Web Warp Blog has been retired. For new posts please head to dmather.com.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Rocket Robin

BBC Top Gear's website www.topgear.com has several fun mini games. My favourite is called Rocket Robin, you have to get the highest altitude you can. It's based on the Top Gear challenge of creating a reusable rocket, similar to the NASA space shuttle, out of a car: a Robin Reliant. A great episode of Top Gear which you can probably catch on Dave if you have freeview in the UK since they repeat Top Gear a lot. Feel free to post your scores as comments to this post. Here's the link to the game: Click Here


webwarp.co.uk: TopGear.com Redesign

I thought it was about time we got a picture on this page:

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Gmail Themes

Google Mail has now added themes which can make your boring plain Gmail into a desk, a beach or just multi-coloured! To check it out go to Settings and choose Themes in Gmail. Here is a full report from Googlesystem Blog.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Invisible Skateboards

This video/ad was directed by Spike Jonze as an advert for "Girls Skateboards." His use of green screening is excellently placed.

EDIT: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by VAS Entertainment.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Coldplay new song

Coldplay are to release their next single as 'Technicolor II' from the EP 'Prospekt's March EP' the song originally featured on the album 'Viva la Vida / Death and All His Friends'. You may know it as an instrumental but it will now feature vocals (hence the renaming to 'Technicolor II' from 'Life in Technicolor'. The world exclusive was played on BBC Radio 1.

The EP is available online and in stores now:
7 Digital


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

New Star Trek Trailer in HD

The new Star Trek movie trailers are here and in HD too!
Click Here for the website.

F1 2009 to feature KERS technology

In the 2009 Formula 1 season the F1 cars will feature KERS: Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems. This system will recover energy under braking and let drivers use it to 'boost' when they want to overtake another driver. The aim is for F1 to be a bit more environmentally friendly and to increase overtaking opportunities to make F1 more exciting. This is system is quite complicated. Here are three sites for further reading: ITV F1, F1 Fanatic and the most technical: Racecar Engineering


PSP Advertising Campain

Sony's billboard advertising campaign uses a giant PSP with a transparent screen. Only there is a twist in the form of a character or object in the picture too! It makes it look like life is more exciting through a PSP. The adverts are really creative and I think they are worth a look, here's the link


The New Xbox Experience (NXE) has arrived! I've downloaded it through Xbox Live (which was quick and painless) and am immediately impressed. As previewed on the Xbox website the NXE is a slick and stylish update of Xbox 360 user interface (UI). The improved UI features avatars (similar to the Nintendo Wii avatar's) and improved usability. The 'spotlight' channel (that used to be a slow news feed) is fast (if not instant) to load with new and upcoming content. The general Xbox options such as music playing and settings are now much easy to access through the revised Xbox Guide button, which means almost anything can be done in game/in movie/etc. There are several new features that include 'Party' which lets you private chat with up to 7 other Xbox friends at once and the burn disc feature which can speed up loading times and reduce disk noise.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Kayakers drop 300 feet down a dam in Wales

Some extreme kayakers have ignored Welsh Water's rules and kayaked down a 300 foot dam in Wales which is the tallest dam in the UK! The footage is amazing, the video is on this BBC News page:
Here is the link, enjoy!
And here is a you tube video of the same event: Click here
Here is a view of this dam from Google Earth: Click Here

Google SketchUp 7 is here

Google SketchUp 7 has arrived, 3D modelling and CAD for the masses is now even easier and it's full of new features!

If you want to do CAD, in 3D and for free, Google SketchUp 7 is ideal for you. It now features dynamic components (much like dynamic blocks in AutoCAD 2006 onwards) that let you interact and change blocks without having to copy and edit them. It has lots of new tools to make your drawing easier to set up. When you open a new file it asks if you can to work in feet/inches or millimeters and if you want to produce it to insert into Google Earth. It makes it much easier to insert in Google Earth compared to previous versions. I think that the integration with Google Earth is really cool as you can insert your 3D model into Google Earth locally (or if you are really accurate and proud of your work you can add it to the 3D Warehouse on Google's site and it will pop up on everyones Google Earth!).

This is a design tool ideal for visualising everything from new office blocks and business parks to house extensions. The texture and painting facilities are really good as well.

To enjoy this product just check out this page.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Mac Messenger 7 Features

Windows users will be very familiar with MSN Messenger / Windows Live Messenger but Mac users can be part of the community too with Microsoft Mac Messenger 7. Unfortunatley it doesnt support video conferencing like the windows version does and you can't use your Microsoft Passport with Apple's iChat which is for video conferencing on the Mac. iChat using the iSight camera built into most Macs. But general text based chat can be had all round. For a round up of the features click here and to download it for your Mac click this link to the Apple download page.

Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Windows 7

Windows 7 isn't a dramatic overhaul of its predecessor Windows Vista, but it does fix several sore spots and add a few welcome features.

read more | digg story

Saturday, 15 November 2008

20 iPhone Apps

20 iPhone Apps you should check out if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch. This is a link to a well written blog post that reviews each of the 20 apps in the list.

Link to more information

Microsoft Office Student Deal - The Ultimate Steal!

Microsoft has offered their ultimate edition of their Office suite to students at a dirt cheap price of £38.95 in the UK and $59.95 in America. Other countries are available and Belgium will be added soon. This offer works if you have an email address registered to an educational address, like .ac.uk in the UK. After paying for the license you download the whole Ultimate Office suite and install as if it was from a CD/DVD. Heres the link


Thursday, 13 November 2008

Top Gear on iTunes

Top Gear is now on iTunes and each new episode will be available a day after it is no longer available on BBC iPlayer. Heres the link to the Top Gear page on the iTunes Music Store


Monday, 10 November 2008

Xbox 360 NXE Countdown

10 days to go!

IMAP Email access explained

IMAP is offered by many email providers and is essential for businesses who need to centralise their employees emails. Yahoo Mail and Google Mail has offered this service for a while now and it (along with POP) are very noticeable features missing from Windows Live / MSN Hotmail. This blog post explains how it is an advantage for you to use IMAP is clear plain English. Heres the Link

Mac 'Wallsaver'

Have you ever wanted your screen saver to be your desktop wallpaper? Well if you have a Mac now you can with the Widget 'Wallsaver' for Mac OS X 10.4 or later. It is really cool and is so popular that it is the 5th most popular widget on Apples website. You really have to see it for yourself. Here is the link to Apples page about it, and to download it. http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/justforfun/wallsaver.html

Say goodbye windows 3.x...

He's waving...!

Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows 3.x after 18 years of service. Full story at the BBC Technology News page

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The most downloaded catalog song on iTunes

What is the song most downloaded on iTunes that wasn't originally released as a digital download?

answer: "Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey

See the full story by following this link:

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

MP3 100% Compatible vs. iTunes

Various music download sites are proposing to launch 'mp3 100% compatible' banners to notify consumers that there product, music downloads, can be used on any portable media device or PC/Mac. They think that this will help identify to customers the quality of their product and that their download will be genuine and will work. (A notion that Apple has already through the popularity of both iPods and the iTunes music store).

For more information click here.

More info from Xbox 360


Windows 7 Preview (from cnet.com)

In an update to my previous post about Windows 7 check out this article / video for more Windows 7 news. This link to CNET news shows the new desktop for Windows 7 (although it's still work in progress)

Previous web warp blog post

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Xbox 360 NXE

Xbox 360 is undergoing an operating system facelift. There are several new and exciting features (many look like copies from the Nintendo Wii's OS). The update will include 3D avatars and improved news feeds from Xbox live. One exciting feature is that you can copy parts of games you play often onto the hard disk to minimize disk read noise.

To get this update you just have to be connected to Xbox live after the 19th November and accept the optional update!

More info from Xbox 360


Hamilton clinches his first world championship!

Lewis Hamiltion has beaten championship rival Massa by 1 point to become the youngest world champion ever. The record was previously held by Alonso. The final race, held in Brazil, played host to a nail biting race for the championship result. Hamiltion needed 5th place to win the championship if Massa won and he only clinched 5th with a few corners to go and after Massa had already passed the checkered flag. The race was turned upside down and delayed when heavy rain fell just before the scheduled start. The rain at the end endangered Hamilton's chances when he dropped to 6th until Timo Glock for Toyota.

BBC News article for more in depth report