Google invent time machine

April 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 300x168 Google invent time machineStalker’s delight Google Street View has become a TIME MACHINE.

Well, not literally.

However, the occasionally handy tool for checking out houses, job locations and vibes in particular areas, has now added a facility where you can see what the street looked like in actual yore (well, 2007 to be more precise).

Google Street View is now seven years old. I know! Time actually does fly.

In a post on the official Google blog, Google Street View product manager Vinay Shet said:

“If you’ve ever dreamt of being a time traveller like Doc Brown, now’s your chance.

Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop”.

“Now with Street View, you can see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York city or the 2014 World Cup stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil” continued Shet.

Don’t all rush at once though, as these things tend to be, the service is being gradually rolled out.

Google are also dead keen on a new algorithm that will identify house numbers, as so to help searches be more precise.

And then at that point, Google will grow sentient and probably enslave us all before dining on the galaxy.

WOOH HEY!

No more blur promises fancy camera

April 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

zzzz54 300x180 No more blur promises fancy cameraA fancy new camera looks set to end blurring and the like. The Lytro Illum, will take ‘living pictures’ and will allow users to refocus their photos after taking them.

No more pictures that look like you’ve been infected by that ghoul from The Ring!

Lytro’s Illum camera resembles normal mirror-less cameras like Sony’s NEX cameras, but uses the company’s new 40-megaray light field sensor instead of a traditional camera sensor. The light field sensor captures the colour, intensity and direction of every light ray charging into the camera, rather than simply the colour and intensity of the light hitting a traditional camera’s sensor.

We’ve all been badly hurt by light simply hitting a traditional sensor, haven’t we?

So, the result of which is a digital image that can be refocused afterwards, using the light field information to recreate the image focused on a single point. Nerdgasm.

The Lytro Illum features an 8x optical zoom lens, with a fast shutter speed and a constant f/2.0 aperture, which ensures a high level of light enters the lens for clear photos.

Lytro is hoping that its new Illum camera, which is available for pre-order for an introductory price of $1,499 (£890!) for shipping in July, will offer enough to entice photographers to ditch their smartphones and digital SLRs and embrace light field technology where the company’s first generation Lytro camera failed.

Seriously though. The whole phone/camera thing is played out. GET A BLOODY PROPER CAMERA, YOU OH-SO-IMPORTANT DILETTANTES. Then you can go back to taking pictures of the dog. Sadly, the Lytro Illum hasn’t found the solution to making you look sexy in selfies.

Kraftwerk: for beauty we will ebay

April 18th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

zzzz53 300x218 Kraftwerk: for beauty we will ebayKraftwerk are having a bit of a clear out.

Robot-fetishists and all round geniuses Kraftwerk have been clearing out their old German studio, and bunged a load of kit on eBay.

So now – AT LAST! – you can get your hands on a Vermona Digital Rhythm Machine Drum Midi, a Analogue Solutions Europa 17 Track Midi Sequencer or even a Vikinx Network Analog Audio Matrix 64×64 Stereo Symmetric, all for the price of your next few months rent.

The more bargain conscious fan can get a Yamaha WX-7 Wind Controller Electronic Saxophone. But really, saxophones are vile at the best of times. An electronic one can only be worse than famine.

The page can be found here on German eBay.

Kraftwerk themselves can probably be found performing in an art gallery somewhere being all 3D and amazing.

Glass war on the streets of San Francisco

April 15th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google glass Glass war on the streets of San FranciscoGoogle Glass wearers are being attacked on the streets, according to CNN. And why not, you may ask, if someone is willing to waltz about with a grands worth of computer on their head?

It seems that where once before, you’d have your phone and you’d slip it in your bag or pocket and no one would be the wiser, going around with the device on your face is a bit more obvious.

Also, you’d be a bit narked if someone pointed a camera at you, so that narkiness would only exacerbate when someone wearing the Glass is staring at you, seeing as it has built-in video and web capabilities.

As only a few people have them at the moment, it is seen as a symbol of an affluent elite. They may as well be wearing fur or something, the ponces.

It’s starting to drive San Francisco a bit mad. Where once it was all bumming and car chases, Silicon Valley has encroached itself onto the city to drive the rents up and alter its character. Some people are obviously a bit ‘Glass War’ about this, and so spotting a poltroon wandering around with hi-tech gadgetery on their head has become something of a new sport. Even going as far as calling them Glassholes.

WE SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

Most of the anti-tech attacks have focused on big-name companies such as Google and Twitter and the private bus systems that ferry their employees from the city to various corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley.

But individual employees are increasingly being targeted, with protesters picketing in front of the home of Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg and now a partner with Google Ventures. The protesters claimed his group, which helps Google decide which start-ups to invest money in, has helped to inflate prices in the city.

America eh? Still, hold tight UK. We’ve got it all to come.

Charge your phone in 30 seconds!

April 11th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

zzzw2 300x216 Charge your phone in 30 seconds!Smartphone battery life – it’s a bugger isn’t it? One minute you’re all charged up and on fire. The next your entire world is about to collapse.

Well, it looks like that will soon be a thing of the past, as a company named StoreDot has created a prototype battery charger, which they reckon will be bring charging time down to 30 seconds.

30 SECONDS. Amazing.

The company, which hailed from the nanotechnology department at Tel Aviv University, has developed its prototype for the Samsung Galaxy S4, and has plans to adapt the technology to other phones.

The prototype still involves a charging device, the main change is the battery itself.

StoreDot has been developing biological semiconductors, made from naturally occurring compounds called peptides – a compound created by two or more linked amino acids – which is used in the battery to reduce charging time.

The technology was unveiled at Microsoft’s Think Next conference in Tel Aviv, and while the prototype is bulky, the makers say it plans to create a smaller version of it before it’s commercially produced.

However there’s still going to be something of a wait, as the makers plan to go into production in late 2016, with no actual confirmed date for when the product will be released.

Still, the future eh? Looks like it’s going to happen at some point! Hurrah!

New USB will change life forever

April 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Rejoice! The USB has been redesigned! We told you a while ago about the modern miracle of new USBs, and the new connector will be reversible, which is good news if your sunny disposition is otherwise ruined by not being able to stick it in correctly.

Look at it right there. Life already feels so different now.

zxzxzx1 500x281 New USB will change life forever

It is hoped that designs will be finalised and with us by July, however manufacturers will still have to get around to incorporating them into their products.

The new Type-C standard will be similar in size to the current MicroUSB connector, typically used for charging mobile phones and cameras.

The first USB cables were released in the mid-1990s and, until now, could only be plugged into a computer or other device one way round to ensure a data connection.

Other improvements to the new cable include support for data speed transfers of up to 10 gigabits per second and a promise that the new design will accommodate further upgrades.

Google’s smart thermostat, Nest, is upon us

April 2nd, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

nest 300x270 Googles smart thermostat, Nest, is upon usEver found yourself shouting “YOU’RE SUCH AN IDIOT!” at your thermostat? Well, good news because Nest - bought by Google for £2bn – is launching their smart thermostat in the UK.

According to the company, Nest will learn how you use the heating in your home, thereby saving your energy and reducing your bills. Nest have other smart products as well. Last month, they released a fire alarm that knows the difference between you burning your toast to your sofa being ablaze.

Maybe Nest will kit out entire houses and have them voiced by Pierce Brosnan which will seduce you while you’re in the bath?

Nest has been selling well in the States, with 1 million of them flying off the shelves, with our American cousins apparently saving 20% on their heating bills. Of course, with our Big Six refusing to help us out with our bills, it looks like we’ll have to go elsewhere in a bid to get our outgoings down. However, the bad news in that respect is that Nest have partnered up with Npower, which means some of you will have trust issues.

Lionel Paillet, Nest’s general manager for Europe, said their gizmo isn’t like the other smart-thermostats: ”It’s comparing apples and oranges. The Nest thermostat is really learning, it knows your preferences, it helps you keep comfortable, not sacrificing your comfort for energy savings.”

“You don’t have to programme it – programmes are cumbersome and don’t really work. The more you use it, the more it learns,” added Paillet.

Nest is on sale today and will set you back £180 on its own, or, if you want it installed, £250.

Superhero outfits now more super!

March 27th, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

zxzxzx3 300x300 Superhero outfits now more super!Do you like dressing up as a superhero? Would you like a superhero suit with some special powers other than the slightly unsavoury ones you get up to in said suit?

Perv.

Well then, hurrah all round, as Marvel have teamed up with Morph Costume Co to launch a range of interactive outfits! The suits – based on Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain America or Deadpool – now come with an augmented reality app.

And, get this, the costumes also have an augmented reality add-on, which means that they have ‘built-in super powers’ if you purchase the associated smartphone app.

Morphsuits co-founder Gregor Lawson said: “Creating Marvel costumes has long been a dream of ours and they are easily the most popular requests from our fans – we’ve had over 50,000 searches for Spider-Man alone on our website.

“So when the opportunity arose we wanted to make sure they were the best costumes ever produced and that’s what we have achieved. We have added augmented reality markers that bring super powers to life – enabling wearers to virtually sling webbing from Spider-Man’s hands, fire repulsors from Iron Man’s palms or unleash Wolverine’s Adamantium claws. We haven’t quite cracked invincibility, Spidey senses or accelerated healing yet, but we’re working on it.”

LET’S SEE THESE GARMENTS IN ACTION!

Actually amazing.

It’s going to make your next Fathers For Justice protest or potential sex-ups quite an experience. However festival season may become even more intolerable.

ZXZZZZX5 300x195 Facebook buy Oculus and makes all the nerds cryRemember virtual reality? It was the most 1992 thing on Earth aside from Global Hypercolor t-shirts and 2 Unlimited.

Well anyway, it’s become a big enough thing for Facebook to splash out $2 billion on, as the company today acquired Oculus VR, the Oculus Rift headset hitmakers.

It is thought that Facebook will broaden Oculus’ reach and move towards areas of communication and media.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said: ”Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, and will close in the second quarter of 2014.

Oculus Rift is set to be released later in the year, and will probably get its skates on after news today of Sony developing a VR headset to work with PlayStation 4.

Looks like internet hippies will be crying into their laps about all this, as a lot of them were excited about Oculus, but hate Facebook. The future eh?

Motorola are about to properly launch their new smart watch. The Moto 360 is a round smart watch running on Android Wear and they’re very excited about the shape of it because watches are supposed to be circular, not square, right?

According to the company, the 360 will allow you to see alerts with a twist of the wrist, which sounds all very modern doesn’t it? Not great it you’re making a cup of tea or giving someone the Vs.

Other than a video about feelings, there’s not an awful lot more information about the 360 so far, except that it will be available to buy this Summer.

If it’s cheaper than Apple’s planned wearable technology, expect to see this being worn solely by social media executives who use it to send messages to their mums, asking to borrow money for the rent.

E-cig makes calls and plays music

February 20th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

e cigarette E cig makes calls and plays musicRemember in the olden days when people smoked cigarettes made out of leaves and paper? Now, of course, everyone – including children – smoke robot cigarettes made from wires and glass tubes.

Even those look a bit old fashioned now as someone has come up with an e-cig that does everything but wipe your hole.

A company called Supersmoker have made an e-cigarette which is also a Bluetooth headset AND something that can stream MP3s from a smartphone. Presumably you can set it up so it plays ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes while you’re having a toot at a bus stop.

The company excitedly shriek: ”World first! In 2007, we introduced the first electronic cigarette in the world; 7 years later, we are changing the world of electronic smoking for good with the first Supersmoker that can be used to make calls and receive via Bluetooth and play music via the built-in microphone!”

It’ll cost you 80 Euro, which is around £65, to have a pretend cigarette that can sing to you. If you’re at all interested, visit supersmokerbluetooth.

Samsung Galaxy Tab multiview h1 300x198 Samsung want you to do away with your PC and have a Tab or two insteadRumour has it, that Samsung are going to launch the Galaxy S5 at the ‘Unpacked’ event later this month.

It’ll be the Samsung that has a curved screen and it seems that there’ll be two versions to get your hands on. It has been much muttered about and there’s a lot of noise about them swapping the Amoled screen for an LCD one instead.

Further rumours state that the device will have a 16 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera with Snapdragon, as well as an improved processor. They won’t be having something that scans the iris of your eye though.

So what are Samsung up to? Well, while many – notably Apple – are talking about a world where there are no desktop PCs, Samsung are joining suit and releasing a load of products that aim to replace notebooks, desktops and laptops. Their new products – the new Galaxy TabPro and the Galaxy NotePro – show that they think the future lies in having a load of tablets and related devices.

The new tablets go on sale at the end of this February and the beginning of March and the high-end versions of the new products will have a large 12.2-inch display. Seems like a gamble as previous attempts at releasing huge tablets didn’t go down too well at all. Samsung are betting that the more tabs they release, the better.

The new devices will be fitted with Office-esque programs that work on Android (called Hancom Office) and they’ll, for the most part, be compatible with their Microsoft counterparts.

Are Samsung correct that we’re all moving toward a solely touchscreen world or are they jumping the gun? Are offices going to start binning off all their desktops in favour of giant tablets? Seems unlikely.

Feel the need? The need for STEED?

February 4th, 2014 5 Comments By Ian Wade

Ever taken a ride on a bicycle and thought “hey, I like this getting around on two wheels lark, but I wish there was a way of enhancing the experience somewhat”?

Then HELP IS AT HAND with Trotify.

Trotify describes itself as ‘a delightful addition to any bicycle for a rider who likes a touch of whimsy. Simply attach the wooden device to the front of your bike. As your front wheel spins, it mimics the sound of a horse trotting’.

Oh yes, this is a thing now.

If this sounds like your nosebag, take a canter along to Trotify.com where you can order one, and perhaps some mugs and a tote too.

It’s the year of the horse after all.

Apple – Size IS everything

January 31st, 2014 6 Comments By Ian Wade
iphone5c header 300x246 Apple   Size IS everything

some iphones recently

It’s all go with Apple this year, as they’re planning on not only launching two new larger iPhones this year, but look like they’re going to incorporate a SwiftKey function too.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s launches plan to avoid using the plastic exterior casing of last year’s model (which – boohoo – sold badly), but also to develop an iPhone with a 4.5 inch display and another one with a screen bigger than 5 inches.

Size clearly being a thing here, all those iPhone fans can queen it up with theirs being bigger than others. There might also be a war at some point hopefully, and some sort of perspective bombshell might make these same people look a bit insane.

This is seen as a bid to increase Apple’s market in Asia, as their rivals with their bigger screens seem to be leaving them for dust.

SwiftKey – a third party keyboard that can be installed on Android devices – connects to an Evernote account which makes it easier to enter text, tags, notebook and real time syncing, but there’s no swiping input – one of the key features. While still quite clunky on the iPhone (it would seem Apple are being a bit arms-length about it) it’s a great little app in general.

Nintendo to revive itself by making you healthy

January 31st, 2014 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Nintendo have been losing money and seen their stocks falling, so it looked for all the world like they were going to sell Mario off to other platforms so stay relevant.

However, it seems that they’ve got a plan. Whether it is a good one or not, we’ll just have to wait and see. Nintendo are going to focus on making themselves vital to those who want to get healthy at home.

At a meeting for investors and the media, CEO Satoru Iwata pointed toward Nintendo’s future, saying that the company plan to create a third platform to accompany the Wii U and 3DS.

“What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s [quality of life] in enjoyable ways,” said Iwata.

healthapproach 500x375 Nintendo to revive itself by making you healthy

Basically, while other platforms focus on video games which are designed to distract, Nintendo will go all out into their world of Wii Fit, Brain Age and the like.

“As those who are already suffering from illness can seek medical care, our new business domain would… enable people to monitor their health,” Iwata said. “However, what is generally good for health requires some kind of effort to be made by the individual, and… it is sometimes difficult to stay focused and engaged, and it is not uncommon to give up after a few days.”

“This is where our strength as an entertainment company to keep our consumers engaged and entertained comes into play,” he added.

Looks like Nintendo hope to sell devices to people who wouldn’t normally buy a console and more at the keep-fit DVD and self-help market. It’s a lucrative sector as well, so if Nintendo pull this off, they could be getting spikes of sales during the post-Christmas comedown every year.