Archive for the 'Misc' Category

PhatWare Corporation has today released PhatPad for iPad, a note-taking and collaboration app featuring PhatWare’s proven handwriting recognition technology. More than just a note-taking app, PhatPad turns an iPad into an advanced brainstorming tool by enabling users to draw, write, and type on the iPad, then instantly share ideas via email, WiFi sync, Dropbox, or with PhatPad’s built-in presentation mode.

PhatPad’s key features include:

· Smooth-flowing digital ink technology which lets iPad users scribble notes as if they are writing on real paper

· The ability to combine drawing, handwritten text, images, and digital text on the same document page to create media-rich content

· Powerful handwriting recognition engine which automatically converts handwritten notes into text

· Desktop synchronization via Dropbox or iTunes

· File sharing either with WiFi or email

· Printing to a printer on wireless network via AirPrint

The beauty of PhatPad as a note-taking, collaboration and brainstorming tool is it allows users to draw pictures, jot notes, or put a mixture of pictures, drawings, handwritten and typed text on a virtual scratch pad. The included handwriting recognition engine allows PhatPad users to convert previously recorded handwritten notes into digital text, and edit text using either the handwriting input panel or the keyboard. PhatPad documents can be synchronized with the desktop computer via iTunes or Dropbox, exchanged between two or more devices on the local WiFi network, printed, emailed, or exported to PDF.

Brainstorming and collaborating with team members is simple using PhatPad’s Presentation mode, which allows users to create quick presentations and display them on the iPad screen.

“PhatPad will transform the way mobile professionals and workgroups brainstorm ideas, take notes, and collaborate,” said Stanislav Miasnikov, president of PhatWare Corp. “We are very excited to finally unveil our new iPad version and introduce PhatPad to an entirely new market of business and professional users.”

PhatPad is available in the iTunes App Store for the special introductory price of only $4.99 (regular price is $9.99). For more information about PhatPad, visit PhatWare’s web site at

Where’s the Line…?

Author: Sven Rafferty
Thursday, December 9, 2010

While the PC crowd enforces its “Happy Holidays” slogan more than ever this year, people still end up purchasing Christmas gifts and still attend Christmas parties and still receive Christmas cards. I’m certain those names will change just like the name for the remembrance of Christ’s birth has been changed, too. While I could point out all the other religions have been able to retain their titles for celebration, I will instead focus on the subject of Christmas.

Today, I received in my Inbox a link to a video that I thought greatly underlines the fact of what we should be celebrating. So, I have presented it to you, here, on SvenOnTech. If you ask yourself what does this have to do with technology, I simply say it doesn’t. It has to do with my foundation and belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior, further explained in my Testimony section. Therefore, I feel it is important to convey my belief and convictions through every median I have. :)

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did and that you will share this with others by clicking the Share link below. I have also placed the background on the song itself here for your reading as well.

The story behind the song:

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, “where’s the line to see Jesus”? My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted words down to a song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words, and doing a quick recording at home, he received a great response from friends. He sent the song off to Nashville without much response, except for a Christian song writer who suggested adding a bridge at the end of the first chorus. My dad then asked if I wanted to record the song to see what we could do with it. I listened to the song, made a few changes to the words to make it flow better, and we headed to Shock City Studios. It was at the studio where Chris, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus… with goosebumps and emotions high, we were all hopeful and felt like we had something special. The demo was recorded in less than 2 hours and sent off again to Nashville … still no response.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas last year, my cousins Greg and Robbie decided to do a video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day we had 3000 hits and it soared from there. We received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over asking for the music, CD’s, iTunes, anything… we had nothin’. After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, we got serious. We headed back into the studio this past spring… this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs… the real deal…. and here we are today. Getting iTunes set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together… remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults can not understand. Hopefully Spencer’s observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him. We are most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share our music with you. Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Real-time hydration advice from new ‘smart’ drinks bottle

Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology product design and development firm, today announced the development of the i-dration drinks bottle. The i-dration is a device that works, in synchronization with a smartphone, to help sportspeople maintain optimum levels of hydration for improved performance. The company has developed the concept to demonstrate the full potential of mobile applications and how they can be brought to life through dedicated devices, or ‘hardware apps’.

In physically demanding scenarios, levels of hydration can have a significant impact on performance, and the i-dration hardware app encourages athletes to drink when they need to, rather than only when they feel thirsty. Drinking too much water can have an equally negative effect on sports performance as drinking too little, so Cambridge Consultants designed the i-dration to ensure that users maintain a proper balance of hydration for optimum performance.

The device works by giving advice based on real-time data gathered by the bottle, which is transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone application. Intelligent sensors in the i-dration bottle can be used to monitor the external temperature, drinking frequency and quantity, and this data is then sent via Bluetooth to its user’s smartphone. The phone’s inbuilt accelerometer and gyroscope can measure exercise levels, and by ‘fusing’ the data from a heart rate chest-band and information pre-entered using the smartphone interface (such as height, age and weight), the application can perform an assessment of a user’s hydration levels. The i-dration bottle then responds accordingly by flashing a blue light if the athlete needs to drink more.

i-dration demonstrates the work that Cambridge Consultants is currently undertaking in bringing mobile applications to life. “Most people still perceive an ‘app’ to be something that performs a certain task, whether it’s checking the weather or the latest sports results, in a virtual world. However, we believe that in the next 12 to 18 months we will see a plethora of new dedicated ‘hardware apps’, such as the i-dration drinks bottle, that will work in tandem with a smartphone to enhance a range of consumer products and services ,” said Rachel Harker, Business Development Manager at Cambridge Consultants. “While smartphones have some excellent capabilities, it is not always practical to use the device itself for collecting or displaying data. Inexpensive, wireless hardware apps have the potential to increase the versatility of smartphones. In the case of the i-dration bottle, it’s also relevant to the increasing number of consumers who view their smartphones and technology products as integral to maintaining their health and wellness.”

Such ‘sensor fusion’ algorithms, where the data from multiple sensors are fused together, are typically found in large distributed software systems, but can now be applied to smartphones with Internet connections working with dedicated hardware apps. Cambridge Consultants has the technology and the expertise to develop hardware apps for a vast range of functions, including the signal processing required for real time processing of the algorithms, at a low enough cost-point to make them commercially viable. Using this innovative approach, ‘hardware apps’ can be developed for multiple markets, including the medical and security sectors.

Cambridge Consultants will demonstrate its i-dration drinks bottle and application at the 2011 International CES, Jan 6th-9th at the LVCC in Las Vegas, USA.

The Find

TheFind, a leading shopping search engine and provider of the best in-store price comparison app, today reported that for the holiday weekend (through noon on Sunday EST) mobile shopping trips increased by 4.6x over the year prior. TheFind, which sees roughly 1 million shopping visits per day, also reported that mobile traffic accounted for roughly 25 percent of all shopping visits over the holiday weekend as compared to only 15 percent of all shopping visits for the Thanksgiving weekend in 2009.

“In-store comparison shopping using smartphones is showing incredible growth, and progressive retailers are adjusting their strategies to account for a savvier consumer,” said Siva Kumar, CEO of TheFind. “Indicative of this trend is our partnership with stores such as Best Buy to show contextual and relevant ads to shoppers based on the items they are actually looking to buy.”

TheFind reports that almost half of all the people who have downloaded their app are using the barcode scanner, in addition to taking advantage of the text search capability also built into the app. Also of note is a 3 to 1 advantage for iPhone/iPod/iPad usage over Android devices, while BlackBerry usage of TheFind’s mobile web site actually declined 11% over last year.

With the Web influencing over 42 percent of all retail transactions, according to Forrester Research, people are clearly doing their homework online before ever stepping foot in a store. At the same time, TheFind notes that holiday shoppers are browsing retail stores during the weekends and after work, continuing or completing their shopping trips once they’re back online. The busiest online shopping times on are typically Monday mornings at 9 a.m. while mobile shopping searches spike after normal office hours and on the weekends. As a result, TheFind is experiencing better than forecasted growth for ecommerce, and is running at 26 percent above last year’s level.

“To date, standalone mobile shopping apps have fallen short because they cannot connect consumers’ in store shopping to consumers’ online shopping activity, either before or after they visit a store,” said Siva Kumar, CEO of TheFind. “TheFind Mobile works on the simple premise that a mobile app has more utility when it can scan or search for prices in every store and also be integrated – seamlessly – with the savvy way that people shop from their homes, online.”

By installing TheFind Mobile (for free) on their iPhone or Android device and logging in using Facebook Connect, people automatically create a free account on TheFind that helps them keep track of their searches, items they have saved and preferences for specific brands and stores. Consumers can access this account on both and on their phones with TheFind Mobile app. For instance, when someone scans an item in the store, they can also access that item on their computer; and conversely, when a consumer saves items of interest at home, they can instantly recall those items on their mobile phone when they’re actually at the store.

TheFind Mobile is available as a free download for iPhone and iPod Touch at the Apple iTunes Store, equipping shoppers to search, compare and shop with the touch of a finger. TheFind Mobile is also available for Android phones at the Android Market.

TheFind also reported that the most scanned category are electronic items and video games with Samsung 32 inch LCD TV, iPhone/iPad and Call of Duty: Black Ops being the most sought after items. For text search, traffic is highest in apparel (parkas, jackets, dresses, hats), jewelry and shoes.

Make Your Own Robot

Author: Sven Rafferty
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alibre DIY Robot

libre, Inc., the award-winning developer of the world’s most affordable professional 3D design software, announced today that Alibre Design 3D lets you create your own robots for the holidays. The perfect holiday gift for anyone that loves science and creating robots, inventions, and gadgets, the award-winning Alibre Design was used by kids and adults to create one-of-a-kind robots, including “Stance” the walking robot, the “Skunksworks Lab” GPS controlled unmanned vehicle robot, and “SADBot,” the drawing robot that creates art according to the season and weather.

“Stance,” the Biped Rebot that Walks & Sees

“Stance,” is a biped walking robot with a smooth human-like gait, created using Alibre Design, by Josh Sanderson, President of JGS Technical. “Stance” walks through remote control and “sees” through a high-definition video camera. Unlike most hobbyist robots that have a spasmodic and abrupt walk, the “Stance” robot walks smoother, with more realistic motion. Sanderson found it is easy to build a customized robot using Alibre. Once the basics of his design were created in 3D with Alibre, Sanderson tweaked it with the information he got from his study of walking, and added custom parts created in Alibre. Alibre Design’s parametric controls allowed him to exactly adjust sizes and positions of parts during his experiments.

Do It Yourself Robot at Home

Anyone can create a robot like “Stance, which was made using Alibre Design with the basic building blocks of a small motor, servo, and mounting bracket from the hobbyist dealer, Lynxmotion’s Servo Erector Set. Lynxmotion provides 3D part models in Alibre’s format, so designers can choose to configure the components in many different ways. “If I need to make custom parts, it’s simpler to do the fitting on the 3D model with Alibre. All the accurate measurements are right there,” Sanderson explains. “I can adjust each of the parameters and have the models react immediately. Alibre Design is a high-level parametric modeler, which makes it ideal for prototypes.”

Students Create Award-Winning Unmanned Vehicle Robot

Students from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) “SkunkWorks Lab” created a GPS controlled unmanned vehicle robot activated via a cell phone interface. Under the supervision of Nathan Huntoon, Director of the Innovation Gymnasium, SMU, the SkunkWorks Lab used Alibre to design all the parts of their vehicle, before they even built it. “What is amazing, is the students designed the vehicle in 3D first and when it came time to fit all the parts together, every piece fell in place perfectly,” said Huntoon. The Skunkworks Lab recently displayed their award-winning design at the TEDxSMU event in Dallas.

Solar-Powered Artistic Robot Created for New York City Gallery

Dustyn Roberts, Founder of Dustyn Robots, used Alibre Design to create SADbot (Seasonally Affected Drawing Robot), a solar powered, interactive drawing robot created in partnership with Ben Leduc-Mills for the Eyebeam Window Gallery in New York City. Roberts and Leduc-Mills used two 18.5” x 13” solar panels to power two stepper motors which controlled a pen in two dimensions. SADbot took input from people walking outside the gallery window by using a set of sensors which tell how much light they’re getting (photocells). SADbot knew if someone was covering up one of the sensors, and could change its drawing behavior accordingly. SADbot was also recently on display at the Maker Faire convention for inventors and makers, held September 2010 in NY.

New Alibre Design 2011 with Dramatic Improvements – Makes it Easier to Create a Robot

The winner of Maker Faire Detroit’s “Editor’s Choice” 2010 Award, Alibre is providing exciting new ways for people to create and design robots and gadgets in 3D. Alibre recently announced the more powerful Alibre Design 2011 with dramatic improvements in ease-of-use, efficiency and performance. Priced thousands less than competitors, starting at only $99 for Personal Edition (PE), $699 for Professional, and $1399 for Expert, new improvements and features include a full port of the code to C# (making it the first native 64-bit version), powerful sheet metal conversion tools, and a myriad of time saving tools and customization features.

“Alibre Design 2011 lets people take their vision and turn it into a reality in record time by digitally prototyping or printing their 3D models, enabling everyone, from adults, kids, DIYers, inventors, tinkerers, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers and scientists to become entrepreneurs and set-up their own businesses in their homes and garages,” said J. Paul Grayson, Chairman and CEO, Alibre Inc.

For more info:
“Stance” robot, see:
“SADbot” robot:
“Skunkworks Lab” robot:
To purchase Alibre Design 2011:

Win a Copy of DVD Ripper!

Author: Sven Rafferty
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
daniusoft dvd ripper for mac

Can this be the easiest contest ever? All you have to do is read our review and leave a comment of what you liked best of the review and what you liked the least. That’s it. The first five comments win a copy of DVD Ripper for Mac or PC. So don’t forget to enter your email address (we won’t give it to anyone) and which platform you prefer the license for. Plain and simple, huh? Oh one hitch, you can not start leaving your comments until 12:00 am PST tonight. All comments left prior to this time will not be qualified for the win.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

According to the latest research, around 500,000 Austrians suffer from burnout which should be treated professionally. A further 1.5 million1 people in the country are at risk of burning out. And more than 3 million people in Austria suffer from sleep disorders. This means that they have constantly dropping energy levels while feeling more and more exhausted. Sleep is an important indicator of burnout. Sleeping well and waking up relaxed prevent psychological stress and fatigue. Observing your own sleep makes you more aware of how important regenerative sleep can be. The revolutionary waking system of the aXbo sleep phase alarm clock, along with its “aXbo research” software, allows you to do just that. aXbo wakes you from an optimal sleep phase, at a moment when you are already almost awake. The mini sleep laboratory “aXbo research” furthermore allows you to analyse your own sleep.

Vienna, 19.10.2010: Burnout can trap any of us – and relatively suddenly. The cause is usually being overworked, having relationship problems or increasing challenges in the workplace – in short, psychological stress. Sleep disorders are mostly regarded as symptoms of burnout and often neglected when researching the causes. However, whether a person’s batteries are literally recharged during their night’s sleep is of considerable importance. As early as 2004, a study carried out by the renowned Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that burnout is caused not by severe stress but in fact by a chronic lack of sleep. The researchers discovered that all 35 of the burnout patients whose sleep patterns were analysed suffered from extreme sleep disorders, sleeping for only four to five hours each night.2 If you get enough sleep, however, you have the chance to regenerate and to process everything you have experienced during the day, allowing your “internal memory” to be maintained and to expand. People who have had enough sleep have been proven to be more balanced and to more creative than those who lack sleep.

Sleep and its significance for good health – a scientific perspective
The chicken-or-egg question of whether a lack of sleep causes mental exhaustion or vice versa is of great importance to the inventor of the sleep phase alarm clock, Boris Eis. New scientific findings have shown that while you sleep, even during both the REM and deep sleep phases, important areas of your brain are fully awake and active. While it is true that less energy is used when you are in a deep sleep phase than in, for example, REM sleep, this energy is nevertheless used particularly effectively. Electrical currents flow directly into specific areas of the brain to activate genes and produce proteins3 as well as to build the nerve cells and synapses which form the basis of our memory. The results of the Karolinska Institute findings confirm the importance of sleep for patients suffering from burnout: the proportion of sleep spent in the deep sleep phases was 50 percent lower than that of healthy people. Our long-term and short-term memory, the hippocampus, can absorb information about our experiences during the day very easily, but this information can also be written over very easily by new information. In this way, not only does the brain do its own mini clear-out, but prepares itself for the new impressions it will receive the next day.

Sleep deprivation works like poison on the production of nerve cells. The hippocampus “atrophies”, in a manner of speaking, which on the one hand means that there are not enough new nerve cells and synapses to allow for a slightly higher or at least similar short-term memory. On the other, information is not processed adequately, not to mention whether or not it is stored appropriately in your long-term memory.

In reality, this means that you forget to do things, you don’t set the right priorities, you miss appointments and meetings and make countless mistakes. In turn, you try to compensate by investing even more time, leading to yet more stress. Stress which can overpower you, trapping you in a vicious circle. A fatal form of this is what we call burnout.
Wake up healthily with the aXbo sleep phase alarm clock

“Only very few people are aware of the importance of good-quality sleep. People don’t know how much they sleep on average, nor that sleep deprivation resulting from stress or time pressures pushes you into a vicious circle,” explains Boris Eis. With the sleep phase alarm clock which he brought onto the market five years ago, the inventor has created a tool which not only allows you to observe your own sleep but also to wake yourself from the right sleep phase. This waking system measures your movements while you sleep, recognising the sleep phases and calculating your optimal waking point at a point when you are already almost awake. Thus everybody is woken according to their own personal biorhythm and can wake up feeling relaxed, recovered, and ready to start the day on time.
aXbo research – the mini sleep lab for your home

The accompanying “aXbo research” software allows you to observe your own personal sleep rhythm in a mini sleep laboratory within your own four walls. Users can download the software free from the aXbo homepage, letting you analyse how long you need to fall asleep, how long you have slept and when exactly you were woken. Moreover, the movement data is displayed as a diagramme giving you a deeper insight into sleep in general as well as your sleep patterns. The individual data from each night can be analysed separately or combined and compared. The aXbo itself saves the data from the last fourteen days so that you do not have to upload your data every day.

How aXbo works
Everybody goes through several cycles in the night, alternating between deeper and lighter sleep phases. Each of these phases is marked by different body movements. Purely by means of this activity, the sleep phases can be distinguished and your optimal waking time determined. aXbo wakes you gently within the last 30 minutes before your set waking time from an optimal sleep phase at a moment when you are already almost awake, giving you an effortless start to your day, making you feel better and more productive – all day.

Available in shops and online
The aXbo sleep phase alarm clock can be ordered online from For singles or couples (for 2 people) in various colours from 179 €.

Are you aware that a North Carolina State University staff indicated that water gel-based solar devices (known as: “artificial leaves”) can behave like solar cells to make electricity?

The research has been released on-line in the Journal of Materials Chemistry by Doctor. Orlin Velev, an Invista Professor associated with Chemical and Bio-molecular Engineering.

The results prove the idea for making solar cells that more closely copy nature. They also have the opportunity to be cheaper and more beneficial to our environment than the present standard silicon based solar cells.

The bendable products are composed of water-based gel infused together with light-sensitive molecules (like plant chlorophyll) coupled with electrodes coated by carbon components, such as carbon nanotubes or graphite.

Graphene is the simple structural element of a number of carbon allotropes such as graphite, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. Graphene is a 1-atom thick planar sheet of carbon atoms that are largely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice. The name comes from graphite ene; graphite itself consists of a lot of graphene sheets piled together.

The light-sensitive molecules get “excited” by the sun’s rays to generate electricity, similar to plant molecules that get excited to synthesize sugars in order to grow.

Dr. Velev says that the research team hopes to be able to “learn how to mimic the materials by which nature harnesses solar energy.” Although synthetic light-sensitive molecules can be used, Velev says naturally produced products, like chlorophyll, are also effortlessly integrated in these devices because of their particular water-gel matrix.

Velev even imagines a future in which homes could be covered with soft sheets of similar electrical energy-generating artificial-leaf pv cells. The concept of biologically inspired ‘soft’ devices for generating electricity may well in the future provide an alternative for the present-day solid-state technologies.

About the Author: C. J. Mcguire writes for the solar fountains blog, her personal hobby blog site focused on suggestions to help home owners to spend a smaller amount energy with solar energy.

Reference: Aqueous soft matter based photovoltaic devices. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2011; DOI:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NetworkGlobal Companies, a leading producer of premium online video spanning from Hollywood and Broadway to world news features, announced today its Red Carpet Network video library can be streamed on the iPhone and iPad via the RCN App. The Red Carpet Network,, talks to A-list celebrities at the premieres of top films, TV shows, and Hollywood’s most exclusive Red Carpets. With millions of online streams per month, it is one of the top independent entertainment news outlets on the Internet. The new app is available for free in the iTunes App Store.

Launched in 2007 by a recent college graduate and his friends, it didn’t take long to establish the Red Carpet Network as a trusted media brand. “Once publicists, producers and event planners saw the quality of our content, we were given full media credentials and invited to the city’s biggest premieres and events,” said Gunnar Larson, 25, founder and CEO of the Red Carpet Network and NetworkGlobal Companies. “These days, we interview the world’s top celebrities, trendsetters and thought leaders.”

RCN’s journalists apply the same ethics to their features reporting as they do the hard news content on sister channel In both cases, people simply want the truth. All too often, feature journalists compromise their integrity by writing glowing reviews of bad products just to get their blurbs published on movie posters or to grease the wheels for A-list interviews. On the flip side, many tabloids, blogs and online forums dumb down their content by focusing solely on scandal and snarky, negative editorial.

RCN exists to make a positive impact and encourages its online viewers to make smart, informed decisions about how to spend their valuable leisure time. The site’s innovative business model monetizes its video and editorial content without pandering to the audience or the advertiser.

The RCN App, and its associated video content, is free to download via iTunes.


Leading the lighting revolution—Lighting Science Group (OTCBB: LSCG) has received the industry’s first ENERGY STAR label for an LED light bulb following rigorous government performance testing. ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol that makes it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort. The approved DEFINITY PAR38 is 80% more efficient than the 75 watt incandescent halogen bulb it replaces, has approximately 50 percent more lumens (light output) than competing products, and is fully dimmable. The DEFINITY PAR38 bulb is the first in a line of Lighting Science Group products going through the ENERGY STAR approval process—the line includes A19, PAR30, PAR20, MR16, and G25 bulb types.

“Receiving the first ENERGY STAR label for an LED bulb is a true testament of the quality and superior performance of our products,” said Zach Gibler, Chief Executive Officer of Lighting Science Group. “While other companies are struggling to develop high performance LED lighting products, we are bringing to market state-of-the-art lighting solutions that Americans can afford.”

To ensure both performance and reliability, the cULus-listed DEFINITY LED line was tested under the rigorous ENERGY STAR Eligibility Criteria, Version 1.1 process by an independent laboratory approved by the U.S. Department of Energy’s CALiPER program. To receive the ENERGY STAR label for an integral LED lamp, the DEFINITY PAR38 bulb was tested at a third party laboratory under the LM79 standard for overall efficiency, color temperature, color rendering, color spatial uniformity and light emission pattern. Additional testing required for ENERGY STAR approval included: rapid cycle thermal stress testing, in-situ temperature testing, both lumen maintenance and color maintenance testing, and an operational test for 3,000 hours at elevated ambient temperature.

Lighting Science Group DEFINITY bulbs are offered through lighting distributors worldwide and directly by the company. To find your nearest sales location, go to: