links for 2010-07-13

  • You can build just about any app you can imagine with App Inventor. Often people begin by building games like WhackAMole or games that let you draw funny pictures on your friend's faces. You can even make use of the phone's sensors to move a ball through a maze based on tilting the phone.

    But app building is not limited to simple games. You can also build apps that inform and educate. You can create a quiz app to help you and your classmates study for a test. With Android's text-to-speech capabilities, you can even have the phone ask the questions aloud.

  • Everybody is becoming [a superhero]. In the past I've tried to say, 'Look, we are all crappy superheroes,' because personal computers and mobile phone devices are things that only Bat Man and Mr Fantastic would have owned back in the sixties. We've all got this immense power and we're still sat at home watching pornography and buying scratch cards. We're rubbish, even though we are as gods. I think the idea that we can all be superheroes if we want might still be contagious, like in V For Vendetta. I've heard of urban superheroes springing up across the world. I think there's one in London called Angle-grinder Man…
  • The Ministry of Defence has unveiled its prototype unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).

    Taranis is a concept design for a long-range strike plane that has taken over three million man hours to produce.

    Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said it was a "truly trailblazing project" and featured "the best of our nation's advanced design and technology".

    The aircraft is due to begin flight trials early next year.

    (tags: uav plane weapons)
  • Hundreds of people who live and work in Manchester will be given free training in cycling safely through the city.

    Manchester City Council is offering the free sessions to up to 300 people over the next year, aimed at those who would like to start cycling to work or for fun, but who feel nervous about riding along busy streets.

  • Bananas are a great food for anyone who cares about their carbon footprint. For just 80g of CO2e you get a whole lot of nutrition: 140 calories as well as stacks of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and dietary fibre. All in all, a fantastic component of a low-carbon diet.

    Bananas are good for just about everyone – athletes, tennis pros, people with high blood pressure, everyday cycle commuters in search of an energy top-up, or anyone wishing to chalk up their recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. There are three main reasons that bananas have such small carbon footprints compared with the nourishment they provide: