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Archive for December, 2012

NASA Goes Johnson Style

Posted by Andrew at 4:42 AM on December 15, 2012

NASA Johnson Style is an educational parody of Psy’s Gangnam Style, produced by the students of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It’s brilliant and deserves as much attention as the original. I’m sure this will be all over the web in a few hours, combining great visuals and intelligent parody with the hottest hit of 2012.

N. Joseph Woodland Died at Age 91

Posted by JenThorpe at 4:14 AM on December 15, 2012

bigstock-Barcode-18830351You might not immediately recognize the name of Norman Joseph Woodland, but it is safe to say that you are very familiar with his work. He was one of the inventors of the bar code, the zebra-like series of lines that is on most, if not all, product packaging. It is the code that the cashier scans whenever you make a purchase.

The concept of using a series of lines and spaces came to him one day as he was on a beach in Miami, Florida. He used his fingers to draw four lines into the sand, and realized that he could use bars of different thickness and thinness instead of dots and dashes.

He was a graduate student at the time and was working with a classmate named Bernard Silver, (who died in 1963). In 1949, the two submitted their patent for a code that had concentric circles and resembled a bull’s eye. The patent was issued in 1952.

The technology for the now familiar bar code didn’t exist until the 1970′s. A team at IBM’s Research Triangle Park, in North Carolina, were the ones to develop a barcode-reading laser scanner system. N. Joseph Woodland was part of that team. The decision to create it was to satisfy a demand from grocers who were seeking a way to automate and speed up checkout (while, at the same time, cutting down on product handling and inventory management costs).

Norman Joseph Woodland, the man behind the “beeps” you hear when you are watching the cashier scan your purchase, died at the age of 91. You may not have known his name, but you saw his invention every day.

Image Stock Photo Barcode by BigStock

Get your NFL team as your Android clock widget

Posted by Alan at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2012

The folks over at XDA Developers do great work. If you have ever thought of rooting a phone or searched for a custom ROM then you have almost certainly stumbled across that web site. However, you may not have realized that they also produce custom apps as well. Recently a custom NFL clock widget was unveiled there.

For now, the teams available are Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, acksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. In other word, the AFC.

“These HD Clock widgets can be freely sized from 1 x 1 to full screen and work for all Android 4.0+ devices. These Apps cost $.99 USD on my website but as an exclusive to XDA members they are free.”

You can head over to the thread of Ron427 to grab the widgets and view his download and installation instructions. The developer asked for no direct links to be posted, so I will honor the request. You will need to search around for the link, but it isn’t hard to find. There is no word on when the NFC versions will be coming.

GNC-2012-12-13 #824 Ready for 24hr Podcast!

Posted by geeknews at 1:17 AM on December 14, 2012

Ok folks Saturday is the big show!! I hope as many of you as possible comes out for the event. I look forward to putting it on, I have a huge number of guest booked that will be entertaining and educational.

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TGP #85 IPHONE 5 vs SAMSUNG GALAXY S3

Posted by Gadget at 8:02 PM on December 13, 2012

Welcome to The Gadget Professor Show #85 hosted by Don Baine and produced by Mike Baine.

The Biggest Battle in Cell Phone History is now Settled!

The IPHONE 5 and the SAMSUNG GALAXY S3 have been going head to head. To date the Galaxy has actually has outsold the Iphone 5. This week The Gadget Professor attempts to settle the debate with a side by side comparison.

See who he declares the ” Winner”

We also feature our free software choices of the week.

Sit back and relax while you watch The Gadget Professor.

Make sure to watch The Gadget Professor “LIVE” on the 24 Hour Podcast This Saturday at 9:00PM MT @ www.geeknewscentral.com

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Underneath The Pringles Tree

Posted by Andrew at 5:22 PM on December 13, 2012

PringlesPringles are running a Pringles Tree competition in December and each day you can open a virtual Pringles can to reveal the prize within. The prizes are inexpensive but there seems to be a good chance of winning as I’ve picked up a Pringles Speaker and a voucher for 7digital already. Other prizes include on-line games and receipes.

The Pringles Speaker arrived yesterday and it’s much better than I expected. The idea is that the speaker is inserted into the top of a Pringles tube once the contents have been munched. Powered by three AAA batteries (supplied), the sound quality and output is surprisingly good. For sure it’s not hifi and the bass isn’t great but for an impromptu party, it’s perfect. Plug in your mp3 player or smartphone and away you go.

Pringles Speaker

There’s 11 days left of Pringles Tree. Get popping, though it looks like this promotion is for UK residents only.

Google updates Play Store, brings no major changes

Posted by Alan at 5:35 AM on December 13, 2012

Google regularly slips out updates to it’s Play Store for Android and sometimes those updates bring some major changes. Then again, sometimes the update is a boring behind-the-scenes little fix that takes care of bugs. Version 3.10.10, which showed up in the download channel today, seems to be the latter.

The latest Google Play download is all of 1.5 KB bigger than the previous version and, after installing it, I was hard-pressed to find a single cosmetic change. I did see one report that said “there are some tweaks to the in-app billing, checkout, and authentication code”.

With that said, any update to the Play store is certainly worth downloading and installing. You can do so right from your phone or tablet, but I find it easiest to download to my PC, plug in my phone, move the file over and then use an installer app like Easy Installer to get the app up and running. You can grab the .APK file from here.

Flickr Releases a Brand New iPhone App

Posted by JenThorpe at 3:07 AM on December 13, 2012

Flickr AppFlickr has just released the all new Flickr app for iPhone. I learned about this when I went to Flickr today to search for a creative commons image that I could legally put into a blog I was writing. Near the top of Flickr’s page, a colorful banner read “Smile. The All New Flickr iPhone App is Here”. A bright pink, conveniently located button was in the banner, just waiting for me to click it.

We’ve been hearing, and reading, quite a bit about the feud that has been going on between Twitter and Instagram. In short, the disagreements have to do with user’s photos. More specifically, it seems to be about control over where users are allowed to put their photos, based upon what app they are using. It is a bit of a competition between the two companies to see which will end up with more people using its apps to alter and post photos of their dinner.

The all new Flickr app for iPhone has 16 unique camera filters that you can play around with in order to alter your photos. It has editing features, and allows for geo-tagging.

The app lets you share your photos with your Flickr groups, with your email contacts, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumbler. You can make your photos as public or private as you would like to. You can view photos from your groups and see recent photo activities from your friends and family (and leave comments on them).

Flickr also has an app for Android that was updated on December 4, 2012. It, too, has the same features that the brand new iPhone Flickr app has. It appears that Flickr has become another competitor in the battle for users who want to alter their photos and then post them online. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Robot Underpants #79 – 12.12.12

Posted by Langley at 2:39 AM on December 13, 2012

You’ll never see another 12-12-12 in your lifetime, so celebrate it with Langley, Eric, Starman Mike, Annika Skywalker, and the guys from Silo. Ron and Pedro of Silo are broadcasting live for 24 hours and Robot Underpants is hour 19. We discuss the whole 12-12-12 nonsense, UFOs over San Francisco and New York, and if we’re really living in the Matrix. PLUS, Star Trek news, and the obligatory Robocop News.

* Silo 3×12

* UFOs over SF and NYC

* Star Trek “Did he just say Kahn?”

* McAFREE

* Robocop News

* Mayan Apocalypse is Really an Acid Trip

This week’s end track:
Wake Up And Smell The GreasballsThe Greaseballs
“Sci-Fi And The Moonburners” (mp3)
from “Wake Up And Smell The Greasballs”
(Spiritwood Music)

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Stream from Rhapsody
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More On This Album

Bird Buggy Amuses a Parrot

Posted by JenThorpe at 4:49 PM on December 12, 2012

This unique little robot is exactly what every parrot owner needs! The Bird Buggy was created by Andrew Gray, who is a student at the University of Florida’s College of Engineering. He is the owner of an African Grey parrot named Pepper. The primary purpose of the Bird Buggy was to give Pepper something to do other than squawk loudly all day. Bird Buggy was built in the University of Florida’s Intelligent Machines Design Lab.

The Bird Buggy has a joystick that Pepper has learned to control with his beak. The parrot can make its robotic “ride” go forward, backward, and turn from side to side. There is an IR sensor that prevents Pepper from ramming into things to hard, and bumpers that respond to collisions by backing up. The Bird Buggy is equipped with a camera that enables it to return to a docking station when Pepper is done using it.

I don’t have a parrot, but I do have several cockatiels. They are smaller than an African Grey, (and not quite as intelligent). My little birds would probably have one reaction to the Bird Buggy – fear. They dislike things that are new. They also would be too small to use the joystick in the way that Pepper can. There are some similarities between cockatiels and African Greys, though, so I can tell from watching the video that Pepper is greatly amused by, and enjoying, the Bird Buggy.