LNER installs seat sensors to help customers find empty seats

There's nothing more annoying than having to stand on a train (or sit on the floor, as Jeremy Corbyn will testify!) But one trainline has a solution - sensors which detect whether a seat is free. London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has begun using the technology above seats on all its trains to make it…

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…

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."

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.

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)

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VIDEO: Susi rides a Segway, Dan turns green with envy

Right, that's it. I'm officially jealous. Susi went down to Cornwall the other day under the guise of something about sending messages into space but actually, it seems, to have Segway lessons. See footage below…

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!)

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