Technology | Anorak - Part 48

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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.

Tim Berners-Lee Falls For Online Con

SIR Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the worldwide web, fell victim to an online con when bought a Christmas present on the web which never arrived.

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Posted: 15th, March 2009 | In: Technology | Comment

Microsoft .Net Setup Framework Fail

MICROSOFT .Net Setup Framework Fail

Posted: 4th, March 2009 | In: Technology | Comment

The Carnivorous Lampshade Robot Turns Insects Into Fuel

OIL is running out. We need power. Insects are invading the country. The solution is the Carnivorous Lampshade Robot:

Material Beliefs have created a Carnivorous Lampshade Robot inspired by the pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant that attracts and consumes insects to survive. The insects fall into the plant and are unable to escape. In the same way, this spherical lampshade has multiple holes in its surface which are long funnels going deep into the lamp.

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Posted: 26th, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comment

The Mannequin Speaker System: Uses For Katie Price

INTRODUCING the mannequin speaker system.

The Katie Price:


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Posted: 26th, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

The World’s First Personal Stereo

LISTEN up – it’s the world’s first personal stereo…

spotter, via

Posted: 23rd, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

Twitter – the new British obsession – here’s 10 reasons why we love it

So it is official, Brits absolutely love the micro blogging (no I don’t know what that means either) service Twitter. According to online trend watchers Hitwise UK Internet traffic to Twitter has increased 10-fold over past last 12 months.
As techy gospel UK TechCrunch notes

UK Internet traffic to the website has increased by a staggering 974% over this period. Hitwise also admits that Twitter is probably even more popular than its numbers imply, as Hitwise is only measuring traffic to the main Twitter website, not access via mobile (it’s big on the iPhone, I can tell you) or third party applications like Twitterrific and Tweetdeck.

So why is this? It is obvious why Twitter is growing on the other side of The Pond

1 The Yanks invented it 2 Culturally Americans are not afraid of sharing their plans, achievements and disappointments. 3 They have just had their May 1st 1997 – a one time moment of political optimism which is made for sharing over 140 charactars.

But why then do us Brits love it so much? Well here are the results of our scientific survey of an office full of Twitter devotees

1 We did kind of invent it – Except it was called text messaging and was used on mobiles and you only shared with one person. The American never got texting the way we did so maybe Twitter is their text alternative.

2 As a nation we aren’t that demonstrative – Stiff upper lips and all that. One of the reasons why blogging isn’t as big over here is that we really don’t have that much to say. 140 charactars give us more than enough words to express ourselves.

3 Moaning about the weather – Our national pastime and with Twitter we can talk about our favourite topic with a large group of people instantly. Brilliant!

4 Celeb stalking – Ok, so I might not be too bothered about what Philip Schofield has for breakfast, but Brits do love to find out about their lives of their favourite celebs. Interesting to note that Stephen Fry now has more Twitter followers than either of the heavyweight Yanks Scoble or Calacanis.

5 Public transport – In British cities this is obviously completely shit, so what better way to let the entire world know that you are few minutes late because you have ducked into Starbucks are waiting for the non existent bus

6 We love mobiles – And those all you can eat data tariffs mean that we can happily let the world know our every move without having to worry too much about the cost

7 Queuing – Well we are used to be being a little patient, so Twitter’s consistent down time doesn’t annoy us as much as it would say the Italians.

8 No ads – Yep it is almost a public services, a bit like the BBC. We are used to that

9 Flirting – We perfected the art of the flirty text years ago. Twitter enables us to take that coy but complimentary comment to another level.

10 We are too busy to blog – Allright so our economy might be going down the toilet but most of us are still wedded to that old Brit work ethic. So while we might not have the time to blog we can def find just enough time to tweet

Posted: 23rd, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comment

CES 2009 – Emperor Workstation Gaming Unit – the coolest bit of tech ever?

Gamers watch and drool! With this unit, which has been unveiled at the CES gagdet-fest in Las Vegas, you get your own pod, three screens, a stonking surround sound system and the ability to customise the lights, seating position and much else. Cor!

Vid from TechDigest

Posted: 9th, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comment

The New Apple Wheel

THE New Apple Wheel:

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Posted: 7th, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comments (12)

How To Make Google A Bazillion Dollars More And Not Get Paid For It

HERE’S the chance you’ve been waiting for to work unpaid for Google and to make them another bazillion  dollars. And, remember, they are watching you:

“So where do you turn to for great ideas when tough times force you to abort your engineers’ brainchildren? If you’re Google, reports Nicholas Carlson, you simply outsource brainstorming to your users. Google’s launched a new Google Product Ideas blog as well as a Product Ideas for Google Mobile site where users can submit feature and product ideas and vote on others. So what’s in it for you if you come up with Google’s next billion-dollar-idea? ‘If you post an idea or suggestion and we put it into action, we may give you a shout out on our Product Ideas blog,’ explains Google, ‘but we won’t be compensating users for their ideas.’ Lucky thing don’t-be-evil Googlers don’t have to live up to the IEEE Code of Ethics, or they might have to credit properly the contributions of others.”


You make the big corporation loadsa money and it responds by thanking you by way of a thank you. Hey, it costs nothing to be police – really…


Posted: 3rd, January 2009 | In: Technology | Comment

Semaphore Pilot Project Tags All Scots Leaving Scotland

ANYONE leaving Scotland will soon be tagged. The system already works for The Geordie homeland, where all locals leaving the area are made to wear Newcastle United shirts and shed a tear for the Gallowgate.

Thousands of passengers travelling in and out of Scotland will be electronically screened next year under plans for the government’s next-generation border control technology.

The £1.2bn e-borders scheme will link government agencies, travel industry systems and transport hubs such as ports and airports.

Scots, given the option of Rangers or Celtic shirts, have their faces painted blue, given a vial of local oil to barter with and fitted with a large chip on their shoulders.

They should say at any time, regardless of age, “I was there on the pitch in 1977 and my granny’s got a bar made from the crossbar.”

Upon arrival in London all Scots will be directed to work at the Houses of Parliament.

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Posted: 29th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

The Dante’s Inferno Video Game

THE Divine Comedy video game  – nothing is sacred:

“Rome, December 18 – Dante’s Inferno, the first book of the Divine Comedy, is soon to be released as an action-adventure video game by the company better known for its FIFA Football and James Bond game series. The new game developed by America’s Electronic Arts (EA) follows the structure of Dante’s 14th-century masterpiece, turning his nine circles of hell – limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery – into levels that players must travel through, killing demons as they go. ‘It was the right moment to adapt this masterpiece of world literature for the universe of interactive gaming and to introduce Dante to a public who isn’t very familiar with his work of art,” the game’s executive producer Jonathan Knight told French newspaper Liberation (Gah – and I missed it. C)

”The tormented universe of the Italian poet represents an ideal basis for a third-person action-adventure game”.


Posted: 19th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

World’s First Excel Music Video: AC/DC

THE World’s First Excel Music Video, with AC/DC:

Posted: 18th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

Don’t Use Internet Explorer

DID you read the user guide that came with your edition of Microsoft internet explorer? Donytl bnother. Just use your time to install Firefox:

If the average computer user read the Microsoft security advisory about the Internet Explorer vulnerability – and you’d struggle to find it if you weren’t looking – you might be none the wiser about how serious this was, or what action you should take.

Microsoft Internet Explorer logoA long way down comes this line: “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user.” As far as I understand it, that means there is a real danger that Internet Explorer 7 users (and possibly users of other versions of IE) could be opening the door to cyber criminals to allow them to ransack the contents of your hard drive. In other words, it is a pretty serious situation.

Bill Gates is at number 43… below his lawyer…

Posted: 16th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comments (3)

The Palm Pistol: Equal Opportunity Murder

GOOD news for the equality opportunity movement as the Palm Pistol helps disabled people kill every bit as inefficiently as their able bodied peers.

The Palm Pistol is an ergonomically innovative single shot double action only defensive firearm chambered in 9mm that may be fired using either hand without regard to orientation of the stock.

Bedbound anti-Obamists can buy one.

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Posted: 6th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comments (4)

Ford Wins: James Bond Loses

IN Quantum of Solace, Bond drives a crappy Ford 4×4.

Chris Hafner gags on it

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Posted: 5th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

Mobile Phone Tells All About Congo Amputation By Text

VASCULAR surgeon David Nott is on the phone.

He is working 24-hour shifts for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Rutshuru, Congo.

Before him is a 16-year-old whose arm has been ripped off.

Mr Nott recalls:

“He was dying. He had about two or three days to live when I saw him.”

A forequarter amputation was required urgently to save the lad’. The surgeon must remove the collar bone and shoulder blade.

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Posted: 4th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

Turning On To Atomic Punk

TURNED on by atomic images and stuff? Well, there’s a group you can join:

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Posted: 4th, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

Yule Log ScreenSaver

NOVELTY yule log screensaver

Posted: 3rd, December 2008 | In: Technology | Comment (1)

The Hoss Fly


HERE at the L.A. Auto Show, all of the really, um, interesting stuff is downstairs in Ketia Hall, where the mongrels are kept away from the purebreds upstairs.

That’s where we found things like a Rolls Royce rollin’ on 30-inch rims, a Lamborghini Gallardo with an oppressively loud stereo and this, well, we’re not sure what this is. It’s called the Hoss Fly and it’s made by Boss Hoss, the company famous (or infamous, depending upon your point of view) for stuffing V8 engines into motorcycles and trikes.

Look out for Anorak’s new car site.

Posted: 29th, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comments (2)

CCTV To Predict Thought Crime

AS BASTARD Old Holborn puts it: “What the f*ck?”

CCTV cameras which can ‘predict’ if a crime is about to take place are being introduced on Britain’s streets. The cameras can alert operators to suspicious behaviour, such as loitering and unusually slow walking. Anyone spotted could then have to explain their behaviour to a police officer.

They’re bing trialled in Porstmouth. If it works thinking will be outlawed. That’s the police officer with the taser drawn and ready to fire it 0000.1 of a second after the crime has been actioned. Too late by then. Better the taser is fired before the crime.
But then there is the chance of human error, of a misfire, of the copper hitting the would-be victim and not the would-be felon, of hitting themself.
What’s required is for the CCTV to come equipped with a taser, and Britain’s law abiding joystick enthusiasts and gamers invited to aim and fire it.

Look out for Thinking Grand theft Auto: Thought Crime coming to a stocking this Christmas.

Come the revolution!!

Posted: 28th, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comments (3)

The New Paedo Porn Google Mobile App for iPhone

THE new Google Mobile App for iPhone. It’s terrific. You say what you are looking for in clear and loud voice and – hey presto! – it appears.

Anorak has been looking at the lastest news on Gary Glitter and paedophiles. “Peado. Glitter. Gary.”

Google has taken our search and revealed the news.

Old Mr Anorak stood on the table at his local trattoria, to get a better signal, and screamed: “Ping-pong. Thailand. Dart sex. Now.”

He now uses his iPhone to call for help from the cells in a central London hospital…

Posted: 24th, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

The Government’s Nigerian Porn Warehouse

DIZZY spots “Interesting news in the Telegraph this morning”:

It appears that the Government’s plan to have a large spam warehouse which will record the details of each mail we send and receive may never make it to the statute book by the time of the next election because of basic Parliamentary time constraints.

They’re watching:

Of course, that doesn’t mean it is being shelved but I would bet that it being kicked into the long grass simply because of the inevitable cost it would have and the fact that the Government has never delivered an IT project on time or on budget, thus committing to it and forcing it through may be a bit risky.

Having said this of course, the spam warehouse would only be monitoring the average bod. You’re average techie, hyper-criminal and terrorist will instead be encrypting all their mail with a 256 bit DSA key pair and sending and receiving across an IPSEC tunnel which goes via a server outside the scope and reach of the proposed system and using non-standard TCP ports for extra measure.

Perhaps someone has had a persuasive word in the ear of the Home Secretary and pointed out to her that her little scheme will just end up being a giant and completely unsearchable dump for porn traffic statistics and 419 scam source addresses an recipients?

Ah, porn and politics…

– Dizzy

Posted: 22nd, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

Social suicide – or how I think I might actually want to own a BlackBerry

There are many milestones in a man’s life. Like the day he discovers that Radio 2 actually has some good presenters who play good tunes as well as libel celebrity granddaughters. Or the moment when the clothes in Burton’s don’t just seem competitively priced and practical, but almost a bit cool. But for me the one I have been dreading has finally arrived. Yes I actually want to own a BlackBerry.

Over the last half decade I have smugly looked on at mates, work colleagues and randoms on buses whose lives are pretty much governed by those horrible little excuses for phones. Smug in the knowledge that, 1 I had a decent handset, usually a Nokia, 2, that my phone did all manner of wonderful things – like take amazing high quality pics and play back MP3s and, most crucially, 3, that I wasn’t checking my phone screen every three minutes in case my boss had emailed me.

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Posted: 17th, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comments (5)

Apple iPod touch reviewed

Posted: 17th, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comment

Your Virtual Japanese Tortured Girlfriend

VIA Boing Boing, this gem of a toy from Japan:

Dennou AR girlfriend. Feministing deems her a “virtual torture victim”; Gizmodo declares the 3D webcam hottie “entrancing, if a little perverted.”

A little perverted? NSFW:

Looking Up Girls’ Skirts In Japan

Posted: 14th, November 2008 | In: Technology | Comment (1)