Archives: December 2013

New Years Eve Ball Full of Lights Controllable by Smartphones

Philips1-94Time Square’s colorful, iconic New Year’s Ball is a 106 year old tradition that’s coming closer to home. The geodesic frame is lit using LED lighting from Philips, the same kind of hue-controlled technology that’s available to domestic smartphone users.

The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is lighted with 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs, grouped in 672 modules of 48 bulbs each. Each module contains 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white LED bulbs and can create a palette of more than 16 million colors and billions of patterns. This is the same technology that makes Philips HUE and new Philips SlimStyle LED bulbs possible. New for 2013 Times Square New Year’s Eve are numerals illuminated with the colors of Philips HUE LED bulbs. Read more

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Examinging the Secret Powers of Time and Technology

Time is running out for 2013, and if you’re watching time, it’s already 2014 in Australia. But what does that mean really? For most of the time in our lives we are looking at time, but it’s hardly something we examine except for the days around New Year. We count time, we change time, and we are trying to get more of it because it’s never enough despite all of our gadgets and devices.

While we may fool ourselves into thinking that technology will help achieve more and accomplish more things in the new year, it may be a good time to examining the use of technology and our perspective on time. To get us started in the discussion, this great lecture from RSAnimate, featuring Professor of Psychology, Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University.

Neil deGrass Tyson’s 8 Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read

image-01-smallSeveral years ago, when Neil deGrass Tyson was on Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA), he was asked a particularly insightful question by Reddit user ElCracker: Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on planet?

His answers might not surprise you, but the fact that all of the books are free and readily available online is a feat of technology that makes the internet a marvel. Here, we list the books as prescribed by Tyson and their relevant links to the eBooks version on the Project Gutenberg Project and their audiobooks on Librivox. We think they’re perfect classics to start your new year’s reading lists. Enjoy!

  1. The Bible  by various authors- to learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself. (eBook; Audiobook) Read more

Dangerous Australian Sharks Now Have Their Own Twitter Alerts

sharkSwimming in the shark infested waters of Australian got a little safer thanks to Twitter and acoustic transmitters. Scientists on the Southern continent have accessorized the fishy predator with transmitters to Twitter handle, @SLSWA (Surf Life Saving WA). The tweets contain information about the shark’s approximate distance from shore, its size, and specie, when known.

Here’s what they look like:

Read more

The World’s First Transparent iPad Has a Double-Sided Touchscreen

This Grippity iPad appears a bit gimmicky at first, but if we are going to play games with our iPads, it’s going to be a spectacular gimmick, like a Sci-Fi movie accessory. The device is an ergonomic redesign of the tablet – it’s supposed to be comfortable enough for 8 hours of use while tactile enough to encourage 8 hours of use by all 10 of your handy digits. It’s perfect for gaming, and while you’re at it, a remote control, and perhaps even a light switch if you have smart appliances.

Read more

Our Ten Best Stories From 2013

open libraryBefore the countdown and champagne on the final day of this year, we’d like to take a moment to share what you’ve been reading this year on Appnewser. It’s an eclectic list full of useful tips and great conversations.

We’re looking forward to another year of great app stories, so here’s our toast to new tech and our great Appnewser readership.

  1. Best iPad Stylus for Writers
  2. 5 Memory Cleaners Apps for Android
  3. How to Convert ePub Books for Use on Kindle
  4. How to Convert Your Handwriting Into Digital Text
  5. Send Free International Texts With These Apps Read more

Counting Calories in the New Year? These Apps Will Help

FitbitToo many cookies over the holidays? Luckily it’s time for New Year’s resolutions, and in the digital age, keeping better track of your fitness and weight goals no longer needs to be a monotonous chore.

Try one of these popular — and free — calorie counting apps to track your eating habits via that smartphone glued to your hand. All the apps look fairly low-tech but they make it easy to check the calorie count in just about any food item. The app will then automatically tally your daily intake. The apps subtract calories as you enter exercise activities. Just put in your height, weight, gender, age and weight loss goal and the app will do the rest, setting up weekly weight loss goals to get you to your desired weight. (See them after the jump.) Read more

Eric Schmidt: ‘Mobile was winning. It’s now won’

Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, predicts a “new generation of applications” are headed our way. The tech titan told Bloomberg TV that as mobile devices win more market share from PCs, a new roster of apps will also be necessary.

“The trend has been that mobile was winning,” he said. “It’s now won. There are more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers.” Read more