Tech Digest Daily Roundup – 15 May 2007

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plasma1.jpg

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but as far as I can tell, there are only two ways to package up a plasma TV. You can do a good, careful job ensuring that it won’t get damaged en-route to the living room of its new owner. Or… well, you can pack it like the one above. More info and pics of the smashed telly here.

Meanwhile, if you’re a budding flyboy, you’ll want to start saving your pennies for the awesome-looking F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter helmet-mounted display system. It might not improve your piloting abilities, but at least you can run round the local park pretending you’re in Halo.

I’m old enough to remember the days when kids didn’t play Halo, but spent their time learning to write programs (i.e. 10 PRINT “GARY SMELLS”, 20 GOTO 10) on their home computers. The dawn of consoles has nixed that, of course, but a new coding tool called Scratch aims to get The Kids creating their own animations, games and interactive artworks using a building-block graphical interface. Cool.

japanese-muscle-suit.jpgObviously, most kids would be more interested in getting their hands on a crazy Japanese Muscle Suit (pictured), and rightly so. It’d look grand paired with the F-35 helmet.

Onto more design-related matters. Glide is selling some ace-looking LED lighting cubes, which twist together into any combination you like. Sensibly enough, the company has given them the brand-name Twist-Together. In other twisty design news, architect David Fisher has unveiled plans for a twirling skyscraper with a wind turbine between every floor, capable of powering itself and up to ten other buildings. Cor.

myspace-news.jpgBack to the Web though, where commentators have started wondering why MySpace News (pictured) is so quiet.

The service is a rival to Digg, allowing users to vote on their favourite news stories in a variety of areas. However, it’s not exactly overrun with users at the moment, which is surprising considering the squillions of MySpace users that should in theory be using it. It certainly hasn’t made a dent on eBizMBA’s chart of the Top 20 social bookmarking sites, which is headed by Digg, Netscape, Technorati, del.icio.us, and StumbleUpon (in that order).

In more ‘scientists research the funniest things’ news, how about billboards that stare back at you, and respond in some way when your attention wanes (presumably via some kind of robotic arm that shoots out, clamps onto your skull and forces you to absorb whatever marketing message is being promoted).

Finally, researchers at several US universities are ploughing brainpower and resources into invisibility cloaks. “Theoretically it’s possible,” says Duke University professor David Smith, whose salary is presumably dependent on invisibility being theoretically possible. Hurrah!

Stuart Dredge