Implanted Bluetooth biochip gets under hacker's skin

If Tim Cannon wants to check his temperature, he doesn't need a thermometer. The biochip that's been surgically implanted in his arm does it for him, transmitting the data in real time, via Bluetooth, to an Android device.

The implant, about the size of a Bic lighter and dubbed the Circadia 1.0, lives between the skin and muscles of Cannon's left forearm in a sealed box, which also contains a battery that can be charged wirelessly. Built-in red LEDs act as status lights, and can be programmed to illuminate the tattoo of a DNA double helix that sits atop Cannon's bulging implant. He's thinking of programming the biosensor to text him if it think he's getting a fever. … Read more

Sixers unleash world's largest T-shirt cannon on fans

Whenever I attend a professional sporting event, two things seem certain: high prices and T-shirt cannons.

This basketball season, the chances of catching a flying T-shirt improved greatly for Philadelphia 76ers fans, with the debut of the world's largest T-shirt cannon.

The weapon of mass comfort, officially known as "Big Bella," weighs 600 pounds and can fire up to 100 shirts per minute. Judging by the startling straight-down-the-double-barrel picture supplied by the Sixers, the device appears somewhat similar to a jumbo Gatling gun. … Read more

Shoot rag dolls out of a cannon

Ragdoll Blasters 3 is the third installment in the popular physics puzzle series, and this sequel is a solid offering with plenty for puzzle gaming fans. Like the first two Ragdoll Blasters, the game concept is simple: on each level, aim your cannon and fire the rag doll to hit the target. Of course it's never quite that easy; you'll also want to grab buttons for extra points, and maps provide plenty of obstacles to make it hard to get a perfect three-star score.

As the third game in a popular series, you would expect the game to … Read more

Obama shoots marshmallow in the name of science

Check out this video of a high-powered marshmallow cannon fired by President Obama and eighth grader Joey Hudy at the White House.

The second White House Science Fair yesterday gave 100 student winners of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions from across 45 states the opportunity to show off neat science projects to the president, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and several well-respected educators and leaders from the science and engineering community.

Perhaps the viral star of the expose is 14-year-old Hudy's "Extreme Marshmallow Cannon," a compressed air-powered weapon that can launch the tasty confections more than 170 feet. The president helped Hudy pump the cannon to 30psi, and then shot the marshmallow across the State Dining Room. … Read more

The 404 961: Where we've got a Twitch in our eye (podcast)

There's plenty of live video broadcasting platforms to choose on the Web these days, but today we're chatting with one of the pioneers.

Justin Kan is one of the co-founders of Justin.TV, and he drops by our studio today for a full episode about the origins of life streaming and how the site paved the road to Justin's new project for live video gaming, TwitchTV.

We'll also talk to Justin about his participation in Y Combinator, a start-up incubator that helps green entrepreneurs through the first three months of genesis.

The boot camp gives founders the seed funding they need for general living expenses, allowing them to focus on the business idea. YC also guides them through the media pitching process and how to grab the attention of venture capitalists and seed investors.

Some of the headline-grabbing companies to grow from Y Combinator include Scribd, Loopt, Grubwithus, and Justin.TV itself.

Tune in to hear about how TwitchTV is bringing competitive gaming to a much larger audience, not to mention a few tips on what it takes to earn a spot in the next Y Combinator batch!… Read more

Lilliputian cannon packs serious firepower

Save for an e-mail at the end of the video, it's not clear who made this teensy cannon or how. But it's become something of a YouTube hit. And for good reason, since it makes for riveting viewing as you watch a harmless paperweight turn into what has to be the smallest homemade fully working cannon, with the help of a snort of gunpowder in the barrel, a ball bearing, stick of fuse, and a lighted cigarette.

There's enough firepower here to shatter an egg, a glass mug, and numerous objects to devastating effect. See what having … Read more

Fire rag dolls at targets

Ragdoll Blaster 2 Lite is a free 18-level preview of Ragdoll Blaster 2, the much more polished follow-up to physics-based puzzler Ragdoll Blaster.

The interface of Ragdoll Blaster 2 is a lot like its predecessor, but with a brand-new skin. You're still using your touch screen to aim and fire rag dolls from a cannon, but the earlier game's graph-paper-sketch aesthetic has been swapped out for a more realistic, steampunk-like backdrop, with a cute musical score, cartoony sound effects, and higher production values throughout.

The object of the game is the same: each level has a red-and-white, bulls-eye … Read more

Manage family schedules, play a 2D arcade game: iPhone Apps of the week

If you've been reading this column for any length of time, it should come as no surprise that I decided to buy an iPad last week. After reviewing the iWork apps on the iPad Apple loaned us for review purposes, I found that I could use it for both work and play. Now that I've had it for a week, I'm extremely happy with my purchase.

To me, buying the iPad was a pretty easy decision knowing that I would already be reviewing iPad apps for iPad Atlas, and (as I wrote in an earlier post) I … Read more

Turkey Cannon flavors bird from the inside out

It's that time of year again: turkey time. All across the land decisions are being made as to how to cook the main course for the Thanksgiving feast this year. While ham or duck may occasionally grace the table, for most the question is how to prepare the turkey.

Recommended cooking times vary greatly, usually hovering around some safe bet of 15-18 minutes per pound at 325-350 degrees. Chances are that if you follow the guidelines, you'll end up with a dry bird. Dark meat and white meat need different cooking times, so when one is done (white) … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

Apple's iPhone App Store grows every day with new free and paid offerings. The lion's share of apps (and clearly the most popular) have been games, now with 626 digital time wasters at the time of this writing. I check the App Store almost every day for new stuff--mostly in the free category, but I've also bought my share of iPhone apps, too.

What do I look for? To be honest, I like it all--from the completely useless, but funny programs to the legitimately useful everyday apps. When I sift through the various lists of apps on … Read more