transparent_toaster

This is what a toaster has to look like. Seeing through the toasters wall gives you absolute control over the crispyness of your toast and therefore making you a toast-master. 

Maybe not … because this bread-grilling beauty is just a concept design. The heat is supposed to be delivered by “heat glass walls”. And why not, when you can heat windows of your car, why don’t you toast?


My perfect Sunday afternoon video. 


Adobe is going to release a new version of its Flash Player (Version 9 Update 3 Beta 2). The new version is a quantum leap with added support for the video codec H.264 (MPeg-4), and the mobile video standard 3GP. Aslo added to the package is High Efficiency AAC and hardware accelerated “multi-core” fullscreen playback. Adobe claims that these advancement will enable the delivery of HD-TV quality video on the internet.

flash_logo

 This is the first major improvement to the Flash player since the last update in June 2006. The usage of the H.264 codec is key to high definition video on the web. Popular video sites such as YouTube are already encodeing their videos in this format and the two phisical HD flavours HD-DVD and Bluray are based on H.264 as well.  TheI predict a massive move to higher resolutions for videos on the web untill the end of the year.

The support of 3GP shows that Adobe wants to embrace the mobile market even more by implementing the the standard codec for mobile videos into Flash.

Adobe engineer Tinic Uro has posted an extensive article about the new version on his blog.

The new version is going to be available at the Adobe Labs.


santa

Some people spread the word of God and other people, well they become militant anti-santa guys. I stumbled upon this great guerilla add on digg and started exploring the project’s website spellingmistakescostlives.com.

The website is the home of different projects like the hilarious “I love Arms” page or the “Fear Channel“. You might find other funny and disturbing project (pieces of art?) on the site. The whole show is a creation of a certain Darren from Glasgow. You might also check out his band’s website at shitdisco.co.uk.

This just saved my day!


Why does it feel like an Apple add … ?


 shenzenbigbrother

The New York Times reports about a security/tracking system which is being built in Shenzen, China. Some 20’000+  surveilance cameras are being installed and will be guided by US-financed software to keep track of the 12.4 million population. To make this work the Chinese came up with an idea George Orwell would have loved: Every citizen of the quick growing city will be required to carry a residency card on which a chip is embedded. The following quote from the New York Times should scare you.

Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.

“If they do not get the permanent card, they cannot live here, they cannot get government benefits, and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future,” said Michael Lin, the vice president for investor relations at China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology.

The above mentioned “China Public Security Technology” company has offices in Los Angeles and New York since they work closely with IBM, HP, Cisco and Dell.

Land of the brave, land of the free …

Links: Article on BoingBoing and the New York Times report


zootok1

When did you think about a “long-distance call” the last time? Wasn’t that something your grandparents were afraid of? I guess. But today we are using Skype or any VOIP service available to us to save money and to make things easy. Pair the idea of digital calls with Web 2.0 and what you get is Zootok. It’s almost a cliché. The concept is the following: You sign up to get cheap international calls. You can either call over the web or by texting the desired number to them and then getting connected. The fares are not clearely disclosed by the way, so here is the official wording. 

“From anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world for less than the price of a coca-cola.”   

Or rather: You get charged 50p (British Pence) for one connection. And that’s a fair price isn’t it? Especially since you can call either landlines or mobilephones anywhere on our great planet. If it only worked …   I tried to call up my brother in London on his Swiss mobile number well, he simply couldn’t hear me. It’s still bugy and in a quite earl state. For example you don’t hear the “ringing” sound while calling but you have to wait untill the phone gets picked up on the other side. Since the guys from Zootok added me as their twitter friends I might well finish this post by saying: Give it a shot, they are new, eager to dominate the world and you get the first two calls for free!