Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

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.



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]

Starbucks Card Mobile app allows smartphone users to pay for coffee from their phone

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Starting Wednesday, 6,800 company-operated Starbucks stores across the US will begin taking payment from cell phones. Customers using the Starbucks Card Mobile app on their iPhone, iPod Touch or Blackberry will be able to run their device under a scanner and voila, next-gen payment complete. Starbucks Card Mobile lets users add their Starbucks Cards, track rewards and reload cards as needed via PayPal or credit card. App users just press “touch to pay,” then hold it up to the 2-D scanner at the register and the transaction will process wirelessly.

Brady Brewer, vice president of Starbucks Card and brand loyalty says this about their system:

In testing, Starbucks assessed the mobile payment option by measuring application speed, transaction speed and total customer wait time. In all instances, Starbucks Card Mobile was the fastest way for customers to pay.

As for the reasoning behind the technology, Chuck Davidson, the category manager of innovation on the Starbucks Card team said that Starbucks opted for the use of bar code technology instead of Google’s new near field communication system because it has more of a foundation. The coffee retailer was reluctant to wait around until the NFC ecosystem developed, considering that NFC technology has only appeared on a select few US handhelds. Davidson also offers insight as to why they are investing in mobile payments options:

because customers have requested the option and have shown a propensity to not only pay with Starbucks Cards — one in five transactions are made using a Starbucks Card — but frequently use their smartphones while waiting in line.

Sounds like spot-on reasoning to me.

[Source: Mashable]

Girl Scout cookies get their own app

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

What are America’s past times? Baseball? Corndogs?  The NFL? How about Girl Scout cookies? Girl Scout cookies are delicious. And in order for those little wafers to be delivered by the hands of small angels in green uniforms, it actually takes a bit of finesse and business  know-how. Instead of carrying around all those ugly forms on that god forsaken clipboard, Girl Scouts can now use their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch! By creating a profile, a Scout can see who hasn’t paid, what hasn’t been delivered and how her goals are being met. She can also send e-mails to her cookie recipients, thanking them for gorging themselves on Thin Mints.

The app itself is not to bring a new-age approach to selling Girl Scout cookies, for it certainly does, but instead it teaches the girls the skills required in business: supply management, goal tracking and inventory maintenance. So before you cry foul to those third-party developers (it wasn’t actually created by the Girl Scouts), understand that things are changing. All it takes is an Apple toy with a $400 price tag to help kick start your daughter’s education, and brings her that much closer to following in daddy’s footsteps.

Get the app here.

[Sources: Switched]

More high profile gaming on the iPhone: Devil May Cry 4 & Resident Evil

January 14, 2011 2 comments

Two of Capcom’s major players in the video game industry are coming to iOS within the next two months. Resident Evil Mercenaries is coming sometime in February and Devil May Cry 4 Refrain will be on the App Store by the end of the month.

Devil May Cry 4 Refrain

The 3D action game follows the same plot as its older console brother with players controlling Nero instead of Dante. Nero’s arsenal includes guns, a sword and his demon hand. The gameplay is simple, composed of 10 maze-like levels, some ending in huge main bosses while some just have smaller ones along the way. Any enemy that Nero destroys drops red orbs that can be used to upgrade and unlock new attacks. The initial game will be released at the end of this month for $6.99 and will be followed up by updates that add new content. Slidetoplay’s preview:

The game certainly looks good, with Retina-rich graphics and some quality animation. We’re not sure yet if the rhythm of the console game will come across well in the handheld version, since Capcom iPhone games like Resident Evil 4 and Dead Rising Mobile have recently emphasized their quick playability over depth.

Resident Evil Mercenaries Vs

Fans of the Resident Evil series probably recognize Mercenaries as the unlockable bonus mode awarded for beating the game. It offers a faster, more action-heavy alternative to the slow, intense horror-survival gameplay. Resident Evil Mercenaries is Capcom’s first foray into online multiplayer titles on the iOS platform. Using Game Center, you’ll be able to match up and play against friends or complete strangers in two-on-two team battles or four player free-for-alls, in which the objective is to score the highest by killing zombies and the other players. This is Capcom’s third installment to their Resident Evil for iOS series with RE: Degeneration and RE 4: Mobile Edition preceding it (big shoes to fill). In addition to the online mode, their are two offline single-player modes – a training mode where you play against AI opponents and coin shoot mode (where you shoot blue coins dangling from string around the level). Slidetoplay’s preview:

Despite the choppy preview build, we couldn’t be happier that Capcom is taking Resident Evil online on the iPhone. Only having one arena and two playable characters is a bit limiting, but Mercenaries mode on the consoles is known for being endlessly replayable. If more options arrive down the line in the form of updates, we can see this being a pretty spectacular online shooter.

Top 10 iPhone Apps for College Students

January 3, 2011 Leave a comment

This is the first in what will be a series of app lists exclusively for select groups of people called Appsessed. If you want me to generate a list based on one of your interests, hobbies or careers, contact me and I’ll see what I can do.

Yes that’s a toga party above, the epitome of the college scene.

I, being a college student myself, as well as a self proclaimed app connoisseur, searched and searched for a list of apps that would help me in my position. Unfortunately Google could not help me in the search for such a list and so I decided to help everyone after me who has once inquired the same. So after many unnecessary dollars spent and an hour or two of free time consumed, I have put together a list of the top 10 iPhone apps for college students (and lucky for you, half of it is free!):

1. Wolfram Alpha $1.99 – This little godsend has helped me on many math assignments. It’s simple user interface could be navigated by my 11 year-old sister, but the application is powerful enough to show me step-by-step how to solve my Calculus problems.

2. Facebook Free Social networking is everything these days and college is no different. Take a break from using Wolfram Alpha for a bit and find out where the [safe and perfectly legal] party is at.

3. iLoader $1.99 – Many exciting things happen in college and with the 5 megapixel camera on the back of the iPhone 4, its easy to capture those moments (not to mention its HD video recording capabilities). With iLoader, you can easily upload multiple photos and videos to your Facebook profile in minutes.

4. StudyBlue Free The StudyBlue app is integrated with the “cloud”-like, online, user-generated study materials uploaded to The StudyBlue app does require you to have an account on their website, but its free. Now you can study on the toilet, in the locker room and any other ridiculous places that you can think of.

5. Flashcards Deluxe $3.99 – Sometimes they are things that have to be studied using flashcards instead of note sheets and for this there is Flashcards Deluxe. You can create your own deck of cards on the device, via notepad on your computer or simply download a deck created by someone else in the same class. The $4 was worth the A I got in my entomology identification class due to using this program religiously.

6. Around Me Free When your stomach is grumbling at 2 AM after whatever mischief you’ve been up to around campus, open up this free app and find something that sounds good. The best part? You can input how far you are willing to go for late night cuisine. Or how about if you are on the road to see your buddy at his school in the next state over, but need gas and don’t see a gas station anywhere around? Around Me can help you with that as well.

7. Pandora Free Music soothes the soul, and around finals week your soul will need lots of soothing. So while you are laying on the couch in the lobby or reading up on Scandinavian war ships in the 1700s in the library, open up Pandora and allow the program to create the perfect playlist for your mood. All you have to do is pick what band or song you want to begin with and Pandora will do the rest for you.

8. FreeWhile reading up on those Scandinavian war ships, you come across a handful of words that you have never heard before. Instead of skipping over them and risk losing grip on complicated concepts, get a leg up on your crazy topic. Know what you’re reading. I use when writing in particular to make sure I don’t just fabricate words.

9. Checkbooks $1.99 – This handy application helps you keep track of your money. As a student in college, we are all about being frugal and if you aren’t, you should be! But with this program you keep track of all transactions, checks, withdrawals and deposits on multiple bank accounts from within the same interface so that you can keep track of those late night food runs.

10. W&Y Pages FreeAlthough the Maps application that comes preloaded on the phone allows you to access the address and phone number of certain businesses that you inquire about, this gives a simpler interface for finding that information. In addition to commercial phone numbers, the W&Y app includes residential listings.

Thus concludes my list of essential apps for college students. Keep in mind that these apps are not iPhone exclusive, and can also be accessed on both the iPod Touch and the iPad (mind you, that to include these as well would have made the title a bit cluttered). Enjoy!

Gameloft, iOS’s game fuel

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Gameloft is known for one thing: its uncanny cloning ability. Several titles have fallen victim to the crafty coding of the French developer based out of Paris – Final Fantasy, Uncharted, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Call of Duty, God of War, Soul Calibur and Resident Evil with plans to create a StarCraft iPad clone. Their online multiplayer service is called Gameloft LIVE and you can obtain trophies (sound familiar?) as well as gaming points for completing certain tasks. Everything about the company wreaks of rip-off… yet I am in love with the company. Gameloft is single handily fueling the iOS gaming platform. They are providing iPhone/iPod/iPad owners with quality console titles despite their blatant inspiration from popular franchises.

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The screenshots above are reminiscent of many games I spend my time playing on my Xbox or Wii or my friend’s PS3, yet I commend Gameloft for being able to produce the likes of which they have. I actually collect Gameloft games. It is my guilty pleasure. But mind you, in addition to the wonderful clones that they produce, they have several “official” titles as well: Asphalt, Asssassin’s Creed, Spider-Man, Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell, James Cameron’s Avatar, Brothers in Arms, Driver, Oregon Trail, UNO, Rayman, Earthworm Jim, Tom Clancy’s HAWX and more. Tell me that you do not begin to drool at that list.

Gameloft’s biggest competitor currently is EA Mobile with the leading sports titles Madden, NBA Elite, NCAA Football and FIFA as well as Battlefield, Need for Speed, Sims and classic board games such as Monopoly, Life and Battleship. They are running the biggest holiday sale with 70 titles tagged at only $.99, thus propelling them up the charts, but Gameloft has initiated their own $.99 sale on their older titles (N.O.V.A 2, Shadown Guardian and Eternal Legacy can’t enter the market at that price, they are worth much more than that!) as a counter-attack.

So all in all, this is my ode to Gameloft. I thank you for all of your December releases, and keep them coming. You have made my trip to my grandmother’s house for Christmas a tad more exciting 🙂