Feeds

Ten... fantasy gadgets you wish you owned

Look to the future

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sonic Screwdriver - Doctor Who

RH Numbers

Everyone needs a decent Swiss Army knife, unless, of course, you have a PhD in time travel and own one of these bad boys: a sonic screwdriver. We'd all like a tool that operates through the use of sound-waves, exerting physical force on objects remotely, unlocking almost any door and accessing every computer in the universe. Also, with the ability to perform highly delicate medical scans, the sonic screwdriver is the greatest Christmas gift ever for the hysteric hypercondriac.

Sonic Screwdriver - Doctor Who

First referred to during the 1968 serial Fury from the Deep, the screwdriver played a huge part in rescuing the Doctor from many sticky situations over the years. The device was deemed too helpful though and eventually found itself written out of the original Doctor Who series for "limiting the script". Perhaps writers for the new seasons hit a wall one day though and decided to bring it back, as they've featured the handheld tool in an array of episodes since 2005.

The idea of manipulating objects using ultrasonic sound waves isn't as far-fetched as you may believe. Using low forces of ultrasonic sound, scientists have been able to sort minuscule objects such as biological cells. Professor Drinkwater and his team at Bristol University have created a pair of "sonotweezers", which do exactly that. Drinkwater speculates that increasing the force could potentially get air moving fast enough to undo a screw.

Despite these claims, I wouldn't go adding a sonic screwdriver to your Santa list just yet.

Commercial possibility 30%
More info BBC

Timebooth - Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

RH Numbers

Nobody, not even the sinister voice of Monty Burns, can lay claim to repeating the word "Excellent" in such memorable fashion. So as production for Bill & Ted 3 gets under way, we reminisce the phonebooth that took them back in time, in the hope it isn't replaced by smartphones in the next flick.

With so many time travel machines out there from Primer's box to Back to the Future's Delorean, choosing one was never going to be easy. Perhaps we should pay homage to HG Wells' Time Machine which lay the foundations back in 1895 for all to follow, however the appearance of a "time sled" in the 1960 film adaption put me off. It was also decided that despite the Tardis clearly being the superior of the two timebooths, we'd save the Doctor for another piece of fantasy kit (see above).

So yes, there's probably a more logical method for time travel than looking up a location in the Yellow Pages and dialling the corresponding number, but a time travelling phonebooth? C'mon, it's too cool and more to the point, super foolproof. After all, two chaps barely bright enough to read a phonebook used it well enough.

The real bogus side to all this is that time travel defies the laws of physics, so it's impossible. Plus George Carlin is no longer with us, so if Rufus appears in B&T3, it could be a CGI mock-up like Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. And that would be most un-bodacious, dude.

Bill & Ted

Commercial possibility 0%
More info Bill & Ted 3

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs
Thus doth tech of future illuminate present, etc
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.