Things That Should Exist: The Wrist Phone

Things That Should Exist is a column by James Trickey. Things suggested are not always good ideas.

I’m back after a while without doing anything and for that I am sorry. I just have been really struggling with ideas because some people already had to go and invent everything useful or cool because they had the idea first. But I am finally back with an idea that probably already exists thank to some annoying company, or it might not in which case this will be an amazing idea.

Now, as you can probably guess this invention right here is a phone, just like any smartphone or tablet that can be found in any phone shop in the country at the moment. But, as the title suggests, this is a phone that sits on your wrist the whole time. So I’m imagining a phone with straps just like a watch that allow the phone to sit comfortably on your wrist. With the help of Paint I will try and get my ideas across.

So as you can see there with the help of the OG iPhone as a tester it’s basically just a phone that you can wear like a watch and as I said already it might exist somewhere but to be honest it should still exist which is what this column is about.

But if not, then think of the advantages to this.

Firstly it will never fall out of your pocket because it’s on your wrist. I mean when was the last time your watch fell off without you noticing? Plus, this phone is going to be a lot more noticeable if it comes off your wrist due to the weight difference and the noise it will make when it hits the floor and dies.

Secondly it would also just be incredibly fun to play games on something that is attached to your wrist. It would be like you were a half-robot person with a screen in your wrist! and no the Fallout games stole this idea from me. But it’s still awesome.

So that’s about it for this week. I hope that you all try and actually invent one of these things and if they already do then make them better. I’ll see you next week with a brand new idea.

Hopefully.

KABLAM!!

Birdwatching: Is Assassin’s Creed starting to dull?

Birdwatching is a column by Eddie King. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

The first time I ever played Assassin’s Creed was in Germany many years ago. I spent a full half hour navigating the tutorial trying to figure out what it trying to tell me to do in German. Despite the difficulties in this, I fell in love and when I got my first Xbox it was the first game I bought. Needless to say I got bored fairly soon.  The first Assassin’s Creed definitely deserves the title of a classic game, but at about the halfway point in the plot it requires the determination of a donkey hell bent on avenging his mother’s second cousin’s murder to finish. Five years later much has changed, so how has the memory mooching megalomaniacal man in a dressing gown been getting on?

After the revolutionarily intriguing first episode, Assassin’s Creed was well known but not perfect, but then came the sequel Assassin’s Creed 2. If you have not played this game then you should be taken out and shot in front of your families. It was the second coming and it had nothing wrong with it at all. It set the standard for any game that wasn’t racing or shooting. The aspects that made it so successful were the fact that you could climb just about anywhere you could see, the fighting looked absolutely insane, the plot was brilliant and had you wanting the next piece of the puzzle and all of this was in a manageable package that didn’t require ultimate gamer reflexes to operate. At the same time it wasn’t easy either and it certainly wasn’t boring.

If Assassin’s Creed was to Assassin’s Creed 2 what Call of Duty 3 was to Modern Warfare, then Assassin’s Creed 2 was to Brotherhood what Modern Warfare is to Modern Warfare 2. Anal analogies aside, Brotherhood was perfection with every little bit being a little bit better. The introduction of the multiplayer was all that was needed to keep me glued to the screen for a very long time. Even Red Dead Redemption took a back seat at this point. The choice of things to do became more in depth and the graphics were just getting sharper; much like Ezio’s blade, maybe a little too sharp. The first signs of problems had begun to emerge. I had trouble dying. Apart from the occasional stumble and misjudging the occasional free running stunt was all that ever stopped my heart beating. I was becoming worried that Assassin’s Creed was slowing to a crawl so far as new developments were concerned. Admittedly Brotherhood was nicknamed Assassin’s Creed 2.5 but as a new game I was expecting more and certainly more of a challenge.

Revelations again wasn’t quite Assassin’s Creed 3 but more Assassin’s Creed 2.750861 and it was the same story yet again, with the same easy combat systems in which one button push could dispatch six guards stunningly enough to make Qui-Gon Jinn’s bottom jaw hit the floor and the same fleet of efficient friends who could remove any threat in front of you without even having to draw your sword and the same ability to defy gravity as effectively elephants’ ears when jumping from building to building. Yes, the story has set the stage for a grand finale and pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place that you couldn’t have added otherwise, but it could have been so much better if Ubisoft had injected a little of the original Assassin’s Creed elbow grease and grunt.

Despite all this, I still have the bottom half of Ezio’s face staring me down from behind my desktop and Ubisoft will undoubtedly continue to relieve me of extortionate amounts of money for the privilege of finding ever predictable ways of killing people. I really love the Assassin’s Creed series and I will continue to play it because it is one of the most fun and unique games available today. That being said, I hope that when I hear the gentle rip of plastic that indicates I have Assassin’s Creed 3 in my grasp I will not give a sigh of sadness as I realise I have already played this very game before only with a man with a different accent, but rather a gasp of excitement as I am grabbed by the balls and dragged to a new world of tomahawks and tea into a new experience.

Things That Should Exist: Clothes inspired by movies

Things That Should Exist is a column by James Trickey, but today it is written by Hannah Marsh. Things suggested are not always good ideas.

Hey everyone,

I know that Trickey normally writes the Things That Should Exist column, however he is suffering severely from writers block so I’m going to suggest a few things on his behalf, seeing as I have been so inactive recently.

Everyone has watched the Back To The Future trilogy, right? If you haven’t, go and watch it now and come back to this later. Carrying on, in Back To The Future Part II, Marty, pretending to be his own son, puts on a jacket and it looks absolutely ridonculous. Not only is it horrifically out of fashion, but it is miles too big for him, however seconds later it adapts to his size, keeping in exact proportions.

What I want is for all my clothes to do that, but to do other things too, like wash themselves instantly when I take them off, before proceeding to dry and iron themselves when you put them on. If we go really crazy then they could fix damages and sew on buttons as well. Ever since I was a child and I watched that film I have wanted my clothes to do that! In the real world of the 21st century, they’ve made the hoverboard and the shoes from Part II, so why can’t the jacket come next?

After reminiscing about Michael J. Fox’s clothes, I came up with another, possibly better idea. This isn’t really as suitable for guys unless they are actually fashion conscious – which we all know is impossible – but even so it’s a good idea! Every day when I take off my school uniform I ask myself what to wear. It’s a big dilemma, so what I want is to look in the mirror and for clothes to appear on the virtual image, but not on myself. That way I could say yes, no or maybe. When things get really hi-tech, I could even talk to the mirror and tell it what mood I am in and what I’m dressing for. I could change the colour of things and I could change the style of them too. But of course this amazing device would be useless if I didn’t have the clothes, so I want my mirror to be even more awesome, and it can then make the clothes on the virtual image appear. It would be really cool and increadibly useful. You could even save styles and items you like, building a database of preferences over time.

Last and by no means least, I thought of another film I absolutely love: X-Men. At one point in the first film, Professor Xavier is teaching and a girl, instead of writing her notes, is just thinking of what she wants to write and is moving her hand across the paper. I know we will never be mutants (never say never, but it’s pretty unlikely), but what if we could have a glove and a hat that, when put on, work together to translate our thoughts onto some ?sort of special paper? No more achey hands in lessons and exams. I would definitely invest in that.

Birdwatching: Minecraft vs. Lego

Birdwatching is a column by Eddie King. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Many moons ago, before the red ball of fury was angry and consumed with rage at the idiots who run the world, he spent his time building the most tremendous Lego structures the world has ever seen, and spent hours planning the most complicated battle plans in an attempt to outwit the little yellow men on the other team. Now, I play Minecraft whenever I have an urge to see an insane idea of mine on a screen and soon my little brother will too. The problem is he has never spent hours on some incredibly complex technological project that will rock the world of your own innocent dreams and never feel that awesome feeling of success. The real question is, despite my nostalgia, is this really a bad thing?

There is a little thing called evolution that I am rather fond of and I consider it the ultimate succession of life. Up until now, each generation has thought of something new and old people have complained about how much easier life was or how much worse it has become. The problem is that in the last hundred years we have made technological progress at a rate which is beyond comprehension. People are getting worried because every stereotype or old wives tale which we feel comfortable in is being rewritten thanks to computers. They are attacked and teams of individuals have made it their lives’ work to prove they are bad. But are they? I think that any change society makes on a mass scale must, by definition, be positive, otherwise that change would not happen on such a large scale. Take smoking – thirty years ago it was the pinnacle of cool and advertised at or sponsoring almost every major event. Seventy years ago it was just one of the things you did like breathing. It has however been clinically proven to kill you, so they stopped the advertising and sponsorships and today smokers are shunned. People still smoke, but the ones that do know how they could be compromised. The technological revolution is a compromise and one that I have not really made. For instance, how many people – especially teenagers – who are reading this post know how to skin a rabbit? On the down side, I am a terrible zob and I can’t touch type, but I am happy with that compromise.

My point is this – the technological revolution has not yet completed revolving and the more we fight it the longer it will take. I think we should sit back and let it take its course. If it works out then great, but if not then people will change because I think one of the biggest problems today is people don’t trust themselves. There is no confidence. People have been adapting for quite a long time now and they’ve got quite good at the whole survival thing.

My brother won’t have those great memories and I might feel bad for him, but he will have other memories and other experiences that I shall not have, and so we have come to the end of this sermon. I think that people should sit back and let this period of social evolution take its course.

Techslice: Some random thoughts about Siri

Techslice is a column by Ali Wilson. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Siri is truly excellent voice recognition software that Apple introduced with the iPhone 4S and probably the new iPhone I spoke about last week. Siri is useful in many ways, as you can simply tell Siri to do what you want and it will do it almost instantly. It is also very entertaining, as I found out when trying it out on my friend’s iPhone 4S. If you ask something it cannot answer, Siri strives to give you a witty and entertaining response.

Siri is also easily accessible, with two extremely simple ways to activate it. The first is by pressing and holding the home button and waiting for the Siri toolbar to appear. The second is able to be turned off and on, and all you have to do is raise the phone to your ear, wait for the beep, and then say your command. This is very useful as it would be nonsensical if you had to go searching for Siri when you could just as easily have found what you were looking for in a shorter time without your voice.

There is only one minor flaw that I can see from my extensive tests, and that is that you must speak very clearly. If you don’t speak clearly enough, Siri has trouble recognising what you say and will normally answer with the wrong thing. This is time consuming and is a regular occurrence if you try and speak in a normal voice. This was proved by Henry and Xavier when they tested it in October.

Overall, I found Siri excellent and it is by far the best voice recognition programme that I have ever used. However, I don’t see why Apple has made Siri exclusive to the iPhone. As the owner of an iPad 2, I am strongly disappointed by this and am living in hope that soon, Apple will add Siri to the iPad. Not to finish on a bad note though – as I said above, Siri is excellent in almost every way and definitely top dog among mobile voice recognition platforms.

Birdwatching: Fus Ro Damn I’m bored

Birdwatching is a column by Eddie King. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

I didn’t manage to impale a sharp projectile into my patella but regardless I have managed to lose my sense of humour over Digixav’s favourite game of 2011, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Yes, the small red flying feathered ball in the sky is going to be taking the big, scaly, fire breathing monster that is Skyrim. It was one of the most highly anticipated games since the release of Oblivion back in 2005 and when it arrived at school on a November morning even the quietest and most reasonable students became national standard rugby players and managed to barge past most of the school to play it. I did observe and despair, and this is why.

A game should stimulate you mentally. It should make you think and feel and it should be an experience. Skyrim is just a way to waste time. The mechanics of the game are repetitive and there are enough side missions to get lost in. Replay value? I think not because the chances are you will never finish the entire game before your mind is reduced to a whimpering mass at the back of your cranium. You play as a violent oaf who can somehow swing some stupidly large piece of some unknown element at some impossibly alive bag of walking bones which can absorb more damage than a Nokia. I guess what I am so angry about is that it claimed to be so good; it claimed to be a vast, open world to lose yourself in. Well yes, I certainly did lose myself in it, the problem being that I didn’t manage to find a way out. The story is just too big and there needs to be an end. An infinite story should not be allowed. I want to be able to enjoy understanding the various intricacies and twists instead of having huge amounts of nonsensical myths and obscure cults that everybody I meet seems to want me to join dropped into my lap and let me wonder what the hell I am supposed to do with it all. This is prominent when you get into the game and you check your mission catalogue, only to find about three pages worth of objectives that you have no intention of completing. Then when finally you do get round to starting AND finishing a quest the formula is the same every single time. Namely go here and talk to this person, pick up another two quests, go there and enter a mildly scary looking cave, wait at loading screen for too long, go inside and navigate a complex array of tunnels, encounter a few enemies which you can get rid of by button bashing which results in the same three moves until they die and finally collect your reward which is the ability to talk to some stars which help you in some practical way. Because stars now control how good we are at stuff, don’t you know.

The game lies to you, and after a few hours you have seen everything you are ever going to see. The combat systems are overly simplistic and movements are very slow. Now at this point those of you who are still reading and haven’t taken offence will note that I admit that Skyrim isn’t all bad as the graphics are insane and certain parts of the story are pretty epic. It is also a very good addition to the Elder Scrolls series and the people who have grown used to this style of game will have no qualms where I was tearing my hair out. Also, despite me claiming that it is a mindless game, some of the puzzles are quite challenging but the end is always inevitable. The slow and unrealistic fighting and repetitiveness of the gameplay unfortunately mean that this game becomes boring by the time you are in desperate need of a pee in front of laptop. Skyrim is a good game but is let down by being hyped up far too much and it isn’t the completely free universe it claims to be.

Things That Should Exist: The Instant Rap Battle Machine

Things That Should Exist is a column by James Trickey. Things suggested are not always good ideas.

I know it sounds incredibly similar to the Instant Insult Machine and I can tell you now that it is indeed. I have my reasons for this, the first being that I have been running low on ideas lately, but to be honest I’ve been struggling for ideas since day one. The second being that it is another thing that should exist and so ended up here on Digixav.

I want to explain to you lot that it is an “upgrade” of the previous machine that looked like some odd tortoise thing and will look exactly the same but with a few different features. If you really want, I can throw in some accessories for it like sunglasses and a pimp hat (or anything else from that Build-A-Bear place). This means you could have a pimp beatboxer! Here is an example that I made on Paint yet again and, if you didn’t know, the purple thing sticking out of his hat is a feather, like pimps have. If you don’t get it, nevermind. We really need to get Photoshop.

The Instant Rap Battle Machine will come with a preset beat that you and your challenger or challenged can rap along to. You could enter your rap names into the machine (mine’s MC Jtrick) and as the beat drops the robot shouts “Get ready (I can’t think of a good rap name so I’ll) Eminem! Lets hear you rap in 3..2…1!” and then everyone listens to the intense rap that has been spat. This will be repeated for the other guy (someone crap so we’ll go for) “Justin Bieber!” and he will sing some song which technically won’t be allowed because it’s not a rap but we won;t go into details. And just so you know, Eminem won that one.

It will also feature a sound detector thing so if there is an enormous crowd present (which there will be) it will take the volume of the “OOOooooo….R U GONNA TAKE THAT FAM?!?!”s (as in the plural, you understand, no?) and the rap with the loudest  “OOOooooo….R U GONNA TAKE THAT FAM?!?!”s wins.

This new version won’t do the insulting for you but rather enhance your insulting enjoyment, because I know that I could do with something that makes hurting people’s feelings more fun since it’s just a bit plain at the moment.

As with the previous model, you could download different voices for the machine and different beats off iTunes or whatever. I’m sorry for having no imagination with the photos but meh.

And so with another week gone I say goodbye, but I’ve run out of stereotypical comic book noises.

POW.

Header image from spinningpixels

Birdwatching: Porn, privacy and problems with hackers

Birdwatching is a column by Eddie King. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Yet again those suits in London who get paid to write stuff and put it on some of the biggest, most influential and most widely read websites on the internet have decided to take a sledgehammer to our subconscious, dulling it to the point where we will be soon living in a nanny state wrapped in bubble paper and drooling over the sacred book of political correctness. The bird has yet again been consumed with anger and will be doing his best to knock ten bells out of the foundations of stupidity. Luckily this time around I have, like Eminem, the ‘antidote‘ i.e. porn.

Yes, I mentioned the P word, but we must understand that we are one of the only species that actually has sex merely for fun and it shows intelligence. Unfortunately most people won’t admit this because it is a touchy subject, and there is nothing wrong with this, but subsequently as a youngster you will start discovering the world of puberty through some of the shadier corners of the internet. Why? Because it isn’t embarrassing, other people have said it is good and it is free and easily accessible. Why then has our illustrious Prime Minister deemed it necessary to call together a meeting with the biggest ISPs to block porn in all services unless you ask for it in the first place? Three massive problems with this:

  • Firstly, if you are in any form of relationship at all and your partner found out that you specifically requested porn to be allowed on your media it will be a basis for accusations of cheating, as for some reason girls don’t seem to understand that even if you were going out with a gorgeous specimen and love them very much, it doesn’t stop you being curious about what Tulisa looks like naked and at the height of pleasure. (No link there, but if you want to find out, Google’s a thing.)
  • Secondly, it will prevent young boys from truly entering teenagehood, as at the end of the day before you turn 13 you are not in the least bit interested in girls so you won’t go looking for videos of them with no cloths on and after that you don’t mind finding them so at what point are you protecting anybody?  Yes, there are some very dark corners of the internet where the adult industry takes advantage of people in ways which are truly sick and twisted, but the thing is not only is this a niche market but these bastards generally want money for their hard work and so that is a natural buffer against us ‘stumbling’ over it.
  • Lastly, you are starting to make choices for people based on the fact you have more power than them. You are now swimming in very dangerous waters as in places where the internet is available it prides itself on being the model of freedom. And after centuries of perfecting various ways of taking lives that don’t belong to them, humans are kind of protective of freedom because it works rather well.

They say that they want to limit this to protect children, but who asked them to protect them? Was it some cow in a horrible pink frock at a garden party in the Cotswolds? Do you really think this will help society in any way? If you channelled that same time and effort into making the darker streets of London not quite so dark, then children and their guardians might feel a little more protected. Parents have more software options than hair follicles to save their children from the sight of someone getting banged, but they don’t have the same options in the real world as muggings, murder and rape are just a few of the things that you can’t download safeguards for but Mr Cameron can help with.

This brings me onto the subject of that brilliant yet totally arsehole-ish crowd who call themselves ‘hackers‘. These are the true lords of the internet who do not steal your money by building up databases on you and slowly taking over your life (like Google) but simply roll in and strip your card of all its value and then forget to tell you about it until they buy a car in Mexico. To be honest it is a far more comfortable way to get mugged and frankly shows how soft the 21st century really is. But the rascals have been rumoured to have designs on the Olympic opening ceremony. The question is where to draw the line. Generally I will say that people should be show how to not care about things that don’t really matter and to stick it to the man, but at this level I am talking about the same man every time – a man that I am proud to stick it to in the first place and one that I want no help in sticking it to. Turning the lights off at the opening ceremony in London and pasting a massive picture of someone’s breasts on the board may be a good laugh and it certainly would both stick it to the man and show just how free the little people can get, but then other people will no longer respect the man I stick it to. I think that hackers should continue with their 21st century muggings and displays of the innermost workings of top secret organisations, but the people who keep your Alienware desktops running are the same ones you will be attacking on this occasion so please reconsider and piss someone else off.

Techslice: The new iPhone rumour mill

Techslice is a column by Ali Wilson. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

In October 2011, Apple released their latest iPhone: the iPhone 4S. A lot of people were disappointed with the result that came 18 months after the 4 and were expecting something a bit more, well, new. By sight, the iPhone 4S is the same as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The only major differences for a year of development were a dual-core A5 processor from the iPad 2, Siri and 3 additional megapixels in the camera.

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So with so few differences in the last upgrade, we are expecting great things from the iPhone 5/iPhone 4G/iPhone 6/new iPhone. There has been a concept design released and, as you can see, it does look very different to the previous model.

iPhone 5

Straight away, the first thing we notice is potential design overhaul of the new iPhone. Apple may reverted towards their old curved design from the original models. The shape is a lot less square and is much more rounded, a lot like the new Samsung Galaxy S III. The screen size may increase from the current 3.5″, with rumours circling that Apple may enlarge it to a whopping 4.8″, although Steve Jobs would turn in his grave. He was in staunch opposition to larger screens as he (rightly) thought that they made the iPhone resemble an Android phone.

The sixth installment to the iPhone series is said to be being released just over a year after its older brother. It was thought that if it was released earlier, then the new iPad’s sales would not be as high. Apple have therefore left a six-month gap between the iPad and the iPhone’s release. It is rumoured for early October 2012.

So, if you’re thinking of investing in an iPhone 4S, think again. It should be worth the wait of (potentially) just six months, because Apple could change everything. Again.

Techslice: Why Prezi is the new PowerPoint

Techslice is a column by Ali Wilson. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Two weeks ago, I came across some new web-based presentation software. Prezi uses one simple factor that makes it simply fantastic – it uses 100% zoom transition. No flicking between multiple slides with petty little animations. No, as Prezi uses only one slide that you can fit just about anything on. It then zooms in and out of your different pieces of information to give you the ultimate presentation.

It is also completely free if you have an educational e-mail address to sign up with. This is normally your school e-mail address. So, instead of paying over £100 for Microsoft PowerPoint, you can use something better for free. And it has an iPad app. It really doesn’t take much time to learn to use either, as it is really very easy and is explained in simple detail on the websites excellent tutorials.

If you want to see an example of Prezi in action then visit this Prezi I threw together in about 2 minutes. If the link comes up with “No search results for…” then simply press the search button again.

All in all, I think that Prezi is a much better resource than PowerPoint, being generally better in any thinkable way, and it is therefore going to the top of the Techslice Top 10 of Internet Things – of one thing.

Techslice Top 10 of Internet Things

  1. Prezi
  2. Coming soon
  3. Coming soon
  4. Coming soon
  5. Coming soon
  6. Coming soon
  7. Coming soon
  8. Coming soon
  9. Coming soon
  10. Coming soon