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Japanese inventor's typhoon turbines harness storms' energy
29 Sep 2016 at 3:15am
A Japanese engineer named Atsushi Shimizu has designed a new type of wind turbine that can harness energy from something more powerful than a strong breeze. Shimizu's creation, which looks like a huge, upright egg beater, can withstand typhoons (or h...
Raise some Hell on your commute with the 'Doom' soundtrack
29 Sep 2016 at 2:12am
In case you wanted to listen to the crushing beats and guitar riffs of Doom's soundtrack during your daily trip to work or school, now's your chance. Composer Mick Gordon's industrial-metal score is available to purchase and stream from Google Play,...
Spotify launches in the world's second biggest music market: Japan
29 Sep 2016 at 1:18am
After protracted deal-making with the country's record labels, Spotify has finally launched in Japan. To sweeten the deal to prospective listeners, it's already putting particular focus on the service's lyric display feature -- and the karaoke possib...
Volkswagen's I.D. arrives in 2020 with up to 370 mile range
29 Sep 2016 at 12:22am
VW has kicked off the Paris Motor Show with some (much needed) flair, unveiling the fully electric I.D.. The I.D. looks like something straight out of Back To The Future II, and has a suitably futuristic release date too: 2020. Volkswagen claims the...
Google hires industry vet Lyor Cohen as YouTube's head of music
28 Sep 2016 at 10:43pm
In a music world where exclusives and direct ties to artists are increasingly important, Google is hoping to give YouTube a boost with its latest hire: Lyor Cohen. The former Def Jam president has most recently been heading up his 300 Entertainment l...
Google, Facebook and other tech titans form 'Partnership on AI'
28 Sep 2016 at 9:46pm
Five of the biggest tech companies have launched a collaboration to help the public understand the benefits of artificial intelligence. The New York Times reported in early September that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon had been meeting t...
Komatsu's self-driving dump truck doesn't even have a cab
28 Sep 2016 at 9:05pm
Despite the dream of the self-driving car, most autonomous vehicles still have a steering wheel, giving passengers the option to take control at a moments notice. Komatsu's latest dump truck is a bit different -- it doesn't even have a cab for a huma...
Watch the Rosetta probe fall into its death spiral this Friday
28 Sep 2016 at 7:52pm
On September 30th, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta probe will cap off its 12-year career surveying Comet 67P (aka Churyumov-Gerasimenko) by slowly descending to its surface. There the spacecraft will join its lander Philae, given up for los...
20-minute 'Gears 4' prologue playthrough looks very familiar
28 Sep 2016 at 7:01pm
Even the most dedicated Gears of War fan might need a refresher course ahead of the franchise's fourth numbered sequel. And that's precisely what the new video from the developers at The Coalition is all about. What's more, it's direct feed footage o...
Nano-scale mirror could be a breakthrough for optical computing
28 Sep 2016 at 6:12pm
Using a mere 2,000 atoms of cesium, Professor Julien Laurat and his team at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris have created the world's smallest mirror. According to postdoctoral fellow Neil Corzo, who is also lead author on the team's re...
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Gadget: (From Wikipedia)
A gadget is a small technological object (such as a device or an appliance) that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty. Gadgets are invariably considered to be more unusually or cleverly designed than normal technology at the time of their invention. Gadgets are sometimes also referred to as gizmos.
The origins of the word "gadget" trace back to the 1800s. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there is anecdotal evidence for the use of "gadget" as a placeholder name for a technical item whose precise name one can't remember since the 1850s; with Robert Brown's 1886 book Spunyarn and Spindrift, A sailor boy’s log of a voyage out and home in a China tea-clipper containing the earliest known usage in print. The etymology of the word is disputed. A widely circulated story holds that the word gadget was "invented" when Gaget, Gauthier & Cie, the company behind the casting of the Statue of Liberty (1886), made a small-scale version of the monument and named it after their firm; however this contradicts the evidence that the word was already used before in nautical circles, and the fact that it did not become popular until after World War I. Other sources cite a derivation from the French gâchette which has been applied to various pieces of a firing mechanism, or the French gagée, a small tool or accessory. The spring-clip used to hold the base of a vessel during glass-making is also known as a gadget. The first atomic bomb was nicknamed the gadget by the scientists of the Manhattan Project, tested at the Trinity site.
Clocks, bicycles, and thermometers are amongst the very large number of gadgets that are mechanical and also very popular. The invention of mechanical gadgets though is based more on innovation of the inventor rather than education.
Electronic gadgets are based on transistors and integrated circuits. Unlike the mechanical gadgets one needs a source of electric power to use it. The most common electronic gadgets include transistor radio, television, cell phones and the quartz watch.
Most of the modern gadgets belong to this category.
The earliest documented use of the term gadget in context of software engineering was in 1985 by the developers of AmigaOS, the operating system of the Amiga computers (intuition.library and also later gadtools.library). It denotes what other technological traditions call GUI widget—a control element in graphical user interface. This naming convention remains in continuing use (as of 2008) since then.
It is not known whether other software companies are explicitly drawing on that inspiration when featuring the word in names of their technologies or simply referring to the generic meaning. The word widget is older in this context.
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