It's our last week of 404 podcasts for 2011! We'll be back in the new year for a round of LIVE CES COVERAGE, but Wilson's not feeling well today so Joseph Kaminski fills in for an update on kid tech.
Imagine popping in your earbuds, queuing up some tunes, going for a stroll, and then listening to the music morph in response to your surroundings.
Thanks to electronic-music duo Bluebrain--along with a clutch of willing musician friends, the expertise of a software developer, and the iPhone's built-in GPS system--that Brian Eno-esque fantasy is, in fact, a reality.
Washington D.C.-based brothers Ryan and Hays Holladay are continuing their push--perhaps the better word is "meander"--into a new musical realm with their recent album/iPhone app "Central Park (Listen to the Light)." The piece uses GPS to monitor a listener's movements through New York's famous green oasis and play different tracks keyed to specific locales--or "zones" and "pockets"--within the park.… Read more
There are two worlds. One is full of leather, growling engines, and the call of the open road. The other is full of TIE fighters, adorable Ewoks, and the call of open space. At last, they have come together.
The Stormtrooper motorcycle suit from UD Replicas melds the power of the Dark Side with the power of leather. It's available in Shadow Trooper Black or Imperial White.
The suit looks suitably intimidating, especially if you opt for the ominous black one. It's made from leather with built-in body armor. This is way tougher than that plastic costume you bought a decade ago.… Read more
To wrap up the penultimate week (for the year) of the 404 Podcast, we're running through Apple's year in iTunes--from the best-selling apps to the most-downloaded movie online.
We'll also tell you about a woman who made $1,200 exploiting dudes on Match.com, give you a tour of Amazon's massive Costconian warehouse in Seattle, and question the artistic merits of photo-filtering apps like Instagram.… Read more
Music may live in your heart, but it also lives right on top of it when you wear the ThinkGeek Electronic Drum Machine Shirt. Pair it with the drum kit jeans, and you'll become a walking rhythm section.
The wearable, fully playable $29.99 shirt crams a whole lot of drum machine into a very portable format. There are nine different drum kits, including "bass invaderz" and "zapf dingbeats." The rhythm is, indeed, going to get you.
The machine is triggered by a set of pads right on top of your chest. You can record loops up to three minutes long and then layer them for a fuller sound.
It comes with a mini-amp that clips to your clothes and hooks up to the drum machine's audio output jack. And, yes, the amp goes to 11.… Read more
Just days ago, in a blog item about how theater groups and symphonies are setting aside "tweet seats" for the Twitter-addicted, I wrote the following: "It's not much of a stretch to [conjure up] a vision of performance pieces that go whole hog and incorporate tweets into their very structure."
Well, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus was way ahead of me.
It recently asked fans to tweet tips on staying warm this winter. And, as Diana Adams at blog Bit Rebels reports, the orchestra's chorus master, Timothy Shantz, spent two hours arranging the 20 resulting tweets into a three-minute ditty sung to the tune of "O Fortuna" (from Carl Orff's famous "Carmina Burana"). … Read more
Tokyoflash is well-known for producing some futuristic watches, and the company has done it again.
The Kisai Rogue Touch Pocket Watch is a modern take on the classic pocket watch and features a hybrid LCD/LED interface. The always-on LCD allows you to read the watch at a glance, while an LED backlight can provide extra illumination when needed. A touch display also lets you to change the modes (e.g., time, date, alarm, and so forth) and comes with a spring-hinged mineral crystal lens cover. … Read more
AT&T earns the "worst carrier in the world" award for the second year in a row, so it's a good thing I just signed up for two more years of service with this new iPhone 4S.
According to Consumer Reports, prepaid phone subscribers are actually the most satisfied with their service, but that's probably because their burner phones don't have the Internet access necessary to lodge a complaint.
On today's show, we'll look at how the other carriers compare to AT&T, dispel rumors of Shigeru Miyamoto's departure from Nintendo, put in our our bid for RickPerry.com, Jeff demonstrates My Xbox Live for the iPad, and we'll show some incredible listener-submitted contest submission videos!… Read more
Admit it: Sometimes when you're working at a cafe, hacking out CSS or putting the finishing touches on your Facebook app, you fire up your Webcam to check yourself out and make sure you're at your best for all those babe-alicious telecommuters at adjacent tables.
Well, now you can replicate that surreptitious Webcam-vanity moment without ever firing up your laptop. Yes--hallelujah--it's the MirrorBook Air, with a form factor that would leave even a jaded tech journalist agape.
The $26 MirrorBook is about the size of your typical compact. But is it really just for plucking the renegade nose hair or checking your teeth for bits of grilled cheese sandwich from The Melt just prior to entering that pitch meeting with someone from CrunchFund? We think not.… Read more
The search for aliens is back on--and newly confirmed Earthy-ish planet Kepler 22-b is among the top targets.
SETI's Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is once again searching for extra-terrestrial life after spending several months in hibernation. The University of California cut funding to the program due to budget constraints, and last April the ATA ceased its obsessive habit of intense inter-galactic eavesdropping. The array "listens" across a broad range of frequencies for any radio transmissions from, well, somewhere else.
The SETI Institute says the restart of the search is thanks to funding raised via the Web--the SETIStars program has raised more than $200,000 in online donations--as well as additional funds from the U.S. Air Force.
The announcement comes as NASA also announced this week that its Kepler mission had confirmed the first Earth-like planet in a habitable zone where liquid water and life might exist. The planet, dubbed Kepler 22-b, is 600 light years away and roughly 2.5 times the size of Earth. Scientists believe surface temperatures to be comfortably around 70 degrees (Fahrenheit). … Read more