Technology | Anorak - Part 42

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.

Make calls like your grandad did. Retro phone for your laptop/iPad

As any fool knows it is now much cheaper to use your computer (and Skype) to make long distance phone calls than it is actually ringing someone up in the time-honoured fashion. Trouble is most PC microphone/speaker combis are cheap, nasty and ugly.

Step forward then Native Union which has today launched the Moshi Moshi ‘POP’ handset for mobile phones.

Designed by French bloke David Turpin, the retro style handset is based on his interpretation of the classic 1950s Bakelite telephone and it works with pretty much anything that has a 3.5mm jack (so laptops, iPad and even mobile phones). It is available in pink, yellow, purple, blue and green.

More info here

Posted: 8th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

Mini-Pigs Are New Lab Rats: Little Porkers Save Mankind

MINI-pigs are the new lab rats. You monkeys can still get your ciggies. But the pigs get first dubs on the harder drugs.  The mini pigs are the EU’s preferred lab animals. Finally, a creature you can eat. Watch out of pills and injections flavoured with apple sauce…

Spotter: MyFoxNews

Posted: 8th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

Brian Blessed Is The Booming Voice Of Your SatNav

ANORAK usually eschew PR driver (unless you pay), but when we heard that Brian Blessed is the new voice for Tom Tom Sat Nav we looked again.

Brian Blessed does the actor’s voice all the time. He boombs to reach the back of the room. You are stood two feet away and still he booms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 5th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comments (3)

Cayman Islands Beat Wales To .cym Domain Name

WALES has been beaten by the Cayman islands. The .cym domain name will not be used to identify Welsh sites. The Cayman Islands have secured the rights.

Cayman beats dragon. Win!

The matter went to the UN. And they ruled that because Wales is not a state – it’s is part of the UK – and the Cayman islands stand alone, the Caribbean outposts wins.

Partriotic Welsh netizens can thank the England once more…

Posted: 5th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

London Olympics: £9 Billion To Create The New Hoxton

CAN the geeks, nerds and hipsters find use for the infrastructure being erected around the Olympic site in East London? Prime Minister David Cameron looks East and sees a Silicon Valley:

Our ambition is to bring together the creativity and energy of Shoreditch and the incredible possibilities of the Olympic park to help make east London one of the world’s great technology centres.”

Andrew Owlowski explains:

What Cameron refers to is slightly different. The companies around Hoxton are not technology companies – they’re service companies that are parasitic upon private enterprise, and represent a cost of doing business, rather than new businesses or business sectors.

Nine billion pounds to create a New Hoxton in the windswept east. Bargain…

Posted: 4th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Metaflex Gives You The Invisibility Cloak Your Dirty Mind Craves

METAFLEX is the material that manipulates light and gives you the invisibility cloak you’ve always dreamed about owning.

Anorak has run the technology by our readers. The male spokesman writes:

I have run the possibility of this past the Lads here and not one can think of a use for it that doesn’t involve Changing Rooms, Bare naked Ladies and scaring the living shit out of people in the dark

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 4th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

Formula Rossa Photos: The World’s Fastest Roller Coaster Helps Your Inner Saddo

THE worlds’ fastest roller-coaster has opened in Abu Dhabi. The150 miles per hour Formula Rossa salves the inner saddo by sitting you in a mock Ferrari chair at Ferrari World and then hurtling you forward at 7 G’s. It’s the toddler ride for grown ups.

The ride is 2.07 kms long and completed in under 90 seconds. If course, this is a glimpse of the future when we’re all in robot-cars and driving down laser tracks…

The Greatest Roller Coaster Pictures Ever


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Posted: 4th, November 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Why iPad Magazine Apps Fail

KHOI Vinh looks at iPad magazine apps. Are they any good? Anorak has been offered chance to create one. Also for our Pies football site and Stylebrity, the fashion site run by a former stylist to the stars? Would it be worthwhile? (If you want to help, get in touch. Right now, I’m not sure):

My opinion about iPad-based magazines is that they run counter to how people use tablets today and, unless something changes, will remain at odds with the way people will use tablets as the medium matures. They’re bloated, user-unfriendly and map to a tired pattern of mass media brands trying vainly to establish beachheads on new platforms without really understanding the platforms at all.

The fact of the matter is that the mode of reading that a magazine represents is a mode that people are decreasingly interested in, that is making less and less sense as we forge further into this century, and that makes almost no sense on a tablet. As usual, these publishers require users to dive into environments that only negligibly acknowledge the world outside of their brand, if at all – a problem that’s abetted and exacerbated by the full-screen, single-window posture of all iPad software. In a media world that looks increasingly like the busy downtown heart of a city – with innumerable activities, events and alternative sources of distraction around you – these apps demand that you confine yourself to a remote, suburban cul-de-sac.

Posted: 31st, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

Jade Goody Facebook Troll Jailed For Mocking Mourn Porn With Necrophilia Gags

COLM Coss, 36, is the Facebook Legend who posted offensive messages on Facebook sites dedicated to dead people like Jade Goody and John Paul Massey, a Liverpool boy mauled to death by a dog. Some posts claimed he’d had sex with the dead person’s remains. Her didn’t. His lies got him an invite to Manchester Magistrates Court. After short hearing he is sentenced to 8 weeks jail for sending “malicious communications”.

He “preyed on bereaved families” for his “own pleasure“.

The BBC tells us:

Unemployed Coss was only caught when he sent residents on his street photos of himself saying he was an internet “troll”. One of the residents passed the photos to police who interviewed him before he eventually admitted to posting abusive messages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 29th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

James Bond’s DB5 Sells: In Photos

JAMES Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from the films Goldfinger and Thunderball has been sold at auction for £2.6 million at Battersea Evolution in London by RM Auctions. Owner Jerry Lee kept the guns and bullets…


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A close up of the inside of the Aston Martin DB5 used in the James Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball before it was sold for £2.6 million at Battersea Evolution in London by RM Auctions.

Posted: 28th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Teen Who Punched Cat To Death Caught On Facebook

TODAY’S animal hating Facebook legend is the 15-year-old schoolboy (we can’t name him for legal reasons) who punched a 12-year-old cat called Oliver to death in Droylsden, Greater Manchester.

The killer then went onto his Facebook page and wrote:

“How ill was tht dig when I dropped tht cat B4. Hahaha.”

“I booted 1 in the head B4.”

(Facebook is not Twitter. You have time and space to talk. Vent. Use vowels. And try not to repeat yourself – ‘tht’ can get tired.)

Well, in truth the cat slapper did not know that the cat was dead when he hit it. Oliver managed to make it back to his home where he went upstairs and died. When officers arrested the boy, he said:

“I’m sorry.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 27th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Meet Charatter the cute Robot reads your tweets aloud

If you follow five million people on Twitter keeping up with their news links and updates about breakfast cereals can be mighty tricky.

Fortunately the Japanese have come to the rescue with the Charatter.

On sale for just $25 here, the Charatter speaks your tweets as they arrive, which is probably great comedy value for the first day or two but gets a little wearing after that.

You can see video of the Charatter verbalising a Japanese Twitter stream here.

Via ImpressWatch and Dvice

Posted: 26th, October 2010 | In: Reviews, Technology | Comment

Google Mortified Over Street View Data Harvest: Governments Jealous

GOOGLE Street View takes photos your stuff and sticks it on the internet. It’s the Pavement Paparazzi. And that’s not all. Google Street View can also take your passwords and emails from home computers using antennae enabled to scan for wireless networks. It has downloaded information from networks not protected by a password.

Google executive Alan Eustace says in a blog post:

“I would like to apologize again for the fact that we collected it in the first place. We are mortified by what happened…

“We’re acutely aware that we failed badly.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 24th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

Sexy Anna Chapman Is Yours To Play With For 99 Cents (Photos)

ANNA Chapman, the femme fatale Russian spy with the looks of a mid-ranking Russian tennis player is not only posing with his arse out for Maxim but launching an iPhone app in which punters can play with her for 99cents. No – play poker with her.  Tsk!

In any case, capitalism wins! AGAIN…

The Past


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The Shoot


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Posted: 21st, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Steve Jobs’ 7 Inch RIM Is Enough – And Other Headlines

HEADLINE of The Week – Steve Jobs’ Seven Inch RIM. The apple’s apple:

Spotter: Reddit

Posted: 21st, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Sex.Com Sold Again: Grows 1$ In 6 Years

CLOVER Holdings Ltd has, reportedly, agreed to buy the URL from Bankrupt Escom LLC for $13m.

In  2004, the site sold for $12m.

In 2006, the price was between $12m and $14m.

Is sex a good bet?

Posted: 20th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Dan Bull And The ACTA: Anti-Copyright Rap

DAN Bull raps “Death of ACTA”. We last saw him aiming a barb at Lily Allen.

ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a mooted international agreement governing international property right law.

Before his X Factor audition, he says:

“I wrote it after reading about the terrifying implications of ACTA. I want it to raise awareness and make people act directly, by joining lobby groups (eg EFF and ORG) and putting pressure on their political representatives. The video was made on a zero budget, filmed and edited with the voluntary help of friends and colleagues. Directed and produced by Russ Houghton, and filmed at the Golden Hinde in Southwark. I’m an unsigned, unsignable geek rapper and activist, determined to make a living out of my music whilst sharing it all for free. Not sure how that will work yet, but working it out is all part of the fun.”

Only rapper to be called a thief without stealing
Download an MP3 for free, these people hit the ceiling
I’m just a citizen that’s teaching you a lesson
for restricting my freedom of expression
How can ideas be possessions when they’re freely replicable?
Hence unapplicable property laws are reprehensible
Didn’t Jefferson express his opinion on the matter
when he said inventions shouldn’t be given a patent
What happened to that thinking, we’re stuck in a pattern
where the people with everything are keeping everything from us who haven’t

Spotter: Geekosystem

Posted: 20th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

The Gotthard Base Tunnel In Photos: World’s Longest Rail Tunnel Shames Chile

CHILE’S San Jose Tunnel for uphill bobsleigh fans is trumped by the Gotthard Base Tunnel. The Swiss tube is 35.4 miles long, and is the longest railroad tunnel in the world. The hole is there. The tunnel will be useable in 2017 beneath the Alps in Switzerland.

Look out for the Swiss premier placing bits of genuine tunnel rock in velvet-lined shoe boxes and offering them for $50 a pop


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Posted: 20th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

How To Create A Great Facebook Page – According To Facebook

I THOUGHT I knew pretty much everything about how Facebook works – I promote a couple of blogs off there and have probably spent months of my life on the site.. – but I’ve just been to a workshop about promoting sites and businesses at Facebook HQ London, and guess what, turns out I didn’t know everything.

Head of International Business Development, Christian Hernandez Gallando, took us through all the basics, but there was a bunch of more pro tips mixed in. I pasted the ones that surprised me below.

I’m skipping the basics, because I assume you all know how to set up a page. Here then are 10 tips on optimising how your use Facebook, from Facebook.

1) Like/Recommend button: and which one to choose
These work in exactly the same way but Facebook introduced “Recommend” as a variation on “Like” after feedback from news sites.. who found that readers didn’t want to “like” on stories about war or natural disaster, but would “recommend” them.
So – if you’re a news site, or publish serious/negative content, consider the “recommend” option.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

1000mph Bloodhound Supercar Hits Qatar Royal Family (Photos)

RICHARD Noble stood on The Strand and posed with the Bloodhound supersonic car – top speed 1000mph. It’s a provocative move that ups the stakes in the contest to see who has the most fantastic car in London. Like you, we’re looking forward to see what the Qatar royals racers come up with in response…


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A PCSO talks to a team member about the parking of the Bloodhound supersonic car, which is designed to reach 1000mph for the landspeed record, on The Strand in London.

Posted: 18th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Computer Thief Downloads Content And Sends Data On USB To Owner

THE unnamed professor who had his computer stolen from Sweden’s Umea University was delighted to see that the thief took the time and trouble to download his data and send it to him on a USB drive.

Says the prof of the loss of his computer, he;d left in backpack by a stairwell:

“It is my life. I have documented everything in it that has happened in the last 10 years and beyond.”

Back your stuff up, Prof.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 17th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Rabbits Eat Green Car Parts Made From Soy

RABBITS are eating car parts made from soy.

Some newer model car parts are made from soy-based compound, a kind of soy oil foam rubber that is less polluting than petroleum-based stuff.

Unless you count rabbits and rabbit poo as pollution.

Spotter: Tim Blair

Posted: 15th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

The big decision for the Chilean miners – Apple Vs Sony

Who’d be a Chilean miner? Well, the downside is that you get to spend 69 days trapped underground not knowing whether you”ll ever see the sunlight again.

But on the upside when you do get to the surface you get half of the world’s brands waiting to shower you with freebies.

Trouble is for the brands get your timing wrong and you end up looking like a bandwagon jumper. Take Apple, who very kindly this week sent the miners free iPod Touchs. Now not wishing to be ungrateful, but I kind of think that said iPod would have been rather more useful when you had nothing else to do than  play I Spy with your work pals.

The fact that Sony sent the miners a load of PSPs as far back as August makes Apple’s move whiff a little of publicity stunt.

Incidentally the miners didn’t get to use their PSPs for long

The Washington Post reported that the psychologists looking after their mental health during the ordeal banned them from playing the games.

Even worse for the miners – they have apparently been offered tickets for a Man United game. Haven’t they suffered enough?

Posted: 15th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment

Best Of Greater Manchester Police Tweets: Woman Leaves Cannabis By Till

GREATER Manchester Police are tweeting their day. The first round-up of Bobbies On the Tweet is here.

Readers Karen writes:

I’m glad this is only for one day. I can’t stop reading them. The number of accidental 999 calls from mobiles or kids playing with phones is unbelievable – as is the number of silent calls. I’ve read one Tweet saying it was the 22nd 999 call from the same mobile number so I guess they can’t trace it unless they break the law by making a hoax call or threatening them.

Tonight there’s been loads of reports of kids throwing fireworks about so no wonder they hate shops selling them too early for bonfire night – it must be a nightmare to have to follow up all the calls.

A few more unusual ones:

call 1912 Call from confused man who said he had been drinking and just woken up. Patrol not needed. Salford #gmp24

call 1931 Verbal abuse from a woman about dogs, Wigan #gmp24

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 14th, October 2010 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment

Manchester Police Tweet Crimes: Man Dangles Dog-Faced Baby From Bridge

GREATER Manchester Police (GMP) are Tweeting their calls today.  They’re having to use three different Twitter accounts because of the high volume of Tweets they’re sending. Twitter keep stopping them.

Readers Karen picks out the best of The Bobbies on The Tweet:

Call 686 man shouts ‘you’re gorgeous’ to woman #gmp24
6 minutes ago via web

Call 674 confused man reporting his tv not working #gmp24
about 3 hours ago via web

gmp24_1: Call 281 member of the public in Salford complains about being woken up #gmp24

And my very favourite so far:

gmp24_1: Call 384 report of man holding baby over bridge – police immediately attended and it was man carrying dog that doesn’t like bridges

Call 349 suspicious noises in loft in Salford #gmp24

Call 392 report of loose cows in Atherton #gmp24

Call 412 report of woman ringing police asking for help to sue benefits agency as she has no money #gmp24

Call 810 Man requesting information regarding motorway parking charges #gmp24

Call 814 Call from a man who hadn’t recieved his benefits #gmp24

call 1333 reports of dustbins being moved in Droylsden #gmp24

update re call 1165 human excrement smeared over police car handles #gmp24

call 1079 Woman reports her horse refuses to come back over bridge #gmp24

call 1169 report of someone putting rubbish in caller’s bin in Rochdale #gmp24

call 1566 report of a burglary in progress owner had lost key in Bowden #gmp24

call 1595 Theft of laptop by sister three weeks ago, Manchester #gmp24

call 1605 report of faulty phone in Sale #gmp24

call 1621 Advice on where caller’s 16-year-old daughter can stay while the caller is on holiday. #gmp24

Posted: 14th, October 2010 | In: Technology | Comment