Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Check Out the Best From This Week’s Open Thread

Check Out the Best From This Week's Open Thread

Windows 8 apps might sync and run on Xbox One, Dell website claims

The disparate ecosystems of Windows Phone, Microsoft’s traditional desktop and the Xbox 360 left a generation of Redmond loyals aching for a more unified front. Now Dell seems convinced that one is on the way: according to a blurb on the company’s online store, Windows 8 apps will be capable of …

The Best Utes In The World

The Best Utes In The World

Last Wednesday marked the 55th birthday of the Chevrolet El Camino, the thing most Americans probably picture when they think of a car that effectively doubles as a pickup.

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Week in review: Technicon 2013

Usually, Ars catches its readers up with an “Ars Readers React” post or a “Week in Review” post on the weekends. If you missed anything from the week, that post is a good way to review the most important stories and the best notes from the commenters in any given week.

But this week was special as the Ars staff gathered together for their annual “Technicon.” 362 days out of the year, Ars staffers work from home, communicating by IRC (yes, IRC), e-mail, and various text and video chat services. But for three days out of the year, we leave the Orbital HQ and actually see each other face to face, sharing ideas for the coming year and talking about what did and didn’t work the year before. Basically, we meet to make what you read better.

In lieu of a weekly retrospective, we decided to bring you a little glimpse into our 2013 Technicon in Chicago. After a few days of work and play, we left Chicago excited for what’s in store at Ars for 2014. We hope you’ll keep coming back to our beloved site for more great writing, photos, and videos—we promise some big plans are in store.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments


Tiny barometers in cell phones could tell you how high you are

The modern smart phone is packed full of goodies that help it figure out where it is. Internal accelerometers provide orientation, WiFi and GPS signals combine with it to provide geographic location. We never need be lost again.

Until you walk into a large building. The GPS signal disappears, and the WiFi may only tell you accurately that you are in the building. Even if you were to use WiFi access points as navigational beacons, they do tend to get shifted about and new access points added as networks evolve. This makes positioning a bit of a lottery. Clearly navigational systems for inside buildings require an alternative approach. Now, research from Japan hints at a new sensor that may well be destined for the smart phone of the future.

One obvious approach to navigation is to use inertial guidance. Unfortunately, inertial guidance systems rely on sensing changes in acceleration, and use that to calculate a new position. Every calculation has a small error, and, since each new calculation relies on the results of the last calculation, this error grows as fast as the national debt during war time.

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The Easiest Way to Open and Turn a Bag of Snacks into a Bowl

The Internet loves the ‘roll up from bottom’ hack of turning a bag of chips into a serving bowl, but one guy might just have topped it. If you’ve tried the original hack, you probably know that the chips at the bottom get crushed when you roll it up.

Well, here’s a way to open it up without any mess at all. The trick is hold the bag in a way to create an air pocket in the middle and puncture it, tearing a small piece. Hold that piece and rotate the bag counter-clockwise, so the piece keeps tearing off in a bigger circle, till the whole bag is a bowl! Pure genius.

This should also help solve the problem of opening stubborn bags without resorting to the two-coin trick.

A clever way to open a bag of snacks | dool 둘

Today is the last day to vote for Iowa’s Greenwood Roadway to win a $5,000 grant that will help cont

Today is the last day to vote for Iowa’s Greenwood Roadway to win a $5,000 grant that will help contribute to its comeback. You can even vote again if you’ve done so already. Let’s help them out!

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Long Island Man Tries to Board Flight With More Than a Dozen Knives

Long Island Man Tries to Board Flight With More Than a Dozen Knives

Yesterday a Long Island man tried to board a JetBlue flight with a carry-on bag holding more than a dozen knives, a dozen lighters, five pairs of scissors, and, in case he got hungry, a large container of Utz pretzel pub mix.

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Tweeting At Automakers Is A World Of Hurt

Tweeting At Automakers Is A World Of Hurt

Recently, after four years of expressing my thoughts in 140-sentence papers, I finally got a Twitter account. There were a couple reasons for this, none involving upping my Klout score. One was to keep up with the ever-eccentric tweets of Taki Inoue. The other involved making unsolicited car recommendations to people. Only one of these intents has been successful in practice.

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The Ten Worst Pieces Of Music In Car Commercials

Cover your ears, everyone. There have been some truly awful car commercials over the years. But often what makes a forgettable ad memorable is the bad music that goes with it.

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