Old computers made to look brand new thanks to photo retouching

Friday, 26 August, 2016

Photo by James Ball and INK

London based photographer James Ball, in collaboration with digital production studio INK, recently retouched vintage photos of early computers, to make them appear to look brand new.

Included in the collection of images, that is titled Guide To Computing, are the Pilot ACE, designed by Alan Turing, and the IBM 1401, that dates from 1959.

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There aren’t too many lift operators in the world, but here’s one

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Today it might seem strange that the elevators, or lifts, in many buildings once had human operators, whose job was to drive it. Open and close the doors. Push start and stop buttons. Be prepared to announce the floor the elevator had arrived at, and what might be there.

It makes me wonder, did operators require a drivers license, before they could take charge of a lift? Of course, elevators weren’t quite as automated as they are today, so some level of skill was required to work one.

But seventy-five year old Ruben Pardo, who has been driving the elevator in a high rise on Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard since 1976, could tell you more about that. His work may have been made redundant by technology just about everywhere else, but I doubt that the people who use his lift mind that there is still a human driver.

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One day you’ll be able to control your smartphone by smart tattoo

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

One day, perhaps in the not too distant future, we may be able to control our smartphones remotely, by way of a temporary tattoo that acts as a touchpad. I could think of other devices that I’d rather control in this fashion, since I almost feel as if my smartphone is attached to me anyway, but the concept has promise.

A good tattoo artist could probably devise some more personalised designs, giving the idea further appeal. If nothing else, the notion beats chip-implants, or brain caps. More information about the technology that makes these touchpad tattoos work, can be found here.

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Now you can cook up toast with customised messages and patterns

Tuesday, 16 August, 2016

Every now and again I’ll think I can discern a shape, or pattern, in a slice of bread that’s just popped out of the toaster. It can be a little like looking at clouds, and seeing the outlines of animals, or countries, drifting across the sky.

When it comes making out patterns in cooked toast though, there’s no need to leave it to the imagination anymore. Toasteroid is an in-development app, that will allow toast makers to cook individual, personalised, shapes, patterns, and even messages, into their toast each morning.

All you’ll need is a Bluetooth enabled smartphone, the app, and a Toasteroid toaster. If you want toast that really makes a statement, find out more here.

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The tattooists of the future, Industrial Robots?

Monday, 8 August, 2016

Johan and Pierre, two university students, became interested in the idea of industrial robots being purposed to give people tattoos, while they were studying at French design school, ENSCI-Les Ateliers.

From the looks for things, their creation, developed in partnership with ‎Autodesk, a US software and engineering company, applies a mean tattoo. Having said that, it’s recommended you don’t try this sort of thing at home. That makes sense.

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You need no longer concern yourself with the VCR…

Wednesday, 3 August, 2016

I remember the VCR, or VideoCassette Recorder, and I remember the day it was superseded by CD and DVD discs. I remember the tape tangling up, and being “eaten” by VCR players. I remember them making owning a collection of movies more trouble than it was worth, on account of their bulk and weight.

Not that DVDs were without their shortcomings. Or downloadable movies for that matter. Anyway, the final batch of VCRs was manufactured last month. I know some people will miss them, but not here.

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Are you cast under the spell of the default setting?

Tuesday, 2 August, 2016

How often do you buy a new device, be it a smartphone, a laptop, or household appliance, and adjust the factory, or default, settings? Do you customise whatever you’ve just acquired to specifically suit your needs, or do you leave it as is? Often times, people don’t change anything, handing the manufacturers a certain degree of control in the process.

They might not seem like much, but defaults (and their designers) hold immense power – they make decisions for us that we’re not even aware of making. Consider the fact that most people never change the factory settings on their computer, the default ringtone on their phones, or the default temperature in their fridge. Someone, somewhere, decided what those defaults should be – and it probably wasn’t you.

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Would a self driving suitcase be useful to you, then?

Monday, 1 August, 2016

I still have my doubts about driverless cars, but autonomous, smart, GPS enabled, suitcases? They might be another story all together.

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Fear of innovation? Is that really why we don’t like new stuff?

Wednesday, 27 July, 2016

We really don’t take to new things do we? Apparently when coffee and refrigerators arrived, respectively, they were met with resistance. Yet where would we be without either?

Harvard University professor, Calestous Juma, suggests the reluctance to adopt new technologies isn’t out of a fear of innovation as such though, rather it comes down to a sense of loss, in relinquishing an older something, that has been part of out lives for, possibly, quite sometime.

Among Juma’s assertions is that people don’t fear innovation simply because the technology is new, but because innovation often means losing a piece of their identity or lifestyle. Innovation can also separate people from nature or their sense of purpose – two things that Juma argues are fundamental to the human experience.

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Are drones the new photographers? Check these photos out and see

Tuesday, 26 July, 2016

Say what you will about drones, or unmanned aerial vehicle, some of their applications could, at best, be considered questionable, but when it comes to finding a good angle, or vantage point, for photographers, it could be said they come into their own. Check out some of these photos, taken with the aid of drones, and see what I mean.

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