Cool RFID Toy

I am not really sure what this thing does but it sounds very cool.

Fun Mirror

Here is the product description:

Mir:ror is a simple and elegant device that connects to a computer. It recognizes the things you show it and performs the tasks you’ve assigned to them. Simply affix RFID Ztamps to your objects and they become interactive, content rich items. Examples of use are limitless: show your umbrella to a Mir:ror and it will give you weather forecasts; wave your keys on top of Mir:ror and it will send an email to your loved ones saying that you are back home safe; put your pill box on Mir:ror and it will recall you when you last took your medicine!

RFID technology is getting hotter everyday. Mir:ror is the first mass market RFID reader with a rich set of applications and services. It is designed to be so simple that a two year old child can use it. With this empowering, intuitive and revolutionary device, Violet is once more expanding “the Internet of Things”, bringing the magic and the power of content, personalization and interactivity to the thousands of inanimate objects that populate our lives and homes.

Take a whiz with that prosthetic penis

Here is a new twist on an old appendage!  wo men whose company sold a device known as the Whizzinator that helped men cheat on drug tests have pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh.

George Wills and Robert Catalano each pleaded guilty Monday to two conspiracy counts.

They owned the California-based Internet company Puck Technology.

The Whizzinator is a prosthetic penis that comes with a heating element and fake urine.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office says the goal of it and another device called Number 1 was to help people pass drug tests.  The devices were sold from 2005 to 2008.

The California men are scheduled to be sentenced in February and face up to eight years in prison, a half-million-dollar fine or both.  I would rename this product as the pee-pee machine.

Flint is looking for a hand-out

Michael Moore would have a field-day with this one. In the city of Flint, Michigan, they are looking for sponsors to cover the $400,000+ cost of adding surveillance cameras to monitor high-crime areas. At the present time there is only just one camera.

The city and a private security firm, Asset Protection Specialist, are looking for businesses and individuals willing to pay $30,000 to have their names or corporate logos placed on one of the pole-mounted boxes, which also feature a police shield and a flashing blue light.

I am guessing the first sponsor will be some sort of home security alarm firm or maybe the local fast-food joint?

Mow your Lawn or Go to Jail

In Ohio they take grass-cutting very seriously. So seriously infact that homeowners who don’t mow their lawns face a stiff fine, even jail time in some cases.

The city council has decided to get tougher by increasing the maximum fine for failing to cut the grass from $150 to $250. And they’ve also added up to 30 days behind bars if a violator is particularly bad. Mayor William Healy says it’s the type of action needed “in order to clean up our neighbourhoods and our city.”

In the US it seems you don’t even get enough jail time for serious offences like assualt and robbery so this was a bit suprising.

Weird News Roundup

Here are some weird news shorts:

-Police in Arkansas say they found DNA evidence on a half-eaten candy bar helped them zero in on a robbery suspect. Should have eaten the whole thing, eh?

-A group of up hundreds of enraged young men killed 11 people who were accused of being witches and wizards in western Kenya, in some cases slitting their throats or clubbing them to death before burning their bodies. I guess they have never seen an of the Harry Potter movies.

-In yummy news, a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway.

-Only in the Big Apple, a Manhattan restaurant is offering a hamburger that costs $175 and is topped with gold flakes.

Anyone want to live in a metal box?

A Detroit-based construction consortium hopes to use empty shipping containers to build a $1.8 million, 17-unit condominium project. The Detroit Free Press reports today that the project would stack empty containers four high, cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios.

Groundbreaking could take place this fall on the project if it wins city approval, and it could open in 2009. It’s designed by Detroit-based architect Steven Flum. Developers plan to offer condominium units measuring 90 to 180 square metres.

Prices will range from about $100,000 to about $190,000. I guess it is an interesting idea for afforable housing but those prices seem more than a little extreme. I would think $30k-$40k per dwelling is more reasonable.