How hard it is to ride a Segway?

The collision between a hapless Segway-mounted cameraman and Usain Bolt has thrust the motorised scooter into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. But how tricky can they be to master? Rebecca Nicholson gets on a roll

Steve Jobs famously declared that the Segway would be “as big a deal as the PC”, until he actually saw one, at which point he recanted and decided that “it sucks”. Since its launch, the self-balancing motorised scooter has had just one other big moment in the spotlight, in 2011, when Jimi Heselden, the British businessman who acquired the US-founded company, rolled off a cliff to the great scrapyard in the sky. Far from changing the world, the Segway has been an underwhelming innovation, limited in its reach, lacking in transformative powers. It evokes images of retirees gently trundling through Florida towards the golf course, or portly security guards trundling towards the coffee machine, or tourists with tired legs trundling around European landmarks. Trundle is not a very sexy word.

Until last week, when a humble, trundling scooter took out the fastest man in the world. At the World Athletic Championships in Beijing, cameraman Song Tao interrupted Usain Bolt’s 200m victory lap, knocking the world’s greatest sprinter clean off his speedy feet with a misjudged lean against an unseen barrier. The Segway was everywhere, again, for the wrong reasons, again. It looked as if Tao’s battery-run vehicle had careered out of control. It looked painful. But how hard can it be to learn to ride the world’s most talked-about gyroscopic balancing machine? I went to Segway Unleashed to find out.

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Ashley Madison claims site has plenty of female users eager to cheat

Representatives from the site dispute claims that only 1,492 women have ever checked their messages and most of its female users are fake ‘angel’ bots

There were lots of women looking to cheat on their partners on our site, honest, representatives of hacked infidelity service Ashley Madison claimed on Monday.

The latest – unattributed – statement from the Canadian company came after Annalee Newitz, a writer for several Gawker Media websites including Gizmodo, studied the hacked database for indications that the site’s purported 5.5 million female users had arranged trysts using the service. She found that “only 1,492 women had ever checked their messages” according to the stolen information, though she allowed for the possibility that the data might have been corrupted.

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Testing Favor: app aims to bring users whatever they need – but does it deliver?

Do you need your dry cleaning dropped off or some cat litter picked up? Capitalism insists you shouldn’t bother. Pay a startup to do it for you

A good invention, popular wisdom tells us, ought to either fulfill a need or create one. But popular wisdom greatly underestimates our laziness.

These days, a good invention simply indulges our sloth: what are Seamless and Drizly if not attempts to make perfectly accomplishable tasks a little easier? I understand the impulse – indeed, it’s difficult to resist the sites’ appeal. Imagine a 10-minute errand forcing you off the couch in the middle of a Netflix binge-watch. It won’t do.

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