January 10, 2018

Dutch start-up shows translation gadget in Vegas

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:28 pm

Bright-Vegas

The CES in Las Vegas, a large exhibition of innovation, is currently showcasing some 50 Dutch start-ups, and one of them is Travis, presenting its real-time translation gadget Travis Translator, which costs 150 euro and can process 80 languages. However, the video below shows it doesn’t always work, but then maybe the person using it needs to learn how to use it a bit better.

The Travis Translator uses sites like Google and others to provide a live translation from one langue to another but also back again as people converse, which is a great idea. Some guys from Dutch tech site Bright.nl tried it out using Dutch on the Las Vegas Strip with tourists who spoke Japanese, English, Farsi and possibly Latvian or Lithuanian because the Dutch guy said ‘Latvanian’, which is nonsense and could have chosen the wrong language.

The first attempt with French at the beginning was wrong, but then the word Travis must have thrown the Travis off, and Latvian or possibly Lithuanian (someone tell us) turned up nothing at all as a translation, but then if the user thinks ‘Latvanian’ is a language, then the user could be at fault. Wouldn’t you want to the gadget to detect the language of a person like Google does? Maybe it does. And the interviewer does make a good point that it would be much better to have a phone app than yet another gadget to carry around.

Video in Dutch here, but also with some English.

(Link and screenshot: bright.nl)

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June 3, 2017

Sensor aimed at men to hide their porn viewing

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:15 pm

Facepalm

Forget private browsing on your computer, shopping for gifts without others knowing, and using that bullshit excuse to watch porn as a man. Dutch inventor Moos Neimeijer is asking for money on Indigogo for a gadget called ‘Minimeyes’, which will close windows and mute sound if an ‘intruder’ walks into the room while you’re doing something you shouldn’t.

Minimeyes is a small box people can see next to your computer, but it’s an app on a phone. If you have one of those boxes in plain sight, aren’t you already telling everyone around you that you’re planning to do seedy shit and pretend you’re ‘doing nothing’ when you get caught? How stupid do you think people are? I doubt even kids will be convinced. And the money not pouring in speaks volumes: Niemeijer still has 17 days to go to collect 96,000 USD (about €85,163) and so far has collected the grand total of 807 USD (€715.90).

The YouTube video encourages straight white men to donate, is sexist towards both genders and stereotypically heteronormative. Good luck with that.

(Link: bright.nl, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)

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March 14, 2017

Incentives to get people to vote tomorrow

Filed under: Automobiles,Food & Drink,Gadgets,General by Orangemaster @ 11:39 am

vote-counting-rnw

As if trying to change things for the better by voting wasn’t appealing enough, some Dutch cities have come up with amusing ways to convince their residents to vote tomorrow in the Dutch general election.

Hilversum is going to give people a condescending-sounding ‘voting diploma’, as if they were children learning how to swim, but swiftly make up for the condescension by giving them a free bluetooth speaker, so they can annoy people in the train during their commute.

In the village of Losser, Overijssel, they thought it would be a good idea for the mayor to get into a limo and pick up people all day long to go and vote. The goal is to encourage first time voters aka young people to vote, so apparently those questionable music videos have been sending the right message all along.

The big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague will use schools as polling stations to get the kids to do their civic duty by them not having to go far to vote. No limos for you!

And then if cycling, walking and rocking the limo isn’t doing it for you, there’s always taking a boat to the polling station in the region of Marker Wadden north of Amsterdam, which, I can tell you from personal experience, is an absolutely delightful place to visit by boat.

And then if transport and a bluetooth speaker is not your jam, imagine some good old-fashioned cupcakes, tea and coffee in Zeist, Utrecht, accompanied by live piano music. The goal here is to attract older voters that need to make an extra effort to vote. No transport for you.

Half of 24oranges HQ can vote and the other half will just hope for the best.

(Link: binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo by Photo RNW.org, some rights reserved)

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October 14, 2016

Diffuser alerts Internet uses to data leaks

Filed under: Design,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am
866268072_644bac8d7c

Graphic artists Leanne Wijnsma and filmmaker Froukje Tan have created a product called ‘The Smell of Data’, a ‘grenade-shaped scent diffuser’ designed to alert Internet users of data leaks from their smartphones, tablets and computers. After all my recent reading on data security by Edward Snowden and Jacob Appelbaum (did you know he’s studying in Eindhoven?), you’d think a diffuser like that would be on almost constantly. Since most people don’t experience the consequences of a data leak, they don’t really care until something goes terribly wrong and by then it’s too late, a bit like carbon monoxide.

Wijnsma and Tan researched the human response to gas leaks, inspired by a 1937 explosion in Texas caused by an unnoticed gas leak. The incident prompted the government to artificially add an odorant to odourless gases (tert-Butylthiol, which smells like rotten eggs), making them more easily detectable. Carbon monoxide, also know as the ‘silent killer’, is a byproduct of combustion by stoves or heating not working properly in a home and is odourless, which makes you feel grateful for the smell of rotten eggs keeping you safe.

Launched in September 2016 at the Science Museum in London, The Smell of Data is meant to give people the same reaction as smelling a gas leak, hoping that people will finally take it seriously. Watch the video:

(Link: www.dezeen.com, Photo of grenade by macspite, some rights reserved)

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October 7, 2016

Dutch students make dart containing Go Pro camera

Filed under: Film,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 5:23 pm

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Three students from the University of Twente, Nick Schijvens, Pablo Trautwein and Mark de Boer, have developed a big plastic dart with a Go Pro camera inside it, called ‘Throw your Go Pro’, made by their startup, AER. The idea was to get the most out of a GoPro camera and bring it onto the market, with some help from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The money seemed to be pouring in, with close to 59,000 euro as I write this – their goal is 70,000 euro in another 27 days, which sounds like it will hit the mark.

The gadget has a GoPro mounted into a flying dart which you can throw into the air to create cool aerial footage. Have a look yourself at what AER have shot on their instragram.

(Link: kennispark, Photo: AER)

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April 6, 2016

Watch and listen to a marble tsunami

Filed under: Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 9:26 pm

Marbles

Need a break from cat videos? Back in 2015 Jelle Bakker from Amersfoort built a Mouse Trap-like course at Monkey Town in Gouda for 11,000 marbles all rolling around at the same time.

Bakker, who is autistic and loves building things for marbles, built his contraption using wood planks and floor heating conduits. He says he likes the sound the marbles make as they go over different parts of the course.

I bet Jelle would like this wooden dinner table with a built-in marble track.

Watch all these marbles turn into a tsunami:

(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of Marbles by Meghana Kulkarni, some rights reserved)

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April 13, 2015

Drone with asparagus crashes and burns

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

Having a drone deliver asparagus to your restaurant to ring in the new season on 1 April was a novel idea and a great publicity stunt for restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant, but it didn’t go exactly as planned.

Plan B was landing the drone nearby in case of wind and then taking a walk to pick up the asparagus, but that didn’t pan out either, as the drone went with Plan C, which resulting in a crash-and-burn scenario.

The drone made a stop along the way to change batteries, which went well, but the takeoff afterwards eventually turned into a nose dive and a pile of flambé white asparagus.

I’m already curious as to what delivery method they are going to try next year.

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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April 7, 2015

App tells you to hurry to catch a train

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:26 pm

moet-ik-rennen-app-google-playCan I still catch the bus or train if I start running now? That is the simple question a new app poses. Its name, Moet Ik Rennen?, is Dutch for should I run?

The app, which saw its beta test launch today, uses the location services of your mobile device to find your current position. It then locates the nearest bus stops and metro and train stations, provides you with departure times and if you select a specific line it tells you if you should hurry.

Moet Ik Rennen? appears to be free and is available for iOS and Android. It was developed by four students (initially as a school project) with support from Dutch Rail. Go About is listed as the data provider.

If you still have to wait a bit for your bus (or train or subway), the app suggests a place to get snacks at a discount. Once you have stuffed your face with excess calories you no longer need the app. Yes, you should run.

(Illustration: Google Play / Moet Ik Rennen?)

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March 30, 2015

Drone to deliver asparagus, ringing in the season

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:55 pm

One-Michelin-star restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant likes to make a splash in spring once white asparagus season kicks off and what better way to do that than having a drone deliver the white gold to your door.

On 1st April (no joke), a drone with a 15-minute battery that needs to fly 12 minutes avoiding all kinds of buildings and bridges according to many rules will drop off a crate of asparagus at the kitchen door of the restaurant. There’s a backup battery and a Plan B to land nearby if the wind is too much.

It’s not the first time De Zwaan and its owner Roland Peijnenburg have marked the start of asparagus season by creating a buzz. They’ve also used a hot air balloon carrying the town mayor and once had an asparagus relay race.

When you mention asparagus in the Netherlands, people think white asparagus and not green asparagus first. Here’s a white asparagus cocktail appetizer recipe for you as well.

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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January 6, 2015

World’s largest Rubik’s Cube solved in 7.5 hours

Filed under: Gadgets,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

Rubik's cube-fake

Designed by Dutchman Oskar van Deventer, the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube, known as the Over The Top 17x17x17, was solved last November by American Kenneth Brandon.

Besides solving puzzles, Brandon also shoots time-lapse videos and made a six minute one of his solution here below. He also mentions that he has a 7.5 hour version floating around for his hardcore fans.

The Guinness World Records awarded the ‘largest order Rubik’s magic cube’ to the 17×17×17 cube made by Van Deventer in 2011. Van Deventer has all kinds of puzzles for sale, made with 3D printing technology.

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo: Rubik’s Cube knockoff)

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