Pros have long had access to Google Maps Engine if they need to highlight anything from local stores to natural resources. Today, Google is catering to the rest of us would-be cartographers with a beta for Google Maps Engine Lite. The web service lets everyday users draw objects and import locations for their own reference, whether it’s plotting favorite hiking trails or pinpointing worthwhile places on an upcoming vacation. Map makers can stylize the maps and share them with others, if they like — the Lite label mostly limits users to “small” spreadsheet imports and a maximum of three data sets for comparisons. As long as you can live within those prescribed boundaries, you can try the slimmed down engine right now.
Via: Google Lat Long Blog
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I hate to have two LEGO related posts only separated by a single other article, but you know what they say: when life hands you lemons, you squeeze that shit into a fresh cut and EMBRACE THE PAIN. So officially licensed LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sets are coming out next year. Related: I will probably be perpetually broke all of 2013. Unrelated: the dog just busted ass so bad I had to do a double take to make sure there weren’t any solids on the couch.
Hit the jump for worthwhile shots of some of the planned minifigs and playsets.
We’d heard that the International Telecommunication Union was close to approving Super Hi-Vision as an Ultra High Definition TV standard, and the UN agency hasn’t waited long to confirm the rumors. The recommendation to use NHK’s 7,680 x 4,320 format has gone unopposed and should define the parameters for incredibly detailed 8K video worldwide. This shouldn’t lead anyone to return that 4K TV just yet — once again, it’s important to remember that NHK still won’t start any kind of wider testing until 2020. That’s also assuming that the first 8K sets are down to Earth instead of the incredibly expensive 145-inch variety.
There have been more than a few solar power efficiency records set in the past few months, let alone years. What makes IBM, DelSolar, Solar Frontier and Tokyo Ohka Kogyo think they can just waltz in and claim a record of their own? By using more commonplace elements in the periodic table, that’s how. The partnership’s new photovoltaic cell based on copper, zinc and tin (CZTS for short) can convert light rays to electric power with a 11.1 percent efficiency rate — still nothing to upset traditional silicon power, but a large 10 percent more efficient than anything else in the class. In its early form, CZTS can already be manufactured through ink printing and could be produced in quantities equivalent to about 500 gigawatts of power per year, or five times more than some of the next-closest alternatives. The group wants to improve CZTS’ efficiency over the course of the next several years, ideally reaching the point where it’s useful as a truly cheap, ubiquitous source of power. We’re looking forward to the day when there’s a little slice of solar energy in just about everything, hopefully including a few more hybrid cars and private aircraft.
Filed under: Science
In an effort to recreate the fusion reaction that occurs in start formation, the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, CA has been building up to some extremely powerful laser shots. Back in March, researchers fired off 411 terawatts, and we know that kind of power doesn’t come cheap. NIF’s latest test shot, fired July 5th, set a new record with 192 lasers producing more than 500 trillion watts of peak power and 1.85 MJ of ultraviolet laser light. Mind you, that’s more than a thousand times more energy than the United States uses at any given moment, not to mention a hundred times more power than other lasers can fire consistently. More record-setting shots are sure to come, and in addition to enabling research on harnessing nuclear fusion, NIF’s mega-lasers are helping inform the design of new laser facilities being built in China, Japan, Russia, France and the UK.
Filed under: Science
Speed and cars go together like jam and sandwiches. Relatively speaking, electric vehicles, have still been slicing the loaf, while their fossil-fueled cousins slather on the thick, fruity speed. Things are changing though, as eloquently demonstrated by Drayson Racing at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The EV set a new race record for an electric machine, coming in at 53.91 seconds on its second run. So, while the 850 horsepower B12/69EV came 11th overall, it does show that the capabilities of the emission-less engines are making ground. With the recent record at the Nürburgring also tumbling, perhaps it’s time to reassess your motoring lunch bag.
Question by : What sets apart the motorola Xoom from the Ipad and all other tablet PC’s?
Answer by Google is Betterthe Xoom runs android 3.0 – an Os designed completely for tablets
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Raspberry Pi‘s journey to reach owners has been a lengthy one, but Greg Holloway is preparing to send his board on a longer voyage — one across the Atlantic. Nestled inside a tupperware tub, the RaspberryPi is the brains of FishPi, an autonomous vessel guided by GPS and a compass that measures 20 inches from bow to stern. Currently in proof-of-concept form, the craft uses a 40 mm rotating propeller and draws juice from batteries powered by a 130 watt solar panel. Producing kits for students, enthusiasts and professionals is the goal of the project, but testing and development are still on the docket. While the Linux-laden launch isn’t ready for the high seas quite yet, you can sail to the source for the technical breakdown or check it out at the Nottingham Hackspace Raspberry Jam next month.
LG revealed two Google-loaded HDTVs at CES, but never gave us prices or told us when these models might dangle their skinny bezels in stores. In briefings at Google last week, we heard that the 47-incher (47G2) and 55-incher (55G2) would sell for $ 1699 and $ 2299 respectively. Now, to complete the jigsaw, Reuters has quoted senior LG exec Ro Seogho as saying that the first Google TVs will ship to the US on May 21st. In the meantime, check out our hands-on from Las Vegas, because LG’s new QWERTY-equipped Magic Motion remote is especially enticing.
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Y Combinator might be best known for software plays like Dropbox and Airbnb. But it’s also harbored a few hardware companies, notably the one that blew out Kickstarter funding records with Pebble Watch this month.
There’s actually one more waiting in the wings.
Per Vices is a startup from the latest class that’s looking to disrupt how wireless communications are sent. They’ve built a device called Phi that can interact with any wireless or radio signal. It’s a transceiver that can demodulate and process signal data up to 4 Gigahertz.
In plain English, that means one of Per Vices’ devices can re-route your cell phone calls through your landline connection, if for example you have bad 3G service in your house. In theory, that means you could set up a decentralized wireless network where mobile devices and desktops are sending communications to each other instead of one where all mobile phones have to send and receive signals from carrier-operated cell phone towers. It’s a critical issue the industry needs to solve as data-hogging mobile subscribers eat into the profit margins of the carriers.
For now, however, the company is focusing on the hacker and hobbyist market as the device is a PCI card that supports Linux machines. (So yes, that limits the current potential audience size).
However, the longer-term goal is to build something that’s both accessible and affordable to the mainstream market. On their site, Phi retails for $ 666 for just the card or $ 750 with antennas, but the cost of producing it (as with many interesting hardware products) is getting lower every year. Comparable products from rivals like Ettus Research sell for $ 1,300 or higher.
They’ve hacked a few demos with the product, including one where you can pick-up HDTV transmissions and watch shows on your phone or call a walkie talkie using your mobile phone. They’re hoping that hackers will find even more interesting ways of using the Phi, like how some developers figured out how to subvert Microsoft’s Kinect.
Per Vices founders, Victor Wollesen and Yi Yao, are a physicist and an electrical engineer who used to work in the defense industry. But sales cycles there are endlessly long, so going the consumer route promises a faster time to market.