Some Of The Many Things We Are Interested In:

The Private Life of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’s biographer Walter Isaacson will be interviewed on Sunday night’s episode of 60 Minutes.

The interview will air on Oct. 23, the night before Isaacson’s Steve Jobs: A Biography hits bookshelves. Isaacson was given unprecedented access to Jobs and those who knew him. Jobs, who died earlier this month, reportedly told Isaacson that “nothing is off limits” when it came to chronicling his life.

In a special essay for Time subscribers, Isaacson shed some light on why the notoriously private Jobs was finally willing to open up about his life. “I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs reportedly told Isaacson.

CBS announced the interview segment on its Facebook page. We expect the clip will be available in the official 60 Minutes iPad app shortly after it airs on TV.


Isaacson Discusses Jobs’s Decision to Put Off Surgery

CBS News released a preview of its upcoming Segment on Thursday. The clip includes Isaacson discussing Jobs’s decision to put-off surgery after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The surgery could have saved Jobs’s life. Isaacson says that despite the urgings of his wife and surgeons, Jobs opted to try alternative treatments first. It was a decision he would later regret.


Visible Contact Halloween App

Here is a fun little animation with our Halloween charters. Everyone loves to dress up for Halloween and this app lets you enjoy many crazy combinations of costumes, along with traditional ones as well. Down load the app, and have some Halloween fun.

 


Fox News in our Studio

Today we had a special guest in our studio, the Fox News Team. Visible Contact has been developing web sites for the past 4 years ago. But last year we started developing apps. Our first app was developed as a countdown app for New Years Eve 2011. And on New Years Eve we had over 10,000 download. So from there we developed Evil Sushi Squish and haven’t look back since. Of course we will always work on web sites and other peoples apps but developing products for mobile devices is where the market is going and so are we.

Fox News is doing a story on jobs of the future. The interview will air November 1st.


The Sunscreen Pill?

Coral could hold key to sunscreen pill

By Michelle Roberts Health reporter, BBC News

Scientists hope to harness coral’s natural defence against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays to make a sunscreen pill for humans.

The King’s College London team visited Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to uncover the genetic and biochemical processes behind coral’s innate gift.

By studying a few samples of the endangered Acropora coral they believe they can synthetically replicate in the lab the key compounds responsible.

Tests on human skin could begin soon.

Before creating a tablet version, the team, led by Dr Paul Long, plan to test a lotion containing the same compounds as those found in coral.

To do this, they will copy the genetic code the coral uses to make the compounds and put it into bacteria in the lab that can rapidly replicate to produce large quantities of it.

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Once we recreate the compounds we can put them into a lotion and test them on skin discarded after cosmetic surgery tummy tucks”

Lead researcher Dr Paul Long

Dr Long said: “We couldn’t and wouldn’t want to use the coral itself as it is an endangered species.”

He said scientists had known for some time that coral and some algae could protect themselves from the harsh UV rays in tropical climates by producing their own sunscreens but, until now, they didn’t know how.

“What we have found is that the algae living within the coral makes a compound that we think is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae.

“Not only does this protect them both from UV damage, but we have seen that fish that feed on the coral also benefit from this sunscreen protection, so it is clearly passed up the food chain.”

Acropora coral sample The reef samples provide clues to how the coral protects itself from the sun

This could ultimately mean that people might be able to get inbuilt sun protection for their skin and eyes by taking a tablet containing the compounds. But for now, Dr Long’s team are focusing their efforts on a lotion.

“Once we recreate the compounds we can put them into a lotion and test them on skin discarded after cosmetic surgery tummy tucks.

“We will not know how much protection against the sun it might give until we begin testing.

“But there is a need for better sunscreens.”

Another long-term goal of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded study is to look at whether the processes could also be used for developing sustainable agriculture in the Third World.

The natural sunscreen compounds found in coral could be used to produce UV-tolerant crop plants capable of withstanding harsh tropical UV light.

 

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Your Feet as a Power Source? We Are Just Steps Away

Walking could power your next cell phone, researchers say

By Doug Gross, CNN

(CNN) — Will you be able to charge your next mobile phone simply by walking around?

A group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hope so.

In an article this week in the journal Nature Communications, they unveiled a technology that would harness part of the energy people generate when they walk and push it to a phone or other mobile device.

“Humans, generally speaking, are very powerful energy-producing machines,” Tom Krupenkin, a UW-Madison professor of mechanical engineering, said in a news release from the school. “While sprinting, a person can produce as much as a kilowatt of power.”

He said harvesting even a small fraction of that power is enough to power a cell phone, laptop, flashlight or other electronics.

Under the system, an “energy harvester” that would be installed in a person’s shoe would capture some of the mechanical energy that typically burns away as heat and convert it to up to 20 watts of electrical power for a personal device.

The harvester would act as an intermediate transceiver, or Wi-Fi hot spot, to serve as a “middle man” between a mobile device and a wireless network, thereby reducing the amount of energy the phone needs to send and receive signals.

Researchers call the process “reverse electrowetting,” transferring the energy via nano-tubes containing thousands of liquid “micro-droplets.”

(We’re pretty sure that’s a good description, at any rate. Read the report, by Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor, for yourself here.)

The researchers say making their technology widely available would have a positive environmental impact, reducing society’s need for batteries and the pollution that ensues when they are disposed of improperly.

It would also have an impact in poor and developing countries, where charging electronics is often either impossible or expensive, and could benefit soldiers and police officers needing to power things like communications equipment and night-vision goggles, they say.

But what about everyday smartphone users who are tempted to yank their hair out after a few hours of using their phone without a charger handy?

Krupenkin said “reverse electrowetting” would conserve enough energy to make a typical cell phone battery last 10 times longer.

“You cut the power requirements of your cell phone dramatically by doing this,” he said.

The technology was developed with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Now Krupenkin and Taylor hope to make some money with it through a company they’ve created, InStep NanoPower.

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Hurricane Wind and Water Surges, Tech that can Help You Prepare

Tech to keep you safe from hurricanes

By Doug Gross, CNN

(CNN) — For East Coast residents keeping a worried eye on Hurricane Irene, there’s a host of mobile apps, Twitter feeds and other digital tools available to help.

Here are a few of them, including suggestions for how to stay plugged in if weather knocks out power in your area.

HurricaneHD ($3.99 in Apple Store)

HurricaneHD provides exclusive video, blog posts from weather experts and other tools for folks watching Irene and other future storms.

It has a tracking map that can display multiple storms at the same time, sends active storm bulletins and contains an archive of information about past hurricanes.

It can also use GPS to tell you how far away you are from various points of a nearing storm.

Weather Channel (free for Apple and Android devices)

Both the Android and Apple versions feature animated radar, video, local forecasts and the ability to upload photos and videos of local weather.

Weather Channel Max, free for the iPad, adds full-screen, customizable weather maps, in-motion radar and real-time Twitter feeds from Weather Channel meteorologists.

Hurricane Hound ($1.99, Android)

Based on Google Maps, Hurricane Hound tracks storms in the Atlantic and east Pacific, as well as passing along National Weather Service advisories and warnings.

StormPulse

StormPulse is a website that uses date from the National Hurricane Center, cloud imagery from the NERC Satellite Station and basic imagery from NASA.

Users can click back and forth to show radar, cloud cover, watches and warnings and other features on a real-time map.

Twitter Feeds

In the face of emergency situations, the fast-paced, minute-by-minute updates you can get from Twitter are handy. Whether you’re a Twitter user or not, you can pull up and read individual feeds as long as you have Web access.

The ocean service from NOAA, the federal government’s science agency for oceans and coasts, has a Twitter feed to follow.

NOAA also runs @stormprediction — a feed specifically tailored toward sharing severe weather alerts. And FEMA has a feed to share preparation tips and news about emergency response efforts.

Of course, we’re also inclined to suggest you follow CNN’s huge team of folks following the storm. Here is a curated list of Twitter accounts for the CNN team dedicated to Irene.

Staying Powered

Assuming mobile networks are up and running, folks in areas hit by a storm like Irene could be affected anyway by persisting power outages.

To stay plugged-in, it will be important to have a power source to recharge your mobile devices that doesn’t depend on plugging into the wall or desktop.

The gadget reviewers at CNET are fans of the Solio Universal and CPS Cellboost chargers. Battery companies like Energizer offer multiple chargers, and the store where you bought your phone (or tablet) very likely sells batter-powered or solar chargers from the phone-maker or a third party.

The Axis is a multi-purpose device sanctioned by the American Red Cross. In addition to a USB charger for mobile phones and other devices, the $70, hand-crank-powered device has an AM/FM/NOAA radio and flashlight.

Think of it as the techie Swiss Army Knife for power-out disasters.

A couple of things to keep in mind: solar chargers will need sunlight, so will probably be more useful in the aftermath of a storm than during the heart of it.

And, obviously, battery-powered models are most handy with a backup supply of dry batteries.

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Free iPad Video Apps

The 11 Best Free iPad Video Apps: Showyou, ABC Player And More

The Huffington Post  

The ever-popular Apple iPad, with its wide, high-resolution screen, is a great device for watching video (better than the tiny iPhone, anyway); and yet the options for video discovery are surprisingly limited, given how tailor-made the iPad seems to be for media consumption of all kinds.

Sure, you’ve got YouTube for your standard viral video-viewing pleasure, iTunes for individual purchases and rentals, and Netflix and Hulu Plus for those with subscriptions. But what about for us freeloaders?

Here are eleven zero-dollar apps we found that can be quite useful both for finding new videos online and for watching them full-screen on your iPad, or hooked up to your wide-screen television at home. Just be sure you plan ahead: you’ll need an Internet connection to stream the clips, as the free apps don’t allow for downloads.

ABC wins the award for best iPad app among the television networks, mainly because it is the only one of the Big 4 networks that allows you to watch full episodes on your Apple tablet.

Sure, you have to wait through ads, but the fact that ABC is willing to let users stream full episodes of Secret Millionaire, Primetime and (personal favorite braindead show) Wipeout onto your iPad is a huge plus for the network and a good way to make fans.

Of course PBS has free shows! Joining ABC, PBS has an iPad app streaming full episodes of Masterpiece Theater, Austin City Limits and worldwide dad-favorite Antiques Roadshow.

Sure, you can only watch previews of PBS’s incredibly popular children shows (oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to watch The Electric Company on my tablet), but if you’re an adult looking for some stimulating video content for your iPad, the PBS iPad app is an excellent place to turn.

The TED series–“riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world”–are also free to you on your iPad with an attractive interface on a white background, videos are searchable by category and length of time, and can also be saved to watch offline.

Watch some TEDTalks for free and maybe, just maybe, learn something or be inspired to change the world. Not a bad deal at a zero dollar price tag.

Showyou is a well-designed and well-conceived video app that utilizes all the best features of the iPad in its interface. Showyou gives you a user-friendly sliding grid of videos against a black background and the clips are sorted either by publisher (featuring collections by Reddit, The Colbert Report, CollegeHumor and a few dozen others) or by what your friends are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networks.

In the “All” view, the “Publisher” and “Social Network” options are combined with the videos that are currently the most shared on the Internet. Your subscriptions are pushed to the top-left corner for easy, swipe-based scanning.

You can also search all videos on Showyou and the results are displayed in the app’s standard grid view.

Sony owns Crackle, a video streaming site, and the company recently built a Crackle iPad app that showcases Sony’s content. Though it’s a little buggy (as we found when tried out the app and as numerous other reviewers have noted), Crackle users can expect a nice selection of ad-supported television and movies from Sony Studios. Be forewarned, however, that most of the content is fairly old. While you won’t be getting, say, Breaking Bad, you do get some episodes News Radio, Seinfeld and The Tick, as well as movies like Pineapple Express, Beverly Hills Ninja and Stand by Me, among other 80s and 90s favorites.

If you don’t mind ads or a small selection that skews older, Crackle is a nice choice for free, professional content for the iPad.

Similar to Showyou, Squrl is a video aggregation app that offers collections of videos from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Vimeo sorted by topic. Think of it as an endlessly iterating selection of playlists on different themes: Movie trailers, politics, sports highlights, music videos, and everything else you would expect across the major video streaming platforms.

Though it does not have the beautiful interface of Showyou, Squrl does a nice job of cataloging your different options so you navigate to a particular category with just a few taps. Its search function can be a bit less intimidating than the image-only Showyou search as well.

Fanhattan is a fun way to find new on-demand and free content for the iPad. Split into “movies and “TV shows,” Fanhattan features an attractive sliding line of titles that gives price points on Netflix, Hulu and iTunes, and links up to Rotten Tomatoes reviews, cast information, recommendations and more.

Fanhattan is a good choice for those who are willing to shell out some cash to watch on their iPads, but so far its ability to find (or even search for) free content is somewhere between limited and non-existent. Hopefully the people behind Fanhattan will add the capability to showcase free movies and television when they next update the app, as it is sorely lacking as of now.

Plizy is another video aggregator, one that sorts videos by channels on a user-curated front page. You start out with a few pre-determined Plizy categories (all of which can be deleted) including “Plizy Buzz” (the most popular videos on Plizy), Google News, TED Talks, Vimeo Staff Picks, Bloomberg, NPR Music and the videos shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter; from there you can add channels from about a dozen different categories including Animation, Comedy, Culture, Politics and more.

The interface is a little clunky, and the fact that there is no list view for videos is puzzling (once you click on a category, it auto-plays, rather than letting you scan through your options), but overall it’s a helpful app for finding and watching videos that you care about.

“Brought to you by Goldman Sachs” is probably not what you want to hear about a free video app, but guess what? The Goldman Sachs-sponsored video app SnagFilms is a really good app for viewing free documentaries on the iPad!

No, you won’t be able to watch “Inside Job,” but you are able to view several dozen both short and full-length documentaries full-screen on SnagFilms, including critical hits like “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man,” “Winnebago Man,” and “Buena Vista Social Club.”

And while “The views and opinions expressed in these films do not necessarily reflect those of Goldman Sachs,” perhaps that’s a good thing: The documentaries on offer, though currently a bit light, are well-varied and interesting.

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