September 2012 Archives

Virtually find Nemo with help from Google

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Underwater panoramic images were added to Google Street Maps today as part of a scientific study of the world's reefs with The Catlin Seaview Survey

Specially designed underwater cameras, SVII, were used to capture these photos and bring them to the public who don't need to put one toe in the water.


Beautiful, sharp images from under the sea will allow anyone from scuba instructor to fish tank owner to find Nemo and all of his friends in Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii. 

Let's see how Apple manages with its own version, will it perhaps try "swim under" instead of "flyover"? If Apple were to copy this, let's hope it doesn't mess this up - we could be led down a fast current to meet some "totally awesome" sea turtles, or we could find ourselves in a scene from Jaws.

Personal Identification Numpties

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It is not just the technology world that writes continuously about the need for a safe password for your online accounts and hard to guess combination for your mobile phone.

However, despite press and experts barraging the public from all angles with warnings of what could happen if you make it too easy for criminals to work out your protections, many people just won't listen.

This was proved again today when a report from Data Genetics showed one in nine people use the PIN '1234' for their bank cards. This is despite the fact there are over 10,000 combinations someone with a bank card could use.

If this statistic is true, that means around five million people in the UK are using the pathetic combination to protect their cash. FIVE MILLION!

Sometimes you just deserve to have your money stolen.

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When social media marketing goes bad

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Waitrose, a prolific user on Twitter to engage its followers, stumbled upon a problem with its latest innovative and "down with the kids" marketing campaign. The supermarket asked Twitter followers to fill in the blank.


And did its followers rise to the challenge. Unfortunately for the posh supermarket, Twitter users responded in a rather "snobby" way. And of course, thanks to the notorious, retweet button, the whole thing went viral.

Have a look at Computer Weekly's favourite tweets from when social media marketing goes bad.


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The Instagram Song will cure your addiction

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Ever get the feeling the world is increasingly appearing though a nostalgic sepia haze? And are the borders of your life getting more and more blurred?

It's possible you have a severe case of Instagramitis.

Downtime recommends an immediate course of the Instagram Song (Put a Filter on Me), twice a day for two months.

Unless, that is you, want to share the same fate of the girl in this video who ends up in jail with a heroin-addicted prison wife all because of her over-use of the app.

But hey, in Instagram everything seems less grim!

DNA database crunching reveals Richard III died in car park brawl

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It is amazing what a bit of high tech scanning and database DNA crunching can do these days.

It has revealed that the Royals haven't changed in hundreds of years. Prince Harry is the latest royal to be seen enjoying his position a bit too much. Harry was caught out partying naked with fellow revellers in Las Vegas.  But it seems even Richard III was not shy to get into a drunken brawl. A skeleton believed to be those of the notorious child killer through DNA analysis has been found under Leicester council's car park. What else apart from a drunken brawl could cause death in a car park?

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Apple prices set to rise as industry predicts worst crop for 15 years

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For one member of the Computer Weekly team, mixing interests on Twitter bought about a confusing lead for a news story.

While using the social media platform, the unsuspecting CW bod thought they had a whiff of an Apple-related story after reading the following tweet:


iPhone 5 prices rising?!? After closer inspection of the tweet it was clear that it was from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and about the much-loved fruit rather than the technology company.
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Meet the naffest superhero of all time

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If you thought Skateman was one of the worst superheroes of all time, you obviously haven't met Printerman. Well technically he isn't a superhero, more of a villain.

Printerman is the brainchild of Bytes Document Solutions, the same company who brought you this delightful video of people smashing up printers.  

Apparently Printerman is to blame for every single documented and undocumented printer-related error, be it a paper jam, error message or toner problem. 

In this video you can see the devious little sod running around the streets of London causing havoc, quite distressing really. 

Downtime actually has a script in development for a new superhero-come-biopic movie, Bloggerman. 

It's about a guy who sits around in his underpants all day (just like a proper superhero), occasionally venturing from the sofa to his computer, typing up thrilling blogs that hundreds of thousands of readers flock to see. Based on a true story, kind of. 

Boris' fantastic 4G faux pas

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Boris Johnson made a surprise appearance at a press conference in London's Science Museum this morning. The press conference was for Everything Everywhere to announce the roll out of 4G across the UK as well as its rebranding to EE.


BoJo made a hilarious speech to declare London's networks "switched on". Not before rambling on about how well the mobile networks coped with the extra demand during the Olympics.

He didn't stop there.

He specifically went on to thank EE's competitor, Vodafone, along with further thanks to BT.

Awkward Boris, awkward. I don't think you should expect an invite to EE's Chirstmas party after that.

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Wives of Computer Weekly readers rejoice we're no longer in print

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Until recently Downtime had rarely spared too much thought for the wives of Computer Weekly's readers. Just of late though, one of the Downtime team  was asked for a contact number, by the local church, and so handed over their business card explaining that it had their name and personal mobile included.

The lady that they handed it to immediately said: "Oh no, you don't work for Computer Weekly do you?" Puzzled, Downtime said yes and asked why she sounded so negative. "Oh no it's not the content," she said. "My husband gets Computer Weekly and we have a huge stack of them that get in my way and make my house look untidy."

We assured her of the fact that Computer Weekly is now an online publication only. Many of our readers were disappointed to learn we have ceased to print the publication, but this Computer Weekly reader's wife was relieved to hear she will never see another copy of the magazine messing up her hallway.

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3D printing gives Fisher Price record player new lease of life

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Toy Record Player

Toy Record Player (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

Any kid who was anyone had one of the Fisher Price record players built in the 1970s. With a quick wind-up, you could choose from your array of vinyls - ok, plastics - and blast out - ok, churn out - such classics as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Frere Jacques.

As the ghetto blaster became dominant and cheap enough to buy for children to mess about with during the 1980s, the Fisher Price toy was put in the loft and never seen again... until now.

The new technology on the block, 3D printing, has breathed life into the old toy and enabled an inventor to find a way to create new records for the machine.  

Fred27 has created software which picks out the relevant notes for a simplified version of your favourite tunes and works out what pin points need to be on a record for the player to pick it up.  

He is offering it as a free download but you will need to invest in the 3D printer to be able to make your dream records become a reality.

Having just saved one of these record players from the hands of parents moving house and binning all the kids' toys, this is definitely an investment Downtime is willing to make.

Now, what first, Metallica or Slayer?

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2012 is the previous archive.

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