The dishonest printer

Andy Greenberg at Wired points out an interesting project by one Julian Oliver: A printer that highjacks cell phone traffic.  You may have heard of the StingRay, a device used by police (among others) that intercepts cell phone traffic by spoofing a legitimate cell phone tower.  Well, Mr.

The book is not dead yet!

Andrea Ballatore and Simone Natale write whatever is the opposite of an obituary for the old-fashioned, print book.  The piece was occasioned by the news that ebook sales among the UK's top-five booksellers actually fell in 2015.  This news, the authors suggest, show that predictions that print books were doomed by the rise of the e-book were hype.

Police car colouration controversy

A recent article in the Toronto Star by Betsy Powell discusses controversies surrounding new colour schemes for Canadian police cars.  A number of Canadian police forces have been changing from older schemes based on red, white, and blue to darker schemes based on grey, navy blue or black.

The ultimate tuque

John Brownlee at FastCompany describes the "ultimate tuque",  a version of the hat most associated with Canada.  Designed by Toronto design firm Frontier, the tuque aims to get this iconic piece of headgear right.

In terms of function, the Frontier tuque is designed to address many common complaints about tuques, such as scratchy material, lack of warmth, retention of sweat, and being too tight. It may be the most technotonic tuque of all time!

Cars, bikes, and safety technology

The Internet sometimes provides interesting pairs of news items.  Today's pair concerns an intersection between mobility, safety, and technology.

Drone strategies

This blog has documented many of the purposes for which drones have been used.  Sometimes, drones seem to be the best solution to a given problem.  Other times, drones seem to be the best solution in search of a problem.

Here are some more drone applications to ponder.

Smart lights reduce congestion in Pittsburgh

An item in IEEE Spectrum by Prachi Patel notes the development of a smart traffic system in Pittsburgh.  Called Surtrac, the system developed by CMU professor Stephen Smith uses Artificial Intelligence techniques to adapt traffic signals to current conditions.

Prof. Smith's research suggests that Surtrac has reduced trip times 25 percent and idling times by over 40 percent, a significant difference.

Machine readable bikes

I was interested to see in Ben Coxworth's brief piece in New Atlas an item about a gadget designed to make bicycles more visible to radar-equipped cars

The "Shield TL" is a kind of souped-up rear light that can be attached to a bicycle.  Besides the usual blinking red light, the Shield TL has a baffle shaped to create a large reflection when struck by radar of the type used by driving assist technology in high-end vehicles. 

A minimalist door bell

Rima Sabina Aouf describes a "minimalist" door bell in Dezeen.  Just launched on Kickstarter, the "Ding" door bell provides a wireless door bell ringing and answering system.

The system consists of a button, which is hung on or near the door in question, and a speaker, which emits the chime.  Both components have been simply styled, appearing as almost featureless rectangles with circular ends:

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