Scientist: Cats think you are just a big, stupid cat

He thinks we're stupid.

(Credit: compilarizTVi/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

It had quite slipped my notice, but I’m actually a cat.

It’s true that I struggle with the running-up-and-down-drainpipes thing. I’m also not very adept at catching mice, without considerable chemical help.

On the other hand, I’m good at eating cheese and I can drink milk very quietly. Perhaps that’s why my friend Ed’s cat Bob thinks I’m also a cat.

Bob hasn’t told me himself, but a British anthrozoologist named John Bradshaw has. In a book called Cat Sense, which the New York Times kindly reviewed last week, Bradshaw insists that despite being happy lying over your warm laptop keyboard and starring in any number of YouTube videos, cats are essentially still wild.

He’s been studying cats for 30 years and he insists that because they were never bred to play some specific role in the domestic life of humans, they didn’t go through some radical evolutionary change.

Yes, many have been domesticated in their way, but equally, many go out and breed with wild cats out there in the trees and bushes. (Bradshaw estimates th… [Read more]

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Athos: Computers should be in your workout wear, not just your pockets

This workout gear from Athos is designed to track muscle activity, heart rate, balance, cadence, and more.

(Credit: Athos)

Most of us have a vision in our heads of the ideal version of ourselves — fit, smart, sexy, and, if we’re honest, probably air-brushed. The company Athos wants to help you feel like you are working toward achieving at least the first part of that vision with workout gear that, thanks to embedded muscle-tracking sensors, can monitor many aspects of your workout with extreme — and yes, expensive — precision.

The shirt and pants will each set you back $ 99.

(Credit: Athos)

Now available for preorder with a target ship date of summer 2014, the sensorized tops and bottoms that range in size from extra small to extra large are $ 99 each; the Core wearable module, which gathers the data and shoots it wirelessly to the smartphone app, will set you back $ 199.

But co-founders Dhananja Jayalath and Christopher Wiebe — both electrical engineers who went to the University of Waterloo in Canada — are banking on this being an affordable alternative to the personal trainer, who is ultimately a data collector as well. Personal trainers are “not just being prescriptive,” Jayalath … [Read more]

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Black Friday: It’s not just America

A Black Friday 'hola' from Spain.

(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

This week, America’s retailers have put on their finest makeup and highest heels in order to make themselves supremely attractive.

My inbox has been full of enticements, all to celebrate the Feast of the Black Eye Friday.

One seductive missive caught my eye, though. It promised: “Black Friday, sólo 3 días con ofertas irrepetibles?.”

Well, I suppose my name does look a little Spanish after a few sangrias.

The offers were, of course, very special. A Lenovo Intel Core i7, for example. A mere 579. A Bosch washing machine for just 289.

It was then that my brain intercepted my eyes and whispered: “Hey, those prices are in euros.”

This was, indeed, an e-mail from the Spanish department store El Corte Ingles. Oh, don’t ask how I got on the mailing list. (Soccer aficionados will understand if I say I’m a Real Betis fan.) Ask what on Earth El Corte Ingles is doing celebrating Black Friday.

More Technically Incorrect

When emoji just isn’t enough, ubertxt

Love is just a game.

(Credit: ubertxt/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

The world seems hell bent on remaining 12 years old.

There are some good reasons for this, such as adults constantly proving that adulthood is incompetence basking in the rays of power.

So instead of making mental progress, we disappear into our phones and express ourselves with words and smiley faces.

Sometimes, though, mere texts aren’t enough, mere emoji seem not to offer us the excitement that they used to.

Here then, my child, is ubertxt. Lord knows you’ve been waiting for something like this for at least 15 days — something that makes your new iPhone 5C an even happier place to live.

Ubertxt offers the ability to make your texts seem as heartfelt as cotton candy bought for you by someone close to your soul.

Its creator, Teresa Rucinski, told me that there’s nothing quite like it. Creators tend to believe that.

She said: “The closest competition would be color text messaging apps on App Store such as Color Text, Pimp My Text. However, they only offer standard/generic wallpaper animated backgrounds at best.”

Honestly, if you’re going to make your text… [Read more]

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Gold iPhone 5S sells for $10K on eBay, worth just $649

The gold iPhone 5S.

(Credit: CNET)

You can buy a lot of things with $ 10,100 — unless we’re talking hard to find iPhones on eBay.

That’s how much one eBay buyer paid for a 16GB unlocked iPhone 5S in gold, a device that’s currently backordered into next month.

The US-based seller “Papakar” put the device up on sale Sunday afternoon. It proceeded to get 51 bids on its way to end at $ 10,100 just before 1 p.m. Pacific earlier today.

(Credit: CNET)

To put that price in perspective, an iPhone 5 (last year’s model), made out of actual 24K gold will run you about $ 4,646 from this UK-based company. The device itself only retails for $ 649 in the US (plus tax).

The gold color is new for the iPhone this year, as is “Space Gray” which replaced last year’s black color. Apple appears to have made less of the gold color than any other type, as it was … [Read more]

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Woz on ‘Jobs’: No, just no

A difficult reviewer.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

It must be strange watching someone else playing you in a movie.

Especially if they’re playing the you that you were many years ago. Who can honestly say they have an accurate memory of the way they were? Time rewrites every line, so Barbra Streisand tells me.

One can sympathize, therefore, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak having to watch a younger actor play a younger him in the new movie “Jobs.”

One can also admire that he has been very open in his reaction.

In comments posted to Gizmodo, Woz expressed something between bewilderment and dismay at what he saw.

His statements might, to some, almost seem self-contradictory.

On the one hand: “I suspect a lot of what was wrong with the film came from Ashton’s own image of Jobs.”

And on the other: “I thought the acting throughout was good.”

Perhaps one should take that as a suggestion that Kutcher played his role well, but that the person he was playing wasn’t Steve Jobs.

Woz also took the time to rebut Kutcher’s criticism that Woz hadn’t been prepared to advise on the movie because of money. Kutcher implied that Woz was connected with … [Read more]

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Qantas: Forget the Kindle, read a book we just wrote for you

Sophisticated. But mere decoration?

(Credit: Qantas)

The past is a cockroach.

It never truly goes away. It simply makes more copies of itself, each a little different from the last.

How quaint, though, of Qantas to think that its fliers should read a book.

No, not a book on some fancy machine. A paper book, with a cover and a booky smell, given to you if you’re one of its fancy passengers.

These are, allegedly, no ordinary books. As Ad Age reports, Qantas claims they are “bespoke.” Yes, like a hunting jacket.

The company has teamed with publishing house Hachette to offer high-fliers something of quality and class.

Yes, of course most fliers read James Patterson, Dan Brown, and Richard North Patterson, so in many of these beautiful books, people will still be shot at, taken to court, and die.

Still, each book is complete with something everyone would wish for: a personal note form the Qantas CEO. Did I mention that they are very beautifully designed?

But the greatest claim to joy here is that the books will allegedly be of perfect length for a particular flight.

David Nobay, the ad agency creative behind this idea insisted: “According to ou… [Read more]

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Anti-abuse ad displays special message just for kids

A new spin on an old printing technique could empower abused children to turn in their aggressors.

(Credit: Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET)

When you’re young and observing or experiencing abuse, especially when it involves people close to you, it can be hard to find the strength to talk to someone about it. An innovative new advertisement could help direct children — without alerting their parents or others who may be threatening them — that there’s a way to seek help.

Spain’s ANAR Foundation (Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk) created an anti-abuse ad that uses lenticular printing to display two pictures that differ based on the viewer’s height. The group created the ad to reach abuse victims who might be accompanied by their aggressor.

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Upon viewing the ad, an average-height adult sees a general anti-child abuse notice, while those under 4.5 feet tall see a much more startling image of an abused child, as well as a specialized message and a phone number that can provide help.

U.S. and Canadian citizens wishing to report child abuse can call The Chi… [Read more]

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Is than an Oreo in the sky or are you just using Nokia’s Lumia?

With the Oreo Skies app, Nokia Lumia owners can leave messages for their friends in the stars.

(Credit: Oreo)

Fresh off winning the Super Bowl, or at least the social media advertising wars during the NFL’s championship, Oreo is now setting out to conquer the stars in the skies.

The cookie giant has teamed up with Nokia to release a stargazing app for Lumia Windows phones that could result in the heavens above being filled with virtual Oreos.

Called Oreo Skies, the app was designed to let users write messages and tag them to actual stars — or at least to constellations.

It works like this. First, users can point their Lumia at the skies and pick a constellation on which to leave a message. Then, if their friends or family use the app and point their phone at the skies, thanks to augmented reality, and the phone’s ability to detect precisely where in the sky it’s pointing, they can see if any messages have been left for them, and on which constellation. If they touch a star containing a message for them, it twists open like an Oreo and reveals the note. Day or night.

Users without Lumias can leave messages for others using a version of the app built for Facebook on both dekto… [Read more]

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This quadrotor flies — and rolls — over just about anything

The cage rotates independently of the central rotor unit in this simple design.

(Credit: Illinois Institute of Technology)

We’ve seen how flying quadrotors can form spectacular displays in the sky, but what if they could roll along the ground too?

Engineers at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Robotics Lab have been developing a power-efficient machine that can move on land and air. It also happens to be extremely Crave-worthy.

HyTAQ (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor) has four rotors that allow it to fly like other quadrotors. But it also has a flexible cylindrical cage around it that acts like a wheel when it’s on the ground, as well as an overall shock absorber.

The rotors and the cage use the same actuators and control system, making the HyTAQ light and efficient.

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Because it can also drive on the ground, HyTAQ has a great… [Read more]

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