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Jonathan Fildes | 17:45 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

nike_wii.jpgToday on Tech brief: Wii in your trainers, a pole in your skirt and when Flash is Flash, but isn't.

• Yesterday, we highlighted a story in Website magazine that asked if the link-sharing service Digg was "deadd"? Charles Arthur at the Guardian has been digging into the numbers:

"Conclusion: the killing of the Diggbar, which drew people in from all over without their realising where they were heading, has led to fewer visitors. That's where Digg's visitors have gone: they were unwitting users anyway."

• Woz, Jobs and... Wayne? Like the fifth Beatle, Ron Wayne, co-founder of Apple, has been all but erased from history. To rub salt into his wounds, the man that designed the company's original logo, wrote the manual for the Apple I computer, and drafted the fledgling company's partnership agreement has also lost out on a large pile of cash, according to the Mercury News:

"That agreement gave him a 10 percent ownership stake in Apple, a position that would be worth about $22 billion today if Wayne had held onto it. But he didn't. Afraid that Jobs' wild spending and Woz's recurrent "flights of fancy" would cause Apple to flop, Wayne decided to abdicate his role as adult-in-chief and bailed out after 12 days. Terrified to be the only one of the three founders with assets that creditors could seize, he sold back his shares for $800."

• Meanwhile, the more visible Apple founder Steve Jobs continues to raise the hackles of some with his aversion to Flash, commonly used to power web video and animations. Apple does not allow the technology on its iPad and iPhone, meaning that people are met with little more than an error message when visiting a flash site. Now, the Register reports that software called Smokescreen promises to help out by converting flash on the fly into something more to the taste of Apple:

"All that's available right now is a selection of animated advertisements, including ones for Microsoft and the Batman computer game, which demonstrate that the concept works but aren't exactly pushing the boundaries of what's possible in Flash. But then such advertisements make up the bulk of Flash content on the internet, and if Smokescreen can't replicate the interactivity of Farmville then everyone could be a winner."

• Scientist Nathan Eagle works in East Africa, developing mobile phone applications including txteagle, a mobile phone application that allows people to earn small amounts of money or airtime in exchange for small pieces of work sent via SMS. A review of mobile phone use in Africa contains an intriguing line about the service:

"The txteagle service is currently live, transforming the phones of 15 million East Africans into a platform for income generation. We are on track to soon becoming the largest employer in Kenya."

• Nick Marsh has Wii in his shoes. The London-based illustrator has hacked together a pair of trainers and a controller for his game's console:

"The Nintendo Wii have made it possible for people to get their own personal sports work out from the comfort of their living room, using hand held controllers and a balance board to participate. So why can't a pair of Nikes work in the same way?

• Conscience is a man's compass, according to Vincent Van Gogh. For a woman, it could be her skirt. Meredith Scheff has invented the North skirt, a smart smock with in-built compass. Invaluable for geeks that have lost all direction.

"When I turn, the compass chip lights the appropriate row of LEDs - the row facing north. It's constantly on, and can change faster than I can spin."

If you want to suggest links or stories for Tech Brief, you can send them to @bbctechbrief on Twitter, tag them bbctechbrief on Delicious or e-mail them to

Links in full

Charles Arthur | Guardian | Is Digg dead?
Bruce Newman | Mercury News | Woz, Jobs and ... Wayne?
Bill Ray | The Register | Smokescreen brings Flash to the iPhone
Nathan Eagle | The Solutions Journal | Africa and mobile phones
Nick Marsh | Nike Wiis
Naresh Kumar | PSFK | Wearable technology

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