Not that we are deliberately trying to distract you from your work but stumbling across this new site… somehow… we also thought it was one to share.
If you’ve trawled through your social feeds, devoured everything the Daily Mail side bar has to offer, but are still in need of some distraction, the useless web could be the best next internet pit stop for you. Contrary to its namesake, the useless web is useful if you’ve reached peak boredom levels and have a lot of time to kill.
The way it works is super simple, head to the website, click on the big “please” button and you’ll be directed to a separate obscure website that you most likely will never have previously come across, and certainly never would have needed to. Alan Partridge just rocking out, a seemingly never-ending creation of circles to reveal a cute picture beneath, or a shining mango – yes, literally just a mango surrounded by sun rays.
It definitely doesn’t offer a cutting edge user experience (you cannot skip from one site to another but have to go back to the original page to be re-directed), but it does deliver on what it sets out to do – helping you discover the wonderful and bizarre pages of the internet.
It looks like sunshine won’t be the only thing motivating us to head outside this summer, but you’ll still be glued to your screens.
Two years ago, we were hit with Pokémon Go fever and we’ve since seen a few reincarnations (such as Wizards Unite), but it looks like this latest release is set to be the real winner – and for any Minecraft fans out there it will certainly be up your street!
Minecraft Earth, the augmented reality version of the beloved game is coming soon. So, what makes this any different? Well, whilst having many of the well-known and loved features of the original Minecraft game, this augmented reality version also promises to be much more technologically advanced than its older counterpart, Pokémon Go. Build 3D holograms and walk through your creations, battle enemies “in virtual playgrounds” and really just let your creativity flow in this semi-virtual/ real world.
The exact release date is not yet confirmed but when it does drop, we certainly think it could be worth heading out, come rain or shine.
The alleged threat of robots taking away human jobs is a topic that has been covered many, many times, by countless PR people, media outlets and academics. Nobody is safe from being replaced, according to the critics of artificial intelligence (AI) that are concerned it will lead to job losses. But what about artists? Surely, the creative genius of the next Banksy, Dali or Hockney must be safe?
Not anymore, apparently. An algorithm, dubbed PaintBot, that learns to mimic the unique styles and brushstrokes of any artist, has now been developed. To make matters worse, it takes only 6 hours for it to learn the artist’s style and five minutes to create a piece of artwork. And that’s just the start – eventually the AI will exceed the capability of a human.
Time will tell if AI is accepted as an artist. We’ll likely see initial, first-to-market artwork created by AI selling at a high price, but then plateau when the marketplace becomes saturated. I suspect we’ll also see certain forward-thinking artists embrace PaintBot technology, fusing their own style with AI to create something never seen before.
Whether you’re excited by AI or fear it, its impact on the artworld will be fascinating to observe. Frankly, that’ll be the case for every sector.
Ever wanted to know why we have dreams or why ball lightning exists? Well, tough, because no one knows.
While reading Matt Muir’s weekly masterpiece, Imperica, I stumbled across a rather pointless yet fascinating website — Wikenigma. Wikenigma is an ‘encyclopaedia of unknowns’. Essentially, it’s a website that documents all the gaps in human knowledge.
Are you fascinated by etymology and want to know where the word ‘dog’ originates from? Too bad, researchers have no clue. In fact, they cite it as ‘one of the great mysteries of English etymology.’ Interested in the power of free will and whether we actually have it? It turns out, no-one is certain. There are a whole variety of unknowns in Wikenigma that are fascinating to read about, even if you never find out the answer.
So, if you want to find out some more unknowns, check out Wikienigma and educate yourself on the greatest mysteries of mankind.
Is practicing Witchcraft and Wizardry your thing? Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go, plans to release a free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality Harry Potter game.
Though not yet available, there are a few details out there of what the game entails. Players will be part of the ‘Statute of Secrecy Task Force’ and asked to roam around in search of ‘foundables’. These are artefacts, creatures, people and memories.
Similar to Pokémon Go, to ‘catch’ these foundables, you’ll need to cast spells to beat the ‘confoundable’ magic and return the foundables to the wizard world. Gameplay footage shows that to cast a spell you’ll need to trace patterns on your smartphone screen, so this may be a bit more complex than throwing small balls towards a variety of creatures.
And like gyms in Pokémon Go, you can team up with other players to battle villains like Death Eaters and Dementors.
The makers of the game plan to keep us hooked and it is reported that there will be more to ‘do’ than in Pokémon Go.
We haven’t seen the release date yet but Android users can pre-register on the Google Play store.
Web 2.0, with all its interactive scope, has given us a lot of cause for laughter over the years. Many of these laughs have been for online reviews: whilst they might be ‘fake news’, here are some of our favourites:
It’s all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole that can be a Google search. You genuinely were trying to find that important industry report or double checking that stat for your article but 10 minutes later, you’ve somehow been led to watching a random YouTube video. It is related… somehow.
For those of you who find that this is common, we’re sure you’re aware of Google’s ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button, and perhaps, on those slower Friday afternoons, you have given it a go.
While this jazzy little Google add-on takes you to the first ever search result for your word or phrase, we’ve found its (slightly more treacherous) younger cousin. Feeling Unlucky does the complete opposite and shows you the last search result – a slightly more eye-opening endeavour.
If you’ve somehow managed to not fall into the internet ether, Feeling Unlucky certainly means you will.
So, got some time to kill? Go on, try your luck!
The number of people worldwide using Spotify reached a staggering 191 million just before Christmas. It’s easy to understand why: the user experience is superb, their catalogue of music is unrivalled and it’s affordable, among other reasons.
However, heavy users will know that one area they haven’t nailed just yet is their ‘Moods’ playlists. That’s not to say the playlists themselves aren’t full of great songs – oh, they are! The problem is that my experience of a mood may be experienced through music in a totally different way to you. When I need an energy boost, I turn to Arctic Monkeys, the Vaccines and, more recently, Sea Girls. Whereas, you may opt for Beyonce, Bowie, Bruce Springstein, or maybe even music so niche or edgy that I don’t know it exists.
Enter Moodify, the website that creates a personalised playlist based on your mood. You simply input your mood on three simple, customisable bars – slow vs dancey, chill vs energetic, and moody vs cheerful – and voila! Seconds later you have a personalised playlist of up to 100 songs to suit how you’re feeling.
Do you have a few seconds to spare to give it a go? Here it is: https://moodify-music.herokuapp.com/
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There’s a hundred and one festive timewasters across the internet, but just in case you’re in the office over the festive season and need a break, here’s a few that might just be taking up a few minutes of our time over the next week.
Make your own Die Hard Christmas Tree Ornament!
An online advent calendar with some great digital art and videos
A whole stack of online Christmas games
The Harrods Ultimate Hamper – wishful thinking?
Mariah Carey’s Christmas song … with lyrics for office sing-a-longs
That’s all for 2018 folks – see you in the New Year!
For a while now, Domino’s has been regarded as a pretty forward-looking tech company, but this is a particularly nice application of its tech. The brand has set up a number of pre-set rule integrations with IFTT (If This Then That) allowing users to set up rules for pizza ordering – so if it snows, rains, or you get a particularly good running time / cycling time on a pre-set route, IFTTT (or rather IFTTD) can automatically order a pre-set pizza, no ‘user intervention’ necessary.
So if like us, you love a good half and half, hold the tomato sauce, lay on the barbecue sauce and jalapenos, check it out: www.ifthisthendominos.com/browse
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