Category Archives: Gadgets & Machines

Microsoft Open Sources Windows Bridge for Porting iOS Apps to Windows 10

Back at this year’s Build developer conference, Microsoft announced that developers can now easily fork the existing Android and iOS apps’ codes to convert them into Windows 10 apps. Today, Microsoft has delivered what it promised by open sourcing the Windows Bridge for iOS and you can check out the source code right now on GitHub.

Windows Bridge for porting iOS apps to Windows was previously codenamed Project Islandwood, and it was being called the big plan of Microsoft to steal iOS apps. Redmond will be releasing the Windows Bridge this fall and it’s under preview status right now.

Users hesitate to switch to Windows ecosystem due to lesser apps as compared to iOS and Android store. Taking an aim at those users, Microsoft wants to attract the developers to design more Windows app by porting Android and iOS apps. Microsoft has four versions of porting platforms in development. Project Astoria is the one for porting Android apps to Windows and is running under as an invitation-only technical preview. It will see the daylight as a public beta later this year. Project Centennial is the platform to export the Win32 Windows apps to Windows 10 and Windows Store. It will be available for public testing next year.

Apart from these, Microsoft is also working on Project Westminster- the Widows Bridge for web apps to make Hosted Web Apps and address the common problems.

Talking about the Windows Bridge for porting iOS apps, Project Islandwood supports both Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 apps made for x64 and x86 processor architecture. According to Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo, Microsoft will be soon adding compiler optimization and support for the ARM, thus bringing mobile support.

Last week, along with free upgrade release of Windows 10 in more than 190 markets, Microsoft also delivered Windows SDK and other tools to make Universal Windows apps. With adaptive UX, support for cloud-based services and natural user inputs, Windows 10 introduced new APIs to make it most personal.

Developers can check out Windows Bridge for porting iOS apps here and know more about the developer tools.

Source: fossBytes

How to Turn Your House Lights On/Off using Smartphone

What You Need

  • The X10 FireCracker (for communication to the computer) and the TM751 receiver (for the power jack). You can purchase the kit from the X10 website for $24.99.
  • An Apache web server with PHP installed. You can find a tutorial herefor setting up Apache on both Linux and Windows.
  • Light.exe, a program that sends signals over the com. port. Once the signals are received, it then reads and adjusts the light connected to it accordingly. It even has support for dimming lights.

Step 1 Create a Web Interface

After you connect the X10 equipment and have everything installed, with a light connected, we need to create a webpage to host on our server that sends signals over the com. port.

  1. Open up a text editor.
  2. Paste this HTML and PHP code into it.

<html>
<body>
<?php

if(isset($_GET[‘light’])) {
   if ($_GET[‘light’] == “on”) {
      system(“light.exe c1a1+”);
   }
   if ($_GET[‘light’] == “off”) {
      system(“light.exe c1a1-“);
   }
}
?>

<a href=”index.php?light=on”>On</a> /
<a href=”index.php?light=off”>Off</a>

</body>
</html>

3.  Save the document as index.php. Make sure you save it as type “all files”, or you will end up with double file extensions. Throw the index.php file and light.exe into your Apache directory.

Step 2 Enable Port Forwarding

We need to forward the port that Apache runs on so that we can access this webpage from an external network (unless you do not desire to run it away from home).

  1. Click Start. In the search, type cmd and hit Enter. In the prompt, typeipconfig, and it will list your default gateway and IP address. Take note of both.
  2. Go to the router configuration page. The default address is 192.168.1.1. Type that in your browser address bar, or the one you got from the previous step.
  3. Type in your Username and Password for the router. Default is usuallyadmin:password.
  4. Click Port Forwarding somewhere on the page—all of them look different. Here is how mine looked:Mastering Security, Part 2: How to Create a Home VPN Tunnel
  5. For me, I needed to click Port Forwarding on the router page. Set the host to your computer’s IP address that we previously noted, and the port to 80.
  6. Go to What Is My IP Address and write down your IP. This IP is the address that we need to access the site and control the lights.

Step 3 Test the Page

Open up your new webpage and simple click the link that says on to turn the lights on, and off for off.

Source:null-byte.wonderhowto.com

How To Build A Cheap Super Computer

Here’s how to build a cheap super computer using Raspberry Pi’s – When you think about building your own rig, you probably think of setting up a crazy ass gaming computer or creating a computer on a budget to get the best possible components for the least amount of money. You’re almost certainly not considering putting together a supercomputer. Maybe you should. making a cluster large enough to be classed as a super computer using Raspberry Pi’s (RPi) can be done for less than $1,000.

Raspberry Pi is a single-board Linux-powered computer. They’re powered by 700MHz ARM11-processors and include a Videocore IV GPU. The Model B+ comes with 512MBs of RAM, four USB ports and a 10/100 BaseT Ethernet port. The processors can be overclocked to 1GHz.
Here is the first video showing you how to put together a small cluster of raspberry pi’s
The second video shows you how to load the software required for the Pi
This final video demonstrates how awesome it can be when 32 Pi’s are connected together

The Best Place to Put Your Wi-Fi Router – Explained by Physics

Electromagnetic waves are the carrier of near about every type of modern day communication systems. They enclose you and your surroundings whenever you make a call, use Wi-Fi or other gadgets. These electromagnetic waves are reflected by the Earth’s upper atmosphere where it becomes a “plasma” at high altitudes.

Plasma is a state of matter with interesting properties and show strong reaction to the electromagnetic field. Using this property, at low frequencies, we can bounce the radio signals and thereby extending signal’s range.

Jason Cole, a PhD scholar of Imperial College, London, has studied this plasma-electromagnetic waves’ interaction. He writes that the behavior of intense EM waves and plasma can be predicted using the Maxwell’s equations that date back to the 19th century.
How Maths fixed the Wi-Fi in a flat?
Jason used these equations to improve the Wi-Fi reception in his flat. He explains that the normal wireless router antenna emits EM radiations due to a small current oscillating at 2.4GHz.
In his model, he introduced a similar current and made it to oscillate; the resultant EM waves flow was dictated by Maxwell’s equations. After mapping his flat, he developed a map of the Wi-Fi strength in his flat. As he moved his virtual router, he was able to see the variable signal strength.
The first lesson he learned is pretty much obvious: Wi-Fi router should be kept in line-of-sight to your device.
Further, he found that sometimes signals stop changing and flicker without any particular reason at some places. This happens when Wi-Fi reflections overlap and thereby cancel each other. Thus, it’s the phenomenon of a standing wave. Due to this, dark spots, separated by some centimeters, are created indicating low signal. This phenomenon was recently mapped in 3D by a Wi-Fi enthusiast.
So here we got our second lesson which is a bit more interesting and less obvious: if you are receiving a poor signal at some particular position, you should do a slight change in router’s position. This will produce a significant improvement in signal strength due to the disappearance of the dark spots.
Based on his findings, Jason made an Android App to answer the question: Where is the best position to place your Wi-Fi router?
These findings may be a bit less exciting, but it confirms the fact that mathematics is a useful tool that solves tough problems and even makes your Wi-Fi signal stronger.
Source: fossBytes

Best budget smartphones under $200

Just a few years ago it was near impossible to find a capable smartphone for a decent price. Most of the high-end offerings used to cost anywhere from $600 to $900, and most low-end devices were somewhat affordable, though they couldn’t keep up with simple day-to-day tasks. Luckily a few manufacturers have made great strides in the budget-friendly market, and now it’s easier than ever to find a perfectly capable device for under $200.

In a budget-friendly market that’s increasing rapidly in size, you might find it challenging to find a device that best suits your needs. With that said, let’s take a look at the best budget smartphones for under $200!

#1 – Asus ZenFone 2

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The recently-announced Asus ZenFone 2 offers flagship-level specifications, a premium build and a smooth software experience, which is why we name this device the best all-around smartphone you can buy right now for under $200. The device caught headlines when it launched at CES 2015, mainly for it being the first smartphone that came with 4GB of RAM. While that’s certainly an impressive feature, there’s a lot more to the story. In our full review, we took a look at the higher-end model, which features 4GB of RAM, a quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 64GB of on-board storage. However, since that model is available for $299, today we’re taking a look at the lower-end option. The base model features a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z3560 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage.

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It also comes with a vivid 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display, which we understand might be a bit too large for some users. Even so, the phone’s curved design makes one-handed use easier and the rear-mounted volume keys are an excellent departure from the norm. Placed on the very top, the power button can be difficult to reach much of the time, but thankfully the phone supports double tap to wake. And despite the phone’s chassis being made entirely of plastic, it still feels plenty premium. Even though the device only comes with 16GB of internal storage, Asus has provided a microSD card slot for expandable memory – a feature many users have come to appreciate over the past year or so, despite Samsung ditching the port with its latest Galaxy S6 flagship. The ZenFone 2 also has a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera that will take sufficient pictures for most users out there.

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On the software front, the phone ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop running underneath Asus’ ZenUI software overlay, which some users may not like. That said, this most recent build of ZenUI is much-improved over past versions, and many of the UI elements are very similar to “vanilla” Android. Asus has been diligent about updating its devices’ software in a timely fashion over the past few years, so folks who buy this device will probably have a positive software experience for (hopefully) two full years.

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The ZenFone 2 is available for use on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., among many other carriers and markets throughout the world. It also has dual SIM card support, which is a feature we’re always happy to see on low-cost smartphones.

he ZenFone 2 is available for use on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., among many other carriers and markets throughout the world. It also has dual SIM card support, which is a feature we’re always happy to see on low-cost smartphones.

                                                                                            BUY NOW ON AMAZON

#2 – Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen.)

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The followup to the original Moto G holds a lot in common with its predecessor, though in this case, that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. For just $180, Motorola’s Moto G (2nd Gen.) offers its users very impressive specifications, a high-end build and an incredible software experience. For those who think the ZenFone 2 is too big, the Moto G (2nd Gen.) is the next best device. It has a 5.0-inch LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, making the device very easy to hold in the hand. Although it doesn’t feel as premium as the ZenFone 2 in terms of build quality, a few features stand out that make this a very well-rounded device.

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Since the overall size of the chassis is much smaller, the power button on the Moto G is mucheasier to reach than the one on our first pick. Additionally, the front-facing speakers on this device are much louder and clearer than the ZenFone 2’s single rear-facing speaker. Unfortunately, the Moto G isn’t nearly as fast as the Zenfone 2, but it’s still more than capable of handling everyday tasks. The power-efficient quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz is enough for basic tasks, but the 1GB of RAM makes the Moto G feel sluggish at times. Luckily, the near-vanilla build of Android helps manage RAM usage pretty well, but it still can be a problem when opening more than a few apps at once. The jump from 1 to 2 GB of RAM is a major one, at least right now, and that’s where I think the Zenfone 2 really has an edge over the Moto G.

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The Moto G also comes with just 8GB of internal storage, though you have the option to add an extra 64GB via the microSD card slot. Also present on this device is an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front camera, which is nothing to get excited about. The phone also has a non-removable 2070mAh battery, which should be able to get most light users through the day on a single charge.

When purchasing a Motorola device, one thing is for certain – you’ll likely receive timely updates for two full years. Motorola has been very good about updating its devices as of late, and the Moto G (2nd Gen.) is no exception. The phone comes with a near-vanilla build of Android with a few of Motorola’s software enhancements on top. Most Motorola phones feature a great software experience, so we think you’ll be pretty happy with this offering if you’re looking for a simple, functional software experience.

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There is a Moto G variant that supports 4G LTE connectivity, though it will run you more than $200. The model we’re looking at today only supports speeds up to HSPA+, so keep that in mind before you choose this device over the 4G-capable ZenFone 2.

BUY NOW ON AMAZON

#3 – Xiaomi Redmi 2

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Announced January 2015, one of the latest products from Xiaomi continues to surprise us when it comes to specs, build quality and software experience. The Redmi 2 is a great option for folks who want to experience Xiaomi’s MIUI while still maintaining a tight budget. There are two models available, the first of which featuring 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. While the attractive $150 price point may entice you, we’d wager to say that the higher-end Redmi 2 Pro is more worth your time. Featuring 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, the Redmi 2 Pro costs around $20 more than the Redmi 2 proper, which may be a good option for those who don’t mind spending a little closer to $200.

Today, though, we’re looking at the $150 Redmi 2, which is surprisingly solid and very comfortable in the hand. It has a 4.7-inch 720p LCD display, with quality coming really close to that of the Moto G and viewing angles being just as good or slightly better than those on the Zenfone 2. The rear-facing speaker on the Redmi 2 seems to be louder than the speakers on both the ZenFone 2 and Moto G, although the Moto G still has the least amount of audio distortion overall.

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On the performance front, the Redmi 2 is just about as fast as (if not faster than) the Moto G, though both devices are still a tad slower than the ZenFone 2. Both the base and pro models of the Redmi 2 have quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processors, which are still perfectly capable CPUs. The Pro model should be faster and much better with multitasking, however, since it has 2GB of RAM compared to the 1GB found on the base model.

You’ll get 8GB of internal storage with the Redmi 2 (16GB with the Pro model) with expandable memory up to 64GB, though MIUI doesn’t allow applications to be moved or installed on the microSD card. This is both a positive and a negative for the end user. On one hand, installing apps externally can free up a ton of space on your device. But much of the time, apps installed on the microSD card can act up, which is obviously something that should be avoided. The Redmi 2’s 8MP rear camera is overall pretty good. Featuring a higher dynamic range than on the ZenFone 2, the Xiaomi offering produces much more noise in low-light environments. It also has a removable 2200mAh battery that should get most users through a full day on a single charge with roughly three hours of screen-on time.

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The Redmi 2’s 8MP rear camera is overall pretty good. Featuring a higher dynamic range than on the ZenFone 2, the Xiaomi offering produces much more noise in low-light environments. It also has a removable 2200mAh battery that should get most users through a full day on a single charge with roughly three hours of screen-on time.

The Redmi 2 runs Xiaomi’s MIUI V6 atop Android 4.4 KitKat, which will likely turn some users off from this device. MIUI is a pretty heavy Android skin, and it has been criticized for taking some inspiration from a certain fruity tech company, but the experience is truly unique and different compared to vanilla Android. Xiaomi releases occasional updates for the Redmi 2, and if you flash the developer ROM, you can even receive an update every Friday. The company is pretty optimistic with its release timelines, so hopefully we’ll get to see Android 5.0 Lollipop make its way to the device in the coming months. The ZenFone 2 and Moto G are likely to receive Android updates much faster than the Redmi 2, so keep that in mind if quick updates are important to you.

While the Redmi 2 is slightly better than the Moto G overall, availability is a major challenge with this device. You can’t officially buy the phone in the U.S., which means you’ll have to import it. Importing the device won’t get you the standard one-year warranty that many people expect, and the models available for import are not intended for the U.S. market either, meaning that carrier support isn’t always what you may expect.

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The Redmi 2 has dual SIM card support. But unlike the Moto G, which fully supports both AT&T and T-Mobile HSPA+, the Redmi 2 has limited support for U.S. carriers, depending on the specific variant. There is a variant that supports WCDMA 850 / 1900 / 2100MHz, which is fully compatible with AT&T and partially compatible with T-Mobile, depending on your specific coverage area. I wouldn’t recommend buying the Redmi 2 unless you’re on AT&T, and even then, please make sure to confirm that you’re getting the right variant.

I like to think of the Redmi 2 as being the option for users wanting something different – it’s a great phone, but it is difficult to get and carrier support can be complicated.

 

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So, there you have it – our top three picks for the best budget smartphones under $200! We understand that there are dozens of other viable options that fit into this category, but we kept our list exclusive to the phones we thought gave the user the best bang for their buck. What are your thoughts? Do you feel another smartphone should take the top spot? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

Source: androidauthority.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drone Operating System: Now Customize Drones Using Airware

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With the ever widening scope and demand in various fields, drones have till now treaded a long way to the minds of the people. Drones are, nowadays, much popular in the business arena and almost all desire for them because of their efficiency to perform even the dullest, dirty and dangerous jobs in the world with utmost ease. The only problem that has to be encountered is that drones can be difficult to program and pilot.

The four-year-old company, Airware is about to change the scenario. It has launched an Aerial Information Platform that allows the commercial businesses to license its Flight Core Autopilot technology, Ground Control stations for dispatching drones and also its cloud platform for customizing missions and collecting data.

 Airware is perhaps the premier drone startup from the Silicon Valley. Airware’s initiative is meant to provide great convenience to the business enterprises and also at the same time, it is going to give the drone technology a major boost in the upcoming years as Airware’s integrated hardware, software and cloud system will allow the users to access and customize the drones as per their requirement, making them suitable for everyone’s need; so without any doubt the demands will soar high.

However, Airware recently demonstrated the working of its platform at an isolated farm in Petaluma with the help of a variety of drones meant for different uses. Moreover, they provided an overlook to the core technologies of the platform: the Flight core autopilot system which is the brain for the drones that Airware produces; the Ground control station that lets the users operate drones using a laptop or a tablet; and the cloud system that lets enterprises keep track of the jobs to be done and ensure that they are complying with the flight regulations.

With Airware, handling a drone is a child’s play. All you need to do is manually pilot it and having completed the task, you can transfer the information to your laptop or tablet or PC. Its goal is pretty simple- it aims to do away with the expertise needed to fly complicated drone missions and this makes it best suited for beginners.

The people operating the drone just have to set up the standard Airware control system, enhance it with cloud widgets to customize their drones as per their need, and the data automatically flows to their laptop or tablet.

Interestingly, it allows the operators to just trace a flight path on a map rather than flying the drone in real-time. It also supports the fixed-wing drones, which can cover regions of roughly 1,000 square acres.

Moreover, the CTO of Airware, Buddy Michini, and CEO Jonathan Downey explained Airware’s plug-in system that allows the users create widgets for the ground Control station in the C++ language. Actually, these widgets are the main reason behind Airware sticking with Windows for its tablet app. The customers will not require to create their own app with the exact drone interface needed, instead, using windows will let them download the same app to each tablet but will provide different interfaces by simply checking the widgets.

Michini also told of the App Core, which will provide a full-on Linux computer for developers to work with in addition to the standard Flight Core autopilot and Ground Control station integration. Moreover, it will enable the users to experience more advanced sensor and image processing tools. Airware costs $2500 per drone per year and customers have to pay a subscription.

Airware is currently receiving investment from Intel, GE, A16Z, Kleiner, First Round, Google Ventures and various other prestigious funds.

Now, it’s very clear that drones are much more than war machines and are meant to be in this world for something really big and great. Drones are very soon going to occupy a major part of our lives and might possible that each one of us will have one of our own in our own place. Voice your opinions through comments.

Via: Airware

Source: fossBytes