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Items of Note: A big thanks to Matt and Will (who you’ll see feedback below) for sending us some ideas for upcoming episodes. In addition to some retro-tech, we’ll also be featuring some Windows 7 previews and segments. I’m currently downloading RC1 and installing it on my Mac via Parallels. Let us know what you want for us to test out!
Will D on Twitter let us know his thoughts on the Kindle DX: “I’d be all over the #KindleDX – If I won the Lotto, that is. Beautiful, but too pricey, especially for a Public Library guy.”
Matt writes (one of many things that will be featured on upcoming episodes): “- Are you guys tracking the latest Star Trek buzz? Lot’s of geeks are awaiting it.”
Geek This Week:
This week I’ve been looking at ways to learn to program for the iPhone. For a few months I’ve wanted to make an app for the platform but never really knew what to make. Earlier this week an idea came to me and I figured it was time to learn how to develop for the platform. Xcode isn’t the easiest platform to figure out on your own and Apple’s documentation wasn’t helping either since I have no experience coding on OS X and have no books. After some searching on Google, I found that Stanford University offered an iPhone programming course this spring and put the entire course on iTunes U for free! The lectures are all video-recorded and they also provide the PDF’s of the Keynote presentations. In addition, the classes website is publicly accessible, giving access to all the course materials and sample code.
The course is 10-weeks and each lecture is about an hour long. I’ve just started and it’s awesome! Even more amazing is that it’s free! You can access the course via iTunes here: http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/itunes.stanford.edu.2024353965.02024353968
Played some Street Fighter 4 with a friend of mine and his stepson who is 9. Xbox live is cool but awesome to play with live people. My friends step-son was using Zangief and pulled off his super power screwdriver move on his step-dad. We all yelled. Good times.
Messing around with VisionLab Studios. Did a demo of my father shooting guns. Tried out the muzzle flashes and pretty easy to create. You have an x and y axis to show the direction and depth of the muzzle flash. Did a Beretta, shotgun and a machine gun.
Tech & Gaming News:
The Beatles: Rock Band Gets The Beatles Guitars
Harmonix and MTV today announce two new Beatles-themed guitar controllers going on sale when The Beatles: Rock Band hits stores in September – the Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet.
The Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet are a pair of full-bodied, classic guitars used extensively by John Lennon and George Harrison throughout their careers. Both guitars should be available for purchase when The Beatles: Rock Band launches on September 9th, retailing for $99, This brings the price tag for the true Beatles Rock Band experience up to $450, and that’s not counting extra microphones.
Amazon Announces Kindle DX
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the much-anticipated large-screen Kindle e-reader on Wednesday. Called the Kindle DX, the new device is geared toward readers of personal and professional documents, newspapers, and magazines–and textbooks, a potentially huge target market.
The debut of the bigger Kindle wasn’t exactly a secret: rumors of a larger-screen Kindle had been around for quite some time, and concrete reports began to surface earlier this week. Several of those features are shared with the current Kindle 2, but several are unique to the Kindle DX: the native PDF reader that doesn’t require the files to be converted, the rotating display, the 3,500-publication capacity compared to 1,500 for the Kindle 2, and of course the larger screen.
“You never have to pan, you never have to zoom, you never have to scroll, you just see the documents,” Bezos said.
The Kindle DX retails for $489 (the standard Kindle is $359), and is available for pre-orders now on Amazon. It’ll ship this summer.
As expected, education is a big market for the bigger Kindle. Amazon has partnered with textbook manufacturers Pearson, Cengage Learning, and Wiley to bring textbooks to the Kindle–which Bezos says make up 60 percent of the textbook market–as well as Arizona State University, Princeton University, Reed College, the University of Virginia, and Case Western Reserve University to launch a Kindle DX pilot program this fall.
Wall Street Rumor States Apple Eying EA
CNBC panelist mentions “chatter” of a potential takeover.
The rumor mill is starting to churn on another takeover bid, and this one comes from a fairly reputable source. Financial Web site The Street reports that on a recent episode of CNBC’s Fast Money, one panelist suggested that Apple may be looking into a takeover of games giant EA. Guy Adami claimed there has been “chatter” for the move recently on Wall Street, but unfortunately didn’t offer any details beyond that.
Chatter could mean speculation, or actual interest from the company, but there’s no telling. Apple has been gaining ground in videogames since the launch of the iPhone and its ubiquitous AppStore, and it has plenty of money to spend on ventures like this one. On the other hand, EA is a juggernaut publisher and hasn’t been suffering as much as smaller game houses in this poor economy, so a buyout would be costly. For now chalk it up as only rumor based on a vague reference to “chatter,” and we’ll keep an eye out for more details. Apple console? How amazing would that be?
Test a Geek
1) What was the name of the first video ever uploaded to youtube? A: me at the zoo uploaded at 8:27 p.m. april 23rd 2005
2) What is the meaning of the word “Nintendo”? A: “Leave luck to heaven” in recognition of it’s card game roots
3) What was the name of apple’s first pda? A: The Newton
How To: Build Perfect Workout Playlists
When you’re working out and you have music pulsing through your ears, tempo, pacing and the beat of all your music needs to come together to help you get through those tough parts of your workout. One great way to make that perfect playlist is with a program called BeatScanner.
BeatScanner is a free application for Windows that scans your music library to determine the beats per minute (BPM) of each track, then build playlists based on BPM for the perfect workout mix.
Lifehacker.com has quoted a sports psychology professor who claimed that the ideal BPM for workout music is somewhere between 120 and 140 BPM. That means if you wanted to use BeatScanner to help you build a killer workout playlist, you can let the app analyze your library, then set 130 BPM as your target and set the range to 10. With any luck, you’ll be able to use this whittled down list to put together the perfect workout playlist.
It’s not the nicest-looking program you’ll ever see, but it gets the job done and most importantly, lets you get out to the gym faster. BeatScanner is a free download.
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