Field Trip review

Field Trip sends you notifications whenever you're near something of interest, whether you're wandering around your hometown or exploring a new city. If you're interested in the history of an area or just want to find a great local restaurant, this app has the information you're looking for.


Multiple sources: This app uses multiple and varied sources to provide you with information about everything from historical sites to restaurants and entertainment. You can read Zagat reviews of area restaurants, or learn about the architecture of the buildings in your neighborhood from multiple industry Web sites.… Read more

Change your name in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and

When you signed up for a new Web e-mail account, you probably filled out your account profile and entered your real name. When you send e-mails with that account, your real name is displayed in the From: field of the e-mail header.

You may, however, want to change your name so that only your first name is displayed for privacy reasons, or use a completely different name just for fun. All three of the major Web e-mail providers (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and offer a way to change your name.


Step 1: Click on the gear icon, then … Read more

NFC-enabled cell phones to hit 416 million shipments -- report

Smartphones outfitted with near-field communications could see a jump in shipments from 416 million this year to 1.2 billion in another four years, says research firm IHS Technology.

Shipments of phones equipped with the wireless technology rose from 120 million in 2012 to 275 million in 2013, a gain of 128 percent. This year's number could rise by an additional 50 percent. In total, shipments could grow 325 percent from 2013 through the end of 2018, according to IHS.

Android smartphones topped the NFC market last year with 254 million units, or 93 percent of all NFC-equipped cellphones. … Read more

Verizon iPhone users get a crack at Isis Mobile Wallet

iPhone wireless subscribers on Verizon Wireless won't be left out of using the Isis Mobile Wallet any longer.

On Thursday, Verizon, which is one of three major wireless operators funding the Isis Mobile Wallet, announced that iPhone users can now use the Incipio Cashwrap case and an iOS app available from the Apple App Store to use the mobile wallet.

Isis uses a very short-range wireless technology called near-field communications or NFC to access the wallet, which digitally stores credit card information, loyalty cards as well as coupons and offers. People with the mobile wallet installed on their devices … Read more

Write a tune, get it 3D-printed with Music Drop

Though they only allow simple tunes, there's something rather fascinating about music boxes and turning their handles and watching their pin-and-comb mechanisms produce their clear, chiming notes, like a tiny piano. The first music boxes started arriving toward the latter half of the 18th century, but a company called Left Field Labs has offered a modern -- and personal -- twist.

A new project called Music Drops asks you to compose your own 16-note tune using a grid. Clicking the squares indicates which notes are to be played (as far as we can ascertain, the scale starts at A at the top of the grid, and descends nearly two octaves), and you can create chords.

Then the company converts the music to a 3D-printable file using WebGL, and you can order a 3D-printed, drop-shaped music box that plays your tune when you turn the little handle. … Read more

Dogs do doo-duty in alignment with Earth's magnetic field

Dog owners are familiar with the sight of Spike sniffing, hovering, rotating, and then finally settling in to handle his business. It may seem like quite a production, but the pup may actually be getting into proper alignment with the Earth's magnetic field.

A team of scientists is behind a new study published in Frontiers in Zoology and titled "Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth's magnetic field." The researchers started off by observing dog behaviors such as resting and feeding, but soon zeroed in on excreting as the main focus.… Read more

Apple Mac hardware exec Doug Field departs for Tesla

Apple's vice president of Mac hardware engineering, Doug Field, has left the company to join Tesla Motors.

Tesla announced the hire Thursday, saying Field would become the company's vice president of vehicle programs.

"Tesla's future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world," Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. "Doug's experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team."

Apple declined to comment.

Before joining Apple, Field was Segway's chief technology officer. … Read more

Sprint aims to ease access to NFC

Sprint is trying to offer its subscribers a smoother way to take advantage of NFC technology for making mobile payments.

A new platform called Pinsight Touch promises to securely store and access a user's credentials on a mobile device. Users with touch-enabled NFC, or near-field communications, smartphones can turn on the technology by answering "yes" to an opt-in question from mobile apps offered by credit card providers and other issuers. The user's credentials are then securely shared with other trusted apps, Sprint said in a blog posted Thursday.

Sprint already sells a variety of NFC-equipped smartphones, … Read more

Bluetooth beacons coming to ballparks

CNET Update demos the next step for Bluetooth:

In this episode of Update:

- Wish Google a happy 15th birthday and learn how the search engine is evolving to better understand long questions and phrases. If you're nostalgic for the early days of Google, have a chuckle when searching the phrase "Google in 1998".

- Workout with Xbox Fitness, coming to Xbox One users with a Live Gold subscription. The program features celebrity trainers and uses the Kinect to check vitals, like heart rate. It's also smart enough to tell how hard you're punching. The … Read more

Google's Field Trip app brings Red Hook to life

Until this past weekend, I knew two main things about Red Hook: that it was a long way from Brooklyn Heights riding a bike with a flat tire and that Ikea is there. These two things were linked.

But unsuccessful shopping trips aside, there is a lot this little-known part of Brooklyn has to offer. This is why the second Field Trip Day decided to celebrate this burgeoning little neighborhood with its diverse history and even more diverse population.

From dodgy reenactments to wine tasting to street buskers, the afternoon was packed with stuff to do, and Field Trip Day highlighted the area to good effect.… Read more