The 10 most epic Rube Goldberg machines of all time

The 10 most epic Rube Goldberg machines of all time

The 10 most epic Rube Goldberg machines of all time There isn’t anyone on the planet who can deny watching a good Rube Goldberg machine. For those of you who don’t know, Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist, often referred to as the father of invention, for his series of comics depicting complicated, deliberately over-engineered contraptions that perform a very simple task. One step triggers the next in a chain reaction until the final task is complete. Once it starts it’s practically impossible to peel yourself away from the anticipation of what’s coming next. From Japan to the U.S., Goldberg contraptions have flooded cultures around the world in commercials, contests, movies, and TV shows. We’ve compiled the best Rube Goldberg machines, apparatuses, inventions, and devices for your visual entertainment.   Six hundred and six takes later, this Honda commercial titled “Cog” first aired in the UK in 2003. Hoping to boost car sales, Honda got a team of engineers, car designers, and even a sculptor to design the machine — made up parts from two disassembled Honda Accords. The two minute commercial, which only aired on TV a handful of times, cost over $1 million and seven months to film. That said, it proved to be money well spent. The commercial’s popularity skyrocketed in the UK, hitting the highest web traffic records for the Honda UK domain in its history the day after the commercial aired. “Cog” has also nabbed the most awards of any commercial in history to date. No graphics or digital tricks were used in the making of the commercial, despite what YouTube commenters would have...
Google has plans for a lot more of its self-driving cars

Google has plans for a lot more of its self-driving cars

Google has plans for a lot more of its self-driving cars If you’re a fan of Google’s bubble-shaped self-driving cars, good news: The company wants to make a lot more of them. In fact, its edging closer  to mass production, Google’s Sarah Hunter told the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this week. The autonomous vehicles — designed from the ground  up by Google — have recently begun testing in Austin, Texas after operating in California for several years. “We’re… making a few hundred of them,” said Hunter, as the Guardian reports. “We’re making them to enable our team to learn how to actually build a self-driving vehicle from the ground up.” Hunter is head of policy at GoogleX, the division that handles its “moonshot” projects, developed with the far future in mind. For the time being, Google’s autonomous vehicles are powered by electric batteries,  but future models may use some form of hybrid engine, Hunter said. The company’s self-driving  technology was first tested via a fleet of modified Lexus cars, but these new motors have  been designed from scratch with artificial intelligence drivers in mind. For the time being, the vehicles are limited to a top speed of 25mph. They also require detailed maps of the places they operate in, on top of the advanced scanning equipment incorporated into the car itself — that’s one of the reasons why the cars have been trialled in a limited number of locations so far. Current U.S. legislation only permits the testing of self-driving car if a human is present to seize control if necessary. Should Google get into the business of mass manufacturing, the roll-out of these vehicles would still be...
Glitter nail polish: The new way to protect your data – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent

Glitter nail polish: The new way to protect your data – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent

Security experts have come up with a novel way to ensure your laptop or tablet hasn’t been tampered with and your data compromised – glitter nail polish. Physical tampering with devices to steal data, or install malware for monitoring purposes, is becoming an increasing problem, especially when travelling, where border officials can easily confiscate devices for ‘inspection’. Problems with hardware interference and data theft have been particularly reported by business travellers to China. The UK government meanwhile has the right to suck all the data from a device and store it when people enter and leave the country. Many people do fit tamper-proof seals over ports and screws, but these can easily be opened cleanly or replicated in minutes by anyone with minimal training, security researchers Eric Michaud and Ryan Lackey said, while presenting at the Chaos Communication Congress, reports Wired magazine. The pair’s answer – create a seal that cannot be copied. Glitter nail polish is the perfect candidate for making the seal, the pair added, as a completely random pattern is created, unlike with standard paint or a sticker. Once applied, a photo can be taken on a device such as a smartphone that will not leave your side – or can be left at home – to ensure the image has not been tampered with. Taking a second picture once you’ve returned from a trip or become suspicious that your laptop has been meddled with, then running the two through a program that allow the two images to be rapidly switched between, will allow you to spot any differences if the glitter nail polish has been...
13 Crazy Gadgets Coming in 2015: Genius or Pointless? | Digital Trends

13 Crazy Gadgets Coming in 2015: Genius or Pointless? | Digital Trends

We take a look at 13 eye-catching gadgets from this year’s CES and ask whether they’re genius or crazy. Do we need a smart belt, a robot for luggage, or a bionic bird? We love tech here at DT and we believe in its ability to enrich our lives. We can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than with CES, but there are some gadgets on show in Vegas that would give even the most hardened technophile pause for thought. Amid the glittering nuggets of gold, there are plenty of answers to questions no-one posed. They say there’s a fine line between genius and insanity. These gadgets challenge you to define it. Logbar Ring https://youtu.be/nBUWxROnqwA This ring lets you point and gesture to turn on the TV, switch off the lights, or launch an app on your smartphone. It could make you feel like a wizard, but how much would you be willing to pay for precious gesture control? At $270, it’s not cheap, and according to early reviews and Kickstarter backers, it has more than a few problems. Digitsole smart insoles How would you like to get your hands on a rechargeable insole that can be used to heat your feet and track your steps? You can link up to Digitsole via Bluetooth and use an Android or iOS app to adjust the temperature of your feet (separately if necessary). The insoles will also track your steps and tell you how many calories you’ve burned. This first caught our eye last year when there was a successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in more than double the $40k...
Peugeot and IBM to develop services using connected car data

Peugeot and IBM to develop services using connected car data

Peugeot and IBM will use connected car data to develop services and products that other car brands, smart cities and retailers can use. Peugeot Citroën is planning on analysing its driver’s data to help other industries like retailers, smart cities and car dealerships create better services. The carmaker, which claims to have the largest number of connected cars on the road, will work with IBM to create new business opportunities in the automotive distribution, smarter city and retail space. Data could be used to inform road-building decisions within cities, and develop smart communication services to help ease traffic and congestion, for example. Competitor BMW has previously said it would not sell any of its customer’s car data to third companies. Brigitte Courtehoux, PSA Peugeot Citroën’s connected products lead said: “We realised early on that connected vehicles, as part of the Internet of Things, were a key factor in the improvement of the customer experience towards our Brands. “In partnership with IBM, we are unleashing connected services to the masses, so consumers can experience a new level of comfort and convenience from their cars, while industries seize new opportunities to deliver personalised services.” The firms first struck a deal last year, when the carmaker turned to IBM for its Big Data and Analytics tool and MobileFirst Solutions to help provide connected services to drivers, Now, an expanded seven-year agreement will focus on commercialising these services to other customers, and building technology that other clients will benefit from, all marketed from an Innovation Centre in Paris. IBM’s global automotive lead, Dirk Wollschläger said: “Under this partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroën, we are...
Wild watches: Indies stir passions at Baselworld 2015

Wild watches: Indies stir passions at Baselworld 2015

Wild watches: Indies stir passions at Baselworld 2015 In all likelihood you’ve never seen a watch quite like the Astronomia Tourbillon. Inside its domed sapphire case, a spinning 288-sided diamond represents the moon, which orbits around a hand-painted model of the earth as they both rotate around the centre once every 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the brains of the watch – a part known as the tourbillon – projects out in another direction, spinning across three axes simultaneously, while a revolving watch face on a fourth arm completes the celestial choreography. Such showmanship doesn’t come cheap, costing more than half a million dollars (£370,000), but it illustrates how independent watchmakers are attempting to push the boundaries of a centuries-old craft. “To achieve this movement required engineering involving CAD [computer aided design] to see if everything works,” says Maurizio Mazzocchi, managing director of the watch’s creator Jacob&Co.  “Without today’s technology we could not do a watch like this, it would be impossible. “But then everything is made by hand.”    Smarter watches Jacob & Co is one of the biggest privately-owned firms at this year’s Baselworld trade show. At the other end of the scale is 4N – a one-man operation consisting of Francois Quentin, a former designer for Louis Vuitton and Tissot. He calls his watches “digital” because they tell the time by displaying digits in a central rectangular box. But the mechanical mechanism he uses to achieve this is brain-achingly complex, requiring 540 components, each finished and fitted together by hand.   “Collectors want very complicated watches with high finishing,” Mr Quentin explains. “To make each watch I need...