Tag Archives: technology

iPhone Abacus App – New Twist On Old Concept

Standard calculator interfaces are too boring and retro. Instead, why not opt for extremely retro — and sync it to your brand new iPhone?

The iPhone Abacus app was created by a Japanese developer, and simulates use of the ancient calculating system that originated in China. Simply move the “beads” on the abacus depicted on your iPhone screen, and math is made easy!

The iPhone Abacus can be downloaded into your phone — and it should be noted that this is not an official Apple app.

Check out video of it in use here.

BBC To Offer All Shows For Free Online

In a bold move, the BBC announced plans to archive their entire library of TV shows online, Techradar UK reports — and apparently for free.

Greg Dyke, then-director of the BBC, was quoted in 2003 as saying about the plan:

“For the first time there is an easy and affordable way of making this treasure trove of BBC content available to all. I believe that we are about to move into a second phase of the digital revolution, a phase which will be more about public than private value; about free, not pay services…”

The first phase of the venture will be creating an informational page for each television series, such as Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers. Phase two will involve uploading the shows onto streaming video on the site — which has apparently already begun.

The question remains, however — will citizens in Britain still have to pay their BBC TV license?

New “Big Brother” Billboards Watch And Record You

We all look at billboards — but what happens when they start looking back?

Over Memorial Day weekend, reports The New York Times, a Manhattan billboard advertising the TV movie “The Andromeda Strain” had a little camera installed into it. The camera, made by a company called Quividi, not only records the people who pass by, but uses software to analyze the faces and determine age and gender.

The reason for this surveillance? Marketing research.

Gathering user data on the Internet is cake; simply install some cookies, etc. But how to measure the effectiveness of ads like billboards? Enter the little cameras.

Is this a violation of personal privacy? What about those people who deface billboards in subway stations? Will they be recorded? Can the video be used to prosecute them?

And else can be done with this type of technology?

“Pet Plant” Shows You Your Plant’s Emotions

The new gadget “Pet Plant” by Junyi Heo allows you to see your plant’s “emotions” — whether it needs water, is too hot, and other conditions that might lead to a cranky houseplant.

The secret to Pet Plant is in its pot. “Digital Pot” is fitted with sensors that process a series of data about the soil and its surrounding environment, and translates the information into pictograms on a digital display.

If your plant is thirsty, the pictogram on the screen will scowl at you. And you deserve it, too!

And if you overwater “Fluffy,” not to worry — the pot will automatically drain the excess.

Couldn’t find any ordering information, but a cool gadget like this will probably be hitting the shelves soon.

Bizarre Computer Cooling Techniques

Worried about your PC overheating? Whether you cradle your computer in a web of copper pipe or hang it from the ceiling on a string, one of these bizarre DIY computer cooling techniques might come in handy

Mother-Of-Pearl XBox 360

Talk about an upgrade: apparently Bill Gates had a 100 of these luxury Xbox 360s made for gift-giving purposes. Among the recipients: the president of South Korea.

(via Born Rich)

YouTomb: Where Deleted YouTube Videos Go To Die

YouTomb is a project by MIT Free Culture that tracks down videos taken down from and by YouTube for copyright infringement. The site tells you how long each clip had been up, and who asked it to be taken down.

For example, this video, a review of Cloverfield, was taken down due to a TOS violation after being up for 117 days.

According to their statistics page, the companies who ask for the most videos to be removed include Viacom, Warner Brothers, and World Wrestling Entertainment.

(found via Google Operating System Blog)