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May 03, 2010

The prettiest iPhone dock/speakers/shelf yet

Finite Elemente's Hohrizontal 51 iPod / iPhone dock is its own shelf -- Engadget Still at $660 it's way out of my price range.
The Hohrizontal 51 is no average dock, and in our estimation, it's a design element first and Apple accessory second. Designed to be wall mounted and hold up to 55 pounds, this stunning shelf integrates an iPod / iPhone dock into itself, and the inbuilt speakers / video outputs make it even more functional. There's plenty of space for a bedroom-sized HDTV, and if you're careful, maybe even an iMac.

April 30, 2010

Why is Google making a map of everyone's home wi-fi data?

Innovation: The Wi-Fi database that shamed Google - tech - 30 April 2010 - New Scientist
But last week many were shocked to learn that while the advertising giant's camera-equipped cars were zipping past our front doors, they were not just collecting panoramic photos. Wi-Fi antennas on the cars were hunting down wireless computer networks, and equipment inside was recording the networks' names, locations and the unique MAC address of the routers supporting them. The revelation has, not for the first time, prompted a wave of accusations that Google doesn't care about privacy anywhere near enough. Google says it has collected the data in order to improve the accuracy with which smartphones can pinpoint their location on Google Maps, especially in city centres where GPS may be unreliable. Cellphone mapping apps can improve matters by drawing on knowledge of which cellphone tower the phone is in contact with, but Google realised that even greater accuracy is possible if the phone can note details of nearby wireless routers. The server supplying Google Maps to the phone can then calculate a precise position.

April 29, 2010

Steve Jobs explains why Flash is verboten on Apple devices

Thoughts on Flash And his reasons seem pretty solid.
Fifth, there’s Touch. Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. For example, many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript? Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. Sixth, the most important reason. Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices. We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers. . . .
*Via Kevin Church*

April 27, 2010

Four-Wheeler + Jet-Ski = Quadski

Quadski
Combining a jet ski with a four-wheeler might sound crazy — in fact, it is a little crazy, but it's also awesome. The Quadski ($TBA) is exactly that: a four wheel amphibious vehicle that tears it up on land and sea, with a top speed of 50 mph on either surface. Granted, we doubt it's as good on land as a regular ATV or on water as a jet ski, but when was the last time you were able to drive your jet ski to the beach?
*via Tom Coates on Twitter*