Street View, Google's attempt to index the entire world in 360 degree photographs, hit a snag this week in the small village of Broughton in Buckinghamshire, England.
Residents formed a human wall, stopping Google's vehicle from entering the village or capturing any useful pictures of its outskirts.
Paul Jacobs, who spotted the Street View car and called an impromptu demonstration, says he was motivated by a fear of burglary, as the area has seen three burglaries in the last six weeks: "If our houses are plastered all over Google, it's an invitation for more criminals to strike."
What do you think of Street View? I know I've had fun using it, but perhaps I'd feel differently if my house were clearly visible. Or if I had anything worth stealing.
Via The Guardian.
Ever wonder why the "perceived" value of any gadget rises parabolically when you attach the tag "special edition" to it ? Well, not to worry if you haven't, you can still gawk at this all-white Leica M8, due to be out soon in extremely limited numbers and exclusively from Leica.
The German camera maker has retained the specs of the original M8 rangefinder though, while dousing the body in pure white - the camera comes with an all-white casing, a white leather trim and brushed aluminium controls. Even the lens - Elmarit 28mm ƒ2.8 aspherical - follows suit with a silver finish. Truly some lovely eye-candy to add to your photo equipment if you are a rich kid, even if you choose to overlook the trademark hand-assembled body and fine quality that each Leica has been traditionally associated with.
No news about the pricing or release date just yet, so just keep your fingers crossed and expect to drop a huge bundle on this little fella.
Via Wired Gadget Lab.
Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK are working on ways to make joint implants last longer. At the moment, a knee or hip replacement only lasts about 15 years at best but the team of British scientists led by Sotiris Korossis is hoping to engineer new implants that won't wear out so quickly by working out how to sculpt them to suit an individual's skeleton. If that individual is an athletic type who needs replacement surgery following a lot of sporting activity, it's important to consider ways to minimize that risk in future, too - so the team is also looking into how to specially tailor implants for different sports in order to make them last longer. If they succeed, it's a win-win situation: fewer invasive medical procedures for patients and less investment for hospitals. Go team.
Via New Scientist.
Since the debut of the olive green-screened Game Boy in 1989, Nintendo has proven time and time again that they are the top dog in the realm of handheld gaming. Their current handheld device, the Nintendo DS (short for Dual Screen) has seen monumental success, selling 100 million units worldwide to date. The powers that be at Nintendo are determined to keep the momentum going with the latest iteration of the DS series, the Nintendo DSi. The third in the DS series, the 'i' stands for "individualization" or "eye" as it alludes to one of the new hardware additions.
Rock Band has quickly become one of the most popular video games of the decade, if not all time. After the initial outlay, it doesn't cost anything, making it a great recession-busting activity for all the family.
The only problem is, it's kinda bulky, what with the drum pads, guitar, microphones and all. It's not something you want cluttering up your living room when the neighbours come round for a sophisticated dinner party, for example.
That's why the Rock Band Ottoman, above, is the perfect answer to the "what the heck do I do with all this stuff?" question: it looks like any other ottoman but is specially bullt to house all your gaming accessories and can be used as a (sleek-looking) seat-slash-footstool as well.
Although President Obama is a great representative for the US in many respects he has become known on the other side of the pond for being a bit of a lame gift-giver. When he met up with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Washington last month, he handed him a pack of 25 DVDs. Which weren't compatible with British DVD players. Hardly the most thoughtful present.
This week he's been in the UK meeting The Queen, the 82 year old monarch who has been head of state of Britain and the Commonwealth for over 50 years and who is not known for her tech savvy. And he brought her... an iPod. Now, I wouldn't turn down a free MP3 player myself, but it hardly seems like Obama was considering his audience. Couldn't he have got her something more personal, more appropriate? And he even got it engraved, so there's no way she can get a refund.
I always seem to have my best ideas (or what I think at the time are my best ideas) when I'm relaxing and don't have a pad of paper handy. So I was excited to see this new invention, which provides for those times when you have a few ideas but nowhere to write them: it's write-on glassware which has times pre-printed on it so you can have a morning cup of coffee and plan your day (or write down anything else that occurs to you).
It's $16 from Fred Flare and comes with an eraser-topped pencil.
Yes, it's $500, and few of us have that kind of cash to splash on an iPod speaker, but.. isn't it gorgeous? And the pocket-sized (well, almost) Phonofone II is brilliantly engineered, too: it uses "passive amplification," meaning it requires no power to transmit tunes from your MP3 player to a roomful of people.
According to the product website, "Although it is not intended to be used as home stereo system, it is perfect for a studio, next to the bed, or for a dinner party." You're telling me.
Via Mighty Goods.
What is black, white, pink or red and holds an arrangement of buttons with single alphanumeric characters engraved on them? You said a colored computer keyboard, huh? Easy enough, but you ain't quite there yet. Technology and fashion borrow ideas from each other so often that it's almost impossible to guess at first glance whether, for example, a compact kit is really a makeup accessory or a chic cell phone in disguise.
In this spirit of artistic inspiration, the Keybag by Portugese designers Joao Sabino Studio is a tribute to the faithful old computer keyboard. It is a lady's handbag made of plastic keyboard keys on the outside, with a nylon lining on the inside. And a total of 393 keys are used for each bag measuring 30 x 22 x 50 cm, if you must know. The multi-purpose handbags are available in the normal keyboard black and white or the more sporty pink and red colors.
Our verdict - looks totally funky for a geeky girl's night out and is bound to get you attention, but is probably to be avoided during mundane expeditions like shopping simply because it looks to be fairly heavy even without the addition of your purchases. As always, art doesn't come cheap - even if it is only a keyboard, in essence. The black and white versions are available at $175 while the pink and red versions are priced at $195.
Most of the cell phone applications we write about are fun, or somewhat useful: not many of them save lives. But AT&T has just launched new technology in partnership with Mednet which monitors heart patients' health and transmits the results to their cardiologists via Bluetooth. There is a monthly fee and it requires a tech-savvy doctor who is already signed up to the scheme but it could save on appointments (and save your co-pay) which is no bad thing.