technology: January 2010 Archives

275x250.jpgCar alarms and the dreaded PC egg timer have been voted the most irritating pieces of technology ever invented.

The screeching sirens, which often start in the middle of the night, just beat the 'loading' egg timer which appears on computer screens, for the top position.
Computers in general came third in the poll of 5,000 people while speed cameras were fourth.
Unhelpful and illogical automated phone systems which leave Brits confused and send them round in circles, came fifth.
It was also found that bits of technology drive us mad an average of four times a day… we are guessing it was more if you're a Windows user.

275x250.jpgIt was launched as the world's cheapest car, but the Tata Nano could soon sell for prices normally associated with a Ferrari or Porsche.

Makers of the basic £1,400 car say they will produce bespoke versions of the 3.1-metre car which could sell for around £140,000.

While the basic shape of the car will remain the same, the engine will jump from 624cc to 1600cc and the Mumbai-based firm will be adding "a lot of tech wizardry" inside.

The rear seats will also be stripped out and larger wheels fitted. The top speed will double, to 124mph.

However, even with the increased muscle under the bonnet we don't think Jeremy Clarkson will be putting it at the top of the Top Gear Cool Wall any time soon.

275x250.jpg A computer scientist has used a humble desktop computer to calculate Pi to a record 2.7 trillion digits.

Fabrice Bellard says it took his computer 131 days to make the calculation which beats the previous record - set using a supercomputer - by 123 billion digits.

He used a custom program on his PC to work out the gargantuan number which takes over a terabyte of hard disk space to store.

Apparently the number is so long that if you were to recite it at a pace of one number a second, it would take more than 49,000 years… but it would still be more interesting that Celebrity Big Brother.

275x250.jpgA man tried to purchase a CD-ROM which was mis-priced on for $3billion (£1,800,979,540) -- just to see what would happen.

Brian Klug says he was browsing the online store when he came across a copy of the Discovery Channel's 'Cells' CD-ROM.

Nothing too exciting there you might think, but the CD was priced at a massive $2,904,980,000 (+ $3.99 postage) and it clearly intrigued Brian.

The brave/foolhardy man from the US, assumed there was some sort of error but wanted to see what happened if he clicked to buy it - so he entered his credit card details.

Luckily for Brain (and his bank account) he soon received an email stating that they were unable to complete his order,  meaning he doesn't have the sort of debt many countries would be jealous of. 

275x250.jpg Hackers have inserted a photo of Mr Bean onto Spain's official EU presidency website… because their Prime Minister looks like the slapstick character.

It has been a running joke for a number of years that Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero looks like the bumbling Rowan Atkinson creation.

But today users of Spain's official EU presidency website were confronted with an image of Mr Bean when they accessed a page which was meant to show Zapatero.

Between their laughs, Spanish officials confirmed the site had been hacked, but insisted that no information on the site had breached.

275x250.jpgA UK hypnotist who planned to put users of Facebook and Twitter into a trance live online had to abandon his attempt because of legal worries.

Chris Hughes had planned to use a live web-stream to simultaneously hypnotise over 10,000 people who had signed up on social networks.

But just before the event - which promised to leave people stuck to their chairs and unable to open their eyes - was due to begin, Chris announced it had been called off.

He said legal warnings meant he couldn't go ahead with the web broadcast and offered a MP3 download instead, meaning he couldn't set a new world record.

However there is alway the chance he could still appear in the next world record book… if he managed to hypnotise adjudicators.

275x250.jpgA dating website only for attractive people says it has axed over 5,000 members -- because they put on too much weight over the holidays.

Bosses at claim they have kicked out many members seeking love, after they'd piled on the pounds during the holidays.

The newly chubby were apparently caught out after posting images of themselves celebrating Christmas and the New Year - revealing they have let themselves go.

Managing director Greg Hodge said as they no longer met the exacting standards of the community on the site, they had to reapply for membership, only a few hundred have so far been voted back in.

Interestingly Hodge didn't specify how exactly how many mince pies he had eaten this Christmas... or send us a photo of himself.

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