Students invented an ingenious alternative to expensive touchscreen gadgets, while Yelp reviews called out an absolutely terrible pizza place.
MIT Students Make Banana Touchscreen
Doctoral students at MIT launched a Kickstarter to develop a business selling kits that can turn virtually anything into a touchscreen, including bananas. Their project, called MaKey MaKey kits, exceeded its funding goal of $25,000, with over 7,000 people pledging $364,000.
The project is still open to donations for 11 more days, so it will probably have an even more robust nest egg when the Kickstarter closes.
Besides bananas, people in MaKey MaKey demo workshops turned an astonishing variety of objects into touch pads, including ketchup and finger paint. This invention could revolutionize game controls, since it allows computers to respond to anything as a controller.
Google Might LOL
Google wants to buy the.lol web domain, in addition to Google, demonstrating that the company may plan to extend into more whimsical fare.
Google explained it wants to buy Web domains with "interesting and creative potential" but didn't elaborate on what it plans to do with the domain.
ICANN, the organization behind web naming, is undertaking a Web domain expansion, which could help increase Internet security by letting domains act as a verifier -- for instance, people would know only sites ending with.visa were the official credit card sites.
Yelp Unearths World's Most Expensive Pizza
Yelp reviewers helped reveal a long-running Boston scam after they were charged inordinate amounts of money for pizzas. The Yelp review list for Regal Cafe Pizzeria in the Financial District of Boston describes how a pizza joint rips off its customers, sometimes charging upwards of $75 for pizzas.
According to many Yelp reviews, the pizza delivery man would show up with over $100 worth of unordered food and demand payment. Some of the reviewers believe the pizza place committed identity theft and may be run by the Mafia.
Anything too good to be true -- like a pizza place that does 24-hour delivery to anywhere in a giant metropolitan area -- probably is.
This information points to a troubling lack of understanding about how to root out valuable information among students.
EasyBib is giving away 5 percent of its profits in August to support the American Library Association's Digital Literacy campaign, and it looks like they could use the help -- anyone who has looked at a Yahoo Answers page knows the information given is often the opposite of credible.
Art Project Tries to Represent Space-Time Continuum
Cosmic Quilt, an art installation in New York, attempts to visually represent the way space and time intersect. It is a collaboration between students from the Art Institute of New York and a design firm called The Principles.
Like the banana touch pad, the Cosmic Quilt project started out as a Kickstarter project, underlining how effective the online fundraising website is at finding backing for innovative projects.
After New York, the Cosmic Quilt will be on display at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee on June 7-10.