The Week In Weird Tech

This week: robots with hearts, a deadman's 3D printed ear and Google Glass destroying

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1 | The WiFi That Shuts Down Google Glass

Good news for anyone who feels unnerved at the thought of a Silicon Valley tech head roaming bars, cafes and shops sporting the hideous Google Glass, filming whoever he wants. Berlin-based critical engineer / artist Julian Oliver has developed a code (the brilliantly titled 'Glasshole.sh') which allows the user to stop any glass headset trying to join a WiFi network. Install the code on a Raspberry Pi mini computer, and it will pick up glass users in the vicinity. It then uses the programme to pretend to be the network, and sends a de-authorization command: meaning the headset cannot connect to the internet. 

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julianoliver.com

 

2 | Van Gogh's 3D Printed DNA Ear

Taking freaky-deaky to new heights is artist Diemut Strebe, who is a fan of sticking biological elements into his work. His latest piece is a giant, 3D printed ear, designed to look like the one that the artist van Gogh chopped off in a psychotic episode in 1888. It's been given added creedance because the cells used in the moulding and printing process were donated by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of van Gogh's brother Theo. The exhibit is housed in the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, and is scheduled to be on display until 6 July. 

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3 | The Robot With A Human Heart 

Japanese tech firm Softbank has unveiled a robot that they claim has human-style emotional intelligence. 'Pepper' comes complete with an artificial intelligence program which lets it analyse gestures, voice tones and expressions, which help it to carry out the every day household tasks it's designed for. It'll be on sale in Japan for the (pretty reasonable for a robot) price of 98,000 yen (£1,150). We are sold. 

4 | The Squiggle That Could Replace Your PIN

Fed up with tapping all those boring old digits into your phone/cashpoints? Well here's the security protection of the future – a doodle-squiggle thing. Researchers at Rugers University in New Jersey have been testing out the use of free-form lines, drawn with the finger onto a touch-screen, and have found that they are near impossible for would-be thieves to replicate, meaning that 'shoulder surfing' PIN and password techniques could be foiled forever.

 

5 | The System That Turns Cow Manure Into Drinking Water

Cows. Without them we wouldn't have milk, butter, cream, double cream or even whipped cream. And now the most hard-working animal in the farm is upping its game even further, with faeces we can turn into water which can be used to keep their fellow livestock hydrated. New technology, in the form of the McLanahan Nutrient Separation System, can take the benevolent beast's waste (which is about 90 per cent H2O) and strip it of all the other stuff that makes it nasty. While humans probably aren't going to want a look-in, it could stop farms in areas which are affected by summer draughts from going bust. 

msutoday.msu

 

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