Educational robotics hold a special place in my heart, and over the last few years, I have designed several different models that I have used to teach both my self as well as others the theory behind embedded electronics for robots. All of my designs have been based on the Arduino development platform though, something many educational robotic kits default to. A new project on Kickstarter aims to continue trend and focuses its build around Arduino to offer an affordable educational robot.
The Pi-Bot has been engineered from the ground up, with several full redesigns throughout the process to make things more affordable, functional, and educational. It's makers have included students in the design process as well to ensure that the project is appealing and fun. The Pi-Bot gets its name from its Pi symbol shaped chassis, and not from the utilization of a Raspberry Pi like the name would have you believe. The educational kit is being offered through Kickstarter and is well on its way to reaching its funding goal now. Check out the source link below for more information.
A company called mSpy has been selling software that allows the user to monitor all sorts of communications that take place on the smartphone where the software is installed. In the past installing the software meant that the user had to get access to the phone and go through the install process.
This has now changed with mSpy announcing that it is now selling smartphones that have its monitoring software pre-installed. The software is aimed at parents and employers that need to keep an eye on people for legitimate reasons. That doesn't mean a crazy stalker or jealous spouse can't use the software to keep an eye on a lover.
mSpy says it's not responsible for what people do with the software. The company will sell you popular smartphones with the software installed like the iPhone 5s, Galaxy S4, HTC One, or Nexus 5. The S4 costs $300 and the subscription to the software costs $199 per year.
One of the biggest events in college sports is the NCAA March Madness tournament that is played each year. This tournament has 67 games and a total of about 150 hours of live TV coverage before the winner is announced. If you are a fan of March Madness that has a Kindle Fire tablet, you will have a new way to enjoy the games this year.
The NCAA March Madness Live app has been around for platforms like Android and iOS for a while. The app lets the users watch live games wherever they are via a web connection. This year the app will be offered on another platform, the Amazon Kindle Fire. That means Kindle Fire owners with a cable subscription to a participating provider can watch games on the go.
Users do have to log into the app using the username and password from their cable or satellite provider. If you are wondering, the selection for the teams that will play in the tournament will start on March 16. The games start on March 18 and will continue until the winner is announced on April 5-7.
A few months back I reviewed what I consider to be one of the best development boards on the market today, the Beagle Bone Black. In that time I have grown to realize the true potential that is locked inside the Beagle Bone Black, and unlike the Raspberry Pi (another favorite of mine), the Beagle Bone Black has much more I/O to share even when connected to a massive LCD touch-screen.
Recently, Element14 unveiled one of the coolest "Capes" for the Beagle Bone series to date. Dubbed the Beagle Bone View, these new add-on LCD screens come in 4.3-inch and 7-inch sizes and feature a 4-wire resistive touch panel. The 4.3-inch model features an effective resolution of 480x272 pixels while the 7-inch version has a slightly higher resolution of 800x480 pixels. The boards are powered directly from the Beagle Bone Black or Beagle Bone with no external power connection needed to the screens.
I've never purchased anything online from Overstock.com, but I like the fact that the company doesn't just whip out the checkbook when it comes to dealing with patent trolls. Overstock has a history of spending whatever it takes to fight patent trolls to the end.
Back in 2011, Overstock was able to defeat Alcatel-Lucent at trial and even had one of the patents Alcatel accused it of infringing on ruled invalid. That is as big a defeat as a patent troll can be handed. Overstock has now announced that it has defeated two more patent trolls and paid out no money to them.
According to the company, Execware LLC and Eclipse IP LLC have each dropped their respective cases accusing Overstock of patent infringement. Overstock's SVP and general counsel Mark Griffin said that the company prefers to spend its legal budget litigating rather than paying.
It looks like we could expect Intel to surprise the world by releasing its Haswell-E processors at Computex in Taipei, in just a few months time. The chipmaker is preparing its new Core i7 Extreme CPU, as well as its X99 chipset.
Intel's Haswell-E processor will be the company's first desktop processor to feature eight cores, for a total of 16 threads. We should also expect 20MB of L3 cache, quad-channel DDR4 memory support, Turbo Boost 2 technology, an 40 integrated PCI Express 3.0 lanes. The new Haswell-E CPUs will be made on Intel's 22nm process.
The new Haswell-E processors will arrive as the 5000-series, compatible only with the X99 chipset and LGA2011-3 socket. The platform is being targeted toward enthusiasts, so we should see some exotic motherboards unveiled at Computex by the usual players: ASUS, GIGABYTE, ASRock and so forth. The new X99 chipset should deliver some great new features and technologies, too.
Days before the Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off in San Francisco, news has hit the wire that a collective of companies working on virtual reality (VR) technology is rebranding itself.
The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance is now known as the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA), and will continue to "foster a vibrant and diverse industry that content makers can support on a wide scale." The ITA has under its wings: EA, Panasonic Epson, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and smaller companies like Technical Illusions, Gameface Labs and Oculus VR.
The time has come for Facebook on Android to be updated, where you can now use pictures as comments, instead of being locked away to the desktop. The new update also has a few other tricks up its sleeve.
We have the ability to delete and edit your own photo albums, untag yourself from photos and upload multiple photos at once into a group. Group administrators also have some new powers, where they have new options for pinning and unpinning posts, as well as managing pending and reported posts. You can grab the latest Facebook for Android from the Google Play store if your phone hasn't already updated it.
Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall is finally here on the PC and Xbox One, but it looks like the game could eventually make its way to Apple's desktop OS, OS X.
Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, was asked if Titanfall would make it to the Mac, where he tweeted: "We are talking to Aspyr, they should do it." Aspyr has ported other games over to the PC, such as BioShock: Infinite and Borderlands 2. I would say this tweet could be held against Zampella, as I can't see Microsoft letting one of the biggest, if not the biggest title on the Xbox One to be ported over to Apple's Mac platform.
Maxis is nearly finished with the offline mode for SimCity, with the developer saying the offline mode is "in final testing." SimCity was launched last year, experiencing some truly bad server issues.
EA, to the dismay of its fans, launched SimCity without an offline mode. The company received some bad backlash, and after months of the game being available to consumers, EA and Maxis decided to add offline mode to the urban planning simulation title. The SimCity Twitter account posted today: "Update 10 is in final testing. Almost there Mayors."