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
In the year 2,000, Susan Potter, then 72, donated her body to medicine. After Potter died, scientists froze her corpse, sliced it into 27,000 slivers thinner than a human hair, photographed each slice, and created “the world’s most advanced virtual cadaver using the highest-quality imagery of an entire human body in existence.” Not only is […]
Today in the Mojave desert, Virgin Galactic had a successful test flight that reached 50 miles above the surface of the earth, meeting the Federal Aviation administration’s definition of space. This places the company one step closer to the long-awaited goal Richard Branson promised: space tourism. SpaceShipTwo, welcome to space. — Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) December […]
While researchers continue attempts to build practical insect-size flying robots, engineers at the University of Washington have prototyped a backpack for real bees that outfits the insects with sensing, computing, and wireless networking capabilities. From UW News: “We decided to use bumblebees because they’re large enough to carry a tiny battery that can power our […]
For the true audio enthusiast, there’s a lot of difference between putting on some songs “for background music” and a true listening experience. For the latter, there’s nothing like a pair of sturdy headphones and the powerful speakers that come with them. And the wireless variety doesn’t get much more powerful than the TREBLAB Z2 […]
Digital or analog, there’s a path of least resistance for any project. Finding that path is what the Agile methodology is all about, which is why proficiency in it is a must for any project management position – and the paycheck that comes with it. And the quickest path to learning Agile? The Agile Project […]
Everybody’s flown a paper airplane. But what if you could fly on a paper airplane? Until we invent shrink-ray technology, the PowerUp X FPV Video Paper Airplane Kit will have to do – but it’s as fun as that sounds and more. The original version of this creative toy added drone tech to the old, […]