Calling All Scientists — Google Science Fair Entry Deadline Looms


Well there’s only 5 days left (as I write this) for stu­dents world-wide com­plete their exper­i­ments, write-up their sum­mar­ies, and cre­ate their sup­port­ing video (or slide present­a­tion) for entry into the Google Sci­ence Fair (http://google.com/sciencefair).

I’m really look­ing for­ward to see­ing the cre­ativ­ity shown in these entries — espe­cially any that relate to liv­ing in a north­ern cli­mate (yes, winter is going on way too long up here this year).

I’m also kind-of envi­ous, one of the prizes is really awe­some:

The Grand Prize winner(s) plus one par­ent or guard­i­an per win­ner will win an amaz­ing 10 day trip to the Galapa­gos Islands with Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Exped­i­tions. Trav­el­ing aboard the Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Endeav­our the winner(s) will vis­it Darwin’s liv­ing labor­at­ory and exper­i­ence up-close encoun­ters with unique spe­cies such as flight­less cor­mor­ants, mar­ine iguanas, and domed giant tor­toises.

And yes, back in the day, we didn’t have Sci­ence Fairs quite this cool, or tech­no­logy quite this soph­ist­ic­ated to work with.

But just enter­ing this con­test exposes con­test­ants to many of the base con­cepts of mod­ern sci­ence; exper­i­ment­ing, learn­ing, fail­ing, try­ing again, and report­ing on your res­ults, all things that mod­ern sci­ent­ists do today.

Some days, I think i was born too soon. Oh, and check out this video for a bit more inspir­a­tion and inform­a­tion about Google’s Sci­ence Fair.

This is a sponsored post.

A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

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Three excit­ing games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-estab­lished com­puter and con­sole devel­op­ment jug­ger­naut. One was from a (now) block­buster com­pany that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respec­ted Cana­dian design house, is cur­rently tak­ing the iTunes App store by storm — becom­ing Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re plan­ning to pick up an iPad 2 tomor­row, you might want to make these your first down­loads :smileyhappy:
Con­tin­ue read­ing “A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer”

How your mobile phone or tablet could save your life

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Believe it or not, there are many ways your mobile smart phone could be used when you find your­self in the middle of an emer­gency situ­ation,  aside from the obvi­ous — mak­ing a phone call for emer­gency assist­ance, I mean.

The recent events in Japan and New Zea­l­and have shown that when dis­aster strikes, get­ting the most accur­ate inform­a­tion is likely the best way to make choices that could save your life.

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Provided the event hasn’t taken out the loc­al mobile net­work, your mobile phone’s browser will help, link­ing you with many loc­al, nation­al, and inter­na­tion­al news ser­vices, as well as many dif­fer­ent chan­nels of com­mu­nic­a­tion (email, voice chat, twit­ter, etc).

Hard­ware
f1.jpgBut there are oth­er ways your smart phone can help. For example, many smart phone’s dis­play screens are bright enough to be used as a make­shift flash­light when the power goes out. Col­or Flash­light is a lead­ing Android app and Flash­light 4 is one of the most pop­u­lar ones in Japan right now.

As well, most phones these days know where they are in the world, either by tri­an­gu­lat­ing between com­mu­nic­a­tions towers, wifi sources, or built-in GPS sys­tems. Tie this in with any of the pop­u­lar map­ping applic­a­tions and you have a good visu­al under­stand­ing of where you are. Help­ful when you have to find an altern­ate route or trans­port­a­tion sys­tem in an unfa­mil­i­ar city.

An app for that? You bet!
As you can ima­gine, there are many things that you could need in an emer­gency. And, of course, there are some apps that can help.

Dur­ing the Tsunami warn­ings fol­low­ing the Japan earth­quake, inform­a­tion like that provided by this Hawaii­an-developed Dis­aster Alert app helped keep islanders informed about the impend­ing waves.

And after an event, find­ing people and shel­ter is a pri­or­ity.

Google launched their Google Per­son Find­er dur­ing the Christ­ch­urch earth­quake, and updated it for the Japan event.

And the Amer­ic­an Red Cross has released their free Shel­ter View app.

So as you can see, with just a few book­marks, per­haps an hour of app-store brows­ing, and a few dol­lars invest­ment, you can have a pretty good emer­gency pre­pared­ness kit all tucked neatly into your mobile data phone.

I think it’s time I star­ted on mine, what have I missed that I should add?
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How social media tools can enhance and extend the reach of an event

screens_300.jpgThis past Fri­day I went to a fun­draiser Celebrity Chef event hos­ted by a friend and loc­al Edmon­ton social media per­son­al­ity (and Bacon Guy) Jerry Aulenbach.

Held at a loc­al premi­er bur­ger res­taur­ant, the even­ing was one of good food, good con­ver­sa­tion, and a lot of glow­ing screens.

The res­taur­ant had set aside a sec­tion for the fun­draiser crew, com­plete with a laptop and pro­ject­or.

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Con­tin­ue read­ing “How social media tools can enhance and extend the reach of an event”

iPredict: some new stuff from Apple on Wednesday.

appleguitar_200.jpgOnce again we’re on the cusp of Apple’s annu­al Fall ‘event’. Over the last few years it’s been focused on Apple’s vis­ion of music, enter­tain­ment, and the hard­ware tech­no­logy needed by us, the con­sumers, to real­ize that vis­ion.

So in two days, Septem­ber 1, we’ll know what that vis­ion of the future looks like. But there’s been a lot of spec­u­la­tion online as to what’s com­ing down the pipe, espe­cially with the iPod line, so I thought I’d take a look at a few of the more inter­est­ing things I’d seen, start­ing with;

Redesigned iPod Shuffle (or is it a Nano?)

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Well, some folk are think­ing that the Nano will get smal­ler, per­haps start­ing to push into the Shuffle’s mar­ket niche. One report and image indic­ates that the device will have a touch screen, and the body shrinks to about size of a wrist watch.

Updated iPod Touch
At the last event, there was huge dis­ap­point­ment that the iPod Touch didn’t really get any sig­ni­fic­ant enhance­ments. Spec­u­la­tion was rampant then that the Touch would get a cam­era. It didn’t.

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Fast for­ward to now, and the rumor mill is proph­esy­ing two cam­er­as (one front facing) to sup­port Apple’s Face­time app (via WiFi), and Apple’s enhanced ‘ret­ina’ dis­play. And, per­haps a stream­ing music ser­vice. And per­haps 3G ser­vice too — cre­at­ing a true iPad mini.

The Usu­al.
As well, this event, head­ing into the hol­i­day buy­ing sea­son, is the per­fect time to announce exten­sions to exist­ing product lines (more memory), price changes for exist­ing hard­ware, and per­haps, intro­duce a new look at an older product line (Apple TV becomes iTV?) and, per­haps the much dis­cussed iMac Touch.

Regard­less of how this all plays out, you can bet that there’ll be a lot of tech-types scan­ning the news of the day to see what new toys Apple rolls out — yeah, me too.

So, of course, check back here to get our take (I’m sure there’ll be a few of us weigh­ing in) on the latest offer­ings from Apple.



This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.