Posts by Jason Gilbert
You may not know it, but your iPhone is constantly emitting trace amounts of radiation. Why not put that radiation to good use?
That’s the concept behind the Lunecase, an iPhone case that harnesses your iPhone’s normal radiation and uses it to power a ring of lights that illuminate when you have a new notification. The Lunecase was built by Concepter, a team of young entrepreneurs from the Ukraine, and is currently in prototype phase, with a planned Kickstarter debut for February.
How does it work? Well, right now, a small ring of LEDs on the case surrounds the Apple logo and lights up whenever you receive a phone call. Because the case uses the radiation from your iPhone, it does not require any battery from the phone itself; rather, it’s using energy that is otherwise lifting off into the ether.
Concepter said the Lunecase will likely cost around $30, and will be no thicker than a “regular” iPhone case. The team is turning to Kickstarter after its success on the crowdfunding site with a product called the iblazr, an LED camera flash gadget that plugs into the iPhone’s headphone jack.
Study: On Twitter, you are more likely to be retweeted by someone you don't know than by someone you do
When it comes to retweets on Twitter, it’s not what you don’t know, but who you don’t know.
That is the wisdom of a new study of interactions on Twitter, which found that users are more likely to retweet people who don’t follow them than people who do. The report, which comes out of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, followed 140 days worth of tweets in late 2010, using a complex system of 20 computers to track the social network.
At the end of the 140 days, the team of researchers — Zhan Shi of ASU, Huaxia Rui of the University of Rochester and Andrew Whinston of the University of Texas at Austin — concluded that you’re about 50 percent more likely to be retweeted by a random than a mutual admirer.
The researchers inspected tweets that were singled out by the now-defunct @toptweets account, an official Twitter handle that spotlighted noteworthy or popular tweets. The researchers then identified tweets sent out by users with fewer than 1,500 followers, due to limits on the data the researchers would be able to collect from Twitter.
From there, a program fetched retweet data: Who was retweeting the tweet, and via whom.
What were the best songs of 2013?
Well, if you go by Spotify streams, it appears that the year belonged to Macklemore, Imagine Dragons and the French robot DJ dudes Daft Punk. At the end of each year, the msuic streaming service Spotify releases data on its most popular songs of the year; and as it does every year, 2013's list also comes in playlist form! So, if you're looking to take a stroll down memory lane (in music form) of the year that was, listen below:
The Most Listened Songs of 2013, Worldwide
The Most Listened Songs of 2013, America
You can listen to last year's playlists here.
Of all the writers reviewing the Xbox One, I am undoubtedly the worst at video games. In high school, my friends invited me over to play only when they needed a round number of participants; most of my recent gaming experiences have ended with me getting punted off a floating island after inflicting zero damage on my competitors, or else getting karate chopped to death by Oddjob, despite possessing the so-called Golden Gun. In single-player mode, my relationship with any video game is the same as my relationship with "Gravity's Rainbow": I have never "finished" either, only gotten far enough in that I consider my experience complete and satisfactory.
Even if you never figured out how to throw a forward pass in "Madden" or ever managed to shoot anyone at all in "Halo," there is supposed to be something here for you.
And lo! There is. Microsoft has built the most comprehensive, capable and roundly satisfying media box that you have ever plugged into your television. The Xbox One is easy to use and integrates all the services you would want into one place, in a way that no other device specifically designed for the TV has.
You might not "Like" what you're about to see. A new website called Your Dirty Mouth scans through your Facebook history and finds the most profane, controversial Facebook statuses you ever dared to publish. In our tests, the site appears to search for curse words, inappropriate content, and talk about the government, as it crawls through your Facebook history; when it displays those statuses, the site gives you the option to either delete the status (hiding it from potential future employers) or else re-sharing it, making it, um, easier for potential future employers to happen upon and judge you for.
Attention rich people who demand high-quality audio performance! Italian designer Andrea Pivetta has created the Pivetta Opera Only, a $2.2 million marvel that is almost certainly the most expensive amp in the world.
Pivetta advertises his Opera Only as a "unique crossing between sophisticated technology and art"; the amplifier resembles an enormous, 12-sided Mac Pro (and or black trashcan), and opens up when in use, like so:
The amp weighs 1500 kilograms, or a shade over 3,300 pounds, and is a little over 8 feet tall.
You can read more about the Pivetta Opera Only at Andrea Pivetta's website (which features some truly soaring prose, at one point comparing the opening of the Opera Only to witnessing the rise of the Phoenix.)
Jason Gilbert at Yahoo Music 2 yrs ago
Fun Fun Fun Fest — perhaps the most optimistically named music festival in the country — kicked off in Austin, Texas, on Thursday night, with performances by two solo artists who really perform in the, well, performative sense.
Samsung has positioned its Galaxy Gear watch as a device from the year 2025; unfortunately, its first smartwatch is stuck in 2007.
As many other reviewers have noted (see here for our rundown), the Galaxy Gear lacks many of the functions you would expect from a true “smart watch” in 2013: It can, at this time, only connect to a Galaxy Note 3, and nothing else (other phones are coming soon, Samsung says). It cannot be charged without a special plastic cradle. When you get a notification for a new message from Gmail, or Google Hangouts, or Facebook, or Twitter, or other non-Samsung-approved apps on your phone, you cannot view the content of that notification on the watch itself; you have to open up the app on the phone itself.
In sum — by my estimation, and the estimation of many esteemed colleagues — the Galaxy Gear falls far short of its potential.
THE ULNAR CAMERA
DIALING IT IN
IT’S NOT THAT UGLY
The Kindle Fire HDX is Amazon's third attempt at a handheld tablet, and its well-selling competitor to Apple's iPad mini and Google's Nexus 7. And if you're thinking of buying one, combing throguh all of the reviews of the Kindle Fire HDX can take hours, and even days if you're a really slow reader.
That's why we've collected all of the most important, summarizing paragraphs from the best reviews and put them in one place. We call it...The Last Word. Ed Baig, in USA Today:
Amazon now claims more than 80,000 third-party apps in its app store, but that's a fraction compared with what Android and iOS have available.
That's one of the reasons why it's still hard to declare the Kindle Fire HDX as the best tablet at any price. But I like it a lot. And it's very good for people seeking an affordable and solid tablet.
Samsung’s mammoth Galaxy Note 3 smartphone will be released this week, and for the last five days or so, I have been using a review unit of the Note 3 and forming my impressions. And while other reviewers have scrutinized the phone’s camera, and its speed, and its build quality, I’m here to talk about one thing and one thing only:
What I want to focus on here is the fact, ineluctable and, I would argue, undebatable, that the Galaxy Note 3 is absolutely the greatest smartphone for Snapchat that you can buy, bar none, in any country, for any amount of money, with any operating system, period. If the primary, solitary metric by which you make your smartphone purchasing decisions is “How handy will this thing be for Snapchat?” then boy oh boy, mister, has Samsung manufactured the early Hannukah present you’ve been praying for.
Now, if you’ll excuse, my fat fingers and I have golden crowns and diamond tiaras to draw on co-workers’ heads.