Heathrow airport give away premium mobile app to help with travel chaos

Unless you've had your head in the sand for the last week or so, you'll know that a certain Icelandic volcano has been causing flight travel chaos worldwide, with nearly all flights out of the UK grounded. In an attempt…

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Gerald LynchHeathrow airport give away premium mobile app to help with travel chaos

World first as UK trains get back-of-the-seat TV screens

The worlds first back-of-the-seat screens on a train have been installed today. However, you wont find them in Japan's Bullet Train, but instead on the UK's own First Great Western high-speed trains. So far 16 carriages have been fitted out…

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Gerald LynchWorld first as UK trains get back-of-the-seat TV screens

Plans for mobile reception on the tube abandoned

Do you remember March 2007? What stands out in your mind about it? If the answer to that question is "why, that's the month TfL announced they'd be trialling mobile phone reception on the underground of course", then prepare to be disappointed.

Two years later, they've decided it's not going to happen. Quite why it took so long is anybody's guess, but the reasoning can be helpfully pinned onto everyone's favourite excuse: the perilous economy. A TfL spokesman explained: "While it is technically possible to deploy mobile phone and data wireless solutions on the deep level Underground tunnels and stations, the unique nature and environment of the Tube mean that project costs would be prohibitively high at this time."

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TechDigest writerPlans for mobile reception on the tube abandoned

Japanese disaster recovery robot

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A coffin with tank treads. That’s what this thing looks like. Japanese city Yokohama’s disaster recovery department has come up with it as a way to ferry people from danger zones back to safety.

Basically, you stuff an injured person in the tube, and he can then be moved around remotely thanks to the onboard infrared camera. It’ll monitor the patient’s blood flow and vital signs, but I can’t help but think that it doesn’t look terribly cushioned, and there’s a good chance that the occupant might slide out if the robot goes up too steep an incline.

If you were lying in a disaster area with two broken legs, a concussion and a dislocated shoulder, would you get in this thing? Or would you rather walk? I know which I’d pick.

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Duncan GeereJapanese disaster recovery robot

Know a clown who's desperate to listen to music on his bicycle?

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Okay, maybe that was mean. But you can’t claim that that thing over to the right doesn’t look like a pom-pom of some sort. It’s actually a speaker. The Yuen’To Music Ball, to be precise. Straight outta’ Japan, it’ll plug into anything with a 3.5mm jack connector and blare out sounds and music for upto five hours. After that, it’ll need recharging via USB.

It comes in red, blue, yellow, black and pink – nice bold colours – and costs $76.16 (£55 or so). That’s amazingly expensive. Still, no-one ever said that being a contra-auguste was cheap.

GeekStuff4U (via Akihabaranews)

Related posts: Self Balancing Unicycle – no clown skills required | Invisible Nanotube ropes could revolutionise the circus trade

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Duncan GeereKnow a clown who's desperate to listen to music on his bicycle?

Petrol-powered Snowboard is snow joke

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Okay, in reality this bears as much resemblance to a regular snowboard as a petrol-powered, three seater lawnmower with cupholders does to a hand-pushed traditional lawnmower, but bright yellow paintwork aside, doesn’t it look awesome?

It’s got a 6.5 horsepower engine, and can carry up to 250lbs as fast as 18mph. That might not sound fast if you’re used to cars, but when you’re whizzing along millimetres from the snow, it feels a damn sight faster than is comfortable. You steer by – *gulp* – leaning to one side, and it’ll run for two hours on three quarters of a gallon of petrol. The cost? A slick US$2,000. At that price, I’ll stick to my skis.

Hammacher Schlemmer (via OhGizmo!)

Related posts: Sno-Baller: huge tongs for making perfectly spherical snowballs | 20,000MW Speakers made of snow

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Duncan GeerePetrol-powered Snowboard is snow joke

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a dick on some skates.

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There’s been a number of attempts to invent new ways to commute over the years. There was the famously laughable Sinclair C5, the famously laughable Segway, and now designers have come up with some wheels that you put your feet in – dubbed the “CenterSkates”.

They seem to be basically a hybrid of skateboards and roller skates, in that they combine the convenience of having two separate components that you can relatively easily store in a bag and the frustration of having to ride them like a skateboard…

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James O'MalleyIs it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a dick on some skates.