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Tag Archives: Software

Roccat Power Grid And Phobos Keyboard Could Revolutionize Gaming

By David Ponce

Well, that’s a hyperbole. Maybe “positively impact” is more like it, but makes for a shitty headline…

Anyway, there are a bunch of products on the market aiming to improve on the interface between man and gaming machine. For example, we’ve recently seen the Razer Blade, a $2,800 laptop that features a touchscreen beneath the keypad whose job it is to let you access vital game functions. But the Roccat Phobos keyboard combined with the free Power Grid application could ditch the expensive laptop altogether and bring similar functionality to your current gaming rig. The idea is that you’d dock the iPhone into the keyboard and it would become an accessory gaming hub. You’d have access to a bunch of shortcuts arranged in grids (hence the name), with a view into your machine’s vitals, macro keys, social networking pings, volume control, etc. You can edit these grids and include whatever you want into them, and then share your configuration with your friends. It’s pretty cool.

The application in under development at the moment, and Beta testers are being sought. We don’t know when the keyboard itself would come out, nor for how much. But something tells us it should be way south of $2,800.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures of the UI and links.

Continue Reading

Super Mario Bros. Had A Baby With Portal And Mari0 Was Born

By David Ponce

The Interwebs is a fun place where all kinds of dreams can come true. Like if someone thinks that it would be cool to have a game that is a mashup of Super Mario Bros. with Portal, then it just happens. And the dream becomes even more awesome when you realize that this game is free, as in beer. And yes, it plays pretty much just as you’d imagine. Mario has been given a Portal gun, and he can navigate the levels by making good use of it. It’s available for Windows, OSX and Linux, and you control it using a mouse and the ASDW keys on your keyboard, while jumping is assigned to the spacebar.

It’s available now, so check it out.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

The Pudding Machine That Doesn’t Like Children

By David Ponce

Kraft has launched a new marketing initiative that has it distributing free samples of its mousse-like Temptations dessert by Jell-O through a special machine. See, this machine hates kids and yells at them. We, for one, are on its side: kids and pudding are never to be mixed. However it looks like Kraft’s intentions are more demographically based: they’re promoting the product to a specific age range, adults. So what happens is that if you walk up to this machine, a camera will analyze your face and determine your age. If you’re a kid, it tells you to step aside. Adult? Free food!

It presumably uses age-related factors such as the distance between facial features, proportions, or whatever other metric the algorithms deem relevant.

“It has a big gee-whiz factor,” says Ed Kaczmarek, Kraft’s director of innovation and consumer experiences. “This is intelligent marketing. We’re making certain we get the right sample to the right consumer.”

Aside from this, it’s also a big gimmick, but one we don’t mind so much, being tech geeks. If you’re in the Chicago area, look for the machine at your local supermarket.

VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Porn Detection USB Stick

By Chris Scott Barr

This may sound like a silly thing to have in general, but I can think of at least five or six different examples where a Porn Detection USB Stick would come in handy. The prime two examples being helping someone to quelch an addiction, and in the workplace where possession of porn is a crime. Trying to figure out what sort of weird stuff you roommate looks at so you can blackmail them is probably not the best use.

A lot of people may say that to own porn is within their rights, and while that is true, where you stash your porn can get you into trouble (like on a company laptop). This flash will look into archives, and check headers for image and video data, even in files with obscure file types. This would be very useful for a computer illiterate probation officer or even a company IT manager who needs to check some 20-30 computers. This will cost about $100, and will make sure that no one has anything they shouldn’t have.

[ Paraben ] VIA [ Forbes ]

Turn Your Tablet Into A Second Monitor With iDisplay

By Chris Scott Barr

Having a tablet is great, but they are expensive. Don’t you wish that you could get as much use out of one as possible? Well now there’s a handy piece of software that’s going to let you use your iPad, or any Android-powered tablet as a second monitor for your computer.

iDisplay is an app that can be downloaded to your device, and along with the desktop application, extends your desktop onto the tablet. All you need is to sync up the software by entering an IP address, and setting your device on a stand so that you can see it. I’d say that’s pretty handy, and at only $5, it’s cheap too.

[ iDisplay ] VIA [ IntoMobile ]

I Am Rich App Hits Windows Phone 7

By Chris Scott Barr

A couple of years ago, headlines were made about an iPhone app called I Am Rich. This $999 piece of software did nothing but display an image of a jewel on your phone. The point? To let everyone know that you have entirely too much money. The app was pulled not terribly long after, and we thought it was gone for good. Well it seems that the person responsible felt the need to revisit the idea, this time on Windows Phone 7.

That’s right, now you can show all of your friends just how stupid you really are. Unfortunately you’re not allowed to blow $999 on it. You’ll only be given the chance to shell out $499 this time around. Maybe if you’re really lucky, you can trick it into letting you purchase the software twice. Or maybe you can just buy a second phone, buy the app, then put it in a blender.

[ Zune Store ] VIA [ Pocket Lint ]

Jailbreak Community Kerfuffle Pushes Back Greenp0ison Release Date

By David Ponce

Geek politics affect our lives almost everyday, only most of us are unaware of this. No Flash on iPhone? Geek ego. No stable jailbreak from the Chronic Dev Team? Geek ego once again. Here’s what happened.

P0sixninja, a member of the dev team announced recently that the Greenpois0n jailbreak would be released on 10/10/10 at 10:10 am. When the extremely talented Geoh0t (aka George Hotz) heard there was now an ETA, he decided to work on his own jailbreak, Limera1n, using an entirely different exploit than the one the dev team had planned on using. In less than a day he was somewhat done; sadly he had in his hands but an untested beta version of a jailbreak. Working, sure, and on a greater number of devices than Greenpois0n would have, but possibly unstable and requiring four bug-fixing re-releases as of this writing. And yet, he released before Greenpois0n, upstaging the dev team. The issue? Continue Reading

Synaptics Driver Update Adds Multitouch Scrolling, ChiralMotion

multitouch

By Evan Ackerman

It’s a good day to have a PC with a Synaptics touchpad, as a driver update has enabled multitouch functionality on even for those of us with older touchpads that were previously not multitouch capable. The most useful feature is probably two finger scrolling, but you also get ChiralMotion (which allows you to scroll up and down at different rates by making counterclockwise and clockwise single finger gestures) and three finger taps and flicks (which allow you to launch apps, and move back and forth in your browser and in slideshows). It always gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when companies update software for older computers to give them new and improved capabilities, so kudos to you, Synaptics.

You can download the driver install package directly from HP, there’s a version for Windows XP as well as Windows Vista and 7.

VIA [ HardwareZone ]

Write Or Die Makes You Write Or… Else

write-or-die-desktop

By Evan Ackerman

I wrote this post in six minutes. This is vastly, exponentially faster than I normally write posts. How did I manage it? Through hard work, dedication, and threats. Mostly the threats, to be honest, thanks (I guess) to a webpage called Write or Die, which aims to combat laziness and apathy by literally forcing you to write. You tell Write or Die how many words you’re trying to get down in how much time, and depending on how strict you want it to be, it will do anything from slowly turning its text box red to playing evil sounds to (in “Kamikaze Mode”) actually deleting your words if it doesn’t think you’re going fast enough. Like, I just had to rewrite that sentence because I went and checked my email for 10 seconds and Write or Die did not approve. For $10, you can get a desktop version, which eliminates the internet as a distraction and gives you the option of disabling saves until you meet your goal.

Now, I’m all for positive reinforcement as opposed to negative reinforcement, so it would be way better if there was a website called “Write or No Jellybeans” that gave me jellybeans when I did a good job. Until someone figures out a way to make that work (and honestly, it probably wouldn’t be that hard for someone with some hardware and software skill), I’ll just keep on punishing myself with this website because damn, I’m super productive now. At least, I am as long as

[ Write or Die ] VIA [ Geekosystem ]