The game of chess is known the world over, and it’s remained largely unchanged for its 1,500 year history. However, there are many variations on chess out there. Polygon has an interesting piece on one such variant, known simply as “Chess 2”. While it has many seemingly-bizarre rules, the concept and thought involved are fascinating, and I’ll be interested to try it out when the digital versions are released.
Thursday, August 7th, 2014
You might have thought that wearable technology had reached its nadir with the dog pedometer of 2012. However, just two years later, we’ve hit a new low. Allow me to introduce you to Bondara’s “SexFit”:
Colors Pictured: Black & Pink. Colours [sic] Available: White & Pink.
Yes, gentleman, it’s a fitness tracker for your penis. It’s also a cock ring1 that’s equipped with Bluetooth and wifi. Why have just one type of radio wave transmitted all over your genitals when you can instead have two? In addition to stimulating a better erection, the SexFit will track you performance during sex, and provide feedback with an accompanying app:
This is certainly something the world needs. After all, who doesn’t want to receive a letter grade after sex? And if you want to improve your performance, there’s no need to pull an all-nighter cramming. Just bone up with the “personal trainer vibration mode”, fellas.
It’s difficult to fathom how one might tactfully bring this into the bedroom. Women may be able to go “freshen up” but how exactly does a guy explain that he needs a moment to attach a flashing sex tracker to his penis? That’s not exactly “slipping into something more comfortable”. Lest you think that’s the most awkward part of the SexBit, however, be sure not to miss this note from their press release:
Much like other similar fitness tracker innovations, the SexFit allows the most dedicated users to share and compare their favourite [sic] sessions and impressive individual milestones with their peers on social media.
Hot damn, that’s classy!
My favorite part of all this may actually be relatively unrelated to the product itself. Have a look at the end of the URL slug on the Engadget post where I first saw this:
It may be a joke, or it may actually be a cry for help. Either way, one can’t help but feel a little sad for writer Daniel Cooper, who is no doubt wondering how it all led to this. Fortunately, covering this sort of absurdity is pretty much One Foot Tsunami’s raison d’être, so I don’t have to feel bad about it.
Despite diligent research, I was unable to find a less crass term for that. Sorry, Mom. ↩
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Do you remember the “Monkey Selfie”? Back in 2011, a wild crested black macaque got ahold of photographer David Slater’s camera, and snapped this image (among many others which were less in-focus and less delightful):
Recently, Slater has objected to the image appearing on Wikipedia, as he hopes to collect royalties for licensing the use of the image. However, Wikimedia (the American organization behind Wikipedia) believes the item is in the public domain. Because it is the photographer who generally owns copyrights on an image, and because a macaque took the photo, stories around the world are reporting this as “monkey owns copyright“. Slater echoes this:
“If the monkey took it, it owns copyright, not me, that’s their basic argument. What they don’t realise is that it needs a court to decide that,” he said.
However, this appears to be a misrepresentation of Wikimedia’s position. They are not claiming that the monkey owns the copyright. If they were, they would then need the monkey’s permission to use it, and good luck getting that.1 No, a closer look reveals the following permission statement on the page for the image:
In short, animals can’t own copyrights (at least not in the US), and since an animal created this, it can’t be copyrighted. This argument is actually quite clever. If it’s legally valid, it allows Wikipedia to post the photo without permission from either Slater or the macaque.
Whether that legal interpretation is correct is something the courts may need to decide. The underlying questions here are quite interesting to consider. If a photographer sets up an elaborate system, but an animal presses the final button to capture a photo, who exactly took the picture? Ultimately, it does feel as if the photographer ought to own the rights in that case, and likely in this, but we’ll see in time how the courts rule.
Update (August 22nd, 2014): It looks like US copyright regulators have weighed in, and the photo can’t be copyrighted.
Monkeys are notoriously protective of their intellectual property. ↩