gadgets

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:

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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….

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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: eeeeeeeeeevvviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil. 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.

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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…

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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…

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