If you work for Motorola, cover your ears and say “Blur Blur Blur Blur” at the top of your lungs over and over again for the duration of this post, because what we’re about to present is an unholy marriage the likes of which neither Sanjay Jha nor Peter Chou ever intended. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of a version of Sense finding its way onto Motorola hardware, but developer “thegeektern” over on AllDroid has posted a bunch of video and stills claiming to have ported an HTC Desire’s (née Bravo’s) Sense-enabled firmware to Moto’s beast — and what’s more, he’s got some footage of it running Flash. Bear in mind that the speed at which Flash is running here looks downright painful — and we fully expect official Flash support on the Droid later this year anyhow — but anyone conflicted between the Droid’s muscular lines and HTC’s lovely skin might want to keep an eye on this project. It’s still very early in development, but the most important part of the port has already been finished: it shows the proper Droid logo on startup. Follow the break for video.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Continue reading HTC Desire’s Sense UI ported to Droid; HTC, Motorola cringe
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The truth is that cats will make themselves comfortable anywhere. On a bed of coals, or atop Mount Doom, or hurtling through space at 99% of the speed of light, a cat will somehow find a way to curl up and doze off. So the idea of including a special place for your cat to sleep underneath a perfectly good cat bed (in this case a glass coffee table) seems redundant. But let’s be honest — are you going to let a little redundancy keep you from buying a cat hammock?
Alas, like most things worth having, the cat hammock is not real. Sure, there’s one somewhere in Japanese designer Case-Real’s warehouse, but I don’t think they’re going to let you have it.
I think I’m beginning to fall in love with Case-Real — they also designed this stunning amplifier from a few months back. Check out the other stuff on their site; maybe we can convince them to start getting it manufactured.
[via 1designperday and Geekologie]
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We’ve had only tantalizingly brief (or is it briefly tantalizing?) chances to see LG’s glorious OLED television, but each and every time it’s left us with the feeling that our lives are poorer for not having one in our homes. Sure, that says as much about our tech addiction as it does about the 3mm-thick displays, but at least the deep-pocketed among us won’t have to wait too much longer to sate the need for 10,000,000:1 contrast ratios and 0.001ms response times. LG has announced it’ll be bringing it’s 15-inch OLED panel to Europe this May (to be swiftly followed by summer availability in the US) with a hefty MSRP sticker of €1,999 ($2,725) for the Austrian market. Nobody ever said the cutting edge was gonna be a cheap place to live.
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The internet has revolutionized nearly every form of media, and music is no exception. This week we look at the five most popular music streaming services to see how people are getting their music fix.
Photo by CarbonNYC.
Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite music streaming services, and now we’re back with the top five contenders. Read on to learn about the services and then cast your vote in our poll at the end.Grooveshark (Web-based, Free)
When you’re ready to listen to some tunes online, Grooveshark allows you to jump right in. Unlike many services that require a subscription to use, Grooveshark lets you search for music and build a playlist as soon as the site loads. If you want to save the playlist, however, and access other session enhancing features like flagging songs to enable the music suggestion service, you’ll need an account. Aside from manually building a playlist, you can also listen to Grooveshark Radio, their suggestion engine. One of Grooveshark’s most unique features is that if you can’t find a song or artist you love, you can upload the music from your own collection to build the Grooveshark database.Spotify (Windows/Mac/Mobile/Web-based; Basic: Free/Premium: €9.99 month)
First the bad news about Spotify: as of this writing, 02/28/2010, Spotify isn’t available in the U.S. due to various legal issues and licensing requirements. The good news is that Spotify is an incredible music service, and we’re always hearing whispers that it’ll soon be available in stateside. You can collaborate on and easily share playlists using the service—as easily as you share a link to a YouTube video for comparison’s sake. A premium account adds more features, like commercial-free listening or the ability to listen to your playlists on your mobile phone. Premium service also enables offline mode for local storage of music, higher quality streaming, and travel access so should you visit a country like the U.S., where Spotify isn’t available yet, you can still enjoy it.Pandora (Web-based; Basic: Free/Premium: $36 per year)
Pandora is the easy-to-use front end for the massive database of attributes generated by the Music Genome Project. The Music Genome Project analyzes songs with up to 400 different attributes so when you tell Pandora “Play me something like the song Punkrocker by The Teddy Bears featuring Iggy Pop” it doesn’t just return a song that people who liked “Punkrocker” also liked—it returns a song that is also “genetically” related to your suggestion. Pandora may not have the most bells and whistles of the music sharing services rounded up today, but the power of the Music Genome Project and ease of which you can create and rate personalized streaming radio stations has won Pandora many fans. Upgrading from free to premium service allows you to stream more than 40 hours a month, gives you access to a dedicated desktop client, and increases the quality of your audio stream.Last.fm (Web-based/iPhone, Basic: Free/Premium: $3 per month)
Last.fm is another service that not only streams music but generates suggestions for new music based on what you like. In addition to building playlists and enjoying tunes on the web, you can “scrobble” your own music collection to Last.fm—which basically means you let Last.fm track the songs you’re listening to and add them to your Last.fm profile, allowing you to both listen to them and use them to increase the scope of Last.fm’s suggestion engine for better personalized picks. In addition to listening to streaming radio and building personalized stations, Last.fm also allows direct music download—when authorized by the copyright holder—so you can expand your personal collection as you listen.Lala (Web-based, Free with per-song fees)
Lala’s claim to fame is the ease in which you can listen to both your own music over the web and purchase new music inexpensively. Lala has a database 8 million songs that you can listen to once for free, purchase for online play for $0.10, or buy as a DRM-free MP3 for $0.79. If you have a song in your personal collection—on your computer at home—you can add it to the Lala database to allow unlimited play without paying a fee. Lala doesn’t sport a hefty music recommendation engine like some of the other contenders in the Hive Five—although we didn’t find the one they have lacking—but instead focuses more strongly on connections between people to drive music suggestion. As a result Lala supports easy rating and playlist sharing with friends to encourage organic music discovery.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the top contenders for champion of the golden earphones, it’s time to cast your vote in the poll below to decide the winner:
Which Music Streaming Service Is Best?polls
Have a favorite that didn’t get a nod? Have a creative way to use one of the Hive Five nominees above? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
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Last week we posted an eBay auction where the seller—an ex-employee of Apple—was selling a broken step from the Fifth Ave New York Apple store. Threatened with legal action, he was forced to remove it. Here’s his story.
Hi. Iʼm Mark Burstiner. I host a show called The Circuit. Iʼm an all around geek, Iʼm a project manager on a freelance basis, and I consult in digital strategy. I want to talk to you about a story thatʼs still unfolding.
It may seem trite, but for me, itʼs about the principle at this point. I also want to thank Gizmodo for taking this story, and allowing me to publish it in my own words. Multi billion dollar corporations should not be able to bully an innocent ex-employee into cooperation, especially when the corporations are at fault.
A year and a half ago, I was an Apple employee at the Fifth Ave flagship store. In that time, there was a silly, unfortunate accident. A woman came down the magnificent spiral staircase, and dropped a Snapple bottle. Yes, a Snapple bottle. After bouncing once or twice, the bottle severely cracked one of the steps. Since these steps are so well engineered, the structural integrity of the step wasn’t compromised, but it was certainly a cosmetic problem. Later that month, four or five very big men came to replace the step with a new one. After they were finished, and the steps that were replaced were out on the curb, I left the store. Off the clock and in civilian clothes, I asked the contractors who were there on behalf of Seele, the manufacturer, if I could have a step. “It could be a collectible some day,” I said. They, of course, saw no problem with it, and even collectively helped me lift it into a vehicle. That is the story of how I came to be in possession of a step from the spiral staircase at Apple Fifth Ave.
Fast forward to six days ago, February 20, 2010. Iʼve been cleaning up my apartment, because Iʼm going to be moving soon, and I realized I really didn’t want to move (for the third time) with this step. It should be about time I put it up on eBay, see if anybody wants it and see if I canʼt make some cash to help with moving at the same time. That makes sense, right? I mean people end up with rare memorabilia all the time. After all, I did procure it through totally legitimate means. I asked for permission from the person whoʼs possession it was in. They helped me lift it into the vehicle for chrissakes. We should be all hunky dory, right? Wrong.
The very next day, the eBay posting got a lot of press, and it even ended up here on the Giz. Not 24 hours later, the stair was up to $255, dozens of eBay questions, and 200+ watchers with 9 days to go on the auction. Things were looking good until I was reached out to by a Seele VP. This gentleman informed me that Apple has caught wind of this and is quite unhappy. He requested I remove the eBay listing so that we may work this out when we both had more time. Of course, Iʼm a reasonable guy, so I complied immediately.
Later that same day, we spoke again. He assured me he was doing me a favor by reaching out to me and requesting that I remove the posting and return the glass step. He repeatedly made the point that if I complied that he would be so kind as so email Apple and tell them Iʼve been cooperative. “Oh, how magnanimous of you,” I thought to myself. As tempting as it might be to relinquish what is now my property, I passed on the offer.
The VP continuously threatened me with “thousands of dollars in legal fees” because both Seele and Apple would not hesitate to take legal action. Even after repeated explanations of how I came into possession of the step, he continued to mitigate for Apple and attempt to make the point that it was Appleʼs position that since I was on Apple payroll as an employee (part-time, non-exempt, off the clock, out of uniform), that requesting the step was on par with giving a direct order to the contractor. That, if you will pardon my language, is bullshit. I donʼt buy it. He proceeded to assure me that Apple would take the position that anything that began in its stores is Appleʼs property. Frankly, Apple can take any stance they like, it doesn’t change the facts.
This man then attempted to convince me that if I were to move forward with not relinquishing the step, that it would be my responsibility in a court of law to prove that I had not stolen it. This, again, is bullshit. In the United States, we are innocent until proven guilty. If Apple would like to attempt to prove that I managed to wrestle a 250lb step from the five very large men handling it, then they are on the good drugs, and I want to know where I can get some.
What this sounds like to me is Seele trying to save face because Apple is furious that they were irresponsible enough to relinquish ownership of the tread. Though it may be embarrassing for both corporations, it may simply be a lesson learned at a high price. Let me put it this way: If you caught a foul ball at a World Series game, got it signed by a player, received a high five from the security guard on the way out of the stadium, and went home, that ball is now yours, right? It started as one entityʼs property, and through a series of consensual transactions, it ended up in your hands. Now, letʼs say a year and a half later, the player who signed it is huge, and you decide to put it up for auction. If the MLB reached out to you and said, “Hey! No way, buddy. That was OURS. Hand it over!” Guess what? That wouldn’t fly.
The next day, we spoke once more over the phone. Again, I heard the same points from the man, but this time I did not take a passive approach. I made it quite clear that if he wanted the step, heʼs more than welcome to purchase it from me, or participate in the eBay auction. He made me an offer lower than the most recent bid on the auction, and I declined. At this point, Iʼve lost time and money due to dealing with this. Not to mention, now that the step has seen some press, the demand is growing. (Iʼve been receiving eBay messages all the way up until this morning.) He assured me if I did not comply, my information would be forwarded to Apple, and the conversation ended.
As far as Iʼm aware, I have done nothing illegal. I have not stolen. I have not deceived in any way. The step is not confidential, and it is not IP. The step is the very same that any New Yorker could see by walking into Apple Fifth Ave. The only thing I am guilty of is taking the risk of throwing out my back through having to move the step multiple times. I saw an opportunity, I asked for permission, received it, and proceeded. I wonʼt allow a major corporation to bully me into a corner. At the time of this posting, it has been seven full days since I put the listing up, and I havenʼt heard from Apple directly a single time. I have every right to sell my property, and I plan to do so.
Hereʼs what Iʼm going to do. Iʼve put the tread back up for auction, but have shortened the auction period from 10 days to 3, starting at the same $200 price point and Iʼm dropping the buy-it-now option. I just want to get rid of this thing. If it sells for a lot, great. If it sells for a little, whatever. Either way, Iʼll keep you posted if I hear from Apple or on any other developments.
I realize this has been long-winded, but it was important to me to share this. I just donʼt think itʼs right for corporations to take cases that might otherwise be passed off as trivial and turn them into a week-long ordeal, all for the sake of paranoia. If youʼve read through all this, thank you. I appreciate your attention and time.
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Ipad is expected to sell between 3 to 4 million units by many people. However, some optimistic projections hit the 6 million mark.
How successful do you think the Ipad will be? How many units will it sell in the first year?
I expect the high end of projections: between 4 and 6 million.
Apple did a terrific job with the starting price point of 499. In addition, the ipad can be purchased without any monthly data plan. The combination of a low price and the option to bypass a monthly data…
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I want to know what kind of science is required to create and LED – for example, all the scientists at sony and other large companies, where do they come from?
In reality, i’d love to talk to one of these people.
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If you’re a student at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) who is left gasping for breath when forced to drag yourself away from your studies to get a snack, rejoice! A CMU team has created a robot that is designed to deliver snacks to you. But the appropriately named Snackbot is far more than a vending machine on wheels. It is designed to serve as a research platform for the study of long-term Human-Robot Interaction and packs a healthy helping of technological goodies, including a laser navigation system, sonar sensors and a stereo vision camera for eyes…
Tags: autonomous, Behavior, Interactive, navigation, Research, Robot, Sensors, University
- Brown University develops autonomous, gesture-following robot
- Scientists developing intelligent pipe-inspection robot
- Evolution Robotics unveils New ER2 Personal Robot
- Robotic surgeon could remove shrapnel on battlefield
- TMSUK sends a robot to do the shopping
- The Care-O-bot 3 – always at your service
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Porn has been around forever. Sometimes celebrated, sometimes persecuted, porn has gone through various levels of social acceptance throughout history. A cyclical porn journey, as adult content becomes too pervasive and socially acceptable, there is always an effort by government and social groups to squash it. In recent news, Apple’s purge of the app store caused widespread disappointment when even the tamest sexy apps were removed. In similar news, Wal-Mart bought out video on demand company VUDU and made the decision to completely block the sale of anything pornographic – even if you’ve already bought the video, soon it will not be viewable. With adult content purveyors targeting technology like smartphone applications and video on demand as part of the constant struggle to monetize porno, could this mass effort to purge the world of porn seriously put a damper on porn industry profits?
Let’s go back, way back to the 1800s. Early porn was shared in the form of nudie postcards that could be purchased from the local optician (weird, yes), instrument maker, or art dealers. As these postcards became more and more popular, there was a huge movement to get rid of them. Although the masses loved this form of porn (sales were astronomical), the few elite that found it offensive had the power to end it. In 1802 Britain had a specific government task force whose sole purpose was to fight porn and the U.S. government took measure to remove any pornographic pictures circulated through the mail. This story epitomizes the power struggle between the majority of porn lovers and the minority of porn haters and their ability to regulate it.
With sexy iPhone applications dominating best-seller lists and porn sites like RedTube and Pornhub listed as part of the top websites on the Internet, there is clearly a large demand for adult content. If people are demanding adult content, why are government groups and corporations like Apple, VUDU, and Google trying to block it? Many ad networks including Google won’t even advertise on sites that have been deemed adult. Some say it’s to maintain a certain type of branding image, others say it’s simply an issues or being prude. In a society where a sex tape makes a career (cough cough Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian), and where everyone from school kids to public figures like John Edwards and the cast members of the Bachelor are involved in some sort of sex scandal, could this porn persecution be in response to a complete loss of control? We see Lindsay Lohan’s side boob on E! every night, but the entire state of New York won’t stock the new issue of Q magazine because it shows the bottom half of Lady GaGa’s breast? Hell, even the infamous Janet Jackson Superbowl “wardrobe malfunction” is back in court this week to decide whether the $550,000 fine is a sufficient punishment for the broadcasters who aired the footage. Perhaps corporations and government regulators are attempting to regain control in a world where sending nude text messages has become endemic and sex tapes are the norm. From a corporate standpoint, perhaps pulling sexy apps and banning on demand porn is an attempt to distance their brand name from such scandals.
The problem that the adult industry faces with Apple and VUDU’s porn purge comes in the form of profits. Smartphone applications and video on demand have been targeted by the adult industry as the future of the porn industry. In a world where free content outweighs the amount of purchased content, tapping into new technology for profit making purposes is essential to keep the adult industry afloat. Even if corporations and policy makers try to squelch it, porn is an industry based on demand. As long as there is a demand, porn will always be around. Porn will always exist in one form or another, but without profits, the quality will clearly suffer. And we don’t want that!
Guest columnist Lydia Leavitt writes about sex and, oddly enough, social media. For more information on the latest intimate technology, check out 69adget.com.
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