The trend in external battery packs for charging smartphones and other small devices is to make them smaller and more compact. The Coi+ Power Brick doesn't care about being tiny. It cares about being bumpy -- bumpy enough to offer a base for building Lego creations on top.
The 4,200 mAh power pack comes with four slanted official Lego bricks that can be attached to turn the device into a stand for your phone. Chances are, if you're interested in buying this, you already have a Lego stash of your own to add onto it. You could build a little throne and set your iPhone in it, or turn it into a landing pad for your "Star Wars" Lego ships.… Read more
We do have to say, though, that this treatment blew us away. It's being played on a sheng at a performance by the Taiwan Philharmonic celebrating the instrument. The sheng is a complex free-reed instrument from China, and it's one of the oldest instruments from the region, dating all the way back to 1100 BCE. It consists of a system of vertical pipes and a mouthpiece. Each pipe has a small hole; when the hole is covered, the reed vibrates, producing a note. … Read more
Grab your bricks and build a Tardis worthy of a Time Lord. Lego Cuusoo, which previously banned fans from submitting ideas based on licensed properties, recently posted in the License Conflicts and Resolutions section of its Web site that there's no longer a conflict with the "Doctor Who" license.
"Sometimes we have to turn down project submissions that refer to specific brands or licensed properties," Lego Cuusoo said. "We do this to avoid getting your hopes up for something we know we aren't able to make. In these cases, we already know the Lego Group can't secure licensing rights to produce construction toys based on a particular brand or property, due to a conflicting interest with a third party. If such a conflict goes away, we'll then be able to accept projects based on a particular brand or license." … Read more
Polar bears may not have much use for pavement, but that didn't stop Google Maps' Street View from getting very up close and personal with the elusive Ursus maritimus.
In honor of International Polar Bear Day, Google released on Thursday its first Street View maps of a remote area of Canada's tundra. In capturing images of polar bears in and around the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Google has created a "baseline record for imagery associated with geospatial data," Krista Wright, executive director of the conservation group Polar Bears International, wrote in a guest blog for Google. … Read more
Most of us don't have a child chess prodigy handy when we want to practice our game. The Play Magnus iPhone app puts the champ in your pocket, but with a twist. You can play against Magnus Carlsen at various ages, from when he started out at age 5, all the way up to his current kick-butt self.
Carlsen is a grandmaster from Norway and the current No. 1 chess player in the world. The 23-year-old says he launched the app, which uses a chess engine "tuned" from actual openings and games he's played, to inspire young people to get excited about chess.… Read more
NASA has announced a whole new world of whole new worlds revealed in data from the now crippled planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft. In a press conference on Wednesday, the Kepler team said it has verified the existence of 715 previously unconfirmed planets circling 305 other stars.
This is the biggest single haul of verified planets ever culled from Kepler data, bringing the total number of confirmed planets beyond our solar system to just under 1,700.… Read more
BioWare has taken to its blog to announce a competition with a difference: a chance to voice one of the characters in the highly anticipated fantasy role-playing game.
Entry is simple. Chose from one of two sample scripts and then show off your skills on YouTube. All BioWare wants "is for you to perform your preferred script in your lovely, natural speaking voice." … Read more