Category:
Technology

The Ediphone Sets You Free

Businessman likes to imagine that because he doesn't always have enough time to dictate correspondence to his secretary that he's clearly "chained down like a galley slave."

More info about Ediphones.

The Reporter with Postage and the Mailbag - Sep 1939

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 21, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Advertising, 1930s

Miss AI

Entries are now being accepted for the world's first "Miss AI" contest.

One of the organizers of the pageant offered the following justification for it: "Considering real beauty pageants are criticised for dehumanising women, lets dodge that bullet by having contestants which aren’t human to begin with!"

More info: euronews.com



The contestants will be judged by a panel that consists of two humans and two AI models. They don't explain how the AI models will make their decision or cast their votes. I assume the human creators of the AI models will be the actual judges.





Although this may be the first "Miss AI" contest, it won't be the first computer-generated beauty queen. As we've previously posted, back in 1964 engineers at California Computer Products unveiled "Miss Formula," whom they described as "a computer's idea of how the perfect female should look."

While the technology has advanced, the basic idea remains the same.

Tampa Tribune - July 31, 1964

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 03, 2024 - Comments (5)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons

Mystery Gadget 110

What is the purpose of this machine?
The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 01, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, 1920s

Meet Miss Electronic

Once upon a time answering machines were considered strange and dumbfounding.

Wilmington News Journal - Mar 31, 1956

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 18, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Telephones, 1950s

A brief history of mass-production shaving machines

Around 1780: "An anonymous British printmaker, perhaps from Birmingham, issued a satire of mechanization and factories occuring during the Industrial Revolution, in the form of an imaginery 'New Shaving Machine, whereby a number of persons may be done at the same time with expedition, ease, and safety.'" (text from historyofinformation.com)



Around 1825: "British illustrator and caricaturist Robert Seymour... issued Shaving by Steam... In his creation of this print Seymour was undoubtedly inspired by an earlier anonymous print entitled 'New Shaving Machine.' The sign above the door on the right in Seymour's image announces 'Patent Shavograph!!!'" (text from historyofinformation.com)



Oct 1960: English comedian Eric Sykes built a working "New Shaving Machine" (modeled from the 1780 print) on a pilot show for a proposed television series called 'Brainwaves.' The premise of the show was recreating strange old-time inventions. However, the show never aired.



images source: vintag.es


Lincolnshire Echo - Sep 29, 1960



History via reddit user KBHoleN1

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 29, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Satire

Snail Dough Maker

Thankfully it's for making dough to wrap snails in, rather than making dough out of snails.

source: Catalog of the Unusual (1973), by Harold H. Hart

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 16, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Technology

1963 Prediction of Mobile Phones

In 1963 the Mansfield News-Journal predicted that, "Some day, Mansfielders will carry their telephones in their pockets."

So when did the first phone debut that could be carried in a pocket? Depends on the size of the pocket, I guess. But I think it was arguably the Motorola StarTAC, that came out in 1996 — 33 years after the News-Journal prediction.

Mansfield News-Journal - Apr 18, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 15, 2024 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Mystery Gadget 109

What's it for?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 07, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Nineteenth Century

The Sony SmartWig

Sony was granted a patent for its "SmartWig" in 2016, but, to date, it doesn't seem to have brought the device to market.

The idea was that a person could pair their smartphone with the wig and then receive "tactile feedback" (such as a vibration) when they received a text or email.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The SmartWig had many more potential uses, such as the following:

During a presentation the user may, for example, move forward or backward through presentation slides by simply pushing the sideburns, i.e. by pushing the one or more buttons. Thus, the user can control the presentation slides simply by natural behavior like touching side burns. Additionally, the wearable computing device may comprise a laser pointer that is arranged in or on the wig. The laser pointer may, for example, be arranged on a forehead part of the wig, so that the user may point out relevant information on the projected slide in the above-explained presentation mode.

I imagine it would be a lot more difficult to aim a laser pointer with your head rather than your hand. Not to mention it would look bizarre.



#40 represents the possible location of a laser pointer

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 24, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Patents, Hair and Hairstyling

The Avrocar Military Flying Saucer

If only this project had succeeded, we'd all have Jetson-style flying saucers today!

Here is the Wikipedia page.

But I do think the version patented by one C. P. Lent right around the same time has a classier shape.





Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 25, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Flight, Military, Technology, Patents, 1950s

Page 1 of 52 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
May 2024 •  April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •