Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’
Dennis Tito is planning an ambitious private flyby of Mars for 2018 that will carry all kinds of logistical challenges during its proposed 501-day span, not the least of which is shielding the crew from radiation without consuming valuable resources. The team’s solution is a clever one, if not especially pretty: human waste. While the walls of the Inspiration Mars spacecraft will initially be lined with water-filled bags to guard against cosmic rays, their contents will be gradually replaced with er, byproduct that will be dehydrated through the bag (possibly using polyethylene) to reclaim and purify water for drinking. As water-based materials are better at stopping radiation than metal, the approach theoretically represents the best of all worlds with less bulk, a simpler life support system and maximum room for supplies. If the Inspiration Mars group can keep the bags working at high efficiency in space, it won’t have to worry about its travelers’ safety; their comfort with being surrounded by their own waste may be another matter.
Source: New Scientist
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Apple’s chief designer Jonathan Ive is back home in the UK today, preparing to receive a knighthood in recognition for his contributions to design and enterprise. Like most of his colleagues at the secretive Cupertino company, Ive is rarely seen or heard from in public, but his current visit to his homeland has been accompanied by a thoroughgoing interview with The Daily Telegraph. In it, Ive acknowledges the great debt of gratitude he feels toward his father, a teacher by trade who Ive describes as “a very good craftsman” that would build furniture and silverware all by himself. It was in watching his father work that young Jony developed an appreciation for the attention to detail and quality that would later come to mark his work —…
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Just as it does each May, Electronic House magazine has selected a handful of integrated homes and home theaters that it’s deemed to be the best of the best and awarded them Home of the Year awards in categories that range from $ 50k or less to $ 150k or more. The winner of the latter is pictured above — a garage that’s gone from storing farm equipment to a top-end 3D Runco SC-50 projector and equally high-end sound system (to say nothing of the change in decor). Other winners include a completely hands-free home that’s also energy efficient (at a cost of $ 48k), another home that’s largely iPad-controled, and a blood red nightclub-inspired home theater that’s not too far removed from a David Lynch movie. Hit the source link below to take a tour of each.
We’ve seen a number of tablets for children emerge over the past year, and now UK-based Inspiration Works is throwing its hat into the ring with the Kurio, a lineup of Android tablets aimed at both kids and their parents. Pocket-lint got a look at the devices at this year’s London Toy Fair: the tablets come wrapped in a removable protective case, and will be available in three screen sizes: a 7-inch 800 x 480 model, an 800 x 600 8-incher, and a 9-inch version with a resolution of 940 x 600. The tablets come preloaded with a children-friendly custom UI and software that will allow parents to manage up to eight different accessibility profiles, limiting what apps and websites children can use. For their own purposes, however, it’s also a…
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Is Apple getting Android inspiration?
As Android phones continue to outsell iPhones, Apple has been apparently getting some inspiration from Google’s mobile OS. A series of screenshots received by 9 To 5 Mac show Apple is using internally a version of the iOS lock screen with the gesture-based lock system found on Android phones.
Read more on CIO
Apple looks to iPhone, iPad for inspiration for Mac OS X Lion, new MacBook Air
CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple’s iPhone and iPads have been such hits that the company is now looking for ways to bring some of their cachet to its
Read more on Canadian Business
Square Makes Amends With the iPhone 4, Ships New Readers
Earlier this week, we wrote about how Square , the mobile payment app, had run into issues with its credit card reader not working with the iPhone 4. The company has run into a few setbacks along the way, but it looks like this is one they’re quickly taking care of. According to the Business Insider , incompatibility with Apple’s latest and greatest incarnation of smartphone wasn’t on the agenda …
Read more on ReadWriteWeb
AT&T Looks Beyond The iPhone For Growth
With pressures on AT&T mounting as its sole grip on the iPhone slips away, Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, began the Q3 earnings call by insisting that thereâ€™s still a wide world beyond Apple out there.
Read more on paidContent.org via Yahoo! Finance
TGS: Xbox 360 Kinect turns Japanese for inspiration
Microsoft has always remained positive about its position in the Japanese territory, despite struggling to set up a substantial user base there. With the imminent release of Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft has used the Tokyo Game Show to emphasise the amount of Japanese content that goes into its line up.
Read more on iTWire
Pre-order Kinect and another game from Amazon, get credit
Looking for a good deal on Kinect ? Amazon hasn’t discounted the $ 150 tech, but if you pre-order it along with an additional game (it already comes with Kinect Adventures ), the retailer will hook you up with a $ 30 game credit when the goods ship. Your additional game? It had better be Dance Central . Pre-order Kinect and another game from Amazon, get $ 30 credit originally appeared on Joystiq on …
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Regular GeekDad readers will probably know that I’m interested in how the games children play and engage with support their development and help them, in some small way, to develop the skills and knowledge to create a better future world. Recently, I’ve been engaging in a new digital experience with my kids. Created by the UK-based Made in Me, I assumed their digital book/game/activity center called The Land of Me would be a bit young for my children. But, this is a carefully constructed adventure that is presented in a way that even drew in my eight-year-old. The activities and games were probably a little easy for him, but the old-school picture book style of images, the soft and whimsical audio and friendly voiceovers really piqued his interest.
This is an activity for parents and children to do together. And, I like that. While sometimes you just need to put your iPhone in your child’s hand while you finish off that report, or get the dinner done – other times we need to make room to share the digital experience with our children. The Land of Me is a perfect and affordable place to hang out and support your child’s learning and development. The fact Made in Me promote their links with early childhood development and have obviously thought about it during development, I thought a chat with James Huggins, the driving force behind the project was in order.
So, I asked James where the inspiration came from … and of course, I found he has children of his own. After a career in the visual effects industry, he was a little disappointed at what was out there for his kids.
James: Included in the many challenges of parenthood was my struggle to find interactive children’s media that was beautiful, enchanting and as much fun for me as it was for the kids. So I thought maybe we should have a go. What really excited me was the prospect that we could use the computer as a start point for all kinds of creative activities that could stretch a child’s imagination and language. Most importantly, these should be the kinds of activities that you do together.
GeekDad: What can technology bring to the learning and development of young children?
James: I know it seems pretty obvious but one of the most important activities for a child’s early development is talking. Talking with adults and other children. One of the major bench tests in beta-testing with The Land of Me was how much were users talking to each other. It seems strange I know, to use a computer to create more, not less, conversation but if the content is right it really works. We found that when some parents experience The Land of Me for the first time they are surprised by the fact that it is clearly not a computer game in the traditional sense. There is no explicit objective and more like a toy than a video game it has vast creative possibilities.
GD: How important is media literacy in children’s development?
James: I don’t really see it as any more or less important than them learning to tie their own shoelaces or write their
names. They’ve never known a world without these things so simply do not see technology in the same way we do. It’s not a discrete category for them, it’s just every day life.
GD: What aspects of early childhood development does The Land of Me focus on?
James: From a pedagogy perspective there is a lot at work in The Land of Me, especially with symbol manipulation and language. The core principles of creativity, communication and collaboration are present throughout but there are six chapters in total, each with a different theme: Shape, Size & Color, The World Outside, Making Things, Rhythm & Dance, Songs & Rhymes and Story Time. Each one also contains a raft of printable off-screen activities so that the creative journey can continue even when the computer is off. Recently a Mum emailed us to say that she was worried that the software wasn’t engaging enough because every time she played it with her son they had fun for only 10-15 minutes and then ended up on the kitchen floor drawing monsters. We were happy to tell her that’s exactly what we’re after! Ultimately we don’t want young children in front of the computer for extended periods and if 10 minutes is all it takes to inspire them to create their own visions of The Land of Me then all the better.
GD: How do you respond to people who say young children shouldn’t spend time in front of screens?
James: I know there’s some controversy about young children and technology, particularly screen-based media, but I think that it mostly comes down to common sense. I don’t agree that anyone can singularly dismiss an entire format in this way without taking into account what the content is and how it is used. It would be the same as saying all food is bad for you, regardless of ingredients and consumption. Technology is woven into the fabric of our lives and as such is no more or less important than clothing or buildings. It’s just there. However I have no doubt that it presents some very exciting potential benefits for learning and development, if used in the right way.
GD: How does The Land of Me support parents’ engagement with children?
James: The Land of Me is as much for parents as it is for the children. I think that’s why I’m confident that all the geek dads out there will love it. There’s something nostalgic and old fashioned about it. Lots of people have mentioned that it seems at once comforting and familiar. If we can get adults feeling like children again then we’re home and dry. The fact that you feel like you’re exploring a curious new place together really places the emphasis on shared discovery rather than some form of didactic instruction. There is so much to talk about on-screen and so much to question that it can’t fail to get your creative juices going.
The rest is here:
Review: Developmental Value in The Land of Me
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Gadget Lab reader and all-round handyman Anthony Matthews saw our post on the Bobino cable-tidy last week and decided to make his own. The first picture came along with this email, which is the kind of thing that makes this job so awesome:
Thanks for the inspiration! I have been frustrated for years by tangled earbuds and other cables. This isn’t so stylish, and I may even buy some Bobinos, but I think the double winder on my hack beats the Bobino on practical usefulness, especially for earbuds. Plastic crates like this usually have suitable latticework, and you can make all sizes.
That double-winder is indeed a nice touch: you can keep the bulk of the cord, the part you never use, wrapped away and just pay out the length you need from the remainder. It is ideal for those who keep an iPod in a breast pocket or in a pouch on a bag-strap.
The material choice is also great: The plastic of these crates weighs almost nothing at these sizes and stays healthy and unbroken however much you bend it.
Great hack, Anthony. It just shows how easy home-made widgets can be if only you have the eagle-eyes necessary to spot the opportunity. You might want to stop eating over your keyboard, though. Those crumbs are pretty gross.
See the original post:
Readersâ€™ Hacks: New, Improved Headphone Cable-Winder