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Do not gobble as you pass go

It's been a good week for ...

greedy guzzlers

It's the time of year when many people vow to get healthy and eat less. Soon they may well be able to use special cutlery to help them.

The world's first smart fork has been unveiled at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. Described as "intelligent cutlery", the device has a sensor which detects the loop made when you pick up food, put it in your mouth and then return the fork to your plate.

Here's the really unsettling bit. If it discovers you have carried out the action too quickly it buzzes to tell you to slow down. It's not clear if there's any electrical current involved (like a culinary cattle prod), but that would certainly add an extra dimension. Maybe an option for persistent guzzlers.

After meals, the smart fork uploads data to a smartphone app to help diners keep track of their eating habits.

The HAPIfork is the work of French inventor Jacques Lepine, who says he came up with the idea after his wife complained that he wolfed down her cooking too quickly.

The resulting product took seven years to develop and will be marketed as a means to tackle weight gain and digestive problems.

Not to be scoffed at.

It's been a bad week for ... Monopoly pieces

Well, one of them. After almost 80 years of gadding around London and various other metropolises, one of the eight tokens is being sent to jail for good, to be replaced by a new counter that "reflects the interests of today's players".

Maker Hasbro has announced that a worldwide vote will give fans the final say on the destiny of the Scottie dog, racing car, top hat, iron, battleship, thimble, shoe and wheelbarrow. The modern-day replacemant? Perhaps a smartphone or an MP3 player? Even a credit card would be apt. No. Voters are being asked to choose from the slightly bizarre collection of diamond ring, guitar, toy robot, cat or helicopter.

The token with the fewest votes will be sent to Coventry. If it's the car, there will be no free parking; if it's the thimble, well there might be room behind the scenes on Threadneedle Street. The battleship will be OK, since there may well be an opening in another popular board game. But whether the shoe gets the boot, the dog is put down or the iron falls flat, it'll all be down to the last throw of the dice ... one last chance card with a big Go at the end of it.

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