6th January 2016

TiQ

timely. interesting. quick.

tech

Flexible displays have for a long time been touted as a possible innovation that could completely change the world of technology, and now LG has demonstrated a prototype 18-inch screen that rolls up like a piece of paper. There is obvious attraction to such demonstrations and they certainly have the wow factor, but I remain slightly perplexed as to the potential application for such technology. I guess they could be used in body-worn tech, but as someone who doesn’t even see the advantage of a slightly curved TV screen, my mind is unable to see the possibilities. That, however, is usually a good thing when it comes to tech and its potential to change the world. More on this subject at Core 77.

I mentioned the rising sales of cassette tapes in an earlier edition of TiQ, but it seems that vinyl is proving to be even more popular. Hidden within a long press statement from Amazon is a line detailing the best selling home audio product; the Jensen JTA-230 3-Speed Stereo Turntable with Built-in Speakers. There is still nothing that feels quite the same as the satisfying ‘dumph’ noise you hear when placing the stylus on a record just right.

I’m quite surprised that I have not see a product like Bedphones before because they appear to solve a problem that has existed as long as in-ear headphones have. The idea is great, but of course the sound quality is what really matters. Also, the marketing appears to be somewhat ambitious- “According to a study conducted by the popular UK travel website Travelodge, “eight out of ten Britons rely on music to help them nod off. Studies from around the world have highlighted that listening to music does relax you.” Many Bedphones customers have told us that our product has literally changed their lives by allowing them to sleep better and drown out the noises of CPAP masks (sleep apnea), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and other sleep-related illnesses. Even America’s National Sleep Foundation recommends “calming music” as a treatment for insomnia. Bedphones are such a useful tool for sleep, the original model was featured on both The Dr. Oz Show and Good Morning America.”

Fitbit has announced a ‘Fitness Watch’ called the Blaze. I find this interesting because up until now we have had fitness bands that are wholly concentrated on exercise and health, and smart watches, but rarely a combination of the two. The Blaze covers all of the features you would expect including heart rate tracking, steps etc, but it also lets you deal with alerts, control your music and use on-screen workouts. You can pre-order it now for £159.99 / $199.95.

Twitter is currently considering a 10,000 character limit, according to these sources. That’s the same character limit the company uses for its Direct Messages product, so it isn’t a complete surprise.” From re/code. Nooooo!!! The presumption that tweets will remain limited to 140 characters is reassuring, but the fact is that this would likely change what made Twitter so successful into something completely different. Something like so many other social networks already out there.

everything else

The news that Lego Sets Are a Better Investment Than Gold may be surprising, but a quick look on eBay will validate this fact. Esquire has listed some of the most expensive Lego sets available and the prices are truly surprising. Part of me regrets opening up the Death Star II set we bought for our son a decade ago for £250 (value now $2,270), but I wouldn’t want to give up the weeks we spent together building it. It was worth every penny.

An unlucky air passenger was watching a pirated film while completely unaware that the person sat next to him was an actress who appeared in the film. Her tweetabout the incident has spread far and wide making the entire incident even more amusing.

I guess this is almost a tech post, but the news that Luminosity has to pay a $2 million fine over the way it advertises ‘brain training’ products is worth an inclusion. The main problem was that “they deceived consumers with unfounded claims that Lumosity games can help users perform better at work and in school, and reduce or delay cognitive impairment associated with age and other serious health conditions.” More at the FTC.

I had to share this selection of pictures of a train sculpture made from a pencil. Seriously, how on earth do people do such things? It blows my mind.

Isolated vocals have become a ‘thing’ recently, but Freddie Mercury’s from We Are The Champions are truly outstanding. You can play the full isolated track at The Loop.



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