Here’s a hack for getting Apple’s new media control software, Front Row, working on earlier Macs and Minis. TUAW is hosting a reader video of a guy in Switzerland who got Front Row working on a Mini using his Bluetooth phone as a remote. His geekly snicker, when he gets the whole thing working, is hysterical.
An artist, Seth Weiner, has created a robotic vehicle piloted by a goldfish. The fish goes about its aquatic business in a bowl mounted on a two-wheeled cart. A camera above the bowl tracks the fish’s location and uses that information to send signals to a motor controller and two servos driving the bicycle wheels. Signal processing is done off-bot, via a PC and wireless connection. Called the Terranaut, this fish about town, is part of the NYC show “EXIT BIENNIAL 2 : Traffic.” at Exit Art
Our comrades over at Engadget are running a Halloween Costume Contest. Be the biggest geek in your clan and you could win some awesome prizes, such as a 30GB video iPod, a Moto RAZR V3, or a Tokyo Flash watch.
We don’t do many software reviews here on Street Tech, but I’ve really been enjoying a little app I downloaded a few weeks ago called pearLyrics. Available as a Widget for Tiger or a stand-alone app for Panther (yes, unfortunately, it’s Mac-only), pearLyrics runs in tandem with iTunes (5.0 or higher). As you play a track, it looks up the lyrics using a number of lyrics databases. It presents the lyrics in the pearl app (or Widget), and you can also tell it to automatically paste them into the new Lyrics tab in iTunes. Nifty. Of course, you’re still at the mercy of the many misheard lyrics found on these sites, but it’s a start, anyway.
If you’re as confused as the rest of us about all the flavors of digital television and the acroymn salad served alongside it, this glossary of terms (on the equally recommended HD Beat) should help clear things up (at least until there’s a new wave of standards introduced along with new unpronounceables to tumble around inside your mouth).
Our buds over at Solarbotics have released a nifty new kit, called the Turbot (US$60). As BEAM enthusiasts know, a turbot is a relatively primitive, (often) tetrahedron-shaped bot that lumbers around on (usually) two long, twisting arms. While many turbots are rather brutish, persistently “attacking” other bots (or your foot), the Solarbotics Turbot has added a motor stall detector circuit, so the bot will back off and go on about its stone-age business after a few seconds of flailing against your Chuck Taylors.
Dave at Solarbotics was kind enough to send Street Tech a review copy of the Turbot and we plan on a full review as soon as we have the critter built. I’m excited about this kit after having built the Solarbotics Sumovore for a review in the latest issue of Make (No. 4). That kit was first rate and really fun to put together, so I expect the same from this one.
This is nifty: apps.tv is an application for TiVo’s Home Media Engine which allows you to point TiVo to a remote server to grab HME applications without having to go through your home network. The app offers a Subscription Manager in “Music, Photos, & More,” where you can subscribe/unsubscribe to HME apps.
The latest installment of Gina Trapani’s Lifehacker column, Geek to Live, is a decent set of tips on how to set up your house for greater personal productivity.
From the makers of Ebola Happy Fun Ball, SARS Chew, and Influenza Sticks comes NanoMask, the nanoparticle-coated filter mask designed to “arrest and eradicate…undesirable agents.” Send before midnight tonight, and they’ll also toss in a free ebook (“H5N1 Virus: How to Protect Your Family Against the Coming Pandemic”), AND if you buy the family pack of 5-color-coded masks, they’ll throw in a free bottle of snake oi…er… ImmunAssure, the “amazing virus-fighting tablet.” Wait, I thought the mask had already killed the virus dead on contact. Oh well, best not to think too hard here.
[BTW: We made up those other products (Ebola Happy Fun Ball, et al.) We kid the NanoMask people. We kid because we love.]
Clueless court and patent office goons strike again. According to a piece on TechDirt:
Last month a judge upheld a patent ruling against BCGI for helping mobile operators offer prepaid wireless solutions. Yes, that’s right. Having someone pay you before you give them mobile phone service is patented. Now, the judge has increased the fine and issued an injunction that means many carriers offering BCGI’s prepaid wireless offerings will have to stop.