Tuesday, July 25, 2006

 

Monopoly goes Visa

One of the last safe havens of gold old fashioned self made man American dream type games has fallen victim to our digital age. The funmoney in monopoly is going to disappear and a credit card is replacing it. Parker is teaming up with Visa to "move with the times."

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/24/monopoly-ditches-cash-goes-plastic/

 

Writing on water with waves

Now this is very very clever. Synchronising wave machines in such a way as to control the shape of the water. Looks really weird. Take a look:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/25/researchers-using-waves-to-write-on-water/

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

 

Tree windmills

I love windturbines. I wrote my final thesis on the wind energy debate in the Netherlands. One of the major problems with windturbines is placing them in the landscape in a way that won't set everybody NIMBY-ing. Not sure whether this is the solution though, looks hidious to me. The painting is funny, though.

http://inhabitat.com/blog/2006/07/17/dutch-tree-windmills/

 

Standby to be outlawed

Once again a great villain has popped up. Wasting precious energy for no apparent reason. Put a stop to it, ban it, British politicians say. Bye, my dear standby button, now i'll have to walk over to the television again (or leave it permantly on).

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/14/tv-standby-buttons-to-be-outlawed/

 

Video Game Rehab

Yes another one of those good ideas that make my country look slightly ludricrous. Amsterdam's got it, video game rehab. I guess it can be a serious problem (more likely in Korea and China though), but Amsterdam had better focus on rehabilitation of some other addicts before they turn to video game addiction.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/15/rehab-center-for-video-game-addicts-opens-in-amsterdam/

 

Cooking eggs on a Macbook

These is the kind of weird tech news I started this blog for. Sure, i SAY Macbooks are getting so hot you could cook an egg on it, but somewhere out there there's always a guy that will try it. He succeeded.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/17/cooking-an-egg-on-a-macbook/

 

Robosapien flamethrower

Now robots are becoming more and more human like lately. The latest 'perfectly sensible' thing they copied of human behaviour is the ability to set things and other people on fire instantly. Well maybe it'll find its uses in the BBQ department.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/17/make-your-robosapien-into-a-flamosapien/

 

LED Pong hat

I love classic games. I used to play Space Invaders on my Atari 2600 for ever and ever. Pong is THE classic game. Too bad they had to fit on an incredibly ugly hat. Ugghhh.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/17/the-led-pong-hat/

 

Smart bikini

Another infosthetics post. A happy marriage of modern technology and sexy clothing this time. Helps monitor the amount of UV light and it can also be fitted with color changing beads to show the level of UV.

http://infosthetics.com/archives/2006/07/uv_meter_smart_bikini.html

 

Equalizer T-shirt

Back from some bike riding in Denmark, I was checking out some sites and I came across this infoaesthetics post on reactive graphics on t-shirts. This technology will probably be put to other uses quite quickly i presume. Reactive, ambient technologies and wearable displays... i see loads of possibilities.

http://infosthetics.com/archives/2006/07/t-qualizer_equalizer_tshirt.html

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

 

Terrible Medgadget Top Ten

Medgadget published a list with the ten worst medical gadget ideas they came across in 2006. Great fun.

http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2006/06/top_10_worst_me_1.html

 

Tundra Toilet

There are problems in this world that you haven't ever thought of, till you're told they are solved. One of these problems is going to the toilet in very very cold conditions, very far away from any sewage system. Apparently, Native American tribes in Alaska have been suffering from such problems, resulting in health problems. But not anymore, thanks to the Tundra Toilet.

http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2006/06/tundra_toilets.html

 

Mind reading computers

Reuters reports that computers may soon become aware of our emotions. Scientists from Cambridge University are working on systems that can read your facial movements and thus extract what you're thinking and adjust the reactions of the computer accordingly. Name one use of this? Selling you more stuff, of course.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/ptech/06/26/mind.reading.pcs.reut/index.html

 

RFID checks on the bartender

RFID is rapidly becoming a technocrat's solution to every problem imaginable. Bartenders tend to give away a free drink once in a while. I never viewed that as a problem, but apparently some people do mind giving away 7 billion on free drinks. So they're installing RFID in spouts, adding some readers and some software and voila, the fun is taken out of bartending.

http://www.primidi.com/2006/06/25.html#a1552

 

Hurricane Machine

Looking at my room, my mom used to say that it looked like a hurricane just passed. But that's nothing compared to what this testing facility that generates hurrican scale winds can do. It flattens houses to find the best ways to build homes so the can withstand these extreme conditions.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5109844.stm

 

Migraine zapper

If it were only for the sound of that word, zapper (and i mean, zzzzzzzzzapper) you've got to love it. And if you don't love the sound of that word, cause frankly you've got this splitting headache that makes any sound, even zapper, too much, then you'll probably love this migraine zapper instead.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/23/migraine-zapper-stops-headaches-before-they-start/

 

Baseball Cap Remote Control

Now, this is one to use when you're annoyed or you're looking to annoy. This baseball cap sport sufficient electronics to turn a tv off. Your sister's, neigbour's, (girl)friend's tv, anybody's tv. Turn it off and keep it turned off. Ah, finally peace and quite, till they find out it's you, of course.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/23/tv-b-gone-baseball-hat/

 

Robo Commentators

It won't be long and the entire world cup will be run by robots. Of course there are robots playing the beloved game and there are robots doing the surveillance work. But now robots are providing the commentary as well.
What's next? Millions of robot viewers world wide? Robot fans? Robot hooligans?

http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17006&ch=infotech

Friday, June 23, 2006

 

Swiss army knife couch

A classic example of a good-idea-transplant. The knife works, very versatile, very well known, why not turn it into a couch then. You can flick out, well flick, shove more likely, some extra seating space. Now we only have to wait for an upgraded edition with can opener, scissors, cork screw, saw, a knife, another knife, yet another (but shorter) knife, etc.

http://www.furnitureseen.com/SF/Swiss_Knife_Seating_Unit.html#

 

Interesting stains from mugs

Sure, everybody's seen those square mugs with the corny comments on them, but this beverage holding technological improvement may actually have a future. Find a problem, find a solution, success guaranteed. The problem is ring marks on a table, the solution is an intricate shape. I see a big future, coasters are so passe.

http://www.cooking-gadgets.com/coffee-cup-stamps/

 

Privacy enhancing computer sock

Is it comfortable? Probably not. Does it make you look good? Not a chance. Will it safeguard your privacy? Well, yes and no. Sure, innocent bystanders can't see your screen, but those same innocent bystanders will be wondering what you're watching and why you're so keen not to let anybody else see. So they might start treating you as if it you're watching the worst things imaginable. That can hardly be what you want. Besides, how hard is it to steel the wallet from a guy who's head is stuck in a sock. Not very.

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/scarf-for-technoaddict-dorks-182572.php

 

Giving the finger in the digital age

This was bound to pop-up sooner or later. A digital instrument to tell your fellow motorists just how you feel about them. Share your deep thoughts and profound emotions. How poetic.

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/give-em-the-hightech-finger-with-drivemocion-182690.php

 

Robo guards at World Cup

Now humans are lazy by nature. Humans also like to watch a game of soccer. So the last thing a human would want to be doing is surveillance work during, say, Argentina - Brazil at the World Cup. Therefore it is only logical that we leave that job to a robot.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/22/robots-on-guard-duty-at-world-cup/

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

Video game merit badges

I've always wanted to be a boy scout, but i couldn't rip myself away from my Atari 2600, NES, SNES, Dreamcast, Playstation 1, 2 (i dread the Wii). But now i can combine the two. Finally no more feelings of guilt over a squandered youth, cause here are video game merit badges.

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/06/19/video-game-merit-badges-tetris-is-the-new-archery/

 

Stone Henge Watch

Do you want to tell local, i mean really local, time. Want to predict summer AND winter solstices? Then you've got to get this stone henge watch. Can't resist that nice pre-historic feel.

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/stonehenge-pocket-watch-181939.php

 

Robo worm

So you've got a (Sony) robo dog, a (Honda) robo man and maybe you've even got that robo girlfriend. But have you got a Robo worm, do you? Well Chuo University in Japan produced one. And it's multi-purpose, geology, fishing (boring) but also inside your very own body. And maybe it can even be used to dislodge I-pods from sewage pipes.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/20/l-a-county-testing-unmanned-surveillance-drones/

 

Surveillance drones coming to a police station near you

I isn't your typical Robocop, it actually isn't very much at all. But it flies and if it cathes them darn criminals, we're all going to be so so happy (and don't you fear this insane Big Brother notion).

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/20/l-a-county-testing-unmanned-surveillance-drones/
http://www.primidi.com/2006/06/17.html

Well, the drones were coming to a police station near you, that is, untill the FAA caught up with them:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/22/l-a-drone-grounded-disciplinary-action-possible/

Monday, June 19, 2006

 

Sex with robot

Now this would probably be a dream come true. For Some. Not me. Smartmobs refers to a Sunday Times article on a "code of ethics for robots". Boundaries for human-robot interaction must be set, the article argues, cause robots could for instance become sexy in the not so distant future (five years). So what are we looking at here? Robots with clip-on covers? So you can "do" your imaginary Britney today and Angelina tommorrow? Uggh.

http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2006/06/18/no_sex_please_.html

 

I'll rip the head of your Teddybear-stick-thing

Maybe it's a gadget for wannabe James Bond's, maybe it's a cruel gift for your kid sister (ripping the heads of your little sisters teddy is not very nice, you know), but nobody can argue that this USB-stick doesn't come in some extraordinary packaging. And doesn't it look cool when it's plugged into your computer.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/18/usb-teddy-bear-holds-data-scares-children/

Friday, June 16, 2006

 

I-pod cloughs toilets

A pink I-pod mini caused a huge problem at Santa Clara University. It was accidentally dropped in a toilet and got stuck in the pipes, blocking sewage flow. Maintenance crews and independent contractors had a lot of trouble getting the "indestructable" device out, because the I-pod got stuck again several times having moved only a couple of meters. Eventually all toilets where flushed simultaneously to force the I-pod out. It moved into another pipe. Pressuring that pipe caused geisers from second floor toilets, but also, finally, pushed the I-pod out. The girl that dropped the I-pod wasn't fined, it is unknown whether the I-pod survived.

http://www.nbc11.com/news/9364784/detail.html

 

Robot Soccer

Oh yes, the world cup, four weeks of absolute bliss (for some, anyhow). Three matches a day, re-runs, analyses etc. But if that's not enough for you - you'd be an addict of course - the Robocup 2006 is on as well. Not that I am very pleased, our cute Dutch Aibo's got trashed 10-0 by Newcastle. I wonder whether German robots also always score the winner in the last minute?

http://www.robocup2006.org/start?lang=en

 

Jetpowered Toyota

Now you can't say you don't want one. Who doesn't want a jetpowered car? I know it's a Toyota, but an MR2 isn't half bad and you couldn't subject a Ferrari to this, right. Sacrilegeous.

http://techabsorbed.com/News/Unique-Projects/Jet-Powered-Car.html

 

Tired? Having trouble sleeping? Ask dr. Pillow

Lofty has come up with a pillow that measures the times you move around your head while sleeping. Based on this highly valuable data, the pillow calculates whether you had a good night's sleep and, if you haven't, it advises you to take a couple of naps. "Yes, boss, you did catch me napping on the job, but, hey, my pillow told me so."

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/14/japanese-pillow-offers-napping-advice/
http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2006/06/lofty_pillow_he.html

 

Fight Club: Nerds Only!

Wired.com reports of a fight club for nerds. If you're a software engineer in Silicon Valley you might want to enter Gentlemen's Fight Club. Purely for finding out whether you - being a nerd - can actually defend yourself.

http://blog.wired.com/fightclub/

 

Gaming worse than SARS?

If you want to stay healthy, don't go to Korea. After Sars and Bird Flu, addiction to gaming is spreading at an allarming rate, Joystiq.com reports. Apparently about 1.000.000 people are displaying severe symptoms of addiction. Never mind the job, never mind the girl friend and who really cares about personal hygiene when you can play computergames all day.

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/06/15/gaming-plague-sweeps-south-korea-at-least-1-million-infected/

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

 

Shooting Clouds

Why doesn't my government have a Weather Modification Office. The Chinese have got it, and their office is planning to shoot the clouds out of the sky during the Beijing Olympics in 2012 using rockets, artillery and aircraft. The first politician that promises to bring that technology over here, will get my vote.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/06/05/china.rain/index.html

 

Dutch Trains Slipping

Trains rolling into the city of Leeuwarden have been having trouble stopping lately. Due to slippery rails four trains have crashed through buffers in one month, according to Het Friesch Dagblad. What is causing this? Well, crap really. Dutch Railways have a solution to the sliding trains. From now on toilets in trains waiting to depart will be closed.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

 

First Post

What i intend to do here is post short articles on weird, cool, shocking or fun technology.

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