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Thekstategeek is new and improved. TECHTOIT.COM

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

WE HAVE MOVED. Due to our unexpected success, we have changed domains and moved to a “big boy” server. If you reach this page via a search, or reference or anything really, then click the link below to take you to our new site – TECHTOIT.COM. New logo, new slogan, new look, new feel… it’s the real deal.

WOW THAT SOUNDS AWESOME! TAKE ME TO TECHTOIT.COM RIGHT NOW!

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Kinecthacks.net up for sale

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

kristofferR of KinectHacks.net is putting his site up for sale due to personal reasons. The content on the site has been written by him and a lead writer, who is interested in maintaining a steady stream of content. The site is currently up for sale on Flippa.com, the full auction can be found here. The bidding is currently at $5,050 with 1 day and 19 hours left to go. Nothing is wrong with the site, in fact, it’s quite the contrary. Today KinectHacks celebrated their 1 millionth view in a little over 2 months.

This is only a sample of their success, they also have a massive following on the following social networking platforms:

The writing itself is kind of lacking, most posts have a little bit of a description, a link and an embedded YouTube video, but the content itself is especially fascinating. I myself, being a Kinect enthusiast/owner have visited the site on a few occasions to see how well they are doing being the first site unique to hacking Microsoft’s Kinect. This alone has propelled them to success in such a short amount of time. The auction contains everything associated with the site, from the kinecthacks@gmail email account to a list of the best sources for creating new content and 30 days guidance and support to make the transition as smooth as possible.

A particular section of the auction lists the monetary potential of the site:

The site hasn’t been monetized properly yet.

It could probably earn at least $500-1000 a month just from the advertising space alone. There are already companies developing commercial computer applications for the Kinect and advertising space on the most popular blog for Kinect hacking would surely be interesting for them. Affiliate marketing for Kinect’s is also an option (we’ve earned $239 from Amazon so far).

The real goldmine, however, lies in selling an ebook/information product about hacking the Kinect on the site. Over 8 million Kinects have already been sold (in less than three months). A lot of those are hungry for an easy to understand information product/guide about how to hack the Kinect. It’s a hungry marked just waiting to be filled and the KinectHacks site would be the optimal way to promote such a product.

We haven’t even got to the future yet. How many Kinect will be sold during 2011? 10 million? 20 million? Just imagine what you could make then.

I would have no problem at all taking the reins of an operation like that 😉 As for the “goldmine” that kristofferR mentioned, it doesn’t exist yet, so don’t get too terribly excited. There are plenty of links to sites that have instructions for the gamer/hacker well-versed in code and things of that nature, but they have yet to create the guide that will help ease the rest of us into the procedures.

If interested in the auction, visit the link above to bid on it yourself.

More Kinect Hacks!

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Minecraft + Kinect = Awesome Statues

The first part of this hack, allows you to use the Kinect to scan images of yourself and whatever else you choose into the game Minecraft. The creator of said hack, Nathan Viniconis states the goal of this hack: take a sequence of snapshots from a Kinect and transform them into a stop motion animation within Minecraft. This is the second phase of the Minecraft-Kinect integration project. To find tutorials and a plethora of juicy details on the project, visit his website here.

The next part of this hack allows you allows you to scale said statue and, even better, now supports animations for up to three seconds. So you’re rock statue clone can now wave and say “hi”!

Kinect Mapping the World

Martin Szarski strapped a Kinect to his car, connected it to a laptop and used a Nexus One for geotagging and took off creating a “point cloud” that collected data on a stretch of road, including both buildings and scenery (as seen in the image above). The project uses libfreenect and the .NET wrapper for same, along with OpenTK for the Matrix maths and Proj.NET for the spatial transforms. There is a lot more included with this hack considering Szarski wrote his own software intitially to register the depth image from the Kinect and turn it in to a metric point cloud with real distances – those details can be found on his blog Decorator Pattern (that has the same theme as this one).The possibilities contained within this hack are very substantial. This technology could/should be used in future games to create ultra-realistic maps of areas familiar to the gamer to make more of an immersive experience.

Angry Birds controlled by the Kinect

A YouTube user known as TheTVTaster has crafted a way to use his Kinect and his iPod Touch to play Angry Birds on his PC. Unfortunately, there is no further details on the video’s description, nor on Kinect Hacks where it was posted, but I hope you enjoy the video nonethless!

[Source: Joystiq, KinectHacks]

Verizon’s iPhone commercial “It begins” and Apple’s “Two is better than one”

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

“To our millions of customers, who never stopped believing this day would come… Thank you.” Oh Verizon, you’re so customer-friendly. As the beginning of a very spectacular era begins, Verizon begins their ad campaign with gentle thanks to the “millions” who have been praying for the iPhone to wear Red. The video is fresh, as of this posting, the official YouTube video has only 303 views.

UPDATE

Apple’s new advertisement takes two of the fiercest competitors known to the wireless device industry and coerces them to waltz (if that’s what they’re implying… the music sure makes me think of that). This commercial distinctly points out that the Verizon iPhone can do everything the AT&T iPhone can do. After all, “two is better than one.” You’re absolutely right Apple, for your wallet.

Verizon's iPhone commercial "It begins" and Apple's "Two is better than one"

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

“To our millions of customers, who never stopped believing this day would come… Thank you.” Oh Verizon, you’re so customer-friendly. As the beginning of a very spectacular era begins, Verizon begins their ad campaign with gentle thanks to the “millions” who have been praying for the iPhone to wear Red. The video is fresh, as of this posting, the official YouTube video has only 303 views.

UPDATE

Apple’s new advertisement takes two of the fiercest competitors known to the wireless device industry and coerces them to waltz (if that’s what they’re implying… the music sure makes me think of that). This commercial distinctly points out that the Verizon iPhone can do everything the AT&T iPhone can do. After all, “two is better than one.” You’re absolutely right Apple, for your wallet.

K-State Custom Xbox 360 Mod

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Getting tired of your boring old Xbox 360? Probably not! But for those of you who are bored with your 360, I might have a few ideas to give your Xbox some new life. You maybe asking yourself: “What are these changes?”. Well hold tight and get ready to see what is in-store for your 360.

The picture above is known as a case mod. If you have seen a case mod it would normally be for something such as a computer; not your gaming console. So what all is featured in the picture above? You see a variety of different colored lights, two fans, and my personal favorite, a K-State Powercat, back-lit by Ultra-Violet LED’s.

Unfortunately we did not take any pictures at the start, so we can’t walk you through the full process, but the internet can certainly help. Search Google and YouTube for “case mod tutorials” and I guarantee you will find something to help you get started (it sure helped me).

While this post is not a tutorial, I”ll provide an overview containing the materials used, cost of the project and some tips on how to make the whole process of case modding easier.

Cost: This project cost roughly $50. This included: LED’s, wire, fans, and the power supply. You can subtract $20 for the fans since they are mostly a cosmetic addition.

Tools: To get from start to finish on this project you will need most of the following: soldering gun, wire strippers, dremel, drill, filing tool, sand paper, set of screwdrivers, and some scissors never hurt to have close by.

Tips:

  • Be prepared to spend a lot of time working on this. Patience is key!
  • Start by checking your warranty! If you still have one, this may not be the best thing to do since it voids your warranty.
  • Have someone with you when opening your Xbox (preferring someone who has opened one before).
  • Have an idea drawn on the cover before start drilling.
  • Use lower gauge wire to make sure the cover will fit back in place.
  • Have fun!

I will leave you with a gallery below of the work that was done and some shots of the final product. Hope you guys enjoy. Leave some comments or e-mail pictures of any case mods you might have for your Xbox 360 to thekstategeek@gmail.com.

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-KSUGadgetGuy

iOS 4.3 will include photo-heavy features: FaceTime for iPad, PhotoBooth and PhotoStream service

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Apple’s developer release of iOS 4.3 Beta 2 has provided solid evidence that the iPad2 will have at least one camera. This release included a home page icons image that’s used in the wallpaper settings, showing the standard icons on your choice of wallpaper to preview how your choice will appear (any iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad user should be familiar with this). On the image provided, 3 new icons were discovered: FaceTime, Camera and PhotoBooth. The Camera app doesn’t necessarily discern whether there will be a front and back-facing camera set, but it implies there will be at least one on the device. FaceTime is by no means a surprise, but helps to cement the addition of a camera to the hardware, considering the use of FaceTime on the next-gen iPad has been discussed feverishly for the last few months.

PhotoBooth is a nice complement to the camera. I have been wishing for the inclusion of Apple photo editing software in one of the firmware upgrades for a while now, and am happy to see PhotoBooth ported from Mac OS X to their handheld series. For those of you unfamiliar with PhotoBooth, the primary feature that will be transferred to iOS is quoted [from their website] as:

The fun begins.

Sure, you can take regular photos, but the real fun starts when you use the cool effects and backdrops in Photo Booth. Snap a photo of yourself at the Eiffel Tower or in outer space. Twist and twirl your smile with the strange Twirl effect. Add an artistic look with the Colored Pencil effect. Experiment with all the effects to transform your look.

Many third-party developers have created their own renditions of photo editing apps for the App Store, but I feel as if PhotoBooth will be the perfect solution. (Then again, I loved iMovie, but it wasn’t received too terribly well.) The last chunk of the photo features rumored/confirmed to be arriving in iOS 4.3 lay in what has become known as PhotoStream. The following is speculation from 9to5Mac, written by Mark Gurman, and I felt it was incredibly interesting:

Hidden deep in the iOS 4.3 file system is a new folder titled “Media Stream.” Within that folder is some information about “Photo Streaming.” From the looks of different alerts and plists, it appears that Apple will let iPhone users set up “Photo Streams” that friends could “subscribe” to. Also, it looks like there will be some privacy preferences related to this, so you can choose who is allowed to view your “Streams.”

With Photo Streams, you will also be allowed to “invite” other users to view your pictures as you take them and upload them to a service. This service looks like it is connected to MobileMe, and we speculate that “Media Stream” can be directly connected to “Find my Friends.” We think Find my Friends will be another aspect of Apple’s social network, a part of a free MobileMe, where you can choose to view your friends’ “Photo Streams” all on that same map. Apple has a patent on something called iGroups relating to this. This would clearly tie into the Mac and iOS photo app’s Places feature. From looking at the SDK, it looks like “Media Stream” could very well also have a plugin counterpart, like AirPlay, in 3rd party apps.

From the actual operating system, not the SDK, we could only find references and graphics relating to the “Photo Stream” feature, not the “Media Stream” feature in general. We speculate that Apple is currently working on “Media Stream” and this is going to go way beyond photos in the future. We think Apple will expand this to music and videos, maybe like AirPlay between mobile iOS devices where you can watch or listen to your friends’ media and of course Apple will provide easy buy links to iTunes.

I actually hope that Mr. Gurman is correct in most of his theories. Sounds like a fantastic step forward out of Apple Nazi-dom and into a more people-friendly space. Besides, Facebook is good and all, but I would love to see Apple create a legitimate contender.

[Sources: TUAW, MacRumors, 9to5Mac, Apple]

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