Novel Writing Software

Black Obelisk

If the only thing you’re lacking to writing a novel is an organization system, this one looks amazing. It has a trial period and a 50% off sale running. (Which means you can get it for only $22.95) There’s also a trialpay offer to get it free, but I’m leery of those. It often seems like you end up paying more for something you didn’t want in the first place.

Black Obelisk keeps your place, has room for pictures, and automatically backs up. It has places for your music so you don’t have a reason to get out of your chair. Timelines and dossiers on your characters give you instant access to that little detail you need to finish your chapter. That is only the beginning to their list of features, however. It uses simple file formats (TXT, RTF, and ZIP) so anything you create, even during the trial period, is available in the future.

Definitely looks worth checking out. I wonder if that snazzy black and gray color is the only theme it has.

Geek Appeal

Ever noticed that each new portable electronic device leads to another power cord? I guess I’m not the only one… Splashpower has developed a new pad to charge our electronic devices without plugging them in.

Each device would require a small change; the addition of a chip less than one millimeter thick and an extra cost of only a quarter would make them compatible with Splashpower’s new pad. (I’m sure the quarter reflects cost to the company, not the price they’re going to charge end consumers.) Splashpower’s charging pad has a projected retail between $25 and $50.

Over the holidays, I’d volunteered to take a friend to the airport. Early that morning before we left, she called to figure out if I could help her charge her iPod. She’d grabbed the wrong cable as she left home the week before, and her battery didn’t last a week. (She’d listened the entire flight, which stretched her NaNo’s capabilities.) Lucky for her I had one, but this new device would put both of our worries to rest.

I’d love it if my only issue was to remember one thing, instead of one cord/cable for each device I take with me. I’m well-known for forgetting my phone charger, which is why I keep a charger in my vehicle. It’s added up to a lot of extra money, because each phone needs a new one.

I hope they do manage to market it as they plan.

Read more: Splashpower and BBC News.

Geek Appeal

Engineering Students from Virginia Tech created highly durable bricks of a lunar-rock-like material, which may be used to build future colonies on the moon.

I love science fiction as much as the next girl… well, no, probably more. I’ve had conversations with fellow geeks about colonizing the moon. The biggest issue is always water. It’s awesome that a new material might get us closer to that.

The new bricks can withstand a ‘gradual’ application of up to 2,450 pounds per square inch, which is substantial – and reportedly nearly equal to concrete. Looks like one of the original intentions was for armor. (Concrete, for those of you who don’t know much about it, is an amazing material with wide applications.)

Sticks and Stones-

may break my bones…

According to some new materials, this might not be such a bad thing to recover from. It’s a proprietary mix, of course. They call it injectable bone, and once it’s inside, they’re trying to fill the gaps between broken bones to provide a better way for the body to naturally regenerate the bones. It’s supposed to be near the spongy material of bone when it sets, and the elevated body temperature activates it. At room temperature it’s only a harmless powder.

Read more.

Geek Appeal

New ceramic material that might change a lot of things since it’s tough and durable. Based off actual shells (think mother-of-pearl).

New advances that are tougher than most people generally think of ceramics and nearly as light as aircraft-grade aluminum alloys. That’s amazing. Unfortunately, the drawback is it doesn’t do extreme temperatures.

Nature did it first. I bet their patent’s expired by now, though.