IWOOT Blog

Mario Kart Street Graffiti

Mario Kart is officially the funnest thing ever (except working at IWOOT, obviously), so we’re always on the lookout for developments in the world of banana skins, green shells and reckless driving. A recent news bulletin shows perhaps the most mysterious incident of Mario Kart invading real life – a cycle path in Portland, Oregon has had some interesting graffiti drawn on it:

Thankfully, the banana skins don’t cause you to spin out and fall off Rainbow Road. While we’re on the subject, there are some seriously dangerous Mario Kart enthusiasts out there too:

Don’t try this at home, obviously.

Via Cnet.

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Has Japan made a pact with our future galactic overlords?


Chris from Customer Services has done us a blog about Japanese robots. Obviously. Over to you, Chris…

“Everybody knows that robots are cool. It’s the name of the game here at IWOOT – gadgets that make you go “whoa!”. Every little human child has wished for a robot friend to smite our foes, be a best mate or just do our maths for us. These wishes come from our influences. Who has seen Rocky IV and not wanted Balboa to be giving that bug eyed robot to them rather than his boozed up, freeloading, brother in law? Or watched Johnny 5 wasted in a life of servitude building mini-mes (procreation metaphor methinks) under the guise of ‘helping a friend’? Don’t we all just want him to laser gun his Guttenberg master with a “kiss my robot ass Mahoney!”?

What is the problem with Japan then? Why are they not building the robots of our fantasies? (Fembots!…) They seem to be hell-bent on providing us with robots of an increasingly horrifying nature.

Behold the work of inventor Hiroki Kunimura:

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This bundle of terror is Yotaro, a robot constructed by Dr Kunimura to aid in Japan’s population problem. You see, what you don’t get told in re-runs of Akira and in the narrative of Tokyo Drift is that Japan has real issues with its population in that, much like giant Pandas, they just won’t make babies.

Yotaro, according to Hiroki, is designed to “trigger human emotions so humans will want to have their own baby”. First issue: why is he referring to humans as if he has never seen one outside a lab? Second issue: Yotaro feeds, cries, gurgles and leaks like we are told real babies do and has gone down a storm with the robot-making communities of Japan, many declaring that they felt new emotions rising up in them after making contact with Yotaro (dread and despair, presumably).

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Interestingly Kunimura has said that the baby crisis was not in the front of his mind when he developed Yotaro. What was he developing this bed ridden hell-globe for?!”

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BBC Computers used to teach Computing A-Level

Crikey we’re nostalgic, aren’t we? If it wasn’t enough for us to ceremonially mark the birthday of Windows 95 yesterday, we’ve now gone all gooey over BBC Computers. When I was but a lad of primary school age, these alien pieces of technology (we were an Amstrad family) seemed unwieldy, almost scary – but get a game of Tanks going and suddenly the fear subsides. Ah, the healing power of armed combat…

Even with their relatively basic (quite literally BASIC, in fact) operating functions, it seemed an unassailable piece of kit, to be bettered only by alien technology or the arrival of Buck Rogers in an IT lesson. While you’re playing Granny’s Garden, the thought of there being any sort of more advanced computing intellect seems like the idle dream of an impossible optimist.

It’s heartening, then, to learn that some students have turned to the trusty old relic for insight into how modern computers work:

Via the BBC, logically enough.
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Toaster Bacon!

Yup, you read it right. Bacon for your toaster. How frikkin’ cool is that? What with microwave poached eggs taking about two minutes – you could have an awesome breakfast in three. I did notice the advert looked a little old. So there must be a reason why we cant currently buy this…

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“Reddi-Bacon (1964) was precooked and there was very little extra fat involved when the foil packets were heated. However, there was occasional slight leaking from torn or damaged foil packages, and that undoubtably caused some smoking and ruined toasters. The problems with the packaging was vexing enough to the company that Reddi-Bacon never really made it out of test markets before the product was pulled from the market.”

Oopsy – probably should have shown this to Danny Woot before I gave him the pack I found in the back of the fridge!!!!! I hope our toaster’s ok.

Via Geekologie

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Happy Birthday Windows 95!

Anyone who’s old enough to have owned computer in 1995 will fondly remember the revolutionary design of Windows 95, which celebrates its 15th birthday today. Of course, the fact that its colour scheme looks like a thunderingly dull matte explosion at B&Q only means that our eyes have become more discerning over the years.

I remember when my secondary school finally upgraded to Windows 95, which included this new-fangled thing known as The Internet. It was rubbish. You’d walk in there, list of ‘Web Sites’ on a post-it note, type one in and sit there for the whole lunch hour while the BBC front page loaded up. Still, it’s nice to reminisce, so why not have a look/listen to all the start-up sounds from Windows operating systems over the years:

Amazing! Via Techradar.

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Megapixels – the new crime fighters?

Anyone who watches CSI knows that they often miraculously use technology to zoom in a gazillion times into a low-res image taken from a street traffic camera, or have some super-futuristic version of photoshop that allows you to clean up a thumbnail and print it billboard size. Truth is, if you are or have a pixel-pusher watching in the near vicinity, you immediately hear them sigh in frustration. You can’t cheat the inverse proportional truths behind resolution and size. Believe me, we have all cheated and, much like the magic wand tool, the results are more often than not disastrous and quite ugly.

With all of this in mind, it’s wonderful to read a story where a family camera’s wealth of megapixels actually helped fight crime. The Myers family were taking a family self-portrait, and accidentally snapped the dude stealing their stuff.

“We were taking pictures outside the Capitol building and I wanted to get a timed shot of the whole family all dressed up. So I put my bag down, placed the camera on a wall, got everyone to line up, set the timer for ten seconds, and jumped into the photo. I took a quick look at the image and liked it.

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We then started to walk away when I realized my bag was missing. I went inside the building to see if someone had turned it in, but no luck. I ran outside and circled the building, but still no luck.I then realized that I might have caught the thief on camera and I checked the shot again. When I saw the guy with his hand in my bag, I ran back inside and found the Capitol Police.

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They were amazing. They immediately sent out a description of the thief using the photo I took. In a few minutes, one officer had found him still in the area. The thief had dumped some things from the bag in a nearby trash can—the flash for my camera, a small backpack of kids toys, a bag of cables, extra SD cards, my mini tripod—but still in my bag were my wallet with cash, credit cards, hotel keys, rental car keys, and my iPad.The Police recovered everything and hauled the guy off to jail.”

Sweet!

Source – Gizmodo

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Submarine based on Shark

Working for a website called ‘I Want One Of Those’ might incline one to be desensitised to gizmos that are particularly gobsmacking. However, some inventions are simply impossible to ignore – the Seabreacher is one such creation. It’s a submersible craft based on the aerodynamics and movements of sharks (that may be the coolest sentence I’ve ever written). To digest its magnificence in full, you have only to watch this video:

Cripes. A quick glance at the FAQ section of the Seabreacher website throws up some equally amazing statistics. It can travel at 50mph underwater, they have a 260bhp engine, it’s got GPS, there’s a snorkel-mounted camera… but most importantly it allows you to muck around in the water like a flippin’ shark. So if you’ve got a spare $65,000, I’d quite like to borrow it… I’ll let you have a go on it, honest!

This was tweeted to us by the lovely DamoclesTheBDA.

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IWOOT Now Owned by The Hut!

A missive from our Creative Director…

“Great news for us all at IWOOT – we’re now owned by The Hut, the UK’s fastest growing on-line retailer! We’re moving to a shiny new warehouse, continuing to launch gazillions of awesome new products and getting set to rule the world (but in a benevolent non-dictatorial way of course). We’re even delivering UK orders for free!”

Wow etc! We’ll keep you updated with any more details as they emerge.

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Dancing Stormtrooper Gets Special Edition Treatment

We might not be the first to have noticed this, but some wily person has taken an existing (and thoroughly amazing) video of a Stormtrooper dancing to ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ and added some rather snazzy CGI baby Stormtroopers in the background. Just watch…

Wonderful stuff. We’re getting Stormtrooper outfits for the next time that song comes on in the office (it could happen!). Particularly impressive reflections on the glass for the CGI characters – maybe George Lucas needs to take a leaf out of this book for any future SW tie-ins…

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The IWOOT iPad Competition

Yes, you read that right – we’re giving away an iPad. We might not be the first to do it, but waiting in line to get one is just not our style.

We’re reasonably sure we don’t have to spell out exactly how amazing the iPad is or what it can do, but hey, we’ll give it a stab. Surf the internet, check your emails, watch movies, read a book, look through your photos, watch YouTube videos, store and listen to your iTunes library, download apps and perform a whole load of other life-enhancing tasks by simply touching the screen. Or, y’know, it’s also good as a baking tray*.

“But how, tell me how do I win one?” you must be excitedly thinking. Well, it’s simple – all you have to do to enter the draw is visit our Facebook page and click on “Like”, or follow us on Twitter. And who wouldn’t like/follow us? We’re giving away an iPad! In case you need showing, below is a helpful diagram of exactly where you need to click once you’ve arrived at our Facebook page:

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Make sure you do it before midday on Tuesday 14th September, when we’ll randomly select a winner from everyone who likes us. If you’re already a fan of IWOOT on Facebook or Twitter, then you’ll already be entered into the competition automatically, so don’t worry about liking us twice. Not even sure if you can do that. We’re also chucking in some protective iBalls to go with it (stop sniggering – they fit on the corners of your iPad and stop its brains falling out if you happen to drop it), so all the more reason to enter.

So get to our  Facebook page or our Twitter feed, get liking and following, and get in the running to win one of the most important technological creations of all time!

Win win win!

* It’s really not.

Competition terms & conditions:

  • Closing time for the free prize draw will be at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday 14th September 2010
  • One winner will be picked at random from anyone who ‘likes’ I Want One Of Those on Facebook or who follows us on Twitter at the close of entries.
  • The winner will be notified by their Twitter or Facebook name within 14 days of the prize draw.
  • If the prize is not claimed within 14 days of notification, another prize winner will be drawn and the original prize winner forfeits the prize.
  • The prize is one iPad . The model and specification of the iPad is as decided by IWOOT. No upgrade will be available. No cash alternative is available for the prize(s) offered.
  • IWOOT’s decision is final and in the event of a dispute, no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entry into the free prize draw will be taken as acceptance of the terms and conditions.
  • This competition is open to residents of the UK only.
  • This prize draw is completely free to enter, no purchase is necessary.
  • The prize draw is not open to anyone associated with the promotion, employees of IWOOT, families or agents.
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