The Weekly Round-Up: Sexy tech speaks the language of love

Forget roses, today's romantics are saying it with their digital devices...
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor

Forget roses, today's romantics are saying it with their digital devices...

Valentine's Day is on Monday, so this week's Round-Up is dedicated to that special little someone who makes your world go round.

You know who the Round-Up is talking about - you love the way they respond to your fingers, and how you can press the right buttons to get them to do exactly what you want.

You love the way it feels when they sit on your lap as you relax in the evening. And you really know how to turn them on.

And also, how to turn them off and on again, if they start acting weird.

Yes, the Round-Up is talking about the special love between a geek and his or her computer. We spend eight hours a day or more caressing those keyboards and staring truly, madly, deeply into those beautiful monitors. Indeed, the relationship between you and your up-close-and-personal computer is the real love affair of the 21st century.

But maybe the Round-Up's got you all wrong. Maybe a cheeky little smartphone has turned your head. Perhaps you've found yourself fantasising about all the fun you could have with those apps, and that cute little slide-out keyboard. Sure, the PC is there for all the boring stuff but it's the phone you carry around with you wherever you go.

Or maybe, even more daringly, you've found yourself drawn to a tablet. You know you should resist but that capacitive screen is so cool under your hot fingers and that so-intuitive user interface makes it seem like you've known each other forever...

But how to navigate the romantic minefield that is Valentine's Day and ensure your relationship with your electronic love is intact?

For many a couple have been split asunder by a poorly chosen Valentine's gift: "Oh, a new ironing board cover. How romantic."

So how about a romantic playlist? The Round-Up has started to put together a romantic and ever so slightly geeky playlist for your listening pleasure, starting with a few obvious classics:

  • 'Digital Love', Daft Punk
  • 'Computer Love', Kraftwerk
  • 'Together in Electric Dreams', Phil Oakey

Want to add to our digital romance playlist? Drop us an email.

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
Alternatively, how about a trip to an art gallery to show off your sensitive side? Even better, you can do it without even having to leave your sofa, courtesy of Google.

Yes, taking a break from driving up and down all the roads of the land, Google's Street View technology has gone all arty.

The Google Art Project comprises a collection of images from galleries across the world, captured by the search giant's cameras.

Street View cameras were given access to 17 galleries across 11 cities, including the National Gallery and Tate Britain in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Check out the photos to see some of the galleries and the Street View trolleys in action.

Textual relationship
Of course, some strange people have decided to have a relationship with an actual human being and not just a shiny gadget. But even these relationships are now mediated through technology.

According to a survey by a mobile phone comparison website, people in relationships are more likely to text their partner to tell them they love them than to say it to their face.

The survey by GoodMobilePhones.co.uk found that six out of 10 people text "I love you" to their partner on a regular basis – but only two out of 10 regularly tell their partner they love them in person.

Of these SMS Romeos who sent their love in texts to their partner, 11 per cent said it was because they felt guilty for not spending enough time with them, and 39 per cent said it was because they missed them while they were apart.

But a quarter said it was because they thought their other half would "get annoyed" if they didn't include it in the text message. Who says romance is dead, eh?

The survey also asked if any of the respondents had ever been dumped by text message.

Only an unlucky 18 per cent of those surveyed admitted to getting dropped by text message: "Sorry U R dumpd LOLZ".

Yet strangely, when asked if they had ever used a text message to end a relationship, 71 per cent of women said they had - which means either there is a small number of people who are being dumped by text over and over again, by the same women, or there are a lot of people who didn't want to admit to being ditched by text.

Or, there may be a number of people out there who don't check their messages very often, and are blissfully shopping for Valentine's Day gifts, not realising they've already been chucked.

In other news...
Find out what links an 18th century English cleric, one of the UK's best-known technology entrepreneurs and the next major shift in computing - augmented reality.

And discover how a supercomputer in Portsmouth is helping to figure out what happened right after the Big Bang.

And finally this week: fancy sitting back, reading the paper and having a cup of tea on your daily commute? Sure, you might do that already if you're on the train or in the passenger seat, but what if you are the driver?

A European team are working on a project to develop a system that enables cars to follow and be controlled by a lead vehicle, creating convoys of cars. As well as the comfort benefits for drivers, the project aims to achieve significant environmental and safety benefits.

Due to more efficient braking and acceleration, the project estimates up to 20 per cent fuel savings, which would also reduce CO2 emissions.

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