Human Birdwings" capable of independent flight. The contraption makes use of an HTC Wildfire S and a Wii Remote to translate the "flapping" motion of his arms to the wings themselves. The apparatus isn't technically human-powered, it just translates Smeets' arm motions to a set of motors and servos that flap the wings for him. The Wii Remote measures acceleration and other factors and is presumably connected via Bluetooth, though why he couldn't simply use the one already in the phone is a mystery. The "flight" isn't much more than a few hundred meters and perhaps 20 meters in the air at its highest point, but that's still a pretty impressive achievement. Insert your own "Flying Dutchman" joke here. Check out the video below: [youtube GYW5G2kbrKk] Doubters have called the video fake, and it's easy to see why - amateur cameras, a seemingly unbelievable achievement, and lots of media coverage would make for a great viral program. But it's been covered and investigated by various European press without any serious evidence of forgery. The Mythbusters' Jaime Hyneman (the one with the mustache) says that he can't find any reason why the contraption wouldn't work, and can't see any faulty editing in the video. As someone who does crazy things for a living in a special effects capacity, he ought to know. [via Gizmodo]
a Google Wallet vulnerability was found making both rooted and untampered devices with the application vulnerable to hackers. The crack exposed the PIN within seconds, and was since temporarily patched by Google. This patch disabled the use of prepaid cards, and since then we hadn't heard much on the subject. Google is pushing three security fixes today that not only allow for prepaid card usage with Wallet, but offer core system fixes.
the Revue still has a locked bootloader, Sony's set-top box and/or integrated TV remains the ony one that you can root, mod and generally get your hack on. The GTV Hacker (real name unknown) has released a patch and method for getting the Sony Google TV rooted and running unsigned, modified kernels.
XDA-Developers forums has devised a way to block those OTA updates. The coolest part is that while it blocks the updates, you can still access B&N servers to buy books.
conflict between Google and Verizon over Google Wallet. The Google Wallet NFC payment app will work on the Nexus, but Verizon blocked the app from the smartphone. This is thought to be due to Verizon ready to roll out its own NFC payment app in conjunction with ISIS.
Ice Cream Sandwich is definitely one of its finer UI points, but at least one feature has minimalism fans seeing red. The Google Search bar gets its own reserved spot at the top of the launcher, now that physical buttons are optional and the Search button isn't included by default. This is the sort of stuff that the XDA-Developers boys live and breathe, so naturally they found a way to get rid of it for a clean and more customizable home screen.
Ice Cream Sandwich shifts Android away from a dedicated search button and replaces it with the app switcher. Using virtual buttons has benefits for modders, however, and MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien has wasted no time in adding a dedicated search option in the ICS button bar. As you'd expect, tapping it brings up the search dialog, just as the dedicated search buttons on previous Android phones would do. Google hasn't exactly excised search from Android 4.0 altogether - in fact the homescreen now has a persistent search box across the top, that's carried over all five panes - but this dedicated key makes it a little easier. Sometimes it's the little tweaks that can make the most difference to daily use, and this could well be one of them. No word on when exactly Paul might release the mod at this stage, but he tells us it will be "very shortly."
Like many out there, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on an HP TouchPad during its initial $99 fire sale specifically for the purpose of running Android on it. It's a very similar motive for when I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook Color, though in this case, I got a whole lot more tablet for the money. Like the Nook Color, the best (but not the first) option for running a full version of Android is the venerated CyanogenMod, now on its seventh version. I've spent the last week or so installing, customizing and generally playing with the one-two hardware and software combination - here are my impressions.
a rooted or at least unlocked build in the wild. Details and instructions aren't available, but rest assured they'll make their way onto the various hack-friendly forums out there.