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The Wrap: 14 May

One string attached

The FretPen is a cool concept that’s hit Kickstarter and will be of strong interest to musos who’ve been building their arm muscles for all the wrong reasons. Carting an instrument in a bulky case is a fact of life for gigging artists, but Fretlabs device is aimed at making everything more portable.

The pen has a miniaturised wooden guitar fretboard with electronics to detect finger position and a tip to turn the neck into a pen. The body has electronics for wireless playback and navigating strings and frets. It uses Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your iPhone or iPad for playback.

A sting in the tweet

Social media has permeated every type of organisation and police around the world are making use of it as a crime fighting tool. One case in point is Prince George’s County Police Department in the US, which recently saw fit to live tweet a prostitution sting.

“The PGPD’s Vice Unit will conduct a prostitution sting that targets those soliciting prostitutes and we’ll tweet it out as it happens,” it said on its website. “From the ads to the arrests, we’ll show you how the PGPD is battling the oldest profession.”

The online notice warned in which week the sting would occur, so the unit is bound to see a decrease in prostitution for those seven days, at least.

?Lost in the library

If you think libraries are like baffling mazes of books, you’re not alone. FITLab Swansea has trialled an Android app, BookMark, at the local university library which guides users from their location to the book they’re searching for. They search for the book they want, then use a call number or scan any nearby book to reveal their current location.

The self-cleaning car

Nissan has brought paint that repels water, splashes of dirt of mud and oil to its Note model, which could ring alarm bells for gas station owners whose revenue depends on the car wash. The paint was made at Nissan’s UK-based Technical Centre and Nissan says it will keep testing the paint. At this stage it won’t come standard with any of Nissan’s cars but the company is apparently thinking of making it optional.


Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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