Actual mind control device released

Mind control! Probably...
Mind control! Probably...

The XWave headset from PLX Devices claims to let users control their iPhone and iPad through the power of the mind alone. For a suspiciously cheap $99 you get a headset with a "forehead sensor" that apparently has the ability to interpret brainwaves, eventually granting users the chance to control gadgets using the power of the mind - then translating that into a wider range of control functions via an Apple app.

The caveat is that users first have to "train" their minds to operate the device, so don't just bin it straight away when you can't use it to open iTunes and scroll listlessly up and down the vast collection of music you no longer like.

Real or fake? We don't care - the advert's nice.

Man made

Etsy, which is everyone's second guiltiest internet pleasure just behind looking at Christine Bleakley's choice of shoes on the showbiz section of the Daily Mail over your lunch, has thrown up another winner. Its a hand-made retro iPhone dock going under the slightly clumsy name of the iRetrofone Skyliner, offering a "fully functional" iPod dock stuffed into a retro-styled phone chassis.


iART: Untangling telephone cables - the Angry Birds of days gone by

And it's not just a pretty charger, either - the Skyliner routes voice communications through its handset. In a vague nod to modern times, the maker notes that his $250 creation "helps eliminate concerns about radiation". In much the same way that putting your mobile phone on a table far away from you also helps eliminate concerns about radiation.

It's a start

There's lots of quite difficult-to-understand science surrounding the invention of this "tractor beam", so forgive us if we just sort of gloss over much of the factual stuff and end up talking about in which order we most fancy the ladies out of Star Trek.

tractor beam

ENGAGE: Beats touching things other people have touched

The basic gist of this is that researchers at the Australian National University have invented a (sort of) tractor beam, able to manipulate particles. Now, it can only move very small particles about a metre or so, but it's a massive improvement on the previous best - which was moving even tinier particles a couple of millimetres. Soon it'll be moving things you can see the length of a room.

"No, really, it says so on the signs"

Microsoft's rather over-enthusiastic family-friendly policy claimed another victim this week, with keen Xbox Live user Josh Moore finding his account banned for violating the online gaming service's terms & conditions. His offence? Living in a town called Fort Gay. Fort Gay is a real place, not a description of what happened last night.

Fort gay

NOT EVEN A FORT: Not that there's anything wrong with being fortified (Credit Bing Maps)

"At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad," said Josh, pointing out that he's not even gay so it's, like, double the crime. Microsoft's already confirmed it was a mistake, and will be reinstating Josh's account. And removing the graffiti about him from the toilet walls of its office.