Friday, December 7, 2012
Posted by gkJr. at 4:59 PM
Good news Android users – if you have been jealous of your iOS friends who have been enjoying Nik Software’s Snapseed photo editing app for iOS devices, you might be pleased to learn that the app has finally made its way onto Android. The app will be free for download via Google Play, so head on over to get your hands on it today and see what all the fuss is about! Even better news is that since the Android version of Snapseed is free, the iOS version of the app has had its priced reduced from $4.99 to free and there will be a change in the logo as well amongst other things.
As a brief recap, Nik Software was working to bring Snapseed onto Android, but they were acquired by Googlewhich left some wondering if the app would stop being worked on. Google reassured that wasn’t the case, and Google’s own Vic Gundotra was spotted uploading a photo that seemed to have come from the app itself. Of course given that the app is now owned by Google, unsurprisingly the update for iOS has included Google+ integration, allowing users to upload their edited photos onto Google’s social networking website.
Posted by gkJr. at 4:38 PM
The app, now available in countries like the UK and Canada, makes available free downloads of songs, music videos, apps, books and TV episodes from the iTunes Store. Due to licensing limitations, the app is not up for download in the U.S.
As in years past, each digital gift will only be available for 24 hours. The promotion runs from Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 8, 2013.
The 2012 version of Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app comes in at 32.6 MB and can be downloadedhere for UK users and here for those in Canada. Other European countries will also receive the promotion and users can check their respective App Stores for more information.
Posted by gkJr. at 10:43 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2012
If you've forgone the traditional wristwatch in favor of a cellphone clock, you may have a reason to go old-school again. Casio's G-Shock GB6900AA with Bluetooth 4.0 syncs with your iPhone to deliver email and phone call alerts. Oh, and it tells time, too.
The G-Shock Bluetooth Low Energy Smart Watch also includes notifications for basic things like calendar alerts, weather and stock -- although you may have to squint to see them on the tiny screen. You can silence all of these vibrating notifications by simply double-tapping the watch's screen.
One feature we like in particular is the watch's built-in system that notifies you when your iPhone is out of range. That's perfect for those of us who hastily grab at our pocket in a short burst of panic after getting out of a cab.
Even with its iPhone-syncing capabilities, the Casio watch reportedly doesn't consume an exorbitant amount of energy because it runs on a traditional button-cell battery. Assuming that you use the Bluetooth function for 12 hours per day, the watch's battery could last two-year lifespan.
Casio isn't the first to release a smartphone-connected watch. The sleek Sony LiveView, $78, runs Android 2.0 and can download apps from the Android Market. The Meta Watch FRAME, $199, is another option that connects to both your iPhone 4S and Android smartphone.
Casio's G-Shock connects with iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. The watch was announced in Japan earlier this year. It now retails for $180 at select U.S. retailers including Macy's and Bloomingdales.
Posted by gkJr. at 10:23 AM
Rockstar has been teasing the iOS edition of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the game for a few weeks now. Today the game officially makes its way to the App Store starting with the New Zealand and Russian stores, but it should make its way to the US and elsewhere shortly.
Posted by gkJr. at 12:04 AM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Google has updated its YouTube app with a new version that supports the iPhone 5′s larger screen. It also brings the native app to the iPad for the first time since the built-in YouTube app was removed as pre-installed software in iOS 6. Google has been on a tear with app updates today, issuing a new version of Gmail earlier.
In addition to backend improvements that make it run faster and better, the YouTube app brings AirPlay streaming, the ability to edit your playlists with video additions and removals, clickable links in video descriptions, and access to the YouTube personalized channel guide. It’s a free update for all users, and it also seems not to have any of the update or install hiccups that users were experiencing earlier with the new Gmail app. All of the changes are for the better, but I’m just happy I can get rid of that web app link on my iPad’s homescreen.
Google says that more than 25 percent of all YouTube videos are now viewed on mobile devices, totalling over 1 billion views a day. Having native mobile apps on platforms where users tend to consume a lot of media (the iPad is a big one for video, in particular) should help those numbers continue to climb.
Posted by gkJr. at 1:00 AM
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Posted by gkJr. at 10:48 PM
Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Version 2.0 of the app brings with it a new look and feel, which Google hopes will result in a faster, sleeker and easier experience when using the app.
New features in the app include updated animations, infinite scrolling in message lists, and profile pictures in messages. The app also makes autocomplete predictions when you search and allows you to respond to Google Calendar invites and +1 Google+ posts from directly within the app.
The updated Gmail app is available now in the App Store [iTunes link]. Due to its exceptional popularity, some users are currently reporting issues downloading the app. If you run into trouble, Google suggests waiting a few minutes and trying again.
Posted by gkJr. at 10:40 PM
In its continuing mission to build a “Wiki Weapon,” Defense Distributed has 3D printed the lower receiver of an AR-15 assault rifle and tested it to failure — on video (embedded below). The printed part only survives the firing of six shots, but for a first attempt that’s quite impressive. And hey, it’s a plastic gun.
We covered the first 3D-printed gun back in July. The Defense Distributed group sprung up soon after, with the purpose of creating an open-source gun — a Wiki Weapon — that can be downloaded from the internet and printed out. The Defense Distributed manifestomainly quotes a bunch of historical figures who supported the right to bear arms. DefDist (its nickname) is seeking a gun manufacturing license from the ATF, but so far the feds haven’t responded.
Unperturbed, DefDist started down the road by renting an advanced 3D printing machine from Stratasys — but when the company found out what its machine was being used for, it was repossessed. DefDist has now obtained a 3D printer from Objet, which seemingly has a more libertarian mindset. The group then downloaded HaveBlue’s original AR-15 lower receiver from Thingiverse, printed it out on the Objet printer using ABS-like Digital Material, screwed it into an AR-57 upper receiver, loaded up some FN 5.7x28mm ammo, and headed to the range.
As you can see in the video above, after six shots the lower receiver quite literally (and humorously) falls to pieces. In this case, it seems like the ring thread that screws onto the upper receiver was fractured by the recoil forces. The DefDist team will now make various modifications to HaveBlue’s design, such as making it more rugged and improving the trigger guard, and then upload the new design to Thingiverse. Thus the open-source circle is complete!
Suffice it to say, the idea that people can download and print their own guns is rather scary. In current law, the lower receiver is the firearm — the lower receiver is the part that is regulated, and the part that bears the serial number. The ability to print your own lower receiver could allow people without gun licenses, or revoked licenses, to obtain a gun.
For now, of course, we should be pacified by the knowledge that consumer-grade printers draw the line at plastic — and it’s unlikely that gun barrels, springs, and other assorted parts can be fashioned out of plastic. In an industrial setting, though, 3D printing processes such as selective laser melting/sintering (SLM, SLS) are being used to create incredibly rugged parts out of metal. NASA, for example, is producing rocket parts with 3D printing. It is really only a matter of time until everyone has the hardware at home to print a complete firearm — or, well, any weapon really.
Posted by gkJr. at 6:28 PM
I’ve had a fascination with gold phones since… forever. But no one really does gold phones properly. They’re heavy, they scratch, they dent, and the gold blocks the signal. Plus they’re extremely expensive, obviously. When I found out about Anostyle’s anodization service I immediately was interested, and I ordered a gold and black iPhone 5.
You see, with anodization — the same process Apple uses to make the iPhone 5 black or silver, and which thousands of other companies use as well — the actual aluminum is electrically charged and dyed. This is unlike a service like Colorware’s that paints phones, leaving them susceptible to chipping and peeling. After spending some time with my gold iPhone, this is probably the coolest phone I’ve ever owned.
The second I went outside and started using it, people began asking non-stop about it and they all assumed it’s a case until they actually saw the phone. Since the service just launched on Monday night, I couldn’t tell them where to order one. Now I can.
Anostyle.com is offering their service for iPhone 5s and iPad minis, and it starts at $249. Compared to Colorware at around $850, it seems like the deal of the century. I have an iPad mini here ready to send in, so maybe you guys can help me with the color choice? Black and gold, black and blue, or black and steel?
Here’s a look at my iPhone 5 by Anostyle in the meantime:
Posted by gkJr. at 6:11 PM
Το «milli - motein» (από το millimeter- χιλιοστό, λόγω του μικρού μεγέθους των εξαρτημάτων του - και το protein - λόγω του σχεδιασμού του, που είναι εμπνευσμένος από τις πρωτεΐνες, που αναδιπλώνονται και αποκτούν διάφορες μορφές) ενδεχομένως να αποτελεί τον προάγγελο μελλοντικών συσκευών που θα μπορούν να μεταμορφωθούν σε οποιοδήποτε σχήμα θέλει ο χρήστης τους.Εμφανισιακά δεν εντυπωσιάζει, ωστόσο η λειτουργία του του έδωσε το προσωνύμιο «ελβετικός σουγιάς της ρομποτικής», ή «πραγματικός Transformer», καθώς «ανοίγει» εντυπωσιακές δυνατότητες.
Η ιδέα για τη συσκευή ανήκει στον Νηλ Γκέρσενφελντ, επικεφαλής του Center for Bits and Atoms του ΜΙΤ, τον Aρα Κναϊάν και τον Κένεθ Τσέουνγκ. Παρουσιάστηκε σε paper που παρουσιάστηκε στην Intelligent Robots and Systems Conference.
Κατά τον Γκέρσενφελντ, πρόκειται στην ουσία για ένα ρομπότ μίας διάστασης, που μπορεί να αναδιπλωθεί και να λάβει διάφορα σχήματα. Το milli - motein χρησιμοποιεί έναν πρωτοποριακό κινητήρα, ο οποίος είναι μικρός, ισχυρός, αλλά και ικανός να κρατά τη θέση του ακόμα και όταν απενεργοποιείται. Οι αρχές λειτουργίας του θυμίζουν αρκετά τους τεράστιους ηλεκτρομαγνήτες που χρησιμοποιούνται στις μάντρες για να σηκώνουν αυτοκίνητα, όπου ένας ισχυρός μαγνήτης «συνεργάζεται» με έναν πιο αδύναμο, για να ενισχύονται ή αποδυναμώνονται τα μαγνητικά πεδία.
Επί της προκειμένης, ένα σύστημα μαγνητών και ηλεκτρομαγνητών καθοδηγεί ένα ατσάλινο «δαχτυλίδι» που βρίσκεται γύρω τους, χρησιμοποιώντας πολύ μικρές ποσότητες ενέργειας.
Το milli - motein βασίζεται σε ένα paper που είχε παρουσιαστεί πέρυσι, από τους Κένεθ Τσέουνγκ, Έρικ Ντεμέιν, Σολ Γκρίφιθ και Τζόναθαν Μπάχραχ, όπου εξεταζόταν η δυνατότητα αναδημιουργίας κάθε τρισδιάστατου σχήματος απλά μέσω της αναδίπλωσης μίας σειράς ίδιων υπομονάδων. «Δείξαμε ότι είναι δυνατόν να δημιουργηθεί ένα τέτοιο γενικό σύστημα, το οποίο είναι και πολύ απλό» γράφει σχετικά ο Τσέουνγκ. Αν και ακόμα δεν έχει αναπτυχθεί ένας τρόπος για να βρίσκεται ο καλύτερος δυνατός τρόπος μετατροπής σε κάθε μορφή, έχουν βρεθεί πολλές χρήσιμες τεχνικές, που οδηγούν σε πρακτικές ακολουθίες αναδίπλωσης. Η διαδικασία είναι ταυτόχρονη, καθώς όλα τα τμήματα κινούνται την ίδια στιγμή για να πάρει το milli - motein την επιθυμητή μορφή.
Αρκετοί ερευνητές, στους οποίους συμπεριλαμβάνονται και κάποιοι από το ΜΙΤ, δουλεύουν πάνω στην ιδέα των «παραμετροποιήσιμων» ρομπότ- «Transformer», που θα μπορούν να πάρουν διαφορετικές μορφές, αναλαμβάνοντας ποικιλία ρόλων. Τα ρομπότ αυτά θεωρητικά θα αποτελούνται από πολλά διαφορετικά τμήματα, το καθένα εκ των οποίων θα μπορεί να παίρνει τη δική του μορφή (η προσέγγιση αυτή αποκαλείται programmable pebbles, «προγραμματίσιμα βότσαλα»). Η ομάδα του Γκέρσνφελντ, ωστόσο, θεωρεί πως μία σειρά- αλληλουχία υπομονάδων, που μπορεί να πάρει οποιαδήποτε μορφή, είναι πιο πρακτική από πλευράς ελέγχου, ενέργειας και επικοινωνιών από ό,τι ένα σύστημα με πολλά αυτόνομα κομμάτια που πρέπει να συντονιστούν μεταξύ τους. Ο Χοντ Λίπσον, καθηγητής του πανεπιστημίου Κορνέλ κάνει λόγο για ένα βήμα πιο κοντά στην «προγραμματίσιμη ύλη»: «όπου προγράμματα ηλεκτρονικών υπολογιστών και υλικά ενοποιούνται για να σχηματίσουν ένα νέο είδος ύλης, η μορφή και η λειτουργία της οποίας είναι δυνατόν να προγραμματιστεί - όπως στη βιολογία.
Πολλοί σήμερα βρίσκουν συναρπαστική την τρισδιάστατη εκτύπωση και τη δυνατότητά της να παράγει κάθε είδους μορφή, η ομάδα του Γκέρσενφελντ σκέφτεται ήδη το επόμενο επεισόδιο, όπου δεν ελέγχουμε απλά το σχήμα των αντικειμένων, αλλά και τη συμπεριφορά τους». Το τελικό αποτέλεσμα ενδεχομένως να είναι ρομποτικά συστήματα τα οποία θα μπορούν να προσαρμόζονται εύκολα και δυναμικά σε δεδομένα νέων εργασιών/ αποστολών και θα μπορούν να παράγονται με πολύ χαμηλότερο κόστος σε σχέση με τα «συμβατικά» ρομπότ.
Την έρευνα και ανάπτυξη του milli - motein υποστήριξε η DARPA, στο πλαίσιο των προγραμμάτων Maximum Mobility and Manipulation and Programmable Matter.
Posted by gkJr. at 4:55 PM
Google yesterday updated Gmail to version 4.2.1, which brings a host of new features for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, including the much-needed auto-fit feature that resizes your mail to fit onto a mobile phone screen. “No longer will your favorite email newsletters get cut off at the edges; with this latest version, you can now choose to have the emails resized to fit neatly on your screen and pinch to zoom for a closer look,” Google stated on Google+.
The update includes a new swipe feature that lets you archive messages from your inbox with just a swipe. Changing the command in the ‘Swiping Conversation List’ in Settings can change this action to let you delete messages by swiping.
Images have also been given priority in this Gmail update. Image attachments now appear as thumbnails as opposed to just a bar with the file name. Each picture attachment in an email is represented by a thumbnail; you can tap on a picture to go to a gallery and view all the images attached.
Another much-awaited feature in terms of convenience is the ability to attach photos and videos to mails from their smartphones. The update also contains the regular dose of bug fixes for improved performance.
But fret not if your handset is running Gingerbread or Froyo, for there is a small list of new features for the older versions of Android too. The update brings performance improvements and a new labels API for third-party app developers.
Gmail for Android update has useful new features
Google has been going all guns blazing to improve the look and feel of the web-based version of Gmail. Last week Google announced that Drive has now been integrated into Gmail, allowing you to directly attach files to emails from Google Drive. This feature allows you to attach a maximum 10 GB worth of files to your emails. Google explained that since the files being sent are stored in the cloud, this feature would let the recipients access the most recent version of the file.
Google also released an update last month to improve the search function of Gmail by letting users search for mail by size and date. For example, emails 5 MB or larger in size can be quickly located by using the operator 'size:5m' or 'larger:5m'. To search for email that are over a year old, users can enter 'older_than:1y' in the search box.
The compose mail function also underwent a facelift in October. The new compose box opens up like a chat box within Gmail to let users quickly compose mails while continuing to view their inbox and mails.
Posted by gkJr. at 1:06 PM
MOSCOW—December 4, 2012—Apple® today announced the launch of the iTunes Store® in Russia, Turkey, India, South Africa and 52 additional countries featuring an incredible selection of local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels. The iTunes Store features local artists including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, international artists including The Beatles, Taylor Swift and Coldplay, and world-renowned classical musicians including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store.
Movie fans can choose from a wide selection of films available for rent or purchase from the iTunes Store, with many available in stunning HD, from major studios including 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as leading local distributors.*
The iTunes Store is available in 119 countries and is the best way for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod®, Mac® and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus®, Apple’s DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.
iTunes® in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. In addition, music not purchased from the iTunes Store can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match℠, a service that stores your entire music library in iCloud® for access at any time, from any iOS device. iTunes Match is available for purchase in the new countries added today.
Customers also have access to the revolutionary App Store℠ with more than 700,000 apps available in 155 countries.
Posted by gkJr. at 1:04 PM