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Robot sibling rivalry

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An ARM-Powered robot will soon attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest time solving a Rubik's cube.

The robot, which is named The CUBESTORMER 3, uses an ARM-powered Samsung Galaxy S4 in order to analyse the Rubik's cube and instruct on how next to turn the cube.

Unfortunately, the record is likely to spark a family feud as the previous record of 5.27 seconds is held by the robot's predecessor the CubeStormer II.

"We are very confident the robot will break the record," said Dominic Vergine, head of corporate responsibility at ARM, "The new robot can think three times faster than its older brother."

The record attempt will take place at the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday March 15.

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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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Turkey or technology? - The Christmas dilemma

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Picture the scene: you're sitting at the dining table on Christmas Day and you're faced with a tough decision. Turkey, or technology?

According to a survey by What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, 49% of UK adults would ditch the Christmas poultry in favour of TV, mobiles and surfing the net.

Not everyone is lacking in Christmas spirit though, as 27% of those surveyed couldn't live without a juicy turkey and 23% admitted that they couldn't have a Christmas without presents.

Andy Clough, brand editor at What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, said: "The fact that many would be willing to trade the traditional turkey and even presents for tech once again indicates that we are a nation of technology addicts."

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Scottish red kites start writing a blog

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Scotland has tagged red kites with satellite tracking information which sends their positionings to a computer six times a day. Combined with information on weather, habitat and landscape, it builds up a story of the birds lives in the form of a blog.

The Blogging Birds project is part of a collaboration between computer and environmental scientists at the University of Aberdeen and conservationists at the RSPB, but the blog itself has no input from human fingers.

A programme called Natural Language Generation" generates written language from the satellite information, which is written up in a blog post format.

Just as well really, we think the birds will be more concern about their fight against extinction than updating their Tumblr and Blogger account six times a day.

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?

The development of lingerie technology: The clap-off bra

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Some real gent out there has decided to create a piece of technology that Joey Tribbiani would be proud of... the clap-off bra.



After discovering that countries like Syria were much more advanced in lingerie technology, this entrepreneur felt it was his duty to bring electric undergarments to the West. 

Just two claps and the circuit boards, nuts and bolts get to work - *ping* - get your coat love you've pulled.

Just perhaps not the best bra to choose if you're the leading keynote at the next Microsoft developer conference

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Zombie bird robotics

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A Frankenstein-wannabe has worked with a team of engineering students and a taxidermist to raise a bird from the dead.

The American Scientist used robotics to operate the wings of a deceased swamp sparrow in order to study the aggressive behaviour of the male. The study concluded that wing-flapping was a sign of male aggression

According to the BBC, the team used Picaxe computer chips and a linear motor which fitted inside the cavity of the sparrow.

The resurrection was completed on a budget of just under £1,000, but the bird's head eventually fell off after two months of attacks from the living and breathing creatures in society.

Zombie 101 - decapitation or destroying the brain is the simplest way to kill a zombie.

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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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iPotty - waterproof accessory for the iPad

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At CES in Las Vegas this year, there was a varied amount of weird and wonderful technology being showcased, but the iPotty has to be up there with one of the strangest.

CTA Digital, which manufacturers accessories for iPads and Kindles, had a potty training contraption fits your iPad onto a child's toilet.

So, effectively it is a giant iPad stand on which you child sits while trying to do its business. Apparently children like to be occupied while potty training, so this means that a parent can distract a child with a smartphone device without having to hold it with their own hands.

Additionally, the part of the plastic potty that holds the iPad has a touch-screen protector, just in case your child misses.

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Gizoogling

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Downtime has found itself with more time on its hands than usual this week, mainly as we wait for much of our work to be returned with Hugh Grant's approval, but fortunately we stumbled across an ideal outlet for time-wasting.

www.Gizoogle.net

Running the address of any webpage through it instantly returns the page translated into the slang of instant messenger and that of Snoop Dogg's (or Lion or Mountain Lion or whatever it is he has upgraded to, these days) MTV show "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle".

Some of our favourite bits included the new take it gave to the Leveson stories, which Downtime feels was far more succinctly summed up with the following excerpts:

Dizzy Cameron, Nick Da Clogg n' Ed Millipede kicked it wit fo' talks on Thursdizzle evenin yo, but there is profound differences which is ghon be hard as f**k ta overcome.

Mista Muthaf**kin Cameron holla'd he broadly welcomed Lord Justice Leveson's principlez ta chizzle tha current system. But he holla'd: "Our thugged-out asses should be wary of any legislation dat has tha potential ta infringe free rap n' tha free press."

Turning the Gizoogle filter on our own body of work proved just as entertaining, although one member of the team was less than impressed with being given a new, though far more street, byline.

Downtime apologies to its mother and all other offended parties for the bad language used in this post.

snoop-camz-more-malice.jpg

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