I connected up our Zoom Router and O2 Dongle to the cigarette lighter via an old DC inverter this morning in prep for our drive from Rosslare to Bandon.
The idea was that Oisín and Oscar could connect to it using their phones and then stream their choices of songs from YouTube etc to the car stereo over A2DP Bluetooth for free. Unfortunately before we'd even got out of Rosslare I detected the smell of burning. I touched the inverter and it was roasting hot. I quickly unplugged. Ah well, next time I won''t use a cheap 4 year old one of eBay, I'll use the one I got in Lidl recently.
On our last drive we could get 3G over large chunks of the N25. Add in some Google Music offline storage and buffering and we have a very usable solution.
Actually, on the topic of power, any chance the car manufacturers of the world could agree a new socket standard for 12V that doesn't require you to re-seat the connections every day? The current cigarette light socket design vies with SCART as the worst physical standard ever invented.
Apart from Slugger O'Toole, it's tumbleweed.
On the upside, Google+ now effectively has hashtags and decent search on them. Stick an API on that and finally Twitter would some technical competition. Not sure anyone will use it tho.
Our eldest daughter will be 8 shortly. She loves Lego and also found our first App Inventor session to be pretty straightforward. One idea I came up with for her birthday present was a Lego Mindstorms kit. Then I checked the price: €279! Is Lego insane? The control box alone is €162. No wonder it's been such a flop.
I then thought maybe there are some Arduino kits or Android Open Accessory kits for younger kids but I haven't been able to find any. Even if there was, development would be in C or Java.
It strikes me that the time is ripe for a low-cost robotics kit for kids based on the Android Open Accessory standard that can be controlled by Google App Inventor (it already supports Mindstorms). You can get an Android phone for £99 in the UK PAYG. Heck, you can get crappy resistive-screen Android tablets for less.
Or maybe Lego can get its head out of its ass and get back to their roots of providing useful educational toys for people of all means, not just the well-off. They should retire Mindstorms, move to an inexpensive Android platform and watch sales sky-rocket.
We were watching Modern Family last night and the subject of running/fitness came up for some reason. My wife and I are doing the Amsterdam Marathon (Half in my case) and Oisín had the genius idea that treadmills should be able to imitate any route by changing the incline as you run. Then he suggested showing a map too. We riffed for a few minutes and came up with the ultimate treadmill which need only be a few Euro more than anything already on the market.
So the treadmill would have a microUSB input obeying the Android Open Accessory
standard. You would have a cradle to hold an Android Tablet or phone which would be running a massively expanded version of CardioTrainer
. You input "Amsterdam Marathon 2011" on the Android device and you would get a Google Maps Streetview display of the route. The app would then use the Open Accessory input to set the treadmill at whatever your hoped-for speed was and change the incline to match the real route as you progress along. You would then have a very clear idea of what you need to do in order to hit a particular time.
I'd kill for something like that. You could even split the screen between Streetview and whatever TV/movies you normally watch when running on the treadmill.
The only things it couldn't do are downhill, wind and rain. That would be v2.0
Oisín wants to know when he'll get his first check from whoever runs with this idea. He has a 3DS on his shopping list.