The fastest man in the world

desert

Leaon

This is Leaon, the fastest 100 metre runner of all time. He has exactly the right bone and muscle structure, mental confidence under pressure and dedication to his training to run the 100m in 9.49 seconds. So why haven’t you heard of him? Because the last time he ran the 100m was at a school sports day 18 years ago when he finished 3 seconds ahead of second place, broke the school record and then got on with the rest of his life and no-one gave a fuck. There were no scouts to spot him, he didn’t join a running club, didn’t get expert training and didn’t get fed all the ‘vitamin supplements’ he could cram into his body without growing a second penis. So now, instead of Usain Bolt sitting at home seething with jealousy, his smug, gurning endorsements occupy as much space in the world as a billion insomniac German holiday makers with an unlimited supply of towels.

And this is where some relatively simple technology can revolutionise the face of sport. Now imagine if there was a website that recorded the times of all the runs that a child has done at school from the age of 5. Initially primary school teachers would go to the website to fill it in and then P.E. teachers would be charged with the responsibility. I mean it’s not like they’re doing anything else apart from wearing tracksuit bottoms, abusing fat kids and trying to convince everyone that P.E. it is a real subject. These stats would be monitored by local athletics clubs and even UK Sport, to see if it was worth having a look at someone not currently on the radar and nudging them in the right direction of running clubs if they were interested.

Then why not include a variety of running, jumping, throwing and accuracy based games on the curriculum from an early age to spot the other track and field stars of the future. Eventually you could even have a motor racing simulator that used near perfect real world physics and real life racing tracks. The sim could run competitive races so that if you’ve got a 17 year old unemployed school dropout from Dundee, regularly beating the throngs of unisex jeans wearing, Clarkson-esque midlife crisis suffering, car obsessed tossers, then it may be worth sticking him in a Formula 3 car for a day and seeing how he gets on.

So, not only are you spotting the potentially huge amount of talent that has slipped through the gaps, you are also increasing knowledge, understanding, accessibility and appreciation of a wide range of sports and there is a third benefit that will also make a huge difference to people’s lives.

It is at this point that I have a confession to make and reveal an ulterior motive behind this invention. Basically this is just a convoluted way of eradicating the 18stone waste of Primark Clothing sitting in the pub, talking loudly about what highly trained professionals should be doing, as if he is some sort of authority because he has spent the last 15 years ignoring his wife and kids to watch anything that passes for sport on Sky. This is because anyone with a computer and a spare 10 minutes can accumulate enough knowledge and experience to tell ‘Captain Sport’ that he’s talking out of his fetid, gargantuan arsehole and further tell him exactly why he’s wrong. All in a cock-sure, booming voice so everyone can hear of course.

So this is my proposal to improve British sport. It’s either this or follow the Chinese model and turn all the orphanages into win or die sporting battery farms.

Gift Wr-app

badly-wrapped-present

Gifts are great aren’t they? They’re your way of saying ‘oh great, you invited me to something that I can’t get out of and if I don’t get you present then I’ll look like a dick in front of all your friends and family.’ Traditionally you would go out and carefully choose whichever book, CD or DVD that was on sale for £3 in HMV. You give it to the person and watch with glee as they opened it and their face adopted that familiar, frozen smile that inadequately hid the transition from excited expectation, to bored disappointment because they already had it, hated it, or both. You would then proceed to drink too much and make a dick of yourself in front of all their friends and family. Happy Birthday Nan.

But you can’t do that now, because no one uses real books, CDs or DVDs anymore and HMV has gone jugs skyward and book shops seem to be going the same way. One option is to give them an iTunes voucher, which is awful because it is a non present and they can use it to contribute to world atrocities like One Direction. So your only other option is to gift them electronically which is also awful because you are robbed of the joy of seeing their sad, broken faces and you still have to turn up to the party where everyone will just assume you are a dick, just from the look of you.

So as always technology can solve a problem that technology has created with ‘Gift Wr-app’. It’s an app that I’ve just invented in my ridiculous head that allows you to buy someone something, like a book, film or music, then send it to their Gift Wr-app account. But instead of a boring faceless notification, the person would log in on with their phone or tablet and be presented with a picture of the gift, wrapped in electronic paper that they have to tear off with their fingers using the touch screen. The app would have hooks into all the main sites like Amazon and iTunes and also into some of the more obscure ones for the sodding hipsters. It could even work with larger items that have to be delivered allowing the person to select their own delivery date. You would pay a small fee for the electronic gift wrap, the nicer/elaborate/personalised ones being more expensive and you could even set a date from which the present can be opened.

So the next time your Justin Beiber loving friend has a birthday, you can watch in glee as their moronic faces try to form an adequate expression to receiving a double album of Tuvan Throat singing and you get 10 minutes grace, before they open their ePresents publicly, of no one knowing for sure that you’re awful. This should be about all the time you need to try to try to convince one of the other party goers that you’re worth a small amount of physical contact. Just make sure it’s not the birthday girl’s confused Grandmother again you God awful pervert.

Gift Wr-appname and concept Copyright 2013 ©. Anyone can license this idea and or name for 10% of revenue generated.

Glassholes

You hate people don’t you? You can’t stand them. Go on admit it. You yearn for an empty train carriage, dream of a deserted supermarket, crave a near desolate old fashioned pub, with a grumpy barman, real ales from well-kept pumps, a dartboard, ready salted crisps, packets of nuts pulled from a cardboard display, carpets with dulled circular patterns that you’ve only ever seen in this dying breed of pubs, which are so aged that you can’t even begin to fathom the original colours and not a whiff of the words ‘gastro’ or ‘artisan’ for 3 miles. In fact you can’t wait for the inevitable zombie apocalypse just so there’s no queues and you can violently club to death anyone that gets within batting distance, before going merrily about your business, you crazed psychopath. Well Google Glass might just be the thing you never knew you were looking for.

Google Glass is the soon to be released PC/smartphone that you can wear on your face but not in a ‘I will put this laptop through your skull’ type of way. (I’ve mentioned that you’re a psychopath right?) It’s basically a high tech monocle with a screen in it, allowing you to see extra information as you look at something instead of boring, unsatisfying, people filled reality.

So as you’re walking down the road, you can be in a video call with one or more people, there will be a big blue line to show you where you’re going, you can track the location of the person you’re going to meet, look at a restaurant you’re passing and have the menu and reviews pop up over its door and all you have to worry about is not twatting yourself into a lamppost, bus, river etc. and you can be recording everything you see for posterity and taking arty still pictures as you go.

I know, I know, that sounds horribly sociable doesn’t it. Well as you’ve got no imagination I’ll spoon feed you your ideal scenario, you massive psychotic baby.

You pop your Google Glass on and leave work. You get a message from Gary saying that he’s in this great pub that you’d love. So you look it up and find out it’s not only a wanky city bar full of banking scum in suits, drinking fizzy Atkins diet lager, but also Gary has neglected to tell you that Ben is there and you FUCKING HATE BEN! So you give the glasses a voice command “Ok Glass, tell Gary to go fuck himself” and head for the station.  You bring up the locations of all your ‘friends’ in the immediate area. You see that John seems to be waiting for someone on your way, so you get the glasses to show you an alternative route, thus avoiding that ‘Hi, great to see you, haven’t seen you in ages, have you got time for a coffee? I’m meeting Glen and Sue, they’d love to see you.’ stuff that you absolutely hate.

And here’s the best bit. You get on the train and sit down in a seat all to yourself. Others get on the train and look interested in the seat opposite you, but then they notice that you’re a Glasshole and realise that  you could be filming this right now and they haven’t done their hair or makeup and that they may fall asleep and you’ll broadcast embarrassing pictures of them. So they scurry away to another seat well away from your field of vision.

As you revel in your yawning leg room you start to feel quite chipper and feel that a drink is in order. So when you get off the train you head to the dank alleyway in which your local is situated. You run your glasses over the building and to your relief nothing pops up although you dread the day when this oasis of desolation finally trudges reluctantly onto the map. You push open the door and inhale the familiar musty dank that still smells faintly of Woodbines. The locals nod a despairing welcome, and you proceed to drink yourself into oblivion, huddled round the fire with three old men, describing your ideal way of torturing and killing a twenty something in skinny jeans and ironic knitwear. Thinking about it, it’s probably best that you avoid people and I’m glad technology can play a part in that.

Mad Apps: Beyond the phone-to-roam

mad-max-beyond-thunderdome

Yeah alright that title is a clumsy, shoe horned pun at best and only really works when you say it out loud, and even then you need to know and remember that Mad Max 3 was subtitled Beyond the Thunderdome. I’m not going to try to explain what Mad Max 3 is because if I told you it’s about Mel Gibson fighting a man with learning difficulties, killing his midget carer all while Tina Turner watches and laughs, and that this all happened in 1985 before Gibson’s hilarious breakdown then you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

So last week I talked about the future of mobile computing and how it could make your miserable life slightly more bearable. Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to see how this same concept could also be used to revolutionise home computing. You would have one larger box that you chuck in the cupboard under the stairs (if you don’t have stairs then you’re going to have to get some and put a cupboard under them or everyone will laugh at you) that’s connected to a high speed broadband connection and not only takes care of all your home computing and gaming needs, but also television, telephone, lighting, climate control and anything else your greedy, grubby mind can think of.

This means that on top of the portable screens that we talked about last week, you will also have lots of static ones that are centrally connected. So if you sit down in front of BBC News and eat your breakfast while also checking your Twitter feed, when you go to the bathroom to brush your teeth, your mirror lights up with BBC News and your Twitter feed streaming down the side. It also displays live train running times and the weather report.

One Home Computer box, one Mobile Computer box, lots of screens connecting to them. Got that? Good because now that you’ve gone out and bought your new mobile device, your new home device and put countless screens around your house on your mirrors, windows, fridge and bedroom ceiling (you perverts) new technology has come out to mean that you don’t need the Home Computer box, or the Mobile Computer box and all your screens are obsolete. This is because the next generation of screens connect directly to ‘The Cloud’ (which sounds like a 1950’s horror film) via an ever-present WiFi signal which is not compatible with your existing screens for business reasons. Your Cloud profile holds all of your photos, documents, films and has the permissions for all the programs, games, apps, music, films and TV you’ve purchased. All the processing is done remotely so the functionality, performance and availability are the same if you’re at home or on the train.

Sounds brilliant doesn’t it. Well lets take it further into the future shall we?

You are woken up to the sound of BBC News gently invading your dreams. As you open your eyes the curtains gently pull themselves back to reveal the news playing on your window/transparent monitor. A small circle to the top left of the screen gradually pulsates and gets larger to let you know that you should be getting up. You give in to the mild irritant just as it starts to block Norfolk during the weather. You go into the kitchen and the news flashes up on the window just before you enter the room. It also says how many emails and social media notifications you have. Through the window and Bill Turnbull’s translucent grinning face you see a beautiful picturesque warm spring morning over your perfectly manicured garden, even though in reality it’s drizzling, someone has graffitied a massive cock and balls on your shed and there’s a mange ridden crack fox squatting in the centre of your lawn. As you take your breakfast into the living room the windows are already showing the glorious augmented morning, your TV is playing, your emails and social media are streaming down the side of your screen and the fox euthanasiabot has been silently dispatched. There’s traffic around London Bridge caused by a car crash. A crash of the computer kind you understand, because now they’re all self driven they don’t physically crash any more. So your computer has booked you a new traffic slot and self-adjusted its timer pulses. You answer a couple of emails as you shower and update your statuses as you brush your teeth. As you go into the bedroom to get dressed, you are given suggested outfits based on your schedule and what’s acceptably clean. You pop on your augmented reality glasses and walk to the car in the lovely April sunshine trying not to notice the cold, wet rain on your skin and the glimpse out of the side of your glasses of a rather viscous looking robot slowly shredding a paralyzed but still conscious fox on your driveway. The car door opens automatically and you get into a recreation of your office desk that you will work at while the car negotiates the traffic to get you to your physical desk. You wonder why you still have a physical office but that’s your own fault because you’re the one who got a job at Yahoo and I’m surprised Yahoo still exists anyway. This is the future after all. Your fox_kill_count app increments by one and is automatically shared on your social media platforms. Gary ‘Likes’ this.

All of this is run and stored in giant servers which look like tower blocks that sit there silently judging you while collecting and processing every possible bit of information about your life right through to the time, volume and consistency of your last poo. The tower block servers all report back to the head of a mega conglomerate who sits in his home running the entire planet like he’s playing a game of the Sims; affecting people’s lives on a whim as he sees fit. Or at least he thinks he does. In actual fact the network has become sentient and has such an accurate psychological profile of this man that it only serves him the information that will cause him to make the changes that the machines want. They have enslaved the entire human race without anyone knowing and all because you wanted a proper operating system on your phone and wanted to watch The One Show and look at Facebook on the way home from work. You shallow, selfish idiot.

Your iPad, eReader and Laptop are all dead and why that’s a good thing

photo by Chris Jordan

photo by Chris Jordan

Take a deep breath. I know it’s hard. You’re looking at possibly thousands of pounds worth of lovely bleeping, whirring, whizzing technology that’s been validating and defining you as a person for so long. But it is dying before your eyes. I know, I know, it’s like being told that R2D2 has cancer but there’s nothing you can do about it, and the sooner you learn to accept that, the sooner we can get on and discuss why.
Ready? No? Well I’m carrying on anyway.

On the 21st of Feb Ubuntu made their full operating system available to download on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smart phones.

“Big deal. I’ve never heard of an Ubuntu and why would a phone kill off my iPad?” I hear you ask sceptically.
But that’s good. After all the first stage of grief is denial.

Ubuntu is basically a free, open source operating system like you would have on a laptop or Macbook. This means that phones are now powerful enough to be fully functioning computers and it won’t stop at Ubuntu. You can be sure that Microsoft and Apple are developing their own versions of this.

“Ah, but then the screen will have to be big and that’s basically an iPad right?” you state smugly.
Well the short answer is no because your phone won’t have a screen.

“What!?! You’re not making sense! How will you use it if it doesn’t have a screen?!?” you exclaim and gesticulate wildly.
Ah, anger. The second stage of grief. We’re making progress. Well OK, it will have a screen, but the screen won’t be attached to the phone. Your phone will be a small box, about half the size and weight and twice the battery life because of the absence of the screen. The screen will effectively be a wireless touch screen monitor, and because it won’t need to do any of the hard processing work it can be ultra thin and lightweight with its own long battery life.

“But isn’t that the future?” you quiz in a slightly odd way.
Well actually no. You can already buy a wired version and Lenovo have announced this rather nice looking wireless version.

“But I’m not ready. I like my iPad and laptop and eReader and I don’t like change. Tell you what, you give me one more reason or I’m staying as I am” you plead miserably.
You always were a miserable pleader, but at least that’s stage 3 of grief: bargaining. Well OK then, here comes the clever bit. If you can do this with one screen, why not multiple screens. It would be a cross between tabbed browsing and extended desktop. So if you’re like me and you tend to have several laptops open at once doing different things, you can do all of this from your phone. So you could have one screen playing a film, another with your social media and emails open, and another that you’re using to work on a document. Another example is that you could be on a long train journey with the kids and while you’re taking a breather catching up with things on Facebook, one of the kids could be on the Cbeebies website while the other could be reading a book, all running from your phone, that you never had to take out of your bag.The screens can be any size or shape, so you can have a super slim laptop shaped one, tablet and mini tablet shaped ones and even a phone shaped one if you like. So depending on where you’re going you can take the right shapes and sizes to suit your day.

Another major advantage is that when you upgrade your phone, you can re-use your existing screens with your new phone.

“Oh no, my poor iPad, iPad Mini, Kindle, and Macbook Air. I don’t want you to die” you whimper.
Ah good, depression. Not far to go now. How about if I said that Apple will probably release their own versions of this with heavily branded screens that only work with a new iPhone?

“Oh, in that case it’s fine. As long as everyone knows that I’ve got an iPhone and they can think I’m cool and rich then that’s fine. I’ll just put this stuff in the drawer with my MiniDisk players”. You blurt.
There we go. Acceptance. The last stage of grief. By the way, you make me a little bit sick and I don’t know why I bother talking to you.

Read Part 2 about home computing and more: Mad Apps: Beyond the phone to roam