Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The NeoCube

I'm not sure how this gadget works, but I want one!

Unfortunately, I get an error when going to the website referenced in the video, but I will definitely keep trying.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gorgeous Teapot

Thanks to Gizmodo for pointing out this wonderful teapot.

I'm feeling thirsty; be back in a minute ...

Christian Gene Discovered

Somehow, I missed the episode of CNNNN that contained this important story.

Thanks to Random Good Stuff for bringing it to my attention.

Rythmic Pussies

OK, I'll admit that I crafted that title purely to conjure up interesting images in my mind next time I see it :-).

However, this video is totally SFW, unless you W in a truly horrible place!

Thanks to Neatorama.

Crappy Souvenirs

Thanks to Nerd Approved for pointing out this paperweight, from the wonderfully named True Blue Roo Poo Company :-).

It consists of a piece of smooth, round glass containing ... a turd excreted by a Tasmanian Devil.

I guess this is as good a way as any to preserve some DNA in case they all succumb to that horrible facial cancer that's been killing the poor buggers off in recent times.


Crooked Brains has a nice set of images depicting the strange behaviour of children.

This one's my favourite.

No idea whether that's a real laptop the kid's playing with, but it's still very cute how intently they're watching the screen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cheap(ish) SSD

This adapter allows you to turn up to three compact flash cards into a SATA disk drive.

Given the ever-descending cost of flash drives, you could use this to build a much larger, or cheaper, solid state disk than the current crop.

Thanks to Engadget for the link.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Got Me In One!

Thanks to Neatorama for pointing me to the Savage Chickens cartoon.

I loved this one, which I'm sure is more accurate in my case than I care to admit :-).

Impressive Keyboarding

I've seen this clip referenced twice now in my blog universe, so I figured I might as well pop it in, too.

I'm sure some of this is pre-programmed, but that takes nothing away from the obvious ability of the ten year old player.

The music isn't really my cup of tea, but I can still appreciate her work.

Extreme Art

I've come across some fairly interesting forms of artistic expression, but this one is definitely the most extreme that I can remember.

According to this article in the Yale Daily News ...

Art major Aliza Shvarts 08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself as often as possible while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages.

Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

An Interesting iPhone Service

This is the kind of thing I think will make the iPhone really take off, once third party applications based on the SDK start to arrive, in a couple of months.

It's a service that allows you to take a photo of a book, CD or DVD cover and retrieve various pieces of information regarding the content.

Currently, it's a bit clunky, using e-mail as the interface, but they're working on a native application. Once that arrives, I can see it being very useful, indeed.

Thanks to Appletell.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

High (Tech) Noon

Here's an impressive bit of video editing by someone named Darryl Gold.

They took the classic western High Noon, from 1952, and updated it to include androids and other technology. Pretty cool.

Thanks to Neatorama.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Water Balloon

Here's a nice video of a balloon full of water being pricked, recorded at 2000 frames per second.

Thanks to Neatorama.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Robo Hobo

I find it amazing that people just kept walking past this remote controlled (half a) "hobo" that's pushing a shopping trolley.

If I'd seen this, I don't think I could help but walk up and give it a serious inspection.

Thanks to Oh Gizmo".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This cartoon I found at Core 77 is far too accurate for comfort :-). What's more, I'd need to replace "1990" with "1980"!

Musical Rollercoaster

Literally ...

Thanks to The Real Adam.

Cute Baby Dolls

I love these cute little realistic baby replicas shown over at Crooked Brains.

They're incredibly life-like, don't take up much space ... and they require a lot less maintenance than the real thing :-).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Geek T-Shirts #1 of 42

Does it get geekier than this?

I don't think so!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Height Of Fine Dining

Dinner In The Sky looks pretty amazing.

They hoist a table, and up to 22 diners, 50 metres into the air using a crane!

Gorgeous Periodic Table

I've been watching a series called Breaking Bad, which is about a high school chemistry teacher who has a major change in his life.

I won't tell you the details, so as not to give away any spoilers. You can check out the link above if you're not fussed.

Anyway, it made me realise that I didn't have a decent periodic table reference anywhere. So, I went searching and found this beautiful one.

It provides not only the basic reference information, but also a picture of one or more samples of the element ... and even Quicktime 3D videos in many cases!

Here's another excellent one, with a nice user interface. Clicking on an element displays a pop-up window containing a truly amazing amount of information, beautifully laid out.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Synchronised Dancing

We've seen this before ... a few hundred times ... but not quite like this!

Thanks to App Scout.

Nice Desk Fan

I've always kept a small fan on my desk at work.

Since I'm a fat bastard, walking around at lunchtime generally leaves me horribly sweaty, so I like to be able to cool down when I return.

Sadly, every small fan I've ever found looks incredibly boring, if not downright ugly.

So, I was pleased to see the nice design of the La Luna by Studio Hideki.

Presumably, there's a set of vertical blades inside, revolving around a central hub. I hope the holes are only open on one side, so you can control the direction of air flow.

Unfortunately, I can't tell whether this is actually available or simply a prototype design.

No To All

You just have to wonder sometimes, whether those boys in Redmond went to the bookstore, found every tome on good user interface design and marked each good practice as something to be avoided like the plague!

Have you ever tried to copy (or move) a number of files at once, only to receive a popup like the one pictured, asking whether you really want to process a particular file?

While there's a "Yes To All" button, if you don't want to continue for that file, all you can do is say "No". There's no button to say "No ... and don't ask me again".

However, thanks to Download Squad, it turns out there is a solution. If you hold the shift key down when pressing the No button, it's interpreted as "No To All".

Why the hell did they not just put that button in the dialogue?!

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Etymotic Earphones

When the iPhone eventually makes it to the antipodes, I'll need to update my current Etymotic ER6i earphones, since they obviously don't have a microphone.

Fortunately, Etymotic now have these hf2 earphones, which are designed specifically for the iPhone.

As one would expect, they're dirt cheap at $US179 a pair!

PC Magazine has a full review, giving them high marks for musical fidelity ... although not so much for the clarity of calls ... rating the product at 4.5 out of 5.

Mechanical Digital Watch

This De Grisogono Meccanico DG is pretty amazing.

It displays the time in digital form, but is purely mechanical!

They've only made 170 of them, so I would imagine the price is astronomical.

Thanks to Gizmodo for the heads up.

I'm A Mathematician ...

... and I'm an FBI agent.

This is a cute promo for the latest season of Numb3rs, realised as a parody of Apple's well known "I'm A Mac" ads.

Sip Lamp

Here's another interesting lamp, thanks to Cool Hunting, this time.

It's shaped like a flexible straw, which can be mounted in any readily available cup or mug. Clever idea.

It was created by a designer named Sung-kyu Nam. Sadly, it's currently only a prototype.

Hanging Lamp

Thanks to Oh Gizmo! for pointing out this wonderful lamp.

My only complaint is that it doesn't look like it provides much light.

No Sax Please, We're British

... especially when it's the size of this Contrabass Saxophone ... bloody amazing!

Thanks to Neatorama.

Boxing Cat

Thanks to Neatorama for this video of a cat that seems to enjoy the pugilistic arts :-).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

G.H. Hardy Redux

I was amused to read this post on Walking Randomly ...

"I am just about to go into hospital to have my wisdom teeth removed under general anesthetic, but before I go I thought I would mention that I have discovered an elementary proof of the Riemann Hypothesis and will share it with you all as soon as I get back."

Presumably, this is a humourous allusion to G.H. Hardy when he undertook what, to his mind, was a perilous trip across the English Channel, and mailed postcards to a number of friends, saying he had such a proof.

Hardy was a staunch atheist, and figured that, if he was wrong and there truly was an omniscient being, they'd never let him get away with leaving the world thinking he had found a solution to such a famous problem and taken it with him to Davy Jones' locker :-).

My best wishes for a successful operation and a complete recovery!

A Virtuoso Performance

The concert I went to last Saturday was good, but this is better :-).

Thanks to Your Mac Life.

Of course, this initiated a serious YouTube search for more, eventually leading me to this ... Beatles fans close your browsers now!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Be Still, My Heart

After my heart sinking when reading Walt Mossberg's retraction earlier today, it was just buoyed again when I read this story over at the Australian Mac Talk forums.

Hopefully, they're not just a week late publishing their April Fool's posts, because this sounds very promising:
Today however, Apple have been informing resellers of their iPhone strategy for Australia.

Resellers have been informed of the following things:
  • Last week of June release
  • More than 1 carrier
  • No contract lock in
  • Current resellers will be able to sell iPhones
Of course, I would recommend throwing this down with a small bag of sodium chloride crystals, but I still live in hope.

If nothing else, this is the most palatable rumour I've heard so far!

iPhone News

Well, it turns out Uncle Walt was basing his comment regarding the iPhone being 3G in sixty days on the same information the rest of us have. In other words, he was guessing ... you got my hopes up, you bastard!

Fortunately, this video review of the iPhone (and a fake Chinese knock-off) lifted my spirits. I think I'll be watching more of this crazy woman's videos :-).

Oh, the audio content is possibly NSFW, depending on where you W.

Thanks to Gizmodo.

Time Management

You may have already seen Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture". If not, I've stuck it at the end of this post.

He's a university computer science lecturer who has pancreatic cancer and at the time of writing is estimated to have less than six months to live.

This is another lecture he gave, on time management. The topic may sound a little dry, but in case you've not seen him before, he's an excellent speaker. Funny, witty expressive, but to the point.

Definitely worth watching. As Life Hacker said, you may want to skip forward to around the twelve minute mark, if you're short on time.

Randy's "Last Lecture".

Death Wish

Some people are absolute nutters, but I'm glad they exist; otherwise we'd never get to see footage like this.

Stroll Across The Universe

Thanks to Gizmodo for the link to this wonderful rug.

It's called the Luminoso.

Made from wool, it has LEDs interspersed with the fibres.

Tag Scanner

Thanks to Download Squad for pointing me to Tag Scanner.

It's a Windows tool that lets you update tag information for various kinds of audio and video files and to rename the files themselves, based on the tags.

I could have used this a couple of days ago, when I needed to rename some MP3s so that they played in the correct order on an MP3 CD player that didn't take notice of ID3 tags.

Of course, a small Ruby script sorted out that problem ... and provided a welcome distraction from my socio-babble assignment :-). However, not everyone's a hacker, so this looks like a useful tool.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Beautiful Snowflakes

You've probably heard that every snowflake is unique.

While the variation is probably not absolute, this gallery over at Crooked Brains has some very pretty examples.

Oh Dear!

I think this video will do for mathematics what the third Reich did for group showers :-).

Apparently, it's a parody of a song called "Fergilicious" by Fergie. If this is any indication of how good that song is, I'll be giving it a very wide berth!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dumb Luck

This video contains a number of scenes from game shows, where a contestant comes up with a stupid answer ... and is right!

Mind you, I don't see anything wrong with the answer in the last scene. Young kids do it all the time.

Thanks to Neatorama for the link.

Art Imitates Life

I think this Simpsons remote control holder is just gorgeous.

Who better to keep track of your remotes than the ultimate couch potato?

Thanks to Nerd Approved for the link.

I Want One!

Seekway has created this cube, containing thousands of LEDs, each of which can emit a number of different colours, which can be changed individually up to thirty times per second, allowing some amazing animation.

The current cube has 16 LEDs in each dimension, but they plan to scale this up by a factor of 27 in a future model. That's over a hundred thousand points of light!

Thanks to Gizmodo.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What A Cutie

Thanks to Neatorama for this wonderful video of a very cute little kitten having an enormous amount of fun.

Über Style

As you can tell from the simple structure of this blog, I value content over form ... although, I'm sure sometimes you wonder if I even value that :-).

In any case, never let it be said that I don't still appreciate seriously good style!

For that reason, and because I think my dear friend Paul will have a wonderful time sifting through them, I give you 47 must-see great blog designs.

Oh, in case you didn't recognise the content of the accompanying image, it's doggy style :-).

Lenovo Ideapad U8

If this video is anything to go by, the Lenovo Ideapad U8 is an awesome MID.

However, since it's not been released yet, and having heard Walt Mossberg say (on video!) that the iPhone will be 3G in sixty days, I'll stick my Visa card in the freezer for the time being.

Thanks to Gadgetell.

Sexy Speakers

Thanks to Gizmodo for pointing out these electrostatic speakers from Martin Logan.

This Purity range looks gorgeous to me and I'm sure the sound is superb.

However, as Gizmodo said, at $US8,500 I won't be enjoying them at my place anytime soon!

"Chair"man Mao

While I think this Chairman Mao chair is absolutely hideous, I can't help but appreciate the pun!

I'm sure the designer never intended anyone to sit in it ... and I can't imagine anyone could, without having to turn around to check that he wasn't sporting a sinister little grin :-).

Thanks(?) to Neatorama for putting me off my lunch.

I Quake At Your Touch

Anyone who knows me well will tell you, gentle reader, that I am no game player. If anything, I'm anti-game.

However, this video of a guy playing Quake against himself on two iPod Touches is pretty impressive, not least for the fact that someone was able to port Quake to the Touch in the first place.

Bravo, Forvo!

After posting about Forvo yesterday, I put it to the test.

I looked up the lists of French, German and Italian mathematicians included in Wikipedia and added requests to Forvo for all those whose pronunciation I was unsure of.

I arrived home this evening ... after enjoying a nice classical concert in Crows Nest, with my good friends Gavin and Linda ... to discover that twenty of those names now have pronunciations.

That may, in fact, be all of them; I didn't count how many I requested. Anyway, I think that's proof positive that Forvo works!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What The?!

Somehow, this "Walking Bike" seems less efficient than riding a normal bicycle, but who knows.

Thanks to Gizmodo.

Small Design

This video about the Penguin House in Tokyo shows just what you can do with a small footprint, some thought and a lot of glass.

Thanks to Apartment Therapy.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Soh, A Needle Pulling Thread

I remember an occasion, some fifteen years ago, when I had a button pop off while at work and I jokingly said "Oh well, I'll just have to buy a new shirt" :-).

One of my female colleagues laughed so hard I was concerned that she might require medical attention!

While this was, of course, the intended outcome of my comment, I must admit that I have never used a needle and thread for any form of garment repair.

The only times I've leveraged such equipment have been when I needed to pull large cables through small holes, for geeky purposes.

Thus far, I've always been able to find someone else to perform any minor repair jobs, and there's no chance I'd ever get involved in something more substantial, like making my own clothes. Hence, my interest in the sutorial arts is vanishingly small.

However, if you've always wanted to know how to sew on a button, but were afraid to ask, check out this article over at Instructables.

It's All Greek To Me

I often wonder what the correct pronunciation is for the names of famous people ... OK, I admit it, mostly mathematicians :-).

So, I was thrilled to discover Forvo. It's an online service whereby people can search for audio of the correct pronunciation of a word or phrase.

The best thing about it is that if there is no entry yet, you can request one and your word goes into a pending list, waiting for someone to provide it.

Anyone with a microphone connected to their computer can record a pronunciation.

You can even be informed, via e-mail, when a pronunciation has been provided!

Thanks to Life Hacker for the link.


ClipX is yet another Windows clipboard manager.

I've been using it for a while now, to gather links for my blog posts, and it works quite well.

ClipX has a plugin mechanism to allow the addition of new facilities.

The two I'm using are "Stickies", which lets you keep some predefined text in the list and "Dislog", which stores your entire history on disk, so it's available in the long term.

A number of hotkeys are available. In particular, Ctrl+Shift+V pops up the clipboard history next to the mouse cursor, saving you having to navigate down to the toolbar icon, and Ctrl+Shift+G takes whatever is in the paste buffer and looks it up in Google.

All up, it's a nice simple program, with just the right features to make it useful.

Faster, Stronger, Higher

We all know that China has a pretty crappy record regarding human rights.

Reporters Sans Frontières has come up with this apropos logo protesting the Beijing Olympics.

Let's hope we see plenty of these during the lead up to, and duration of, the event.

Upgrade Your Life

My dear friend Paul is a fan of the work of Gina Trapani, from the Life Hacker blog.

So, I'm sure he'll be pleased to see that her book, Upgrade Your Life has been released.

Thanks to Geek Sugar for the tip.


Thanks to Download Squad for alerting me to this neat application.

Shidewin is a simple tool that displays a list of all the windows your various applications have open. Choosing one then makes it visible on the current monitor.

It's mainly intended for the situation where you have dual monitors, especially a laptop with an external display.

You know the problem ... you're sitting at your desk, with an external monitor connected and close your laptop, without moving any apps on the second screen to the main one. When you get home and open it up again, you can't get at those windows, because you can no longer see them!

Mind you, I've certainly been in situations where I could have used it on a single monitor.

Sometimes windows just end up completely off the screen due to some kind of programming bug, so being able to reposition them would be handy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Think They Need A Little Air!

This parody of the MacBook Air envelope commercial made me laugh out loud ... but, I'm easily amused.

Clever Hand Painting

Thanks to Neatorama for pointing me to this gallery of clever hand painting.

They're all very clever, but I like this one the most. I think it's something to do with the overhead angle.

Hand Solo

I'm not sure how old this is, but I've never seen it before, so maybe you haven't either.

I particularly like the bit about the included games :-).

Thanks to Gizmo Diva.

Batteries Included

This video is mildly NSFW, but it shows such a clever use of technology that I couldn't let it pass!

I'm with the guys over at Gizmodo on this one ... just where did she hide the batteries :-)?!

iPhone Apps On The Touch

I was absolutely stoked to read this article.

Some very naughty person has made the applications that were originally iPhone only available, as a resource for the installer that comes as part of the jailbreaking process.

While I have no real problem giving Stevie J twenty bucks for the applications, I was reluctant to do the requisite firmware upgrade, in case it screwed with the jailbreak.

As of about half an hour ago, I now have all of the iPhone apps on my iPod.

They work just fine. The most useful will be Notes, since it doesn't require internet access. The others will be less valuable, since the Touch has no always-on internet access, but very handy to have when I'm near a hotspot.

In any case, I'll give the twenty bucks to the next charity collector who doesn't accost me in the street.

Store 'n' Slide

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for pointing me to Store 'n' Slide.

This is quite a clever space saving device that allows you to store various tools out of sight, in small nooks such as that between your refrigerator and the wall.

I had to check with Wikipedia to find out what some of those things in the photo were.

Apparently, one of them is called a "broom" and another is a "mop" ... don't ask me what they're used for, though :-).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


There were many April Fool's Day jokes on various blogs and websites yesterday.

My favourite, though, was Art Lebedev's Defendius door chain, shown here :-).

You will probably know Art's name from the outrageously expensive Optimus Maximus configurable keyboard, where each key top is an OLED that can display an arbitrary image.


Thanks to Neatorama for pointing out this video of The Elephant Song by Eric Herman.

It's very, very cute.

Spitting Worm

Thanks to Neatorama for the link to this video of a Velvet Worm capturing a beetle using jets of slime.

The voice over is Spanish, but it's the visual that's interesting.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Slide It!

The basic idea behind Slide It is that you specify a word by sliding your stylus through the letters in the word, without lifting it up for each character.

According to the voice over, you only have to draw a rough trajectory, plus once you've drawn the first few letters, the system uses a predictive algorithm to list possible words.

According to their website, they received a patent for the technology in April 2007 ... I wonder why I've not heard about it until now, and why it's now in the news?


Who'd have thunk it? There's a blog dedicated to bookshelves.

Most of them are quite interesting designs, although some look less than effective.

I quite like this one, but it seems to waste a lot of space. Not an issue, I guess, so long as you have plenty.

Buckle-less Belt

A designer named Sruli Recht has designed a clever belt that has no buckle.

Instead, the ~Elt, as it is named, interlocks with itself, much like the fingers of your hands when you clasp them together ... which was apparently Sruli's inspiration.

Thanks to Cool Hunting for the link.

Nice Wallpaper

As you may know, gentle reader, I abhor desktop wallpaper. My Windows PC's desktop is set to pure black and my Macs are white ... only because Stevie J, in his infinite wisdom, only provides a small set of solid colours*.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. If you're into that sort of thing, this site contains a number of nice wallpapers, including the one displayed here, which would be my choice, if I wasn't such a purist.

*Actually, I just had an epiphany! I've taken a screenshot of my black Windows desktop, resized it to fit my Air and turned it into a JPEG with maximum compression, so it consumes almost no space. I have no idea why I didn't think of that a couple of years ago, when I got my first Mac ... what a silly bunt :-).