Posts Tagged ‘junk’

The Photo Album Is Your Phone’s New Junk Drawer

We’re taking screenshots and saving random images just as much as we are taking photos.

The most recent photo in my phone's photoroll; I saved it from an email.

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Sometime in the last year or so, I noticed a change when I looked at my phone's camera roll: quite simply, a lot of the saved images weren't taken by me at all. Instead, the roll was composed of a lot of screenshots made on my phone, other people's photos I had saved from texts or emails, and other random images saved from the web.

Thinking back, the change seems to have come roughly around the same time Snapchat began to get popular. With Snapchat, I started screenshotting on my phone more than ever before (often times failing to capture the photo in time, leaving me with a dumb screenshot of the menu page). Perhaps its just a side effect of more powerful phones and better mobile browsers and apps that let us access content with relative ease. Part of treating our phones more like computers, includes making a mess of screenshots and downloaded funny images to save for later.

And when we do actually use the camera function, the photos we take are often not the ones we're going to post to Instagram or Facebook. The camera function is quickly becoming a note-taking, information saving app. Casey N. Cep wrote in the New Yorker about how she has been using her phone's camera as a tool to capture quick notes instead of writing things down.

Looking through my photo stream, there is a caption about Thomas Jefferson smuggling seeds from Italy, which I want to research; a picture of a tree I want to identify, which I need to send to my father; the nutritional label from a seasoning that I want to re-create; and a man with a jungle of electrical cords in the coffee shop, whose picture I took because I wanted to write something about how our wireless lives are actually full of wires. Photography has changed not only the way that I make notes but also the way that I write. Like an endless series of prompts, the photographs are a record of half-formed ideas to which I hope to return.

We're posting more and more photos to social media, and our phones are filling up with images faster and faster. But I suspect that the rate at which we add new images to our phones is much greater than the rate we're actually posting to Instagram.

To see if I was the only one whose camera roll had changed its makeup from real (i.e. taken with the camera) photos to screenshots/saved images, I asked people on Twitter to share their most recent image. Indeed, the majority of the images were not their own organic snapshots.

Here's a little bit of what people's camera rolls look like these days:


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Mota Tries Its Hand At Making A Cheaper 3D Printer That Doesn’t Churn Out Junk

Mota3D 3D printers are getting cheaper. The space has seen a fair few attempts to drive down the price-tag of owning an additive manufacturing machine in recent years, including the likes of the MakiBox, Pirate 3D Buccaneer and The Micro. And so we arrive at the latest to attempt to build an affordable 3D printer: Mota has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise $ 100,000 to produce the Mota… Read More

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Sony’s Credit Rating Cut To “Junk” By Moody’s

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Bond credit rating agency Moody’s cut the credit rating of Sony from Baa3 to Ba1 with a stable outlook — Ba1 is also just below investment grade. In other words, Sony is considered a speculative investment right now and it will become harder for the company to borrow money.

Today’s downgrade comes from its volatile net profit. Despite many staff cuts, some divisions, such as its PC and TV activities, are still losing money or are barely in the black. Increased competition in these areas are to blame.

“We expect the majority of its core consumer electronics businesses — such as TVs, mobile, digital cameras and personal computers — to continue to face significant downward earnings pressure,” Moody’s wrote in a statement.

Yet, the PlayStation 4 was very well received by the company’s customers and reviewers — 4 million units were sold during the holidays. But newly launched consoles don’t generate a lot of profit because margins are very thin after launch. Though it’s still a very good sign for the long term outlook when it comes to selling games and consoles at a later stage in the product cycle.

Finally, Sony currently has a solid lineup of cameras, but other companies could take the lead, or smartphones could bring down prices.

Sony is also a major movie studio and music label. These divisions are apparently doing well, but it’s very tough to predict the future. The vast majority of the profit generated by a movie comes in the few months that follow its release in theaters. You have to start over every year and release hit after hit.

Standard & Poor’s still rates Sony at BBB, two ranks above junk status, while the company is rated junk by Fitch. Shares are currently trading at 16.03, 4.13 percent below Friday’s closing price. With today’s downgrade, Moody’s also notes that the company shouldn’t expect any rating improvement in the near future.

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Murchison Widefield Array goes live, will study the sun, space junk, the early universe and more

Murchison Widefield Array goes live, will study the sun, space junk, the early universe and more

We hope IBM’s hardware is ready to chew through the feast of data it’s going to receive, as the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope is officially open for business science. Located in the outback on the same site as the Australia SKA Pathfinder, it’s one of three “precursor” programs that’ll help steer future development of the extra powerful Square Kilometer Array. The MWA low-frequency telescope has plenty of work to be getting on with, and some of its first tasks include gazing into the sun to observe solar flares, storms and other activity, as well as scanning the Milky Way for the likes of “black holes and exploding stars.” It’ll also look into the tracking of hazardous space garbage using FM radio waves that are lost to the void, and explore the early life of the universe as far back as 13 billion years. According to Curtin University’s Professor Tingay, the MWA’s commendable work ethic (read: data quality) means we could see initial results from some of these projects “in as little as three months’ time.”

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This is the Modem World: Digital junk food

Each week Joshua Fruhlinger contributes This is the Modem World, a column dedicated to exploring the culture of consumer technology.

DNP This is the Modem World TKTKTK

I’m hanging out in Atlanta right now, getting ready to speak at Digital Summit 2013 about things you’re probably not terribly interested in. Most importantly, I’m sitting at a bar and just ordered what looks to be a monster of a burger called the “Hot Mess” at a place called Park Bar near my hotel. Despite my disdain for online review sites, it was either this via Yelp or the hotel bar and, well, I find hotel bars depressing.

It’s also pretty clear that the only reason I ordered the Hot Mess is because my wife isn’t here to give me a hard time about it. No, I’m not a kept man, but I respect her knowledge of health and try to let her guide me most of the time. But when I’m on the road, I sometimes let all bets fall to the floor so that daddy can dig into a burger uninterrupted.

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Firstep Summer Camp – Junk Yard Wars – Egg Car Crash

Firstep Summer Camp - Junk Yard Wars - Egg Car Crash

Junk Yard Wars – Car Crash The Challenge: Students were given a challenge to protect an egg in a simulated car crash given limited supplies. Supplies: 2 Sheets of Cardstock 5 Sheets of printer paper 3 paper cups 15 Popsicle sticks 5 Cotton Balls 1 Foot of tape 1 Item from home George Giltner FIRSTEP Summer Robotics Camp — Firstepcamp.com Hosted at Developer Town
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Swedes Plan ‘Janitor’ Satellite To Clean Up Space Junk

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The Swedes, best known for IKEA and meatballs, plan to launch a series of “janitor” satellites into orbit to clean up some of the space junk left behind from humanity’s short-sightedness. *kicking beer cans off coffee table* “You do know you’re gonna have to pick those up later, right?” Am I?

The proliferation of debris orbiting the Earth – primarily jettisoned rocket and satellite components – is an increasingly pressing problem for spacecraft, and it can generate huge costs. To combat this scourge, the Swiss Space Center at EPFL is announcing today the launch of CleanSpace One, a project to develop and build the first installment of a family of satellites specially designed to clean up space debris.

Based on the graphic, it looks like each janitor satellite is basically on a suicide mission. They just grab a piece of space-junk, then throw themselves into the atmosphere to burn up. But what about those 16,000 smaller pieces? You know what we need to collect those? Magnets. Do magnets work in space? SPOILER: Yes. Consider this your science lesson for the day. “I can see your penis.” Ha, that’s your anatomy lesson. “And the rash?” *bell ringing* Welcome to health class!

Hit the jump for another conceptualization of the satellite that looks suspiciously like something you’d see a roadie pushing around backstage and a video about the project.

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Power Balance Peddles New Sports Junk After Filing For Bankruptcy

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They say that fools and their money are soon parted, and no one knows that better than the sports junk hucksters at Power Balance. Despite filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court on Friday, the company has high hopes for their new product, something called Performance Mouth Gear.

Let’s clear up one thing first: it’s a mouth guard. That’s it. Of course, the marketing wizards at Power Balance aren’t content to leave it at that; oh no, it’s supposedly much more. According to the company, Performance Mouth Gear incorporates “innovative technology to properly align the jaw and the spine through optimal positioning of the bite.” They even go as far as citing a a handful reputable journal articles to make their case.

Sounds great, no? They’re fighting for all the credibility they can get, considering they have a history of just making things up. Case in point: their Power Balance bracelets claimed to endow users with “up to a 500% increase in strength, power and flexibility.” The bracelet’s key ingredient? A holographic sticker.

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission called them out on the obvious BS, and among other things, made publicly retract their claims. Here’s a gem from one of their corrective ads:

We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

So, they lied. I’m sure that’s going to inspire tons of people to buy their new mouth guards! Credit where credit is due though, this new pitch is just a hair more believable than saying their holographic bracelets can affect the user’s “natural energy.” They’re learning!

It’s always a shame when a company falls on hard times, but I can’t help but look at this situation with a little bit of schadenfreude. Power Balance is swimming in both debt and bad feelings, but it’s their own fault, and I’m looking forward to seeing how their new plan pans out.



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Robotic Junk Episode 2

A stop-motion animation movie with Family Guy, Simpsons, Futurama, and other cartoon and movie action figures. If you like Robot Chicken, this is just like it! Well the animation isn’t as good as my newer stuff, so please watch my newer videos if you want better animation. Enjoy!

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Ford Focus Electric pops a hatch and shows all that battery junk in its trunk

Ford Focus Electric pops a hatch and shows all that battery junk in its trunk

The five-door Ford Focus is an eminently practical vehicle, and the Electric version will be as well. However, we’re now learning that it won’t be quite as practical as we’d hoped. We didn’t get the chance to pop the rear hatch on the thing when we were exploring it at CES. Here in Detroit we did and you can see what we found above. That’s definitely a big ‘ol box, putting a hurting on cargo space, but ultimately a small price to pay for rolling totally fuel- and emissions-free.

Ford Focus Electric pops a hatch and shows all that battery junk in its trunk originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 10 Jan 2011 14:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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