Many times when people are bored they turn to activities that can be rather uneventful or sometimes even deviant. In the case of Google engineer Paul Carff, his bout of boredom lead to a project that is neither deviant or uneventful and the term bad-ass definitely comes to mind. Meet KegDroid, aka “Betsy”, Carff’s automated kegerator that is controlled by a Motorola Xoom tablet and an NFC card.
KegDroid is essentially an Arduino-automated beer dispenser that that uses an NFC card to link to your Google account. Once linked up and as long as you are authorized, a special app pops up that allows you to pick from the two beers on tap and select the amount of brew to be poured. KegDroid is currently just a personal project that belongs to Carff but in the video he mentions that we would like to see it available around the world in the future. That means that we are stuck dreaming about owning such a cool toy for the time being. Jump past the break to see Carff’s full demo video and to see what could be in store for us in the future.
One of the most reported complaints about the ASUS Transformer Prime is the trouble it has locking on to a GPS signal. Now, whether or not that is even a valid complaint for a tablet can be argued until blue in the face. I personally think using a tablet for a GPS unit is a silly thought and would never think to Velcro my Prime to my cars window or strap it to my bike’s handlebars. But who am I to judge? And apparently ASUS doesn’t want to judge either because they want to keep their positive customer service in tact and have offered Prime owners a solution – a free GPS dongle.
All a Prime owner needs to do is simply register their tablet and in a few weeks will receive this tablet add-on in the mail. Speaking of receiving a dongle in the mail, our pals at Engadget already got their dongle and put together a little video showing how it can drastically improve GPS reception. The Prime managed to lock on to 16 satellites in only a matter of seconds and should prove to be more than enough signal for anyone. It may not be the prettiest of solutions, but hey, at least it free. Jump past the break to check it out in action.
Reasearch In Motion has decided to drop the major bombshell and stop the ability to sideload Android apps on the Blackberry PlayBook. It’s reasoning? RIM highlights 53 percent of surveyed Android developers believe app piracy is either somewhat of a problem or a huge problem. This seems to fall in line with recent findings showing apps being published without (Android) developer consent. Here’s Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations summing it up best:
“[P]iracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.”
While it seems like it’s a direct attack on the Android platform, there’s actually some reasoning to his statement. The
Android Market Play Store has a number of quality apps available, but every now and then users will have to search through a multitude of poorly developed apps in order to find the real jewels. RIM wants to keep the integrity of its own app store by keeping its app ecosystem full of quality apps— even if the number is dwarfed by what is found in the Play Store. That means reducing the number of unofficially ported apps to the PlayBook in favor of a smaller number of apps that were developed, tested and certified by developers and RIM.
For many DROID RAZR owners out there, the DROID RAZR MAXX is a topic of bitterness and jealousy. I would certainly not be impressed if my cellphone carrier decided to release a nearly identical version of my new phone with a gigantic increase in battery life and sell it at the same exact price only 2 months after mine was released. However, for the handy men and women out there, there is a solution that might be of some interest. Cellphone Repair Shop has created a DROID RAZR MAXX conversion kit that will set you back $110. Apparently the phones have identical hardware except for the back housing/battery cover. The kit includes:
The base kit doesn’t seem to include the tools necessary to unscrew and pry the back cover off, however you can request to have those included for an additional cost. I realize that this may not be the perfect solution for some, but for those that want to double their battery life, this would be cheaper than breaking contract or even using an upgrade to grab a RAZR MAXX. Let us know if this kit will be the answer to your DROID RAZR woes in the comments.
source: Cellphone Repair Shop
Remember a few weeks back when I told you about the awesome custom etched Galaxy Nexus battery doors that you could get through an IndiGoGo project? Well the IndiGoGo project has successfully come to an end but our good buddy Omar Trujillo isn’t finished just yet. After exceeding his pledge goal 6x over, Omar decided it was time to set up a more permanent outlet for Android lovers to pimp out their beloved handsets. Enter AndEtch - your one stop shop for the ultimate in Android device customization.
Interesting news coming from the Motorola camp as they are now offering their Xyboard tablets with nano-coating technology. The good news is that is means the Wi-Fi only tablets are now water-resistant, allowing users to simply wipe off spills in case of an accident. The bad news is that this doesn’t apply to the 4G laden Verizon models, and no, Moto isn’t going to upgrade them either. So if you already bought a Xyboard from Verizon, you are just going to need to remain being careful with your device around liquids. Kind of a lame move on Motorola’s part, it would’ve been nice to see an upgrade option even if was for a nominal fee. No word on whether Motorola teamed up with Liquipel or HzO, or just created their own coating.
In case you were wondering, the prices remain the same as before. $399 for the 8.2-inch and $499 for the 10.1-inch, but this time around Moto is throwing in a free $90 portfolio case with purchase. If you have been looking to get a new Xyboard but have been holding out, now would be the time to get one. Hit one of the source links below to make a purchase.
Update: Looks like they were always splash proof. In fact this is from the original presser about the DROID XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1:
Both are equipped with scratch-resistant displays that use Corning® Gorilla® Glass to stay brilliant and a coating of water-repellent nanoparticles makes them resistant to accidental spills and splashes.
Even Rob missed this in his review. With so many devices and so many specs, sometimes things fall through the cracks. We’re sorry about the confusion.
In this day and age, technology is designed to make our lives simpler. We no longer need to pull over to a rest area to use a payphone. Paper maps are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We can now carry thousands of books with us without requiring years of weight training. The devices we carry with us every day are rapidly becoming indispensable.
So this is why we freak out when we suddenly don’t have access to our smartphones, either through damage or loss. This single point of failure is why we have a growing market of protective phone cases, insurance, and remote wipe software. How can we guarantee we’ll never lose or break our phones? Only one way I see…remove the device from the equation.
If there was no physical device we had to keep track of, there would obviously be no fear of losing it. But the device is what gives us the power to do all those wonderful things. So what if we natively had the same abilities our smartphones have without having to carry anything around? Enter the Android Brain Implant™ (ABI).
Okay I’ll admit it, when I am out in public I secretly think to myself when looking at random people, “pew pew, got you.” What I mean by that of course is that if I had a Nerf gun or laser tag device I’d run around and shoot them at random folk. Now before you look at me like I am weird and all, you can’t admit that you wouldn’t do the same or at least think about doing the same. When I saw the XAPPR AR idea I got excited about this becoming a reality. Well AppTag Laser Tag looks to throw their hat into the ring as well. As they put it:
“Imagine over 1,000 people all playing together across an entire city, or 10-20 friends battling it out in a park! AppTag will allow for Real World First Person Shooter Games…it’s like Call of Duty in the real world!”
How can anyone not like a “real world” Call of Duty-esque experience? Well much like the Laser-etched Galaxy Nexus backplates there is a campaign to make this a reality and all they want is some help from us folk in the form of a donation. Their goal of $30,000 has already been reached but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to donate. Those who pledge money from now until the end of the campaign (9 days from now) will get a guarantee of delivery from the first batch and at a discounted price to boot! It will come with a free app so that you can play immediately when the gun is delivered. You can get it all for $39.99 for a single unit or $74.99 for a two pack and it will be available in June online and in stores.
The company is also releasing the SDK for the developers to build their on augmented reality app that takes advantage of these guns. You can hit the source below to donate and get in on this augmented reality laser tag campaign. Like I said you have nine days to get in on the discount pricing and first-batch shipments. I know I’m going to. Enjoy!
source: Kickstarter Campaign
We talked plenty about Sony’s Xperia line of phones over the past couple months, the Xperia P and U, Xperia S, Xperia Ion, Xperia Play2 and the Hayabusa(?). Now, it’s time to see what the Xperia name can really do… on the racetrack. The Reckless Racing 2 racetrack. In real life even!
The crazy people behind the Xperia Studio have taken a couple of MGF cars and completely automated them to be driven entirely by the physical buttons of the Xperia Play and the touchscreen of the Xperia S. I don’t suspect this is anything that you think about when shopping for a smart phone, let alone will attempt to do, but it’s pretty bad-ass nonetheless. What you are about to see is a couple of grown men playing with some seriously cool toys. Check out the video below and let us know what you think.
If you want to see more on this Xperia Studio experiment and others, be sure to hit up the source link.