bizarre

$100m Scientology Super Power Building is jam-packed with odd tech

$100m Scientology Super Power Building is jam-packed with odd tech

Scientology is known for being one of the more unusual - and secretive - religions, but we almost feel like signing up ourselves having seen that practitioners at the new Super Power Building will get access to an "infinite pit" and an "oiliness table." Details of the $100m "Flag Mecca" facility in Clearwater, Florida leaked to The Village Voice, spilling hints at some of the more esoteric equipment being installed. According to the plans, there'll be everything from a wall made of water to an "Electric Fields Generator."

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Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case heals grazes

Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case heals grazes

Nissan may not be a name you traditionally associate with iPhone 4S cases, but the company's Scratch Shield model promises self-healing magic to keep your iOS smartphone scrape free. Using the same clever scratch-healing paint as used on Nissan and Infiniti cars, the Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case can actually repair any blemishes, the gel-like flexible finish changing back to its original form.

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Griffin Woogie 2 demands your cuddles

Griffin Woogie 2 demands your cuddles

Geeks, cease your pacing restlessness: the Griffin Woogie 2 is here! Follow up to the surprisingly successful - and, near the holidays, darned tricky to find in stores - Woogie of 2010, the toddler-targeted huggable iPhone and iPod touch case now gains a personality thanks to the companion Woogie app, adding ten faces that respond to tickling, shaking and lovely warm cuddles.

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will.i.am: “The Ultrabook is the new ghetto blaster”

will.i.am: “The Ultrabook is the new ghetto blaster”

"The ultrabook is the new ghetto blaster" claims will.i.am, proving both that CES is never short of bizarre hyperbole and that Intel's "Director of Creative Innovation" can be always relied on to make nonsensical soundbites. Speaking on stage at Intel's keynote at the tech show, will.i.am revealed that he has been carrying an ultrabook - Intel's new take on the ultraportable segment - for some  time now, using it for collaborative music creation with colleagues and fans.

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Karotz smart rabbit robot uses Facebook

Karotz smart rabbit robot uses Facebook

"What the US needs is a social-network aware robotic rabbit." If you've ever found yourself muttering those words, then the Violet Karotz smart rabbit is probably for you (or maybe medication); the third-gen Nabaztag, a web-connected voice recognition robotic desk rabbit, is finally crossing the Atlantic to the US.

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Board of Awesomeness couples Win8 tab, Kinect and deathwish

Board of Awesomeness couples Win8 tab, Kinect and deathwish

A prototype Windows 8 tablet, a Kinect sensor bar and an electric skateboard: not exactly your typical gaming setup nor, indeed, your average method of transportation, but actually the handiwork of Chaotic Moon. Dubbed the "Board of Awesomeness", the battery-powered 'board can move at up to 34mph, relying on a combination of video, speech and gesture recognition, localization data, accelerometer data, and other information to react to the rider.

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Rebound Rumble pushes robotics development with will.i.am and Bill Clinton

Rebound Rumble pushes robotics development with will.i.am and Bill Clinton

Robots playing basketball, with former US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with will.i.am and Segway inventor Dean Kamen in the audience, sounds like the setup to a bizarre South Park joke, but it's actually the kick-off of Rebound Rumble. A brand new game designed to encourage robotic development, Rebound Rumble sets two alliances - each consisting of three independently controlled 'bots - against each other to score points through a cluster of basketball hoops.

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Stephen Hawking starts wheelchair geek hunt

Stephen Hawking starts wheelchair geek hunt

Professor Stephen Hawking needs help with his wheels, and he's looking for an assistant handy with a spanner, electronics and at fending off the press. The legendary theoretical physicist is advertising for a graduate assistant to offer technical support for his computer-equipped wheelchair, though it promises to be a challenging role: one of the key responsibilities is "maintenance of "black box" systems with no instruction manual or technical support."

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DIY Robot Avatar pets cat through Kinect and Wiimote power

DIY Robot Avatar pets cat through Kinect and Wiimote power

Take one Nao robot, a Kinect sensor bar, a couple of Wiimotes, a treadmill and a head-mounted display - oh, and a patient cat - and you can do what software engineer Taylor Veltrop has achieved: use a remote robotic avatar to pet your kitty. In a new video demo, Veltrop shows how he can remotely control the 21-inch tall robot, walk it around his kitchen, grab a brush and groom his cat.

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Samsung borrows Apple actress for Android tab ad

Samsung borrows Apple actress for Android tab ad

Apple has already accused Samsung of being an arch-copyist with its smartphone and tablet designs; now, the Korean company appears to have borrowed one of its Cupertino rival's actresses. Cheryl Lindo Jones spotted that a new Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE commercial for the Korean market - since yanked from YouTube, though not before copies were made - uses the same young actress as Apple's iPhone 4S camera commercial. Check out both ads after the cut.

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Fusion Garage apparently implodes: Grid10 MIA

Fusion Garage apparently implodes: Grid10 MIA

Tragicomic tablet firm Fusion Garage has lost its PR company, frozen sales of its Grid10 slate and has left pre-order customers waiting for their purchases for months, in what looks like it could be the company's final gasp. After significant downtime over the weekend, Fusion Garage's site and online store now merely says "We are running out of stock" when trying to place a new order; meanwhile, the firm's PR agency has dumped them over zero communication with existing customers.

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Unlucky thieves snatch $1.7m-worth of PlayBook tablets

Unlucky thieves snatch $1.7m-worth of PlayBook tablets

Ah, the irony: over the past few weeks even RIM has admitted that the BlackBerry PlayBook is so unloved it can't even give it away, and now $1.7m-worth of the 7-inch slates have actually been stolen. A truck transporting 22 pallets of the PlayBook to Ontario, Canada, was parked up for the driver to take a rest break, The Herald Bulletin reports, when it was stolen by person or persons unknown.

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