Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cypress demos 14-inch TrueTouch capacitive multitouch screen


How big can tablets get? Pretty big, according to the folks at Cypress Semiconductor, who say their new new TrueTouch technology can be applied to capacitive screens ranging from seven to seventeen inches, all of which will have full multitouch support. To drive that point home, the company has now shown off a 14-inch "tablet-sized" prototype screen, which is able to recognize unlimited finger touches, and could potentially also find its way into laptops or convertible tablets (it's already Windows 7 certified). Of course, there's no word on any actual products using the screens just yet, but you can get an idea of what might be in store by checking out the video after the break.

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Cypress demos 14-inch TrueTouch capacitive multitouch screen originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jan 2010 12:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Do I Speed Up Hundreds of Audio Files? [Ask Lifehacker]


Dear Lifehacker,
I have unabridged Asimov audiobooks that are great, but read at a mind-wrenchingly slow pace. I can boost an MP3's speed 20 percent using Audacity, but I have around 250 MP3s. How can I process these files all at once?

Sped-Up Sci-Fi Fan

Dear Sped-Up,

If you were a command line geek, or knew one who owed you a favor, speeding up all of your audiobooks at once would probably be a five-minute affair. That said, it's not that difficult to set up a "Chain" in Audacity (which runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux) that you can apply to multiple files from inside the program.

You already know the effect you want to apply to all your MP3s: a 20 percent "speed" increase, where pitch and tempo are sped up at the same time and no correction is applied, as if you were just playing a tape faster. Most folks would go for "ChangeTempo" instead, because a ChangeSpeed on a normal narrator sounds pretty Alvin & The Chipmunks. Still, you described your audiobook narrator as "mind-wrenchingly slow." Let's set this speed-up as a chain by hitting the File menu in Audacity and selecting "Edit Chains"—it's down near the bottom of the menu.

Update: If you don't see "Edit Chains" in your File menu, you may need to upgrade to the latest Beta release, as opposed to Stable.

You'll get a new window with two "chains" pre-loaded as examples. Hit the "Add" button in the lower left, give your new "chain" a name like "Asimov Audiobook Speed-Up," and hit OK. You'll notice that there's a single command listed for your new chain in the right-hand window, but it's just an empty "END" command. Double-click that command, or hit "Add." You'll get a pop-up window asking you to select a command and edit its parameters.

Click on the image below for a larger view.

I double-clicked "Change Speed" in the commands window, and it auto-filled the fields above with the basic command line operation to run a speed change on files. It's set to 0 percent, however, which won't do us much good. Hit "Edit Parameters," and you'll get a slider and numeric input you can use to set a percentage for the speed-up or slow down. You can use the automatic vinyl conversion tools if you were copying a 33 1/3 record to some other format, but we already know our number, 20 percent, and we'll stick with that. I'm not sure how the Preview button is supposed to work, but let's just leave it alone. Hit OK, hit OK back at the command chooser, and OK once more at the Edit Chains box, where you can see your one-line Asimov Audiobook Speed-Up chain.

Back in Audacity, close any files you happen to have open for editing. Hit the File menu and select "Apply Chain," and in the dialog that pops up, select your Asimov chain and click the "Apply to Files" button. Choose the audio files you want to run through your speed wringer. Audacity isn't the A-number-One most stable program I've ever used, so I'd recommend running around 10 files at a time through your chain—then again, maybe you can plug in 30 files at a time and just deal with the crashes when they happen, since it processes them one at a time anyways.

Audacity will run through your files and convert them, one by one, and show you its progress. Not every Audacity command can be plugged into a "chain," but speed change just so happens to be one of the lucky ones.

Good luck with your listening,

P.S. — We truly do appreciate the smiling coincidence of devising an automation process for the preeminent author of robotic-based fiction.


DéjàClick Lets You Record and Automate Browsing Activities [Downloads]


Firefox: If you've ever been annoyed by having to do repetitive actions on a web site with no way to automate them, DéjàClick can help. Record and play back browser-based actions with DéjàClick and skip tedious future clicks.

DéjàClick is a Firefox extension offered by AlertSite, a company that specializes in software designed to monitor web sites and alert the site owners if specified processes are not occurring properly—essentially using automated script "robots" to go test out things like the search function and the checkout process. DéjàClick is their free offering for non-commercial use to allow users to record their own browsing and play it back to automate processes later on.

Any time there is an instance where you have to actually interact with the browser—as opposed to using a bookmark to jump somewhere in a site or a login tool—you can use DéjàClick to record yourself performing the actions and store that recording as a script. Every time you visit that site or interface again you can execute that script and save yourself the hassle. Check out the company site here or visit the link below to grab the extension.


AutoHotkey AutoInclude Organizes, Consolidates Your AHK Workflow [Autohotkey]


Ed note: We love AutoHotkey around Lifehacker HQ due to its powerful Windows tweaking skills, so we were thrilled when Reader Scott Rippey wrote in with this extremely smart script for managing your AHK scripts.

I'm ashamed to say that this is my first contribution to Lifehacker. I say "ashamed" because I've been taking and taking, and I haven't given anything in return! So I thought it was high-time I contributed my most helpful AutoHotkey script. I call it "AutoInclude".

There are 2 problems that it solves: first, as an avid reader of Lifehacker, and a huge user of AHK, I come across dozens of GREAT scripts that I want to incorporate into my own "main script", but it can be quite a hassle combining them all into a single AHK file. Take a look at all these scripts:

Second, I use AHK on my Work PC, my laptop, and my Media Center — and I have different AHK needs for each of these locations, but I still want some AHK code to be shared across the board.

My AutoInclude script scans a list of folders for *.ahk, and creates a temporary AHK file that "#Include"s them all, and then executes the temporary file. It allows me to keep all my scripts VERY organized, allows me to determine which scripts are appropriate for each computer, and lets me edit my scripts very easily! Finally, I put all my AutoHotkey scripts into a Live-Mesh-Synchronized folder and share it across all my PC's.

On each PC, I modify the top of the file to only include the folders that apply to that system (such as All, XP, and Tablet, versus All, Dual Monitor, and Work) and I comment out the rest:

Finally, when I run the script, I only have a single AHK process running! I love it.

The only thing that is tricky is the fact that "#Include"ing a bunch of files can cause possible issues if the script needs an "Auto-Execute" section. The solution is as follows:

If a script needs to auto-execute, then the first line of the file should be the comment "; Auto-Execute", followed by the auto-execute code as usual, and there MUST be a "Return" before any other code or hot-keys. The AutoInclude script will put a label in front of the "#Include" statement, and will call a GoSub to that label, thereby auto-executing it!

Take a look at the auto-generated script:

You can download my AutoHotkey AutoInclude script here.

Thanks Scott! Want to get your feet wet with AHK? Take a look at our beginner's guide to turning any action into a keyboard shortcut with AutoHotkey.