Today's internet is an internet of things. What sorts of things? Things like lamps that talk to each other, even when thousands of miles apart. Giles Turnbull looks at the best gadgets on the web
THE internet is such a good way of staying in touch with loved ones who are far away.
The only problem is all that tedious messing about with computers.
They're so dull and impersonal.
The London-based team behind Good Night Lamp wants to change all that.
They believe in the internet's ability to connect people, but want to make the connection more personal, more fun.
So they've taken bits of internet and put them inside lamps.
These lamps come in pairs. You buy a set, and keep the larger one for yourself to use at home.
You give the smaller one to your loved one - your mum on another continent, or your grandparents who live 200 miles away.
Here's the clever bit: every time you switch your lamp on or off, their smaller one switches on and off too, automatically, connected to its big sibling invisibly through the net.
The smaller one isn't as useful as a source of light, but that's not really what it's intended for. It's a way of keeping in touch, of telling your loved ones you're safe.
The Good Night Lamp team will be showing off their wares at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. More details about pricing and availability will be announced in early 2013. In the meantime, you can find out more about the lamps at http://goodnightlamp.com.
Jason Sadler (http://buymylastname.com) is a Sadler no more. He spent the last few weeks of 2012 auctioning off his last name to the highest bidder, and as a result will spend all of 2013 going by the name Jason Headsetsdotcom. Jason is not like most people, in fact not like most marketing professionals. He's quite happy to sell his last name, or the shirt on his back, for cash. He's also the successful owner of iwearyourshirt.com, where he agrees to wear your corporate T-shirt in public - for a fee, of course. Weird? Yes. But it works for Jason. Or Mr Headsetsdotcom, as we probably ought to call him.
"Poking" has been part of Facebook since its early days, when a "poke" was a bit like a "Like". You can still poke your pals on Facebook, but it stopped being fashionable a long time ago. Just before Christmas, Facebook sought to bring back the poke by turning it into a smartphone app (is.gd/2neA8h). Pokes are now text messages, photos or videos sent from one person to another, but doomed to self-destruct after a short time. Pokes last a few seconds or a minute or so, before being deleted. Email it ain't.
A Pocket is clever little web thing that allows you to save anything from the web for later. Click a button while browsing and the photo, video or article you're looking at will be saved to your Pocket ac count. You can view it or read it later, whenever suits you, on your computer or on a smart-phone or tablet. Everything gets synced and saved on each device, so you can even watch video content offline. Very useful, and completely free visit http://getpocket.com for more information.
■ Thunderbirds are go!
■ The Joe 90 Homepage
■ The Catacombs - a guide to Space 1999
BEST OF THE WEEK
■ An hour of roaring log fire on YouTube
Giles Turnbull has a web-site at www.gilest.org