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Razer's 'paid to play' program bribes gamers to use its Cortex software
23 Mar 2017 at 10:00pm
Lingering in the mind of every gamer is a silly, whimsical idea that very few manage to make a reality. "Gee," we think to ourselves. "It sure would be neat if I could get someone to pay me to play video games." Most of us know it's a futile dream, b...
Moto G5 Plus is now available in an Amazon-subsidized flavor
23 Mar 2017 at 10:00pm
Amazon may have given up on the Fire phone, but the company's line of low-cost "Prime Exclusive" ad-subsidized smartphones is getting a refresh today. The program launched last year with a respectable lineup of discounted, unlocked handsets that have...
Twitter considers offering a Tweetdeck subscription service
23 Mar 2017 at 9:49pm
Twitter has always been free to use and will likely remain free. But the company is now considering offering its first paid subscription service through Tweetdeck. The social network has recently sent emails to select users, asking if they'd be willi...
Elgato's control pad is a livestreaming sidekick
23 Mar 2017 at 7:51pm
The rise of livestreaming has opened the floodgates of casual broadcasting, turning many computer desks into makeshift studios. Peripherals have started catering to this market, like 360-degree cameras. In this niche, Elgato has released the Stream D...
Hackers try to extort Apple by threatening to wipe iPhones
23 Mar 2017 at 6:46pm
Someone claiming to be a group of hackers called themselves the "Turkish Crime Family" has apparently been trying to extort money from Apple. As Motherboard reported a few days ago, the group claims to have login details for hundreds of millions of A...
Facial recognition will help doctors detect rare genetic disease
23 Mar 2017 at 6:01pm
A group of scientists have used facial recognition for something other than verifying identity or catching crooks on the run. The team from the National Human Genome Research Institute have developed a facial recognition method that can diagnose a ra...
'The Handmaid's Tale' trailer takes us to a bleak post-America future
23 Mar 2017 at 4:14pm
Hulu has been teasing its adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale for months now, giving us a peak into a dystopian future Margaret Atwood first imagined in 1985. While those previews definitely gave us a look at the show's visual style, they didn't offer...
Hubble telescope finds black hole shot out of a distant galaxy
23 Mar 2017 at 3:35pm
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have observed a supermassive black hole with a mass one million times that of our Sun hurtling away from its parent galaxy. It's the first confirmed case out of several suspected "runaway black holes,"...
Facebook adds more familiar features to Messenger chats
23 Mar 2017 at 2:58pm
Facebook has a habit of copping features from other apps and dropping them into Messenger, so the addition of message reactions and @-mentions in the social network's marquee messaging app was probably inevitable as the company slowly merges features...
The Wirecutter's best deals: Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro drops to $2,070
23 Mar 2017 at 2:29pm
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer's guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their c...
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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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