Selling a kidney to buy an iPad

Not a joke: a teenager in China actually did it. The siren call of technological toys is hard to resist; it’s a shame that it didn’t occur to the teenager that his kidney has more advanced and useful technology than even an iPad.

Five people have been arrested in southern China after a teenager sold his kidney so he could buy an iPhone and iPad, state media have reported.

Those detained include the surgeon who removed the kidney from the boy in April last year.

State-run Xinhua news agency says the group received around $35,000 (£22,000) for the transplant.

The student is said to be suffering renal failure, according to prosecutors in Hunan province quoted by Xinhua.

Only identified by his surname Wang, he is said to have received about $3,000 for his kidney.

 

 

 

The reason why my iPod doesn’t have an “off” switch

Because Steve Jobs was afraid of dying:

“Ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about (God) more. And I find myself believing a bit more. Maybe it’s because I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear,” Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying.

“Then he paused for a second and he said ‘yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone,” Isaacson said of Jobs. “He paused again, and he said: And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”

 

Steve Jobs: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity

From here:

Steve Jobs pledged to use his ‘last dying breath’ destroying rival Google’s Android because he believed it was based on stolen iPhone technology.

[….]

‘I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,’ he said.

‘I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.’

Steve Jobs has had his “last dying breath” and I really hope he didn’t spend it fulminating about Android. Because, in the light of eternity, Jobs’ success, his brilliance at marketing gadgets, his wealth, power and the respect he attracted matters not one iota.

MakerBots at CES

From here:

I’ve seen a lot of drool-worthy products in the last few days at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show: Smart tablet computers, high-def 3D televisions, cutting-edge phones and superpowered gadgets of all stripes.

But the thing I want the most out of all of them is the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. It’s an affordable, open source, easy to operate 3D printer, a desktop-sized engine for making whatever you want out of sculpted plastic.

And you thought Star Trek Replicators were mere fantasy.

What will computers look like in 10 years?

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft predicts what computers will be like in 10 years.

In the next 10 years, computers as flexible as a sheet of paper will replace notepads and newspapers, while others will be able to intuit what you’re trying to find online, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Friday to a group of Charlotte technology workers.

He said a big part of the future of computing is in determining users’ intent. For example, he said it’s simple to ask his assistant to get him ready to visit Charlotte. But on a computer, it involves opening up his calendar, visiting several Web sites, printing out tickets, and so on. The two will become more similar, Ballmer said.

When you type the word “Chicago” into a search engine, it will be able to determine whether you meant the city, the band or the musical based on your Internet history.

Another part of the future is the development of a more natural interface. Users will be able to speak to, touch and gesture at their computers even more.

It seems to me that users already make enough gestures at their computers; perhaps computers will actually behave more like this in 10 years:

Wolfram Alpha: still haven’t found what I’m looking for

Wolfram Alpha is a new search engine that promises to provide fewer, more precise answers to searches.

Ever eager find trivia more quickly, I decided to give it a try. I quickly discovered that it has a unique feature: it consistently hangs Firefox. Undeterred, I tried it with Internet Explorer; it invited me to enter a question, so I tried: “what is the population of Oakville, Ontario” whereupon it enlightened me with the populations of both Oakville Missouri and Ontario, New York.

The Alpha is in the name for a reason.