Category: Fun Stuff

Boffins create bionic willy

sixmillion-splshIf “Six million dollar man” Steve Austin ever had erectile dysfunction he would have been out on a limb like the rest of mankind, however boffins think they could rebuild him with the world’s first bionic willy.

Experts at the University of Wisconsin in America created a remote-controlled device which lengthens to eight inches when heated to 42C.

Surgically inserted in the base of the penis through an incision, the one inch metal coil can be turned on by a remote held over the groin, generating a metal field which triggers a current. While this sounds a rather good way to avoid thinking about sex ever again, apparently the coil then warms the implant, making it expand and fully erect.

So far it has been tested on animals and could be available to men within a few years.

The device is made using nitinol, which rather than being a pill to make you sleep, is  a metal alloy of nickel and titanium which can change shape in different temperatures.

Asif Muneer from the British Association of Urological Surgeons, told The Sun the device had potential to benefit thousands of men suffering with erectile dysfunction.

‘There are fewer components than with existing inflatable implants and that reduces the chances of infection,’ he said.

Bionic penises are apparently not that new, although right now they cost an arm and a leg. Mohammad Abad, 44, from Edinburgh was fitted with the £70,000 replacement in 2012 after losing his penis and testicle when he was run over by a car at age six.

In that case the penis, which was constructed using skin from his forearm rolled up like a ‘sausage roll’ but now he gets erections at the touch of a button.

Linus rages at GNU enforcement

Mr SwearyOpen Sauce’s Mr Sweary has gone off on lawyers making money on GPL enforcement.

Linus Torvalds waded into the Software Freedom Conservancy and Bradley Kuhn over the question of enforcing compliance of the GPL General Public Licence.

Software Freedom Conservancy head Karen Sandler made a mistake when she suggested that Linuxcon in Toronto should include a session on GPL enforcement.

A number of developers think that while discussing enforcement issues was topical and necessary, doing it at a conference of this kind could well lead to people who took part being deposed later on by lawyers for their own cases.

Matthew Garrett, a former kernel developer and someone who was not attending LinuxCon, joined the discussion, pushing his view that a militant approach was better and this appears to have set Torvald’s off.

He backed the proposal to have a discussion on GPL enforcement but said no lawyers should be present, only developers. “I personally think this arguing for lawyering has become a nasty festering disease, and the SFC and Bradley Kuhn has been the Typhoid Mary spreading the disease,” Torvalds said.

Torvalds added: “I think the whole GPL enforcement issue is absolutely something that should be discussed, but it should be discussed with the working title ‘Lawyers: poisonous to openness, poisonous to community, poisonous to projects.’

“…quite apart from the risk of loss in a court, the real risk is something that happens whether you win or lose, and in fact whether you go to court or just threaten: the loss of community, and in particular exactly the kind of community that can (and does) help. You lose your friends.

“Because lawsuits — and even threats of lawsuits — make companies way less likely to see you as a good guy. Even when you’re threatening somebody else, everybody else around the target starts getting really, really antsy.”


British pub installs Faraday cage

Faraday-CageA pub has installed a Faraday cage to stop punters using their mobile phones and annoying everyone by shouting their location into them or by constantly looking at their messages.

Steve Tyler of the Gin Tub, in Hove, East Sussex, is hoping customers will be encouraged to actually talk to each other as a result of his initiative.

He has installed metal mesh in the walls and ceiling of the bar which absorbs and redistributes the electromagnetic signals from phones and wireless devices to prevents them entering the interior of the building.

The method was discovered in 1836 by Michael Faraday although it is not clear who was using a mobile phone at that point in history.

The idea is used in power plants or other highly charged environments to prevent shocks or interference with other electronic equipment.  Some wallets are now cloaked in a similar flexible mesh to prevent data and credit card theft.

Tyler said he wanted to force “people to interact in the real world” and remember how to socialise.

“I just wanted people to enjoy a night out in my bar, without being interrupted by their phones,” he said.

Normally you dont have to worry about drinks that don’t touch the sides, but we would be careful going near the walls during a lightning storm.


Google wants to create artificial Roman drivers


toyotahybrid-20140417113203813 (1)One of the technical challenges of self-driving cars is making the automatic pilots behave like humans and in some cases that means honking the horn.

In Rome, honking the horn has a complex etiquette which often leads to wild gestures and swearwords related to the drivers’ testicles or lack thereof, and the fact that the Virgin Mary might have actually been a pig.

Google is apparently discussing how its cars will communicate with human drivers in other cars to make sure they don’t kill themselves. The strategy, which is teach the autonomous cars how to honk at them, will go down like cold Quinto Quarto.

Google says 94 percent of minor crashes are caused by human error, so to combat this, the Menlo-Park, California-based company’s autonomous cars are going to need to whip us fallible beings into shape by disciplining us when we misbehave.

The company says the point of the honking software is to “recognise when honking may help alert other drivers to our car’s presence — for example, when a driver begins swerving into our lane or backing out of a blind driveway.”

Google said that during testing, it taught our vehicles to distinguish between potentially tricky situations and false positives, i.e. the difference between a car facing the wrong way during a three-point turn, and one that’s about to drive down the wrong side of the road.

“At first, we only played the horn inside the vehicle so we wouldn’t confuse others on the road with a wayward beep. Each time our cars sound the horn, our test drivers take note whether the beep was appropriate, and this feedback helps our engineering team refine our software further.”

Unlike Rome with its single toot which means something like “the light is actually green now you might wish to move” or a long toot which means “If you pull out now I will kill you and all your family and dance on their rotting bodies” Google has come up with various types of honks.

“We’ve even taught our vehicles to use different types of honks depending on the situation. If another vehicle is slowly reversing towards us, we might sound two short, quieter pips as a friendly heads up to let the driver know we’re behind. However, if there’s a situation that requires more urgency, we’ll use one loud sustained honk.”

We will not believe that it is effective until the car automatically winds down the window and extends an automatic fist and another driver.


Online Break up service doing well

5892487393_b3c3a6572fTwo Canadian brothers are offering an online service to help you break up with your partner.

Mackenzie and Evan Keast, will write you a breakup text or make a breakup phone call, which cost $10 and $29, respectively. If you are in a hurry they will do it for additional dosh.

Mackenzie Keast claims that the Breakup Shop was inspired by his own heartbreak, when a woman he was seeing “ghosted” him, ending the relationship by ceasing all forms of communication without warning. His service eliminates ghosting even it is a bit cruel.

Since the Breakup Shop launched in November, it has performed more than 90 breakups, and the site gets about 3,000 hits a day from around the world, the brothers claim.

If you really want to be cruel, the shop offers options like a card that smells like poo, a handcrafted note and a breakup box that can be set on fire. The box includes your choice of a movie, “The Notebook,” or a video game, “Call of Duty,” and other items like a $30 Netflix gift card and two large red wine glasses.

But punters from Russia, Mexico, Finland and Germany have used the service. The brothers even created a “heartbreakers team” of independent contractors after they received orders from countries where they couldn’t deliver breakups in the local language.

Generally the shop targets those under 25, and clients have been evenly split in terms of gender, with a slight skew toward men, Mackenzie Keast said.

Gates and Allen hacked to meet girls

young-bill-gatesSoftware King of the World and sworn enemy of the mosquito Sir William Gates III has been telling a story about his school daze with his chum Paul Allen.

The pair apparently hacked the computer at Lakeside School so that they could meet girls. The cunning plan was that they would enrol Gates into classes, where he would be the only bloke which would give him a change.  The only drawback to this plan was that Gates was too “inept” to pluck up more than “a little bit” of courage – ending the venture in failure.

“Unfortunately for him he was two years ahead of me and he was off to college by then. So I was the one who benefited by being able to have the nice girls at least sit near me. It wasn’t that I could talk to them or anything — but they were there. I think I was particularly inept at talking to girls, or thinking, ‘OK — do you ask them out, do you not?’ When I went off to Harvard I was a little bit more sociable. But I was below average on talking to girls,” he told the Beeb.

Apparently the teachers were having a tough time working out how to use the computer, which subsequently gave Gates and Allen access, to see whether they could work out how to use the machine.

Gates and Allen had a good grasp of the computer, they gave programming lessons to some of the other students. Their knack for programming resulted in the two fixing software problems for various companies.

Tinfoil hat gets kickstarter cash

Barnum and Bailey - Wikimedia CommonsA Kickstarter project which claims to protect you from “spooky signals” is close to raising all the cash it needs to go into production.

Apparently a lot of people want a device which can block  Wi-fi, microwave, mobile  phone signals and electromagnetic waves entering their skulls.  We are not sure why if you are prepared to pay money for a tinfoil hat, then chances are the signals are only going to bounce around in the void.

Two guys who won’t even tell you their names have already raised more than $13,000 of their $20,000 goal to create “Shield: The World’s First Signal Proof Headwear“:

They are not even guaranteeing the product.

“We are not saying that it protects 100% against all kinds of electromagnetic waves that are bad for your health, what we are saying is that if you care about yourself, be smart and put on this first signal proof apparel instead of the usual one — no one will spot it and it will protect you.”

Ironically you can find the name of one of the guys involved in the project using Google reverse image search. Come on down Marek Schweigert, a guy who specialises in “creative and effective marketing”.

In the kickstarter faq Schweigert denies the project is an improved version of “tin foil hat”. “It`s inspired by actual situation and studies. Until now, we`ve known the waterproof, windproof or dustproof feature. Now it`s time to introduce the signaproof feature to the fashion. And Shield is a more beautiful and comfortable hat than tin foil.”

Of course he does not tell us which studies and he appears to be channeling P. T. Barnum.

Selfies more dangerous than sharks

maxresdefaultThe narcissistic act of taking a selfie is more dangerous to your health than a Great White Shark.

More people have died while trying to taking a ‘selfie’ than from shark attacks this year, according to the Huffington Post. 
This year eight people have been killed by sharks, but 12 have lost their life while trying to take a photo of themselves.

A 66-year-old tourist from Japan recently died after falling down some stairs while trying to take a photo at the Taj Mahal in India.

In July, a woman from Mississippi was gored to death by a bison while visiting Yellowstone National Park. She had been trying to take a selfie in close proximity to the animals.

Some people just suffered near death experiences. In May when a 21-year-old woman survived accidentally shooting herself in the head while posing for a selfie with a gun in Moscow, the BBC reported.

Of course we don’t think that these people removing themselves from the gene pool have done humanity much harm, but the the situation is worrying Russian officials so much that it distributed an illustrated booklet to warn people of dangerous scenarios involved in taking such pictures as part of its Safe Selfie campaign.

In a statement, campaign organiser  Yelena Alekseyeva said: “Our booklet reminds you of how to take a safe selfie, so it is not the last one you will ever take.”

The campaign’s motto is: “Even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being”.  We suspect the sort of people who need to read the booklet are the last people who will do so.

John McAfee could be president

Desinstaller-John-McafeeTechnology’s answer to Hunter Thompson, John McAfee is thinking about running for president.

The founder of the anti-virus software company McAfee, and who once played Russian roulette with a loaded gun says he is considering joining the 2016 presidential race.  That is unless he can find someone who is “smarter and more charismatic” than he is to run with his backing.

McAfee told Wired   that he is personally in a quandary about whether to run himself  or find someone else for his party. His advisors are pressing him to run.

McAfee,  won’t name his advisors and we suspect that they might be dragons, but he’s been mulling a run for some time at the urging of his online followers.

“I have many thousands of emails saying please run for President,” he says. “It’s not something I would just choose to do on my own.”

McAfee believes the government is broken, largely because its leaders do not understand technology as well as, well, he does.

He points to the recent hacks of the US Office of Personnel Management and Homeland Security as proof.

“Things like this cannot happen or should not happen. It’s clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyber science, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications.”

McAfee said that the government urging tech companies to create “backdoors” into their systems that would allow the government to collect information on users is another sign that public servants just do not get it.

Of course the US election has already a batshit crazy candidate in the form of the Bouffant and

McAfee might be too colourful for US politics and besides his standing on an issue of Internet privacy might not be an answer for a country that really has many things it needs to sort out.  Still it would make the US’s token show of democracy a little more interesting.


Apple theft carried out by “geniuses”

dog dayApple is proud of the fact that the majority of its customers know nothing about computing and should be happy that the thieves that try to steal the gear know nothing about stealing.

Four US men have been arrested for the theft of more than a million dollars of MacBook Airs which sounds a lot but is actually only a couple.

The men were arrested are accused of “participating in a scheme to steal, transport, and sell a shipment of approximately 1,200 computers, valued at over $1 million, that were bound for two public high schools in New Jersey”.

Rather than saving the kids of New Jersey from the perils of the Apple Cargo cult, it would appear that the men thought they could make a lot of dosh from stealing the laptops. Sadly for them, planning was not one of their strong suits.

One of the men, Anton Saljanin, was hired to transport 1,195 laptops from a vendor in Massachusetts on January 15, 2014, after having successfully delivered 1,300 other laptops.

Saljanin appears to have stopped at home in Yorktown Heights, New York, where he left the large, rented Penske truck in a parking lot overnight. When he came back the next day, he told police, the truck was gone. The coppers smelt a rat because he told them that no one else knew that he was making the delivery.

Later in the day, Saljanin told Yorktown Police that he went looking for the truck, and happened to find it in a parking lot just off  Interstate 84 in Danbury, Connecticut, approximately 27 miles away.

He claimed that he spotted it from the highway by coincidence. When coppers investigated there was no sign that the truck had been broken into. However there were indications that it had been broken into at the Danbury parking lot.

Another problem was that the you could not see the Danbury Parking Lot if you were driving along Interstate 84.

Then there was the small matter of the surveillance footage which showed the truck being driven by Saljanin and his brother, Gjon a few minutes before the truck was supposed to have been stolen. Instead of going to the Yorktown parking lot it was seen near the home of another one of the defendants, Ujka Vulaj.

All the timings suggest that the time difference between the story are perfect for the amount of time it would take to drive to Vulaj’s residence, unload the computers, and return to the route to the Front Street Parking Lot.

Vulaj and a bloke called Carlos Caceres, sold some of the laptops for as little as half of their regular retail price—$500 in cash.