine that can turn your pages with no effort at all. Get me the Page Turner:

Posted: 15th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment introduces the Intel Ultrabook Project and the cool kids laugh

WILL.I .AM, of the Black Eyed Peas, is shilling for Intel. is “Intel’s director of creative innovation”. It’s the kind of corporate bollocks that will have the cool kids drooling – and the saps rushing out to buy what’s got. Here’s holding his “cool” Intel Ultrabook at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at The Venitian, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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

The suit that helps you play tennis like Nadal

Want to analyse your body movements so you can run as fast as Theo Walcott or play tennis like Roger Federer?

Over at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas they have just the gadget for you. Designed by a company called STMicroelectronics NV is smart-suit prototype with motion sensors which is designed to help people recover from injuries quicker or improve their co-ordination if they are suffering from conditions like Parkinson’s Disease.

The other part though is that it will also enable athletes to closely study their movement and learn how to perform to higher standards.

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Posted: 10th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment

When Julia Cross met ‘Martin’, Martin ran from twitter, Facebook and Ibiza

ARE you ‘Martin’, the man who snogged Julia Cross, a 33-year-old PR consultant from London? If you are the Martin who kissed Miss cross in Ibiza, we have one word of advice: run!

In what will be one of the most exscrutiating articles of 2012, the London Evening Standard writes:

Friends of a PR consultant have started a nationwide hunt to find her holiday love.

Martin from Tooting, who “works in Camden as a software developer“, is being hunted down by PRs from the Chandler Chicco agency. They’ve created an email called Finding Martin and campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.

Miss Cross, from Clapham, might be work of parody (see photo). Says she:

“It was a really brilliant holiday and I can’t believe it but am hugely flattered that my friends are going to such extreme measures with this campaign.”

Julia’s colleague Samina Deen adds:

“For the last three months Julia has been regaling us with this story of how she met Martin, and all the ‘what ifs?’ It started off as a bit of a joke. We Googled him, searched LinkedIn and even started drinking in pubs in Tooting hoping to spot him. But then we began talking about the fact that it is a small world and friends may be connected to other friends. We decided that if we really put our minds to it we could probably track him down.”

The best line is:

She said Ms Cross had given Martin her telephone number but believes she got the digits wrong.

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

Ed Miliband look alike Shereef Abdallah upsets the twitter police

SHEREEF Abdallah is the pro Ed Miliband lookalike and scourge of twitter. The JC says Shaereef Abdallah once worked as a volunteer at Labour MP Glenda Jackson’s office and blogged for the Young Fabians, a Labour Party affiliate group.

Abdallah has been, allegedly, aiming his tweets at a British Israeli woman named “Rachel”. She had upbraided Shareef for his description of his online critics as “Nazis”.

Abdallah, or a tweeter using that name, wrote:

“I will hunt you down & fight you min by min. hr by hr. day by day. wk by wk. month by month. year by year for the rest of yr life.”

But will he make time to tweet?

He then made “a promise” to beat her up.


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

Floren Blake born five years after her win Reuben

FLOREN Blake was born five years after her twin brother Reuben. Floren and Reuben Blake were conceived from the same batch of five embryos created by their parents Simon and Jody Blake.

Reuben was born on December 9 2006.

The Blakes wanted another child, so they used the remaining three frozen embryos.

Floren was born on November 16 2011.

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Posted: 4th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

Teach your iPhone4 S to swear like John Terry

THE iPhone 4S has told Charlie Le Quesne: “Shut the f*ck up, you ugly t*at.”

Charlie Le Quesne is 12. He was playing with the iPhone 4s with its voice technology in a branch of TEsco in Coventry. He asked it: “How many people are there in the world?”

The answer was unusual.

The story prompts two questions:

Was the iPhone S set in John Terry Mode and actually said, “Oi, Charlie, do you think I told you ‘Shut the fu*k up you ugly twat?“?

And was Charlie shocked or delighted?

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Posted: 31st, December 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Illegal Things Are Illegal on Facebook and Twitter

THIS might come as a surprise to some or even many, but things that are illegal in the real world are also illegal on Facebook and other social media.

Yes, even Twitter.

More than half of Facebook and Twitter users could be routinely risking prosecution according to research exposing mass ignorance of basic legal dangers among internet enthusiasts.

It’s not just the two dingbats who got jailed for trying to organise riots on Facebook. One MP has been reprimanded (but as she’s a Labour MP she should of course have been jailed pour encourager….well, no, just becvause she’s a Lab MP really) for Twittering from an election count and I’m sure that more than one person has had an angry word or two with a judge as they are told off for doing so from inside a court room.

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Posted: 28th, December 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Stan Collymore, Emma West and the twitter narks

STAN Collymore, formerly of Liverpool, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Southend United, has been receiving lots of abuse for his opinions on the Luis Suarez racism affair. Collymore has been re-tweeting racist abuse aimed at him and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, the footballer racially abused by Suarez.

The tweets are sad, pathetic, weak and deranged. You can read a load of them over @StanCollymore.

Of course, anyone who has ever been on twitter knows that bitchiness, nastiness, vanity and threats are a big part of what twitter does. The same process that allows the right-minded tweeter to call for Emma West to be raped and murdered for behaving horribly and unusually on a London tram also allows Collymore to be called a ‘nigger’ and worse.

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Posted: 23rd, December 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Luluvise: Girls Just Wanna Have Their Own Social Networking Site?

ALL women really want to do is gossip, talk fashion and discuss boys – and they want to do so in a safe space, sheltered from men who can easily hurt their feelings.

Or at least that’s the premise of Britain’s latest start-up, social networking site Luluvise, which is a kind of girls-only Facebook. That this initiative is described as “empowering” for women shows what a skewed idea some ladies have of feminism these days. Because Luluvise promotes the most reductive, trite notion of womanhood: that females are sensitive creatures in need of protection, and that what they like most is talking about feelings, clothes and relationships.

It all started two years ago, when Luluvise founder Alexandra Chong, a former member of Jamaica’s Olympic tennis team, had a Valentine’s Day story she wanted to share with her girlfriends but didn’t feel comfortable posting on Facebook. Neither did she want to go through the hassle of contacting all her female friends individually. So she came up with the idea of creating a ladies-only social networking site.

Luluvise may be targeted at women aged 18 to 35, but the behaviour it encourages is hardly mature. Instead, the site comes across as a silly, wannabe combo of Sex and the City and High School Musical. Luluvise users first create an “Inner Circle”, which is accessible only to selected girlfriends – or, as Luluvise puts it, “BFFS”, Best Friends Forever. Users can then start sharing “news, gossip and scandals” with their BFFS, using four different tools: text scoop, photo scoop, poll scoop and the WikiDate scoop. The last one is a tool for rating men and the overall scores they receive are made public. Users can also flag up their scoops with an OMG tag (for juicy news) or an SOS tag (for urgent news).

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Posted: 14th, December 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, Technology | Comments (3)

Web Censor Stephen Conroy Swears On The Web: Ban The Bansturbator

SENATOR Senator Stephen Conroy, Australia’s British-born Minister for Communications, tells the country’s National Press Club in Canberra:

“I love the debate about sovereign risk,” he said. “If a tax goes up, God, that is sovereign risk. But if a tax goes down, f*cking fantastic.”

Conroy is the man who want to censor the web. As he said:

“Most Australians acknowledge that there is some internet material which is not acceptable in any civilised society. It is important that all Australians, particularly young children, are protected from this material.”

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Posted: 14th, December 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

The Steve Jobs Statue: The Making Of An iBronze

HOW to celebrate the life of Steve Jobs? Hungarian Sculptor Erno Toth knows. He’s made a big bronze statue.. It’s what Jobs would have wanted…


Picture 1 of 7

Posted: 8th, December 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Stupid New Mexico Police Say Paedophiles Are Posing As Pedobear: Warn Your Kids

TO New Mexico, where the Attorney General’s Office says “paedobear” aka “pedobear” is a menace to children. Pedobear is the Internet meme introduced to the Western web by 4chan as a way or mocking paedophiles and anyone posting creepy images and stories about children. It is a renamed version of the 2chan ASCII art character “kuma”. You might have seen Pedobear hanging out with the Pope.

Lynn Southard with the AGO says cars in Albuquerque and southern New Mexico are carrying paedobear stickers. Says she:

“It’s very scary, it’s a very scary situation that’s been brought to our attention that these vehicles are circulating around New Mexico.”

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Posted: 30th, November 2011 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment (1)

Microsoft’s Tellme Versus Apple’s Siri: The Teen Anal Meeting

IN this challenge, the tech tester will see if Microsoft’s Tellme is better than Apple’s Siri.

The Teen Anal Meeting is at 10am:

Spotter: Daring Fireball and Boing Boing

Posted: 26th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

The Jukusui-Kun Polar Bear Paw Pillow Stops You Snoring

FEAR not snorers. The new Jukusui-kun pillow (Japanese for deep sleep) lighly smacks you in the face whenever you snore. And the best bit is that it’s shaped like a polar bear – with a bid of a tweak the Snore Paw might take your face clean off. Try snoring without a nose, your noisy sleep-stealing swine.

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Posted: 15th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Charlie Bite My Finger, Please: How Cute Kids Make A Mint On YouTube

WANT to turn your kids into star without the bother of stage school photos, agents and talent? Well, YouTube Will pay you big money for video of your children giggling, crying, or giggling and crying. You either contact them to become a partner, or else they spot your video going viral and call you. Typically, 1,000 views earns the video owner 60p.

Says Kevin Allocca, manager of YouTube trends:

“A tiny percentage of the videos that are uploaded to the site get up to the four or five million views. What they all have in common is the speed at which they are shared.”

This Is How:

Charlie Bit My Finger:

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Posted: 13th, November 2011 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment

Video Games Deaths: The Movie

VIDEO game deaths. There’s a film in this with Steve Buscemi playing the hero

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 11th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Yorkshire Man Buys iPad Shaped Like A Cold Potato

ANYONE buying iPads on the streets of Batley are reminded that they do NOT look like potatoes – not even hot potatoes nor potato chips.
The news comes too late for one man who on October 24 handed over £200 when he paid for an i-pad that turned out to be – you guessed it – a bag of potatoes.

The iSpud seller is described as a “chubby white man in his forties who had dark blonde hair and an Irish accent”.

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Posted: 11th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Learning Computers With Greta: Video

COMPUTERS were once the sole property of the ubergeek. No-one really understood them and those that tried thwacked the keys while typing like they were playing Whack-A-Mole.

Of course, geeks in the ’90s were a special, unlit breed of people (very much like the Games Workshop crowd, all vitamin deficient and filled with indecipherable jargon) which meant that they never got the girls at school or picked up ladies down the local bar.

And so, they had to make do with people like Greta. Who is Greta? Greta is a floral bikini clad lady who taught the world about Windows ’95.

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Posted: 9th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

Mission To Mars Is OK If You Go By Shed: Russians Survive 520 Day Simulation

SIX researchers -Alexey Sitev of Russia, Romain Charles of France, Suhrob Kamolov of Russia, Alexander Smoleevskiy of Russia, Diego Urbina of Italy/Colombia and Wang Yue of China – have been on a 520-day simulation of a flight to Mars.

Says Sitev:

“I actually thought that it would be harder and more stressful for me, and I was surprised how smoothly it went.”

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Posted: 8th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment

How Much Does The Internet Weigh? 50 Grams

HOW much does the Internet weigh? Answer: 50 grams:

Posted: 4th, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

Petman Is The US Army’s Headless Robot That Sweats

PETMAN is a headless robot that tests clothing used by the US Army. It can sweat. As Spencer Ackerman tells it:

Boston Dynamics sells it as a way to “simulate how a soldier stresses protective clothing under realistic conditions,” including wearing heavy chemical weapons gear. Lest anyone think the Terminator comparison is far-fetched, the company assures that PETMAN’s ersatz “human physiology” means it will be “sweating when necessary.”

Forget the soldiers… Release Petman!

Posted: 3rd, November 2011 | In: Technology | Comment