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Peggy Whitson breaks the US record for cumulative time in space
24 Apr 2017 at 6:44am
US astronaut Peggy Whitson has officially broken the US record for cumulative time spent in space. As of 1:27 AM ET today, she had spent 534 days, 2 hours and 49 minutes in space -- a number that has obviously increased since then. But that amount of...
'A Moment in Time' shows the charming potential of art in VR
24 Apr 2017 at 6:21am
Quill, like Google's Tilt Brush, is an artistic tool that lets you paint in virtual reality. Designed for the Oculus Rift, it's a liberating way to draw and view art in 3D space. The next step? Animation. Goro Fujita, art director at Oculus Story Stu...
Rickard Nordin, Sweden's 'Hearthstone'-streaming politician
24 Apr 2017 at 6:00am
For many people, eSports cropped up when they weren't looking, growing out of the passionate local communities built by game creators and players. Professional teams now compete in high-stakes leagues for prestige, tournament winnings and lucrative s...
SlingStudio makes multi-camera video production a reality for all
24 Apr 2017 at 5:00am
Putting video on the internet is easier than ever -- even livestreaming has been dramatically simplified, thanks to products like Periscope and Facebook Live. But video production gets much more complex when you bring multiple cameras into the mix, w...
Siri now reads out your WhatsApp messages
24 Apr 2017 at 4:02am
Apple's Siri assistant may not boast as many third-party integrations as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but it's still useful in its own right. Since the company opened up the platform last year, major apps have tapped into the platform, allowing...
The Morning After: Monday, April 24th 2017
24 Apr 2017 at 3:00am
Welcome to a fresh new week at Engadget. Over the weekend, you may have missed Uber's latest sketchy tale, a rallying call for truth and science, and a love letter to the Galaxy S8 from a once-Samsung hater.
South Korean presidential candidate campaigns with 'Starcraft' maps
23 Apr 2017 at 11:58pm
How should politicians connect with younger voters? How do you cut through the relentless waves of promises, speeches and the rest? If you're South Korean presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, you take to Starcraft. Perhaps even more surprisingly, he's...
A 3D-printed patch could help you recover from a heart attack
23 Apr 2017 at 8:55pm
Scientists have dreamed of easily patching up heart tissue in the wake of heart attacks, but there are always gotchas: for example, it's no mean feat to replicate the complex structures of real tissue. However, there may be a solution in sight. Res...
Most habitable planets may be completely covered in water
23 Apr 2017 at 6:24pm
When you imagine what a rocky, habitable planet looks like, it's easy to picture an alternate Earth where land and oceans exist in an ideal balance. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily how it will pan out in real life... in fact, you might be surp...
IllumiBowl's latest toilet light also kills germs
23 Apr 2017 at 4:33pm
IllumiBowl's motion-activated, multi-color toilet night light may have seemed like a silly idea when it first launched, but don't laugh -- it's a practical solution if you'd rather not flick on the regular bathroom light (and momentarily blind yourse...
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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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