# widget

## Math whizzes recalculate beer-foaming equation

Pay attention students; here's yet another reason to do your advanced math homework. Mathematicians have conducted a new analysis that could have a profound impact on future St. Patrick's Days--by building a better beer widget.

If you've enjoyed a Guinness or one of several other stout beers from a can in the last few years, you've probably encountered a beer widget. It's the hollow plastic ball that's left rattling around in the can or bottle after all the thick, creamy goodness has been poured out; it's also largely responsible for the foamy head on that just-poured brew.

William Lee, a university mathematician from Limerick in Ireland (disclosure: also the ancestral home of this writer) has set out to improve one of the most treasured modern inventions of pub-goers, and his findings seem to indicate a way to create a more efficient, less expensive widget. Drinkers rejoice!

But before getting to the toasting and celebrating, a little background on the fluid dynamics of stout beers. A tall can of Guinness has nitrogen added to keep it pressurized, rather than just the carbon dioxide found in most other canned beers. This is because nitrogen produces smaller bubbles, creating that distinctively smooth, creamy stout foam.

The downside of nitrogen is that just cracking open and pouring the can doesn't create enough bubbles for a truly satisfying head. Enter the widget--the hollow ball is filled with nitrogen that shoots out into the stout when the can is cracked, creating millions of bubbles and giving a little turbo-boost to the foam creation process. Problem solved, right? Sure, but there's always a way to build a better widget.

Enter Lee's research (PDF), conducted with a few colleagues from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Limerick. … Read more

## CES: Chumby 8 hands-on

Oh, how I've missed you, Chumby. I remember back when you were just a wee little beanbag. I remember your awkward phase as the Chumby One. Then your identity crisis when you morphed into the Sony Dash and the Insignia Infocast. Now, you're all grown up and hanging out at CES with a friggin' 8-inch screen. The time just flies by, doesn't it?

All reminiscing aside, the Chumby 8 looks to be the company's reclaiming of its hardware roots. It's rocking all the same widgets and functions as the original Chumby (news feeds, alarm clock, … Read more

## Yahoo pumps up Connected TV; D-Link announces box for it

LAS VEGAS--Yahoo's Connected TV, its widget framework for TVs, is a low-cost way to bring Internet content to televisions. Yahoo's TV widgets don't give you the full Internet flexibility of a product like Google TV, but Yahoo Connected TV is cheap to build: it's available with a \$250 22-inch Vizio set, for example. We first saw this platform at CES 2009, but for 2011 Yahoo is adding some features and partners to the initiative, including a standalone set-top manufacturer, D-Link.

The biggest new feature is content-aware technology. The Connected TV platform now knows what you're … Read more

## Opera widgets are headed to Android

Today Opera Software announced that it's laying the groundwork to get its widgets platform onto its Android browsers. In lieu of extensions as employed by Mozilla Firefox, Opera uses widgets, small applications that run within the browser to perform tasks like showing the weather or a calculator.

From the development perspective, Opera's release of a widget runtime lets developers start creating these widgets for Android phones. It's alpha software, so consumers shouldn't start looking for these widgets yet.

Opera's widget runtime for Android uses a mobile application specification put forth by the WAC (Wholesale Applications … Read more

## Toshiba joins 3D TV push with LED, widgets, Wi-Fi

Until now the only quasi-real Toshiba 3D TV we'd heard about was the ridiculously expensive, "ultrapremium," mainframe-equivalent-in-a-flat-panel Cell TV. Today the company announced that the first 3D model to actually go on sale in the U.S. would be the slightly less ridiculous, but still expensive, WX800 series.

When the WX800 arrives in late September Toshiba will be the sixth TV maker, after Samsung, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony and LG, to allow its 2010 TV viewers the ability to see into the third dimension.

Like those makers Toshiba will require you to buy a pair of its glasses (model FTP-AG01U, \$169 list) for each viewer who wants to see the 3D effect--nope, this isn't the company's rumored glasses-free 3D TV.

The WX800 comes in two sizes: the 46-inch 46WX800 (\$2,599 list) and the 55-inch 55WX800 (\$3,299). Both LCDs sport an edge-lit LED backlight, not our favorite kind, that lacks the dimming found on some competitors. They're superthin at 1.2 inches deep, however, and have a look as sleek as we expect from a modern high-end TV.

Toshiba does attempt to differentiate itself from the pack by including its "3D Resolution+" processing, said to improve 3D picture quality by reducing crosstalk, a common artifact we've seen on other 3D models, in particular LCDs (although our past experiences with 2D Resolution+ have not been life-changing). Unlike the Cell TV, as well as select models from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG, the WX800 does not have 2D-to-3D conversion.… Read more

## State Farm Android app texts while you drive, so you don't have to

In an effort to curb the temptation to text while behind the wheel, State Farm Insurance Company is updating its Pocket Agent application for Android with a widget that will do your texting for you, sort of. The On the Move widget is essentially an SMS auto-responder that will intercept incoming text messages and automatically reply with a canned response.

After loading the app, users are able to compose and save their automated responses. Although the widget is primarily designed for use while in a moving vehicle, multiple responses can be saved and used for different situations or moods. For … Read more

## Android Atlas Weekly 8: All about Android tablets (podcast)

The Droid X is rooted, the Nexus One is done, and we dive deep into Android tablets with Senior Editor Donald Bell. We also take a brief look at Agenda Widget and cover a tip on how to retain Bluetooth connectivity while in Airplane mode.

EPISODE 8News

Verizon confirms Droid X screen glitch and fix Motorola responds to Droid X bootloader controversy, says eFuse isn't there to break the phone Droid X root achieved Web site simplifies rooting HTC androids Requiem for a phone: Nexus One done at Google On Math, iPhones, Android, and the 100K Phone Gap Quick guide to the Samsung Galaxy S series

Tablet Watch

9 upcoming tablet alternatives to the Apple iPad Android Tablets on Wikipedia Donald's hands-on with the Dell Streak Lenovo to launch Android tablet by year's end Is Asus prepping an Android Tablet? Eken M003Read more

## Insignia Infocast may leave Dash in dust

If the Sony Dash is too rich for your blood, and the Chumby One is too puny, then feast your eyes on the \$169 Internet media viewer from Insignia that boasts an impressive 8-inch touch screen.

The Insignia Infocast is currently available through Best Buy's online store, and will hit shelves in the next few weeks. Like the Sony Dash, the Infocast is powered mainly by the customizable Chumby app platform, and can act as an alarm clock, Internet radio, photo frame, news reader, social-network viewer, video player, and all-around time killer.

Under the hood, the Insignia Infocast uses … Read more

## Sony Dash: A good bang for your buck

I gotta give Sony some credit for giving misfit products a chance. The company won me over with its Rolly dancing robot egg, and the \$500 PFR-V1 totally shattered my expectations for home audio headphones.

The company's latest foray into misfit tech is the Sony Dash, a \$199 tabletop "personal Internet viewer" with a 7-inch touch-screen display and a lot of potential.

The Dash isn't for everyone, and it's hard to argue for its practicality--but you do get a good bang for your buck. Whether you're looking for a cool way to stream Pandora … Read more

## Opera Mobile devs get a Windows, Mac, Linux emulator

The latest release from Opera Software is admittedly a mobile browser-related app that few smartphone owners will ever touch, let alone know of its existence. It's a new tool that developers of Opera Mobile widgets, however, will want to get their code-tinkering paws on.

The Opera Mobile 10 desktop emulator will let widget-creators visually mark the progress of their tiny addendum apps from the convenience of the Windows, Mac, or Linux (direct download) screen.

Emulators aren't new to the mobile development biz any more than tools for software authoring are new to Opera, whose Dragonfly debugging tool has … Read more