Weird Tech: Terror in Liverpool as 50ft mechanical spider 'wakes up'

Metal spider
Tourists have been fascinated and horrified in equal measure by La Machine's mechanical spider

Arachnophobics: beware! If you're scared of spiders, Liverpool city centre is best avoided today, with French company La Machine's 50ft mechanical spider expected to "wake up" this morning.

The 37-tonne arachnid will descend from its current position near Liverpool Lime Street station, where it has been clinging to the side of a nearby office block, before sinisterly crawling the city's streets.

The £250,000 spider, which spans three storeys, has been greeting commuters to the station all week. The beast marks the beginning of a five-day piece of street theatre as part of the city's European Capital of Culture program.

Till death do us part?

In other odd tech-related news, a small Swiss company, Algordanza, is taking the concept of mourning jewellery to new levels. It's offering its clientele the opportunity to remember their dearly departed – as diamonds, Reuters reported Monday.

For a mere £4,000, you too could be wearing your nearest and dearest.

The company converts the ashes of donated corpses into artificial diamonds by subjecting the carbon to huge pressure and temperature.

Bobby Thurman decided to have a diamond made from combined samples of his own and his family's hair. "My family will cherish this diamond for generations, and I expect other families will want to do the same," Thurman said.

You can't argue with fact (although taste is questionable): the company is currently making around 60 a month.

Gadget therapy

Our intrepid search for the week's most pointless gadgets leads us to a pair of one-megabit cufflinks from Eprom. Could this be geek chic at its finest? We'll let you decide.

Meanwhile, the USB anion humidifier soda can does much of what you'd expect from a humidifier these days: it cleans the air around you, re-energises your work-weary body, and looks like a… you guessed it: soda can.

And finally…

Are you frightened by planes? Does flying make you fearful? If you're one of those people who can't even catch sight of a plane without dropping a few Valium, you'd better stock up… From the first quarter of this year, Avidyne will begin delivering its MLX two-way Datalink Transceiver.

This means that for the first time, pilots will be able to send and receive SMS messages directly through the multifunction display to mobile phones on the ground, Flight Global reported earlier this week. And you thought compulsive text-drivers were bad enough…

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.