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October 29, 2004

Pet Mobility

A Cellphone for you pet! For owner to call their pets. Unfortunately this doesn't let pets call their other pet friends. For two dogs to rendezvous at the dog park for example.

11:09 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

October 28, 2004

What we will soon have, maybe

In Tsim Sha Shui, just over the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island, there is this new vending machine in the subway station of all places. It's selling SIM cards for mobile phones, both the GSM and the CDMA variety (for those visiting China and wishing to have CDMA). Cards cost, mostly $98HK which is about $13 USA.

Almost all Hong Kong phones are sold "unlocked" meaning you can switch SIM cards at will. You are able to unlock USA T-Mobile phone, and now have SIM cards for the US, UK, Germany and Hong Kong. I think there is a market for a SIM card holder as they are always bouncing around in my wallet.

Will we ever get to this point in the USA where a phone is as easy a pack of gum? I hope so, but as long as the big carriers "lock" mobile phones most Americans won't know that getting a cellphone can be this easy.

Alright, here’s how they do it in Hong Kong: you can now buy cellphone SIM cards from vending machines selling cellphone SIM cards in the subway stations there. Now if you could just use your cellphone to wirelessly pay for your new SIM card, the recursive loop would be complete.

06:58 AM in Cell Phones | Permalink

October 27, 2004

iPod gets the picture

Apple Computer on Tuesday unveiled a color screen version of its popular iPod music player, in addition to a special-edition version in partnership with rock band U2.

The color model can also be used to display photos, either on its own screen or on a TV set. It comes in two capacities: a 40GB model for $499 and a 60GB version for $599. The screen is capable of displaying 65,536 colors.

The U2-themed iPod holds 20GB, is black with a red navigation dial on the face and includes a facsimile of the band members' signatures on the back. For $349, or $50 more than the cost of the regular 20GB iPod, the buyer receives a $50 coupon that can be used to buy "The Complete U2" music collection from Apple's iTunes store.


06:48 AM in Apple iPod | Permalink

October 26, 2004

Aaton Cantor-X

This Aaton Cantar-X portable field recorder is so beautiful I don't know what to say, exactly. I think I want it inside of me. The ruggedized recorder is built around a 120GB hard drive with an 10 to 15 hour battery life, 18 simultaneous inputs, water- and dust-proof linear sliders and rotary faders designed to be used even with gloves on. And then once you have all of that 24bit/96KHz audio recorded and mixed down, you can burn the tracks out to DVD with the built-in burner hidden behind the front door.

And don't forget those gorgeous owl-eyed modulometer readouts—I don't know what they're for exactly, but who cares? I just want to take the $18,000 recorder into my tender embrace until my nerdy folds grow over it, like a tree hugging a barbed wire fence.


11:47 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

October 25, 2004

High-definition TV from your PC for $199

ATI's HDTV Wonder includes digital video recording

If I had the money right now I think I’d like a huge flat-screen HDTV. Actually, make that two or three flat screen HDTVs: one for the living room, another for the bedroom and maybe one for the den. But who has that kind of money? Why not buy an ATI HDTV Wonder card to turn your desktop computer into an HDTV receiver for $199?

07:45 AM in HDTV | Permalink

October 24, 2004

Microsoft Home smarter at age 10

A glass panel in the kitchen is one monitor and workspace. By touching the screen, one can arrange babysitters, see who's at the door, etc. And if the screen gets messy, just lift the glass and clean it.

07:41 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink

October 23, 2004

Steam-Powered Model Locomotive

pic_mallard.jpg imageUK model train outfit Hornby has developed a locomotive engine that is powered by real steam, yet runs on standard '00' gauge, 12-volt track. After filling a small tank with distilled water, the locomotive slowly heats up over the next five to ten minutes, using power from the track
like a regular toy engine. Then, by sending pulsed signals down the track, an operator can open the steam valve to drive the pistons, which in turn power the wheels, just like a real steam train.

The ultimate in model train operation doesn't come cheap, though, with the starter kit (including the locomotive, control box, an oval track, and gloves to protect you when handling the steam-hot engine) priced around £500. Nevertheless, for the dedicated train modeler, a welcome addition of real, if small-scale drama and danger.

08:23 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

October 22, 2004

Sushi USB Flash Drives

What's better than USB flash drives shaped like sushi? Nothing.

10:19 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

October 21, 2004

PalmOne Releases 'Smarter' Treo 650

This on today. "PalmOne unveiled a spate of new features in the Treo 650, including improved e-mail and networking support.

While PalmOne has added an MP3 player and Bluetooth (define) support, the goal with this release was to improve upon a good thing, said Greg Shirai, director of product marketing for the Milpitas, Calif.-based Palm spin-off.

"I think we've listened," Shirai said. Users were generally quite happy with the smartphone, he said, but they did have a wish list: a better camera, higher-resolution display, Bluetooth and a removable battery. PalmOne added those, along with some enhancements to the software and tweaks to the hardware.

"It's a better Treo 600," he said.

The new device retains the Treo form factor, with a color screen atop a mini QWERTY keyboard. The display is 320 by 320 pixels for greater clarity and resolution. The keyboard has been arranged in a
slight "smile," allowing for slightly larger and flatter keys with larger symbols on them. The two most-used buttons, Menu and Launcher, were moved above the keyboard on either side of the navigation control,
while Send and End buttons have been added.

"Now, all the keys are within thumb reach," Shirai said.

The 650 has a removable battery, so that users can pack two batteries instead of the charger. More important, Flash memory storage not only accommodates battery switching, but ensures that data won't be lost if the charge is.

The camera includes a 2X digital zoom and takes better pictures in low-light situations. There's a mirror for snapping self-portraits. PalmOne improved the camera interface for greater usability and to
support the new zoom function.

While Bluetooth hasn't taken off in the United States as it has in Europe, its wireless connectivity to peripherals will become more important, Shirai said, as high-end auto makers install Bluetooth in
"smart cars" that, among other features, allow drivers to cradle the mobile phone and make hands-free telephone calls while driving.

One hardware change may not be so popular with Treo fanatics eager to upgrade. The cable connector has been changed to match that used by the Tungsten line; therefore, accessories purchased for use with the Treo 600 won't fit."

10:11 AM in Palm | Permalink

October 20, 2004

Canon PowerShot SD20 review

Canon SD20 All Colors

Coming in either the standard silver or three other exotic colors (at least, exotic for Canon), Steve’s Digicams has a review of the new PowerShot SD20, which packs in 5 megapixels of goodness in a stainless steel package, features a 1.5-inch LCD screen, an automatic orientation sensor which rotates your pictures for you when viewing, uses SD memory cards, and weighs just 3.5 ounces. It’s nice to see Canon loosening up a bit, and this is their smallest five megapixel digicam, (it’s about 75% of the size of the popular Compact-Flash based Canon ELPH series), but the deal killer is that it doesn’t have an optical zoom, only 6.5x digital zoom.

09:39 AM in Digital Cameras | Permalink