Before the days of Web browsers and broadband Internet, online communities were hosted by single computers you connected to by dialing in over a traditional phone line via a modem. If you miss the old days -- or never had the chance to experience a BBS -- now you can, thanks to Level 29. The system runs on an Apple IIGS with a blazing fast (for 1983) 300 bps modem, but since not everyone happens to have a modem or physical phone line handy, you can also telnet in or connect via raw sockets. If you're still at a loss, go to the Level 29 website where you can view the BBS in your Web browser. It's retro-awesome, and it shows old computers can still do some really cool stuff.
Thanks to portable technology, pets can now scan neighborhood wifi networks. Wired reports on an upcoming DefCon talk from Gene Bransfield titled "How To Weaponize Your Pets", which is less a security talk and more a presentation of a clever way to find unsecured networks in the immediate area. Using a Spark Core board and the skills of the cat's human to sew a collar for it, he discovered more than a third of the hotspots in the area were less than secure. He says he did this for fun, but hopefully discovering a cat could detect open wifi networks might prompt some people to adjust their networks accordingly.
Sesame Street has posted a preview clip from Season 45 on YouTube. In the past they've done some clever nods to pop culture including a parody of The Voice, and one of my favorites, H. Ross Parrot. This season we get to see a trip to "Numeric Con," where one can meet such characters as Fiverine and The Dark Nine. Doctor Two (dressed as the Fourth Doctor) makes an appearance, along with familiar looking creatures who say "e-num-er-ate!" There's also a great cameo from someone wearing a gold Starfleet shirt who pauses dramatically at odd places in his sentences. Cap-TEN Kirk, perhaps?
Pizza is a staple of life for many people, but that whole ordering for delivery thing? What a total pain. That is, unless you're using Push For Pizza from Simple Food Solutions. The iPhone app was developed by a team of clever teens who saw a need and filled it... with pizza. After you fill in some basic info, like your name, address and credit card number, the pizza joint you like, cheese or pepperoni, and you're ready to go. Just tap the pizza button and your pizza shows up, fully paid for, including tip. It's brilliant, it's simple, and your next pizza is just a tap away. Push For Pizza is a free download at Apple's iTunes-based App Store.
Audioengine announced the B1 Premium Bluetooth Music Receiver on Tuesday. This device acts as a Bluetooth receiver for any audio system or powered speakers, allowing you to stream music from your iPhone, iPad, Mac or other Bluetooth device. The B1 receives your Bluetooth signal and has a stereo analog RCA outputs and a digital optical (SPDIF) output for connecting to your stereo, receiver, or powered speakers. This is an easy way to stream music to any setup that doesn't support Apple's AirPlay technology. We haven't tested this device yet, but we're big fans of Audioengine at TMO. We look forward to putting it through its paces. The B1 is priced at US$189, and it's eligible for Audioengine's 30-Day Audition.
The ever popular and always creepy first person shooter BioShock is making the jump to the small-ish screen this summer when it is finally released for the iPhone and iPad. The game was launched in 2007 and is currently available for gaming consoles, the Mac, and PCs, but so far has shied away from iOS's touch-based interface. There isn't any word yet on exactly when this summer it'll launch, or how much gamers will have to pay. Considering this is the original BioShock, and it's seven years old, we're betting it'll come in around the US$14.99 mark. Thanks to Engadget for the heads up.
Apple has released another commercial in its You're More Powerful Than You Think series called Dreams. The commercial features a variety of professionals using iPhones, iPads, and Macs at their job. Fire fighters, teachers, a jewelry designer, scientists, a pilot, a veterinarian, and more. The commercial features a song called "When I Grow Up" by Jennifer O’Connor.
"Why Everything Is Bad for Apple." So reads the title of the article you'll find at Apple Clickbait Generator (ACG), a brilliant idea created by Kirk Lennon and Owen Evans [via TUAW]. Every time you load up the ACG, you get a randomly generated article that explains why Apple is doomed. They're randomly generated, but many of the lines are culled from actual published clickbait. The result is so good, I expect many so-called journalists and their so-called publishers might start cribbing Apple-Is-Doomed straight from the ACG. Be it Apple's pricing, Apple's lefty obsession with Green, the lack of innovation, or the reality that the next iPhone will disappoint, the ACG has you covered. Brilliant!
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and thought there had to be a formula behind pop music? Well Brett Domino found one, and has broken it down on YouTube for everyone to see. Not only can you enjoy the results of his formula in the initial video, but once you have mastered his original techniques, you can level up with the advanced techniques. It took until very nearly August, but I think we have the song of the summer in Pinocchio from the advanced class.
Yanko Design is showing off a concept called "Window Plug," and it's very cool. It's a portable solar charger that you can stick on a window. It has a built-in battery that self-charges, but it also has a plug for accessing that power for your devices. So far, this is a concept only. In the comments, the creator said that he still has technical hurdles to overcome, not least of which is having the device generate enough power to meet the needs of a wide variety of devices. But I am lust with the idea of a charger that I could stick on a hotel window, a car window, or...wait for it...a airplane window. Accordingly, I'm pulling for the product to come to market.
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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-10-21
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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-10-20
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