Wakey wakey: All the news in 30 seconds
16th May 2008 | 04:15
Rounding up what just happened so you don't have to
It’s the last day of the working week for most of us, but for one unfortunate man, the last day of his life has become a vaguely ludicrous debate over the influence technology has on our lives.
A Canadian man picking up the mail outside his house recently had the gross misfortune to be killed by a crashing helicopter that struck him when it hit the ground.
That’s bad news in anyone’s book, but suggestions that it happened because he may have been listening to music on earphones are raising an old debate.
Headphones to blame
The notion that his music was too loud for him to hear a plummeting helicopter (a helicopter!) is fuelling debate in Canada about legal attempts to ban the use of iPods and the like when crossing the street.
Obviously, common sense doesn’t seem to matter to some people – politicians and iPod addicts alike - but the saddest part is that no one even knows if the victim really was too distracted to notice what was happening.
With conjecture reigning supreme, as with so much in the field of Tech Vs Society, the facts rarely get an airing.
Dead trees are, well, dead?
Next up on the chopping block for idiot assertions, we have a US analyst who loves Amazon’s Kindle e-book so much he says it’ll make the company three quarters of a billion dollars in the next few years.
CitiGroup analyst Mark Mahaney clearly likes the grey plastic e-book, but his notion that people are willing to ditch proper books for digital versions that feel so much less permanent (and which require electricity) is a stretch too far.
Conversely, reporting something useful is always satisfying, so how about the news that Asus is equipping its new PCs with the Splashtop instant-on embedded Linux.
Splashtop skips those long boot-up sequences that Windows loves so, instead jumping straight into a useable Linux desktop complete with web browsing and Skype. Of course, that desktop also includes a link to Windows, but who cares?
While we’re at it, we recommend checking out the Splashtop demo video here. The narrator sounds just like a South Park character – we dig the way he repeatedly lisps “Instant Internet Experience.”
Finally for this morning, if male pattern baldness is getting you down, then you may want to save up for a spin on a new hair-transplanting robot from California.
The land of the beautiful people is helping those less appealing folk acquire a full head of hair the mechanical way. Apparently, the robot sucks good hair follicles through a hollow needle and replants them in the shiny spots in need of regrowth.