An American man is appealing for Apple's help after accidentally purchasing Armein Heinrich's $999.99 'I Am Rich' iPhone widget. Featuring a "secret mantra" that "may help you to stay rich, healthy and successful", the wallet-breaking app is little more than a status symbol.
Apple iTunes App Store reviewer Lee5279 claims that he "clicked 'buy', thinking it was a joke, to see what would happen." Surprisingly enough, for an online store, this initiated the transaction, leaving the man $1,000 poorer – but all the richer for the widget. Next time he's in the market for a useless app, we'd suggest plumping for something similar to the recently-pulled Phonesaber instead: it's somewhat cheaper and infinitely more fun.
In other bizarre tech news from the past week, a road in the Dutch town of Hengelo is to become the first to be paved with "air-purifying concrete". It's all part of a trial that could lead to a breakthrough in the fight against global warming, scientists said on Tuesday. The unique paving slabs contain a titanium dioxide-based additive that, under sunlight, will suck in the nitrogen oxide particles emitted from car exhausts and convert them into harmless nitrates. "With one rain shower everything is washed clean," researchers claimed in a statement.
This wasn't the only unconventional approach to saving the planet to come out of The Netherlands this week. Scientists at the Delft University of Technology reckon they can generate enough energy to power 100,000 homes – using giant kites. A recent test involving a 10 metre-squared kite generated 10 kilowatts (enough for 10 homes). The intention is to scale this up with an array of kites, dubbed the Laddermill, sending them up 30,000 feet into the air to produce 100 megawatts.
From exploding billboards to the curious handsfree pedal-powered toilet paper-wiper, all manner of unusual gadgets have hit the news over the last seven days. Cunningly noticing a gap in the market, Asus has developed a wireless mouse that monitors your heart rate (always useful when slaving away over your keyboard), as well as performing all the usual mouse functions. Spanish scientists, meanwhile, have developed a portable "electronic tongue" designed for identifying a wine's vintage and grape variety, after industry officials complained about being unable to quickly assess wine quality.
A daring couple exchanged wedding vows while strapped to the top wing of separate bi-planes in a "three-way, wing-walking stunt," Reuters reported this week. The pair were married by 67-year-old Reverend George Bringham – from a third plane – who communicated with the couple via headsets. The congregation heard the ceremony 1,000 feet below.
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