Pebble Watch – review

Please keep in mind I have only had the watch for a few days. But with that:

So the Pebble watch, for those that don’t know, was a Kickstarter project to make a watch that connects via Bluetooth to your phone and passes along notifications as well as being able to control music and so on. So I backed it. I love watches. I love gadgets. This was perfect.

And well there was a delay but they built their theoretical schedule on selling 1,000 watches. They sold 80,000 so I understand the problem. Still.

The Pebble uses an e-ink screen so hooray for that. It has a lot of watch faces you can choose from and they say they will release a tool to create your own soon enough. Right now I am enjoying the text time watch face:

Continue reading Pebble Watch – review

New Monopoly is Big Brother.

So there’s a new Monopoly version coming, and it is horrible. It’s called “Monopoly Live” and will cost 50 bucks. So what? Well it has this ten inch tall tower in the center of the game. That tower controls everything. There’ no more paper money, only a “bank card” and no dice. The tower rolls for you, and keeps track of your pieces, by saturating the board with infrared light. So when you cover your piece up it rolls for you (making dice noises) and then ensures you go the right number of spaces. Apparently there are also new events like a horse race, auctions, a gas tax, and there’s an option to pay a more to have your utilities upgraded so that they’re green.

So really you’re just a monkey moving pieces at the behest of this H.A.L.opoly board. It tells you when your turn is. It rolls the dice. It determines rent. It tells you how much money you have. Who the fuck would want to play that version?

You will, mind you, still be able to buy the real fucking game for under $20 once this monstrosity comes out.

And yes, fuckers, I played Battleship with graph paper, too. Get off my lawn.

Now with more annoying packaging!

This comes all the way from Hackaday (via John) – thanks to CES we’ve seen the face of the future of packaging and it is, in a word, evil. No, correct that, it’s:


This is all thanks to eCoupling, a new bit of tech that allows some induction power to happen on the shelves of your local store. They can track product use and movement and all that way, fine. But they can also use it to deliver tiny bits of wireless power to, oh say, your fucking cereal box:

Imagine when the whole store is like that. Every item on every shelf. Flashing and pulsing to get your attention. Imagine it. Now realize they’ll add sound in a year or so. To complete with the flashing and “stand out” some.

Welcome to the future. Now know fear.

For real: Lightcycle

So these guys made a lightcycle that works. Well, kinda works. I mean it moves and you can ride it. It doesn’t seem to go very fast and well, there’s the entire lack of a solid wall of light trail going on, but I’ll forgive them that part.

For now.

Anyway. Here you go – a bike you can die on, because my lord doesn’t this thing look like a deathtrap?

Your arm and a cow’s ass. Together at last.

The picture above is a shot of Sarah Baillie’s Haptic Cow in action. What is the Haptic Cow? From the project page:

“The Haptic Cow is a virtual reality (VR) simulator developed by a veterinarian (Sarah Baillie). Sarah has been working and teaching in veterinary practice for many years and also has a Masters and PhD in Computing Science. The Haptic Cow was developed to help train veterinary students to palpate a cow’s reproductive tract, to perform fertility examinations and to diagnose pregnancy. The simulator uses haptic (touch feedback) technology and has a PHANToM haptic device (from SensAble Technologies) positioned inside a fibreglass model of the rear-half of a cow. When being trained with the Haptic Cow, the student palpates computer- generated virtual objects representing the uterus, ovaries, pelvis and abdominal structures. The teacher provides instruction and feedback while following the student’s hand movements inside the cow on the computer monitor. The Haptic Cow is being used by several of the UK vet schools.”

So yes, it is a virtual cow ass. That you shove your hand into. This has, it seems, been proven to help people learn about shoving their hands inside cow asses. Now that is, for vets, important, I admit. Though it does call into question the idea that before the haptic cow was around vets-in-training would spend hours with instructors, hands up a live cow’s ass feeling around and hoping the cow didn’t get pissed.

Same for horses, elephants and any other animals that generally end up with people’s forearm’s inside their rectums. From a Wired article on the simulator:

“Not only can professors follow a student’s exact movements and critique the technique, but they can also keep track of how much force is being applied. If a fledgling vet gets too rough and exceeds the number of Newtons considered safe by experienced vets, virtual Bessie will belt out a cautionary “Moo-oo!””

I… yeah.

I mean it’s a virtual cow ass that teaches you how to properly stand around with your arm inside a cow. Tell me this won’t be a video game in Japan by the end of the day. Come on! Oh, wait, Boong-Ga Boong-Ga already exists:

Phones and nerds.

So after my last phone died a few months back I needed a new one. I mean I don’t have a home phone so I needed something to make and get calls on. I ended up with an iPhone for a lot of reasons. That’s not why we’re here. No, we’re here because I’m a giant fucking nerd.

See when I first got the phone I had to name it. I also had to get a wallpaper for it. These, to my mind, go hand in hand. And I thought about my new phone and everything it did. I realized that as a fan of ReBoot the damned phone was a Multitool. So I named it Glitch and found a decent, but crappy, shot of Glitch to use. Then a friend remade the image for me and it was all shiny and perfect:

But then I thought about it. And the more I used the phone the more I did with it. The more I did with it the more I started to turn to it to do things for me. Not in a bad way, just in a “I bet the phone can deal with this” sort of way.

And then I realized that the phone wasn’t a Multitool. It was a Motherbox.

I was sad that I had to rename the phone and change things but I also had to be correct. The sickness though, that sickness will see me finding good “ping” noises to make new rings and such from. I have issues. Big nerd issues.

Use the peanut butter chocolate chip, Luke

Just saw this and had to share. The Death Star cookie jar.

It’s roughly 12×12, sells for $49.99 and ships in Sept. You can but it here.

I do worry though. I mean what if I fill it with cookies and, like, a flying ant zips in and hits the exhaust port of the cookie jar, will it explode? That’d ruin the cookies!