Google's new App Inventor for Android is a free graphic environment for creating software for Android devices. It's a scriptable, drag-and-drop tool in the tradition of HyperCard and other great simple tools for software creation. I love these tools -- my first programming job was using HyperCard to make CD ROMs for Voyager Books -- especially for the way they democratize access to technology. It's one thing to go and ask a bunch of teachers what software they want and then try to interpret their desires with code; another altogether to empower teachers (or secretaries, doctors, nurses, librarians, hot dog vendors, etc) to make their own tools using simple environments. Sure, these graphic kits tend to be constrained and less speedy than writing to the metal using more programmerly languages, but this is a fair trade-off for giving the ability to hack to anyone who wants it.
App Inventor for Android
Remember UC Berkeley researcher Pieter Abbeel’s fantastic towel-folding robot? Now, Abbeel and his team have prototyped a new kind of robot arm design meant for the home and other human environments. Compared to robot arms common in factories, this manipulator, called Blue, is less expensive (
Just what we needed, said exactly no one.
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]
Ever wonder if you’re cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there’s a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective […]