Monday, June 29, 2015

Up-goer Five Text Editor

Theo Anderson reports:

Can you explain a hard idea using only the ten hundred most used words? It's not very easy. Type in the box to try it out.

Thanks to Conrad Gempf for the link.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Asus Chromebit

Wired reports: [edited]

About the size of a cigar, it’s a tiny PC. But it’s a PC. If you plug it into an LCD display or a TV, you can run the sort of software you typically run on a personal computer, from word processors and spreadsheets and email to online video.

This is the Asus Chromebit, and it will reach the market this summer, priced at less than a hundred dollars.

Google pitches it as something that lets you walk up to any LCD display and instantly transform it into viable computer, whether it’s sitting on a desk in a classroom, mounted on the wall in an office conference room, or hanging above the checkout counter in a retail store or fast food joint.

The device is part of a new wave of machines that use Chrome OS, an operating system built for the internet age. Based on the Google Chrome web browser, the OS is designed for use with internet-based applications such as Google’s Gmail email service and its Google Docs word processor, reducing our dependence on the bulky local software that traditionally runs on PCs.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The DxO ONE connects to your iPhone via a Lightning adapter. Weighing 108g 67mm tall, 48mm wide x 25mm deep, the DxO ONE is small enough to fit in your pocket, yet features a 1"-type BSI-CMOS sensor. That means great low light sensitivity due to the BSI design, and fantastic Raw dynamic range. Combined with the bright F1.8 lens, you'll get far better image quality than your iPhone's camera, with better low light performance and control over depth-of-field.

DxO is a leader in digital image-processing. The SuperRAW feature captures four Raw images in rapid succession, then combines these images in the desktop software using spatial and temporal noise reduction algorithms to generate a high quality, lower noise image. Simple image averaging of four images should lead to a 2 EV increase in noise performance due to shot noise considerations alone which, by itself, is impressive. But there's even more going on.

If there's any subject movement, the algorithm takes the sharpest representation of that subject. Furthermore, the quartet of shots are carefully analysed for motion blur to attempt some de-blurring of the image, which simulates image stabilisation.

Connect the camera to your iPhone, and you're instantly taken to the App store to download the camera app. A couple of steps later, and you're on to taking your first photo. After your app is already installed, connecting the ONE to your iPhone launches the app.

Price: $599

Monday, June 15, 2015

Splitting Colors Optical Illusion

Brain Decoder reports: [edited]

The Best Illusion of the Year Contest winner was "Splitting Colors,". We start off with two identical, flickering coloured stripes that remain unchanged throughout the demonstration.

Different surroundings make these stripes appear completely different. When the stripe is flanked by a yellow/blue pattern, drifting to the left, it changes appearance, and looks red and cyan, drifting to the right, while the same stripe, flanked by a red/cyan pattern drifting to the right, suddenly looks yellow and blue, drifting to the left.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

London - Somerset - London, 12-06-15 & 14-06-15

London - Somerset, 12-06-15
Lousy Connection - Ezra Furman
Back of The Van - Ladyhawke
Jeepers Creepers - The Puppini Sisters
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
Pumped Up Kicks (original) - Foster The People
Girl You Know It's True - Milli Vanilli
John, I'm Only Dancing - David Bowie
Moonlight shadow - Maggie Reilly
One Way or Another - Blondie
They Don't Know - Tracey Ullman
Little By Little - Oasis
Candy Girl - New Edition
Restless Year - Ezra Furman
What Is Love - Haddaway
So Right, So Wrong - Linda Ronstadt
Millionaire (Radio Edit) - Kelis
Crazy Crazy Nights - Kiss
Time Bomb - Rancid
Heaven Is A Halfpipe - OPM
Down On The Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Cigarettes, Women And Wine - Chicory Tip
You and Me Song - The Wannadies
If I Can't Have You - Yvonne Elliman
Tell Me When - Human League
Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman) - Joe Tex
Dr Fell - Juliet Turner
One Week - Barenaked Ladies
I'm So Excited - Pointer Sisters
Let's Hear It For The Boy - Deniece Williams
This Is The World We Live In - Alcazar
OK Fred - Errol Dunkley
Little Red Corvette (album) - Prince
Let Me Be Your Fantasy - Baby D
Your Woman - White Town
You Are The One - a-ha
Beware of The Flowers - John Otway
I Can Make You Feel Good - Shalamar
Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter - Herman's Hermits
If You Let Me Stay - Terence Trent D'Arby
Body Rock - Maria Vidal
Hi-Speed Soul - Nada Surf
It Doesn't Have To Be This Way - Blow Monkeys
I Touch Myself (Soda Club Radio Mix) - m*a*s*h feat. Stacie D
Mono - Courtney Love
Battleship Chains (Kick 'n' Lick Remix) - The Georgia Satellites
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward

Somerset - London, 14-06-15
Reptilia - The Strokes
Victoria - The Kinks
Don't stop, never give up - S Club 7
From Despair To Where - Manic Street Preachers
Like Toy Soldiers (clean) - Eminem
When Will I Be Famous - Bros
Short People - Randy Newman
Special - Garbage
Juke Box Jive - The Rubettes
Babooshka - Kate Bush
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) - The Offspring
Umbrella (Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Radio Edit) - Rihanna
Rock N Roll High School - Ramones
Breathe In - Lucie Silvas
All Star - Smash Mouth
Flash Bang Wallop - Tommy Steele
Mmm Bop - Hanson
A Design For Life - Manic Street Preachers
Screamager - Therapy?
Together In Electric Dreams - Human League
Don't Talk To Him - Cliff Richard & The Shadows
Shout - Lulu
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Your Love Is My Drug - Ke$ha
Mister Sandman - Emmylou Harris
That Happy Feeling - Bert Kaempfert
La Dolce Vita - Ryan Paris
I Should Have Known Better - Jim Diamond
Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad - Tammy Wynette
Puppet On A String - Sandie Shaw
Clair - Gilbert O'Sullivan
Going for Gold - Shed Seven
An Honest Mistake - The Bravery
Alright, Alright, Alright - Mungo Jerry
Would You Love a Monsterman - Lordi
Save Your Kisses For Me - Brotherhood Of Man
Best Friend - Toy Box
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) (bootleg?) - Frank Wilson
Get Down On It (extended) - Kool & The Gang
Us - Regina Spektor
I Wanna Be the Only One - BeBe Winans/Eternal
Since Yesterday - Strawberry Switchblade
My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
bette davis eyes - Kim Carnes
I Should Be So Lucky - Kylie Minogue
Monsters and Angels - Voice of the Beehive
All Night Long - Lionel Richie
(The angels wanna wear my) red shoes - Elvis Costello

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Google Project Soli

Airows reports: [edited]
Google is developing a new interaction sensor using radar technology that can track movement with impressive accuracy. It's the size of a small computer chip and can be inserted into everyday objects.

Thanks to Keith Seckel for the heads-up


Thursday, June 04, 2015


TechHive reports: [edited]

Batteriser is a simple metal sleeve that promises to give consumers up to eight times more life from their disposable batteries, AAA through D.

A completely new alkaline battery is rated to generate 1.5 volts, but once its output drops below 1.35 or even 1.4 volts, it effectively becomes useless to many devices. The battery’s chemical cocktail is still loaded with juice, but the circuitry in many gadgets (especially more sophisticated ones, like Bluetooth keyboards and bathroom scales) considers the battery dead.

This is where Batteriser comes in. It’s essentially a voltage booster that sucks every last drop of useable energy from ostensibly spent batteries. So, instead of using just 20 percent of all the power hidden inside of your Duracells and Energizers, Batteriser makes effective use of the remaining 80 percent.

Voltage boosters are nothing new, but Batteriser scales down the technology to the point where it can fit inside a stainless steel sleeve less than 0.1 mm thick. Roohparvar says the sleeves are thin enough to fit inside almost every battery compartment imaginable, and the combined package can extend battery life between 4.9x for devices like remote controls and 9.1x for various electronic toys.

Batteriser will cost $10 for a pack of four when it goes on sale in September.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New biosensor allows real-time medical monitoring

Kurzweil reports: [edited]

A one-centimeter-square) biosensor chip developed at EPFL is implanted under your skin to continuously monitor concentrations of pH, temperature, and metabolism-related molecules like glucose, lactate and cholesterol, as well as some drugs.

The chip would replace blood work, which may take hours — or even days — for analysis and is a limited snapshot of conditions at the moment the blood is drawn.

The biochip contains three main components: a circuit with six sensors, a control unit that analyses incoming signals, and a Bluetooth module for sending the results immediately to a mobile phone. It has an induction coil that wirelessly draws power from an external battery attached to the skin by a patch.

The chip was successfully tested in vivo on mice at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona, where researchers were able to constantly monitor glucose and paracetamol levels without a wire tracker getting in the way of the animals’ daily activities.

The results were promising, so clinical tests on humans could take place in three to five years — especially since the procedure is minimally invasive, the researchers say.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LG 1mm OLED Display

Pocket Lint reports: [edited]

The OLED TV was shown as a proof of concept at a press event in Korea. The 55-inch TV was a meagre 0.97mm thick and weighed just 1.9kg.

By mounting a thin magnet to the wall the TV can be attached like a fridge magnet. To remove it you simply peel it off the wall. It also appears to be flexible making damaging it difficult and curving it easy.

LG Display plans to keep pushing OLED and will introduce a 99-inch OLED screen this summer.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Iron fish helps relieve anaemia

BBC reports: [edited]

When Canadian science graduate Christopher Charles visited Cambodia six years ago he discovered that anaemia was a huge public health problem.

In the villages of Kandal province, instead of bright, bouncing children, Dr Charles found many were small and weak with slow mental development.
Women were suffering from tiredness and headaches, and were unable to work. Pregnant women faced serious health complications before and after childbirth, such as haemorrhaging.

Anaemia is the most common nutritional problem in the world, mainly affecting women of child-bearing age, teenagers and young children.
In developing countries, such as Cambodia, the condition is particularly widespread with almost 50% of women and children suffering from the condition, which is mainly caused by iron deficiency.

The standard solution - iron supplements or tablets to increase iron intake - isn't working. The tablets are neither affordable nor widely available, and because of the side-effects people don't like taking them.

Dr Charles had a novel idea. His invention, shaped like a fish, which is a symbol of luck in Cambodian culture, was designed to release iron at the right concentration to provide the nutrients that so many women and children in the country were lacking.

The recipe is simple, Dr Charles says. "Boil up water or soup with the iron fish for at least 10 minutes, then take the fish out. Add a little lemon juice which is important for the absorption of the iron."

If the iron fish is used every day in the correct way, Dr Charles says it should provide 75% of an adult's daily recommended intake of iron - and even more of a child's.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The QromaScan uses 12 LEDs to illuminate its interior. To start scanning you open the dedicated app on your phone and put the device onto the box with the camera facing downward. When the photo is in position below it, the camera on your smartphone is used to capture the image, using voice recognition to avoid camera shake.

Location and time can be added to the metadata of the resulting digital image using voice control. The same method can be used to tag people in an image, allowing for easy organisation of your pictures. Currently, this only works with iOS devices but an Android version is in the works as well.

The makers of the QromaScan have launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance final development and mass production. Early birds can secure a QromaScan for $35 but a range of backing options are available. Shipping is expected for July 2015.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lily - Throw-and-Shoot Camera Drone

PetaPixel reports: [edited]

Lily lets anyone capture cinematic aerial photos and videos without needing to do any piloting.

Using the Lily involves putting a tracking device on the subject you’d like Lily to follow, throwing the Lily into the air, after which Lily flies and shoots using GPS and computer vision to follow the tracking device at up to 25mph.

The drone itself is waterproof and floats, allowing you to safely land it in water if needed. Size-wise, it easily fits in a backpack and weighs less than an average laptop.

Onboard is a camera that can shoot 12 megapixel stills, 1080p HD video at 60fps, and 720p/120fps slow motion footage. The internal battery allows for 20 minutes of flight per charge.

The Lily will start shipping in February 2016 for the price of $999, but the company is currently taking pre-orders through its website for $499.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Vaptur reports: [edited]

An easy-to-use phone camera App that allows you to captiure the perfect shot or special moment.

You start and stop recording based on what you see in the delay screen – not the live screen. Wait to see the end of the action in the delay screen before hitting stop.

Post your perfectly timed and edited video to your favourite social media site immediately after filming. No more having to edit something before you post or superfluous video footage taking up valuable phone memory.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Apple Watch helps blind people navigate

The Sydney Morning Herald reports: [edited]

Molly Watt - who is deaf and blind - says the Apple Watch has transformed her ability to navigate around town by giving her directions through a series of vibrations on the wrist.

"12 taps means turn right at the junction or three pairs of two taps means turn left," she wrote on her blog. "I'm still experimenting with this but so far very impressed".

The Apple Watch's new feature is called the "taptic engine", which produces what Apple calls "haptic feedback". Haptics, derived from the Greek haptikos, refers to any form of interaction or communication by touch. The watch's engine allows wearers to set vibrations for various alerts and at adjustable intensity - or to send messages by taps to other users.

Ms Watt says the integration of haptics with the watch's map function is "definitely awesome for me as a deafblind person". It allows her to be directed around London's complex web of streets and alleys without hearing or sight.

Her review after five days of using the device is not entirely glowing - the audio could be louder, she says, and the price point more accessible. But "the positives far outweigh the negatives" overall.