Archive for the ‘makes you laugh’ Category

I want this for my desk

April 18, 2009

Epson gets into interactive coffee tables • Register Hardware

X-Desk lets users interact with digital content through a flat 1024 x 768, 52in multi-touch screen that can also communicate with other gadgets, including mobile phones and cameras, placed onto its surface.

X-Desk will recognise up to 16,000 objects using “Smart Tags” and gesture recognition allows multiple users to, say, draw out objects on its surface.

There are the obvious things, like virtual docks for downloading pictures or synching phones and other gizmos. But what I really want it for is my piles of paper. I want smart tags for every magazine or book or printout or bill (with the camera doing basic OCR on titles and letterheads). Then, when I say “where’s that chapter I printed out” or where was that greeting card from my old college buddy, pop! up comes a little trail of blinking arrows leading me to the spot where I put it.

After that, I want a laser-projector version for my bookcases — the camera reads the spines, and not only finds books when I ask for them but points to the book I should read when I can’t get enough information from a web search.


I laughed so hard I couldn’t se the screen

April 10, 2009

littera_abactor: I Has a Sweet Potato

[There is a pause, during which the dog exits the room in a pointed manner.]

[From the kitchen, there comes a noise like someone is eating a baseball bat.]

Sometimes the internet redeems itself with things like this.
(h/t/ Making Light)

The food verbs menu items

April 2, 2009

Weird Universe

One menu listing “temple explodes the chicken cube” I would dismiss as random Engrish. But two menus? Maybe this is a popular dish.

I’m too lazy to link the pictures, but I would have thought that
“Korea Form Dog Meat” and “The soil bean burns the beef” would have been up on the oddity list too.

These should be mandatory in public places

March 24, 2009

Headsets: Sanwa Throat Mic, For Your Very Tactical Cellphone Conversations

Sanwa’s hands-free throat mic looks like a military headset, but it’s made for use with your cellphone (which we’re assuming isn’t part of your black ops kit, but we’re not judging). Good for noisy environments and just those times you don’t want the cabbie to know about your ass rash, Sanwa’s system should be available for import soon

Geez, can you imagine cities suddenly no longer full of self-important people speaking loudly into thin air? You’d be able to tell who the crazies were again.

Don’t laugh at coffee to biodiesel

March 11, 2009

Coffee: Coffee-Fueled Car Is Surprisingly Practical

Experts say it takes about 5-7 kg of coffee grounds to get one liter of biofuel, which with a medium-sized production would yield a cost of about $1 per gallon. Plus, it’s already used: you can just walk around to your local coffeeshops and convenience stores and stock up the same way you would on vegetable oil.

Creating fuel from the grounds uses the same procedure as other biodiesels, transesterification, which is sort of complicated to explain but fairly inexpensive. The US estimates we consume over 7 tons of coffee each year, which would yield about 340 million gallons of biodiesel.

For perspective, that’s about 3 days of US on-road diesel consumption. But at a buck a gallon, without displacing food crops and with removing not-particularly-friendly gunk from the usual waste stream, why the heck not? Oh, and it’s about five times current total US biodiesel output.

Today Venus, next millennium the moon

March 10, 2009

The Space Fellowship

Once Canadarm2 helps install the fourth and final set of solar array wings to the International Space Station later this month, the Station will surpass Venus as the brightest object in the night sky, second only to the Moon.

There’s something wrong about this somehow, but it does give a lot more concreteness to astronomers’ worries about the death of ground-based observation. If this one piddly assemblage of solar collectors and a few habitation tubes is brighter than the evening star, imagine what it will be like when people start doing stuff in earth orbit for real.

Almost a brilliant scam

March 6, 2009

From my inbox this morning, slightly redacted:

Hello . I want to sell my 2005 Bobcat 430 Excavator. My asking price is $5700 . Because of some personal problems I have to sell it fast and this is why I used this company to contact people directly at their email addresses . I hope this way to have more people interested in this great Bobcat. I hosted a photo on photobucket so that you can see it and make an ideea about this bobcat. Here is the photo : .If you`re interested in this please email me at : for more photos .

Here is the description for anyone interested :
2005 Bobcat 430 Excavator
Make: Bobcat
Max Dig Depth: 9’1” – 10′
Model: 430
Operating Weight: 8,001 – 9,000 lbs

I’m a deaf-mute person so please e-mail me if you need to contact me. That’s why I included my e-mail :
I am ready to deliver anywhere in USA .

Somehow the idea of a guy who just happens to be deaf and mute and have no one who could answer the phone for him loading his bobcat up on a trailer and driving it to the other end of the country for $5700 while his personal problems stay on hold at home doesn’t convince me. But I’m sure if I replied to the email (completely unrelated to the sending address) something interesting would happen.

The recession is perfect for scams like this, because a lot of people will be trying to ditch big-ticket items at low prices to stay afloat. And if someone used a local service like craigslist it would be much easier to get caught…

cool useful maps

March 5, 2009

mySociety » Travel-time maps

New map of London

Showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

And now they have fancy animated versions with sliders that you can set to show exactly the range of time you want, or commuting times cross-indexed with real estate prices…

How do they do it? In an incredibly primitive fashion. They go to the transit company web site and request route information from one location, then parse the html and put it in their database, make another request and so forth. Suddenly I understand what the folks over at Freedom to Tinker are talking about when they push for government data transparency.

Something tells me facebook is missing some controls

February 21, 2009

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

More often then not, nothing will be posted but there are many applications on the platform unfortunately that publish stories without you knowing it. There are two ways to avoid having this happen: don’t visit applications or scan your profile every time that you do. Ultimately you shouldn’t be concerned about applications that you’ve built a trusted relationship with but any new applications could potentially post embarrassing notifications.

This article is actually pretty useful (and I’m going to implement its suggestions any month now), but passages like this really implicitly point how little control users have. Somewhere between avoiding new applications entirely and checking obsessively to see whether they’ve shot your foot off (and whether there’s still time to sew it back on) there should be a middle ground. For example, you could imagine a moderated status for apps where anything they do has to be approved.

But then app makers wouldn’t just get free access to all of a gullible user’s friends, and the pace of, um, innovation would slow down. Can’t have that.

Which is when some friend sends me something new and shiny that probably doesn’t have a ticking bomb inside it, I just say no…

Beautiful spider

February 19, 2009

La Princesse in Liverpool – The Big Picture –

Today’s entry is a collection shared by photographer Peter Carr, from an event in Liverpool, England last year. Said Peter: “As part of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, the French group La Machine were commissioned to create a large piece of street theatre, on the scale of their earlier work, the Sultan’s Elephant. Many were expecting to see something using the iconic Liverbirds, the symbol of the city but instead we got a spider.

It’s really a little sad to learn that the legs aren’t fully practical. But still so very way cool.