CES is the gadget addict's Disneyland, with miles of shiny new technology you never knew was always needed in your life. A refrigerator that keeps your health goals in mind, the crispest TV display ever seen, and a phone that will never need to be soaked in rice again after a water encounter — these six electronics and accessories are the new must haves we didn't know we were missing.
With student loan costs rising to astronomic levels, those on a quest for learning may be forced to find less expensive alternatives outside the traditional classroom. Thank your lucky stars for iTunes U's free online classes, now neatly compiled into an awesome iPad app so you can take your lessons on the go. Apple announced the new iTunes U iPad app this morning during its education-themed event (learn more about their iBooks 2 and iBooks Author apps as well) that brings together hundreds of open courses and lectures from some of the most prestigious colleges from around the globe. Free classes from ivy league schools? Don't mind if I do.
The iTunes U app is free to download and the classes are free to take and stream, so what do you have to lose? We browsed through the iTunes U app today and snapped a few pics, so check them out in the slideshow and tell us — will these new apps and free courses urge you to buy an iPad if you don't already have one?
- The water helicopter clearly influenced by the Caped Crusader — Tecca
- Siri may have an unexpected future purpose — Geek.com
- Facebook hackers live a life of luxury — Newser
- A Mission: Impossible-style robbery involving repelling from the ceiling actually happened, and other strange movie twists — Cracked
- Watch The Day the LOLcats Died, a SOPA solidarity video — Geekosystem
- The unexpected OS Instagram may appear on next — SlashGear
- Never hear "Are we there yet?" again with backseat interactive windows — Dvice
Nike introduced the Nike+ FuelBand ($149) into the competitive fitness gadget arena today. Like Striiv, Motoactv and Jawbone Up did before it, the Nike+ FuelBand will come with some familiar tracking features that monitor your steps, calories burned, and time, but introduces a game-like point system (called FuelPoints) to keep you motivated.
FuelPoints are a metric to measure your overall fitness, based on your oxygen intake. The more you move, the more FuelPoints you'll earn. Seeing how many FuelPoints you're earning is easy, too — a series of 20 LED lights goes from red to green as you earn points. You can even set your FuelPoints goals ahead of time to challenge yourself day to day.
Ready to kick-start your 2012 fitness goals? The ergonomic Nike+ FuelBand will be available for preorder in the US starting today! See it in action in the demo video after the break.
Over 700,000 people have taken in a free class or lecture on iTunes U, and Apple wants to make things easier for teachers to create an interactive online environment with their iPad. Educators can compile all the information needed for a class right inside the iTunes U app — syllabus, assignments, office hours, and teacher notes, and they can even stream from a full classroom. Over 100 courses have already been created from a number of prestigious colleges across the country, including Yale, Duke, Stanford, MIT, and more.
But now iTunes U isn't just for college levels. Apple is opening up iTunes U to K-12 levels as well, allowing teachers to create full courses and students to study, stream, and view assignments, teacher notes, and course details from their iPads.
The iTunes U app is available today for free in the App Store.
Want to write and build your own interactive book? Apple just made it a lot easier with the iBooks Author app for your Mac. iBooks Author feels like a mashup of Pages and Keynote, allowing you to choose templates, interactive elements, and drop-down controls for configuring the details and layout of each interactive page. Made with educators in mind, iBooks Author makes it super easy for teachers to create interactive elements for study materials, including galleries, videos, review notes, diagrams, 3D models, and HTML. Interactive elements are added to the page by dragging and dropping images and even Word documents into various templates. Then, you can publish your interactive books to the iBookstore for students or readers to download straight to their iPads.
Of course, while this app was built for education, I can see how iBooks Author can take novels and biographies to the next level as well. We'll get some hands-on time and bring you our first impressions soon!
The iBooks Author app will be available for download today for free from the Mac App store.
Apple's Phil Schiller announced iBooks 2 this morning in NYC's Guggenheim Museum. The app will put textbooks in the hands of students without all the extra weight. With over "20,000 education and learning applications built specifically for the iPad," Apple wants to take learning to the next level with interactive textbooks that will engage students with interactive maps, 3D models, videos, glossary terms embedded right into the text, and Q&A sections at the end of each chapter. Taking notes also gets a 1-UP since all the highlights and notes you take in an iBooks 2 textbook get turned into virtual flash cards that you can study with right on your iPad.
In addition to interactive textbooks, high school textbooks from McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are also available in the App Store today, all priced at $15 or less, alongside four new publications from DK Publishing and author E.O. Wilson.
Ready the controllers and clear some room in your personal TARDIS, the Doctor Who PlayStation 3 game is inching closer to a place on the retail floor. Below is the first look at Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock, slated for release in the first half of 2012.
As you'd expect, players travel through space and time as the Doctor and River Song, it's not so easy though — the actions of one era directly impacts play in another era. In addition to PS 3, the game will be available to PlayStation Vita and PC consoles.
Watch PlayStation's trailer for the video game that is very much a tease featuring the voices of Matt Smith and Alex Kingston (who plays River) after the break.
If you thought Foursquare was just a vehicle to rack up Mayorship points, think again. The company announced that it is adding menus and food prices to its growing list of features.
In partnership with a start-up called SinglePlatform, Foursquare can now provide good, need-to-know information from nearly 250,000 restaurants across the US — which is somewhere in the ballpark of 13,000,000 menu items — with lots more on the way. What does this mean for you? Well, if you need a new favorite food joint, you'll soon be able to discover new places in your hood with the "Explore" tab, find out what they're serving, get tips on what you should order from folks who know, score any check-in deals, and become Mayor, all in one app. I say soon because for the time being, you can only access restaurant and menu details on the Foursquare website and mobile portal (m.foursquare.com). But stay tuned — the feature is coming to the Foursquare app in the near future.
With the amount of professional-grade DSLR cameras on the market today, the only thing stopping you from capturing vacation shots worthy of National Geographic is the prohibitive price point. Traditionally these powerful cameras cost close to $1,000 and more, but after this year's CES, GE hopes to make high-performing digital cameras an affordable option.
At the show, the company better known for its household appliances, unveiled a line of bridge cameras that include pro-level features for under $200. Check out specs and images for the new line of cameras in the gallery.