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.