This week, old meets new as we drool over a new AC/DC pinball machine, turn our old CDs into works of art, and put your condom's location on the Web. Plus, a skateboard powered by your brain, a shopping cart that stalks and judges you, a DIY Chewbacca tissue box suitable for space travel misadventures, and Bonnie's robot gets a name.
Peter Ha takes a cab straight to our studio from the airport, so we'll forgive him if he drops a few expletives during today's recording. He also received an invite to an Apple event in San Francisco next week, so it looks like the West Coast can't wait to welcome him back!
Peter deals in tech news everyday at The Daily so we'll start things off with an offbeat chat about the 2011 Razzie nominations, an awards tribute to the year's worst movies.
Is that a QR code in your pocket, or do you just want to tell the world where you last had sex?
Turns out the answer could be "both."
The scannable codes have been popping up on (of all things) condom wrappers--to enable users to post the location of their sexual activity online.
No, it's not a check-in app for orgy-goers (VCs take note--that opportunity may still be available). It's part of an effort by the Seattle-area chapter of Planned Parenthood to hook up with members of the social-media generation.
Taking a cue from check-in sites like Foursquare, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has been handing out the specially stickered rubbers to college students. The students are encouraged to scan the codes after sex to go to a Web site where they can anonymously post the approximate whereabouts of their recent safe-sex tryst to an online map.… Read more
Rather than fret about the rise of e-readers and tablets and the seemingly imminent demise of the book as we know it, book artist and poet Amaranth Borsuk decided to reimagine the digital-versus-paper struggle as a kind of dance, and make it the basis for an artist's book of her own.
Along with her husband, Web developer Brad Bouse, Borsuk created "Between Page and Screen." It's a digital pop-up book that contains nothing but elegantly rendered QR codes on its printed pages. Readers go to the book's Web site, hold a page in front of their Webcam, and watch onscreen as a poem pops out of the quick-response code (and moves along as the book is moved).… Read more
A new music video for a U.K.-based hip-hop artist showcases a fun idea: talking (and moving) graffiti.
The video, by British design outfit Paintshop Studio, features, in the words of Paintshop's blog, "animated graffiti rappers, created entirely in spray paint and brought to life by painting and repainting key elements."
Now, whether the idea of talking (and moving) graffiti is fun or horrifying depends on your point of view. Imagine if every tag you walked past in the city shouted the name of the tagger at you. (Then again, someone like street artist Banksy could no doubt work amusing, and even profound, wonders with this--as could a group of experimental poets, composers, and urbanists.)
Of course, this particular graffiti mural is confined to a video. But it does make us think. What if you combined this idea with QR tags and augmented reality? We've seen similar things before. Artists have "hi-jacked" billboards using iPads and AR, and damaged murals have been "restored" using QR tags. It might be pretty sweet if you could hold your smartphone or tablet up to a piece of graffiti or a mural and watch it come alive.… Read more
Deciding on a tattoo pretty much means you're stuck with an image for life. To combat staleness, Fred Bosch chose a tattoo that will never look the same twice.
Bosch had a QR code inked onto the inside of his forearm. Scanning it is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.
The code may pop up with a GIF of a couple of headbangers swinging their hair around, or a recent tweet, a phrase, a video, or a weather report. Bosch calls it the first-ever random tattoo.… Read more
It seems a mural sponsored by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, as a deterrent to graffiti, wound up attracting a little instead. But someone came up with an interesting temporary fix for the defacement.
A tipster named Jason informed street-art site Wooster Collective that a giant QR code had been placed over the offending, spray-painted tag.
And when passersby scan the code with their smartphones, they're served up an image of the original, undamaged mural, along with information about its origins.
That's a nice idea. But in describing the fix as "temporary" a few paragraphs … Read more
QR codes are cool, but they haven't quite caught on en masse yet, because finding cool uses for them have been challenging.
One popular use for QR codes is printing them on business cards. Sharon Vaknin also showed you a clever way to make a personalized QR code gift tag. In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to add a QR code to a digital photo.
Digital photos contain lots of data in them, like locations, dates, and camera type, but once they're printed, you're left with just the photo. With a QR code, … Read more
QR codes make life easier for everyone these days, but that just means it also makes life easier for the bad guys. There may not be that many QR scams out there--yet--but it's still prudent to keep from scanning codes from sources you don't trust. Chrome users can check things out before scanning with QRreader, a nifty extension that will let you know what lurks beneath the pixels. Here's how to use it:Install QRreader from the Chrome Store. When you see a QR code on a Web page, just right-click it and select "… Read more