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Showing posts from January 28, 2011

Horizontal Symmetry – The Way of the Future Phone?

The current trend in smartphone design is that of a vertical symmetry. It’s important to make sure the left and the right of the screen, (that being the right and left when the phone is held in a portrait mode,) are equal, or at least appear to be equal. The future of the phone is presented in a project by Jason Wang, a designer who believes that the next logical step in the evolution of the handheld communicator is symmetry in landscape mode. As a proof, he offers a conceptual design by the name of Nokia E2.

Wang believes that as the past several years have yielded a set of smartphones that are overwhelmingly similar to one another, it becomes difficult for the consumer to differentiate between them. He believes that the first step toward a new type of phone is the 21:9 aspect ratio. He notes though, that upon first viewing a traditionally designed 21:9 phone, it lacks visual appeal, especially due to the fact that they’re designed, still, to be held upright.
His solutio…

Awesome Hublot La Cle Du Temps watch debuts

I am not a watch wearer, I have said that many times. I do like to look at some of these awesome watch designs like the Hublot La Cle Du Temps “key of time” watch here. This thing is so cool it hurts. If Darth Vader had an awesome watch, this would be it.

The awesome watch is a follow up to one that was apparently designed with the Predator in mind with a dial meant to look like a brain. I don’t see any resemblance to a brain or the Predator in the new design. All I see is a crazy watch with a really sweet design.
The watch has a control on the side that will slow down or speed up time. Why you world want to do that is beyond me. The watch will always remember the correct time though. An exact price is unknown, but it is said to go in the high six-figure range.

Microsoft pushing for 16-core Atom CPUs

Microsoft is reportedly pestering Intel for a 16-core version of its Atom processor, which would provide a low-power alternative to mainstream chips for use in data servers. Dileep Bhandarkar, an engineer at Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services, suggested that higher-power Intel chips more commonly positioned for servers, such as the Xeon, demand too much power and active cooling in return for their higher clock speeds, PC World reports, and that there is a “huge opportunity” for a different strategy to data center processing.

“When you look at these tiny cores, another way of making them work in a very efficient way is [not to] surround them with a whole bunch of south bridges and network controllers. … Essentially, the tiny cores and systems-on-chip should go together” Dileep Bhandarkar, MicrosoftGlobal Foundation Services is the division of Microsoft responsible for managing the hosting of Bing, Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger, together with Sharepoint and Exchange …

Princeton MyDitto NAS offers easy remote access with USB key

Just about every NAS offers a way to open up the contents of your network-attached storage to external access, allowing you to quickly retrieve a document or media file you’ve forgotten while on the move, but all too often the settings required are too tricky for the average user. Princeton reckons it has the answer, though, with the MyDitto DE-MD2H2T, a 2TB drive that comes with a USB stick that when plugged into a remote computer automatically gives access to the NAS’ files.

The MyDitto USB key loads a special management app and automatically negotiates the encrypted link between whichever computer you’re on and the NAS back home. Rather than having to remember passwords and login URLs, it’s a simple case of jamming in the stick and browsing the directories as if you were on your home network. Up to thirty keys can be registered to any one MyDitto unit (supporting four active simultaneously).
There’s also a pair of USB 2.0 ports for hooking up external storage, a gigabit…

Sony NGP “not going to be $599″ but pricing remains a mystery

Sony has remained coy on pricing for the Sony NGP, though it has dismissed concerns that the upcoming handheld will carry an extreme premium price tag. Speaking to GameInformer, SCEE president of worldwide studios Shu Yoshida confirmed that the NGP is “not going to be $599″ when reminded of the surprise many gamers experienced at the original launch of the PS3.

“From the very beginning of the project — since 2008 — pricing was one of the considerations that we had” Yoshida explained. “Hopefully when we announce the price, people will see the proper value.” Currently Sony is refusing to discuss pricing in anything more than vague terms; even the name of the NGP is described as a temporary one, standing merely for next generation portable.
News earlier that different SKUs of the NGP would offer 3G and WiFi-only variants also raises questions about ongoing subscription plans for the 3G-enabled models. Sony is yet to suggest whether it will be bundling some amount of mobile net…

Monster iMotion CarPlay 3000 lets you control your iPod in the car with motion control

Controlling your iPad or iPhone in your car with a normal FM transmitter can be a pain in the butt. Controlling them through a device that plugs them into the AUX port on your car isn’t any better typically. The problem is that you have to look down to skip tracks and taking your eyes off the road isn’t a good thing.

Monster has unveiled a new car adapter that connects the iPhone or iPad to the car via an aux input and a 3.5mm cord. The cool part is instead of having to look at the iPhone to control the thing; you can control it with hand gestures. The car adapter is called the Monster iMotion CarPlay 3000.
Once connected you can swipe your hand from left to right to skip forward and from right to left to go backwards. The only downside I see is that the usefulness of the device might not be as good for everyone depending on where the aux input and DC outlet are.

Callaway Golf unveils new upro mx golf GPS device

Callaway is one of the biggest names in golf gear. The company has announced a new gadget for golfers that will let them know exactly how far they are from the hole when on many of the most popular courses around the country. The new gadget is called the upro mx.

The upro mx is a GPS device that comes loaded with 25,000 courses from around the world. The preloading of course layouts means the upro mx is ready to be used right out of the box. Callaway says that it is the only dedicated GPS device on the market that offers high-quality aerial maps of each course.
The upro mx will ship in May for $199. It has a 2.2-inch color LCD, weighs three ounces and has no annual fees that the user has to pay if they use basic mode. An additional fee is required to activate the pro mode with the aerial photos. What that extra fee will cost is unknown.

World’s smallest HSPA+ platform for Android voice and data unveiled

I really don’t want my smartphone to be smaller. I like the screen to be big enough for comfortable use and reading. I would go for a thinner smartphone though and one that has better battery life. These things can all be granted when the hardware inside the phone gets smaller and more efficient. Icera has announced a new platform for Android devices that might just facilitate some of these thinner devices that I would like to see. Icera calls the new platform Espresso 450 and it is claimed to be the world’s smallest HSPA+ voice and data platform for Android devices. The tiny platform measures 700mm2 and is scalable to include 2G, 3G, and 4G tech inside. The official debut will be made at MWC next month for the Espresso 450 platform Icera expects products using the platform to land in late 2011.

NewerTech offers eSATA to USB 3.0 adapter

NewerTech is all about cool adapters that let you easily connect devices to your computer. Back in November, I mentioned a new adapter that the company had unveiled that connected any internal SATA HDD to a USB 3.0 port. NewerTech has now unveiled another new adapter that turns your eSATA external drives into USB 3.0 gear.

The adapter is called simply enough the eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapter and it sells for $29.95. The idea is that you can adapt the eSATA drive to USB 3.0 to enjoy the data transfer speeds up to 5Gb/s. I would imagine that the USB 3.0 port would become more common on many notebooks and desktops leaving your eSATA gear with no love.
The kit includes the adapter and the USB 3.0 cable. The device will also adapt the eSATA storage devices to USB 2.0 as well. That allows you to be able to access your data even if the machine you are on lacks eSATA and USB 3.0 ports. The adapter will work with eSATA HDDs and SSDs and needs no drivers.

Notion Ink Adam gets teardown treatment at FCC

When it comes to gadgets that hit the market you can count on some taking a shiny new toy and tearing it apart to document what it looks like on the inside and share that teardown with the rest of us. Often the first glimpse at teardown pics we see come by way of the FCC.

Earlier this month when the Notion Ink Adam tablet finally cleared the FCC and started to ship we hadn’t see any of the pics of the innards of the Android tablet we expect from the FCC. Those pics have now surfaced and looking at the inside of the tablet is a stark contrast to the sleek and high-quality internal construction for say an iPad or Galaxy Tab. Engadget reckons that some of the connections were actually made by hand and that the less than stellar build quality might signal build quality issues in the future. I’m not really one that cares what the thing looks like on the inside as long as it works. I would bet most of you are the same. Still, does the suspect build quality turn you off from the …

Samsung hits all-time record revenue in 2010; dual-core Galaxy S2 & multiple Galaxy Tabs incoming

Samsung has announced its 2010 financial figures, and there are strong results for the company’s mobile business. Mobile device sales in Q4 2010 topped 80.7m, up 17-percent compared to Q4 2009, with 280m sales for the whole of 2010. Samsung confirms that a dual-core Galaxy S replacement with a Super AMOLED Plus display (believed to be the Samsung Galaxy S2, debuting at MWC 2011 next month) will launch in the first half of 2011, while also announcing that it “will complement its Galaxy Tab with a range of devices to optimally meet various user needs.”

Samsung has been talking about a range of Galaxy Tab slates since the debut of the original 7-inch version, though so far we’ve only been expecting a larger, 10-inch model at MWC 2011. It seems the company’s plans are on course for a number of versions in 2011, however, buoyed by passing the 2m sales point with the original Tab in just three months.
Net sales across all of Samsung’s businesses were 41.87 trillion won in Q4 2010,…

Sonance outs new Landscape Series outdoor speakers

If you are the sort that is obsessed with music and have to have your tunes, everywhere you go Sonance has some new gear for you for outdoors. The company has announced a new line of outdoor speakers that are called the Landscape Series. As you might guess by the name, the speakers are intended to blend in with the landscape and deliver good sound.

The speaker line has several models to choose from with the LS67SAT and LS47SAT speakers that share some of the same features. Both have 0.75″ tweeters and power handling up to 25 watts. The difference comes in the woofer size, the LS67 has a 6-inch woofer and the LS47 has a 3.5-inch woofer. Both speakers will work with a variety of mount options for in ground and tree mounting.
The new line also includes the LS10SUB in-ground subwoofer. The thing has a 10-inch woofer and 100W of power handling. The sub enclosure is designed to be buried or left exposed to the elements and it comes with a brown canopy to hide it with the landsca…

iSkin launches ProTouch antimicrobial keyboard cover for MacBook Air 11-inch notebook

Germs suck. I think we can all agree with that, they make you sick and when you are sick you can’t work or play. If you type on your MacBook Air all the time and have been sick or worry that you will get sick and spread the germs to other folks that use the machine you need one of these new keyboard covers.

The covers are made by iSkin and are called the ProTouch keyboard protector with Microban. The goal is to keep your keyboard clean and the Microban coating will kill any germs to prevent you and others from being infected from the keyboard. Keyboards are nasty places apparently, and that’s when they aren’t coated with cheese from your bag of Doritos.
The cool thing about the keyboard protector is that you can easily take it off to clean. iSkin has announced that it now offers the iSkin keyboard cover to fit the 2010 MacBook Air 11-inch notebook. To start the cover will only be offered in the clear frosted design. I would assume that means other colors will come later. T…

Razer unveils new DeathAdder Black Edition gaming mouse

Razer’s DeathAdder gaming mouse has been around for a long time now. This mouse is designed for the gamer doesn’t like high-sensitivity and laser technology used in most of the gaming mice on the market today. The DeathAdder Black Edition uses a 3.5G infrared sensor and has a maximum sensitivity of 3500dpi.

The sensor promises precision and is perfect for the type of game that likes to make larger hand movements while getting their frag on. The new Black Edition is a limited edition mouse that has all the same features of the original in an AC/DC approved solid black color scheme.
The mouse has a right hand only design and uses 1000Hz ultrapolling to limit lag. The sensitivity can be adjusted on the fly and the mouse can withstand 15g of acceleration and process 60-120 inches per second. The DeathAdder Black Edition will cost you $59.99 and it is shipping right now.

Apple loses to ZTE in Global phone rankings for Q4 2010

Apple has been pushed from its number four spot in the top worldwide mobile phone market, with ZTE entering the top five ranking and pushing the iPhone maker down to fifth place. That’s according to IDC‘s Q4 2010 mobile phone market research, which pegs Nokia as maintaining the top spot despite a 2.4-percent slip in share. It’s worth noting, of course, that this particular research covers mobile phones overall, rather than simply smartphones.

Overall, IDC reckons the global mobile phone market grew 17.9-percent in the last quarter of 2010, exceeding 401m units of shipped devices. Altogether that makes 1.39bn shipments in 2010 as a whole, an 18.5-percent increase over 2009. ZTE’s success – the first time in IDC’s rankings that the company has broken into the top five – is put down to its low-cost portfolio of feature phones and smartphones, increasingly popular as developing users upgrade to affordable data-capable devices.
Samsung’s success echoes the company’s financial …

Apple Seeking RFID Expert in Recent Job Postings

e all know Google is pushing big into the NFC market with the inclusion of support in the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, and it looks as if Apple is readying themselves to be ready for the next generation of mobile payment systems with two new job listings on their corporate site. Among the required areas of knowledge for these jobs is RFID, which s a type of near-field communication (NFC). Essentially Apple is looking for a hardware developer to help turn the iPhone into an “e-wallet” for transactions. These job listings line up pretty well with recent rumor that Apple is readying an “e-wallet” strategy for both the iPhone 5 and second generation iPad. Some strategists even believe that Apple could have its own mobile payment service up and running as early as mid-2011 which is the expected launch date for the next iPhone. As to how Apple might implement such a system, rumors are circulating around payments going through its iTunes payment service. Hopefully we w…

AT&T MiFi 2372 Review

It’s taken AT&T long enough to push a MiFi mobile hotspot out of the door, but finally the AT&T Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 is available. As with the original MiFi units, the premise is straightforward: take one 3G connection and share it between a number of WiFi devices. Still, with 4G mobile hotspots on the market, and many smartphones offering integrated hotspot functionality, is the AT&T MiFi 2372 too late? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.

HardwareThere’s not a huge amount of difference between the MiFi 2372 and the original GSM MiFi 2352 we reviewed a couple of years ago. Inside the small, glossy box – 2.44 x 3.86 x 0.60 inches and 2.86 oz – is a UMTS/HSPA modem good for up to 7.2Mbps downlinks and 5.76Mbps uplinks on AT&T’s 3G network, together with a WiFi b/g router that shares out that connection between up to five other devices. That might be an iPad, a notebook, a portable games console or even a phone; basically, as long as your g…

Developers, Facebook Has Simplified Requests
Facebook has unveiled a more streamlined request dialog for developers that promises to also speed things up for end users.

The social network has done away with the formal limitations on the number of requests that each user could send, and instead is fine-tuning its spam detection systems to eliminate abuse of the protocol. The new request dialog works in IFrame apps and no longer requires Facebook Markup Language on the server side. Use the following code for the new and improved protocol:
That set of code brings up the type of window that you’ll see reproduced below from the example used in Facebook’s developer blog:
Facebook isn’t immediately phasing out the old code for request dialogs, but eventually they will stop working — no formal deadline for that has been a…

Facebook Creating Application For All Tablets

Facebook may have left the task of creating a native application for the iPad to third-party developers, but it appears that the company plans to create something to run on all tablets,  including the Apple device.
The social network’s Chief Technical Officer Bret Taylor told TechCrunch’s M.G. Siegler, “We need to make a tablet version of Facebook. It’s something we’re working on right now.” This stance jibes with the social network’s active embrace of Hypertext Markup Language 5 for Facebook coding and work by third-party application developers. HTML5 promises easier coding for an increased diversity of platforms, which would include tablets. However, the language is still a work in progress, which explains the need for efforts like Facebook’s JSGamebench, which is a game that researches how to optimize HTML5 performance for different combinations of browsers and hardware. TechCrunch quotes Facebook’s CTO as saying the lack of an iPad-specific application is a “casualty” of this f…

How One Facebook User Obtained 58,621 Responses To His Question

This afternoon while browsing through the feed I stumbled across the question, “Which pair of glasses looks better on me?” Given that this was one of the first polls to show up in my feed in a long time I decided to click. The most incredible thing is that over 58,621 people have done the same thing.

Hung Truong, the creator of the poll, came up with the idea after seeing another one show up in his feed. He then wrote about the entire experience on his blog and detailed how this was simply a social experiment. Truong observed a slight quirk in the way that Facebook displays polls within the feed (pictured below). At first glance it appears as though your friend was the person who created a poll. The result is that you’re more likely to respond from the start.

Combining the image of a friend with what appears to be a link results in a great click-through rate. The main problem is that the text of the poll response isn’t an actual link. As such you’d manually have t…

4 Ways To Turn Your Facebook Profile Into A Book

 Ninuku ArchivistThe first of the self-publishingof profiles was announced in November: Ninuku Archivist gathers your Facebook activity for an entire year into an Adobe Acrobat file that you can publish into a book. Edit entries, add commentary, and decide what pictures to include with the service. Sign up for a free trial that provides you with a couple of chapters and then if you like what you see, the service costs just for $24 annually. Social BookSocial Book is an ongoing project looking for pledges and funding. On the service’s Kickstarter page, learn more information, watch a video, and see how the finished product would turn out. Prices range from between $25 to $100, depending on the size of your book of choice. Read more about ithere. BookofFameBookofFame will develop your Facebook profile into a cleverly designed scrapbook for nostalgia purposes. It mixes status updates from you and your friends with pictures, published into a creative notebook design. There …

Users cannot access AOL Mail due to outage

According to the reports from CNET, it seems that AOL Mail users cannot login onto their account due to unknown issues. At first, AOL was planning a scheduled maintenance that would prevent handful of users from logging in or seeing new messages. Sadly, this issue still hasn’t been fixed and all those people that couldn’t login are still unable to do so. Of course, people who managed to login were shocked when they saw that all of their emails from past two months had gone.

Leaked: Mysterious ‘Call’ button appears on Facebook

We didn’t hear any rumours about voice calls within Facebook, so this latest leaked screenshotis quite a shock to many. As you can see from the screenshot, the new Call button is placed in the top right corner, right next to the chat and send message buttons. So does this button work? Well according to the screenshot, it seems that the person who made this screenshot is trying to find out that as well. Sadly, this button has been removed from the menu, we’re thinking that this is somehow related to Skype, because Skype and Facebook have been working together for a while, but that’s just our guess.

Gallery: Sony NGP / PSP 2 – eyes only

The new PSP NGP will boast both 3G and WiFi connectivity, a five-inch multi-touch OLED display and run on an ARM Cortex-A9 core CPU. The new portable playstation system also incorporates a unique multi-touch pad on the rear, together with a front touch display panel.

Japanese manufacturer unveils new scratch-resistant screen

The Japanese glass and chemicals company AGC Group said on Thursday it was to market a new extra-strength glass for the screens of smart phones, tablet computers and other devices.

The chemically strengthened glass, called Dragontrail, was six times stronger than glass produced by the normal soda-lime method, said the group, which includes Tokyo-based Asahi Glass Co. Ltd.. In addition to its scratch-resistant properties, the new glass contained no environmentally harmful products such as arsenic or lead, the company said.

“Dragontrail is a strategic product” to respond to the increasing demand for high quality covers for electronic device screens, said Yoshiaki Tamura, Deputy president of the AGC’s Electronics Company unit. The group said it expects global sales of the new glass to exceed 30 billion yen (360 million dollars) by 2012..

NASA gives go-ahead to another shuttle flight

NASA doesn’t know yet where it will get the money, but the space agency officially added another space shuttle launch to its schedule - the final one for the fleet.

The space agency set a target launch date of June 28 for shuttle Atlantis and started preparations for the 135th and last shuttle flight. The four-member crew will take up supplies to the International Space Station and return a faulty pump that has bedevilled engineers.

Now three missions remain before NASA retires its shuttle fleet this year. Shuttle Discovery’s last mission is slated for Feb. 24, Endeavour’s in April.

Thursday’s move allows different parts of the shuttle program to start work on Atlantis’ 12-day flight, including astronaut training and mission planning, NASA spokesman Michael Curie said. Originally, Atlantis was planned as an emergency-only rescue mission if needed for the Endeavour crew.

Last year, the Obama administration and Congress clashed over the future of the human space program an…

Robotic Ghost Knifefish Is 'Born'

 Researchers at Northwestern University have created a robotic fish that can move from swimming forward and backward to swimming vertically almost instantaneously by using a sophisticated, ribbon-like fin.The robot -- created after observing and creating computer simulations of the black ghost knifefish -- could pave the way for nimble robots that could perform underwater recovery operations or long-term monitoring of coral reefs.

Led by Malcolm MacIver, associate professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the team's results are published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

The black ghost knifefish, which works at night in rivers of the Amazon basin, hunts for prey using a weak electric field around its entire body and moves both forward and backward using a ribbon-like fin on the underside of its body.

MacIver, a robotics expert who served as a scientific consultant for &q…

Risks, Consequences of Video Game Addiction Identified in New Study

Parents may have good reason to be concerned about how much time their kids have been spending playing their new video games since the holidays. A new study by an international research team -- including an Iowa State University psychologist -- found further evidence that video game "addiction" exists globally and that greater amounts of gaming, lower social competence and greater impulsivity were risk factors for becoming pathological gamers.The two-year longitudinal study of 3,034 third through eighth grade students in Singapore found approximately nine percent of gamers to be pathological players according to standards similar to those established by the American Psychiatric Association for diagnosing gambling addiction. And some serious problems -- including depression, anxiety, social phobias and lower school performance -- seemed to be outcomes of their pathological play.

Douglas Gentile, an Iowa State associate professor of psychology, and five research…

U.S., Chrysler work on hybrid engines for minivans

 Chrysler and the Environmental Protection Agency are trying to adapt an engine technology invented by the EPA to improve gas mileage in minivans.

The company and the government agency said on Wednesday they’re working to fit the EPA’s hydraulic hybrid system into Chrysler minivans. If it works, the system could boost minivan mileage 35 per cent to around 27 miles per gallon (11.5 kilometers per litre). Currently the top Chrysler minivan gets 20 mpg (8.5 kpl) in combined city and highway driving.

The agreement was announced as Chrysler and other auto companies seek new technologies to help to meet stricter government fuel economy regulations that call for a fleet average of 35.5 miles per gallon (15 kpl) by 2016, nearly 10 miles per gallon (4.2 kpl) more than now. The standards could go as high as 47 mpg (20 kpl) to 62 mpg (26.3 kpl) by 2025.

The system, patented by scientists at the EPA’s laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is now used in more than a dozen trash and pack…

Did life on Earth originate in space?

London: Many experts believe that biological raw materials were carried to our planet as lumps of asteroid rock.

The molecular structure of amino acids - the building blocks of proteins and living organisms - does provide a clue.

The molecules come in two mirror-image varieties, the left and right-handed. But only left-handed amino acids are found in nature.Recently, NASA scientists reported finding the amino acid isovaline in samples of meteorites that came from asteroids, the Daily Mail reports.

Most of it was in the left-handed form, suggesting that left-handed life may have had a kick-start in space, according to a NASA statement.

Now the same scientists have discovered left-handed isovaline in a much wider variety of carbon-rich asteroids.

NASA's Daniel Glavin said: "This tells us our initial discovery wasn't a fluke, that there really was something going on in the asteroids where these meteorites came from that favours the creation of left-handed amino ac…