Google Voice is one of those technical advancements that could change your way of communication. With it, you can sign up for a single phone number that rings every phone you own. Then you can hand out the number to everyone you know.
In the ongoing quest to turn real-world objects into iPhone applications, HP has released a calculator app that is a near perfect imitation of the original HP15C. Released in 1985, this full-function scientific calculator had a root-solver, could handle matrix operations, and supported numerical integration. It also lasted about six months on one battery-–or about five months and 29 days longer than the iPhone. But save for that sacrifice to modernization, the HP15C on the iPhone is pretty slick.
This week, new photos of our moon taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showed what we already know: the orbiting rock has a lot of craters, but no signs of life. But scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany have revealed new findings that there is another moon worthy of intensive exploration -- and perhaps even a visit at some future date.
Using one of the most clever names in tech history, Microsoft has announced Hohm (which telescopes home into ohm), a new Web-based service for keeping an eye on your smart grid. The beta for the service goes live next week; users can sign up to access the service at microsoft-hohm.com.
The problem with the great outdoors has always been the lack of full mobile connectivity, electric lighting, and a power source for your laptop. The Orange Solar Concept Tent, which will debut in the UK starting today, in time for the Glastonbury rock festival, tackles these critical problems.
Trees are great absorbers of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and inhibitors of climate change -- that's why treehuggers hug them so much. But leave it to humanity to engineer a better tree. A synthetic tree, currently being tested as a prototype, ensnares carbon about 1,000 times faster than a real tree.
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University, Brown University, and several other collaborators are building an underground science lab where, in a 300-kilogram tank filled with liquid xenon, they hope to find dark matter -- the material that scientists believe was instrumental in helping to form the universe.
Thinking of going for a swim? Keep an eye out for the Reusable Unambiguous Swimmer Warning Vehicle, a torpedo that can hunt down any swimmer who poses a threat to U.S. waters. It circles around its victim, relays the exact GPS coordinates of the prey, and sounds an alarm.
Emergency response entails a widespread tactical effort by countless government agencies. Too often, citizens are left out of the loop and have to rely on mass media, cell phones, and Web sites for emergency information. Microsoft Vine is a new social networking tool, designed to help its users keep tabs on people and places. Currently in a beta test in Seattle, the service lets you enter a location and see news reports aggregated from 20,000 sources, and from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can enter people you want to track into Microsoft Vine, and then receive an e-mail, text message, or an update about them in the Vine dashboard -- which runs on Windows only. Disaster victims with Macs are out of luck.
Last week, Skype released a client for the iPhone, and the whole world -- or at least 50 million iPhone users -- can rejoice. With free calls to other Skype users, the new app (available free from the Apple app store or from Skype)is ground-breaking, because it means you can place Internet calls without having to use AT&T carrier service. And, iPod Touch users now have a reliable VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) tool that is a real game-changer. Essentially, Skype turns the iPod Touch into a cell phone, without any carrier service.
Does the client really work? I tested the service over the past week, and found that it is very reliable in specific conditions, for both local calls and international chats. Skype for iPhone does have a few hang-ups though, and not the kind you'd normally hope for from a phone.