We've all been there: One haphazard shuffle or slip of the fingers and time slows down as your smartphone sails toward the sidewalk, slamming down with the not-so-satisfying slap of glass on concrete. But rejoice, for the infamous feeling of shame upon shattering one's device may have a bright side. It turns out dismantled iPhones that are injured beyond repair make for interesting pieces of functioning furniture, jewelry, and kitchen accessories.
That's the idea behind Twice Used, the project of Chris Koerner, a phone and iOS screen repair specialist and owner of Alabama-based LCDcycle. On Friday, Koerner launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds in an effort to make the initiative a core part of his business, and to get out in the wild his iPhone ornaments -- from picture frames and coasters to pieces of jewelry and artistic renditions of clocks and coffee table countertops.… Read more
"Hey, pick up your trash!" No, that wasn't me talking. It was that little robotic trash can. It knows when there's garbage in the vicinity and asks humans to pick the refuse up.
The wheeled Social Trash Box, or STB, robot out of Japan's Toyohashi University of Technology comes equipped with a microprocessor, a video camera, and a speaker for making its desires for cleanliness heard. Motors enable it to twist right and left and bend backward and forward. A pyroelectric infrared sensor lets it detect people's body heat and move toward them, while a distance sensor helps it maneuver around them (and other obstacles). … Read more
Two gaming journo mainstays join Jeff on the show today. 20-year veteran Victor Lucas and his partner-in-crime Scott Jones pick apart the next-generation console wars and opine on what the future of gaming will and, more interestingly, will not be like.… Read more
Self-destruction is the core value of our current times.
Just as we seek to destroy ourselves with our self-indulgence and our joie de vivre, we seek our private messages to be destroyed before the world's security services read them.
And so along comes a company called PowerInbox to assist us on our path to righteousness.
Seeing, perhaps, that Snapchat, the send-it-and-forget-it messaging app, was rather popular, PowerInbox is offering SecretInk. This delightful concoction claims to have all the properties of Snapchat, but for e-mail (and even SMS).… Read more
Ever notice how none of the modern tools we use these days has a dedicated purpose anymore? From cell phones to smartwatches, everything has a camera, apps, and a million other extra functions.
That multipurpose icon, the century-old Swiss Army Knife (now with USB drive), has had a profound impact on how we conceive of and use tools.
But there's often a tradeoff between function and quality. "You won't find professional photographers using Android phones to take wedding pictures," design consultant Dan Saffer noted in the Wall Street Journal. "The advanced features of a professional-grade camera outweigh the inconvenience of carrying it around."… Read more
We're surprised, after Croatia introduced the QR code stamp last year, that the idea hasn't really taken off. After all, stamps are the perfect size and shape for the smartphone-scannable bar codes.
It's awesome to see Australia Post getting in on the action. Unlike the Croatian stamp, which was used to track the passage of mail across the globe, though, Australia Post's version -- called the Video Stamp -- lets you record a video message to send with your post. You can record 15 seconds of footage up to 12 hours after you have posted your item.
When recipients get the package, they can scan the stamp using their smartphone to receive whatever message you want to send. If the recipient doesn't have a smartphone, they can enter an eight-digit code on the Australia Post Web site to view the video. … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Compelling interview with a 15-year-old girl who can feel the emotion of machines.
- Xbox One preorders ship early, reveal large game file sizes.
- Amazon to begin offering Sunday delivery option for purchases.
Journalists who use their iPhone or Galaxy S4 to take video during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia could promptly lose their rights to cover the games.
According to Radio Free Europe (translation), Vasily Konov, head of the state-run R-Sport news agency, said: "Journalists using mobile phones to film athletes or spectators will be considered a serious violation and will result in cancellation of accreditation." Konov was speaking Friday to sports journalists attending a training seminar on covering the upcoming Olympic games, according to the report.… Read more