Friday, February 26, 2010

Home Music Systems

For a few years now I have been thinking how cool it would be if all the speaker systems in my home could sync up and play the same track simultaneously and then remain in sync. There is ShoutCast which is a free WinAmp Plug-in that will allow you to connect to an audio stream and then there are other plug-ins you can use to remotly controle winamp like iAmpRemote, but this all needs setting up.

But there is a company called Sonos that does room speaker systems that sync themselves and has a load of remote control options that are all really cool. However I don't think a lot of traditional consumers of music are going to be into Sonos because it is more tuned to the digital age.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Different Type Of UK Plug

British plugs are large by international standards. The story goes that in an attempt to save on copper wiring in a post World War 2 Britain each plug was wired through new homes in series. This created the problem of a lot of voltage behind each socket. To help prevent people from being electrocuted the BS 1363 Standard was created. In this each plug was given it's own fuse, an earth, a socket on/off switch and a shutter cover inside the socket so that the socket would only accept compatible plugs. The result of all this is was very large large plug.

After spending my life unfortunately standing on these with their prongs pointing upwards as they tend to do I was delighted to see (by way of Engadget) a slimline British plug design.

And the designer is looking to get it into production, so we might be seeing it soon in Ireland, Sri Lanka, 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 (yes I just lifted that from wikipedia).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Restaurant Menu Phycology

I would have bought the fried pickles because I love to try stuff.

William Poundstone has written a book called Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value, it is about how companies manipulate prices to make you spend more. I haven't read it, but it's going on my reading list.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Zoom In On That Reflection, ENHANCE!

If you have a photograph, you can not use special software or an algorithm to zoom in on stuff that doesn't exist in the original image.

This scene from Blade Runner.

Has spawned many copy cats.

Including CSI.

But we all know how silly it is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Azo The FreeRunner's Dayjob

I love how Azo combines his love of freerunning and animation. I am not sure which came first because I discovered him through his FreeRunning Videos on YouTube. But he has done a video about the combination with a slight plug for his current work project.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

How Derren Brown Predicted The National Lottery Numbers

Derren Brown a few months ago supposedly predicted the National Lottery numbers. This was a great event and there has been much speculation as to how he did it, but now an explanation has emerged that I think is rather convincing. I don't feel cheated knowing what the fake is, I actually find this side of magic fascinating.

A good explanation of how. Do you feel cheated? I didn't.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Predictions For 2010 to 2020

I didn't do so bad on my iPad Prediction. I thought it was going to be an eReader device, but turned out to be Apple's entry into the table PC race. But this has given me a taste for predictions, so here are my predictions for the next ten years.
  • Telivision as we know it will still be around, but when someone thinks of watching television, it will be over the internet and the idea of scheduled broadcast will seem very old fashioned.

  • School pupils will not spend very much time with physical paper, instead they will use an electronic tablet device much like the iPad. The devices will be made by a variety of vendors, but be powered by Google.

  • There is will an international summit on plastic pollution. The result of this will be a fund to help countries clean up areas that create this kind of pollution.

  • Electric cars will be the only kind of vehicle the average consumer will buy.

  • Brain reading lie detection machines used in court to provide circumstantial evidence for the first time to US high profile murder trial, with someone who hasn't killed anybody yet.

  • In computing we will be using single chip computers that will be CPU, GPU and BIOS combined.

  • Football grounds and other events will be surveillanced with autonomous flying drones.

  • Ray traced graphics will have superseded rasterized graphics engines on all platforms.

  • The rich will be able to buy a ticket for a flight around the earth and moon.