Posts Tagged ‘goodness’
The folks at Zipwhip may have unwittingly discovered a new business model. While the company is primarily focused on cloud messaging services, it’s recently created an espresso maker that allows employees to whip up custom brews from the comfort of their mobile phone. Known as TextSpresso, it’s based on the Jura Impressa XS90, but unlike the retail model, the machine accepts orders via SMS. As if that weren’t enough, it’s part of a larger system that’s capable of printing employee names onto the foam (using edible ink) and then placing the drink onto a warming tray. TextSpresso is very much a custom job, but if you’d like an inside peek of the system — complete with servo motors, an Arduino microcontroller and a retro-fitted Canon printer — be sure to hop the break and dream of what could be.
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Seen here looking suspiciously like the silhouette of Bat Boy wielding a Green Lantern power ring to return to the Matrix or some shit, a drawing of a monkey plays with his virtual arm. Because monkeys can do that now. They’ve always wanted to, and now they actually can. *dodges virtual turd* I saw that, Diddy Kong!
A brain implant that allows monkeys to move an avatar’s arm and feel objects in a virtual world has been demonstrated for the first time.
The animals used the device to control the arm by thought alone, and feel the texture of the objects it touched through electrical signals sent directly to their brains.
Researchers built the system as part of a major effort to help paralysed people regain the use of their arms and legs, feeling the objects they touch and the ground they walk on.
Without any sensation of touch, it would be easy for people to crush or drop objects they were trying to grasp, or misjudge the terrain underfoot and stumble, the scientists said.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “OMG, how can I use this for sexual gratification?!” But if you could get your mind out of the smut-gutter for one second you’d realize the much more significant ramifications of this project: knowing what it feels like to have more than two arms and legs. RAWR, LOOK AT ME — I’M ANT-MAN AND I’M HERE TO RUIN YOUR PICNIC.
Thanks to Samantha, who controls her virtual arms the regular way: with an XBox controller. Awh shishi girl, what’re we playing?
I had the opportunity to use a Fitbit Ultra, the successor to a glorified pedometer that has become oddly popular and addictive to a certain subset of non-torpid technophiles. To be clear, the desire to measure your days in terms of steps taken is an old one (there is heard tell of an old Chinese tradition of walking 10,000 steps a day to reach health and prosperity), but the Fitbit does this in a decidedly 21st century fashion.
The device connects wirelessly to a small base-station/charger and records the steps taken as well as, when the device is strapped to your wrist, a fairly spotty rendition of your sleep patterns. A small OLED readout tells you current stats including calories burned, distance travelled, and steps taken. It snaps to your clothing like a clothespin and lasts about a week on a single charge. When you approach the base station the device sends its stats to the Internet where they are compiled and presented as handsome charts and graphs of current activity.
I gave the Fitbit a try early on in its creation and found it slightly lacking, especially in that it broke in half after a bit of use. I found the thought of measuring my every step as slightly disconcerting, a sort Prufrockian measure of one’s day, existence reduced to blue numbers on a little piece of plastic. However, as I began testing the $ 99 Fitbit Ultra, a slightly upgraded version that adds a stopwatch and altimeter for measuring stair climbs, I began to warm to the device’s charms.
This is why I’m fat
Call me a sucker for simplicity, but the thought I could improve my fitness by strapping a little thinger to my pants and walking around is fairly compelling. Wearing it for a while I noticed that I was decidedly sedentary and even my bursts of exercise that I attempt of an evening barely pushed me past the 5,000 mark. I also saw that some folks I knew were literally walking circles around me, hitting the high 20Ks while I was piddling around in 3K by the time I went to bed. I turned off Fitbit’s automatic Twitter notifications because they were quite embarrassing.
The new Fitbit is slightly more accurate than the old version and seemed to measure other exercises better including more aerobic activities like floor workouts and running. You can feasibly trick the thing into counting biking as an exercise (a process that delightfully pads the stats) but that’s not why this product exists. In short, it’s there to tell you you need to get off your butt and walk.
You can then track your progress using the online dashboard (here is mine so you can follow my exploits). If you’re really into it, you can add food consumed as well as blood glucose levels. The dashboard also tracks your sleep by telling how much you toss and turn at night.
I have a few beefs with Fitbit, though. First, I’ve not been able to trust the device after it cracked oh so long ago. To be fair, the first versions were made of chromed plastic and could have suffered some structural problems but I’ve been overly careful with this new model. Second, if you’re not careful, you will lose the little thing. The Fitbit slipped off my pants just as I was totally getting into a long run and it now remains, unloved, pining away for my hips in the dark and cold of the Brooklyn streets. To avoid this, they recommend women attach them to their sports bras, an option that while potentially possible given my pectoral girth was not applicable in my current attire. The best place to put it – on a pocket – is also the most potentially lossy. Also the Fitbit is quite small so once it’s gone it’s gone.
If you’re willing to accept that your Fitbit may disappear on you and that you’re essentially measuring out the steps until your imminent demise, this may by the statistical-gathering tool for you. If you’re a hardcore runner, biker, luger, or anything else, this is probably not the best device. A sports watch with GPS and heart-rate monitor would be far superior. However, if you’re just now realizing you spent most of the 2000s playing WoW and reading ebooks, you may want to pick one of these up if only because you can treat your daily walks like dungeon runs and your daily records like wizardly achievements.
Verizon’s LTE lineup will soon be expanding like a balloon. With this week’s launch of the Motorola Droid Bionic and eventual release of the Samsung Stratosphere and LG Revolution 2, 4G shoppers will soon have options aplenty to choose from; why not throw another one into the mix? The LTE-enabled Pantech Breakout — which passed through the FCC as the Apache — now has some higher-quality renders, courtesy of PocketNow. While most of the phone’s specs are in line with the HTC Thunderbolt and Samsung Droid Charge, it differs by offering a smaller 4-inch WVGA display, Pantech’s custom Android UI and a 10-device mobile hotspot. There’s still no word on pricing or release date, though we were expecting to see the device come out last week; we can’t think of many people completely devastated by the delay, but it will at least provide much-needed variety to Verizon’s arguably stale 4G setup.
Phone cameras still have a ways to go to catch up to the awesome capabilities of your standard DSLR, but the handset captured in the image above would certainly get them headed in the right direction. International phone review superstar Eldar Murtazin snapped a few shots of an as-of-yet unnamed HTC device running Windows Phone. It sports a look very similar to the HTC Trophy, although this particular gem is capable of capturing images at 12 megapixel resolution — comparable to the Nokia N8. We can tell from Eldar’s tweets and images, however, that it’s gone one step further by adding support for pictures in RAW format. We’re still waiting to get more information about this device, but for now we invite you to enjoy the images above and below.
Continue reading Mystery HTC Windows Phone sports 12 megapixel goodness, RAW support
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Continue reading Hyperkin 3DS Powerplus covers your handheld in battery-extending goodness
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Android Gets That Flash 10.2 Goodness [Blips]
As of today, Android users can now take advantage of Flash 10.2 beta on their Froyo, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb devices. Honeycomb users are getting a beta release, though, so full hardware acceleration is turned off until more development is done. But for all of you who went out and got the Xoom, you can watch clips inside and outside the browser in 480p right now. Support for 720p is still on …
Read more on Gizmodo
Android and the future of feature phones
CNET editor Nicole Lee ponders Android’s role in the future of feature phones, and looks at one handset that offers the benefits of a feature phone while giving a taste of Android.
Read more on CNET
Android Game Devs Worry Over Ease of Copying
The Guardian reports on problems faced by game makers on Android Market. Some independent developers are finding that their games are too easily copied and sold by competitors, and they say Google isn’t reacting quickly enough to reports of infringement. Quoting: “One of my customers emailed me three weeks ago, and informed me that another company was selling a version of my app â€“ pirated and …
Read more on Slashdot
Sometimes having a computer monitor and a separate HDTV are just too much for your feng shui to handle, and Mitsubishi is here to enhance your qi with its MDT231WG all-in-one monitor. No, not an all-in-one in that it has a PC built in there, but rather it’s intended to serve double-duty as a computer monitor and an HDTV. Its 120hz refresh rate and 5.5ms response time mean it’ll keep up with Call of Duty, while its 178-degree viewing angle, 5000:1 contrast ratio IPS panel, and integrated 2.1 channel sound system means it should do a decent job at movie playback. And, with a combined power output for all three speakers of 11 watts you won’t even have to worry about waking the neighbors. Right now this is looking like it’ll only be hitting the Japanese market and, while Mitsu hasn’t announced a price yet, we found one for pre-order at ¥118,000 — just over $ 1,400 and a small price to pay for finding your perfect spot.
Continue reading Mitsubishi MDT231WG monitor is 23-inches of 120hz gaming goodness and movie magic (video)
Well, it was only a matter of time — first the leaked press shots of this elusive HTC Spark (although possibly misidentified as the Mondrian back then — note the shinier earpiece in the leaked AT&T ad), and now the real thing is in the hands of some lucky hardware tester. Fortunately for us, this guy also happens to have a naughty friend over at xda-developers. As you can see, HTC Hub is alive and well, but otherwise there’s not much info coming out of these photos. Regardless, feel free to head over to the source link for more eye candy — you’ll need to register first, though, so we’ve grabbed a few shots below to get things going.
Gallery: HTC Spark leaked in the wild, shows off plentiful of WP7 goodness