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The Morning After: Monday October 24th 2016
24 Oct 2016 at 3:00am
Happy Monday. Over the weekend, we sampled smart-refrigerated wine, looked back on 15 years of iPod, and asked Amazon's AI to fact-check politicians for us. Coming up this week: Apple's MacBook event, some news from Microsoft, and a lot of companies...
Linux exploit gives any user full access in five seconds
24 Oct 2016 at 2:15am
If you need another reason to be paranoid about network security, a serious exploit that attacks a nine-year-old Linux kernel flaw is now in the wild. The researcher who found it, Phil Oester, told V3 that the attack is "trivial to execute, never fai...
Microsoft to raise some UK prices by up to 22 percent over Brexit
24 Oct 2016 at 1:31am
Like it or not, the outcome of the Brexit vote has caused a lot of financial uncertainty in the UK. The government has yet to decide which course to take when it invokes Article 50, effectively triggering an exit from the European Union, but some maj...
UK games retailer charges for its PSVR demos
23 Oct 2016 at 11:31pm
Still not sold on VR? Got a PS4? But still not sure? Then you should probably test it out before laying down the hundreds of dollars (or pounds) the peripheral costs. But you probably shouldn't have to pay to do so. But that's exactly what UK retaile...
Adult Swim's latest game embraces cassette glitches
23 Oct 2016 at 9:42pm
Does something look slightly off with picture you see above? Don't worry, that's on purpose. Adult Swim Games and Fire Face are launching the surreal puzzler Small Radios Big Televisions on November 8th for PC and PS4, and its hook is a time-travel...
UK spies paid a New Zealand firm to help tap key internet lines
23 Oct 2016 at 8:09pm
It's no longer a secret that the UK's GCHQ was expanding its mass surveillance in the years before Edward Snowden's leaks. However, it hasn't really been clear as to who was helping it upgrade its spying campaign... until today. The Intercept and T...
Elon Musk's Mars colony would have a horde of mining robots
23 Oct 2016 at 6:34pm
If it wasn't already clear that Elon Musk has considered virtually every aspect of what it would take to colonize Mars, it is now. As part of his Reddit AMA session, the SpaceX founder has revealed that his vision of a permanent colony would entail a...
Samsung's hurried Galaxy Note 7 recall doomed the phone
23 Oct 2016 at 5:01pm
You knew it was just a matter of time before some of the drama behind the death of the Galaxy Note 7 came to light, and what we're seeing isn't all that pretty. Wall Street Journal sources claim that Samsung's mobile chief DJ Koh thought there was e...
iPod marks its 15th birthday in a changed world
23 Oct 2016 at 3:32pm
If you're a gadget fan of a certain age (cough), you're about to feel ancient: Apple's iPod just turned 15 years old. Steve Jobs unveiled the first version of the media player at an event on Apple's campus on October 23rd, 2001. To say that it had a...
Amazon Echo now fact-checks politicians
23 Oct 2016 at 1:56pm
You've probably heard politicians make more than a few outlandish claims, and not just in the run-up to the US presidential election. Do you really want to swing by a fact-checking website every time a candidate stretches credibility? As of now, yo...
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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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