Apple’s most highly sophisticated OS yet? Cupertino would have you think so, but as with any major update, there have been plenty of quirks to work through in the months following the introduction of Lion. For those of you who’ve made the 0.2 leap from 10.6.8 (or from further back, actually), we’re interested in learning how your overall experience has been. A good move? Still regretting it? What apps have broken on you? Has your workflow changed at all? Do you prefer “natural” scrolling? How would you tweak Lion if given the chance? What apps would you overhaul? What factory settings would you alter? Carefully considered thoughts are welcome in comments below.
How would you change Apple’s OS X 10.7 (Lion)? originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 22:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, os x
, os x lion
Another day, another augur of doom for humanity — iCub
has been spotted in the wilds of the IROS Expo in San Francisco. The cute (in a Demon Seed
sorta way) robot is designed to replicate the trial-and-error learning process of a three year-old. We’ve already seen it learning how to speak
and shoot arrows
, and now it wants to show off it’s… erm, recently improved crawling abilities. Head down after the break and you can see it slowly navigating the dangerous carpets of the convention floor. That’s iCub, SkyNET drones
, Cyborg Rats
and Robotic Bulls
all in the last month. Does anyone else think the Robopocalpyse
will hit before Christmas?
Continue reading iCub crawls closer toward the Robopocalypse (video)
iCub crawls closer toward the Robopocalypse (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Oct 2011 11:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, iros expo
Welcome to Growing Up Geek, an ongoing feature where we take a look back at our youth and tell stories of growing up to be the nerds that we are. Today we have our very own Contributing Editor, Jesse Hicks.
I’ve never been one for nostalgia, but if I I had to choose a Proustian element from my geeky childhood — a singular sense-memory that evokes a whole constellation of related feelings — I’d pick the eerie keening of a 28.8 modem. That high, quavering sound, for me, conjurs up the earliest days of my geekdom, when computers were slow, landlines were king and the internet was young.
I was twelve when my family got our first computer: a 486DX that first appeared without a hard drive. My mom had found a great deal at a computer show…or so it had seemed. That missing 120MB hard drive, as you may have guessed, severely limited functionality. But once that problem was remedied, I was off and running with DOS and XTree, happily deleting essential system files. The learning process had begun.
Continue reading Growing Up Geek: Jesse Hicks
Growing Up Geek: Jesse Hicks originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 16:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, good old days
, growing up geek
In a small victory for gamers and TV junkies everywhere, scientists found that viewing 2D images helped create long-term memories, meaning that visual media can help your learn. To form lasting memories, nerve cells normally experience “long-term potentiation” and “long-term depression” — both essential for learning. Researchers found that long-term depression was achieved when they let rats actively wander around a new environment. When they replaced the explorable area with a computer screen, the same memory-making phenomenon still occurred. The study’s conclusion? Video games and TV shows can help us learn, similarly to traditional non-electronic methods. Of course, there are concerns that visual media overload could lead to shorter attention spans, interfere with lessons taught at school and… oh look! A cat! Check out the full findings by hitting the source link below.
Scientists prove that active exploration isn’t required to create memories, +1 for 2D learning originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 27 Sep 2011 04:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Say hello to the Magnetic Cello, the perfect companion to your magnetic drum kit
. Crafted by college student David Levi (AKA “Magnetovore”), the instrument vaguely
represents a traditional cello in structure, but the similarities pretty much end right there. To play it, for example, musicians use not a horsehair bow, but a magnetic rod that produces a voltage within an attached coil (the “bridge,” in this case). Its “strings,” meanwhile, consist of resistive ribbons connected to a voltage-controlled oscillator, allowing users to manipulate volume with the magnet-bow. The result sounds surprisingly cello-like, though Levi says he’s still tinkering with its tone and playability. Waltz past the break to see the beast in action for yourself, or find more details in Levi’s provisional patent application at the link below.
Continue reading Magnetic Cello almost makes it cool to play the cello (video)
Magnetic Cello almost makes it cool to play the cello (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 24 Sep 2011 04:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, magnetic rod
, resistive ribbon sensor
If you thought hitting up the local library was far too Web 1.0 for your avant-garde lifestyle, you may want to check out the Eau Claire public library in Wisconsin — it’s not only lending books, but also, iPads. Each one of the 44 available tablets will be stuffed to the digital gills with 1,000 books, ten audiobooks and various apps for your reading (or, not reading) pleasure. Although other houses of learning have launched similar programs, this is the first of note to go with Apple slates for its e-reading experiment. If you’re the proud owner of a library card and have less than $10 in fines, you too can get in line for one of the loaners. We wonder, does the old saying “you break it, you buy it” apply here?
Wisconsin library loans iPads for at home e-reading originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 23 Sep 2011 00:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, e books
, e reader
, ipad 2
, tablet pc
LeVar Burton may best be known ’round these parts for his role in Star Trek, but he’ll soon be known as the guy who made childhood reading relevant again. It wasn’t that long ago that today’s up-and-coming adults were soaking up all sorts of useful knowledge during their summers, glued to a PBS station and doing their darndest to climb inside of mum’s CRT television. And now, their kids will be doing likewise — but with an iPad. Burton has plans to produce an educational RRKidz iOS app that enables readers to “explore topics of interest in a multimedia-rich environment, with voice-over-enhanced children’s books, familiar videos of Burton at real-life places, and games.” In order to do so, he’s planning a “disruptive” technology that’ll bolster a conventional PDF book with basic animations, voice-overs and games “in a matter of hours.” There’s no specific time table on a release, but we’re guessing Burton’s moving along as usual pace: Mach 5.
Reading Rainbow roaring back with RRKidz iPad app, ‘disruptive’ ebook technology in tow originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 18 Sep 2011 23:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, e readers
, ipad app
, levar burton
Good news for secure data fans who aren’t fond of moving parts: Kingston
‘s shipping a new line of security-focused solid state drives for all your info-hiding needs. Despite being touted as an enterprise product, the new line will happily sit in any SATA-capable machine you wish, smoothly chugging along thanks to its beloved SandForce DuraClass technology
. It’s not often you find a veritable plethora of features tucked between slabs of NAND, but these guys do have some smarts. Literally. S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology — don’tcha know) is firmly onboard, as well as self-encrypting tech to keep any schadenfreude at bay. Beyond that, you can look forward to 6Gb/s throughput, backwards-compatibility with current SATA 2 systems, plus a pretty darn generous five years of warranty. For your cut of the action you’ll be shelling out $337 (120GB), $650 (240GB) or $1,270 (480GB), depending on how much data you just can’t walk away from. A not-at-all
pushy infomercial is embedded after the break — for laughs, or learning.
Continue reading Kingston’s high-performance KC100 SSD is S.M.A.R.Ter than yours
Kingston’s high-performance KC100 SSD is S.M.A.R.Ter than yours originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 17 Sep 2011 07:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, kingston sata
, sandforce ssd
Less than 24 hours after it went live on Microsoft’s site, Steve Ballmer reported a whopping 500,000 downloads of Windows 8 Developer Preview. That’s half a million copies, if not eager Windows fans. Well, you can count us among them. Although we were treated to some private hands-on time with a tablet optimized for the OS, we hadn’t, until now, had a chance to use it on a laptop — i.e., the computing environment where we spend most of our time, and the one where we’re most used to seeing Windows, in particular.
For the past three days, we’ve been doing just that: getting acquainted with Windows 8 using the good ‘ol mouse-and-keyboard combo. And while that might read like a redundant statement (what recent version of Windows hasn’t accommodated a cursor?), Win 8 is a peculiar breed — It’s the first version of the operating system where finger input wasn’t an afterthought, but a first-class citizen. It’s clear that this time around, Windows is optimized for touch, but we had to wonder if that Windows Phone-inspired UI would present a steep learning curve, if it would get in the way while we tried to go about business as usual. So how’s that working out for us? Suffice to say, we’re not in Kansas anymore, so find your most comfortable chair and meet us after the break — we’ve got oh-so many details to delve into.
Continue reading Windows 8 on a laptop in-depth preview (video)
Windows 8 on a laptop in-depth preview (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 16 Sep 2011 17:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: developer build
, keyboard shortcuts
, operating system
, windows 8
Forget learning how to open a champagne bottle with a saber, because this smartphone brain scanner probably has it beat for coolest party trick ever. After you pull out that 14-channel EEG headset you have lying around, all you need to do is attach the probes to your date’s dome piece to measure his or her neural activity on your Nokia N900. The app then goes to work, taking binary data and reconstructing it on screen in 3D. The result? A new way to elimi-date Match.com candidates based on the real-time image of his or her melon. We can’t promise it’ll get you a second date, but we can give you a glimpse of the app in action after the break.
Continue reading Brain scanner app lets you show off your smarts on-the-go
Brain scanner app lets you show off your smarts on-the-go originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 16 Sep 2011 07:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, mobile informatics lab
, nokia n900