Silly String Cooling Foam Beats the Heat

Japan’s summers can get hotter and more humid than some of the warmest days in Arizona or California. Creative ways to beat the heat are a must. Battery powered fans just aren’t enough for daily commute. With growing concern about how we affect the environment, blasting the air conditioner on public transportation and in schools and offices all day just isn’t an option for some.

Luckily, there’s a new interesting and fun way to beat the heat that’s billed as an energy-saving solution gaining popularity all over Japan. Cooling foam, a product that comes in a can similar to shaving cream or suntan lotion, is cool and light and hardens after making contact with skin. The special foam stays cool for long periods of time and can be shaped into anything the user wants. Most common shapes include bracelets and necklaces because they cool down areas of skin than help keep the whole body at a comfortable temperature. However, anyone can go nuts and beat the heat with some well-placed body graffiti. The substance is neither sticky or a pain to remove, so there’s no messy clean-up.

First Ever Animated Tattoo

Last month, Karl Marc (also known as K.A.R.L, a tattoo artist based in France, went live and recorded himself making what could be the first animated tattoo. The QR bar code can automatically be read by the camera in smart phones and iPhones, conjuring up an animated character exactly where the tattoo lies on the subject’s chest that sings and dances. It’s a delicate process that requires an exact sequence of squares on the skin to work, and K.A.R.L. faced some extra pressure by recording the event live.

The Red Bull Creation Challenge

Red Bull is already associated with some pretty extreme sport events, including a challenge that called for people to build their own flying machines and testing them by launching themselves in it over a big stretch of water. The champions of the energy drink business have always been associated with high adrenaline sports and events. Tomorrow, Red Bull will be responsible for an event that not only has participants under pressure, but has them stretching the limits of their imaginations as well.

"People Staring at Computers" Project Raided by Secret Service

Kyle McDonald, self-professed artist, installed software in New York’s Apple stores in SoHo and West 14th street that would automatically upload pictures from computer cameras each minute and put them all on a Tumblr page. He received permission from the stores to take the pictures with his camera, but not from the people he was secretly photographing with his software. The results of his project were hundreds of photos of people looking bored or pre-occupied and a visit from Secret Service.

Skype Comes to Facebook

It seems Facebook won’t be going down without a fight. On the heels of the announcement of Google+, Mark Zuckerberg took the stage today at a Facebook Mobile event in San Francisco to unveil something new for the site. In direct competition with the video conference feature promised by Google+, Zuckerberg revealed his plan to team Facebook up with Skype. Skype, the biggest Voice over IP service will also integrate Facebook features onto their client.

Egypt's Art of Revolution

Starting today, an exhibit at the MICA museum in London will feature pieces created by artists in Egypt during this time of revolution. Works of protest toward the oppressive regime, be they painting or graffiti, are being put on display both for their striking beauty, and as tools of education. There are still many who do not know enough to understand the the verbal, financial, and written suppression many in Egypt face. Art, a visual medium, may be able to educate viewers with both immediacy and efficiency. So much is conveyed in a single image.

The exhibit, From Facebook to Nassbook, is part of Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture. The month long event is significant in that it is London’s first ever celebration of contemporary culture from across the Arab world. From Facebook to Nassbook will feature art that tells the story of what led to the ousting of the self-appointed ‘president for life’, Hosni Mubarak. The exhibit will help many understand the whys of the revolution. It will furthermore be a look at what revolution is, what it entails, and what it may mean for the futures of those living in Egypt.

From Facebook to Nassbook also explores the internet as an aid to political expression and freedom. Egypt’s revolution is one of the largest examples yet of Twitter, Facebook, and other networking sites being used as a tool for something much larger. It is one of history’s first examples that cements the internet as much more than a toy or source of entertainment. When the internet was essentially shut down as the people successfully organized revolt through it, word of mouth kept it going. People (or nass, the Egyptian Arabic word for people) to people, with and without technology, spread revolution and continue to do so. Class barriers and religious views were and are being put aside to bring change.

The exhibit aims to capture all of this, from pre-revolution to the current. Of the gallery, MICA states:

Fourth of July iPhone and iPad Game Sale

Odds are some of us have already spent a wad of cash on food or fireworks to celebrate Independence Day over the long weekend. No worries. iPad, iPhone, and iPod users can still feel like they’ve got disposable income no matter what today. EA Games is having the biggest sale in its history and users can get some great games for under a dollar. Usually around ten dollars, most of these are 90 % off. They’re not alone. Joining them on the sales front is NAMCO, Gameloft, Glu, and several other publishers.

These are some of the biggest developers for phone gaming, so many of these are a big steal. Classics like Tetris, Pac-Man, Galaga, The Oregon Trail, and Tamagotchi are on the list. Extremely fun and popular modern games such as I Love Katamari, Rayman 2, Mass Effect Galaxy, and Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies are slashed in price. For those that prefer games that increase intelligence and flex their mind’s muscle, there are games like Brain Challenge HD, Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima, and Scrabble available.

Here is the list of recommended games according to Engadget:

Augmented Reality Cinema on your Phone

Movie lovers and fans of cool tech unite! An App. is on its way to smart phones that allows users to point their phones in the direction of any location and see a scene of a movie that was shot on that very spot. The App. allows its users to travel around and see entire scenes superimposed over the actual scene in front of them.

So far the App. is a prototype. Its focus right now is different areas of London, but soon users will be able to find scenes from locations around the world. This is an extra nifty toy for those struck with wanderlust and big fans of travel. Like a tour bus host in your pocket, this App will let its users know about all the scenes filmed in certain locations and allow them to see the scene right on the screen. Those in L.A. or New York would have thousands of scenes--enough to turn the App. into a pop culture scavenger hunt tool. Still, even those who don’t travel would be interested in seeing what sort of films have taken place in their towns.

Google+ May Drastically Change Social Networking

It’s hard not to notice the slow and gradual way Google has either consumed or become a part of various reaches of the internet. Like a Symbiote, Google has slowly merged or replaced some of our favorite things, most of the time for the better. Now the internet giant plans to take on Facebook with a social network all its own.

Google+, only searchable under Google Plus for now, is Google’s answer to a big problem. Facebook is more than a little famous for its seedy security breaches and leaked information about its users. Google+, above all things, promises a more secure social networking experience. Privacy options won’t be a confusing mess of having to find another new sharing option to “un-click” every time Facebook updates and decides to publicly share a new aspect of users’ profiles. Moreover, users can actively pick and choose which social circles and groups of people they share certain information with. This is called Circles, and any person the user wants can be added to a set group of friend, whether they too have Google+ or not. The user’s friends and family need not make an account to be added and interacted with.

Sparks already seems like a much better version of the Facebook feed. It will allow users to share things they are interested in and generate discussion in a sleek and organized way. It almost seems like a combination of Tumblr with a smarter version of the Youtube comment option attached. Posts can be tagged for anyone else that may want to search the same interest and an algorithm in part generated by people’s use will keep users in the know of new things concerning the topic.

Hangouts, like Skype or Tinychat, allows users to meet online via webcam and chat. Up to ten users can join, coming and going as they please. Mobile, another on-the-go way to keep communication going, lets users tell friends their location (or not). Users can also send messages to a chosen group of people at once from their phone. Uploading pictures online from the user’s phone, still a hassle on most sites, can be done instantly. The photos automatically turn up in a private album on the user’s Google+ account, where they can pick and choose who to share them with.

However, all of these features are just a fraction of the options Google is looking to make available to Plus. This is actually one of their biggest endeavors yet and hundreds of engineers have been working on “Emerald Sea”, the code name for Google+ chosen to keep the project under wraps for the last year. There are over 100 launches in store for Google+, an amount that’s almost overwhelming. It already seems like it will be much more than Facebook, but with over 100 more announcements on their way, it’s hard to imagine just how many bells and whistles can be added.

Funky Fourth of July Gadgets

So you’re all grown up and ready to host your first Fourth of July celebration. Your folks have sent you off into the world with fond memories of patriotic plates and cups, cheesy Uncle Sam costumes, and long waits far far away from the grill, where they may as well have been hosting a meeting of spies centered solely around cooking meat. You’ve got adult taste now and disposable income. You have friends that won’t be entertained by flag themed utensils or a red, white, and blue wig until their fourth beer.

Until that sweet, sweet, moment you’re going to need some supplies. Get your grill out of the closet and dust it off. We’ve collected a few affordable gadgets that might add some flair this Fourth of July:

Ice, Ice, Baby