Monday, February 28, 2011

Coal Scavengers

Denver Post has published a photo-journalistic article that is as informative as it is heart-breaking.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

London/Somerset/London - 26/27-02-11

Georgia - Yuck
Holing Out - Yuck
2 Months Off - Underworld
Our Lips are Sealed - Go Gos
Could Be A Lot Worse - Bill Mallonee (Vigilantes Of Love)
Lately I've Let Things Slide - Nick Lowe
The Real Thing (Wendy And Lisa Slow Jammix) - Gwen Stefani
Mouldy Old Dough - Lieutenant Pigeon
(Shine Your) Light Love Hope - Bob Mould
Tomorrow's News - Malcolm And Alwyn
Happiness - Lisa Germano
Like A River - Kasey Chambers
Summertime - Will Smith
From Hank To Hendrix - Neil Young
The Land Beyond - British Sea Power
Burden Of Shame - UB40
Ugly Love - Eels
Here, There And Everywhere (Beatles cover) - Emmylou Harris
Sunday Papers - Joe Jackson
More Like The Movies - Dr Hook
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Divine Comedy
Time - Sandi Thom
Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Temple Of Everlasting Light - Kula Shaker
Oxygene 2 - Jean Michel Jarre
Manchild - Eels
My Friends Have - Mary Margaret O'Hara
A Riverboat's Gone/Bumblebee - April Verch Band
Everything Counts - Depeche Mode
A Certain Romance - Arctic Monkeys
The One U Wanna C - Prince
I Want To Be Like Jesus - Chris Falson
This Is Hip - John Lee Hooker
Each Time I Bring It Up It Seems To Bring You Down - Lambchop
Just Remember I Love You - England Dan & John Ford Coley
Island In The Sun - Weezer
Dance With The Devil - Cozy Powell
Ain't Got No - I Got Life (live) - Nina Simone
The Lone Ranger - Quantum Jump
Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals
Walk Like A Panther - All Seeing Eye Featuring Tony Christie
The Ballad Of Robert Moore And Betty Coltrane - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Dear Sophie - Horse
Your Love Now - th' Losin Streaks
It's Up to You - Various Artists
Blue Jean - David Bowie
Don't Give Up The Fight - The Magic Numbers
Falling Through Your Clothes - The New Pornographers
Ban The Tube Top - Reel Big Fish
Middle School Frown - Josh Rouse
Float - Erin McKeown
Where Is That Girl? - Detroit Spinners
What Can A Man Do? - The Showstoppers
Hangers On - Dan Sartain
Like the Power of a Jet - After The Fire
Sunrise - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Cake
Something - The Blues Busters
Senses Working Overtime - Spacehog
Me and Joe Went Out to California... - Drag The River
You Had It Comin' - The Spades
Fish On The Sand - George Harrison
Blame It On The Rain - Milli Vanilli
I Will Never Be Normal (After This) - Bill Mallonee
Born on a Train - The Magnetic Fields
Flesh For Bones - Terra Naomi
Where No One Stands Alone - Elvis Presley
Kiwi And The Apricot - Keller Williams
If Everybody Looked The Same - Groove Armada
The Battle Is The Lord's - Yolanda Adams
Boot-Leg - Booker T & The MGs
Never gonna love again - The New Faces
Neon Lights - Luna
Rondo Acapricio - Tosca
It's Not The Liquor I Miss - Luke Doucet
The False Husband - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
The Obvious Child - Paul Simon
As Ugly As I Seem - The White Stripes
Straight Tequila Night - Clay Walker

Friday, February 25, 2011

Apple updates MacBook Pro range

Faster processors (CPU and graphics), a new 'universal' I/O technology (Thunderbolt) that is (potentially) 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and (yawn...) HD FaceTime.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BT Home Hub 3 ADSL Wi-Fi router

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

When you set up any router it automatically picks the clearest frequency. Trouble is, it’s stuck with it. So if something else pops up that isn’t Wi-Fi friendly, it can cause problems. BT’s latest router has Smart Wireless which aims to take the stuttering and guesswork away. Smart Wireless means the Home Hub 3 can dynamically change what frequency it’s on if it spots trouble. Other routers don’t do this automatically.

It has a neat detail when it comes to passwords. The Home Hub 3 has a plastic fob with the password on that slides out under your thumb easily and is so curiously shaped that you’ll remember it must pop back into the machine when you’ve reacquainted yourself with the code.

Price: £92, £46 for BT customers, free with BT Infinity or broadband contract.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Robot Hummingbird

boing boing reports: [edited]

Drone manufacturer AeroVironment has demonstrated their "Nano-Hummingbird" tiny spy plane. The prototype is approximately the size of a real hummingbird, weighs the same as an AA battery, and is outfitted with a video camera. AeroVironment is working on the device for the Department of Defense, 'natch. From PhysOrg:

Manager of the project, Matt Keennon, said it had been a challenge to design and build the spybot because it “pushes the limitations of aerodynamics.” The specifications given to the firm by the Pentagon included being able to hover in an 8 km/h wind gust and being able to fly in and out of buildings via a normal door.

The spybot was developed for the US military's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The hummingbird appearance is intended to disguise the bot, although it would look decidedly out of place and would attract attention in most places in the world since hummingbirds are not found outside of the Americas.

(The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's) head of the Nano Air Vehicles (NAV) program, Dr Todd Hylton, said the successful flight tests pave the way for new vehicles that resemble small birds and match their agility. The new drone is a departure from existing NAVs, which in the past have always resembled helicopters or planes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

iPhone 8x Telephoto Lens kit

Photojojo reports: [edited]

Each lens comes with a sleek, matte black iPhone case that you twist the lens onto. To compose your shot just twist the grip on the lens' manual focus ring to make it sharp. Then snap!

When you aren't using the lens you can just leave your nifty new case on and slip the lens in your pocket. It's a lens and case in one, always at the ready.

If you're looking for a more composed shot, you can use the collapsible table tripod (included) to steady and focus your photos. It'll come super handy when you're shooting in low-light.

Available for iPhone 3 & 4. Ships 9 March. Price: $35

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mio Navman V575 TV satnav and Freeview tuner

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

Given that a terrifyingly large number of drivers seem incapable of concentrating sufficiently on the road ahead with nothing more to distract them than a radio or mobile phone. Welcome to the brave new world heralded by Mio's V575 TV, a PND with built-in Freeview receiver.

Mio's pitch clearly is not that you should watch TV while driving, rather the idea is that the kids or the missus can use it when not required for navigation or the driver can watch it when not actually driving. Despite having a Freeview tuner stuffed inside it, the V575 still manages to be reasonably small and light. In fact, the only tell-tale that it works as a telly is the socket for a removable antenna on the right hand side.

The 4.7in 480 x 272 screen is reasonably crisp and colourful and gives little away in terms of acreage to the 5in screens of PNDs like the TomTom 1005 and Navigon 70. If screen size is an issue Mio also offers a 7in version with a resolution of 480 x 800 but at £220 it is significantly more expensive than the V575 on review that goes for £150.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Reading, 18-02-11

Stuff that I have found enjoyable/challenging/thought-provoking:

Is Mobile Affecting When We Read?

Based on 100 million articles saved by Read It Later users across all major web and mobile platforms.

- - - - -

UK Debt Bombshell

Depressing but informative

- - - - -

Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology

Long but interesting article about the film director and screenwriter's decision to leave Hollywood's favourite religion.

- - - - -

If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache?

A great piece exposing the myths and explaining its history.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Lendle reports: [edited]

The easiest, fastest, fairest and best way to lend and borrow Kindle books.

- Once you sign up for Lendle, you’ll be asked to tell us what Kindle books you own.

- Now you’re ready to borrow books. You may search for the book you’re looking for, or use our Available Now and Recommendations pages to find great books. When you find a book you’re interested in, click the “Borrow” button to request it.

- If a fellow Lendler requests a book you own, you’ll get a notification asking if you want to lend it. When you lend a book, the borrower will have it for 14 days, and then it will be automatically returned to your Kindle.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

emPower Spectacles

The New York Times reports: [edited]

Traditionally, people who hit their 40s often need extra optical help as farsightedness sets in. They may buy bifocals or no-line progressive lenses. But such glasses have a drawback: the lenses that magnify fine print also blur objects more than an arm’s length away when a wearer looks down, distorting the view when on a staircase, for example, or when swinging at a golf ball.

The new electronic spectacles, called emPower, are intended to handle that problem with an unusual insert in the bottom part of the lenses: liquid crystals, cousins to the familiar ones in television displays. The crystals change how the lenses refract or bend light, just as varying levels of thickness do in traditional glasses.

To call up reading power in the new glasses, users touch the side of the frame. Batteries in the frame send a current that changes the orientation of molecules in the crystals. Touch the side of the frame again, and the reading power disappears. Turn it off to hit a golf ball; turn it on to read the scorecard.

The glasses, made by PixelOptics in Roanoke, Va., will be on the market this spring — first in Virginia and North Carolina, and later in the year nationally, said Dr. Ronald Blum, an optometrist and the company’s president. The estimated price, $1,000 to $1,200, will include frames, lenses, coatings and charger.

Thanks to Keith for the link.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Mashable reports: [edited]

Propelled by a separate electric motor on each of its rear wheels, the Nissan ESFLOW is a two-seater that can zip from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 5 seconds. It debuts next month at the International Motorshow in Geneva.

It will use key components from the Nissan Leaf, such as its lithium-ion battery packs. This sportier Nissan will have a lighter and more expensive body made of aluminum and composite materials.

There’s more exotica, including brake and gas pedals that adjust electronically to fit each driver, fly-by-wire steering and video cameras and screens instead of rear-view mirrors.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Soundtrack, 13-02-11

Sycamore - Bill Callahan
Changingman - Paul Weller
Heretics - Midlake
Trampoline - The Grates
The Only Love - The Silos
The Trouble With Poets - Peter Mulvey
You Were Always The One - the Cribs
Ain't No Pleasing You - Chas 'N' Dave
Billion Dollar Baby - Alice Cooper
Furnace Room Lullaby - Neko Case And Her Boyfriends
Alright - Baboon
Gone Daddy Gone - Violent Femmes
Sun Arise - Rolf Harris
In The City - The Jam
One of Us (single) - Joan Osborne
Flash - Queen
Sistersong - Rachael Sage
Mink Coats - Patty Larkin
Cold Missouri Waters - Cry Cry Cry (Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell
Blackbird - Rosalyn Sweat & The Paragons
Deep (Breathe Mix) - East 17
House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals
When We Was Fab - George Harrison
Herculean - The Good The Bad And The Queen
I Hate Everything - George Strait
Words With The Shaman Pt. 3 Awakening (Songs from the Tree Tops) - David Sylvian
Harrowdown Hill - Thom Yorke
Isis (live) - Bob Dylan
Cornflake Girl (live) - Tori Amos
Never For Nothing - Margaret Becker
When - Kathryn Williams
Snowden - Doves
I Can't Get Over You - Julie Roberts
Hard to Know - Mindy Smith
Let's Go Away For Awhile - The Beach Boys
Twin Cinemas - The New Pornographers
Purple House - Prince
Sympathy For The Devil (Neptune remix) - The Rolling Stones
Run Runaway - Slade
Duke Of Earl - Platters
Old Shep - Johnny Cash
If you think you know how to Love me - Smokie
Sister Madly - Crowded House
Lady Madonna (Love version) - The Beatles
All's Quiet On The Inner City Front - Bruce Cockburn
Distant Sun - Crowded House
Hold On - Good Charlotte
Ma Baker - Boney M
Science Of Silence - Richard Ashcroft
Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts - Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans
Start Again - Catie Curtis
Sky Is Falling - Beth Hart
Lookin' Up - Shelby Lynne
I'd Rather Jack - The Reynolds Girls
I Gotta Get Drunk - The Little Willies
I Keep Forgettin' - Michael McDonald
Love And A Molotov Cocktail - The Flys
Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis
Basket Case - The Moog Cookbook
New York - Stephen Fretwell
Oh By The Way - Minnie Riperton
I Lost You (But I Found Country Music) - Laura Cantrell & Gordon McIntire (Ballboy)
The One I'm Waiting For - Relient K
Song To Woody - Bob Dylan
Silver Platter Club - John Grant
Breakdown - Relient K
Sylvie - Sweet Honey In The Rock
Please Break My Heart - Caitlin Cary
I'm Gonna Dress In Black - Version 1 - Them
Tonite It Shows - Mercury Rev
River Knows Your Name - John Hiatt
Until The End Of The World - U2
I Just Drove By - Willie Nelson
I Walk Away - Crowded House
Kick The Stones - Chris Whitley
Sell Your Hair - Pernice Brothers
How High - Madonna
Dreaming Of Me - Depeche Mode
The Panic Is On - Roy Hamilton
How Many Worlds - Brian Eno
Cowboy Song - Live - Thin Lizzy
So Here We Are - Bloc Party

based on my iTunes *music* smart playlist

(click on image to see full-size version)


Friday, February 11, 2011

Universal Flu Vaccine Draws Closer reports: [edited]

Scientists at Oxford University have successfully tested a universal flu vaccine that could work against all known strains of the illness, taking a significant step in the fight against a disease that affects billions of people each year.

The treatment – using a new technique and tested for the first time on humans infected with flu – targets a different part of the flu virus to traditional vaccines, meaning it does not need expensive reformulation every year to match the most prevalent virus that is circulating the world.

Developed by a team led by Dr Sarah Gilbert at Oxford's Jenner Institute, the vaccine targets proteins inside the flu virus that are common across all strains, instead of those that sit on the virus's external coat, which are liable to mutate.

If used widely a universal flu vaccine could prevent pandemics, such as the swine flu outbreaks of recent years, and end the need for a seasonal flu jab.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

HP Veer

It has the frontal dimensions of a credit card (and the thickness of 20 credit cards), and weighs just over 100 grammes.

For the HP brochure page, click here.

'Planned availability this spring'.

HP TouchPad

Its name sounds like a lazy committee's conflation of a couple of Apple products, it looks identical to an iPad and it's not available until 'late Summer'.

For HP's brochure site, click here.

For some intelligent first thoughts from John Gruber, click here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Nikon Coolpix 300

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Nikon has released the Coolpix P300 compact with manual controls and an F1.8-4.9 lens. It incorporates a 1/2.3" 12MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 920K dot 3.0" LCD and features 1080p30 Full HD movies and P/A/S/M shooting modes.

The 'big' new feature introduced in the Coolpix P300 is 1080p, 'Full HD' video. Full HD is still relatively rare in compact cameras, and it is something that none of the P300's 'high-end' peers currently offer.

At the equivalent of 24mm, its lens is wider than either the Canon S95's or Olympus XZ-1's 28mm equivalent, but is slightly shorter than both at the tele end. It is worth noting that although it boasts a very fast maximum aperture of f/1.8, this gets a lot smaller as the lens is zoomed in. In fact, f/1.8 is only available with the lens set to its very widest focal length.

A fast lens usually means greater control over depth of field, but here too, all is not what it seems. Because, all other things being equal, a smaller sensor means less control over depth of field, the P300 doesn't match up to its high-end competitors despite seeming to offer a similar maximum aperture range.

Also, for good depth of field control the lens really needs to be fast at the telephoto end, and the P300's isn't. So don't expect to be able to get the same sort of blurred backgrounds with the P300 as you can with the Olympus XZ-1, for example.

The Coolpix P300 will be available next month at an estimated retail price of $329.95.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Moel Wireless Micro Record Player

Retro Thing reports: [edited]

Made in Italy by a company named Mo-El in Milano, it plays 33 & 45rpm discs. It has no amplifier but instead includes an AM transmitter that works in the 250 to 300m range. You have to put a radio next to the record player in order to play the music.

Monday, February 07, 2011


The Big Picture reports: [edited]

Beginning in December of last year, a series of ongoing protests in the streets of Tunisia escalated to the point where President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali - who had ruled the country for 23 years - at first declared he would not seek re-election, then fled the country on January 14th.

An interim government was assembled, but protesters remain in the streets, demanding removal of all traces of Ben Ali's old RCD party. Protesters' frustrations with high unemployment, inflation and corruption drove them to the streets after a pivotal event, when a young Tunisian vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after police confiscated his produce cart. Bouazizi died of his injuries days later.

Collected here are images of the turmoil in Tunisia over the past couple of weeks. (40 photos total)

Friday, February 04, 2011

DC-14 Nokia Bike Charger

First announced last June, the Nokia Bike Charger is now available to buy.

Nokia reports: [edited]

- At 12 km/h it charges as efficiently as a mains-powered charger.
- Easy to install.
- Dirt and weather resistant for reliable performance.
- Attaches your Nokia phone securely to your bike.
- Compatible with any Nokia phone with a 2mm charge socket.

Price: £25 + £4 delivery.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Taylors Magnetic Knife Rack

Taylors Eye Witness reports: [edited]

Bamboo or Beech Magnetic Knife Racks - 45cm long. Comes with template and screws and sits flush again the wall.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Droplr reports: [edited]

Droplr makes sharing images on the web easy.

- Need to share a text note? Or how about a code snippet? We'll even syntax highlight it for you.

- Every account comes with 1GB of free storage. Plenty of room to host and share all your bits.

- Droplr has full keyboard shortcut support.

- Sharing screenshots made easy. Only upload the screenshots you want to share.

- Twitter integration.

Droplr is free to use (with ad supported content).

Thanks to Brecon for the link

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Lumix DMC-FX78

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-FX78 ultra-compact with an F2.5-5.9 5x zoom lens starting at 24mm. The 12.1MP camera features a 3.5" touch screen LCD with touch zoom, AF tracking, shutter and playback capabilities.

It also offers full 1080 HD recording in AVCHD format and a 3D Mode that produces a 3D photo in .MPO format by taking 20 consecutive photos and overlaying the two best into a 3D image.

100 x 55 x 21 mm, 142g (with battery and card). Available March 2011.