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28 Jun 2016 at 8:00am
Whether you're a glamping enthusiast or just a gadget-addicted park lover, you'll need more than a simple battery pack to get through the day. It's also the season for outdoor adventures, usually far from hardwired power sources, so Monoprice timed t...
Ask Alexa to add new features to your Amazon Echo
28 Jun 2016 at 7:38am
Amazon opened up Alexa to developers a year ago, and there are now over 1,400 apps or "skills," as the company calls them. To take the hassle out of installing those on your Echo product, it now lets you do it automatically just by asking Alexa. For...
Hacker claims to have 655,000 health care records for sale
28 Jun 2016 at 7:19am
Hackers are getting all too creative in their bids to hold health care data for ransom. An intruder is selling records for 655,000 patients from three US health care organizations (in Atlanta, the central US and Farmington, Missouri) on the Dark Web...
VW agrees to $14.7 billion settlement over US diesel claims
28 Jun 2016 at 6:55am
After news of a settlement broke yesterday, Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal settlement will indeed hit $15 billion in the US. The official paperwork was filed with the Justice Department today, the automaker will shell out $14.7 billion in two...
Microsoft's hand-tracking magic may lead to gamepad-free VR
28 Jun 2016 at 6:45am
The next Xbox One S console doesn't even have a Kinect port, showing that even Microsoft doesn't care about the depth sensor for gaming. However, it may yet make a comeback in VR. Microsoft researchers have made hand- and finger-tracking much more ac...
ICYMI: The CGI car stand-in and smart pill dispenser
28 Jun 2016 at 6:15am
Today on In Case You Missed It: The Mill Blackbird is a vehicle chassis that car commercials can use as a stand-in, rather than getting to film with an actual new car. The Pillo is a smart medication dispenser that can recognize family members and...
Doppler smart earbuds blend music with the outside world
28 Jun 2016 at 6:00am
Doppler Labs raised eyebrows with its Here Active Listening earbuds, which could amplify or tune out frequencies depending on how much you wanted to hear the outside world. Well, it's back with an upgrade, the Here One -- and it offers even more cont...
Wink's smart home controller can hail an Uber car
28 Jun 2016 at 6:00am
Wink's Relay controller is about to do a lot more than tie your smart home together. The company is rolling out third-party service support that accomplishes tasks you wouldn't normally expect from the device controlling your light bulbs. For one thi...
Todoist's business platform has a new activity log and notifications
28 Jun 2016 at 6:00am
Todoist has long been one of the best task management / to-do services out there. It works on just about every platform you could ask for and is frequently updated with useful features. But one of its main competitors, Wunderlist, has the power of Mi...
Amazon made flipping through books on Kindles and tablets easier
28 Jun 2016 at 6:00am
As useful (and as crazy thin) as e-readers can be, there's something terribly satisfying about thumbing through a sheaf of processed plant matter with words on it. While you'll never get the same sensory experience using a Kindle, Amazon at least tri...
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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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