Here’s an idea to shake up the boring old GPS navigation market. Take a standard GPS navigation app and instead of adding expensive traffic monitoring, just get everybody else out on the roads to check in. Sounds pretty reasonable to me and that, in a nutshell, is the central concept behind Waze – the community powered GPS app for Android. You can find Waze for free in the Android Market, where it currently has a 4.5 rating and over 74,000 downloads.
iOS users might bitch about iTunes, but it gives them access to all aspects of their iPhone or iPad without making them jump through too many hoops. And while there have been some apps that claim to offer similar functionality for Android devices, none of them really cut the mustard. Airdroid however, is a complete solution that not only works brilliantly, but is completely free.
Airdroid enables you to transfer from and to your Android device over-the-air on your home or office wi-fi network. As long as your PC or Mac is on the same wi-fi network, you can move stuff between the two. Once you’ve installed the app on your Android device you access it via your web browser using the address and password the app supplies to you on start-up.
Once you’ve logged into your ‘droid device you can transfer files, send and receive SMS messages, add and remove applications, access your memory card, add or remove contacts, install desktop wallpapers and transfer or playback music and video files. In short it does everything you can do with iTunes and a whole lot more besides.
In my testing, on my rooted Cyanogen ZTE9 tablet, Airdroid worked perfectly in harmony with my Macbook Pro. It connected first time, every time and it transferred everything I asked it to. The info window (lifted wholesale, it must be said, from iTunes) is a useful way of seeing what’s taking up space on your device – you get read-outs for both internal and external memory.
This is an absolutely essential application for all Android users, whatever computer platform you use. It offers such slick and seamless access to your phone or tablet that you’ll wonder how you got by before. It’s available for free download from the Android market right now.
Apple TVs are terrific little devices – and cheap ones too, considering who makes them. However they’re not the most flexible of devices and unless you crack them and install something like Plex, you won’t be watching any MKVs on it any time soon. All of which makes Beamer such a potentially useful device.
All that Beamer does it enable you to stream video files from your Mac to your Apple TV device, without requiring any jailbreak or any file conversion. The software supports most of the common formats although, let’s be honest, MKV’s the only one that really matters. You can get Beamer here.
My first bike light was powered by dynamo and the strength of the light it put out depended entirely on how fast I was going – so terrific downhill, but not much use the other way. Fortunately the technology has moved on and these days you can get a fantastic, bright and light LED light set for your bike to illuminate your way and make you visible to other road users.
The ATC CREE XM-L T6 is a LED bike light set that’s waterproof and pumps out 1000-Lumens off nothing more than a 4400mAh battery. It includes four modes (strong, medium and low brightness settings and a flashing mode designed to piss off car drivers). It has an aluminium case and is supplied with a headband so you can wear it on your bonce if the mood takes you. It costs $75 and is available now from Amazon.
While camera technology has continued to fall in price, to the point that anyone can take high definition footage even with a mobile phone, the accessories used for film-making have remained pricey. With a bit of ingenuity, however, it’s possible to emulate most of the shots the professionals employ when they’re making a film. One particular shot used for tracking along with a subject, utilises a bit of gear called a Dolly, which is effectively just a cart on a track.
The CineSkates Camera Slider is a very scaled down and very portable Dolly specifically designed for mobile phones, compact cameras and DSLRs. The product itself is three custom wheels that attach to a GorillaPod and enable you to film shots that push or pull the subject into focus, rolling shots that glide over the subject and even “Worm’s eye view” shots that slide just above the floor.
So there’s that scene in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me in which James Bond hops on board a jet-ski (first ever appearance of that gadget incidentally) and rides over to the amazing ocean headquarters of industrialist and billionaire Karl Stromberg. Well now that amazingly futuristic abode envisaged by the movie’s designers has taken a step closer to reality.
Project Utopia is the brainchild of BMT Yachts, a yacht design, consultancy and surveying services company. The vision for Utopia is that it would measure over 100m in length and breadth and span over 11 decks, giving it the equivalent volume of a present‐day cruise liner. The design team say that Utopia is based on a four legged platform that employs the same principals of a small waterplane area design meaning that there would be minimum ocean movement in even the most extreme sea conditions.
In The Spy Who Loved Me, Stromberg’s Atlantis was submersible and while Utopia is not, it can move. Each leg supports a thruster, enabling Utopia to move between different locations at slow speeds. The craft also features a conduit for the mooring system, a wet dock for access by tender and multiple helicopter pads. When you win that super jackpot on the lottery, you have to get one of these things.
So many months into my Five Star Wall feature and this week I’d like to show off one of my own favourite walls. It’s a photo wall that was taken at a nearby river as an amazing sun was settings over the oyster beds and the mangroves. You can get it, here.
Assuming you live in a country where a long-dead race of people buried their trinkets underground and then forgot about them, there’s plenty of fun to be had with metal detectors. Spend some time wafting your detector over the soil of the right field and you might just turn up a treasure trove. And if you don’t live somewhere like that, then there’s always busy tourist beaches at dusk.
The TK4-PL is a tried and tested metal detector that can be yours for just $90. It can detect all the right types of metal while the progressive discrimination control eliminates stuff like iron. It is light and operates on two 9-volt batteries. To get the most out of the unit you’ll want to use a pair of headphones to filter out background noise. It’s available here.
Five Cool Dark Minimalist Wallpapers : We've scoured the wallpaper sites and are happy to present to you, five incredibly cool wallpapers that are the very essence of minimalistic. For this first rou...
Here at Geekosity we're dedicated to bringing you news you haven't read anywhere else. There's a hundred tech blogs out there, but have you ever noticed how they all cover the same stories, over and over again? We're happy to let them tell you about the latest iPad rumours for the 10th time you've heard it that day, or the news on Microsoft's profits for the 15th time that day. We look for equally interesting stories that have passed by the cloned tech news sites - stories about software, gadgets, science news - anything we think might interest like-minded geeks. The site is edited by Andy Hutchinson, a veteran tech journo with over 20 years experience in hardware, software, gadgets and free lunches with PR people. Thanks for dropping by.