Keuco visiPad for the Bathroom


Continuing the alarming trend of putting a telly and a computer everywhere we might conceivably find some peace and quiet, Keuco has prototyped the Keuco visiPad Mediastation multimedia system, a water-resistant touchscreen that lets you watch television, use the internet, send text messages, talk on the phone, and generally be available to the world at large whether or not what you really crave is just a little privacy. Also available with mirrored glass, and in screen sizes from 10" to 46". Price TBA, but what price being able to just have a nice unhooked shower (or other less savoury bodily function that it's generally nice to be let be during). [GT]

Keuco | Keuco visiPad Mediastation multimedia system [via Trendir]

Related stories: H&B's 20 Gig touch screen jukebox | LG's Side by Side TV refrigerator

Posted by Gabrielle Taylor on October 16, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scotland Yard warn of massive hacker attack on UK

Scotland Yard have today issued an urgent warning that the UK is under a huge, sustained attack from hackers. They say that thousands of PCs in homes have been targeted by US-based computers in a bid to steal personal information.

Officers have so far identified 2300 computers infected by the virus that they're publicly calling calling a 'backdoor'. They're saying that unprotected PCs on the Net are being bombarded by unauthorised access attempts up to 50 times an hour.

It's quite unusual for the police to get involved, though quite what they're going to do on their own I'm not sure. It needs greater effort from the ISPs to block these kind of attempts at source, as well as consumers being educated as to how to keep their PCs safe online.

These attacks have been increasing since July, and though news of virus attacks is far from uncommon these days, the scale of bombardment is staggering.

(Via This Is Money)

Posted by Andy Merrett on October 13, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (1)

Naughty, rude programmers: Bad words found in code thanks to Google

GooglecodesearchThe Register has been doing the modern-day equivalent of the schoolboy looking up rude words in the new dictionary, by using Google Code to search for programmers using less than tasteful language in their code comments.

For the sake of decency, I'll use judicious quantities of asterisks from now on, but you can read the examples in all their glory over at The Register - or search for yourself.

First up is Apple (allegedly) who's code included a comment "// Register the f***ing window class."

Next came some JavaScript written by someone who obviously hates Internet Explorer (like that narrows it down): "// f***ing IE"

Sun decided that they knew the user a little too well: "/* The user is a w***er */"

And finally, some poor programmer who seems to have had enough of the whole thing. Never mind... "// I really give up on this b****cks, I really do. MAME says do this. <sigh>"

Ahhh, poor guy.

One of the less useful, but far funnier, uses of Google Code search. Now go forth and, err, find your own. Not at work, though.

Read (probably NSFW)

Posted by Andy Merrett on October 13, 2006 in Computers, Websites | Permalink | Comments (1)

Vista will ship in Europe on time despite EU's anti-trust concerns

Vista_10Amidst ongoing fears by the EU that Microsoft is going to bundle anti-competitive software into Vista such as a search engine and PDF generator, it seems as if Microsoft's next OS will ship in Europe at the same time as everywhere else.

The commissioner of the EU's top antitrust authority, Neelie Kroes, was in discussion with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last night, and said that she understood Microsoft would ship Vista 'globally' next year.

It's up to Microsoft to ensure that its software complies with EU laws, and Kroes said: "He [Ballmer] was aware that he shouldn't ask me if I could give a green light to it and rightly so,"

I suppose when you have 90%+ of the computer OS market, you'll be scrutinised much more closely. After all, Apple's Mac OS X has its own features built in (Google search bar in Safari as default, a PDF generator) but nothing ever seems to have been said about that - but then single-digit percentage shares of the world's computers is less of a problem, I guess.

Presumably security software firms such as McAfee and Symantec will also continue to keep an eye on what goes into Vista, and with what restrictions.

It's OK for advanced PC users - they'll just install what they want regardless of what software Microsoft puts in place as default. It's more novice users that may end up getting stuck with the MS bundle because they don't know what alternatives exist, or how to get them.

The anti-trust fun continues.

Posted by Andy Merrett on October 13, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Fun: Typewriter keyboard meets laptop meets dodgy Google Japanese-English translation

TypewriterlaptopIt's Friday. It's Friday 13th, in fact, and so I feel it's quite appropriate that the web page I've just found (courtesy of Digg) is just one of those that makes you wonder "what the hell?" (or words to that effect). Laugh. Cry. You decide.

I thought I'd share with you the joys of a bizarre technological concoction, twinned with the less-than-perfect Google translation from Japanese into English. Yes, it's banal. Stick with me...

Firstly, the page seems to be describing how someone with way too much time on their hands married an old typewriter keyboard with an LCD screen and various ports (USB and so on). Apparently it actually works. Boing Boing had a go at describing it, and the original page is here, but by far the most fun is by reading Google's translation, which includes such gems as:

"We would like to flaunt any which after all, were made in the person."

"Mack changing atmosphere, it attacks coolly. Rather than with saying, after the Mack producing the feeling which was shaken in the girl, appeared in style. But by your method of designing such time favorite what."

"Around the keyboard, the space bar is the wood product."

"The latest foppery equipment."

"Because key- in chattering treatment the [tsu] [chi] [ya] [u], it tried inserting the circuit of delay."

"Control ball. But another what from this the device and the Morse keyboard of the dream which can be input with the one key in the midst of development. The uncle who cannot use the keyboard well it is, whether properly even, correspondence (perhaps)"

I'll leave you to find the rest. Enjoy.

Posted by Andy Merrett on October 13, 2006 in Computers, Websites | Permalink | Comments (0)

Better productivity excuse for more tech bling? Bigger displays help you work better say Apple

New research sponsored by Apple (you know, they make those massive cinema displays) has concluded that workers are more productive when using 30 inch monitors than 17 or 19 inch ones, and so presumably employers should rush out and order a load of large displays so that people can do tasks more quickly.

Apparently, workers can be up to 65% more efficient just because they're using a bigger display, according to Paris-based Pfeiffer Consulting. Benchmark tests included copying Excel spreadsheet cells and copying and pasting images. Comparisons were made between a 30 inch Apple display at a native resolution of 2560x1600 compared to a 17 inch Samsung monitor running at 1280x1024.

Other people disagree, saying the productivity improvement is overrated, and that having two monitors side by side would lead to faster working patterns. And at the end of the day, you can't put down improved working simply to your computer, even if you use it for the majority of your job. Also, most general office workers are not going to be playing (sorry, working) with large Photoshop images all day.

Disagreeing experts say that productivity gains might only be around 5%.

I prefer having two monitors over one larger one, particularly as they're both widescreen. I still get a lot of screen real estate to work on. What's your ideal monitor setup?


Posted by Andy Merrett on October 12, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Microsoft prefer education to legislation in keeping kids safe from adult digital content

XboxliveMicrosoft is launching a campaign across the US, and possibly beyond, in a bid to educate parents about how to protect their children from digital content that they don't want them to see, such as violent and explicit games and certain online content.

For example, the Xbox 360, like the Xbox before it, contains a family settings feature which will allow restrictions to be put on what can be played, based upon information coded into the game. The system also extends to the Xbox Live service and Xbox Live Vision camera, so restrictions could also be placed on who children communicate with using the system.

Microsoft say that it is better to educate rather than to legislate to ban certain types of games, and is organising a 20 US city bus tour to provide education to parents.

Thing is, kids are still going to get hold of games that their parents probably wish they hadn't, and play them on unrestricted machines. And let's face it, kids are far more technologically aware than their parents - who's to say they won't just crack whatever restrictions are in place, or their parents won't know how to put the restriction on in the first place?

It's another move in the ongoing rumble about the how games affect children. On the one hand, some schools are adopting games as a form of education and say it improves children's interest, participation and learning. On the other hand are those that would quite happily see all violent games either completely banned, or severely restricted, because they may have a detrimental effect and cause all our kids to become axe murderers...

In fact it's probably been rumbling on since Pac Man came out.

Posted by Andy Merrett on October 12, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Russia's QWERTY keyboard monument

Russiankeyboard_2Now this keyboard is neither practical nor usable, but it's still pretty cool. Someone with some stonemason's skills has created a Russian keyboard monument in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg.

That right arrow key looks a bit bashed in, though. Too much gaming?


Posted by Andy Merrett on October 11, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sony launches VAIO SZ3 series with HSDPA

Sonyvaio2Sony have announced that their new SZ3 VAIO notebook computer will feature high-speed mobile broadband technology in partnership with T-Mobile. Whilst the HSDPA service is only just beginning to take hold, the 3.6Mbps from T-Mobile is expected to be in widespread use early next year.

Sony say their SZ3 series notebooks are the ultimate business VAIOs, with users able to choose between extended battery life or the use of both inbuilt graphics cards. High-speed mobile broadband is courtesy of the ExpressCard hardware coupled with a T-Mobile SIM card.

It's designed to find the fastest service available, and switch automatically, whilst on the move.

Other features include integrated Motion Eye webcam, fingerprint recognition, TPM security and hard-drive drop protection. It features the Intel Core 2 Duo processors and 2GB of memory.

It sounds like a good system for those on the move that want the convenience of broadband without much additional equipment, but I'm wondering if users will get caught up with vendor tie-in, or whether other mobile operators can provide their own SIM cards for use with the system. It's based on standard technology so I don't see why not - it wouldn't be great to be tied in to one UK mobile operator - and what happens when you go abroad and want to use it?

Is this a good solution or is it better to get a separate HSDPA-enabled mobile phone to connect up to your notebook?


Posted by Andy Merrett on October 11, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Here's one we uploaded earlier: Yahoo create digital time capsule

YahoocapsuleIn true Blue Peter style, Yahoo are creating a digital time capsule capturing stories, photos, videos, artwork and poetry, to be sealed and stored at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and then reopened in 2020 - marking Yahoo's 25th anniversary.

Items can be submitted under categories such as love, anger, faith, hope, beauty, now, you, past, and sorrow.

Of course the Blue Peter time capsules suffered from real world elements, some of the contents ending up a little worse for wear after their time underground (who didn't seal the box properly, eh?)

This digital version shouldn't suffer in the same way, though in 2020 how much of the archive will still be readable? Maybe certain file formats will be so legacy by then they'll be hard or impossible to open?

We'll see. It's an interesting project. Yahoo are also donating $100,000 and asking visitors to vote on how it's distributed. Whether that's $100,000 now or in 2020 I'm not sure. Let's hope no viruses get buried in there.

Visitors have until 8th November to submit material.

Yahoo! Time Capsule

Posted by Andy Merrett on October 11, 2006 in Computers | Permalink | Comments (0)