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Amtrak's next-generation high-speed trains arrive in 2021
28 Aug 2016 at 8:46pm
While Amtrak is a perfectly fine way to travel, especially on the Eastern seaboard, the country's publicly owned rail company doesn't exactly have a high-tech reputation. That will change in the next few years, thanks to a massive $2.45 billion loan...
Simulated Mars mission ends its year-long experiment
28 Aug 2016 at 7:16pm
A NASA-backed, year-long simulation of living on Mars has finally come to a close. The six people in the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) experiment have left their dome on Mauna Loa to rejoin the rest of society. The test s...
NBC Sports 'Goal Rush' helps you follow Premier League scoring
28 Aug 2016 at 5:50pm
Premier League soccer started a couple of weeks ago, but this weekend NBC Sports debuted a new feature for fans in the US: Goal Rush. Each week when there are multiple matches going on at the same time, the network will select one for Goal Rush on th...
Opera warns that its web sync service was hacked
28 Aug 2016 at 4:25pm
Data breaches happen all too often, but it's rare that they target your browser's sync service... and unfortunately, Opera just became one of those exceptions. The company is warning users that it detected a hack in its sync system that may have giv...
Microsoft makes it easy to report hate speech
28 Aug 2016 at 3:01pm
If you come across any racial and gay slur and just about anything that sounds like hate speech on Xbox Live, you can directly report the incident to Microsoft. The tech titan has launched a dedicated website where you can report hate speech not just...
US military worries it will lose the AI war
28 Aug 2016 at 1:28pm
It took a while for the US military to bolster its defenses against cyberattacks, and it looks like there's a similar deficit when it comes to artificial intelligence. A new Defense Department report says that the country needs to take "immediate ac...
'Jason Bourne' in 3D is making moviegoers in China nauseous
28 Aug 2016 at 11:56am
In China, where 80 percent of movie theaters built in the last 10 years have 3D projectors, movie studios often release "exclusive," three-dimensional adaptations of movies that won't actually see a 3D release stateside. While that can be lucrative f...
Russia's search giant is making a self-driving shuttle bus
28 Aug 2016 at 10:59am
Internet search giants making self-driving cars appears to be a trend, and Russia's Yandex wants in. It's partnering with Daimler, truck maker Kamaz and government-backed researchers at NAMI on an autonomous shuttle bus that could carry up to 12 peo...
Ben Heck's Hackbot wars, part 3
28 Aug 2016 at 9:30am
Find out who will win in the final Hackbotz showdown between the Death-A-Nator, Ghandi-Bot and Mr. Pointy? Ben's weapon of choice is an "intimidation knife" that's attached with 3D printed parts, but how useful will that be? Then he reveals the c...
After Math: Only the essentials
28 Aug 2016 at 8:00am
It was a pretty kick-ass week in terms of interplanetary exploration -- and not even just in NMS. Astronomers found a potentially habitable planet just 4.2 light years from us! This could be our first stop beyond Mars but it's going to take a while t...
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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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