Tech From a Small Island: The Dell Streak, Man Infected with Computer Virus, and Underfull Tablecloth

zaraMay has been a strange month for the UK with three of the biggest events of the year taking place- the UK election, the launch of the iPad and the (hopefully) final Sex and the City Film. I’ll leave it to your imagination to work out which of these events got the most press, but suffice to say we haven’t been bombarded with international news. To help continue in this new and exciting vein I have a roundup of some of the greatest gadgets hitting the UK headlines this month, and fingers crossed you’ll be as enthused as I am.

dell-streak-off-1The Dell Streak (formerly known as the Dell Mini 5)

The launch of the iPad has made other companies start thinking that tablets are the way forward, and the Dell Streak is a mixture between a functional tablet.. and a phone. Featuring a 5 inch screen, the Streak is powered by Android, so offers users all the apps of the Android Marketplace as well as giving users WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth. It’s an odd premise, as it’s slightly too large to be a comfortable phone, but too small to be a netbook, so it hovers in between like a plus one at a wedding, nervous and unsure of its reception. A Snapdragon chip with a 1GHz processor makes people warm to its unwieldy presence and it has been designed to support upgrades, including the much touted Adobe Flash 10.1, out later this year.

I’m rather keen on the beautiful looking capacitive display, and the 5MP camera with LED flash should allow you to take some nice looking snaps. It also features a front facing camera for video chatting and has integrated Google Maps which offer turn by turn directions. It’s no iPad, but it doesn’t pretend to be, and it does far more- maybe we do have pocket space for a Streak after all. Out in June from www.02.co.uk on contract
Underfull tablecloth

Underfull Tablecloth

My dinner parties tend to be rather hectic affairs, with smoke billowing from the oven as I curse and slip on my spike heels whilst trying to maintain the allure of a Fiifties housewife on crack. Plates never seem to be removed on time, the dishwasher breaks at the most inopportune moment and don’t even get me started on the many pitfalls that can befall the humble lasagna. Thankfully table spillage is no longer an issue, as with the creation of the glorious Underfull Tablecloth I will now actively encourage my guests to slosh their wine around (hey, drink will mask the burnt edges of the potatoes).

Any drops that fall onto the table will create an alluring design as the white tablecloth contains a hidden pattern that is only revealed when wet. From flowers to butterflies, droplets of drink will reveal stunning designs, making an embarrassing spill a work of poetry in motion. This has been created by Kristine Bjaadal, a Swedish designer, and whilst the tablecloth is still a prototype, he expects orders to be available soon.

Fiorelli laptop bagAloe Laptop Bag from Fiorelli

Summer is in the air, and I’ve discarded my woollies and tights for at least 4 months (I’m being hopeful here). It’s time to give my wardrobe a summer overhaul and that means reducing the amount of black and grey I wear and trying shades of a more summery nature. My laptop is currently carried around in a rather fierce leatherette black satchel, and I’ve just spotted a delicious new piece of bagware from Fiorelli that puts it to shame.
It’s called the Aloe bag,- despite have no green in it all, but it does reflect the soothing properties of Aloe, as staring at its delicate pinky nude tones I feel calm and relaxed. It’s the perfect size for a laptop and has numerous pockets as well, discretely hidden in its stylish confines. There’s a place for your MP3 player, charger and mobile phone, and it also has a detachable strap if you’re going for businesswoman chic. I think I may just have to splash out on this for summer. The Aloe Laptop bag from Fiorelli retails for £69.

Mathmos Blob and FlowMathmos Blob and Flow

Most little girls grow up dreaming of having a kitten or puppy, and hating their parents for being sensible and not allowing them to have one in a sixth floor flat. Now we’re all grown up we recognize the wisdom in their decision, but still yearn for a pet of our own that will greet us with a lolling tongue and a full litter tray (well maybe not the last part).

The Mathmos Blob and Flow may not be as cuddly as we would wish, but they are flat compatible, and more adorable than those Tamagotchi’s of yore. Blue eyed Blob and Red eyed Flow are USB powered pets that wake up whenever you fondle them. Seeing their little eyes glow with a stroke is bound to boost your mood, and they have different settings, from winking to going wild (well, as wild as USB devices can be). It may not be a replacement kitten, but it’s as close as you’ll get for now!
£35 from Mathmos out later this year

Dog SKK LightSKK Lighting themed lights

All the famous movie stars know that lighting is everything, as a harsh uplight can totally ruin their wrinkle free illusion. Lights which are equally flattering yet more fun than carefully placed candles would be these fantastic themed lights from SKK designs. Created in the heart of London’s Soho the various lights express a whimsical element, and you can choose from glowing skulls, rabbits and robots to adorn your place. I’m particularly fond of this large dog, as I imagine it would make a great centrepiece for the room as well as a talking point should the conversation ebb. £65 from Liberty’s

Love Honey sex toysTickler Devices from Love Honey

With the latest Sex and the City film making most women slightly crazy, it’s not unusual that the sex toy industry has been feverishly working out how to re-sell the Rabbit that took the industry from seedy to salacious. Ticklish is a new brand that aims to put the fun back into personal time, with a five piece set that look like utensils you might take on a camping trip. Their brightly coloured silicone pieces are 100% waterproof, and all contain a hidden motor which has a dual speed action.

The five pieces are each designed to reach different sensitive spots, and I’m rather taken by the ‘Mystic Tickler’, subtitled the Orgasm Alien with two long antennas. Their Sunny Tickler is another gem, as it’s a bright canary yellow and has a flower at its end with seven petals designed to *tickle*. Looks like it will be a fun filled summer!
£24.99 each from LoveHoney.

Man infected by ComputerFirst Man to be Infected with a Computer Virus!

Dr Mark Gasson is a busy man. His day is so filled with meetings and appointments that mundane tasks like opening his door or using keys are simply beyond him. To this extent he has programmed a microchip to unlock his lab and phone, and implanted it under his skin so he simply needs to wave and go. He didn’t end there however, as the chip was also fitted with a computer virus that could potentially infect the security system as data was exchanged. This suggests that many devices like colleague swipe cards and records could become vulnerable to the virus, and that potential hackers would be able to attack computer systems on a more sophisticated level.
Dr Gasson said: “Our research shows that implantable technology has developed to the point where implants are capable of communicating, storing and manipulating data. This means that, like mainstream computers, they can be infected by viruses and the technology will need to keep pace with this so that implants, including medical devices, can be safely used in the future.”

[via the Telegraph]

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