KegDroid dispenses beer with the help of a Xoom tablet and an Arduino board

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KegDroid dispenses beer with the help of a Xoom tablet and an Arduino board

Here’s an instance of NFC technology that’s more exciting than yet another tap-to-pay scenario. Google employee Paul Carff combined a Motorola Xoom running ICS with an Arduino microcontroller to create KegDroid, a friendly green beer dispenser. The Xoom acts as a gatekeeper to that brewed goodness, only letting the bot dispense drinks after users swipe an authorized badge. The badge is read by an NFC scanner on the bottom of the case and is then authenticated (or rejected) by the Arduino board. Once the system grants access, users can choose from two selections on tap via a custom Android application displayed on the Xoom’s screen. As Android Community points out — and as you’ll see in the video below — the KegDroid hasn’t mastered a bartender-level pour (read: there’s way too much foam). Still, this is oodles cooler than your average keg, wouldn’t you agree?

Continue reading KegDroid dispenses beer with the help of a Xoom tablet and an Arduino board

KegDroid dispenses beer with the help of a Xoom tablet and an Arduino board originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 17:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Origin: Engadget

Internet speeds drop around the world according to Akamai, adoption rate up

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Internet speeds drop around the world according to Akama, adoption rate up

Here’s an odd one: average connection speeds around the globe dropped 14 percent to just 2.3 Mbps during the last quarter of 2011. The drop off remains something of a mystery since the data used to calculate that result doesn’t include mobile broadband (so its increased adoption can’t be dragging down the whole) and Akamai offers no explanation. Still, it’s not time to start panicking, just yet. Even though speeds in the US dropped 5.3 percent from the previous quarter, average connection rates are still up significantly over the previous year. Otherwise, things largely stayed the same. Global broadband adoption was steady at 66 percent and the US continued to trail its friends across the Pacific (by a lot) in the race for the fastest Internet connections.

Interestingly, while the number of broadband connections stayed consistent the number of narrowband lines (under 256 Kbps) declined dramatically. Yet, the percentage of the wold’s population connected to the web managed to increase 2.1 percent quarter over quarter — and 13 percent for the year. So, while it may seem that the internet had a temporary set back in Q4 of 2011, the long term trends look good. The number of people online is increasing, the average speeds being pulled down by those people is climbing and the number of folks stuck in the dial up era is dropping. To get a copy of the full report hit up the source.

Internet speeds drop around the world according to Akamai, adoption rate up originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 17:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hat Tip To: Engadget

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One Blu-ray beams down July 24th

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One Blu-ray beams down July 24th

After a teaser release of three episodes earlier this, CBS Home Entertainment has set a date for the complete first season Star Trek: The Next Generation to arrive on Blu-ray, just in time for its 25th anniversary this year. June 24th the six-disc set hits shelves featuring all of the first season episodes remastered in high definition complete with recomposited special effects and 7.1 DTS-HD surround soundtracks, as well as a slew of special features including new behind the scenes interviews and featurettes on the HD upgrade process. Check after the break for the press release with a list of episodes and features, plus a video preview of what the new effects look like from The Next Level teaser in January. Check Entertainment Weekly for another preview of the upgraded footage, while TheHDRoom has a few still captures from the Blu-ray versions.

Continue reading Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One Blu-ray beams down July 24th

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One Blu-ray beams down July 24th originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 17:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlackBerry Music Gateway streams audio over NFC and Bluetooth for RIM-made remote control

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It’s not the QNX-based smartphone you’ve all been waiting for, but it should give crackberry devotees something to bop along to. Outed just one day before the company’s showcase officially kicks off in Orlando, Waterloo’s trotting out its BlackBerry Music Gateway: a car / home stereo accessory that pairs with your BB handset or PlayBook tablet to wirelessly stream audio over Bluetooth or NFC. The $50 peripheral, set for a June release, is meant to turn your RIM-built device into an easy-to-use remote at a distance of up to 30 feet. For that convenient near field communication control, however, you’ll need to be packing one of the company’s NFC-enabled phones, like the Bold 9790 or Curve 9360/ 9380. Splashiest news to come out of BlackBerry World 2012? We sure hope not. Consider this the trickle before the eventual PR deluge.

BlackBerry Music Gateway streams audio over NFC and Bluetooth for RIM-made remote control originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 15:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study says wind turbines raise surrounding area temperature, but only at night

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Study says wind turbines raise surrounding area temperature, but only at night

Who said the butterfly effect couldn’t apply to renewable energy? Though wind farms are considered pretty green on the energy-generating spectrum, it looks like they, too, have an impact on the planet. According to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, turbines can raise the local temperature — albeit slightly. From 2003 to 2011, researchers monitored satellite data for west-central Texas, which is home to 2,350-plus turbines and four of the world’s largest wind farms. In that decade, scientists observed a temperature increase of 0.72 degrees in wind farm regions compared to areas without turbines. That warming trend was especially marked at night, when the temperature difference between the ground and the air is highest. The temperature increase was also higher in winter; researchers say that these cooler, windier conditions cause turbines to generate more electricity and therefore create more heat. Since the study didn’t find any change in daytime temperatures, it looks like we don’t have to ring the global warming alarm just yet.

Study says wind turbines raise surrounding area temperature, but only at night originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 14:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Angry Birds Space hits 50 million milestone, smashes it, crushes pigs in the process

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Angry Birds Space hits 50 million milestone, smashes it, crushes pig in the process

It helps to be free on the fastest-growing mobile platform, but that shouldn’t draw all the attention away from Rovio’s latest announcement. It’s space-based reinvention of Angry Birds has now topped 50 million downloads in under 35 days, breaking its (and presumably everyone else’s) record for mobile game downloads. In Rovios’s own way, it recently thanked eager gamers for their consistent downloading support by slathering ten additional levels on both the iOS and Android version last week.

Angry Birds Space hits 50 million milestone, smashes it, crushes pigs in the process originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 14:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PSA: Space X streaming test-firing of Falcon 9 at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT

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Today, SpaceX is test-firing the engines of its Falcon 9 rocket in preparation for that oft-delayed May 7th launch for its Dragon capsule. You’ll be able to watch the static-fire test from the comfort of your own desk by pointing a browser at the company website (link below) from 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT. If successful, then the rocket will lift-off properly in a week’s time, with designs on being the first commercial craft used to resupply the International Space Station.

Continue reading PSA: Space X streaming test-firing of Falcon 9 at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT

PSA: Space X streaming test-firing of Falcon 9 at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 11:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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