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03.31.2011

Google app could identify people's faces

Posted by Becca    Category: cell phones
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03.31.2011

CARE bracelet gives radiation warning

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CARE is a new concept bracelet designed to warn women if there are high radiation levels nearby. If the wearer is near a potentially dangerous area then the bracelet changes colour and vibrates to alert them.

The device has been developed with the main aim of protecting pregnant women from being exposed to high radiation levels, which has long been suggested to damage the developing foetus.

Via Yanko Design.

Posted by Becca    Category: accessories
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03.31.2011

Can we use social media to save lives?

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At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco yesterday Jennifer Lynn Aaker, a professor at Stanford's business school told a story about how one of her students used social media to try and save the lives of two of his friends.

Sameer Bhatia and Vinay Chakravarthy found out they had leukemia but neither could find a match for the bone marrow transplant they desperately needed. So, student Robert Chatwani helped them by turning to the Internet to find a donor in other parts of the world. Together they created a group of followers and advocates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help spread the word about a range of bone marrow drives they were holding to try and find the right match for both men.

They also created a range of banner ads and videos that were spread virally and soon big organizations were stepping up to help, with the likes of Adobe, Cisco and IDEO offering different kinds of support. Within 11 weeks there had been 470 bone marrow drives and more than 24,611 people were registered. Both men did find a donor but unfortunately passed away soon after the transplant.

Although this is a very sad story, it further proves that social media can be used to try and tackle really serious issues. We just hope that Chatwani's efforts and the donors that were found have since helped others and his story will be empowering to many more people in the future.

Via Venture Beat. Read more about The Story of Sameer and Vinay.

Posted by Becca    Category: on the web
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03.30.2011

Our bodies could charge our cell phones

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There's nothing more annoying than when your cell phone runs out of battery and you don't have a charger or even a source of electricity nearby. Well, Dr. Zhong Lin Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology might have an answer to this problem as he's currently working on a way to allow our bodies to charge all of our gadgets, cell phones and even laptops.

His ideas are called nanogenerators and work by using zinc oxide nanowires which can generate electricity. The little nanowires can be threaded into anything because more than five hundred are smaller than a human hair! So, if you had lots of them threaded into your outfit you could generate electricity throughout the day which would be used to charge whichever electrical device you please.

Via Geek.


Posted by Becca    Category: cell phones
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03.30.2011

Acer announces dual touchscreen tablet computer

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Technology and electronics corporation Acer recently announced the release of its new TouchBook device, which is basically a sleek dual-screen tablet computer.

The Acer Iconia straddles the space between laptop and tablet, with a 4GB memory, HD webcam, Intel Core i5 processor, Windows 7 system and more. Oh and did I mention the two 14 inch LED touchscreen displays that I just can't wait to slide my fingers around on.

According to Crenk it'll be shipped in the US next month and will set you back a pricey $1,199.99, so it'll really have to perform well in comparison to the other cheaper tablet devices on the market as it costs the same as some laptops.

Via Crenk.

Posted by Becca    Category: computers
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03.30.2011

Microsoft Kinect creates beautiful light art

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The Kinect, Microsoft's motion control system for the Xbox 360, emits lights that you wouldn't usually be able to see in normal circumstances. However, when artist Audrey Penven was taking photos of her friends playing with the Kinect using a camera which had been modified to shoot in infrared, all of the amazing lights and patterns were clearly visible.

The infrared light system is integral to the way the device works and each one is picked up by the Kinect's in-built camera which then figures out the shape and size of objects by the way the light has been distorted.

Penven has since begun to work with animator and artist Aaron Muszalski and will be launching her own solo exhibition of the "Kinect Art" called "Dancing with Invisible Light" at the Pictopia Gallery in Emeryville, California throughout April.

This certainly isn't the first time that the Kinect has been used to do weird and wonderful things that Microsoft would never even have imagined in the initial stages, such as this hacked Kinect art program, 3D representations of user's movements and this living brushes program.

Via cnet.

Posted by Becca    Category: gaming
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03.29.2011

Online shopping gets easier with Google's Commerce Search 3.0

Google has recently added improved functionality to its Commerce Search product, which promises to make online shopping easier for customers and more efficient for retailers.

The third generation Google Commerce Search adds a Google Instant-style search bar to participating stores, meaning it'll be so much quicker and easier for customers to find exactly what it is they're looking for.

There'll also be integration with Google Maps which can then provide customers with specific information about product availability within their local stores if they'd rather go pick the products up in person.

Online shopping has admittedly become a lot easier and more accessible than it was a few years ago, but it's still sometimes really confusing to make a purchase online with all the different options that are available and the often poor user experience.

Hopefully Google's improvements will make a big difference to the way we shop online and it's a good sign that brands such as L'Occitane and Forever21 are already signed up to become Google's retail partners.

Via The Google Blog.

Posted by Becca    Category: shopping
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03.29.2011

Use toothpaste to remove cell phone scratches

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If you're anything like me, when you first get a new cell phone you're so careful to keep it in a shiny case, buy an expensive screen protector and treat it with the utmost care and respect. Then, fast-forward a few weeks and you're sick of the case, the screen protector has already peeled off and you're throwing it into your purse along with your keys.

It's no surprise then that my iPhone is no longer scratch-free. But what can you really do about a scratched up cell phone other than pay a fortune to get the screen replaced?

Well according to Unplggd, you can use toothpaste.

Just apply the tiniest bit in a gentle circular motion over the worst scratches using a cotton swab. Then wipe the whole screen with a soft cloth that's slightly damp.

Oh and before you start scrubbing away (please don't!) make sure you're using toothpaste, not gel or foam and be careful not to use anything that claims to be whitening as it'll be far too harsh.

Don't blame us if your screen is still scratched but just smells minty fresh!

Via Unplggd.

Posted by Becca    Category: cell phones
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03.28.2011

Is Color just another photo sharing app?

color-app.jpg

There's been a lot of online hype about a new photo application called Color, which is set to revolutionize the way we use geo-location and mobile photography. However, these aren't the only reasons everyone's been talking about Color for the past week, it's garnered so much interest because the company has already raised $41 million in venture capital. Which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a pretty impressive sum considering it's only just launched!

Founded by Bill Nguyen, put simply Color is a social network for your phone based on sharing photographs depending on your proximity. So you'll be able to see the photos of those around you which have been taken using Color, whether it's your colleague sat beside you in a restaurant or the random guy on the other side of the room.

Obviously privacy is a key concern, with no settings to block certain people or restrict your content in anyway, it begs the question, do you really want everyone you pass to be able to see all of your photos?

I'm sure these will be issues the company has to either iron out or make crystal clear to anyone downloading the app so they don't get any unwanted attention from strangers.

But, privacy and security concerns aside, there's no denying the app, it's mission to connect people and the technology it employs is very interesting. Of course we've seen many of the app's main features before, like photo-sharing purely on your mobile with the likes of Instagram and location based sharing with Foursquare and Gowalla. However, the way Color melds these different ideas together really makes it stand out, along with its unique, innovative technology which somehow manages to use light and audio information in order to determine proximity. It all sounds fascinating and we can't wait to see how popular the app becomes and whether it really will have a big impact on the way we share, communicate and ultimately use our cell phones.

Color is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Image via the Apple store.

Posted by Becca    Category: cell phones
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03.28.2011

Warner Bros to release more movies via Facebook

Batman.jpg

Warner Bros is set to release five more movies on Facebook after it successfully released Batman: The Dark Knight via the social network earlier this month.

There are such huge volumes of people streaming or downloading video content straight from the Internet, it's about time the movie industry realized the potential of releasing films online, and what better platform to partner up with than Facebook.

According to Venture Beat, Facebook users in the US will soon be able to watch films by pressing a "watch now" icon which they can then pay for with Facebook Credits - Facebook's new social currency. They will then be able to "rent" the movie for up to 488 hours and are able to have full control during that time, pausing, rewinding and resuming when they like.

The movies that are being released include Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Inception and Yogi Bear.

Via Venture Beat.

Posted by Becca    Category: entertainment
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