Ada Lovelace has the honor of being the first computer programmer thanks to her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine—the first programmable computer. Now she has the opportunity to come back to life, in a manner of speaking, as a LEGO Ideas project. The proposed kit includes Ada and Charles minifigs, the Analytical Engine, punch cards, plus a pet owl. The Analytical Engine opens and has space to hold a Raspberry Pi, so you can turn it into an actual computer, too. Like all LEGO Ideas kits that get produced, this one needs to hit 10,000 votes before it can be considered. Bonus: It's another cool way to recognize women in science.
Amazon released Cloud Drive for iPhone and iPad while we were off for the holiday weekend. Amazon Cloud Drive is the company's Dropbox competitor—Amazon Prime subscribers get unlimited photo storage and 5GB for videos and other files. The company also offers a $59.99 version of the service that gives you unlimited storage for everything. While most folks think of Amazon as a retailer, the company has also become a major provider of cloud services. Cloud Drive leverages Amazon's vast data center capacity. The iOS app supporting Cloud Drive joins existing apps for Mac, PC, Android, and Amazon's own Fire Phone. You can use it to view your files and folders, preview documents, play videos and music stored on your Cloud Drive, and share your files as links and attachments.
Meet Prince Harvey, a rapper from Brooklyn who recorded an entire album called PHATASS at the SoHo Apple Store—that stands for Prince Harvey at the Apple Store SoHo. The a capella recording was an effort born of necessity, as Prince Harvey had one laptop stolen and another failed. He was driven to record an album, and realized he could do a lot on the Macs at the Apple Store. With the help of two sympathetic employees who, he spent hours every day at the SoHo Apple Store for four months. He would save files to a thumb drive, email them to himself, or hide them in the trash, which as of this writing isn't emptied when the machines are reset every night. Brilliant move, Prince Harvey, brilliant! There's a couple of tunes on Soundcloud if you'd like to hear it yourself. There are additional details in The Daily Beast's story about the rapper.
There was a bit of line crossed this past week, as an electric car took the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. This is a race up Pikes Peak, where each competitor's time is compared to the others. By "rRace up Pikes Peak," Wikipedia says its 12.42 miles, with 156 turns, climbing 4,720 feet. And Rhys Millen did it in 9 minutes and 7 seconds (and change) in his eO PP03, a prototype electric vehicle. This is the first time an electric vehicle won the event, and while he set a new record for electric vehicles in the race, it's also the second fastest time behind the 8 minute and 13 seconds (and change) recorded in 2013 by Sebastien Loeb in a 2013 Peugeot 208 T16. Oh, and according to Mr. Millen, his car lost half its power before the halfway point in the race. And in case it need be pointed out, Apple is developing an electric car. This is the future. The video below shows the run, and it includes an interview with Rhys Millen at the end. Thanks to TMO member geoduck for the heads up on the BBC's coverage of the event.
Apple posted a video celebrating the company's participation in the San Francisco Pride 2015 parade on June 28th. The video features scenes from around the city, Apple setting up for the event, and many of its employees and their families taking part. Apple CEO Tim Cook also makes a very brief appearance. It closes with the tagline "Inclusion inspires innovation."
Universal Pictures released the first trailer for Steve Jobs Wednesday, and it looks amazing. Michael Fastbender doesn't look or sound like Steve Jobs, but he sure conveys "Steve Jobs" with his acting. Steve Jobs is a biopic written by Aaron Sorkin based on Walter Isaacson's biography of the same name. It's taken a circuitous route to get this far and seemed perilously close to getting canned along the way, but this first look teases a movie that looks very interesting. What do you think?
When we write about cool stuff it typically isn't literally cool, but Frigidaire is changing that with their new Cool Connect Room Air Conditioner (Amazon - $299.99) This window mounted air conditioner is great for apartments and small spaces that don't have a cooling system, plus it connects to your WiFi network so you can control it from your iPhone locally or over the Internet. You can set schedules, remotely monitor its operation, and more. The Cool Connect can keep a 350 square foot space cool and costs US$349
Dr. Dre's The Chronic will stream exclusively on Apple Music, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Dr. Dre works for Apple these days, and is a part of the company's Apple Music team. The album was Dr. Dre's first solo effort after leaving N.W.A., and it was released in 1992. The rapper turned media mogul won the digital rights for the album from his former record label, Death Row Records, in 2011. Since then, it has not been available on streaming services since that time. The Chronic joins Taylor Swift's 1989 as exclusive streaming titles for Apple Music.
::checks calendar:: It's not April 1st...oh boy, I hope this is legit! Lexus has a new promo video teasing a "real, rideable hoverboard." "There's no such thing as impossible," the company said in the video. "It's just a matter of figuring out how." Then shows a levitating board. The steam vapor coming from it suggests its a supercooled magnetic thingamajig—Engadget said that Lexus confirmed the skatepark the video was shot in has a metal layer underneath the concrete. We've had supercooled magnetic levitation for a long time, but this sort of semi-practical application is still a heckuva of an advancement. Enjoy the video and drool.
Gestimer is a cool new Mac utility that allows you to create reminders from your Mac menu bar. It runs as an icon in your Menu Bar. Drag and pull from that icon to set the length of time, and when you release you get a pop up menu that let's you fill in the details. It's elegant and simple, and it's priced at US$2.99 at the Mac App Store. Check it out in action in the video below.
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