Archive for March, 2011

Top iPad Games

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

With the iPad still in its infancy, it’s not easy separating the best from the so-so when it comes to games. CNET recently came out with a list of their 30 Best iPad Games.  At the top of the list is what seems to be everyone’s favorite – Angry Birds. The latest version is Angry Birds Rio HD. It features backgrounds with more details, a larger cast of characters and 60 levels.

The original version of Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 75 million times. For just $2.99 in the app store, you can’t go wrong. See the rest of the Top 30 iPad Games on CNET.

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Aircell Smartphone for In-Flight Calls

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

For travelers who can’t unplug, even at 35,000 feet, there will soon be a mobile voice service for in-flight cell phone calls. Aircell announced its in-flight mobile service and compatible smartphone as part of its Gogo Biz service. The Aircell Smartphone is an Android-based device designed for in-flight use on private aircraft (commercial airlines currently don’t allow cell phone use). It will begin shipping later this year.

Aircell is one of the leading providers of in-flight internet services in the U.S. For more details about the new Gogo Biz Smartphone, visit the Aircell website.

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One Step Closer to Bionic Men and Women

Monday, March 14th, 2011

At the recent TED Conference in Long Beach, California, CEO Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics demonstrated what he calls “exoskeletons” – robotic devices that are designed to augment the structural strength and support of the human skeleton.  His demonstration included working models of the HULC, which allows a soldier to carry 200 pounds on his back for hours without tiring, and eLEGS, which helps a woman who has been paraplegic for 19 years get out of her wheelchair and walk.

Time Magazine named eLEGS as one of the top 50 inventions of 2010.

See Bender’s talk in this YouTube video and read more about his company’s “wearable robots” on the Berkeley Bionics website.

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The Google Medieval Weapon

Thursday, March 03rd, 2011

Workers at a Google Data Center recently used modern technology to control a trebuchet, a medieval weapon that was used to catapult rocks, fire and dead bodies over fortifications.  They were competing in the first Storm The Citadel Trebuchet Competition at The Citadel military college in Charleston, South Carolina.  Using a tiny computer, an Android cellphone and a Blue Tooth receiver to trigger the wooden contraption, the Google team competed against high school and college students and other corporate teams.

The trebuchet uses a long swing arm and counterweight to slingshot its payload into the air.  It was an important weapon during the Crusades and was featured in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” where it was used to hurl a cow over a castle wall.

The Google-sponsored event was part of The Citadel’s National Engineering Week.  Read more about it on The Citadel website.

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