Recently in Consumer Category

Next generation shiny plastic thing

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Charity What About the Children is warning about the risks of giving young children smartphones, the BBC has reported.It's down to mother's ignoring their infants. Here in the busy Downtime office, there's always a risk giving our corespondents another smartphone to look at. Let me see...shiny box...shiny slab of plastic and metal with some whiz monkey glass and a couple of buttons you can't use without a finger pick. It's not exactly out of this galaxy is it? So why do the smartphone companies ignore me?

Transformers director Michael Bay blooper at CES

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Samsung invited Transformers film director, Michael Bay, onto the stage to help plug their new curved UHD TV set at CES in Las Vegas. 

That's one invite Bay probably wished he had turned down.

The poor guy started to talk to the Samsung host, but lost his thread mid-sentence, stating that the Teleprompter had failed to deliver his lines. 

He decided to "wing it" but soon after had to exit the stage saying, ""Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

It makes excruciating viewing. Get ready to squirm your seat watching this video CNET posted on YouTube:

The embarrassed Bay then took to his blog saying:

"Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES - I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP's intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down - then I walked off. I guess live shows aren't my thing."

At least one good thing may come out of this, perhaps manufacturers will stop asking celebrities with absolutely no inside knowledge on technology to sing and dance around products on stage like performing monkeys at trade shows. 

BlackBerry and Alicia Keyes only last week decided to part ways, stating she will end her role as Creative Director in January. But something tells us that had nothing to do with hiring actual tech experts in the future and more to do with BlackBerry's dwindling bank balance. 
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Techy toilet trauma

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A techy toilet which is controlled via an Android app has a hardware flaw meaning that it can be controlled by any phone with the application.

The My Satis toilet, manufactured by Japanese firm Lixil and retailing at nearly four grand, allows the user to play music from their smartphone through speakers in the toilet base, as well as tracking the users bowl movements as a health check.

Other features including flushing, lifting the toilet seat and sprays can be controlled via the smartphone app.

But owners have now been warned that a flaw in the app's hardware could mean that the toilet could be open to attack.

Trustwave's Spiderlabs security experts have revealed that the pin code to connect the toilet to the app via Bluetooth for every model is set to 0000, and can not be reset. Any phone with the My Satis app could connect to the toilet.

The toilet uses bluetooth to receive instructions via the app, but the Pin code for every model is hardwired to be four zeros (0000), meaning that it cannot be reset and can be activated by any phone with the My Satis app, a report by reveals.

Just think of the mischief you could play with your mates loo?

I'm on the foam!

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It's a rare morning when Downtime does not need a large shot of caffeine to get us off to a productive start, but one coffee shop in Taiwan seems to have taken the idea of your own personalised Latte a step too far.

Let's Cafe, which operates coffee kiosks in the FamilyMart chain of convenience shops in the country, have devised a system where a customer can take a selfie on their smartphone and upload it to the machine, which then recreates the image on the coffee foam in brown, edible powder.


Apart from being perplexed at who on Earth is narcissistic enough to want to sip their own face from their morning Java, Downtime does recognise this as an excellent solution to the chaps at our local, generic coffee shop regularly misspelling our name, apparently mistaking us for an abbey from a popular ITV period drama.

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The iPhone coffee cup holder

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Ever found yourself in that unbearable situation where you just can't put your phone down to stop texting your friend, but you've just bought yourself a hot cup o' Joe. What do you do? Put your phone in your pocket so you can drink you Mocha? Precariously hold the plastic cup between your teeth while you finish your text? Or put your coffee down and let it go cold? 

Well, hopefully you won't need to worry for much longer as an iPhone case which also provides a perch for your brew is on the horizon - the Uppercup, at an ideal retail price of £21.

And it will surely be a big hit, until you get an important phonecall halfway through your message and you quickly lift the phone to your ear, only to hurl boiling hot java over your face!
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One-in-20 people use their mobiles during sex

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Yes, you read the headline right, more than half of people regularly use their mobile devices in bed, with 5% shockingly using their mobile while in the middle of having sex with their partner.*

Narly half check their social networks and emails on their mobile devices instead of listening to their partner, while 40% use their phones while sat on the toilet - please remember to wash your hands!

So apparently 45% of people admit that technology prevents them from ever truly switching off and relaxing in their spare time. Well we don't know about relaxing, but if there's a drop in birth rates next year, we can all blame the iPhone 5.

*Study conducted by UK technology manufacturer, Storage Options

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Ladies, have a floral kiss from Fujitsu

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Fujitsu have launched a personal laptop specifically designed for womankind.

Because of course every woman NEEDS a laptop sporting soft pastel colours, a pearl for an on/off button, diamantés as well as horoscope applications.

Well, the ladies in the Computer Weekly office don't actually know how they've lived and worked until now. Not to mention that the name "Floral Kiss" makes our low-calorie lunch of salad and water come back to say hello.

Available in feminine pink, elegant white and luxury brown.

floral kiss.jpg

Ultimate security, no paper or digital trail

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Hamm, the piggy bank in Toy Story, is a criminal mastermind. You all remember the part where he uses Etch, the Etch-A-Sketch, to formulate a plan to rescue Woody, right?

Well, now iPhone owners can formulate, sketch and erase notes, reminders, evil plans and doodles to their hearts content with the iFoolish magic drawing case. All whilst resting assured that it be completely erased in a matter of seconds. 

App versions of Etch-A-Sketch are readily available but they'll never be as much fun as having to slide the eraser backward and forward yourself. Downtime believes dexterity is very important. 

If you want to relive the good ol' days and do your best Neil Buchanan impersonation you can pick a case up from Mobile Fun


Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Does whatever a spider can. So apparently spiders can now transfer your data.

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Dane-Elec have transformed some of the most well known Marvel action heroes, including Spider-Man, into 4GB USB drives. 

They will soon be available, with a 5 year guarantee, for around £9.99. 

As if a Spider-Man USB memory stick didn't sell itself, Dane-Elec has added, "World renowned for his strength and unusual agility, Spider-Man easily stores all your data. This superhero will transport and protect your digital assets from harmful threats!"

The Green Goblin and cyber bugs alike must surely be quaking at the thought of Spider-Man putting his upside down kissing antics on the back burner as he instead focuses on protecting your excel spreadsheets. 

Spider-Man was even kind enough to swing by and say hello to Downtime. 


What a mug! Sip your beverage of choice with the aid of a hashtag

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Downtime is sure you, like us, wished buying presents for people was as easy as buying for a chocoholic. We know all too well that there are only so many pairs of socks you can buy for a person before they start harbouring genuine resentment toward you. 

This mug from ThumbsUpUK could be your saving grace, ticking a couple of boxes; it will appeal to tweetaholics as well as coffee and tea cravers. 

As for those who can't stop tweeting whilst also drinking a cuppa, well this will blow those socks you bought them for Christmas right off. 

It is certainly the most appealing hashtag we've seen in a while anyway. 

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