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Cellphones

Video Apple Has a Lot In Common With The Rolling Stones (Video) 147

Tech journalist Ron Miller (not a relative) wrote a piece titled Apple has a lot in common with The Rolling Stones, based on the song It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It). In the article, Ron writes: "Much like the Rolling Stones, Apple has to get up on stage again and again and figure out a way to blow the audience away – and it’s not always easy." In fact, Apple's latest iPhone announcement seems to have been greeted with a massive "ho hum" instead of the frenzied interest some of their earlier product announcements have created. In today's video, Ron tells us why he thinks this is, and ruminates briefly about the future of Apple and what kinds of products might help people get excited about Apple again.
Games

Video Secret Lab Develops Games and Teaches Others How to Develop Them as Well (Video) 29

On the Island of Tasmania, there is a Secret Lab. More accurately, it is a business called Secret Lab, run by co-founders Paris Buttfield-Addison and Jon Manning. On their website they say, “Secret Lab is an indie game developer and mobile app training studio based in Hobart, Australia. We're responsible for some of the world's most popular mobile apps -- recently, we've worked on Meebo for iPhone, ABC Play School Art Maker for iPad, ABC Good Game for iPhone and ABC Foodi for iPad. Secret Lab also offers intensive training workshops on iOS and Android development.” They recently presented at OSCON in Portland, OR, where Timothy Lord and his camcorder caught up with them there (as did Rachel Roumeliotis of O'Reilly Media with her camcorder). At just over 30 minutes, this is the longest Slashdot video interview we've ever run. It's worth the time, despite some rough sound patches, if you are interested in mobile game development -- or even if you are just interested in seeing what kind of colorful people do this sort of thing.
Iphone

Video LazyHusband Smart Phone App Compliments Your Wife for You (Video) Screenshot-sm 190

The guy who came up with the LazyHusband app, Ethan Duggan, isn't married. That's good, because he's only 12 years old. One of his local (Las Vegas) TV stations says this about him: "...the 12-year-old from Henderson, Nev., said he was tired of always replying to his mother's questions of how she looked in an outfit, he came up with common phrases that, with a touch of the screen, can tell his mother, 'You look amazing today.'" The app costs 99 cents for iOS, Android or Kindle. Ethan admits that Dad helped, but says the app is his own work and was his idea. He's now working on Lazy Kid and Lazy Wife. The TV story says, "Phrases for Lazy Kid include, yes, I did my homework and I love you. Ethan said he is having a hard time coming up with common phrases that a wife might say to her husband." Pro basketball retiree turned business guy Shaquille O'Neal is reportedly interested in LazyHusband, which means you may hear plenty more about LazyHusband and the prodigy who created it.
Transportation

Video A High-Tech Pedicab Dispatch System at SXSW in Austin (Video) Screenshot-sm 66

It's Austin, where people are proud to be weird -- and are more environmentally aware and more concerned about energy use than in the rest of Texas. Add SXSW, with its combination of techies, musicians, film people, and general hipsters. What could be more natural at SXSW than combining a pedicab (called a bicycle rickshaw in Old Delhi and other Indian cities) with Uber's smartphone-based dispatch system? Hook Uber up with local pedicab company Easy Rider, get Samsung to sponsor it all, and you are environmentally conscious, high tech, and (possibly) hip all at once. Totally Austin. Totally SXSW. And totally promotional for all three companies involved.
Security

Video RSA: The Pwn Pad is an Android Tablet-Based Penetration Tester (Video) Screenshot-sm 46

Last year Pwnie Express showed us their Stealthy Pen Test Unit that plugged directly into a 115 VAC wall outlet. This year at RSA they're proudly displaying their Pwn Pad, which is a highly-modified (and rooted) Nexus 7 tablet "which provides professionals an unprecedented ease of use in evaluating wired and wireless networks." They list its core features as Android OS 4.2 and Ubuntu 12.04; large screen, powerful battery; OSS-based pentester toolkit; and long range wireless packet injection. If you can't see the video (or want to read along) the transcript is below.
Iphone

Video CES: American-Made, Industrial-Strength Smartphone and Tablet Cases (Video) 57

Even the most loving fathers tend to get upset when their kids destroy "...VCRs, DVD players, a Nintendo Wii, a Sony PS3, [and] numerous mobile phones." With smart phones costing lots more than older stupid phones, and most tablets costing even more, Greg Pilling decided to make aluminum and plexiglass smartphone and tablet cases strong enough to be, if not childproof, at least child-resistant. Since he owned an auto parts manufacturing company in Tucson, AZ, it was no big deal for him. So now he has SASCASE as a second business, and can make you a case for almost any kind of mobile device you might own. His cases look plenty tough, and they aren't cheap. But if you want to save money and make your own, Greg says plans for all cases he makes are open source (even though they aren't on his website yet). Also on the open source front, he is working on an open source "ruggedized" tablet he hopes to bring to market "in the $300-$400 range" to compete with the Panasonic 7” Toughpad that runs more like $1100.
Power

Video CES: Tiny Fuel Cell is Supposed to Charge a Cell Phone for Two Weeks (Video) 204

Many of us have plug-in external batteries of one sort to recharge our smart phones when we're away from power outlets. Or we have gigantic aftermarket batteries that make our phones so fat they barely fit in our pockets. So there is this company, Lilliputian Power Systems, that is just starting to market a tiny, butane-powered fuel cell they call the Nectar that plugs into your cell phone (or whatever) through a USB port and supposedly charges it for up to two weeks. That's a lot better than an add-on battery. It looks expensive, although the power "pods" aren't too pricey at $19.99 for two. But wait a minute: Why aren't fuel cells, not internal combustion engines, the "range extenders" in plug-in hybrid cars? A decade back, fuel cells were going to revolutionize our power delivery and consumption systems. A cell phone charger is cute, but is that really all we can get fuel cells to do?
Ubuntu

Video CES: Jono Bacon Talks Up Ubuntu for Phones (Video) 93

One of the more interesting conversations Tim Lord had at CES this year was with Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon, who was showing off the Ubuntu Phone that is supposed to be released later this year. According to the Ubuntu website, it "delivers a magical phone that is faster to run, faster to use and fits perfectly into the Ubuntu family." Big words, but if Ubuntu parent Canonical can live up to them, the mobile phone market may soon have an interesting new operating system competitor to shake things up.
Hardware

Video Timothy Lord Checks Out Keyboards & Tech At CES 59

Slashdot's Timothy Lord is at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. There is no way any one person can take in the whole show. It's just too big for that. But on Timothy's first day, he spotted an overlay keyboard for the iPad that's been mentioned on Slashdot before, an invisible keyboard for your smartphone or tablet, and a crazy-interesting all-in-one computing device with a built-in projector and built-in virtual keyboard. Watch the video and join Timothy as he learns about these three devices. (Before you ask: Yes, we'll have more videos from CES over the next few days.)"
Medicine

World Health Organization Says Mobile Phones May Cause Cancer 354

Schiphol writes "A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes that mobile phone radiation presents a carcinogenic hazard. Are cell phones going to be the new tobacco, then?" This seems to be a new interpretation of a long-tern WHO study of possible cellphone health risks that had "inconclusive results" last May.
Android

Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills 279

Hugh Pickens writes "Computerworld reports that a rogue Android app is hijacking smartphones and running up big texting bills to premium rate numbers before the owner knows it. Chinese hackers grabbed a copy of Steamy Windows, a free program, added a backdoor Trojan horse to the app's code, then placed the reworked app on unsanctioned third-party "app stores" where unsuspecting or careless Android smartphones find it, download it and install it."
Android

Kyocera and Sprint Now Hyping a Dual-Screen Android Smartphone 75

Sprint and Kyocera want you to believe that two screens are better than one, even on a pocket-sized phone. The new Android-powered Kyocera smartphone, the Echo, will feature two touchscreen surfaces in a hinged design. The article says: "The Echo’s highlights can be seen in the phone’s obvious multitasking potential. The phone can be operated like most other touchscreen smartphones in its single-screen mode, but in 'Simul-task mode' users can run separate apps on each screen — like, say, open a text on the upper screen while reading an email on the lower one."

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Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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