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News for the ‘gadget’ Category

Apple Loses another iPhone Prototype in a Bar (also: iPhone 5 release date)

iPhone 5 is scheduled for a potential october release! So save up your pocket money kids, and get ready to give those old 4′s to your mother, friends, or girlfriend.

For the second time in little over a year, an Apple employee has lost an advanced and unreleased iPhone model in a public place, CNET said today.

The most recent incident came after an Apple employee misplaced his iPhone in San Francisco’s Mission District in July. Apple security scoured for the device over the following days and determined that the phone had been taken from a Mexican restaurant.

Apple officials believe the iPhone may have been sold on Craigslist for as little as $200. It’s also highly probable that Apple are intentionally leaking their devices to stir up a storm, given their savvy marketing techniques and their adaptability of leading the way with technological revolutionary items!

While Apple has not announced any plans to release a new iPhone, there have been numerous unconfirmed reports that the company was planning an October launch date for the iPhone 5.

CNET reported that no details about the phone – such as its operating system and design – have been revealed in the latest blunder by an Apple employee.

In April 2010, the gadget blog Gizmodo paid $5000 in cash for a then-unreleased iPhone 4 that a 28-year-old Apple engineer had left in a German beer garden in Redwood City, California.

Two men were charged on misdemeanour theft charges for selling the iPhone 4 to the blog. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday (tomorrow AEST).

The already secretive company reportedly took even more extreme measures to protect itself from information leaks after the 2010 incident, including transporting iPhones in locked and sealed containers to carriers such as AT&T for compatibility testing.

Apple and Craigslist declined to comment on the latest iPhone-gone-missing episode, and the San Francisco Police Department said Apple did not file a police report related to the matter, CNET reported.

Posted: September 2nd, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, news, pop culture, technology
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Dissident ‘Shadow’ Internet and Cell Phone Networks

THE US Government is reportedly financing the development of “shadow” internet systems to enable dissidents abroad to get around government censors.

The New York Times said today the covert effort also includes attempts to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries.

The operation involves a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “internet in a suitcase”, the report said.

Financed with a $US2 million ($1.9 million) State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communications over a wide area with a link to the global internet.

The Times said some projects involve technology being developed in the US while others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers from the so-called liberation technology movement.

The State Department is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya.

The US Government has also spent at least $US50 million ($47.2 million) to create an independent mobile phone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country, according to the newspaper.

It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, the report said.

Posted: June 14th, 2011
Categories: gadget, hack, journalism, oddities, politix, pop culture, technology
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Lasers & Blindness, a @news_com_au Tabloid Myth

Recently we’ve seen enough articles regarding OHNOES LAZORS blinding pilots. When this first came up and the Australian Pilots Association’s president went on record agreeing with this tabloidal myth I decided to ring him and have a chat, from one pilot to another. I asked him straight, how many pilots have been ‘blinded’ by these lasers, he claimed reports of one pilot in Adelaide (a very small capital city in South Australia which gets as much flight traffic a month as Sydney would in a day) and ‘of four others’, when I pressed him for names, dates or locations he suddenly got amnesia of the details. I set him at ease and said I will happily wait and give him a week or two to email me through the details when he remembers.

No email came of course, in chasing him up further on the issue it sounded more like the pilot who was ‘blinded’ by the ‘laser attack’ all over the news was simply seeking compensation and ironically none of these ‘blindings’ lead to the pilots never flying again except in the case of the pilot above who was at retirement age and used it as an excuse to retire; however his insurers doctors found his vision was perfectly fine, at which point it was claimed post traumatic stress disorder occured from fear for his life whilst blinded.

To cut a long story short, to date there is no empirical evidence of a single pilot being afflicted with blindness or having anything more than a minor annoyance from a laser pointer being aimed at their plane, however the media, police, and government are all super serious business, and at present in Australia (you guys really think I’m kidding when I talk about the fun police, don’t you) laser pointers are listed as PROHIBITED WEAPONS. I shit you not.

This morning I saw another rubbish article from the same tabloid source which gave me the urge to cite this information on record, sadly whenever news.com.au publish their more controversial (see: tabloid, can I say it enough? :P) crap they never have a comments field open. Below is the header of the article in question which just highlights how idiotic the media are in handling this myth:-

THREE commercial passenger planes were targeted by a laser pointer in Sydney overnight.

Police say the three incidents happened within an hour and half of each other last night as the planes were approaching the airport in Mascot.

The pilot of the third flight was struck in the eye by the high-powered light.

Each of the planes landed safely.

Flight crews told police that the laser appeared to be coming from the Cronulla or Brighton areas.

High-powered laser pointers are prohibited weapons and can’t be possessed without a permit.

Posted: April 14th, 2011
Categories: critical thought, epiclullz, gadget, journalism, lifestyle, pop culture, rant, science, technology
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Shut @iPhone Dictionary Ducking with Your Words? (Workaround for the Secret Blacklist!)

For quite some time I’ve been nerdraging about the epic fail of the iPhone dictionary, it’s so prolific it’s a ducking meme, there’s entire sites devoted to how shit it is. Apple seem to flat out disregard user complaints on the subject. Earlier versions of iOS would learn after three declined word suggestions, or by re-writing the red underlined word.

After iOS 4ish, I noticed a distinct lack of it’s ability or willingness to learn new words, be they profanity or otherwise. You’d have to re-write a word and decline auto-suggests dozens of times for it to learn something SIMPLE but profanity, nope. No go. It just WOULD NOT work.

After extensive research (see: my legs went numb so I got off the toilet) on the subject, I discovered many ‘work around’ suggestions, most were dated and for older versions. I messed around with several and found the one sure way to duck that iPhone shut right off once and for all, and found TWO very good ways, one a solid performer and the other an INSTANT WIN.

ADD the profanity as a CONTACT in your contacts section. It’s irritating and frustrating but it finally let’s you use naughty words. (Edit: After typing in a metric fucktonne of words, I only just tested adding multiple words to one entry. It works effectively. However, you WILL get strange looks when people see your contact list!)

HOWEVER! There are some words it will still not recognise. It appears as though there’s a black list tier level, black listed words when added as contacts and / or retyped a gazillion times are still b& from your iPhone.

I added every profanity and pseudo-profanity I could think of, it still red underlines ‘cunt’ but the rest are fine. On racial epithets however it will force change ‘nigger’ to ‘bigger’ yet is an equal opportunity racist, it auto-changes ‘kyke’ to Kyle and ‘kike’ to like, it also red-underlines ‘cracka’ even if stored as a contact. I actually had to hit the wiki article of racial epithets to find more creative varying ones to test and EVERY single racial slur in existence is double blacklisted even when added as a contact.

Apple are not so kind to people of non-straight persuasions, with ‘faggot’ or ‘poof’ working, ‘dyke’ and various others all work, however GAY does not work. The one NON-offensive thing gets changed to ‘gag’ half the time.

I decided to tinker with the inner workings of my iPhone to look into this a bit more, so I took a peek at in/private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard, there’s a file called dynamic-text.dat which has most of the plain text words it has to give special attention to and tells the auto-correct to lay off being a dick with or even suggest or accept the spelling. To test the manual update I tried the notes application instead, and started trying to add random words (nonsensical ones) to see how long it took to learn. I found that it wouldn’t. After typing pages of shit, the last modified date of my dynamic-text.dat file was my earlier edit.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1244 Mar 19 20:30 dynamic-text.dat

I gave it a shot in safari, this instantly updated the dynamic-text.dat file on one attempt without repetition. The words added also appeared IN the file itself in plain text.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1359 Mar 19 21:34 dynamic-text.dat

Testing this again in notes showed the words taught through safari were universally added and accepted in all other forms of addition. This means not every iPhone program will learn words or add them to your special dictionary, the data processing program Notes is completely non-functional in that way, and as we saw above the Contacts section has limited success. Safari, however, is the answer. I’d honestly expect the learning algorithym to be far less shit than this, but it appears that this is the only way to force learn things.

Go figure. Either way, this is clear proof that Apple have some deep seated issues! Not to mention they love to cramp my style, not that I tout out hate words, but I’m an Australian, every second word out my mouth (or fingers in this case) is a profanity. 🙁

Posted: March 19th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, general, hack, oddities, reviews, technology
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Top Ten Disposals of Phones for Fun and Profit

Okay, so ‘fun’ is misleading, what I meant to say is ‘charity’. There are so many phones coming out that the waste of technological accessories being stuffed in drawers is peaking at record highs. I’m as much to blame as anyone else, as I always have the most current gadget, see: iPhone 4G ASAP pls. So what do you do with all those old cell phones lying around? Do you give it to charity, recycle it, or palm it off for cash? Some fantastic organisations provide battered women with a cell phone in times of need, or resell them on for charity fund raising, but it’s really up to you what you do with it, but here are ten good example sites that will help you get rid of that old tech. These are services I’ve stumbled across, and haven’t tried myself nor implicitly endorse.

1. Cellforcash.com is a website that allows the consumer to recycle cell phones for a cash reward. They also allow you to donate phones to people in need.

2. Pacebutler.com is a website that promises up to fifty dollars for donating a used cell phone.

3. Flipswap.com is a website that allows you to search for local stores where you can trade in your cell phone. This website also promises you cash for recycling your cell phone.

4.Freerecycling.com is another site that allows you to recycle your cell phone with them for free but that being said in Australia the government has tech recycling programs that trump this.

5. Phoneiscash.com is a website that guarantees a pay out for sending in your unwanted cell phones. They don’t pay high, but it’s money for nothing.

6. Collectivegood.com allows the consumer to donate their cell phones to charitable causes. All you have to do to qualify is fill out their questionaire and hit submit, which is a bit much of an ask for a donation site, and they also allowed people to donate to political agendas in the past so a bit iffy about this one (albeit they allowed you to donate to Obama or Mccain, so it wasn’t really one line approach.)

7. Cashmyphone.com is yet another website that allows the consumer to recycle their mobile phone for cash. They also have some dodgy affiliate program promising 10% of anyone who donates using your ‘affiliate code’.

8. Simplysellular.com is a website that allows the consumer to sell their used cell phone for cash.

9. The website wadt.org is a charitable organization that helps abused women and children get on their feet.

10. Cellphonesforsoldiers.comis a charitable organization that allows the consumer to donate their cell phones, which are sold and the profits are used to purchase calling cards for American soldiers. Kind of lame, but I know a lot of Americans read my blog and I know you guys are super into the whole YEY PAY-TREE-O-TIZM bullshit.

Posted: June 20th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, technology
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Global Cell Phone Scam, for Tech Geeks

Ever notice smart phones tend to lag before disconnection? Ever notice how much screwing around it takes to hang up on a caller if you’re using your hands free kit and have the phone in your pocket? It’s usually easier to let them hang up than scramble for your phone, home key, swipe, key in your pin, home key, tap the call, tap end call (in the case of iPhones) right? Well I got to wondering, just why do modern smart phones, even when you DO hang up, take so long to drop the connection? I figure it’s big money.

Let’s assume you don’t roll over into a new 30 second block, and merely pay per second, and let’s give it a really conservative estimate of 1 cent per second. The average time to drop carrier for my iPhone 3G’s and my iPhone 3GS is between 6-8 seconds. There are over 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world. Let’s assume that all of these lag 6 seconds for efficacy of fact. That’s $240,000,000 in phone fees just from one design flaw coming out of every mobile phone owners pocket.

Let’s go one step further and assume that each phone makes one call per business day of the week, that’s $1.2 billion per week. I guess designing flaws in your technology is big business, because you know there’d be kick backs. Let’s not even count in the money makers of voice mail, or other scammy crap. $62.4 BILLION per annum, and remember these are conservative estimates.

Apple iPad to Hit Non-US Nations May 28

Apple made the announcement late last night, two days before it was officially due to begin taking international orders for its breakthrough entry into the touchscreen tablet market.

All six models will be available to the market on outside the US on May 28 – three wi-fi, three 3G – and surprisingly, Australians will also be able to immediately access Apple’s iBookstore, with titles available for download immediately.

Prices for the iPad in Australia are as follows:

Wi-Fi models:

16GB: $629

32GB: $759

64GB: $879

Wi-Fi + 3G models

16GB: $799

32GB: $928

64GB: $1049

The device will also go on sale in eight other countries from May 28: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Since its US launch on April 3, the “revolutionary and magical” machine, as Apple calls it, has created daily fodder for the media, right from its first day on sale when teenager Justin Kockott bought three of them, just so he could trash one and post the destruction on YouTube.

Kenny Irwin put his in a microwave and sealed it in resin.

It’s currently for sale on eBay and bidding this weekend pushed past its $575 sale price.

It’s been made into a skateboard, accused of coming up short when it comes to streaming video and its possibly drawn Apple into a court case after the company chose not to support Adobe’s Flash multimedia platform. Although that being said given the proliferation of PDF and the extortionate costs to use Adobe formats, it serves them right for being gluttons and shows a lot of balls on behalf of Apple.

Apple’s legendary ability to generate publicity has seen it shift a million iPads in 28 days in the US, selling twice as quickly as Apple sold its first million iPhones. Developers have created more than 5000 new apps for iPad that take advantage of its multi-touch interface, large screen and high-quality graphics. Demand for the “magical” device was so intense that its worldwide release was delayed, but the announcement it will available so soon will come as welcome relief for Apple’s Australian fanbase.

It was originally expected to take at least six weeks from the order date to arrive, with the iBookstore app not available until next year.

Publishing organisations have hailed the device as a possible saviour for newspapers as demand shifts from print to digital, and the iBookstore announcement comes on the heels of Google’s announcement that it will opens its online bookstore Google Editions, by the end of June.

The devices will be sold at Apple stores and Apple resellers and will be released in other countries including New Zealand and Singapore from July.

This is also clearly the end of the Amazon Kindle and it’s crappy black and grey LCD screen. 🙂

Posted: May 8th, 2010
Categories: apple, consumer reviews, gadget, lifestyle, piracy, pop culture, technology
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Got ADAM? Amazing Little Sister Bioshock Prop!

I’ve been linked by a few people to some pics floating about of a Big Brother suit that some prop guy made, but recently came across this little wonder, also made by the same guy and included in the photo shoots of the Big Brother suit with his girlfriend playing the Little Sister weilding this: –

Got ADAM?

The creator, Harrison Krix, is a ‘graphic designer’ yet seems to be making a tidy profit doing commission work producing props. Including a bloody awesome Daft Punk helmet amongst other things.

Click here to check out the blow by blow of the ADAM bottle and synringe prop.

Posted: May 4th, 2010
Categories: design, gadget, game reviews, games, oddities, pop culture, reviews, technology
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The No BS Low-Down on 3DTV

If you’re like me, you’re baffled (even in your techno-guru wisdom) as to what the feck this 3DTV obsession is about that has lackluster demands from audiences but is being forcefed down the Hollywood umbilical cord to all corners of the globe as the next ‘it technology’.

It comes as a surprise to many to learn that the idea of stereoscopy actually preceded photography. Binocular drawings were made by Giovanni Battista della Porta (1538-1615), whilst about the same period Jacopo Chimenti da Empoli (1554-1640) produced drawings side by side which clearly indicated his understanding of binocular vision.

In 1613 the Jesuit Francois d’Aguillion (1567-1617), in his treatise, coined the word “stéréoscopique” The first practical steps to demonstrate the theory by constructing equipment for the purpose did not take place until the 1800s. Though most associate Brewster with the invention, it was Sir Charles Wheatstone who, in June 1838, gave an address to the Royal Scottish Society of Arts on the phenomena of binocular vision. Wheatstone’s actual stereoscope is preserved at the Science Museum in London. Eleven years were to elapse before Sir David Brewster described a binocular camera, and the first stereoscopic photographs began to be produced.

Useless trivia aside, 2010 saw a really crap take on Fern Gully with giant blue furries known as Avatar to some, not to be confused with the really crap take on Kung Fu the TV Series animated by sweatshop labour and flogged off as ‘anime’ (and later a spectacularly crap Xbox game which gives 1000 gamer points in under 20 seconds). This seems to have been the fulcrum of an explosive marketing campaign of outdated shit technology under the guise of 3DTV. Wtf is it? Still lost?

There are several technologies that exist to provide three dimensional perception of television. Two are passive, one is active, and one is … well, somewhat theoretical. The two passive ones are dependent on the image being displayed, ie: would cost you nothing to view aside from a $0.50 pair of glasses, one red and cyan, the other a somewhat tinted pair. These technologies are compatible with your current TV.

Those are NOT the technologies that will ever be used by 3DTV.

LC shutter glasses are glasses are a $200 pair of battery powered glasses used in conjunction with a special highly overpriced $4,000 (entry level) display screen to create the illusion of a three dimensional image. Glass containing liquid crystal and a polarizing filter has the property that it becomes dark when voltage is applied, but otherwise is transparent. The glasses are controlled by an infrared, radio frequency, DLP-Link or Bluetooth transmitter in your overpriced TV that sends a timing signal. The glasses alternately darken over one eye, and then the other, in synchronization with the refresh rate of the screen, while the display alternately displays different perspectives for each eye, using a technique called alternate-frame sequencing.

Flicker can be extremely noticeable except at very high refresh rates, as each eye is effectively receiving only half of the monitor’s actual refresh rate. Until recently, the method only worked with CRT monitors; SOME modern flat-panel monitors now support high-enough refresh rates to work with some LC shutter systems, these are being marked up several thousand dollars while you read this with intent to jip you out of your consumeristic compulsive urge to have 3DTV.

Because the LC shutter glasses are shutting out light half of the time, and are slightly dark even when letting light through, less light reaches the viewer’s eyes from the display. This gives an effect similar to watching TV with sunglasses on. Frame rate has to be double that of an ordinary stream to get an equivalent result. All equipment in the chain has to be able to process frames at double rate; in essence this doubles the hardware requirements of the equipment and means you have to throw our all your technology just to get this gimmicky thing.

So in conclusion, throw every piece of entertainment equipment you own and be prepared to pay ten times what you paid for it last time just to sit in a dark room like a cock with cyborg sunglasses on that cost you more than your designer sunnies and have batteries in them. You are now the apex of class, style, and finesse, or so the Hollywood umbilical that compels us all would have you believe.

To the rest of us, you’re still a dickhead buying into a fad. 🙂

Posted: April 13th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, lifestyle, movie reviews, pop culture, rant, reviews, technology, television
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Top 10 iPad Disappointments

TOP 10 IPAD DISAPPOINTMENTS:

1. The keyboard
The iPad’s lack of a tactile keyboard was always going to be an issue, but typing on the iPad is not as easy as you might hope. To be used for email and short messages only. There is technology on the market that projects a laser keyboard onto any hard surface that detects finger strokes, it’s reasonably cheap but only supports … well, every other smart phone but the iPhone nor the iPad. Apple REALLY should look into that one if they want to get ahead.

2. No camera
An odd oversight, this is one that has many fans stumped. The iPad could have been great for video calling and web camming.

3. No Flash support
So many websites use Adobe Flash that Apple’s ongoing stoush with the technology is becoming a big issue. This gadget screens websites in full size, but some still won’t show due to this omission.

4. Weighty
Heavier than the biggest Kindle, the iPad could be hard to hold with one hand for an extended period.

5. iTunes Controlled
The cumbersome program you have to use to access the files on your iPhone (without jail breaking or working around it) is the same program you’re doomed to use to sync your iPad, the dreaded iTunes. More like iShit.

6. No GPS chip in Wi-Fi model
It can still guess your location from your WiFi connection, but the lack of a GPS chip is disappointing.

7. No HD video output
You can connect the iPad to a television but videos won’t play in high-definition. The best it can muster is a resolution of 576p.

8. No multi-tasking
You can only do one thing at a time on the iPad, just as with the iPhone. Sadly, this is one thing that netbooks have over the device.

9. No iBooks in Australia
They’re ‘coming,’ according to a job ad, but the iPad won’t live up until its full potential until they arrive.

10. Delayed accessories
The keyboard and memory card adapter will make up for some important omissions, but are not yet available.

Posted: April 5th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, reviews, technology
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Optic Fiber to go ‘Bubbly’

Optical fibres make it possible for us to use the technologies we take for granted, such as the internet our mobile phones, and other ‘unwired’ tech, but now new research from Macquarie University may hold the key to more cost-effective, energy-efficient, durable and easy-to-use fibre optics in the future.

Professor Town’s team of fibre optics specialists from the University’s Department of Electronic Engineering has been developing a new prototype for fibre optics which is made from a “bubbly” polymer fibre. “Our technique involves heating the polymer to form bubbles-it’s easier and cheaper than assembling tubes or drilling,” he says. “This could be a cheap, clean and relatively fast way of developing an optical network and the production process uses significantly less energy than if we were working with glass.”

Traditionally, glass has been used to produce optical fibres, but the equipment needed in order to process the glass at high temperatures makes this an expensive option. While several groups around the world are investigating polymer as a potential future replacement, the Macquarie team is the only group to develop and test a system which uses bubbles within the polymer to guide and scatter light.

Deliberately leaky fibres are ideal for transmitting data over short distances. “This technology would be applicable to, for example, inter-office connections where workers could use ‘wireless’ laptops within a certain area of the workplace,” Professor Town says. “The bubbly design allows you to scatter out of the fibre and also to scatter back in: if you can do that, it reduces the cost of coupling and the overall system costs are reduced.

“It’s like when you drive into the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and you can still listen to your car radio-they use a co-axial cable that leaks in a similar way so that you can receive the signal anywhere on the roadway.” He doesn’t go on to explain how a leaky feeder can be implemented with light, where light lost will cause errors in reception of the signals target.

Because the bubbly polymer allows light out and in, it also makes it potentially very useful for sensing applications. “This type of polymer optical fibre may also prove useful for distributed sensing of materials such as toxic or explosive gases,” says Professor Town.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: gadget, news, science, technology
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Roxxxy the Sexbot, by ‘TrueCompanion’

In what is billed as a world first, a life-size robotic girlfriend complete with artificial intelligence and flesh-like synthetic skin was introduced to adoring fans at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

“She can’t vacuum, she can’t cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what I mean,” TrueCompanion’s Douglas Hines said while introducing Roxxxy to the world, needless to say most men would see that as a fair trade off.

“She’s a companion. She has a personality. She hears you. She listens to you. She speaks. She feels your touch. She goes to sleep. We are trying to replicate a personality of a person.”

Roxxxy stands 170cm (five feet, seven inches) tall, weighs 54.43kg (120lbs), “has a full C cup and is ready for action,” according to Hines, who was an artificial intelligence engineer at Bell Labs before starting TrueCompanion.

Roxxxy comes with five personalities. Wild Wendy is outgoing and adventurous, while Frigid Farrah is reserved and shy.

There is a young naive personality along with a Mature Martha that Hines described as having a “matriarchal kind of caring”. S & M Susan is geared for more adventurous types.

Aspiring partners can customise Roxxxy features, including race, hair colour and breast size. A male sex robot named Rocky is in development.

People ordering the robots online at truecompanion.com detail their tastes and interests much like online dating sites but here, the information is used to get the mechanical girlfriend in synch with her mate.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, pop culture, technology
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Dolby Silences Loud Adverts

Dolby Volume was developed to address a complaint seeming as old as television itself; that shows on screens seem to whisper while commercials shout despite being on the same volume settings. Volume inconsistencies can also occur when compact disks are switched in players or between music files in MP3 devices.

For fellow Australians, you really don’t appreciate how loud adverts are until you download and listen to an American broadcast with adverts intact. You think our ads are loud? The US ones are screamingly loud, I’m talking at least twice the volume of the show that’s being aired!

“One of the biggest complaints consumers have had is volume inconsistencies,” Mr Eggers said. “We solved that problem. Dolby Volume gives us the capability to choose our favourite volume level for all media then set aside the remote and never touch it again.”

The technology is being built into Toshiba televisions and car audio products this year, according to Dolby.

The company recently showed off Dolby True HD, which is being built into Blu-ray high definition video players and disks to deliver sound tracks as immersive as the imagery. “A person with a Blu-ray player can literally hear the same quality heard in the studio when they were mixing the audio; the same quality as is on the master tapes,” Mr Eggers said.

Dolby also developed a Digital Plus audio technology to bring “surround-sound” to online films and other content delivered to televisions that are being built with “widgets” linking them to online services. France, Italy and Poland have adopted Dolby Digital Plus as a standard for high-definition audio in televisions, according to the company.

Dolby also has put technology in headphones that provide stereo surround-sound experiences to people playing films or music on computers, MP3 players or mobile telephones. Dolby Axon in headsets for videogame lovers gives positional feedback to people talking to each other while playing together online by making voices sound as though they are coming from where virtual characters happen to be.

Voices get louder as gamers approach one another, and fainter with distance, according to Dolby. Like in life, sounds made by on-screen characters are obstructed by objects in the game.

“As a gamer, I can tell you it comes in pretty handy to be able to hear your enemies footsteps coming up behind you,” Mr Eggers said.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: gadget, general, hack, lifestyle, movies, music, technology
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GSM Mobile Phones, Integrity ‘Intact’

A wireless technology industry group has claimed that mobile phone conversations are still safe from eavesdropping in the wake of German researcher Karsten Nohl’s leaking of code used to unscramble calls made by most of the worlds phones last week.

The London-based GSM Association yesterday said that it has spent the past few years figuring out ways to thwart hackers who might try to tap into wireless calls using Nohl’s research, which it first learned of in 2007.

GSM Association engineers have figured out a short-term solution to block eavesdroppers, said James Moran, head of security for the association. It involves making slight changes to the settings in each wireless operator’s network. Carriers can quickly make those adjustments by tweaking existing features in the technology, Mr Moran said.

Mr Nohl’s research applies to GSM technology, which runs about 80 per cent of the world’s mobile phones, including systems run by AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. Over the next several years, GSM carriers will adopt a new standard for encrypting, or scrambling, voice conversations that will be tougher to crack, according to Mr Moran.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: gadget, general, hack, pop culture, technology
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iPhone Alarm Clock Fail

Several times now I’ve had my iPhone fail to wake me up, I’ve gone to have a short nap or something and slept all bloody day. Googling the problem yields very little result other than that 15% of people have had similar problems, but no one has gone into discussion of why. It always seems to be when I have missed calls and SMS’ from more than one or two people, I wake up of my own accord, flip the fuck out, look at my phone and when I unlock it, bam, the alarm goes off the second all the pop up messages clear to my home screen.

Has anyone else had this problem? It’s intermittent, probably because the circumstances are also intermittent, but it’s doing my head in. Surely I’m not deactivating it in my sleep or it wouldn’t go off when I wake up? Gah. FML.

Posted: December 16th, 2009
Categories: gadget, general, technology
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Reactive Space Table




Reactive Space Table

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I used to work for a certain government department that shared a site with a few random types of businesses, one of which was a small rental by a company called Marblo. This company produces ‘marblonite’, or snazzy looking glowing translucent surfaces you see in chic and overpriced nightclubs. I clearly remember my first encounter with it in the raw, a glowing space age looking plank jutting vertically from a plastic blow moulded footing advertising the company, and the sting when I touched it inappropriately and grabbed the metal tabs that were hooked up to the mains.

This appears to be of a similar nature, however it functions as a reactive surface. It was developed as part of an investigation into ‘reactive space,’ and is a pressure sensitive surface which starts to glow with the slightest touch. Be it objects being placed on it, or hand prints, et cetera

It’s definitely snazzy, I’d say it’s replay value would be low though, but it’s definitely a fun step into open creativity as far as the thought of it being used in bars or clubs, depending on how long it remains glowing it’d be interesting to see what creativity is unleashed by drunks. 😛

Deceloped by KLOSS, it’s only 2 cm’s thick and powered by 12V and is apparently completely waterproof. They promise that they’ll be available commercially for use as an architectural component within the retail and leisure industry in the very near future.

Click here for more on KLOSS and this little hypercolour gone mad invention.

Posted: December 1st, 2009
Categories: design, gadget
Tags: , , , ,
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