UK Twitter traffic trebles in a month


Twitter’s popularity in the UK has exploded since January, after a number of high-profile celebrity Twitterers including @stephenfry, @wossy and @schofe started using it, and talking about it. As a result, the site’s traffic has trebled since ths start of the year, according to Hitwise Intelligence.

All that traffic has catapulted Twitter into the top 100 UK sites, where it now sits at #91, above Expedia, Gumtree and Easyjet. It’s also ranking seventh within the “Social Networking and Forums” category. Of course, this still underrates Twitter’s popularity, because many people don’t use the website to interact with the site. Real numbers would be even higher.

(via Hitwise Intelligence)

Nine-year-old Malaysian prodigy codes iPhone app


You’ve got to envy Lim Ding Wen. Although I didn’t do too badly in my pre-10-year-old geek cred (I learnt BASIC on a BBC Microcomputer), he blows me out of the water by learning six programming languages and coding an iPhone app.

The application in question is called Doodle Kids, and it allows users to paint with their fingers, and then clear the screen etch-a-sketch style by shaking the phone. It’s been downloaded more than 4,000 times in less than two weeks. His next project? A sci-fi game called “Invader Wars”. Pretty soon he’s going to be coding SkyNet

(via BBC)

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VIDEO: Worldwide air traffic over 24 hours

Click play on the video. Now watch as the world’s aeroplanes cross continents and oceans. It’s strangely relaxing in the same way that watching a trail of ants in a garden on a warm summer’s afternoon is relaxing. One thing that’s worth looking out for – compare Europe at the start of the video to Europe at 0:45 – the flight volume changes dramatically between day and night.

Seen a similarly fantastic depiction of data? Post it in the comments below. I love stuff like this, so if you’ve got a favourite visualization of information then I want to see it too.

Nitmesh (via @damiano)

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How to hack roadsigns to display whatever you like


You know those signs that litter the hard shoulder of motorways, warning oncoming motorists about ice, or telling them to slow down? Well, if you fancy some fun early one morning, how about hacking one to display something different?

It’s startlingly easy, as this tutorial from iHacked demonstrates. It even gives a password reset method, if the workers have changed the default configuration. What would you change it to say? Suggestions in the comments.

Inside Programmable Road Signs

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Guitar Hero III has made more money than any other videogame ever



That’s how much money has been spent, since its release on October 28th 2007, on Guitar Hero III. That’s enough money to buy 1.3 million 16GB pay-as-you-go iPhones, 18 million Thrustmaster T.16000M joysticks, or 50,000 blinged-up Macbook Airs.

Of course, the whole thing is helped by the fact that the game cost about $90 when it was released, almost twice the price of a normal game, due to its plastic guitar peripheral. Expect sales of Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band, however, to eclipse this figure once again, due to their massive full-band instrument packs.

XKCD Guitar Hero (via Kotaku)

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CES 2009: Sennheiser announces "world's best headphones"- the HD800s


Sennheiser’s making quite a bold claim here – the world’s best headphones. The HD800s apparently sound better than any other pair of headphones on the planet. I suspect that it might be difficult to prove that one to a jury – surely it’s more than a little subjective?

But let’s not quibble over that – it’s beyond doubt that these are damn good. A brand new “RING” driver, developed specifically for these cans alone, can deliver an amazing 6Hz – 51kHz frequency response. For comparison, your average person on the street can hear about 20Hz to 20kHz. Unless you’re an audiophile, therefore, you’re not going to get much out of these. Sennheiser also claims an amazingly low 0.02% distortion.

VIDEO: Tilt-shifted monster trucks look like toys

This remarkable video is the work of Australian Keith Loutit, who specialises in tilt-shift photography. This technique involves manipulating the focus of an image so that it appears toylike. There’s a great Photoshop how-to here, and a gallery of other tilt-shift pics here. Post your favourites in the comments below.

(via the Telegraph)

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When Ninjas attack… your fridge


The other day, CrunchGear wrote up a useful, in-depth analysis of the Pirates vs Ninjas debate. They concluded the latter, but I think they forgot about the fact that Pirates are constantly drunk, so don’t really feel any pain.

However, if a Ninja needed to leave you a note (saying you were ‘next’ or reminding you to buy some milk, perhaps), this is how he (or she) would do it. They’d sneak into your kitchen in the dead of night, silencing your dog with a poison dart, and then use one of these throwing star magnets to affix the note (written in blood, obviously) to the fridge door, or any other convenient metal surface.

Sadly the site that sells these BRILLIANT items is out of stock until January. We’ve known about these for a couple of weeks, but didn’t want to get your hopes up about a sneaky Christmas present before now. Still, if you fancy pre-ordering for when they’re restocked, then they cost just £12.80, plus shipping.

Epaulet (via OhGizmo!)

Soundcloud makes sharing music files easy peasy


Do you work in, or closely with, music? Do you regularly find yourself trying to send music files to people, and having difficulty due to the multi-MB nature of most music files? Yeah, I know, email sucks – but so does linking someone to a MySpace, especially if it’s a file that you don’t necessarily want on public release.

Or perhaps you’re a DJ, and you want to share mixes with people you know. Not publicly, just to close friends, or people on a mailing list. In either case, what you need is a recently-launched site called Soundcloud.

SHINY VIDEO REVIEW: Samsung M8800 Pixon

Check out the video above for Lucy’s thought’s on Samsung’s lovely 8-megapixel ‘Pixon’ cameraphone. It’s got a touchscreen, autofocus, ASR and WDR, and 16x zoom, along with an awesome slow-motion video mode. It’s almost like it’s a camera first and a phone second!

Samsung Mobile

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