Category Archives: Technology

Step Free Tube…

Just seen this, sent by a friend of mine Ringae. It basically shows what the tube map would look like if you could not make it up stairs. Sad really in this day and age.

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Really? Seriously?

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The covers of this book are too far apart…

This is a really good article written by a chap who has dumped his iPhone gizmo for a luddite love affair with literature. Pah! What a total fool. Everyone knows that phones are cool, and make you attractive to the opposite sex. Books are just for losers who did not get a kindle for Christmas. 

“I could easily spend three straight hours on my phone without even noticing. If I’d spent three straight hours watching TV, I would be disgusted with myself. But I was convinced that the Internet was more edifying than television—even though most of my online diet consisted of gossipy garbage—because it was “interactive.” I couldn’t possibly be a zombie, because everyone knows zombies don’t comment and share.”

Read the whole article here.

*If I flatter myself I could assume that people who dont know me well might actually read this blog… I should therefore clarify that I love books. I love books more possibly than any other material object. Their nourishing kindness, learning, amusement, forgiveness, and the sheer pleasure in owning them. Like Jan Morris said, “book lovers will understand me, and they will know too that part of the pleasure of a library lies in its very existence.” Sadly I also think that iPhones are also cool, and so am in total disagreement with (but sneaking admiration for) the thrust of the article. While I could live without my phone, it would all be rather pointless without books. The two make a formidable tool, but perhaps the author of the article’s point is that he simply forgot that they are different things for different purposes. It’s sad that he had for forgo one in order to value the other.

(Sent from my iPhone)

(no, not really… thats beyond me…) 

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Down the plug hole…

I know its not normal to get excited about plug sockets, three pin plugs, and gang plugs, but this little gismo really impressed me.

I have often wondered why the British use the traditional three pin plug, or for all you pedants out there, the G type BS 1363 (British 13 A/230-240 V 50 Hz grounded and fused).

Not only is it ugly, clunky, and an outdated 1940’s design, but like buttered toast it always lands wrong side up, eagerly awaiting the soft underbelly of the soles of your feet while you wander about trying not to trip over the blasted thing. When you put your laptop in your backpack to cycle home they also always end up digging into your back, or scratching the polished aluminium casing of your prized electronic hardware.

You get the picture; I am not a fan, and I bet now you have read this, you too are wondering why we bother… I guess its just that they so ubiquitous there is a certain lethargy to change the design. ( it is a sad fact that they are used not only in the United Kingdom, but also in Pakistan, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Botswana, Ghana, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Mauritius, Iraq, Kuwait, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. So there all you continentals and Americans sporting smug grins.) If it aint broke, dont fix it.

However a young designer called Min-Kyu Choi has shown off a brilliant new replacement option at The Royal College of Art‘s graduate show that opened this week. His neat, and market-ready plug that folds down to the width of an Apple MacBook Air. 

Anna Bates of IconEye Magazine notes, “Choi’s plug is just 10mm wide when it is folded. To unfold it, the two live pins swivel 90 degrees, and the plastic surround folds back around the pins so the face of the plug looks the same as a standard UK plug. The idea produced a spin off, too. Choi created a multi-plug adaptor, a compact standard plug sized unit with space for three folded plugs to slot in, as well as one that charges USB devices.” Read her review here.

I love how this chap has taken to task the most obvious poor link in the chain of elegant design; while manufacturers spend millions designing your phone, computer, laptop, hand held device, and almost every electronic piece of hardware, none has had the vision or realisation to tackle the ugly grey lump at the end of the the cable. Hats off to Choi!

Right, I’m off to get a life now.

 

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2001 Space Gadget

I am a self confessed Apple Mac fan. I love their intuitive design, elegance, speed, robust software, tibetan fonts, and downright sex drive.

I really don’t understand all the legal battles that are going on between Apple and their competitors over design and processor issues. Apple seem to be involved with legal disputes with HTC, Nokia, and Samsung all at the same time. They can afford all their legal fees as they currently have more money than the American Government, and even recently received my own humble contribution to their coffers (in exchange for a laptop.)

Anyway this is all by the by. In an amusing twist to the legal battle over design patent issues for the iPad, Samsung have cited Stanley Kubrick‘s masterpiece Space Odyssey 2001 as an example of prior art for Apple’s iPad design patent. I am sure that not all of their cunning defence case rests on this one clip, but it is remarkably alike to the untrained eye (I dont have an iPad, and have not seen the film for years…)

The Star Trek geeks out there also claim that one of the pointy eared brigade also uses an iPad type device in the early episodes, but you will have to pop into your local speed-dating night in the Town Hall or any Liberal Democrat Regional Office to confirm this.

The HAL 9000 and iPad. Circa 1968.

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Cracking Cans

I don’t normally crave material things. I accumulate objects, and a lot of junk, but I don’t really value stuff too much. With the possible exception of books.

However I have fallen in love with these. They are well beyond my price range, and totally superfluous to the needs of my catholic, but much played, collection of early 80’s rock music, but I love their style and design. Its a bit steampunk, a touch of metal head, and apparently have all the clever jiggery pokery electronic gizmos that make them sound great. They even come with the celebrity endorsement of Jay-Z and Rocnatio. Whoever they might be. They even have a cool name: SkullCandy Aviators!

 

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