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Ofcom fines EE £2.7 million for overcharging customers
18 Jan 2017 at 1:10am
Oh dear. Ofcom has caught another mobile carrier failing in its duty to provide decent customer support. The villain this time is EE, after it overcharged more than 30,000 customers for calling its "150" service line. These subscribers had calling wh...
BeeLine's bike computer makes every ride an adventure
18 Jan 2017 at 1:01am
Cycling in a city can be stressful, especially if you're headed somewhere that you've never been to before. Most people ride with a specialized cycle computer, or with a smartphone strapped to their handlebars. While useful, both devices can be a dis...
The US Army successfully flies its hoverbike prototype
17 Jan 2017 at 11:02pm
The Army has proven that the hoverbike its contractors are developing actually works during a flight demo with the Department of Defense. Dr. William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office for the Secretary of Defense, watched the large...
Hackers break into Samsung Smartcam again
17 Jan 2017 at 9:47pm
Samsung's SmartCam has fit into users' DIY surveillance setups for years thanks to its smartphone control and local (non-cloud) storage. But at last August's DEFCON 22 security conference, members of the hacking blog Exploiteers listed exploits for t...
Emotional sci-fi game 'Alone with You' hits Steam next month
17 Jan 2017 at 8:11pm
Alone with You tells a surprising story about relationships, love and friendship -- surprising because it stars just one living human as he attempts to escape an abandoned planet that's scheduled for implosion. His only companion is the space colony'...
Snowden never filed paperwork requesting a pardon
17 Jan 2017 at 7:08pm
If you thought Obama might give Edward Snowden a similar reprieve to Chelsea Manning this week, think again. While the formed NSA-contractor turned whistleblower has explained why the president should grant him clemency, he hasn't done anything beyon...
NASA's Curiosity finds new water evidence in possible cracked mud
17 Jan 2017 at 6:10pm
NASA's four-year-old Curiosity rover spent 2016 discovering new clues to Mars' history, including veins potentially from evaporated lakes and mineral deposits suggesting the planet once had oxygen. The craft spent the beginning of 2017 examining a ne...
What's on TV: 'Hunted,' 'Teachers,' 'Voltron'
17 Jan 2017 at 5:11pm
This week the NFL rolls out its conference championship games, but if you're not a sports fan there's still plenty to look forward to. On Sunday night, CBS kicks off its The Running Man-ish (book, not movie) reality TV show Hunted, while Netflix is r...
Verizon prevents Galaxy Note 7 holdouts from making calls
17 Jan 2017 at 4:16pm
When Verizon rolled out an update that disabled charging on remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices, that was all she wrote for the fire-prone smartphone, right? Apparently not. The carrier informs Fortune that there are still "thousands" of people still u...
'The Flame in the Flood' arrives today on PlayStation 4
17 Jan 2017 at 3:47pm
When it was released last year, The Flame in the Flood garnered a lot of attention for its big name developers and unique take on the wilderness survival genre. Today, PlayStation 4 players who have been missing out the experience will finally get to...
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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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