Now that Mother's Day is in the rear view mirror, it's time to switch gears and focus on what to give dad for Father's Day to show your appreciation for what he had to put up with all those years, especially if you had a knack for getting into trouble. Maybe as a teen you swiped the keys to his prized Mustang for a night out on the town, only to take a curve too fast and render his pride and joy a hunk of expensive junk. If that sounds at all familiar, getting him a tie or new pair of loafers won't pay off the penance you owe.
There are few moments in life quite as sickening as realizing that you’ve spilled a beverage on one of your gadgets. The feeling can range from mild infuriation (spilling a Bud Light on your PlayStation controller) to near-coronary levels (knocking over a Mountain Dew: Code Red onto your brand-new laptop). Either way, it’s never something you want to go through. Because of that, we’ve put together a simple disaster plan for dealing with beverage-soiled electronics. We hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you read it.
Which OS does your favorite home appliance run on? In a few months, the answer to that could well be Android. San Francisco-based Touch Revolution today announced the Android-powered NIM1000 module. Its capacitive touchscreen and relative ease of integration make it ideal for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) looking to “integrate dynamic touch-screen interfaces in a broad range of appliances and devices, from microwave ovens and washing machines, to in-flight entertainment centers and advanced medical devices.”
We are not talking run-of-the-mill household appliances here. Touch Revolution wants microwaves using the NIM1000 to double up as “kitchen command centers” and to tune into some of the most popular internet radio stations. Touch Revolution plans to showcase the NIM1000 at CES.
The MID, which reportedly runs Android 2.0 and features a 5-inch touchscreen, likes to be addressed as the Dell Streak. All that is known at this moment is that the Streak features a 5MP camera with dual LED flash, WiFi/Bluetooth/3G connectivity, a microSD slot, and a 1,300mAh battery.
At first, I just didn't get it--the Chumby, that is. This little LCD display wrapped in a hug of padding looked like a bizarre cross between my car's antiquated GPS device, the throw-up of an OSX dashboard, and a big plushy hunk of love. To its genius, that's exactly what the Chumby is... and so much more. And did I mention that it's open-source as well?
Contrary to most of the open-source hardware projects I've mentioned on Maximum PC, the Chumby is ready for your attention the moment you pop it out of the box. But that doesn't mean that you can't tweak and tinker beyond its simplistic exterior. Although cracking open the soft, loveable digital toy will violate your warranty, the official Chumby site is more than happy to give you a listing of the device's full hardware--schematics as well. From there, only your conscience toward ripping open friendly, plush, communication devices stands in your way of complete hardware transcendence.
If hardware hacking isn't your thing, however, the second best part of the Chumby is the comprehensive list of software widgets that you can display and interact with on the device. To find these, you can go the official route and download apps directly off of Chumby's main site or you can scour the internet for custom, USB-deployable software to stick into your device.
Just what do these tweaks entail? Click the jump and find out--featuring examples you can play with too!
The Japanese have peculiar tastes, be it in video games or gadgets. The whimsical idiosyncrasies of a group of Japanese technology enthusiasts with very peculiar tastes have manifest themselves in the form of the Akiduki Pulse box, a device that automatically tweets your heart rate to your buddies. The user needs to press a particular button for a few seconds to send his heart rate to his friends on Twitter. The device, which has been developed by a group named Koress Project, is open source. The group intends to commercialize the device at some point in the future. The Akiduki Pulse box may one day emerge as the world’s first fully automated web-based death announcement device.
Now that people wearing white earbuds has become the norm, it looks like inventor Kazuhiro Taniguchi is planning to make us all look goofy again.
With the announcement of some new earbuds that allow facial expressions to let you work your gadgets, there’s a small chance that we’ll be making funny faces for all the right reasons. According to Taniguchi, “You will be able to turn on room lights or swing your washing machine into action with a quick twitch of your mouth... An iPod can start or stop music when the wearer sticks his tongue out, like in the famous Einstein picture. If he opens his eyes wide, the machine skips to the next tune. A wink with the right eye makes it go back.”
While the idea of it is pretty neat, something tells me that most markets won’t be willing to go through this just to skip a track on their favorite playlist.
A group of chemical engineers with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recently developed a hydrogen fuel cell that measures a measly 3 millimeters across. This means that within the not-too-distant future we could be using gadgets with cheaper, longer lasting, more eco-friendly power sources.
The cell consists of very few parts: a water reservoir, a chamber contain metal hydride separated by a thin membrane with an assembly of electrodes that conduct electricity underneath. And, thanks to the small size of the chip the need for a pump, pressure sensor and controlling electronics were eliminated.
The first models were able to generate 0.7 volts and a current of 0.1 milliamps for about 30 hours. The team does claim that now they’re able to produce 1 full milliamp for the 30 hours at the same voltage.