Audacity is one of our favorite audio tools, so we were interested in seeing Audacity Portable, a fully portable version from PortableApps. Like the installed version, Audacity Portable edits your MP3s, WAVs, and other digital audio files. You can remove long intros, extract clips, and change the pitch, tempo, and other parameters of your song files or any audio recording. But, as the name indicates, Audacity Portable is completely portable, which means it runs as soon as you click the program's executable file without having to be installed. You can carry Audacity Portable with you on a USB drive, … Read more
Pop a properly manufactured CD into a CD player, and you'll hear music in a second or two. In more than 30 years of playing CDs I've never once encountered scanning, searching, or error messages; after I press "Play," the music starts. Stick a properly manufactured DVD or Blu-ray in a working player, and you always have to wait a while to start watching the movie -- or it might not play at all. You might have to do a firmware update to play the disc. With DVDs and Blu-rays, there's no such thing as … Read more
The Quantum Wave Fund, which will set up shop in Boston, plans to invest solely in early stage, private companies working on breakthroughs in quantum technology. It won't be providing funding for early research but instead will seek out companies who already have viable and promising products related to quantum computing.
"Too many people take quantum computing as hypothetical," Serguei Kouzmine, managing partner … Read more
After a record-breaking 9,000-mile journey across the ocean, a small autonomous robot recently arrived in Australia having collected and transmitted a wealth of scientific data that could lead to a better understanding of the world's seas.
On November 17, 2011, a Silicon Valley startup called Liquid Robotics launched four of its Wave Glider robots from San Francisco, two of which were heading toward Australia and the other two on their way to Japan. The hope was that the Wave Gliders, which are designed to travel across the globe without fuel or outside propulsion, would set the Guinness World … Read more
Our long national nightmare of vending machines only delivering cold items is almost over. Once EatWave vending machines take over the break rooms and hotel lobbies of the world, we will no longer have to wait in line at the microwave.
EatWave offers a complete junk food meal from a single machine. You can get a cold soda, a bag of chips, a hot pastrami sandwich, and a chocolate bar all at once. Each EatWave machine is equipped with a built-in microwave unit and a gravity delivery system for moving the food.… Read more
Hurricane Sandy has destroyed houses, cars, and boats, and caused some $20 billion in property damage, but one robot rode out the storm at sea without a scratch, as far as its maker can tell.
Liquid Robotics said one of its Wave Glider marine robots named Mercury was 100 miles east of Toms River, N.J., when Sandy hit, but the machine continued to function.
It withstood winds of up to 70 knots and continued to transmit real-time weather data about the storm. … Read more
A team of engineers out of Stanford is introducing a truly tiny wireless cardiac device to demonstrate that, thanks to a little ingenuity and impressive math, all medical implants may soon be powered wirelessly.
Which means that devices such as pacemakers, which owe the majority of their bulk to the battery, are about to get a whole lot smaller.
Head researcher Ada Poon, who earlier this year showed off a proof-of-concept, wirelessly powered device small enough to propel itself through the bloodstream, says the main achievement with the cardiac device is that it can be implanted on the surface of … Read more
On today's 404 episode, we'll solve the mystery of phantom cell phone vibrations and why we're so often tricked into thinking our phones have a mind of their own. One psychologist from the University of Sydney thinks that it has to do with electrical currents running through parts of the body surrounding the phone, while another professor of psychology believes it's in ours heads, that our addiction to technology has made us paranoid about e-notifications.
Walking around New York in this heatwave is enough of a workout for anyone these days, but some gym-goers in Canada are so sick of skinny people making them look bad that they've issued a ban on anyone that can't be described as "plus size."
According to the NY Daily News, Body Exchange gym in Vancouver claims to be a "safe haven" for overweight people that feel scrutinized when they work out next to those without an addiction to food. Unfortunately, we'll have to defer to Richard to comment on this story, as neither Jeff nor I have ever been inside a gym.… Read more
With patent litigation becoming an increasingly common part of the technology space, the last thing many folks want to see is another company have the sole goal of defending patents. If you're one of those folks, close your eyes.
Unwired Planet, formerly known as Openwave Systems, has completed the sale of its Mediation and Messaging product businesses to Marlin Equity Partners, the company announced today. Now that it has gotten those products out of the way, it plans to focus solely on its patent portfolio.
"Unwired Planet will now be focused exclusively on a multipronged Intellectual Property (IP) … Read more
The new iPad scores higher in customer satisfaction than did previous models, but it comes with its own unique set of pros and cons.
A full 82 percent of new iPad owners polled by ChangeWave last month said they were very satisified with the tablet, while 16 percent were somewhat satisifed. Only 2 percent were somewhat unsatisfied, while no one was very unsatisfied.
Those results compare with 74 percent of owners of the previous model iPad surveyed in February who were very satisifed and 23 percent somewhat satisifed.
.Among all owners of the new iPad, ChangeWave uncovered a healthy list … Read more