October 14, 2016

Diffuser alerts Internet uses to data leaks

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

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


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


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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November 15, 2014

Dutchman has Bitcoin wallets injected in hands

Filed under: Gadgets,Health,Technology by Branko Collin @ 1:44 pm

bitcoin-key-fob-btc_keychainAmsterdam-based entrepreneur Martijn Wismeijer had two NFC chips injected into his hands earlier this month, The Telegraph writes.

The chips are to act as encrypted Bitcoin wallets. Wismeijer is the owner of Mr. Bitcoin, a company that distributes and operates ATMs for the currency.

Wismeijer told The Telegraph, “Most doctors will not want to install the implant so a body manipulation artist (preferably not just tattoo artist or piercer) will be your next best bet. Make sure they work according to strict hygiene codes and know what they are doing.”

Parool adds that Rockstart in Amsterdam (a start-up accelerator) hosted an implant session yesterday where one could have a sub-dermal NFC chip injected for about 130 euro. Wismeijer told the newspaper that currently about 2000 people have such implants.

It’s not clear from the articles whether Wismeijer uses the chips to store Bitcoins, keys to unlock Bitcoins or something else.

Check the Telegraph for a video in which the question “does it hurt” is answered. Too scared / don’t want to? Martijn Wismeijer told Parool: “They were the biggest needles I’ve ever seen.”

(Photo by BTC Keychain, some rights reserved)

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September 30, 2014

iPads are ‘means of communication’, not computers or phones

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:44 am

In late 2012 a Dutch court ruled that iPads were not phones and that angered broadcaster RTL Nederland because that meant they would owe back taxes to the tune of 323,687 euro on 664 iPads with Vodafone subscriptions given to their employees for Christmas.

RTL appealed the ruling at the time, and yesterday a higher court overturned the decision and ruled that not only are iPads not phones, they are also not computers: they are “means of communication.” The clincher is that the law also prescribes categories of devices that are applicable to be taxed, including “phones, Internet and such communication devices.”

The iPad is a fancy tin can with a string attached to it that is not primarily used to do all your work on, giving RTL a reason to pop open some champers.

(Link: webwereld.nl)

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August 12, 2014

The NoPhone, the no-tech smartphone for addicts

Filed under: Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 10:27 am


There are people addicted to using their smartphones, and maybe you’re one of them. Fear not, you can buy or ask someone to buy you the NoPhone, so you can finally have conversations with humans instead of checking your phone the whole time.

Dutch creatives Ben Langeveld and Ingmar Larsen together with a couple of New Yorkers thought up the 3D printed NoPhone, a black rectangular bit of plastic that feels like a smartphone in your hand, but isn’t one.

According to them, a person touches a smartphone about 150 times a day, significantly reducing a person’s real-life interaction. The NoPhone is like the pen a smoker puts in their mouth to ease cravings.

I bet people would buy the NoPhone for someone else as a huge hint that watching them stare at their phone is annoying. In fact, Langeveld and Larsen made the NoPhone with that specific type of addict in mind.

(Link: www.adformatie.nl, Photo: NoPhone)

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