How Star Trek predicted the future

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was a visionary man. He foresaw a future in which humanity had learned to live together in peace and harmony. A future in which the people of Earth had joined forces with alien races to…

The UK's identity card scheme has one fatal flaw – no one's bought any card READERS yet


EDITOR’S NOTE: Please read this update while playing the theme tune from Benny Hill in the background.

The UK government may well be pushing ahead with its scheme to start rolling out ID cards to airport staff and other key workers in the security sector, but there’s one rather sizeable problem – the card readers. There aren’t any.

The government apparently failed to budget for the thousands upon thousands of card readers that…

Computertan, the web-based home tanning system powered by LCD rays


Oh dear. Today is a sad day. We have been amused and entertained by a marketing campaign 🙁

The marketing campaign in question is that of ComputerTan, a supposed online tanning system that uses the deadly rays output by your PC monitor to bring a healthy orange glow to your face while you work.

It is, of course, a joke – perpetrated by UK skin cancer charity Skcin and designed to raise awareness of how bad it is to pursue the tanned look. The Times says some…

WE CAN REBUILD HIM: Ten gadgets to keep Steve Jobs alive and well for another 30 years


Apple needs Steve! The world needs Steve! Steve Jobs says he’s a little bit sick, but technology can keep him going for longer, just like Steven Hawking.

Here’s how Steve Jobs can ensure he lives to be 100 – or more – thanks to the modern technology he loves and has helped shape, guaranteeing peace of mind for all Apple fans and the company’s panicking shareholders.

The worst case scenario can be averted. Steve needs to employ a nurse to be with him at all times, ready to pounce with the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator should he collapse while ordering the Coffeee of the Day from the local Starbucks. Pay her minimum wage and you’ve got 24-hour-a-day Steve reassurance for less than 20k a year.

A cheap, standard high street blood pressure monitor would reassure us all of Steve’s health. An Apple engineer could add a wi-fi adaptor and have it feed data to the Apple web site, letting the world see a reassuring count of Steve’s current blood pressure in real time.

If Steve was to fall over and bump his head, the results for Apple, its shareholders and fans would be devastating. We therefore propose that Steve encases his precious brain in a Shoei X-Spirit Helmet, the finest cranium-padding money can buy. You can’t put a price on Steve’s brain stem and frontal lobe! The matte black will also match his outfits.

Forcefields invented, evil geniuses rub hands with glee


Before you get too excited, we’re not talking about keeping the Borg in the brig here. However, scientists have developed a gadget called “Envirostat”, which will allow them to keep individual cells in a force field of sorts. That means that they can assess the individual cell response to a single variable, while other conditions are kept stable.

The application is in the development of drugs and biofuels, where scientists want to be able to assess the impact of adding something, without feedback mechanisms clouding the response. Still, if you’re an amoeba with enemies, I’d watch out if I were you. Video of the tech in action over the jump.

Sexy dancing robot ladies look at you, in some clever artistic commentary on CCTV society


If you want the thrill of seeing a woman dancing on a stage but without the risk of being seen entering the establishment or having to make eye contact with a live female, here’s a perfect futuristic solution.

This collection of moving, gyrating, female-like components can be seen in action at the Mutate Britain exhibition, where you can stare all you want without being made to feel sad or guilty because…

USB Endoscope – seeing things that should never be seen


Ever wanted to insert a camera into various orifices in your body? NOW YOU CAN with the USB Endoscope. Blowing every single other USB gadget I’ve ever seen out of the water, the USB Endoscope indulges your inner gut fetishist, while simultaneously allowing you to broadcast the images over the web with the greatest of ease. Hey, check out my urethra!

If you haven’t lost your lunch yet, then you’ll want to be buying one, right? It’s US$99 (about £67 in real money) and features 640×480 resolution, built in illumination, and – critically – a thickness of just 12mm. It’s just over 14cm long, so you won’t be able to push it in too far – promise me you won’t lose the damn thing in there, okay?

USB Endoscope

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Philips develops iPill – an 'intelligent' pill. Because normal pills are Thicky McThick


Philips, ever the purveyor of useful biotechnology, has developed an intelligent pill. The device contains a chip, a battery, a wireless radio, a pump and a drug reservoir. The device is still only a prototype, but it’ll be presented at a conference in Atlanta later this month and Philips say it’s already suitable for serial manufacturing.

It’s also got a thermometer and acidity sensor, thought to be a minituarised human with some litmus paper. The idea is that it waits until it’s in exactly the right part of your gut before it releases its life-giving load and makes your tummy feel all better. It means that much lower doses of powerful drugs can be used.

Philips (via Reuters)

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