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December 27, 2004



screenshotOn the way to the information superhighway, few things have changed as dramatically as the computer interface -- those pointers, file folders, and hourglasses that appear on your monitor whenever you start your PC or Mac. Whether you're a diehard geek or casual computer user, this history of the GUI (affectionately pronounced gooey) is impressive in its scope. But mostly, it's a hoot to look back on the ancestral lineage of today's Microsoft Word, including some rather rudimentary Windows 1.01 office applications. Early interfaces for Amigas, Apples, and Acorn Archimedes -- groundbreaking for their time -- have a certain quaint charm now. The gallery of magazine ads shows just how far manufacturers have come in designing and flogging their wares. So, take this exit ramp off the information superhighway onto the GUI back-country lane.

06:07 AM in Web/Tech | Permalink

December 24, 2004

High Tech Outerwear

USA Today has a roundup of new high-tech jackets, and some of them even come in versions sized and designed for women.

The 2L iPod Jacket has a soft, flexible control pad integrated into the sleeve so you can control your iPod without taking it out of the specially designed protective pocket. It's also a super-warm and waterproof jacket made for snowboarding.

The North Face Met 5 jacket has rechargeable heating panels that can keep you warm for about five hours with one charge. In men's sizes only, but it's thin and meant to be worn as an under layer, so women may be able to find a size that works.

More jackets from USA Today.

06:00 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

December 23, 2004

Solar Rainbow Maker

This unique gadget features a solar powered mechanism which turns a genuine Swarovski crystal. When direct sunlight hits the crystal a rainbow effect is projected. The dazzling colors seem almost magical as they dance across the room. The sparkling rainbows are a great pick-me-up and add life to any room.

06:06 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

December 22, 2004

Heated Ice Scraper

Heated Ice Scraper
Make light work of clearing ice from your windscreen with this robust heated ice scraper. Plug the adapter into the cigarette lighter socket of your car and the element in the scraper heats up softening and melting the ice in seconds.

06:03 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

December 21, 2004

Ministry of Sound STIKAX

Stikax_1Here's an interesting little idea. Ministry of Sound has just launched the STICKAX, which is a handheld music and movie mixer for homes users.
It's bascially a redesigned mouse that lets you create music, remix tracks and sample songs using click, drag and drop functions. You can also fiddle with music videos and home movies. The TRAKAX software is
designed to make it all nice and easy for people withouth editing experience. The plug and play STIKAX comes with 450 "dance/techno/rock/hip-hip" CD-quality music loops so you can enjoy a spot of armchair Producing. We're told that the system of 10 buttons and LED light beam lets you trigger any combination of music or videos on screen, all without having to touch your keyboard. More than one STIKAX can be used at the same time so you can have a little mixing party for all your mates without rowing about hose go it is to be Oakenfold.

It'll set you back £89.


06:01 AM in Gadgets | Permalink

December 20, 2004

Time Magazine Gadget Fest.

Time MagazineThe November 29 issue of Time Magazine, available in any good, average, or down right dodgy Australian newsagent, has some fun reading, including Coolest Inventions for 2004 and Hot Tech Gifts. Just in time to plan your Christmas gadget request list.

Included is SpaceShipOne, which of course wins their Invention of the Year, plenty of iPod and Mac toys, “kids” toys, cameras, home entertainment, motorised fun, health, sport, mobile phones, and a whole monthly magazine collection of tech related trinkets. Worth grabbing if you’ve got some spare time.

06:00 AM in Gadgets, News | Permalink

December 17, 2004

Wi-Fi-Less Christmas.

Christmas TreeCareful with those Christmas lights. The Register has found some might interfere with your Wi-Fi.

“It has come to BT’s attention that an extremely small percentage of seasonal lighting, which can be used both internally and externally may cause interference with the broadband service.

When the lighting control unit is set to any mode other than a steady state it may generate high levels of radio frequency noise and may cause the broadband service to lose synchronisation.

“Investigations have revealed that the broadband service may be impacted where the lights do not meet the standards necessary for customer equipment marking,” it said.

So far, only a few dozen instances of flashing Christmas lights felling broadband have been reported. Incidentally, similar advice had to be issued last year.”

06:09 AM in Gadgets, News | Permalink

December 16, 2004

H2O Audio SV-iMini Reviewed

svmini_aprev.jpg image Sounds like the H2O Audio SV-iMini, the $150 underwater housing for Apple's iPod mini isn't worth dropping the money. The AP's Ron Harris says it works well to make the mini splash resistant, but a couple of dunkings into shallow water caused a few drops of water to make it through the casing and onto the player. Bummer.

REVIEW: Waterproof IPod Housing All Wete [AP]

06:46 AM in MP3 players | Permalink

December 15, 2004

Vonage goes to the video

Internet phone service provider Vonage will sell videophones and a videophone service sometime before the end of March, its chief executive said Wednesday, stamping an important imprimatur on a market once derided by comparisons to the futuristic TV cartoon "The Jetsons."

Vonage Chief Executive Jeffrey Citron didn't provide an exact date for the service's debut--first quarter 2005, he said--nor did he release pricing details. For a general idea on what a Vonage videophone service might cost, one can look to videophone provider Packet8, which sells unlimited video calling for $30 a month. Packet8 videophones, which have embedded cameras to capture the caller's image, come heavily rebated.

Vonage has partnered with broadband video equipment maker Viseon to develop the videophone. Vonage will release a videophone that resembles the VisiFone II, a phone developed by broadband video equipment maker Viseon. The VisiFone II debuts in January.


06:01 AM in News | Permalink

December 14, 2004

Nokia: 2 billion cell phone users by 2006

Nokia has upped its predictions for the growth of the global mobile phone market after calculating that adoption is accelerating more quickly than previously thought in some of the world's largest countries.

Ilkka Lakaniemi, an economist at Nokia's network division, said Wednesday that the Finnish manufacturer estimates there will be more than 2 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide by 2006--compared with around 1.6 billion subscriptions today.

Previously, Nokia had forecast that this milestone would not be hit until 2008.

Nokia's new optimism, which comes after some tough years for mobile manufacturers and operators, is based on growth rates in several of the world's most populous countries.


06:39 AM in Cell Phones | Permalink