AUSTIN, Texas--Marketers are everywhere here at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, but this year they've discovered some prime new territory: private transportation. The annual geek gathering is nominally headquartered at the Austin Convention Center, but in reality sprawls all across the city's downtown, and given the amount of late-night revelry taking place, cab rides are commonplace. Luckily for this year's attendees, a whole lot of those rides are free--or cheap.
The battle is on for two transportation network start-ups that are poised to go head-to-head at SXSW to promote their private car booking applications.
West-Coast-based Uber has a head start over East Coast transportation veteran LimoRes, which is promoting its new GroundLink app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. To close the publicity gap, LimoRes is offering attendees $10 rides in a private car anywhere in Austin, Texas, (including to and from the airport) using the GroundLink iPhone app. Uber, which apparently has appeared at the conference before and so its people know how small Austin is and how … Read more
Random BackGround from RealityRipple is a free desktop wallpaper utility. It displays a randomized slideshow of selected images that changes at regular preset intervals. It can handle JPEG, GIF, DIB, and BMP images. It does its job well enough, but it's a step back from the built-in wallpaper features in the latest Windows offerings.
When we installed and opened Random BackGround in Windows 7, a warning message appeared and the setup closed. However, when we left-clicked the program's system tray icon, we got a file menu. We clicked New Background with no luck, but clicking Settings opened a … Read more
Smart-grid company Tendril Networks said it has acquired Grounded Power, a small company with expertise in the social aspects of energy efficiency.
Boulder, Co.-based Tendril makes devices and software for presenting electricity usage information to consumers. It makes a small countertop display called the Vision designed to help people better manage home energy and reduce electricity use. People can also access that data via smartphone applications or a Web portal.
By buying Newton, Mass.-based Grounded Power, Tendril hopes to add some of the techniques Grounded Power has developed for personalized energy management, said Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck today. … Read more
If people can quit smoking and lose weight, then surely then can save energy at home, says GroundedPower.
The Newton, Mass.-based start-up is one of dozens of smart-grid companies working in home energy efficiency, but it's one of the few whose founders are versed in psychology and behavioral science. That's one reason GroundedPower has chosen to focus on people as much as technology.
GroundedPower's Web-based application combines home electricity monitoring with tools to make a home energy efficiency plan and get recommendations from others. It also makes a very simple hardware device called "Glance" … Read more
Wednesday's video was a basic overview of how to wire up an amplifier to your car stereo system. Well, today's clip is a practical demonstration of grinding grounds, soldering the terminals, and running the power cable from the front end of the car all the way to the back.
To run the wire from the front of the car where your alternator and battery are, you'll need to find or make a hole big enough for your wire to make it into the interior of the vehicle. (Don't worry, the narrator describes where to look for … Read more
Tuesday's video blog was all about wiring and hooking up an aftermarket head unit into your car stereo, but let's suppose you want to create a big, bumpin' system. In that case, you want to get yourself an amp. And if you want to see how to hook up an amp to your car stereo, you've come to the right place, as this Web clip is a practical demonstration on how to make it happen.
This instructional clip goes over some of the tools and materials you'll need to wire and install the amp, how to … Read more
Is the iPhone finally coming to Verizon? According to an article over at Apple Insider, sources in the Taiwan handset supply chain say Apple has contracted to produce a UMTS/CDMA hybrid iPhone, making it compatible with more networks worldwide. The sources say the move indicates that Apple is specifically targeting Verizon and that we may see Verizon iPhones by the end of next year.
Whenever I talk to anyone about the iPhone, they always say the same thing; they love the device, but wish that AT&T had better coverage. I happen to agree, because even where I … Read more
Advanced gamer hardware may soon allow PacBot operators to tell exactly how hard a robot's grip is, allowing soldiers to more safely pick up and handle fragile or dangerous objects, while also increasing their situational awareness.
Novint Technologies, a company that makes 3D touch controllers for video and computer games, announced last month that it has been awarded a subcontract to co-develop a remote touch kit (RTK) for the iRobot unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) PacBot.
The new RTK will allow soldiers to tactually sense the amount of force a robot is exerting from a safe operating distance--a first for … Read more
"Fetch" and "heel" may be the latest commands to join the military lexicon, with the arrival of Rex, a small, six-wheel-drive load-bearing robotic vehicle designed to follow squad-size units in response to voice commands.
Envisioned as a robotic "beast of burden" for the modern soldier, Rex can carry more than 400 pounds, a typical load for groups of 3 to 10 ground soldiers, for 72 hours at a time without refueling, according to developer Israel Aerospace Industries.
"The robotic vehicle follows the lead soldier from a given distance, utilizing technology developed and patented … Read more