Monday, December 8, 2014

Computer error messages in public

Often computers display messages when something goes wrong. Usually these are essential for alerting the computer user so they can resolve the problem. However, when computers are used for public purposes, error messages can be embarrassing.

Flickr has a collection of these in the Public Computer Errors group pool.

Many of the local buses have a screen near the front with a map of the route, information about the current and next stops and a scrolling news ticker. On a recent journey we saw raw HTML tags displayed with CSS in the news ticker text.

Recently some of the local train stations have been playing an announcement "The requested file is not found" in English. Most of the regular announcements are in Turkish and tell people to not smoke, eat or drink in the station, not to let children play or cross the train tracks.

Occasionally you might see BIOS or operating system as public screen starts up or has a problem. For example, the local bank's ATM uses a version of Windows XP and the train screens use a version of Linux.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bicycle renaissance - 3 bike stories of the week

A folding electric bike that can fit into a backpack.

Learn more on Impossible's Kickstarter.

[via Laughing Squid]

A child's bike from recycled nylon carpets.
Discover more about the bike from Wishbone Design,  their shop and Nanette Wong's post on Design Milk.

[via Design Milk]

Adam, Norm and Will from Tested talk bicycles (from 8:27):

[via YouTube]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

UNI-CUB - personal mobility device featured in OK Go's "I won't let you down"

OK Go recently released another amazing video for their song "I won't let you down" featuring the Honda UNI-CUB personal mobility device.

The UNI-CUB is ideal for the music video featuring the band and synchronized dancers because it has unique omni-directional maneuverability and auto-balancing. The balance control technology and Honda’s proprietary driving wheel system in the UNI-CUB originated from their research into humanoid robots such as ASIMO.

Watch an interview with Damian and Tim on some of their inspiration for the video and behind-the-scenes challenges.

Explore more including interactive video of the song at I won't let you down. The pre-visualization is really cool - you can create your own version of the video with UNI-CUB riders and umbrellas.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Inventive kids

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon has partnered with GE to introduce some young inventors.

Meet all the kid inventors on Fallonventions.

I most like the Human Heat Flashlight - perhaps the technology could be used for powering wearable devices.

Originally spotted on Laughing Squid

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Long range Turkish electric car hits the road

A team from Istanbul University's Electrical and Electronic Engineering department have created an electric car that travelled 2500 kilometres with just $17 worth of electricity. They are driving it around Turkey to test it in all sorts of road and weather conditions.

With petrol in Turkey costing about $2.18 per litre, going the same distance in a regular car would cost anywhere between $275-$450 depending on fuel efficiency!

The "T-1" can do 500 Km on only 4 hours of charge. It weighs 500 Kg and can reach speeds of 130 Km/h.

More info at

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

OK Go make something

Today America is holding the first-ever White House Maker Faire.

Learn more about the event at

Another more amazing video from OK Go.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Historic film clips of fantastic inventions

Last month the newsreel archive, British Pathe, uploaded thousands of historic films to its YouTube channel. Among them is this playlist of fantastic inventions.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Slick 3D printing pen

Imagine drawing in the air and creating three dimensional structures. The Lix 3D Pen can make your imagination come true.


Learn more at

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finding Nemo

Not the missing clown fish with the gimpy fin in the Pixar movie, but the Science Center Nemo in Amsterdam. My family and I visited The Netherlands for a spring break vacation and spent our first full day exploring the 5 storey hands on science museum.

Our kids enjoyed writing their names with binary switches and doing experiments in the Journey through the Mind. I was impressed with the chemistry demonstrations, the machine park and the chain reaction contraption.
Science Center Nemo as seen from the Canal Cruise

More info about the Science Center Nemo on their website:


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stackable Shelter

Here is a cool idea for emergency shelters. Inspired by an upside-down styrofoam coffee cup, the Exo Housing system is designed for rapid deployment at lower cost and higher efficiency than trailer homes, caravans or converted shipping containers.

Reaction Call to Action from Reaction on Vimeo.

Discover more on their indiegogo campaign and help provide emergency shelter for Syrian refugees.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back to the Future : Hover boards a reality?

It looks like the future that Marty McFly experienced in Back to the Future 2 is becoming reality.

Learn more at

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rebooting Medical Testing

When I worked as the computer systems administrator at Medical Diagnostics, a community medical testing lab (from 1988-94), occasionally I would give a tube of blood for control tests. The experience involved the phlebotomists putting a tourniquet on my arm, finding a vein, inserting a needle and releasing the tourniquet so the blood would fill a vacuolated tube. The analysis machines at the time could sometimes do multiple tests on the same sample, but often patients had blood drawn into different tubes for haematology, biochemistry and serology.

In 2003, Elizabeth Holmes, at the age of 19 dropped out of Stanford University and invented a way to run 30 lab tests on a single drop of blood.

Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos 
Collecting just a pin-prick of blood, Theranos' Nanotainer reduces the blood required for testing to about 1/1000 of the size of traditional phlebotomy.

Other innovations from Theranos include improving the test and assays for faster results. Instead of growing cultures which takes days, they measure the DNA of pathogens. And by automating the processes as much as possible, they can offer much lower and transparent pricing, with the potential of saving billions of dollars in the US health system.

Read more at Wired:
And Theranos:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Open Source Prototyping/Construction Toy

Here's an interesting gadget for constructing all sorts of stuff with recyclable materials.

Strawbees is a fantastic prototyping toy for makers of all ages helping you build huge mechanical objects from standard straws and cardboard!

Strawbees creators, Creatables lets you create the connectors with the MakeStation, a manual die cutting machine that turns waste materials into useful objects.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New top level domains

I just got an email about new domain name extensions and it was suggested that I pre-register I don't think I'll take up the offer, but if any of the other MuzGadget Bros want to establish themselves as a .guru, they can pre-register at

There are many other new top level domains proposed including .cloud, .computer, .ninja, .phone and .technology.

One of the MuzGadget Bros has a domain - a second level added to the New Zealand domain space several years ago.

Monday, January 20, 2014

3D Printed Food

The guys from Tested visited CES 2014 and tasted 3D printed candies and chocolates made with the ChefJet line of food 3D printers which create the food using alternate layers of powdered food and water.

Three years ago, 3D food printing technology from Cornell University used a different approach - printing the designs with food pastes.

Currently the technology is slow and expensive. It will be interesting to see what develops over the next few years. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Autonomous flying cars for everyone soon?

We've posted several times before about flying cars. Aviation company Terrafugia has unveiled its latest conceptual version which incorporates autonomous functionality, opening up the skies to everybody.