Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Like All Their Other Services, Google Voice Is Only Around to Collect Our Data [Google]

When Google launched their Voice service a couple of years ago, people made a big deal about what their move into the telecom world meant. In a print-only interview with New Scientist Peter Norvig, Google's head of research, said the main reason they launched the service was so they could better learn how to transcribe human voice to text. More »


Android apps on PlayBook eyes-on (video)

We knew it was coming, but today at BlackBerry World 2011 we were treated to a demo of Android apps running natively on the PlayBook. The end result isn't too far removed from what we saw with Myriad's Alien Dalvik at Mobile World Congress. Android's menu and home buttons are emulated using the standard PlayBook gestures, and the back button is replaced with an on-screen softkey. Of course, you'll have to visit App World to download Android apps for the PlayBook when the Android Player (as it's called) finally becomes available. And speaking of Android apps, the wildly popular Angry Birds is coming to the PlayBook as a native game - no cross-platform trickery required.

Android apps on PlayBook eyes-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 03 May 2011 12:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Amateur Astrophotographer Creates Largest True-Color Night Sky Panorama [Photography]

One day, Nick Risinger, a 28-year-old marketing director from Seattle, felt like he needed a change. So he quit his job, packed up six professional astronomical cameras, and hiked 60,000 miles through western United States and South Africa, taking 37,000 color pictures of the night sky. More »


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

This is the new New York City taxi [Taxis]

The city of New York will choose Nissan as the supplier for the next generation of taxi cabs, giving the Japanese automaker an exclusive 10-year contract for the city's fleet of 13,200 yellow people haulers. UPDATE More »


RIM Sold 150 Million Phones In 12 Years, 15 Million Last Quarter

I don't often like to post "numbers" news since we're hardware guys, but this particular stat sticks out: Mike Lazaridis just reported that BlackBerry sold 150 million phones in the past 12 years and sold 15 million last quarter. To put this into perspective, Nokia shipped 108.5 million mobile devices in Q1 2011 while AT&T alone sold 3.6 million iPhones last quarter. Like the baby bear's bowl of porridge, RIM isn't too hot nor is it too cold. Some would say, in fact, that those sales are just right or, barring that, tepid.


Boomshine is a soothing-yet-frustrating time waster

One click; just one single well-aimed click. That's all you get in Boomshine.

That single click triggers a chain reaction; circles start exploding, and other circles colliding with the shockwaves explode as well, creating their own shockwaves, which then catch other circles.

It's been done before, yes, but this one is a great iteration. The soundtrack is mellow, with lots of piano and some nice percussion (not electronic - it sounds like drums).

At each level you need to make a certain number of circles explode to go on to the next level. I got up to level 12, where you get 60 circles and need to make 55 of them explode. And then I kept trying and trying, but simply couldn't get it. I did get to 54 circles a couple of times, but as they say, you don't get points for trying.

There's no time limit, so you can carefully study the pattern of motion and place your click at the exact right place to create the best chain reaction. I've found that clicking near the middle of the screen works quite well, especially if the balls are slowly moving in that direction. By the time the first shockwave dies off, the oncoming balls usually hit it and the chain reaction continues.

What level did you reach? Screenshots please!

Boomshine is a soothing-yet-frustrating time waster originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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China joins Better Place on the battery-swapping bandwagon

EV's are great for getting around in a green-conscious way, but plug-in people must practice patience while waiting hours to juice up their ride. Better Place's battery swapping stations offer much faster EV refueling, which is why China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG) is betting big on the technology. The Chinese utility giant has teamed up with Guangzhou's municipal government and Better Place to build a power pack exchange depot and an EV education center. With exhibits, meeting rooms, and EVs to test drive, the education center aims to help persuade administrative officials, captains of industry, and the general populace to jump on the electric car bandwagon. In addition, Ghuangzhou's government will "encourage local car manufacturers" to create autos with switchable batteries and "promote" EV adoption in taxis and state vehicles -- all of which seems likely to happen post-haste, 'cause what the Chinese government wants, the Chinese government gets.

Continue reading China joins Better Place on the battery-swapping bandwagon

China joins Better Place on the battery-swapping bandwagon originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 02 May 2011 21:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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