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

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

AR Drone - Ultimate Gadget

As seen on BBC Click and Five's Gadget Show the AR Drone is the ultimate gadget. The AR Drone is a remote controled helicopter with four turbines. It's referred to by it's makers, Parrot, as a quadricopter with iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch control via Wi-Fi. It features two cameras - front facing and vertical. These broadcast video straight to your handheld controller (iPhone).

The system is very advanced and features ultra-sound sensors and a self level auto-pilot. The AR Drone can be piloted using the accelerometer within an iPhone. It can be safely flown indoors with a cover surrounding the blades.

The best way to check it out is with this video!

For more information and videos check out AR Drone's website.

For purchase information check out HMV: Click Here

Sky Sports News HD

Sky Sports News HD has launched on Sky Channel 455 (Standard Definition Channel 405). There are lots of changes to the Sky Sports News channel apart from the change to high definition. It is no longer on Freeview. It is now on any Sky package but only until February 23rd 2011. After then it will only be available to subscribers to either the News & Events package or a Sports package.

Full Details: Click Here

Monday, 23 August 2010

Reading Festival Weather Outlook

What will the weather be like to this weekend's Reading Festival?

BBC Weather 3 Day Forecast:

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Facebook Places

Facebook have launched a new version of their iPhone app, version 3.2. This add's Place's to their service in the US. The service is similar to Foursquare but (and Facebook stresses) the Facebook service is limited to your Facebook friends. In fact you have strict control over which friends or lists can see your location. Despite Facebook's tight privacy controls privacy groups are concerned that geotagging your location onto the internet is a step too far.

Version 3.2 also brings Twitter for iPhone (formerly Tweetie 2) style "Pull Down to Update", which is a neat improvement.

For more information about Places check out this article from Mashable.

EDIT: Facebook for iPhone is now version 3.2.1 following bug fixes.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Environmental Packaging Future

Image: NASA
In a future where we drive around in alternative fuel cars and generate all our electricity from renewable sources we need to make everything in our lives more energy efficient. So making, transporting, and disposing of unnecessary packaging needs to be reconsidered. Many products now come to the UK from abroad and so this packaging travels even further across the world.

There is an industry which has been minimising packaging for years, the space industry. NASA have been sending astronauts into space using the minimum weight possible. At lot of their food comes in very little packaging. Liquids come in pouches as shown in this NASA picture.
This pouch takes up very little space and weight compared to the normal packaging that we're used to, and it allows astronauts to drink in space through the in built straw.

Original Source create shower gels from natural ingredients. As an environmentally conscious company they have created packaging, similar to the liquid pouch above, for their shower gel. They claim it's made with 75% less plastic. It's an innovation that paves to way forward and will make a huge difference to the environmental cost of transportation. It also takes less natural resources to make and with oil prices increasing and oil potentially running out, minimising this has to be a good thing.

There are many companies trying to reduce their carbon footprint in this way, from beer bottles made with less glass to supermarket lorries with a more aerodynamic shape. It will be very in common in the next few years to see companies move away from spending money on token windmills and move to spending money on alternative fuel lorries, more efficient packaging and of course advertising their green image! Most supermarkets already offer degradable carrier bags and a range of renewable bags. It's a future where maybe a simple jar of Marmite doesn't have to be presented in a box, just because it's extra old!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Unshrink URL's

It is very popular to shorten links for twitter/facebook/email so that people so don't have to copy and paste long web addresses. But this leads to a problem, where to these shortened links go?! Typically you have no way of knowing that http://bit.ly/dBMqnl in fact takes you to Web Warp Blog. You do have to be careful online not to follow unknown links that could lead to spyware/adware/viruses. But there is another way. If you use either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your web browser and by utilising add-ons & extensions. Then when you are browsing these links are automatically detected and converted to show where they really go.

For Firefox try 'Long URL Please' as advertised on BBC Click's Webscape. It supports lengthening the hyperlink of 80 shortening services including the most popular bit.ly, tinyurl.com & goo.gl.

For Google Chrome try ChromeMUSE. It also allows you to create your own short URL's as well as expanding them when they appear online.

In my opinion the better of the two services by far is Long URL Please which works really fast and is reliable and dependable. It does exactly what it says on the tin! A great Firefox Add-on.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Magic Trackpad

The latest Apple accessory is the Magic Trackpad. Apple are always pushing the limits of innovation and with this product they have created a piece of art that is functional and stylish. Coupled with the Apple Wireless Keyboard your desktop will look very futuristic. The Magic Trackpad is a laptop style trackpad (in fact it's lifted from the MacBook Pro) and mounted on a sleek frame for use with your desktop Mac. It supports multitouch just like on a MacBook Pro too. It connects via bluetooth for a wire free desk.