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Innovation

The Weekly Round-Up: Glamorous camping, iPhone Lotharios and smudgy touchscreens

We can live under a canvas... as long as we have broadband
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor on

We can live under a canvas... as long as we have broadband

Camping, the great outdoors: the call of the wild.

An opportunity to get back to our primal origins, face-to-face with nature and sleeping under the stars.

Camping holidays are becoming more popular for Brits every year - largely because sleeping under a canvas in a field in the UK is (marginally) cheaper than going abroad.

We simply can't get enough of sleepless nights listening to other campers snoring (or worse), treading barefoot in cow pats and going for a midnight wee in gorse bushes.

However, while frying sausages and bacon on a tiny gas stove remains the traditional model of camping, a new trend for happy campers is having constant access to the internet.

The increase in 'glamping' or 'glamorous camping' (nope, the Round-Up had never heard of the phrase either) has apparently driven an 'explosion' in wi-fi usage at British campsites.

Even though we're willing to sacrifice hot baths, comfy beds and indoor plumbing we simply can't be separated from the web, social networks or iPlayer.

Of course, just about the only thing you can guarantee on a camping holiday is inclement weather at some point. To combat this - and to avoid actually spending any quality time with our loved ones and families - we're packing our iPads in with our airbeds and catching up with the latest episode of Sherlock, or watching the test match while the rain soaks through our tents and into our socks.

BT operates wi-fi hotspots at hundreds of campsites and said it saw usage rise by 350 per cent during the first two weeks of the school summer holidays.

While the bad weather may be the reason BT cites, the real reason may be more depressing than torrential rain in August.

It may be that our need for constant connection through the social web is making us increasingly withdrawn in real-world social occasions.

Are we retreating into digital-only relationships? Is the social web bad for the soul?

"Daddy can't play frisbee, sweetheart, he's blogging..."

One thing that hasn't thus far appeared in any of Apple's advertising for the iPhone is its hitherto hidden ability to turn you into a love god (or indeed goddess).

But number crunching by online dating service OkCupid.com has revealed iPhone users have had sex with twice as many partners as their Android-using counterparts have.

The depressing stats for Android fans are as follows:

By the time they reach 30, male iPhone owners have had around 10 different partners.

Their pin-stripe wearing BlackBerry buddies have managed an average of 8.1 partners.

However, men with an Android smartphone have only managed six notches on the bed post by the time they reach 30.

The statistics for female smartphone users are even more pronounced.

By the time they reach 30, female iPhone owners have had an average of 12.3 partners, BlackBerry ladies have had 8.8 partners and once again, poor Android users are the plain Janes with a meagre 6.1 conquests.

So there: proof that Apple products make you more attractive. Or maybe it just proves that iPhone users, male and female alike, are a bunch of tarts.

The striking findings are part of the site's wider research on online dating. Another discovery is that the better the camera and the better composed your profile picture, the better your chances of finding love.

Digital SLRs give statistically improved results than cameraphones, with a Panasonic SLR beating Nikon and Canon for the top camera - and a Motorola cameraphone coming bottom of the pile.

So the answer's clear. If you want to find love online. Get a proper SLR camera, swot up on depth-of-field - and smile.

However, if you want to increase your chances even further, just place your iPhone 4 sneakily in shot and wait for your inbox to overflow with missives of love.

RAWR! You're a tiger...



Still, next time you are logging into your touchscreen smartphone, you might want to wipe your hands first.

Experts at the University of Pennsylvania have found it's possible to uncover passwords by studying and analysing the smudges left on the touchscreens of the Android phones they tested.

When fingers swipe and jab at touchscreens, an oily residue is left on the surface. The oily smudges can often be read and interpreted and represent a new form of information leakage.

Still, as calls from the rest of the business for sexy smartphones continues to increase, this at least gives you a reason to say no. After all, consider the irony: the very feature that makes these devices so attractive to the business executive might provide the very reason they can't have one.

Smudge attacks. The latest threat to corporate networks. Maybe. So think 'safe'. Think clickety-clackety keyboards on boring smartphones...



And finally this week - thanks for your excellent suggestions as to the sci-fi characters you would next like to hear issuing commands from your sat-nav.

One reader suggested Robocop: "At the roundabout, take the third exit. Or there will be... trouble." HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey was another popular recommendation, perhaps chiding you after missing a turn in a slightly threatening way: "Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?"

There were also a couple of variations on using Robot from Lost in Space, with "Danger! Will Robinson, Danger!" becoming "Danger! Icy road, Danger!".

But one reader noted: "As someone who thinks if I have an arrow on a map telling me where to go then I don't need a voice, I suggest R2D2; with the cheerful beeping sounds as you approach and the irritated scream when you go wrong. However an alternative for when I have had a bad day might be Klingon..."

The Round-Up doesn't know the Klingon for "In one hundred metres, turn left on Acacia Avenue." But there's a reasonable chance that some of you out there do...

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