Swedish hackers have put together the GåågleBot: "a 'home crawler' consisting of a vacuum roomba with an on board webserver and camera. While the vacuum goes about its business, it extracts text from the images it takes. The text is later put in a database on the roomba and searchable through a web interface."
The idea is that you release this thing and it crawls your house and indexes everything that has text on it. Later, you can google your house, asking the index to find you books, groceries, CDs -- anything with a label.
Lots of people have written to me to tell me that this reminds them of the roommateware I wrote about in my novel Makers, and I can see what they mean. But to my mind, the science fiction that this most strongly evokes is Paul Ford's Robot Exclusion Protocol, one of the funniest and most prescient bits of technospeculation I've ever read (go read it now, it's short and you'll thank me).
CuloClean is a portable gadget that turns a plastic bottle into a bidet. I can’t vouch for its efficacy but it seems like a useful alternative to wiping your bum, especially as toilet paper has become a high-value currency. Apparently CuloClean supplies are also running low but it seems like you could make one yourself […]
Today apple announced a new MacBook Air (faster, cheaper) and an upgraded iPad Pro with LiDAR, “studio-quality” microphones and the full array of ultrawide and telephoto lenses as sported on recent top-of-the-line iPhones. But the thing that sells it to me is the new keyboard, which includes a trackpad (at last!) and fancy hinge that […]
A tiny, bargain-priced drone that delivers cinematic HD footage? Full speed ahead, backers! But alas, there’s a problem: coronavirus. The BBC reports on backers who pledged nearly $2m and are about to experience disappointment. Ash Hall, who reviews drones, published a damning video opinion piece on YouTube. He was fiercely critical not just of the […]
Every new year, people vow to read more. Of course, it seldom actually happens, but we all wish we had more time to slow down, pick up one of the books off the bedside table we’ve been meaning to get through, and dive in. If we can find any silver lining to all the COVID-19 […]
With so much chaos happening in the world at the moment, this may not seem like the right time to start a new hobby. However, we would argue that now is actually the perfect time to dive into something new. Things are changing — and while there’s plenty happening that’s worthy of genuine concern, there’s […]
While all of us face the daily challenges and major concerns surrounding the coronavirus epidemic and accompanying societal lockdown measures, there are also handfuls of smaller-scale crises sparked by the outbreak. Like…what do I do if I can’t go to the gym? Gyms and workout facilities in many areas are already closed until further notice, […]