The Null Device
Seen on a kerb in West London, a discarded television:
In Toronto, Canada, the local electric utilities have a tradition of disguising power substations as suburban houses, complete with balconies, windows and gardens. Known as "bungalow-style substations", the facilities have been built over many decades, in whatever style fit in best at the time, and according to a commenter, even hire someone to "live" in the houses on Halloween and hand out candy.
Meanwhile, in London, there is 23-24 Leinster Gardens, W2, where two terrace houses were demolished in 1867 to make what is now the District Line, and replaced with a convincing-looking and well kept-up façade.
When I lived at the end of Holden Street, North Fitzroy (map here), there was a house across the road which was condemned because it stood in the way of maintaining/replacing a water main that ran immediately beneath it. It had stood there for a year or two at least, slowly falling apart, no light emanating from its windows; at one point, a notice was attached to its front, detailing a plan to, after demolishing the house, build a façade across the front of the lot, in keeping with the neighbourhood's character. I don't know whether this has happened, or whether there is now a convincing pseudohouse in North Fitzroy; as of August 2004, the empty house was still standing, slowly, sadly falling apart.
(via Boing Boing)
Self-contained Wi-Fi VOIP phones are like buses: you wait for ages and then several come along all at once. The latest announced is the BCM WLAN800, which not only talks Skype and SIP but can also do MSN. It's said to be coming out in July, though it's not clear where it will be available for purchase.
Google have just released a MacOS X version of their amazingily intuitive CAD package SketchUp. This program is rather nifty, and seems to use various human-interface heuristics to disambiguate what the user is trying to do, and consequently making 3D drawing a lot less painstaking than with traditional CAD/modelling programs. It also has some rather nifty rendering modes (such as pencil sketch, or precise-yet-cartoonish-looking textures), and looks good for everything from designing DIY projects to making comics. And it's free.
Also from Google: a new beta of Google Earth, now with a Linux version. (For some reason, though, the view window is all black on this machine, even though it does have OpenGL.)