Scannable PetHub ID tags give Rover a URL

In case a name and phone number on Fido's dog tag aren't enough to bring him home from his wanderings, a new tag from online pet community PetHub includes a Fido-centric URL that is scannable by smartphone.

One side of the laser-etched tag displays a human-readable Web link to information on your pet. The other shows a two-dimensional QR bar code that can be scanned by any iPhone or Android phone with the free code-scanning software NeoReader installed.

When scanned, the code automatically navigates a browser to PetHub to display an animal's information.

By default, PetHub shows … Read more

Anti-fur activists flood Coach Facebook page

Facebook followers of the Coach leather goods company were treated to some unpleasant imagery on Thursday when dozens of anti-fur activists flooded the Coach Facebook wall with graphic photographs of caged and skinned animals.

They were likely followers of an ongoing campaign on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which is well-known for heavy shock value in an attempt to get its message across (as well as its sometime affinity for robot groundhogs), to convince Coach to dump fur products.

Coach has more than 1 million Facebook fans--as far as luxury brands go, it's been … Read more

High-tech exhibits shine at Walt Disney museum

SAN FRANCISCO--It's hard to imagine anything in a museum featuring hundreds of original Disney concept sketches and art pieces, including dozens of Mickey Mouse, being as impressive as the art itself.

But try visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio here and not coming away with the strong impression that the way the facility was designed, with its wide variety of beautiful digital displays, imaginative use of video screens, innovative touch-screens, audio clips of Walt himself nearly everywhere you go, and much more, is nearly as compelling an experience as the opportunity to see first-hand the origins … Read more

More fun for your Windows taskbar

If you like the interface of the Mac OS but are stuck using a Windows machine, this little app from Stardock can help--if only very slightly. The premise behind ObjectDock is very simple: it adds an animated, Mac-inspired dock to your desktop that provides easy access to useful shortcuts and serves to replace your taskbar (if you so choose).

The ObjectDock install is quick and light, and the program is extremely easy to set up. A simple settings menu lets you choose how many items you want on the dock, where it is positioned, and whether you want zoom enabled. … Read more

Pilot steers Neon Genesis Evangelion chopsticks

The Star Wars lightsaber chopsticks we featured previously are cool, but what if you were an anime fan instead? These Neon Genesis Evangelion sticks might be more up your alley.

They look ordinary at first glance, but the end of one chopstick contains an Evangelion pilot, mimicking the entry plug that housed characters such as Rei and Shinji who operated the giant cyborgs in the 1990s anime series.

These chopsticks can be preordered from online retailer Kotobukiya for $12, and will ship in January 2011.

(Source: Crave Asia via Gizmodo)

Get it together

ImageKlebor from Shoran Software is a free tool that combines multiple image files into a single image. It has a command-line option that makes it useful for automation and pipeline integration, and it's free to use, even commercially. However, most folks will find that ImageKlebor is best suited for assembling multiple images into one picture, such as scans of LP album covers; they're too big for all but the largest scanners, and most folks end up scanning covers in two passes and then trying to put the two together in an image editor. With ImageKlebor, putting chunks of … Read more

iPad used to paint ghostly midair messages

Ever spell out words in the air with your finger? Now you can do it with an iPad. The result is spooky 3D letters that seem to hover in midair. Casper would love it.

We've seen iPads used to create touch-screen art, but this goes a step beyond. The folks at communications agency Dentsu London and design consultancy Berg teamed up to produce an series of otherworldly animations seen in the vid below. Dentsu says it's part of its Making Future Magic project.

The photographic technique is a kind of stop-frame animation. Hand-held iPads are imaged moving through space with long exposure times, creating a ghostly message in the air.

3D models of letters and objects are first rendered in cross sections in a kind of "virtual CAT scan," as Berg's Jack Schulze explains in the video. Then they're played back as movies on the iPad screen while it moves through the air.

These are imaged in low-light environments as long-exposure photos of 3 to 6 seconds, and each pic is one of many frames in the animation sequence.

The team created luminescent words that seem to hover, as well as walking robots and other 3D shapes (but no ghosts). In one sequence, the word "making" seems to jump off a table and climb a staircase. In another, "future" floats over a puddle. "Magic," meanwhile, dances and skips impishly in a shadowy garden.

<… Read more

Game-obsessed mom reportedly neglects kids, starves dogs

Gaming, some say, allows players to disappear. It allows them to forget. It allows them to become someone else.

Who can say what a 33-year-old woman wanted to become when she played an online game to the exclusion of what seemed everything else in her life?

According to the Daily Mail, this mother of three children became so immersed in this game that she allegedly failed to feed her children any hot food and reportedly allowed her two dogs to die of starvation.

She was taken to court after a neighbor looked through the window of her house and saw … Read more

Puppy-throwing girl offers purported YouTube apology

If you haven't yet seen the video of a girl in a red hoodie throwing live puppies into a river, you haven't missed much. Just arrant cruelty delivered with a youthful smile and the question: "Can they swim?"

However, just as with the English lady who threw a cat into a bin for 15 hours, the Web has been like a detective show in constant motion, ruthlessly seeking out the perpetrator in preparation for a conviction.

On Tuesday, members of 4Chan and, it seemed, anyone else with a large conscience and a small amount to do … Read more

Woman puts cat in bin, Web strikes back

As the history of the world over the last year or two has shown, it is not easy to work in a bank. It places special, even unique, pressures on individuals, so that some make the occasional "split second of misjudgment."

Such a split second occurred for the clearly stressed British bank worker Mary Bale, who tried to bring a little levity to her day by putting a cat in a trash bin, where it remained unrescued for 15 hours.

There will be some who will say: "Well, at least it wasn't a baby." Yet … Read more