Foursquare held its first-ever global hackathon a few weeks back, with developers and hackers gathering in cities all over the world, including Paris, London, Ottawa, San Francisco, and New York. All of the hackers had one goal in common: create some out-of-the-box idea on top of the Foursquare API. Not only did they accomplish their goal, but some of them even won prizes for doing so. … Read more
Big deal, you say. The Wi-Fi-only Kindle with Special Offers is $114. But as the blog Beyond Black Friday points out, the last time Amazon dropped the price on the refurbished versions of its e-readers the Kindle 3 (the current model) arrived soon afterward in late August. To put it more bluntly, Amazon appears to be clearing inventory in advance of a launch.Related links • Amazon's Nook killer shipping soon • What the next Kindle will look like … Read more
MIT researchers are working on an algorithm that could help reduce the likelihood of airplane collisions in the sky, part of work to overhaul the FAA air traffic system.
The FAA's NextGen overhaul mandates that by 2020 all commercial aircraft broadcast GPS coordinates, which would be more accurate than ground-based radar.
The system uses GPS data to track hypothetical puck-shaped zones around smaller aircraft to keep them a safe distance apart. Thousands of small aircraft were involved in near-misses over the past decade and there were 112 midair collisions, according to MIT.
Researchers at the MIT International Center for Air Transportation (ICAT) based the system on months of real-world flight data. A chief goal was to reduce the frequency of false collision alarms. They decided to use two alerts: a moderate one when flight paths are converging, and a severe alert when a collision is imminent. … Read more
As reported by CNET News, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who represents parts of Silicon Valley, has introduced the "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act," which would require cellular carriers that offer 4G data services to provide consumers with accurate information about the minimum speed and reliability of the service.
In an interview, she said "consumers are really confused about what 4G really is," adding that "wireless companies right now throw around terms like 'lightning fast' and 'supercharged,' but their claims when examined closely don't always match up with reality." She said that the bill … Read more
A Virginia Tech University engineering team on Thursday won first place in the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge with an 82-mile-per-gallon, extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) using E85 (ethanol).
The results of the three-year EcoCAR competition were announced on L'Enfant Plaza, in Washington, D.C. United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu congratulated the team at an award ceremony. A total of 16 teams participated in the competition that was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors (GM).
A student team from Ohio State University took second place with an E85 EREV. Third place went to a … Read more
OK, honestly, this is my last post on E3. While this year's show is over and we've seen both surprises and disappointments, another year looms: and with it, we hold out hope that next year's show can deliver on some unanswerables that this year's show conveniently skipped. At least, that's the way I feel. No show can ever hope to bring everything we expect--mainly, because E3 is only a collection of demonstrations from an industry that's constantly evolving--but as I peer into next year's crystal ball, this is what I hope we find.
Games and reasons to buy the Wii U Nintendo's next console, the Wii U, remains shrouded in mystery, in the middle of a year where Nintendo remains in a larger cloud of uncertainty. The Nintendo 3DS feels like a disappointment, and the Wii is in decline. That touch-screen tablet-of-wonders that Nintendo's hawking is a project with no definitive must-have games or applications, and that will need to change next year.… Read more
The Department of Energy has offered conditional loan guarantees totaling $2 billion to two concentrated solar projects in California, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday.
Both projects employ mirrored parabolic solar thermal troughs that reflect and concentrate solar energy to heat pipes containing heat transfer liquid, usually synthetic oil. That hot liquid is then used to generate steam and power a turbine generator that produces electricity.
Specifically, a $1.2 billion loan guarantee has been offered to the 250-megawatt Mojave Solar Project in San Bernardino County. Once fully operational, the farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 53,… Read more
The next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system puts a much bigger emphasis on tablets, yet by the time it's released Apple could be a whole two versions ahead from where it's at with its current tablet OS.
During Microsoft's public preview of its tablet-friendly next-generation Windows at the D9 confab earlier today, Windows and Windows Live boss Steven Sinofsky said the software would not be released this fall, and that a safer estimation would be that the company releases a new version of the software every "two to three years." As a frame … Read more
Last we month we reported on Taiwanese Mac Blog Apple.pro showing a "spy" pic of a next-generation iPod Nano case that had a hole reserved for a camera. Well, Apple.pro has posted a new Nano spy pic that again strongly hints at Apple bringing image and video capture back to the Nano. We have no way to confirm any of this, but according to the site, the integrated camera will have a 1.3-megapixel image sensor.
As previously noted, some people were disappointed when Apple chose to shrink the iPod Nano, give it a smaller 1.… Read more
A significant update to the Opera browser's Speed Dial feature launched today in Opera 11.50 alpha (download), along with Opera Next, which includes a mechanism that makes it easier for Opera fans to automatically download under-construction builds of the browser. Opera Next will install separately and alongside the "stable" release of Opera, sporting a silver Opera logo much like Google Chrome Canary is visually distinct from the other versions of Chrome with its all-yellow icon.
The new version of Speed Dial introduces support for Speed Dial-specific extensions. Originally developed by Opera, and now in use in … Read more