The personal site of Tom Coates, co-founder of Product Club


On the OLPC Movement…


A couple of months ago I was asked by Icon Magazine to write a review of the OLPC XO laptop for the developing world. You can read the finished article in their January issue or on their site (OLPC review on However, since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the context and background Read More

On Wattson and Electrisave…


Thanks to a fascinating conversation on haddock the other day, I’m now completely obsessed with a brand new class of personal lifestyle gizmos – a class that is very much in sync with the emergent energy puritanism that I find myself unexpectedly interested in after An Inconvenient Truth. The class of objects is ‘things that Read More

On the perception of the colours of Mars…


I was looking at a post about the relative proportions of various planets today and it reminded me of a thought I’d had a couple of years ago and hadn’t ever explored in depth. It was based on a stupid theory of mine that I’d like you guys to disprove or correct or support. To Read More

Now available: Mr Webb’s Mind Hacks!


My work colleague and R&D partner has a book out (with Tom Stafford)! It’s called Mind Hacks and it’s from O’Reilly in their Hacks series. So when you’ve finished fiddling with your Tivo or with Google’s API, now you can take that spare screwdriver and start mucking around with that most interesting pieces of squishyware Read More

On scientific truth and Christian truth…


In the middle of an article about the way that the religious right have interfered with scientific work in the US, I find a troubling paragraph: At a time when biology is poised to undergo a fundamental revolution, the US government, arguably the most potent government in the history of the world, is rife with Read More

Enhanced reality: Noise in Space?


So it occurred to me (while watching some dumb sci-fi TV series set in space) that maybe spaceships that make noise in a vacuum isn’t such a dumb idea after all. I mean, obviously they wouldn’t (couldn’t) make any noise, but there would be all kinds of reasons why it would be in the best Read More

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