fun

Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/23/insert-coin-node-helps-your-smartphone-monitor-pretty-much-ever/

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.
Fallen out of love with sensor? Don’t worry, Variable Technologies is here to help. The company’s working to bring the world Node, a project aimed at helping smartphone users “explore the fun and power of sensors.” The “Swiss Army knife-sized” modular device communicates with the iPhone 4S and Android devices via Bluetooth. It has a built-in accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope and can detect physical motion and space, temperature and elevation, to name but a few. It also has a game control module and eight LEDs that can double as a camera flash, with carbon monoxide and radiation detection on the way. The Node will be compatible with Arduino devices and will have an open API, firmware and source code. There’s a month left to help Variable hit its lofty $50,000 goal. Click the source link for more info.

Continue reading Insert Coin: Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything

Insert Coin: Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:49:00 EDT. Please see our! terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882542/new-york-citys-energy-consumption-mapped-out-building+by+building

New York City's Energy Consumption Mapped Out, Building-by-BuildingConvinced you’re more environmentally aware than your neighbors? Now you can find out: scientists have mapped the entire energy use of New York City, building by building.

The interactive map, created by Bianca Howard, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at Columbia University, uses publicly available data to work out which buildings are using the most energy and how they are using it. Then, it displays the energy use on a color-map. Howard’s PhD supervisors, Professor Modi, explains:

“While discussions frequently focus on electricity use, homes in New York City, whether a townhouse or a large apartment building, use far more energy in form of heat rather than electricity. Nearly all of this heat is obtained from heating oil or natural gas. In addition, current electricity distribution infrastructure in many urban areas relies on large amounts of electricity brought in from outside the city, making it difficult to support increased future use without requiring significant investment of resources and funds. We are looking at ways we can address both these issues-reducing our heating bills and increasing local electricity generation capacity.”

The resulting interactive map is great fun to play around with, allowing you to see how energy use is split down between electricity, space heating and cooling, and water heating. The best bit is that, as mentioned, its detail lets you study energy use down to the scale of individual buildings. You can play around with the map here. Every city needs something like this. [Columbia Engineering via Boing Boing]

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for Years [Science]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5878459/gamers-redesign-a-protein-that-stumped-scientists-for-years

Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for YearsFolding: it’s detestable and boring, as any Gap employee can tell you. But it’s also a totally fun thing you can do in a video game! And today it’s particularly exciting because players of the online game Foldit have redesigned a protein, and their work is published in the science journal Nature Biotechnology.

It seems nobler than shooting people in the face, somehow. Granted, Foldit attracts a unique kind of gamer who enjoys obsessing over biological protein folding patterns. Proteins get their function from the way they are folded into coils like in the image above. When the amino acids in a protein interact, they create that coiled, three-dimensional structure. Scientists can manipulate the structure to make the protein more efficient. In Foldit, designs that create the most efficient proteins garner the highest scores.

University of Washington in Seattle scientists Zoran Popovic, director of the Center for Game Science, and biochemist David Baker developed Foldit (which is different from Folding@home, Stanford software that lets people donate their idle computer processing power to create a protein-folding supercomputer). By playing it, at-home gamers have redesigned a protein for the first time, and they did it better and faster than scientists who have trained their entire careers to build better proteins. Justin Siegel, a biophysicist in Baker’s group told Scientific American:

I worked for two years to make these enzymes better and I couldn’t do it. Foldit players were able to make a large jump in structural space and I still don’t fully understand how they did it.

Here’s how it works: Researchers send a series of puzzles to Foldit’s 240,000 registered users. The scientists sift through the results for the best designs and take those into the lab for real-life testing. They combed through 180,000 designs to get to the version of the protein published today. The paper details an enzyme that thanks to the crowdsourced redesign is 18-fold more active than the original version.

Now for the anticlimactic part: this particular enzyme doesn’t really have any practical uses. But the researchers say it’s a proof of concept, and future Foldit designs will be more useful. In fact, Baker has fed players a protein that blocks the flu virus that led to the 1918 pandemic—and their puzzle solving for this one could lead to an actual drug.

Nature via Scientific American

Image: Foldit


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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Why We Add And Drop Friends From Facebook

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-why-we-add-and-remove-friends-from-facebook-2011-12


Here’s some fun data from NM Incite on why we add or drop friends on Facebook. It surveyed 1,865 Facebook users to get the information.

The number one reason to add a friend is obvious: You know the person. The number one reason to drop, is also pretty obvious: Someone is saying something offensive.

chart, why people friend, unfirend on facebook, dec 19 2011

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Monday, December 19th, 2011 news No Comments

Watson now hunting down patent trolls, plans Ken Jennings’ elaborate demise

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/09/watson-now-hunting-down-patent-trolls-plans-ken-jennings-elabo/

The Watson supercomputer used its speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning and data mining abilities to crush puny human Ken Jennings’ dreams of winning at “Jeopardy!”, but now Big Blue has it chasing down medical patent trolls for fun. Incorporating the Strategic IP Insight Platform, IBM has now programmed Watson to scan millions of pharmaceutical patents and biomedical journals to discover, analyze, and record any info pertaining to drug discovery. SIIP can then look for the names of chemical compounds, related diagrams, the company and scientist who invented and works with the compounds and related words to determine a patent’s rightful owner. The SIIP function can also highlight which patents could be targeted for acquisition by trolls looking to control a property via a lawsuit or licensing agreement. Click past the break for a video outlining the project, along with Watson’s announcement of its engagement to “Skynet“.

Continue reading Watson now hunting down patent trolls, plans Ken Jennings’ elaborate demise

Watson now hunting down patent trolls, plans Ken Jennings’ elaborate demise originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 05:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, December 9th, 2011 news No Comments

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Meat with Meat Master Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat [Video]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5866062/learn-everything-you-need-to-know-about-meat-from-meat-master-pat-lafriedas-big-app-for-meat

Pat LaFrieda, the master butcher and man behind the best burgers in the world, has created an iPad app that’s pretty much the definitive guide to all things meat. Aptly named Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat, you’ll learn about all the cuts and dry aging and grinding techniques with awesome visuals and in-depth videos.

LaFrieda really knows his meat too, he supplies Shake Shack and Minetta Tavern with the most delicious burger patties known to man, so his advice is like canon in the meat world. The app, which is super slick, is deliciously visual, you’ve never seen meat like this before. Each cut of meat (and it details cuts from beef, pork, poultry, veal and lamb) comes with a real life gallery with amazing pictures, a little blurb on the cut, a location of where it can be found on the animal and a 360 degree view.

What’s also great about Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat is how much video content there is. From teaching you Steaks 101 to learning about dry aging to discovering how to grind meat and sharpen knives, LaFrieda himself reveals his secrets. There’s even a fun meat quiz to test yourself on! If you love meat, and I totally expect you to, you’re going to learn everything you need to know. If you’re a vegetarian, I’m sorry. $7 [iTunes]


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Thursday, December 8th, 2011 news No Comments

Reed Hastings’ Netflix spinoff isn’t about DVD success, it’s about hedging the stream

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/19/editorial-reed-hastings-netflix-spinoff-isnt-about-dvd-succes/

If you’ve just casually glanced over the mass reactions to Reed Hastings’ decision to split the DVD-by-mail business of Netflix into its own brand and company, you’ve probably been duped into thinking that it’s the second questionable move that the world’s most famed movie delivery service has made this year. But is it? Is a man who turned a red envelope into a symbol of near-immediate gratification really a moron? Did he really just bury the company he worked tirelessly to create? I highly, highly doubt it. Knee-jerk reactions are always fun to watch, but they’re rarely on-point. As with most things in life, the truth usually resides somewhere in betwixt the extremes. And in the case of Qwikster — the DVD-by-mail service that precisely no one asked for — the truth is hiding in exactly the place that Reed said it’d be: the future.

Continue reading Editorial: Reed Hastings’ Netflix spinoff isn’t about DVD success, it’s about hedging the stream

Editorial: Reed Hastings’ Netflix spinoff isn’t about DVD success, it’s about hedging the stream originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Sep 2011 02:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, September 19th, 2011 news No Comments

trends in 2009 – open agency model, year of search and social

2009 is the year of the “open agency model.” Many of the largest brands have declared that they are going “open agency mode” in search of lower cost, greater efficiency, and possibly better work. But while this idea may be good in theory, it is very difficult in practice. Having run a “virtual company” since 1996, I know of the challenges, as well as the upside. And the conventional wisdom of “you get what you pay for” holds very true here. I’ve outsourced to China and India to varying degrees of success and usually it took more time to communicate and re-communicate, do and re-do to get things right. And it ended up costing more overall, despite lower unit costs. Furthermore, most clients are brand experts of their own brand, but may not have the depth of experience in managing complex, global deployments … or perhaps even experience in managing photo shoots. Although it may be fun to go on photo shoots, but that doesn’t mean clients can manage that themselves. And having an inexperienced, small agency do it may not be that much more efficient either.

Anheuser-Busch Whacks Retainers for Its Agencies

http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=134630

2009 has also been declared the year of search and social marketing. Many of the biggest brands now realize they must do something in search in order to be found when users are out looking for something. Knowing that 80% of online journeys begin with search (Forrester April 2008), it is more important than ever to be “findable” — after all, if they can’t find you, you don’t exist. Companies are also looking for efficiencies in social marketing — literally having people carry forth their message or amplify it for free. This is a good move because most modern users trust their peers far more than they trust an advertiser’s ad message anyway, according to countless studies.

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 trends No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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