Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Digitally simulated worm wriggles for the first time (video)

OpenWorm wriggles for the first time

It’s relatively easy to simulate life in an abstract sense, but it’s tricky to do that cell-by-cell — just ask the OpenWorm Project, which has spent months recreating a nematode in software. However, the team recently cleared an important milestone by getting its virtual worm to wiggle for the first time. The project now has an algorithm that triggers the same muscle contractions you’d see in the real organism, getting the 1,000-cell simulation to “swim” in a convincing fashion. There’s still a long way to go before OpenWorm has a complete lifeform on its hands, mind you. The group has to introduce code for a nervous system, and performance is a problem — it takes 72 hours to emulate one third of a second’s worth of activity. If all goes well, though, you’ll eventually get to play with the worm through a browser. In the meantime, you can check out the digital critter’s motion in a video after the break.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/26/openworm-project/?ncid=rss_truncated

Put a box to good use with ShoeboxCNC

Oh, the lowly box. It spends most of the year being broken down, stashed away and pulped, but one day a year, it gets its moment to shine (at least in the UK and various Commonwealth Nations). Consider the ShoeboxCNC a continued celebration of the cardboard vessel, a kit you build from the box it arrives in. The router is an Arduino-controlled CNC fabrication machine you can put to use for all sorts of things that require an arm that moves on the X Y and Z axes – from cookie frosting to picturing painting (with varying degrees of success, of course). It’s not exactly a heavy duty router or miller – more the sort of kit you’d expect from something made out of cardboard. Still, it looks to be a fun weekend activity for burgeoning makers – or a nice classroom project. The company’s just opened up its Kickstarter, hoping to harness a bit of that spirit of giving. $250 will get you a kit scheduled to be delivered around this time next year, for an early Boxing Day celebration.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/25/shoeboxcnc/?ncid=rss_truncated

Engadget Eurocast 049 Christmas Edition

The Engadget Eurocast team is obviously delirious on eggnog, as they’ve chosen to spend a good portion of their Christmas day together nestled in Snuggies and sitting around a warm fire to bring you this special holiday podcast. Your host Daniel Cooper gets things rolling with a specially crafted, year-in-review tech quiz that elicits both insightful chatter and raucous tangents. It’s game on for Jamie who aims to win all the quiz points and that’s fine with Matt as his Avengers sticker book is all he needs this holiday. Steve will probably just spend the rest of the day on his Xbox One and Dan will be trading his Snuggie for a toolbelt, as he’s in for a bit of D.I.Y. It’s a warm and inviting chat, and we hope that you’ll be able to stop by. Grab your eggnog (it’s BYOE) and head on down to the streaming links below for this episode of the Engadget Eurocast!

Hosts: Dan Cooper, Matt Brian, Jamie Rigg, Steve Dent

Producer: Jon Turi

Hear the Podcast:

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Follow us / send questions on Twitter: @daniewcooper, @m4tt, @jmerigg, @stevetdent

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/25/engadget-eurocast-049/?ncid=rss_truncated

Cydia update courts iOS 7 jailbreakers with a new interface (video)

Cydia on iOS 7

The availability of an iOS 7 jailbreak may have caught the Cydia team off-guard, but not for long. Jay Freeman and fellow developers have just updated their unofficial app platform to match Apple’s minimalist look. It’s more than just a cosmetic upgrade, too, as it includes iOS 7’s swipe-based navigation and appears to run faster. Individual app writers will still have to update their code for everything to run smoothly, but jailbreak users who’ve just been waiting for an OS-native Cydia will want to check for the update today.

[Image credit: iOS Hacker]

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/24/cydia-update-courts-ios-7-jailbreakers-with-a-new-interface/?ncid=rss_truncated

US Energy Department outlines efficiency standards for set-top boxes, Verizon already on board

The US government, the CEA (you know, the group that runs CES) and pay-TV providers want to save consumers $1 billion annually with a new voluntary standard for set-top box (STB) energy-efficiency. By curtailing phantom power usage and implementing a pair of sleep modes for periods of device inactivity, these non-regulatory guidelines could save enough energy each year to power some 700,000 homes. According to the industry announcement, many cable and satellite providers are already on-board, with Verizon implementing a light-sleep option in certain FiOS boxes sold starting January 1st, 2014. Still, the group expressed some concern that scaling back an STB’s power might negatively impact the user experience. What good is a lower electric bill when your DVR takes forever to resume from standby?

[Image credit: quinn.anya/Flickr]

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/24/set-top-box-power-regulations/?ncid=rss_truncated

BlackBerry’s latest casualty: Two unreleased phones

2013 continues to be a downer year for the company formerly known as Research In Motion. The Wall Street Journal has just uncovered a tidbit in BlackBerry’s latest earnings report that states two unreleased phones had to be cancelled due to poor sales of its existing handsets. Apparently code-named Cafe and Kopi, they were slated to be sold as budget phones for emerging markets but had to be nixed to “mitigate the identified inventory risk.” This comes on the heels of BlackBerry’s announcement that it’s partnering up with FoxConn for device manufacturing and canceling its annual conference in order to save costs. It all seems rather dire, but the Wall Street Journal also reports that the company is still working on a couple of higher-end handsets internally code-named Ontario and Windermere. Whether or not those phones will see the light of day, however, remains to be seen.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/23/blackberrys-latest-casualty-two-unreleased-phones/?ncid=rss_truncated