Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Science Fact: Spider-Man Really Could Stop a Runaway Train

Spider-Man is no longer science fiction — well, some of his amazing powers aren’t, anyway. Being bitten by a radioactive spider probably isn’t going to let you scramble up the sides of tall buildings, but yes, it’s true — you really could stop a speeding train with webbing if you were the Spidey one.
For the betterment of humanity, three physicists from the University of Leicester crunched the numbers and worked out how much force the webbing would have to suck up to slow and stop a speeding, runaway New York tube train like Spider-man managed in Spider-Man 2. That would be a colossal 300,000 Newtons, or some insane 500 million joules per cubic metre, by the way. If you’re not suitably impressed by that figure, you should be, because it’s a monstrous sum.
Anyway, armed with said train-stopping figure, the trio set out to find the strongest spider web around, which of course his Spideyness would spew. They found the Darwin’s bark spider, which spits-forth a web that can absorb up to 520MJ per cubic metre — enough to stop the train if anchored properly.
So, next time you’re watching Spider-man romp around New York, leaving a trail of sticky web about the town like a nosey arse that just won’t go away, you’ll be rest assured that at least some of his antics are based in reality. Now, how about we work on the ability to fly without wings, Superman-style?

How to use your phone with your console controller

Touchscreen gaming is all well and good, but sometimes you can’t help but yearn for some good, old-fashioned buttons. Thankfully, if you have an Android  handset or tablet, you can satisfy that urge for physical inputs quite easily – and enjoy a whole host of retro gaming goodness to boot.
Wii Remote
The  Will has sold almost 100 million units since 2006, which means there are an awful lot of Wii Remotes in homes up and down the UK. Because Nintendo’s iconic wand-like controller uses a Bluetooth connection to communicate with the Wii console, it means you can link it up to your Android device just as easily – providing you have the right app, of course.
Ryan Frawley’s  Wii Controller IME is one of the oldest apps of its type, and one of the best, too. It not only allows you to link up to four Wii Remotes to your device, but also allows you to connect accessories such as the Nunchuk and Pro Controller. You can then map buttons and use the controllers in one of the many emulators available on the Google Play market.
Sony’s famous controller design is seen by many as the best there’s ever been, so it’s understandable that many Android-owning gamers would want to use it on their phones and  tablets. It’s not quite as easy as getting a Wii Remote to work, however – for starters, you’ll need a device that has been rooted in order to get Sixaxis controller  application to work. You also need to manually pair the pad with your phone by connecting it to your PC, which is a bit of a rigmarole but the end result is more than worth it.
Xbox 360 Wired Pad
To use a 360 pad, you’ll need an Android device which either has a standard USB port (like the Asus Transformer Prime) or a converter cable and a MicroUSB port with USB host support. Believe it or not, Android is able to connect automatically with wired USB gamepads, so you may discover that the dusty old PC USB controller you bought all those years ago is actually useful for something.
Something else entirely

You’re not totally limited to using existing controllers for your gaming needs – there are several bespoke options on the market which make the process even easier. The  Gametel padG works on Android and iOS and features a clamp which allows you to bolt it securely to your blower and effectively create a self-contained handheld console.
Another choice is the iControipad, which also boasts support for Android phones and iPhones and comes with twin analogue sliders. At the more costly end of the spectrum, there’s the famous iCade (and its pint-sized sibling, the iCade 8 bitty ), which is designed to work with iPads but will also support Android devices.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet Gets Official.

We’ve had a good month of leaks and rumors and now Samsung is making the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet official. We already knew what it looked like, but now we know many of the details about this tablet.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 has been designed to maximize the pen experience, while still being a one-hand device. A larger display surface does help with drawing and writing, so hopefully in the real-world this is a usable tablet at both ends of the spectrum.
Some specs include a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. The display is an 8-inch 1280×800 (189 ppi or pixels-per-inch), which is the same resolution as the Galaxy Note 4.1.2 is on board. The Note 8.0 will come in WiFi-only (A/B/G/N) or WiFi/HSPA+ versions This S-Pen supports 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, just like the Galaxy Note 10.1.

Mass Effect 3 Getting Two New DLC Packs

There has never been an ending to a game more controversial than Mass Effect 3′s so BioWare had to go back and deliver an extended cut DLC to calm many whiny fans. Some new DLCs have been published over the past couple of months after the release of Mass Effect 3, and now EA is announcing two more for the game.

The first DLC is called Mass Effect 3: Reckoning and is completely free. This one can be used in the game’s multiplayer mode to access new characters, weapons and upgrades. It will be available on February 26.
The second DLC is being called “one final, sentimental journey with Commander Shepard and their squad”. It’s called Mass Effect 3: Citadel. This mission will allow players the “opportunity to reconnect with some of their favorite characters from all three of the Mass Effect games.” Citadel will be available on March 5 for $14.99 or 1200 MS Points. Fans should be pretty pleased about this news.

PayPal prepares Here mobile payments for European launch .

PayPal is rolling out a new version of its  mobile payments system for Europe. Starting in  the UK, the payments service will be providing businesses a pocket-sized device  that will offer Chip & PIN protection for payments through a retailer's mobile phone, instead of the triangular attachment used in the United States.
The new card-reading unit connects to an Android or iOS device over Bluetooth , with the dedicated PayPal Here app performing the main payment transaction itself. The separate device allows the customer to enter their PIN in without making contact with the merchant's mobile device, and resembles existing Chip & PIN payment systems on the continent.

The  new version of PayPal Here will be trialed with a number of UK businesses before rolling out to other merchants and into Europe by the Summer. The card reader will be a one-off charge to retailers, currently unknown, followed by a small fee per transaction, something PayPal will reveal closer to launch.

What’s The Most You’ve Ever Over-Paid for a Gadget?

What’s the most you’ve paid for a gadget that just didn’t cut it, either because it was overpriced, underwhelming, or just ultimately not your style? We all make mistakes, but some hurt a little more than others, especially in the wallet. But if you play on the cutting edge, you’re bound to get some nicks, right? Tell us the worse you ever buy.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Snitch review – Dwayne shows his tender side

For every action-movie star who proves himself capable in other movie genres, there’s a handful of other big-screen brawlers who never quite find their comfort zone outside blood-and-bullets cinema. Over the last ten years, Dwayne

 “The Rock” Johnson has done a nice job of proving he’s one of the former and not the latter with films like 2003′s action-comedy The Rundown and a role in the 2005 comedy Be Cool that was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing movie. In Snitch, Johnson ventures further outside the straight-up action genre with a tense thriller that proves he he doesn’t need to punch, shoot, or body-slam anyone to carry a movie.
snitch review

Directed and co-written by former stunt actor Ric Roman Waugh, Snitch follows trucking company owner John Matthews (Johnson) as he attempts to infiltrate a dangerous drug-dealing operation in order to save his son from an unjust prison sentence handed down by federal prosecutors. As he gets pulled deeper into the murky waters of drug trafficking and a complicated undercover investigation, Matthews finds himself uncertain of where to turn for help protecting himself, his son, and everyone close to him.
Despite the potential for some intense action sequences, Snitch remains relatively free of butt-kicking moments – especially where Johnson is concerned.

 The story and tone remain firmly entrenched in the world of dramatic thrillers, and Johnson does a nice job of playing Matthews as a believable fish-out-of-water in the violence-prone drug world who looks terribly out of place amid all of the gritty dealings going on around him.
And that’s the real magic of Johnson’s performance in Snitch: his ability to play a compelling character despite his size, not because of it.

At no point in Snitch does Johnson’s character seem to consider violence as the first – or last, for that matter – solution to the problems he encounters throughout the story. There’s no moment when he gets fed up with a henchman and throws him through a window or overcomes a cartel kingpin with a brutal blast from a shotgun. He’s just a big guy from the suburbs with a nice house and a pool, and Johnson does a fantastic job of testing the character’s limits without ever making him feel like something he’s not. By making his flaws and shortcoming seem very real, Johnson and Waugh make the character’s victories – and the stakes of what he’s doing – seem that much more real, too.

I don’t even remember sex since my husband passed away – Mama G

“I don’t even remember sex. I have the right to remarry but I don’t want to. So, why think about it. It is when you set your mind at it that you begin to desire it. I have erased it from my mind.
When I see young people in love calling themselves ‘honey’, I just ignore it and move on. I don’t even remember sex because God has made me to be very busy.
I am attending one function or the other. Even if I am in a relationship with a man, the man won`t feel much of me because I am very busy. Look at some young girls who are married, they don’t give enough time to their families, how much less an old woman like me.
By God`s grace I am very busy. You can’t even bring it, once you bring it I cut you off”.
Should getting busy mean depriving yourself of the good company of getting married again if Pateince Ozorkwo so desires? And the good company of a partner with whom they share together?

Security company transforms Android tablet into hacking machine .

Hackers can rejoice and get ready to step up their mobile hacking skills. The folks at Wired report that security tools company Pwnie Express built a tablet, based on the Google Nexus 7 specs, that has a fully functioning hacking tool kit working over the Android operating system.
This isn’t the first time hacking tools have made their way onto Android devices, 

but Pwnie Express found a way to add some great new features, like getting tools such as Aircrack-ng and Kismet to work wirelessly.
Pwnie Express was able to get beyond the problem that Linux has working on wireless networks — the system doesn’t support the features that the hacking tools need to function — by plugging in a TP-Link wireless adaptor to the tablet, giving it 10 times the range.

The reason the company created this is not to actually hack systems, though it’s almost certain that some people will want to use it that way. Instead, it hopes to be a great new way for people to quickly and easily test out the security of their websites and find any flaws. While the same can be done with a laptop or desktop, the portability is the biggest benefit to using a tablet.

The tablets, named the Pwn Pad, are going to be introduced to the public at next week’s RSA security conference in San Francisco, and will retail for $800. Pwnie Express is also going to release the source code, allowing for hackers to install it onto other Android devices than the Pwn Pad.
Don’t expect to see the company do the same thing to the iPad. Apple isn’t a fan of people messing around with its devices, and it has already denied the company a bulk order they requested for this purpose.

New Chromebook Pixel: The 4G Google laptop that costs more than a MacBook Pro!

The rumours were true: Google has launched its own  Chrome OS laptop, the Chromebook Pixel. This stunning machine crams in the latest specs including a super sharp touchscreen – but would you pay more than a grand for little more than a web browser?
While Google’s relied on partners like Samsung and Acer to manufacture Chrome OS laptops until now, it’s getting into the game itself with the 16.2mm thick Chromebook Pixel, which packs 4G connectivity for super download speeds on the go, a blazing Intel Core i5 processor and a backlit keyboard.
 Five ways Android can Supercharge chrome OS
The piece de resistance however is the 12.85-inch display, with a better than HD 2,560×1,700 resolution – even sharper than Apple’s Retina Display MacBook Pros. It’s a touchscreen too, a first for Chrome OS, so you can prod around the web and pinch to zoom on images too.
Now for the bad news. If you fancy a Chromebook Pixel, you can order one from the Google Play store to ship next week (or walk into a Currys store) – but it costs a cool £1,049, fifty pounds more than the entry level 13-inch MacBook pro, and £200 more than the entry 11-inch MacBook Air. Is it worth it when you can only install web applications on Chrome OS?
You can check out the Chromebook Pixel in action in the clip below – tell us what you think of it in the comments below? Overpriced, or about time?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

10 Awesome Window and OS X keyboard Shortcuts you Never Knew.

So, young Padawan, you think you know your operating system? Think again. You might be au fait with basics like Ctrl + C or Cmd + C, but there’s more to life than a bit of copying and pasting. Here’s a little list of our favourite lesser-known shortcuts to revolutionise your workflow.

Windows Software:

Command: Win key + Shift + Right/Left Arrow Key
What it does: Moves active window to a second monitor, but keeps the window at the same size — i.e. if you have your web browser maximised on one screen, and want to move it to be maximised on the other, this’ll do it. If you juggle multiple monitors, it will change your life.

Command: Alt + Up arrow
What it does: Moves up one folder level in Explorer. Simple, awesome.

Command: Ctrl + Shift + Esc
What it does: Jumps straight to the Task Manager without having to go through the Ctrl + Alt + Delete screen. Because let’s be honest, when you press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, you only ever want the Task Manager. (Apple users, insert generic “oh look Windows people have to access the Task Manager, isn’t their OS rubbish” comment here.)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Become a DJ at any moment with This svelte splitter

The boyscouts pretty much nailed it when they coined the motto “Be Prepared to DJ.” And Swedish headphone manufacturer Urbanears wants to make that possible with Slussen, an audio jack splitter and app combo.
The setup includes a narrow profile splitter for simultaneously connecting headphones and a sound system to your iOS device, plus an app for the actual beat dropping. Urbanears seems to have its heart set on people specifically using Slussen at after-parties, you know because it’s “the most powerful after-party weapon known to man” and all. But you could easily use it in your car or with a portable speaker.
The splitter costs £13; comes in four colours and can hang on a keychain. Meanwhile, the  Slussen apphas standard effects like BPM control, equaliser, scratching and crossfade, plus it allows pre-listening. And best of all it’s free so you can use the app with any splitter you already own.

The New Sony PS4 will stream your old PS3 games from the cloud!

We’re just days away from Sony’s big PlayStation announcement, and now the leaks and reports are coming thick and fast. After last week’s leaked image of the tasty looking  new PS4 controller, a new report reveals that Sony has a plan to crack the issue of backwards compatibility in a novel way: by streaming your old PS3 games from the cloud!
The Wall street journal reports that the Sony PlayStation 4, expected to be unveiled at an event in New York on Wednesday night, will be able to stream PS3 games from the cloud. If you’ve got a decent broadband speed, you won’t need a disc to play old games, or even need to download them first, you can just pick up a controller and go.

The move explains why Sony purchased Onlive's game streaming rival Gaikai last year: backwards compatibility is a thorny issue, as many fans expect it, but with a switch in hardware it’s not always possible. By streaming them from PS3s in the cloud, Sony could get round this problem.
What’s not clear is if Sony will use its streaming tech for newer PS4games, or if it will charge you to stream PS3 games you’ve already purchased on disc for your current console. Hopefully all will become clear soon: tune in on Wednesday for all the details!

Bloodied After Alleged London Club Run-in

Rihanna capped off a night of partying in London with a bloodied knee after someone allegedly threw a bottle in her direction ... and screamed things at her about Chris Brown

According to reports, RiRi was leaving a club called The Box when someone threw a bottle of Lucozade (a UK energy drink) in her direction. The bottle didn't connect, but Rihanna allegedly scraped her knee during the commotion when she brushed up against a metal shop grate.

Rihanna was in town for London Fashion Week.

We reached out to a rep for RiRi -- so far, no word back.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Rihanna spends the evening “avoiding” Chris Brown in a nightclub

At the Grammys, Chris Brown and Rihanna were keen to flaunt their relationship by cosying up in front of the cameras – however last night it was a very different story.
It was Valentine’s Day, so of course you would’ve expected the two to be arm-in-arm as they spent the evening together yet instead the two apparently “avoided” each other while in a club.
According to reports the (possibly ex) couple ignored each other while at the venue in Hollywood and even left the place separately. An onlooker told the press today:
“Rihanna refused to sit with or even near Chris – and when Chris noticed she was there, he made a huge show of rubbing his presence in her face.”
It’s reports like this that probably make Rihanna’s pal Katy Perry  want to say: “I told you so”

Try Nexus 4 Wireless Charger hands-on

Palm's Touchstone dock immediately came to mind when  we first sawLG's Nexus 4 Wireless Charger last fall ( now available for $60 in the Play store). Both devices are circular, with a micro-USB port in back and a slanted front surface on which to rest the phone. That's where the similarities end -- while the Touchstone is cylindrical and uses a proprietary wireless charging system, the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger is larger, spherical and Qi-compatible. Another major difference is that Palm's dock uses magnets to line up and secure the handset, and LG's accessory relies solely on the friction between a rubber ring and the glass back of  Google's flagship phone. Design-wise the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger looks similar to a smaller Nexus Q cut in half, down to the matching recessed square connector cutout.

In the box you'll find a 5V 1.8A AC adapter (vs. 1.2A for the one supplied with the Nexus 4) along with a micro-USB cable (longer than the one provided with the handset). The manual warns to "use only the power adapter and micro-USB cable that come with your Nexus 4 Wireless Charger", but we didn't have any trouble with other USB power sources beyond longer charging times. We tested the dock with the Nexus 4,  Droid DNA Lumia  920 and 822(with the optional Wireless Charging Cover) -- basically, LG's accessory provides the same experience as Nokia's Wireless Charging plate($50), which is also Qi-compatible. The $10 difference buys you a matching design and a spare USB power adapter and micro-USB cable (Nokia's plate comes with a proprietary AC adapter). It takes about 4 hours to fully charge Google's flagship phone using wireless power -- check out the gallery above for some action shots.

PS4 Controller “More or Less” the Same, but with Front Touchpad

Development sources who claim to be holding Sony’s next-generation PlayStation4 controller in their hands right now say it does indeed come with the rumoured front touchpad that’s been mooted for quite some time.
According to sources quoted by  the PS4′s controller is largely the same as the current generation Dual Shock, only with remodeled shoulder buttons and the Start and Select buttons shifted aside to make way for the touch input panel. Previous reports of there being (as in the above mock-up) to enable the capture and sharing of game grabs and footage were debunked, with this latest source claiming there’s no such thing.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Is Samsung making a smartwatch for the Galaxy S4?

Just days after we heard that Apple is working on a smartwatch that’ll pair up with your iPhone to shove notifications to your wrist, a new report hints that Samsung is doing the very same thing for its next flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S4. Read on for all the details.
SamMobile has published the names of a leaked list of accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S4 line of products – codenamed Project J – including a “J Mini Serrano”, which could well be a trimmed down version of the phone in the same vein as the Galaxy S3 Mini. Most intriguing of all though is the mention of a “Project J Active Fortius”, which comes with an arm band, a bike mount and a pouch.
To us, that sounds like Samsung has crafted a fitness gadget to go with the Samsung Galaxy S4, much like  Sony smartwatch and Motorola's Motoactv  GPS watch powered by Android. It’s got some experience in the area – back in 2009 it released its own Mobile phone watch with a touchscreen, pictured above, and another one as far back as 2003.
What else a Samsung smartwatch could do is unknown at this point, but those accessories suggest that it’ll at least log your runs and speed – but don’t be surprised if it connects to your emails and message inboxes as well. Will you be able to control it using S-Voice? We’ll hopefully find out very soon: the Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to launch as soon as next month.
Would you buy a smartwatch to go with the Samsung Galaxy S4? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Friday, 15 February 2013

How to use Bump to transfer files between your phone and your computer .

It’s not hard to fall in love with Bump, an app you can use to easily swap images and contact details between two mobile devices, or between a phone or a tablet and a computer. Today, by introducing a file-sharing option, the app has become even more useful (and an even better friend to students and 
office workers). 

As the app’s name implies, using Bump entails physically bumping your phone or tablet against a surface to initiate a file transfer. On the computer, you need to tap the spacebar. You don’t actually need to bump your mobile device on the spacebar unless you find it funny to awkwardly tap a 10-inch tablet on a keyboard like we do. The app’s developers claim this new feature turns Bump into an “unlimited USB flash drive that is always with you.

” Not how we’d personally describe it, but as someone who uses multiple mobile and computer platforms, we find the file transfer feature a very valuable addition. 
To transfer documents and other files between a mobile device and a computer, simply load the Bump app and the Bump website on a computer, bump your device, hit your spacebar, and then click connect.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Check out solar charging tent for electric vehicles

A story caught our eye from designboom (via Green Car Reports) about a clever EV charging station from a designer named Haken Gursu of DesignNobis, a creative design firm based in Turkey. Gursu has rendered a rather simple yet ingenious bit of EV charging tech called the “V-Tent.”
The V-Tent is a solar panel canopy that extends over EVs while parked, providing both protection from the elements and also solar power for recharge.

We absolutely love this idea. We’re less interested in its protective properties – designboom suggests the tents could deter theft as they create barriers when unfolded – and more in its power-harnessing potential. One of the big issues with EVs is power generation. While coal-fired power plants (which provide more than 50-percent of US electricity) are inherently more efficient than gasoline engines, they 

still pollute. EVs could recharge – albeit slowly – off of the sun rather than off the coal-fired grid.
The paid-by-card charging stations would allow for smartphone connectivity through an app, which would give users charge-time estimates. It’s not clear how long a charge would take. Right now, a full recharge would most likely take days. Solar panel technology, however, is rapidly improving so the viability of a solar charge canopy like this could be greatly improved in several years.
With concerns over the long-term practicality of EVs as a mainstream replacement for gasoline-powered vehicles, it’s creative designs like this that could be a boon to EVs. Watch an animation of the tents in action here.

Are Google Searches Racist?

It’s tough to imagine computers and robots and electrical wiring being racist but a Harvard study has found “significant discrimination” in advertising results depending on the perceived race of the name you search for. Names typically associated with black people produced more ads related to crime. Searches for white names would be harmless.
That would be, um, racist. The study, done by Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney, found that names that are perceived as more black (Kareem, Leroy and Keisha) were 25% more likely to have advertisements that read ‘Arrested?’ from a website that does criminal record checks than names that weren’t black. Those other names (Brad, Luke and Katie) just had ads for websites that offer generic contact details.
But is that Google being racist? Or the people (that would be us) using Google who are racist? Sweeney suggests that Google’s algorithm to display ads may have found a certain ad getting more clicks versus another ad when searching the same name. EVERYBODY IS A RACIST.Check and write your comment.