Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.
Time’s technology editor-at-large Harry McCracken offers his take on OS agnosticism and the golf disconnect in our latest weekly inquiry session. A collection of responses to the rest of our tech questions resides on the other side of the break.
Filed under: Misc
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A Japanese robotics company creates real-life Transformers! The Seven Million Dollar Man (woman) comes to life! Microsoft slashes prices? (Not really!) and I… Video Rating: 4 / 5Related Posts:
Note: The entire graphic is super long (but nowhere near as long as you, stud), so I posted it after the jump to not make the homepage a mile long.
This is an infographic/timeline of famed thinker Stephen Hawking’s life. Fun fact: he was regarded as a good student — but not great. Bonus fact: he was diagnosed with his disease in 1962 and only given two or three years to live. That was 51 years ago. I vote they fire those doctors if they’re still practicing. Also, Stephen has three children and can get women pregnant WITH HIS MIND ALONE. Wear those tin-foil hats, ladies.
Hit the jump for the whole thing and pray it’s inspirational enough for you to get out there and do something with your life. Didn’t work for me thoughRelated Posts:
The Acer C7 Chromebook is now a bit more powerful. With the RAM doubled to 4GB, the latest flavor of Acer’s inexpensive but still tasty Chromebook should be able to handle a few more simultaneous tasks. Plus, the new model ships with a 6 cell battery able to last 6 hours rather than the 4 cell found in the original. Too bad Acer couldn’t manage these upgrades without inflating the price from a cute $ 199 to a slightly intimidating $ 279.
Acer previously noted that the C7 was a huge hit with the education crowd, once accounting for 5-10% of all of its US shipments.
The C7 is now more expensive than the Samsung Chromebook. For $ 249 the Samsung Chromebook is less expensive, thinner, and sports a longer battery life. However, the Acer still tops the Samsung in some areas.
The Samsung Chromebook only contains a 16GB hard drive where the Acer rocks a 320GB HDD. Plus, with an Intel Celeron 847, now backed with 4GB of RAM, the system is a touch more powerful than the Sammy’s ARM SoC — an important fact for those looking to put Linux on the little notebook.
The new C710-2055 is priced at $ 279 and initially headed only to Acer’s commercial market. At that price it’s sadly out of the impulse buy range, but still a good deal for a platform quickly gaining traction. The original C7 was a huge hit with the education crowd; a repeat performance is likely in the cards.
This is the custom D-20 engagement ring that Babelglyph had crafted to propose to her girlfriend after a Dungeons and Dragons gaming session. I was married before, have I told you that? Apparently I only rolled a two for ‘years before the strumpet leaves you for somebody else’. Best thing that ever happened to me.
When I hit on the d20 ring, I knew it would be perfect for her. She’s been a tabletop gamer for many years and she loves nerdy references. Plus, cheesy as it sounds, I do feel like I rolled a natural 20 when I started dating her.
That’s beautiful. When you feel like you rolled a 20 when you started dating someone you HOLD ON TO THAT PERSON. And if they ever ask you if you’d jump off a bridge if they did you better already be taking your shoes off.
Hit the jump for a couple more shots including the design sketch, chainmail ring box and a BONUS video of the actual proposal.Related Posts:
IT’S TERRIFYING, THANKS FOR ASKING. God why am I even friends with these people?
First we had a conceptual demonstration of Google’s smart-glasses, and now an actual one of what a user would experience wearing the things. Basically they’re glasses with a see-through mini screen in the far corner that accepts voice commands that begin with, “Okay, Glass…take a picture/take a video/take your pants off,” whatever. Based on the video demonstration it also looks like you’re in store for a way more exciting life, doing things like hot-air ballooning, trapeze swinging, stunt plane flying, being a ballerina, being an ice skater, snake handling, horse jumping, fire juggling, ice carving, being a runway model — you name it. “I don’t do any of those things.” Not yet you don’t, but I think this is gonna be a big year for you. “You said that last year.” But you didn’t have smart-glasses! “True.” Ahahahahahahah, oh God you believe me.
Hit the jump for the demo and prepare to not live a normal, regular person life anymore.Related Posts:
Editor’s note: Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research and blogs at Techspressive. Each column will look at crowdfunded products that have either met or missed their funding goals. Follow him on Twitter @rossrubin.
Last week’s Backed or Whacked covered light-related products that could be controlled by a smartphone. Beyond making their way in the dark, though, modern humans have many other basic needs — maintaining well-being, feeling secure, and enforcing as much control over their domain as possible while exerting as little effort as necessary. The ability to achieve them with the aid of a smartphone, though, has arrived relatively recently, and the ability to crowdfund them via Indiegogo as per all of this week’s projects, even more recently.
Backed: Amiigo. Amiigo, which is Spanish for “friend in good shape who spells poorly,” is a chevron-shaped shoe clip that monitors movement, enabling you to know precisely how many calories you’ve expended repeatedly lifting the Boston Creme donut until it has been reduced to sugary crumbs. Amiigo enters the increasingly crowded contest for survival of the fittest begun by early entrants such as Nike+ and Fitbit. However, the trendy joint between the hand and forearm is where all the wriststers hang out these days. These include the Nike+ Fuelband, Jawbone UP, and other forthcoming entrants such as CES debutante Fitbit Flex and the HAPIwatch from HAPI Labs. To enter that club, the Amiigo shoe clip neatly docks into a wrist strap.
What the Salt Lake City-based team is counting on to set Amiigo apart from these rivals is more intelligence regarding the specific type of activity you’re doing. The idea of diving deeper into the nature of your exertion has been previously espoused by the developers of the $ 199 Basis, which employs fancy sensors to monitor the body’s reaction to exercise beyond motion detection. Amiigo, which has more than tripled its $ 90,000 funding goal with about 25 days left in its campaign, dispenses with the extra hardware and is due to ship to Indiegogo backers in June for about $ 99.
Backed: iSmartAlarm. ADT has run a legitimate business securing people’s homes and businesses. Recently, however, bigger bosses like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have told their capos that they want into the protection racket, see? Extracting a monthly fee for peace of mind, though, has heretofore taken place mostly within the customer base of those in multi-room dwellings. There have been a few alternative approaches, though, like the apartment-friendly but nonetheless professionally monitored SimpleSafe system.
For those who are comfortable handling alarms — false and otherwise — themselves, though, Raymond Meng’s team proposes iSmartAlarm, which includes a base station/siren reminiscent of the old Power Mac G4 Cube. iSmartAlarm, set to ship in April and starting with a basic package of only $ 79 with no monthly fees, has big plans for expansion. The company eventually seeks to include features such as sprinkler controls and GPS pet trackers.
For now, though, it is starting off with the basics — window/door-open sensors, motion sensors and, most importantly, that inert sign that scares away the bad guys. Should brazen intruders disregard the latter, the system can initiate taking successive photos of the perp and will send alerts to the smartphone owned by you or the vigilante of your choosing. iSmartAlarm’s campaign has been plodding along with over $ 30,000 raised of its $ 50,000 target with about 20 days to go.
Backed: Tethercell. Now that the crowdfunding world has provided the gear to convince you of your health and safety, it’s time to take it easy. Perhaps you want to turn on that FM radio on the porch a few feet away, but the thought of leaning forward displeases you. Debuting at CES along with the ultra-thin, time-telling bangle CST-01 that a future Backed or Whacked will discuss in more depth, the Tethercell may be your only hope.
Designed by aerospace engineers, the cylindrical device stuffs a Bluetooth radio into a AA battery shell, leaving enough room in the cavity to insert a AAA battery. You give up some device stamina, but gain the ability to remotely enable and disable all kinds of products either manually or according to a schedule. Tethercell can also alert you when the AA batteries in a device are running low.
Adding Bluetooth to products never intended to be controlled by a smartphone creates a wonderful twist on backward compatibility. While a shrinking number of devices that you might want to activate remotely take standard cells these days, the campaign’s Indiegogo page depicts small lamps, radios and baby monitors as examples. As Tethercell also works with some videogame controllers and many toys, the non-confrontational parent wishing for their kids to turn that damn thing off and pick up a book already can still pick one up for only $ 35 (although pairs are also proving popular). Recently charged above 47 percent of its $ 59,000 goal capacity, the Tethercell campaign has about 20 days’ worth of juice left.
CES hasn’t even really started yet, but already some prevailing themes of the show have begun to emerge — I’m talking about tech that helps tie together disparate systems in your home into a a single, mobile-friendly experience. LG has already shown off its vision, complete with NFC-enabled ovens and washing machines that send diagnostic information to your smartphone, but AT&T’s Digital Life takes things in a different direction.
Put simply, Digital Life is equal parts home automation and security system, with users able to trick out their domiciles with cameras, appliance/lighting controls, door locks, and even thermostats. AT&T is gearing up to offer these devices in preset packages catered to people’s specific needs. A water package, for instance, is geared toward detecting moisture and controlling water flow should a leak be detected, while the energy package focuses mostly on remotely controlling lights and appliances. While the initial setup has to be performed by a third-party installer, users can later customize their own home load-outs by adding and subtracting components as needed.
Sure it’s a slightly kooky move to see from a company that most people equate with phone service, but the biggest upshot here? Using the Digital Life system doesn’t actually require users to own an AT&T phone/contract or broadband plan. As Jon Fingas at Engadget notes, it’s a strictly “go-between” service. AT&T expects to roll out its Digital Life system to eight initial markets in March, with up to another 50 being prepped for launch by the end of the year.
These are ways of spending time after school. You can join sport and cultural clubs. With an overall Metacritic score of 90 and a multitude of “Editor’s Choice” and “Best Of” awards, Persona 4 stands as one of the finest games ever made, delivering many dozens of hours of enthralling storytelling, immensely satisfying combat, intricate party management, and addicting demon collection and customization. Its brilliantly realized story–which features a memorable cast of personalities with whom the player can forge and strengthen pivotal bonds called “social links”–combined with the game’s breathtaking visual and aural design, are part of an overall package that is on almost every genre fan’s list of all-time favorites. Now, Persona 4 Golden for PlayStation Vita offers an enhanced and expanded portable version of the highly acclaimed original! Visuals have been beautifully remastered to take advantage of the PS Vita’s crisp, vibrant 5″ OLED display. The game’s aural presentation is better than ever, with 1.5 times the voiced dialogue of the original release. A new online dungeon rescue feature allows users to call on other players for assistance when they are about to die in the TV world. Persona 4 Golden is also overflowing with new content: new Personas to collect; new story events along with an all-new character; stunning new anime cutscenes, which include a new opening animation with a new song from master composer Shoji Meguro; a host of fan suggested tweaks and …Related Posts: