Feeds

Weather Forecasting Toaster pips Ginger

As important as assassinations - NYT

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated More accolades for Robin Southgate's weather-forecasting Java Toaster, which we first told you about back in March. The "Toasty" as it's now called has been voted one of the 80 most important ideas of the year by the New York Times Magazine.

Other technology ideas du jour that merit inclusion are steganography, the Wikipedia, and er ... brains scans. And the humble Toasty made the list, while the most-hyped tech innovation of the year, Dean Kamen's self-balancing scooter IT (née Ginger) didn't.

Which fills us with great pride.

We first heard about the toaster from wise Register friend and Java expert John Wilson who answered an appeal from Robin on a mailing list last autumn. At that stage Robin envisaged a PC-controlled toaster, but John's experience with the TINI microcontroller led him to encourage building an all-in-one device.

Toasty was subsequently featured on BBC News Online, on Tomorrow's World in the summer, and world wide media including CNN.

Back at The Reg, Toasty spawned some interesting sidelines with readers musing about the potential of bread as a display device and food as an advertising medium.

There doesn't seem to be much likelihood of Toasty appearing the shops, though. Since graduating Robin is happily teaching at the University of the West of England, he told us today, and commercial enquiries are being fielded by his alma mater Brunel University. So far, no one has offered to put Toasty into production.

Learning the tropes

By its inclusion of Toasty on the list, the New York Times rates Robin's invention as important as state-sponsored assassinations of political opponents, semi-fictional biographies and losing gracefully. (That's something the rest of world has managed to do for some time, but is apparently it's new to the United States: "maybe this will be one of Jordan’s most endearing contributions,"popularizing the beauty of imperfection and élan in defeat," quoth the Times)

Unlike many of the ideas on the list, Toasty is actually new. Readers are invited to send us submissions for a better list, which we'll print over Christmas.

The full NYT list can be found target="new" here, for this week only, as it doesn't seem to have been given a permanent URL yet. ®

Related Stories

Java Toaster prints weather forecast
Bread as a display device - we have pictures
A brief history of eggverts, by Kibo

External Links

Toasty at The New York Times 100 Ideas of The Year List (registration required)
TINI

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?