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Good Thinking

Proposed rating system would indicate how much photos have been retouched

Even though we know that the photos we see of models and celebrities are retouched, many of us nonetheless can’t help but think “Yeah, but even without that little bit of airbrushing, that person still looks way better than me.” For most people, such thoughts are merely a little bit humbling. For others, however, they can lead to Body Dysmorphic Disorder, eating disorders, or severely-low self-esteem – all of which can in turn have very serious consequences, including death. Perhaps if those people knew just how retouched that one photo of Mila Kunis or Ryan Gosling was, however, they might realize how much of a lie it really represented. That’s why researchers at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College are proposing a system that objectively assesses the extent of changes made to a photograph, then displays that amount as a number rating on the published photo.Read More

Electronics Feature

Using our brains: Neuromarketing, no-hands gaming and the arrival of the EEG headset

Until recently a purely lab based technology, brainwave (electroencephalograph or EEG) headsets are trickling into the marketplace in a number of different guises. But what exactly do these devices do, how do they differ from each other and - with potential applications ranging from medicine to gaming and market research – who will use them and for what purpose? Dr. Max Sutherland takes a closer look.Read More

Mobile Technology

Amazon introduces cut-price, ad-supported Kindle with Special Offers

If an advertiser offered you a one-off US$25 payment in return for being exposed to advertising, would you take it? That’s essentially the deal being offered by Amazon with its new ad-supported Kindle. The device is the same as Amazon’s third-generation, Wi-Fi only Kindle but retails for $25 less and comes with “special offers” and, apparently not wanting to scare people off with that dirty word advertising, “sponsored screensavers.” Ads won’t interrupt your reading, but will act as the device’s full screen screensaver and will also appear along the bottom of the home screen. Read More

Good Thinking

Home advertising ... literally

Adzookie's "Paint my house" scheme is an innovative – if unsubtle – approach to advertising that brings new meaning to the notion of having loud neighbors. In return for painting an entire US home with a billboard-sized advert, Adzookie will pay the home-owner's mortgage for the three-month period the house is contracted to remain painted, with the option to extend the contract for up to a year. The entire exterior is painted excepting the roof, and if the contract is canceled by Adzookie or the home-owner during the contract period they will paint the house back to its original colors. Read More

Wearables

Video Name Tags turn salespeople into walking TV commercials

While many of us may think that retail salespeople are already doing quite enough to sell us their wares, the folks over at the Recom Group obviously believe that face-to-face sales still has some untapped potential. That's why they've developed the Video Name Tag, a 2.8-inch OLED screen that displays still and/or video advertising, that salespeople wear like a traditional name tag. Now, why they're trying to sell you one product, you can get the goods on another by staring at their chest.Read More

Bicycles

Bicycle builders combine a bike and a beer bar - what's not to like?

Handbuilt bicycles, draught beer, pizza and music – chances are that almost everyone has a passion for at least one of these things. Now, Portland, Oregon-based Metrofiets Cargo Bikes has combined all four in an ingenious little vehicle unofficially known as the Beer Bike. The custom-built bicycle, inspired by Dutch cargo bikes, has space for two full-sized pressurized beer kegs, and features 50 feet (15 meters) of cooling coils per keg, an ice tray, an inlaid wooden bar with two beer taps, a rear rack designed for carrying pizza boxes, and a solar-powered custom wooden boom box that mounts like a pannier. Read More

Mobile Technology

Apple relaxes development tool restrictions for iOS: Flash is back

Apple has caused a lot of confusion for iPhone app developers by banning them from creating apps using any compiler not created by Apple, but then approving apps that break this rule – even going so far as to promote them in the App Store. Finally it looks like Apple has seen the light (and presumably the benefits) and announced that it has relaxed restrictions on its iOS developer license, opening the doors to native Flash and AdMob applications – as long as the resulting apps do not download any code.Read More

Good Thinking

Winners are grinners – the smile-activated ice cream vending machine

Hand a child an ice cream you'll generally be rewarded with a beaming smile, but with this new interactive vending machine, it's the smile that gets rewarded – with a free ice cream. Created for Unilever, the world’s biggest ice cream manufacturer, the first ever smile-activated ice cream vending machine combines face-recognition technology to measure a person’s grin and take a photo that can be uploaded to Facebook thanks to the machine’s built-in 3G capability.Read More

Automotive

California license plates could go digital and show ads

California is a state crippled by debt. The situation is so desperate that it looks like California lawmakers are now considering a license plate led recovery. A bill proposed by Senator Curren D. Price Jr, D-Inglewood, gives the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the authority to investigate the emerging Digital Electronic License Plate (DELP) technology that would enable rear license plates on vehicles to become message boards to display advertising or other images when the vehicle is stationary for periods longer than four seconds, such as at a stop light or in a traffic jam.Read More

Science

3D posters without glasses sure to demand attention

We’ve all seen cards with images that move or provide a 3D effect without glasses when the viewing angle is moved. Although the technology has been around since the 1940s, its limitations in viewing distance and clarity has seen it largely remain a novelty for prizes in cereal boxes, collectible cards and the occasional movie poster. Now researchers have updated the technology for the 21st Century, enabling a much clearer 3D image on posters up to five meters in size which can also be viewed from a distance.Read More

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