Mice on air

inno1-121008Up until now, mousing, the act of navigating your computer with an electronic mouse, cordless or otherwise, could only be done effectively on a hard, flat surface. Not any more. A company called Gyration has invented the Air Mouse, which is equipped with a gyroscope able to detect motion in three dimensions which means you can just wave the mouse around in the air to get where you want to be in your machine.

Fuel price via Tom Tom

GPS navigation systems maker TomTom has launched a Fuel Price subscription service that allows access to daily updates on fuel prices. Users can tell their device whether to list petrol stations by location or price, and can also ask for the lowest fuel price on their route, nearby or within a selected radius. For now, the system, which works in partnership with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), is only available in the US. Subscription costs $20 a year.

Aye caRoomba!

The unnamed soldier in the previous story probably never saw his Wii as something that could be hacked to perform a function (in his case tattle tale) that it was not strictly meant for. Ron Tajima, however, has made it his job to do so. Here he has turned a Wii Balance Board into a controller for a Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner. In the YouTube video Tajima explains how the hack works and then demonstrates how the extent to which he leans on the Balance Board controls the radius of the Roomba's turn and its direction.

Wii tells on

To most people the Nintendo Wii is no more than a games console that brings with it the promise of physical fitness and flexibility and a chance to hone golfing and hoola hooping skills. It also has the potential to reunite families broken up by anti social pursuits like online surfing and television. For one American soldier though, Wii recently became much more: a witness to his wife's infidelity while he was deployed in Iraq. His Wii had stored, as Wii does, the profile of a Mii ( personal Wii profile) not known to him, which turned out to be his wife's lover. The two Mii's had been spending evenings engaging in virtual bowling sessions – on his Wii.  Independent tech reporter Nick Harding writes that while new technology like mobile phones and social networking are an aid to philandering, it has also made it alot harder to cover the digital footprint we leave behind which he likens to "specks of DNA sprayed across the bedsheet of cyberspace".  

Veep goes the text message

Boston.com reported on Monday this week that Barack Obama's SMS announcing that he had picked Senator Joseph Biden as his running mate was sent to almost 3 million subscribers, making it the single biggest mobile marketing event ever to have happened in the US. According to smartcompany.com, if Obama paid the standard 10c a text, the stunt would have cost the campaign a staggering $290,000. The irony is that the news was scooped two hours before the official message was sent (to those who had signed up to the service) by leaks to the media, after a Secret Service detail was dispatched to Biden's house, making it pretty obvious that he was the Chosen One. Mediabistro reporter Glynnis MacNicol has this advice: "If you want to own the story probably best to jump on the send button once the MSM surrounds your super-secret VP choice's house with camera crews."