Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple granted patent for handheld that recognizes your hands

You could probably fill a book with Apple patent applications that never amounted to anything, but here's one that's at least been granted -- a "handheld device" that uses capacitive sensors to recognize your identity just by the way you hold it, and subsequently personalize the device's buttons and settings to your hand based on your user profile. That's all that's actually been patented here, but the general idea is a little more grand -- you could theoretically grip a handheld with either hand, and it would automatically generate "button zones" under each finger using sensors baked right into the chassis.

Take a look:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You Tube Channel

Bonnie's Fitware Inc now has a channel on YouTube - check it out at

There are already 21 instructional videos!

FileMaker Go update adds PDF creation tools

Just two months after launching mobile versions of its flagship database program, FileMaker has rolled out a significant upgrade to the iPhone and iPad versions of FileMaker Go. The 1.1 update to FileMaker Go brings greater parity between the mobile and desktop versions of the database application.

Read more

* 16 Comments * + 6 Recommendations * digg * ShareThis iWork for iPad adds file transfer, better Office support

Apple on Wednesday released updates to its three iWork apps for the iPad. Version 1.2 of Numbers, Keynote, and Pages feature improvements to file-format support and file transferring, adding the ability to transfer files to and from remote servers and enhancing support for exporting files in Microsoft Office-compatible file formats.

Read more:

Apple updates iOS Remote app to add iPad

With Apple's new Remote application (iTunes link), users will be able to control their Apple TV, as well as iTunes, from anywhere in their home. It also allows users with an iOS device to send music to AirPlay-compatible speakers.

The new Remote application allows control of the new iOS-based Apple TV with simple finger gestures. Users can also enter text with the onscreen keyboard.

"Choose playlists, songs, and albums as if you were right in front of your computer or Apple TV," the official description reads. "From anywhere in your home change a song, pick a playlist or browse through your entire library.

"With a flick of your finger, you can even control every aspect of the Apple TV user interface. Use your device’s QWERTY keyboard to quickly tap out the title instead of clicking letters on the Apple TV screen. Then keep tapping to play, fast forward, rewind, and pause to your finger’s content."

The full list of new features in version 2.0, according to Apple, include:

  • Designed for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Optimized for Retina displays and large screen real estate on iPad
  • Support for Shared Libraries on iTunes and new Apple TV
  • Bug fixes and compatibility with iTunes 10 and the new Apple TV

Friday, September 24, 2010

USB 3.0 Hard Drives So Fast and Small

The Worlds Smallest Mobile and Desktop USB 3.0 Hard Drives

September 8, 2010 - LaCie debuts today sleek USB 3.0 hard drives for your desktop or pocket – the LaCie Minimus and LaCie Rikiki USB 3.0. Proving size does matter, LaCie delivers the industry's fastest transfer speeds at 5Gb/s* in its ultra–small Rikiki form factor – perfect for users that refuse to sacrifice performance for mobility; and the LaCie Minimus – for users that enjoy their terabytes as much as desk space.

Complementing their remarkably small sizes, the Rikiki and Minimus hard drives are encased in sturdy brushed aluminum for an elegant aesthetic appeal. The aluminum offers resilience from blunders, improved heat dissipation, and is fully recyclable.

Designed to be simple from the inside out, the Rikiki and Minimus come with LaCie's Software Suite to ensure seamless setup and backup support for Mac or PC. Additionally, each product comes with 10GB of Wuala online storage so you can securely store and share files online.

Read more

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Self-repairing solar cells could also fix our energy dependency

It doesn't take much for a photovoltaic cell to not work quite as well as it used to. Sure, a big hail storm or the like will do a number on your megabucks rooftop installation, but the sun itself, the very thing those cells are designed to capture, gradually damages their internals, reducing efficiency. The fix, according to a team at MIT, is self-assembling (and therefore self-repairing) solar cells made up of a synthetic molecular soup containing phospholipids that, when mixed with a solution, attach themselves to a series of carbon nanotubes for alignment. Other molecules that react with light then attach to the phospholipids and, with a little illumination, start firing out electrons like mad. After a few hours of solar pummeling the whole thing can be broken down and automatically re-created, returning efficiency to maximum. Overall efficiency of the system is extremely low currently, thanks to a low concentration of those photon-catching structures, but individually they capture about 40 percent of the light's energy, meaning a higher concentration could make for very hearty soup indeed.

Take a look:

Monday, September 20, 2010

iPod Touch Review

At Apple's last event, Steve Jobs called the iPod touch the company's "most popular iPod," and it's easy to understand why. In just a few short years, the iPhone-with-no-phone has kept in lockstep with Cupertino's halo device, benefitting from the same kind of constant hardware and software updating that has helped turned the iPhone into an iconic gadget. The touch has been right alongside the iPhone's meteoric rise in popularity, becoming the go-to second-pocket slab for millions. There are good reasons, too. Apple boasts about gaming on the device -- claiming it beats out both Nintendo's and Sony's offerings in sales... combined. While we can't concede that the device is a dedicated game console, it most definitely games. And it's still an iPod, an internet device, and a thousand other things thanks to Apple's vastly populous App Store. Now the player has once again reaped the rewards of iPhone updates, boasting a new Retina Display, the A4 CPU, two cameras which allow for FaceTime calling and 720p video recording, and all the new features of the company's latest mobile operating system, iOS 4.1. But despite all of the plusses, we still have to ask: is the little do-everything box still worth the premium price tag? We took a deep dive on the latest model and have the verdict, so read on to find out.

Read more

Friday, September 17, 2010

7th Podcast Posted

Check it out at:

Qualcomm demos augmented reality app for digital photo frames (video)

Want a glimpse of the future? How about one from Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs? What he demoed in London just now was a groovy concept that combines his company's two service technologies: augmented reality and peer-to-peer. The idea is that you want to upload an image from your phone to one of your many wireless photo frames (actually WiFi-connected PCs in disguise here), but rather than having to pick your desired frame from an eye-dazzling list of WiFi SSIDs, you can just use this augmented reality app -- developed using Qualcomm's very own AR SDK, naturally -- to point at the frame and shoot the file over. Pretty rad, huh? But we picked out one flaw: currently, the app identifies each frame by remembering its previously uploaded image, so if two or more of these frames display the same image, the app would get confused. This can of course be fixed by simply adding a QR code onto the actual frame. Anyhow, you can see this demo in action after the break.

See more

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nike+ GPS App

Nike's dalliances with technology should be familiar to our readers by now, with the crowning jewel of course being the Nike+ run-tracking software that pairs a shoe-mounted sensor with your iPhone or iPod. Well, it was. The gargantuan sportswear company is moving with the times and throwing the hardware away with the introduction of its all-new Nike+ GPS application. No longer restricting our running shoe choice is groovy, but the app itself has the even loftier aim of simultaneously acting as your fitness guru, motivator and record keeper. And all it asks in return is access to the accelerometer and GPS modules in your iOS 4-equipped iPhone or iPod touch.

Take a look:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 sent to manufacturing

Microsoft announced Friday that Office for Mac 2011 is now classified as "Release to Manufacturing." The software should be on track for release by the end of October as previously announced.

The Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft published a celebratory post on their blog Friday announcing that they had "signed off on final testing" and sent the product to production. This latest release was two and a half years in the making, with team members in Redmond, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Dublin Tokyo.

Office for Mac 2011 should be Microsoft's "best release yet," according to Product Unit Manager Geoff Price, who authored the post.

Read more

Toshiba fulfills need for Speed

When the first batch of lightning-quick UHS-I cards ship in November, Toshiba's chips will be faster and larger on day one. The company's fielding full-size SDHC UHS-I cards at up to 32GB that promise maximum read and write times of 95MB/s and 80MB/s respectively, not to mention tiny microSDHC units that still manage a very respectable 40MB/s and 20MB/s. As per usual, these numbers are fast and loose, so don't be surprised if you get a good bit less in practice, but we imagine you should be able to rely on at least the quoted minimum transfer rate of 10MB/s.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Private School Hands out 105 iPads to Pupils

Scotland's Cedars School of Excellence is running a bold tech experiment at the moment, teaching all of its 105 pupils using nothing but Apple's iPad for taking notes and conducting lessons.

The school's IT man has his own blog, where he informs parents and the rest of the world about the progress of the project—including notes on the very first iPad lesson where he had to teach the kids how to cut & paste, before "we all read the Acceptable Use Policy together and in detail".

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Create the Ultimate Exercise Playlist

tudies show that the rhythmic speed of your music influences your athletic performance. Here's how to use that information to create the ultimate playlist for your workout:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

State-Funded Online School to Open in Montana

Somewhere in Montana today a rural student will fire up a computer and start learning Chinese from a teacher he or she has never met.

Today is the day that the Montana Digital Academy launches for the 500 students and 64 teachers who have signed on to meet in virtual classrooms.

Apple TV

Apple TV's streaming seems to be speedy and extremely clear, and the overall speed of the interface seems solid. The box is 720p. Apple says that they felt that using 720p allowed them to strike a balance between quality and bandwidth.

Take a look:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Motorola Defy: Android 2.1 goes rugged with water, dust and scratch resistance

Remeber the Motorola i1? Moto has just added its second rugged(ish) Android handset in the 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass-fronted Defy. It's dust-, scratch-, impact-, and water-resistant. Matching up to the IP67 durability spec means it's expected to resist being submersed in up to a meter of water for up to half an hour -- making it a pretty awesome option for taking your Android to the beach, 854 x 480 is your screen resolution, backed up by an OMAP 3610 chip running at 800MHz (there had to be some tradeoffs, right?). Android 2.1 is another slight disappointment, we're not clear on why Froyo had to be left off the table, but at least Motorola has bundled Swype as the default input mechanism. Should be a boon for some, we suppose. The Defy is expected to launch across Europe in Q4 2010.

Take a look:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nike Shoes Get Outfitted with Wii Balance Controls

Nike recently challenged 78 artists to remix and adapt the function of Nike shoes. Nick Marsh, one of the contestants, took a pair of Air Maxes and imported the internals of a Wii Balance Board to turn his shoes into controllers.

He placed the Balance Board sensors in the soles of the shoes and re-jiggered some wires to turn Air Maxes into a working Balance Board. According to Nick, the shoes work like this:

The user simply puts on the shoes, turns on the balance board/shoes (nike-wiis) and then plays as normal, except it's not a normal way to play. As you are now physically attached the to the board, the actions have changed, you can no longer simply step off, so you must lift your foot and stand on one leg or sit down when no pressure is required, making for an altogether interestingly different experience.

In action, having shoes as a controller is actually sorta intense:

Take a look:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New IPod Touch

A new Apple iPod Touch in three sizes starting at $229 - this is the best answer for teachers looking for a non-phone device that carries their music, videos, takes pictures, takes movies, and yes ---- all of our software works on it.

The new Apple iPod Touches will be available next week ----- or for pre-order today (got to go order mine now!).