If you’ve been dreaming of a world where Android apps are free to roam across your Windows desktop, you’re in luck, because BlueStacks has just turned your reverie into reality. Today, the startup unveiled an alpha version of its App Player — software that allows users to run a host of Android apps on Windows PCs, tablets or desktops, without requiring them to make modifications to their original OS. Available as a free download, this early test version comes pre-loaded with ten apps, and can support an extra 26, on top of that. BlueStacks’ free Cloud Connect app, meanwhile, allows you to port third-party apps directly from your handset to your computer, though some games, including Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, are prohibited. Those, it turns out, will be included under a paid version of the App Player, which BlueStacks hopes to launch at a later date. You can take the free software for a spin at the source link below, or meander past the break for a demo video, along with a pair of press releases.
We were all aflutter this time last year when it was announced that the Martin Jetpack was finally available commercially and would be heading out to eager buyers in exchange for $86,000. Regrettably, the time since then hasn’t been filled with bunches of happy new owners levitating on the power of their dual-fan-equipped Jetpack and even less encouragement can be found on the product’s website, which still says that sales to private individuals will begin only once “development and refinement” of the vehicle is complete. To that end, we’ve got video of the Jetpack’s latest test, which shows it elevating as high as it’s ever done, but even that’s tinged by the fact it’s carrying a testing dummy and is remotely controlled by a grounded human below. Ah well, at least the company itself seems to be in good shape still and is looking forward to floating about 30 percent of its value on the local stock market in order to gain extra funding. We get the feeling if they could just start selling the darn things, cashflow shouldn’t be a problem. Video after the break.
NASA's Global Hawk completes unmanned airborne refueling simulation, will do it for real next year (video)
While some bot makers are busying themselves designing AI to simulate humans’ natural and distinct lack of intelligence, it’s nice to see there are still old-fashioned researchers out there keeping the Skynet dream alive. Northrop Grumman’s aeronautics gurus have paired together a Global Hawk unmanned aircraft with a manned Proteus ship way up in the skies — 45,000 feet, to be precise — with the vessels of ingenuity managing to fly in tandem at a distance as short as 40 feet. Unsurprisingly, this is the first time such intimacy has been reached between UAVs (the Proteus had a monitoring crew on board to ensure the insurance bill wasn’t through the roof) in high altitude, and the ultimate goal of having two Global Hawks doing the deed without any human intervention is said to be within reach by next year. That’s when these light and agile air drones will be able to refuel themselves and go on for a mighty 120 hours in the air… plenty of time to complete a well planned extermination down below, if one were so inclined.