When you fly to Europe from the West Coast, your choice of nonstop flights is rather limited. Outside of cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt, you're usually forced to fly to a large hub airport and then change planes if you want to travel to another city. Such was the case when I flew to Barcelona for the recent GSMA World Congress. Since there are no nonstop flights to Barcelona from San Francisco, I had to fly to Munich first and then catch another flight from there. And all I can say is, I'm glad I … Read more
In theory, robots aren't designed to make mistakes. But a University College London (UCL) project team is hoping errors in how software "sees" optical illusions can make robots more like humans--mistakes and all.
Project leaders Dr. R. Beau Lotto and David Corney at the UCL institute of Ophthalmology say the study provides unprecedented insight into how the human eye can be fooled by lighting and shading. Instead of simulating the human brain, the software simulates learning patterns from past visual experiences.
The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology study recreated the vision errors using software that "learns" … Read more
The coolest after-dark attractions just have to be across the pond, don't they? I'm drooling over screenshots of Twentyfour, which looks pretty darn awesome (though who knows what the crowd's like). With over a thousand LED color combinations available, this is one place where the decor won't get boring--and did I mention the walls are actually projection screens?
The video walls kind of remind me of the Nokia flagship store in Manhattan, but from what it sounds like, they're a lot more functional. Bar patrons can control, or even contribute their own scenery somehow--I should … Read more
Generally, when we hear about London nightclubs stateside, it's because Prince Harry was spotted dancing on a table in a sarong or because some flashy playboy racked up a ridiculous tab. This time, however, it's a little bit different. The Camden Town boite Koko has introduced a new high-tech system to keep tabs on partygoers who leave the club for smoke breaks. Upon leaving the establishment, their fingerprints are scanned; they're then allowed seven minutes to enjoy their cigs, and then afterward must re-enter by re-scanning. Makes the bouncer's job a whole lot easier, I'm … Read more
Larry Ellison aside, those Middle Eastern businessmen sure do put Silicon Valley to shame when it comes to extravagant displays of opulence. Typically, we don't get names to accompany the tales of pimped-out Airbus A380s and the like, but generally the price tags speak for themselves. My favorite new "oh my gosh, I can't believe how much cash that guy spent" story was covered in the British press earlier this week: a band of partiers, led by an anonymous Dubai cash cow, spent a total of $210,000 at the posh London nightclub Crystal last Saturday … Read more
At long last, relief from public ridicule. You've been suffering in the embarrassment of having to tote around that low-end $350,000 Tulip Ego for months, but someone has finally come along with a portable computer worthy of your elevated station. (How on earth could you be expected to carry a laptop that costs less than your cell phone?)
A rather mysterious company named Luvaglio of London has supposedly created a $1 million laptop, which Luxurylaunches says is "believed to integrate real diamonds and other precious jewelry into the chassis of the system." But any facts have … Read more
According to a war game played out at London's Business School last week, MySpace wins. But, in a conclusion that was validated by this week's Viacom lawsuit against Google and YouTube for copyright infringement, the participants concluded that both MySpace and YouTube are vulnerable to legal attacks and government regulations that target illegal activities and objectionable content, such as child pedophilia and pornography.
Copyright lawsuits will be a "major distraction at best or they could undermine" the businesses, says Leonard Fuld, president of Boston-based Fuld & Co., which ran the war game. "Sexy and cool as MySpace and YouTube seem, they are prone to attacks."
Meanwhile, the team of students representing MySpace successfully convinced the panel of experts who judged the war game that MySpace has the most viable business strategy among the social network sites. "MySpace won the game by a fairly good margin. They had a much better argument: that content is king," Fuld says. "MySpace won the strategy event...whether it will win the war" is unclear. … Read more