Google’s 17th anniversary doodle recalls ‘humble beginnings’

A chunky PC, lava lamp and the 1998 Google logo encourage users to wish the company a happy birthday

There was a beautiful array of autumnal vegetables for the Google doodle marking the change of the season, and a rugby player looking suspiciously like an American footballer for the start of the Rugby World Cup. But to mark its 17th anniversary, Google has gone for a retro commemorative doodle, referencing a simpler era when Larry Page and Sergey Brin could leave a doodle of a stick man to tell users that they were out of office at the Burning Man Festival.

Google has celebrated its anniversary with a doodle every year since its fourth in 2002, and has at times sparked controversy: in 2014, the company used a rainbow-coloured doodle to mark the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics, declaring where it stood on Russia’s gay rights record.

Continue reading… …read more

The innovators: the pulsating wristband that sets your daily rhythm

No need for coffee or sweets to banish the post-lunch lull, a new device known as the Doppel enlivens or relaxes users with a gentle change in pulse

As the post-lunch slump sets in, many office workers opt for a large coffee or a chocolate bar to keep their eyes open, risking sleeplessness or a sugar crash. It is at this time, in countries where there is no siesta, that the makers of a new wearable device believe their invention can stimulate users via a tiny mechanical pulse which will heighten their mood or bring it down if they want to relax.

At first glance, the Doppel resembles a traditional watch, albeit one with the clock face on backwards and worn under the wrist. Behind the stainless steel base is not a timepiece, however, but a vibrating motor which gives off a range of pulses aimed at improving how the user feels.

Continue reading… …read more

Games reviews roundup: Skylanders Superchargers; Tearaway Unfolded; PES 2016

The toy-to-game franchise revs its engines for a new incarnation, PS Vita’s lost classic comes to the PS4, and the footballer’s football game returns in triumph

Skylanders responds to intensified competition from Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions with articulated toy vehicles that add racing to the game’s usual puzzle-and-brawling action when placed on the portal peripheral. Much more than a gimmick, this revolutionises gameplay adding air, land and sea driving challenges to the campaign, as well as a standalone kart-racing mode.

Continue reading… …read more

DS 5: car review | Martin Love

Taking its name from the legendary DS of the 1950s, this saloon is trying too hard to stand out from the crowd

Price: £25,980
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl diesel
Power: 118bhp
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 12.7 seconds
Top speed: 119mph
CO2: 104g/km
MPG: 70.6

The birds that perch in the trees opposite my house are not fans of the new DS 5. They made their displeasure clear with a night of strategic bombing. God only knows what they’d been gorging on, but they created a proper splatterfest. One of those you end up scraping at with a thumbnail. And I sort of agreed with them – not that I’d have expressed it in the same way.

Continue reading… …read more