Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category:

The Social Network

{ Posted on Oct 03 2010 by }
Categories : Tech

Now you may have stumbled upon this page and you are thinking this is going to be a movie review…but it’s not. This is actually about the future of the internet. After seeing the movie, I have been wondering about the new possibilities on the internet. I mean, do we already have everything we need or is there more? What new sites will come about in this new decade? Will Facebook and Twitter eventually fall prey to a newer and better social network?

These are the questions I have been asking myself. Right now it seems like everything is perfect and nothing new needs to be created. We go to Facebook to catch up with our friends, YouTube to watches videos of anything and everything, Twitter to read what celebrities have to say, Pandora to listen to free music, Kongregate for free games, and numerous other sites to get all of our media and social needs. What more could we possibly ask for? We may have reached the point to where nothing new can be created but only the old can be made better. That is the way everything works. The car was invented once, we make improvements. The television was invented once, we make improvements. This is what will soon happen to the internet.

The internet is becoming like America. When America was in its early years, there were a lot of small businesses and that lasted up into the last century. Now the majority of things are run by “Big Business”. The internet is just the same, there are several large websites that gather the majority of the traffic on the internet. If you were to ask a random person walking down the street about different websites, they would most likely know the big ones like Google, YouTube, and Facebook. Would they know about Lifehacker, Fluther, or Woot? Probably not. Granted, these sites do get a lot of traffic but not the kind that the big names get. Then when you take blogs made by the everyday person, they barely get any traffic and that is because people spend all of their time looking at videos of cats doing random cute things. The big man is putting the little man down. That even happens on YouTube itself but I’m not going to get into that.

The point of this post is to inspire you creative people out there to come up with a new idea and help change the internet once again. If you think that this is it then nothing new will ever come about. I don’t care if you don’t think you are good enough or if your site looks crappy. Pursue your dreams and be confident. Facebook looked like shit when it first launched but look how popular it is now. Get out there and create something new for me, the world, and most importantly you.

The iPad: Why not?

{ Posted on Feb 05 2010 by }
Categories : Tech

Hey guys, it’s time to talk Apple.

I’m here to tell you how amazingly awesome the new iPad by Apple actually is after reading all the negative press it has received. However, before I tell you how great it is, I want to get some things clear. No, the iPad does not have multitasking capabilities. No, the iPad does not support Flash. No, it does not have photo/video capturing capabilities either. So there you go, those are the CONS.

Now for the PROS.

The iPad has third party support, which means it is able to run third party apps, without the pesky modifications. Which means I can play Papi Missile on a BIG SCREEN!  I am definitely looking forward to that. Also, HTML5, the still-developing next gen version of HTML, is probably the best resolvent for the Flash problem. Although the internet is not fully HTML5 yet, this is a very promising factor for Apple.

The price of the iPad is not cheap, but it is also not over the $1000 price tag that was predicted. The cheapest iPad is $500 and it has 16 GB of storage. A 3G compatible iPad will be available, with which you will need to buy the AT&T $30/month for unlimited data. There is also a 32 GB and a 64 GB version.

So there you have it, folks. The iPad is better than you think. So please stop dissing it until it comes out, and we can see how great it truly is!

Skribit: Cure Writer’s Block

{ Posted on Jan 22 2010 by }
Categories : Tech

Skribit LogoSkribit is an Atlanta-based startup for bloggers that need help coming up with interesting topics to write about. Trying to start a community around your writing is hard, but asking for feedback and input is often one of the best ways to get the ball rolling. Skribit’s founders always ran into the problem of finding topics to blog about. They wanted to keep a regular blogging schedule to keep their readers happy but didn’t want to write about the same old stale news and such floating around on every other blog.

All you have to do is sign up for a Skribit account and then set up a simple widget that you can easily paste into your blog or website. Skribit then allows your readers to give a suggestion on a topic they want to read about, and vote on other suggestions that your readers have left. All of your suggestions are stored in unique interface that allows you to easily view all of your suggestions.

But what happens after your readers leave a suggestion? Once you see a suggestion you like, you can choose to link it with your blog post on the subject, and then any Skribit users interested in seeing a post based on that suggestion will be informed of your entry. You can also share suggestions through Facebook and Twitter to provide inspiration for your followers on those services.

Skribit has two types of accounts available for its users. A free account allows you to use Skribit with one blog and get up to 15 active suggestions at once. Skribit Pro accounts let you use the service on an unlimited number of blogs, take in unlimited suggestions and give you the ability to customize your widget or suggestions tab. Skribit Pro is $24 for a year of service, but if you use the promo code ackbar42 by January 27, 2010, you can get Skribit Pro for 50% off. Try Skribit out today!

Pi buster: French software whiz claims record

{ Posted on Jan 10 2010 by }
Categories : Tech

A French software engineer said on Friday he was claiming a world record for calculating Pi, the constant that has fascinated mathematicians for millennia.

Fabrice Bellard told AFP he used an inexpensive desktop computer — and not a supercomputer used in past records — to calculate Pi to nearly 2.7 trillion decimal places.

That is around 123 billion digits more than the previous record set last August by Japanese professor Daisuke Takahashi, he said.

Takahashi, using a T2K Open Supercomputer, took 29 hours to crunch Pi to 2.577 billion digits.

Bellard took 131 days, comprising 103 for the computation in binary digits, 13 days for verification, 12 days to convert the binary digits to a base of 10 and three final days to check the conversion.

The gear cost “a bit less than 2,000 euros” (3,000 dollars), Bellard, who earns a living as a software consultant in digital television in Paris, said in an email exchange.

“It is a completely standard PC. The only unusual thing is that it has five 1.5-teraoctet hard disks. Mainstream PCs generally have only one 1-teraoctet disk.”

Bellard has placed on his website details of the achievement, including the use of a high-powered mathematical engine called the Chudnovsky algorithm that chewed through the computation.

Extracts of the 2,699,999,990,000-digit outcome have been published so that they can be compared to preceding records in order to gain independent verification, Bellard told AFP.

Files containing the digits are also being offered to any outside organism keen on hosting the record, he said.

Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, kicks off with 3.14159… in a string whose digits are believed never to repeat or end.

Bellard said he was “not especially interested” in Pi’s digits but more in taking up the gauntlet of writing the software to carry out the arithmetic.

“Optimising these algorithms to get good performance is a difficult programming challenge,” he wrote.

The Beatles: Rockband

{ Posted on Nov 17 2009 by }
Categories : Gaming, Tech

“Shake it up baby!”

We howl as we sing along to the new Beatles Rockband. The story mode of the game starts out in the Cavern Club with Twist and Shout. With each new venue, the music slowly progresses just as it did in real life. When you finish a song you earn pictures. There is a picture for getting three stars on a song and one for five stars, as well as one for finishing the entire venue. Once several pictures are earned, a rare video is unlocked of The Beatles doing whatever they do.

Instruments

The game includes Paul’s Hofner base, Ringo’s Ludwig drums, mic, and mic stand. The base is one of the most realistic video game controllers I have held. It has the length, the look, and the curves of a real Hofner base. When I started banging on the drums, they felt a little different, quieter, but different. After the first awkward song , I was getting the feel of the new drums and I was loving it. Unlike the first Rockband game, the base pedal in this one feels a lot sturdier. You might be saying, “What is so special about the microphone in this game?”. Well if you are just that far out of the loop, I’ll tell you. YOU CAN HAVE THREE PEOPLE SING AT THE SAME TIME! No! I did not stutter, you heard me right. It allows you to plug in three mics, all used with one controller. Anybody can sing any part they want. That way, certain people can be designated to sing different songs. The great thing about having the mic stand is that if you only have three people but want the have a full band, that one special person can sing and play an instrument at the same time!

Rating

I give it a 4 out of 5. It is a great game and The Beatles are amazing, but it won’t let you play other songs that you have downloaded for other Rockband games. You also can’t play songs you download on Beatles Rockband on other Rockband games.

Other than that, it is a definite buy.

How Google Street Really Works

{ Posted on Oct 24 2009 by }
Categories : Tech, Videos

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQGrIsYUm4c

Interesting Animation from Google Japan showing how Google Street really works. Check it out, and leave a comment telling us what you think!

Dropbox for iPhone

{ Posted on Sep 29 2009 by }
Categories : Tech
Dropbox App
Image by Funkbreaks via Flickr

The Dropbox Blog has just released a wonderful post announcing the release of their free iPhone Application. It’s not intended as a standalone app, so if you don’t already have one the software will prompt you to create a free 2GB Dropbox account.

Once installed on your device, Dropbox for iPhone provides access to all your Dropbox files, allows you to view any file supported by your iPhone (including documents, photos, music, and video), uploads any photo or video you’ve taken on your device to your Dropbox account, and lets you save any file as a favorite for offline viewing.

Other features of the app include easy one-click sharing of your Dropbox files by email (a link to the file will be sent to the recipient), and a photo gallery view for easy browsing of images in your Dropbox account on your phone. You can also upload photos and video directly to your Dropbox, which when combined with Shared folders can quickly and easily share your media with friends and family.

If you already use Dropbox on the desktop you’ll appreciate its automatic sync features, but because of potential space limitations the iPhone app thankfully doesn’t actively sync your entire Dropbox collection. But it does support automatic downloads to your phone, and “favoriting” a Dropbox file will set it up to auto-sync. When a new version of the file is available on Dropbox, you’ll be notified in the iPhone app and prompted to sync.

We’ve been checking out the new app and have been impressed with its ease of use. The ability to connect natively on the go to a service we already find indispensable adds a lot of value. Are you a Dropbox user? If you have an iPhone, have you had a chance to check out the app yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Microsoft Courier Video

{ Posted on Sep 29 2009 by }
Categories : Tech, Videos

This video walks through the Courier interface, and provides an overview of the interface and Courier’s features, and more of how you would actually use it if you are not a designer. The interface has more of a Microsoft feel (fonts and titles bars) and less of the entirely handwritten journal aesthetic: a smart agenda, more defined folder system, universal search and multi-page web browsing.

The heart of Courier appears to what’s called the “infinite journal,” which is what it sounds like: A journal/scrapbook that is endless, bound only by storage constraints (presumably). Hopefully they will call it something less awkward. The journal can actually be published online, and it’s shown to be downloadable in three formats: a Courier file, Powerpoint or PDF.

The hinge between the screens is still used as a pocket to “tuck” items you want to move from one page to another. It also revolves almost exclusively around using the pen for input: In 4 minutes of video, there’s not a virtual keyboard in sight. Fingers are used just to navigate, through flicks, swipes and pinches.

It also begins to bring into focus Courier’s priorities, and possible limitations: Other than the brief glimpse at the library and the web browser, there is basically nothing about viewing content, like watching movies, reading books, or listening to music. Courier appears to be all about creating and writing with a pen, which is vastly different from what everybody expects out of the Apple tablet.

gdgt launches social Gadget Database

{ Posted on Jul 02 2009 by }
Categories : Tech

gdgt, a gadget podcast, has recently released their social gadget database to the public. What is this service about? Check out the video below.

I have had a chance to test it out and add a few of my gadgets to my lists. All of the features seem to work very well, and the idea behind it is great! Being able to discuss, review, and add your gadgets not currently in the database will add a lot of new content to the gadget world. This will also help you make the decision if you want that shiny new tech toy you’ve had you’re eyes on!

Be sure to check it out at gdgt.com!

What is Fluther?

{ Posted on Jun 19 2009 by }
Categories : Random, Tech
Image representing Fluther as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I don’t know if you know but there is this site called Fluther.com.

Basically what you do is ask questions and get answers. You may think, “Well can’t I just go to Yahoo Answers?”. Well the Fluther community is way better. If you spend a few days using it you will start seeing the same people asking questions and answering them. You can also add certain people to your own Fluther so it is basically like a friends list.

They also have this thing called Lurve. It is just a number you get for participating in the community. You get 1 point for each consecutive day you visit the site. For the rest of the points you have to depend on other users. If you ask a really good question or give a very good answer and another user thinks the same then they can mark it as being good and you get 5 more Lurve points.

When setting up your account it asks you for your hobbies and other things you know about. It will use that information to find questions that are perfect for you. Then if you run out of questions you can alternatively view all questions. Once you answer a question it will follow that question and each time it gets a reply you will be given an alert.

I started last year but didn’t get into it. I went back a few days ago and I am now addicted. You should definitely go check it out. If i missed anything please comment and I will add it.