If you find yourself at Sea World, be sure to check out the Pets Rule show. You'll see a variety of animals perform some amazing tricks, like a cat walking a tightrope. There are ducks, dogs, and even a pig all prancing around acting like humans. But one thing we've never seen before is a mouse that can do math. Canon's latest rodent -- X Mark I Mouse Lite -- can do that, as well as perform a few other tricks.
Those graphing calculators that you're issued in high school geometry class are capable of crunching some serious numbers, but if you're anything like us, you spent more time playing hacked versions of Zelda and Tetris on the things than solving quadratic equations. If you're more of a Web-head than a gaming guru, a new hack plops a browser on your Texas Instruments graphing calculator and lets you surf the Web when you should be working – assuming you don't mind the lack of newfangled features like images, that is.
Get ready to see Texas Instruments' Nspire handheld like you've never seen it before. The company is rolling out its new color-display CX model, which TI says will enable students to better observe patterns and make connections between math and science concepts and real-world learning. It will also come with new 3D graphing capabilities.
Sony appears to be fighting a losing battle in preventing users from jailbreaking their PlayStation 3 consoles. In a recent Australian court ruling, a judge made permanent a previous ban on the distribution of the PSJailbreak dongle only to watch the software code behind a similar hack released for free into the wild. Naturally, Sony responded with a minor firmware update blocking these bits of code from working their mojo, but it's an ongoing cat and mouse game at best.
What we find most interesting, however, is how insanely easy it is to jailbreak a PS3. This is Sony's flagship console, after all, yet users have been able to jailbreak the device with everything from a Palm Pre to a calculator.
That's right, we said a calculator. Gizmodo has put together a collection of clips showing various devices cracking the PS3, and one of them includes the above mentioned hack (known as PSGroove) run from a TI-84. Pretty rad, no? Check it out below.
Alright, geeks--this week's feature Chrome extension is calling out your name. While most net-savvy individuals can always surf on over to Google to run most any calculations they need to run (quick: 12 cups is how much of a gallon!), there's an easier way to go about solving the answers to life's tougher mathematical issues. In fact, you can do it straight from your Chrome browser without having to surf on over to a secondary page.
The genius behind this functionality is a little extension called Chromey Calculator. Don't let the cute alliteration fool you--this little wonder is akin to packing Einstein's brain into a tiny little button next to your address bar. Clicking on said button pulls up a little pop-up window with a simple, console-style prompt. Type in a common equation you need solved (1+1), and the extension will spit out an answer in a running field that keeps track of the last few commands you've entered. Not only does this beat the one-equation, one-answer style of Windows' default calculator program, but Chromey Calculator also taps into the power of the Web to fuel more complex commands.
Click the jump to get the gritty, super-user details!
Listen up iPhone owners - if financial calculators are your thing, then RLM has you covered. The software maker was in attendance at the Macworld Expo showing off seven of its business and scientific calculators, each one tweaked to take advantage of the iPhone platform.
Take the 17BII+ Financial Calculator, for example. This app is every bit like the real thing, only a little easier to use thanks to an equation editor and other iPhone-only additions. And of course it supports both portrait and landscape viewing.
"We want to improve it and make it more usable for a larger bunch of people," says Lira Matte, formerly a businessman in the energy field who took up Mac programming as a hobby in 2004. "This hobby has become a way of living."
RLM has no plans of slowing down, either. The company said it's working on porting three more business and scientific calculators to the iPhone in the next three months.
School is back in session, and that means you or someone you know is probably in the market for a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator. Never mind that Texas Instruments released a more high-tech version last year called the TI-Nspire. The problem, some math teachers say, is that the Nspire is more complex than it needs to be, even if it does function more like a computer than any calculator you've used before.
"TI-Nspire is a bit of a different model. It is taking us more time to have the market understand that," said Melendy Lovett, head of TI's education technology unit.
While the five-year-old TI-84 Plus remains Texas Instruments' best selling calculator, the Dallas-based company hopes the Nspire will solidify its position as the market leader in the oft-overlooked, yet highly profitable calculator business.
So what makes the Nspire so different? An OS that makes the handheld number cruncher function more like a PC, for one. Students and teachers can run spreadsheets, take notes, view multiple representations of a problem on a single screen, create, save, and review work in electronic documents, and more.
"It sings, it dances, it does the dishes for you," said math tutor and retired teacher Lucinda MacKinnon, who also owns an Nspire. "I can't imagine getting teachers to use that thing in the classroom. There is way too much going on."
Forget about figures of speech - if Texas Instruments comes up with a program that would allow the Nspire to do the dishes, it could charge double the $135 asking price.