Archive for January, 2007

Is this the sexiest UMPC yet?

Is this the sexiest UMPC yet?

It looks like UMPC manufacturers are heading in the direction we're all hoping for, and making slimmer and sexier handhelds that we wouldn't be embarrassed to pull out at a meeting (or even in the queue at the bank, heaven forbid).  Steve over at The Carrypad UMPC Journal is getting increasingly excited about this US700W model, as yet of unknown OEM, and having looked at the photos and spec-list I can see why.

Just 20.5mm thick, it nonetheless features an 800x480 7-inch screen, Intel Celeron M 1.06G MHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a choice of hard-drives that climbs to 60GB.  Full details after the jump, including more photos; I don't know about you, but my nipples have just perked up in anticipation.

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Japanese cellphones titter at the iPhone

Japanese cellphones titter at the iPhone

You're probably getting bored of iPhone coverage, and are saving your strength for the first "EXCLUSIVE! PHOTOS! HANDS-ON!" headlines you'll have to navigate around the web come April or so, but spare a thought for the poor Japanese.  They've had 3G networks for years now, and are currently testing 4G technology; with handsets available in shops today that support mobile digital TV, moneyless-payment, biometric security and more, while America excites itself over Jobs' latest trinket they have no super-advanced iPhone features to anticipate.  After all, they've got it all already.

electro^plankton borrowed the daily life of a Japanese friend to see just what cellphone features they use - and expect handsets to have - on a daily basis.  Let's just say that the iPhone doesn't look so rosy in comparison. 

Sorry iPhone, Japan's Not Interested [electro^plankton]

CES 2007 footage… for those of us who weren’t there

CES 2007 footage… for those of us who weren’t there

Because of my tendency to put items that don't belong to me into my rucksack and curse loudly at people with beards, I wasn't allowed to accompany the SlashGear team to CES this year. While at first I revelled in bitterness, I've now got over my seething anger and am enjoying the huge quantity of video footage from the exhibition. SlashGear's own camcorder was present, but if you've been through our footage and are still hungry then you might want to head over to Charbax's latest expo video blog.

A veteran of filming these tech free-for-alls, Charbax offers both Google Video and BitTorrent DIVX files, the latter of which have the added bonus of being in high-definition. He's covered plenty, from the OLPC to Medion's UMPC, and it's well worth a look (or a download if you've got the bandwidth).

CES 2007 Video Blog

QuickContact tempts you from touchscreen to joystick

QuickContact tempts you from touchscreen to joystick

When I think about potential software for my cellphone, for some reason the last thing that comes to mind is an alternative way to dial. I mean, buttons are buttons, aren't they? How many different ways can there be to thumb out a call? But users of Windows Mobile handsets can now have that level of choice that I didn't realise I even needed, thanks to VITO Technology's QuickContact.

Intended to make single-handed use as easy as possible, as well as making the most of predictive dialling and contact selection, it relies on the joystick rather than pecking at the screen. The delectable Judie over at Gear Diary has given QuickContact space on her HTC Universal and found it to be an improvement over the normal method and - while it doesn't make it as simple as, say, a hard-buttoned Smartphone - greatly aided navigation.

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Logitech 3D controller is eminently tweakable

Logitech 3D controller is eminently tweakable

Is this a photo from the Adult Expo running simultaneously with CES 2007?  Are these men watching droop-jawed as someone tweaks a tiny rubber iBreast?  Well no, sadly nothing so exciting; it's just a demo of Logitech's 3D CONNEXION controller.  Responsive to twisting, tilting, pulling and pushing in all axis, they used it to intuitively navigate a world map.

I guess Logitech has virtual worlds like Second Life in mind, using the 3D controller as a straightforward way to move about without needing to memorise separate "look left", "look right", "spin round" keyboard shortcuts.

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Robo-Roach is eyeing up your kitchen

Robo-Roach is eyeing up your kitchen

I have a dream.  In fact, it's more of a nightmare.  Anyway, in my nightmare my blender, toaster and wireless router meld together and go snuffling around underneath the kitchen cabinets, gobbling up scraps of discarded food and leaving unpleasant droppings.  That's right, I dream about robot cockroaches taking over my appliances.

The cruel people at Case Western Reserve University have obviously been reading my tiny mind and are playing an evil trick on me.  They've gathered up a whole load of springs and wires and made a robot cockroach to chase me.  There's a video of it in action here (29mb download), and more photos after the cut.

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Clean and fresh from top to toe (or bum at least)

Clean and fresh from top to toe (or bum at least)

Here's a personal question to start the weekend with: do you have a dirty bottom?  Well, do you?  And, ostensibly unconnected but stick with me here, have you ever wanted a tiny water-jet to pop out from under your toilet seat and douche you in the downbelows?  From the sound of it, TDavid is giving it some serious thought.

In a world where toilet-tissue is passé you need to be able to pull a discrete lever and spray yourself until you're fresh.  But a normal bidet takes up space in your bathroom and demands plumbing skills, so the Biffy clip-on bum-spritzer is a $99 way to achieve the same cleanliness of tush.

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Sony Cybershot W55/35

Sony Cybershot W55/35

I love staged photos.  I mean, what are these ladies saying to each other?  In my head the conversation goes something like this:

"Hey, is that the new Sony Cyber-shot W55?"

"Help me, I'm trapped in a loveless relationship and my face hurts from all the botox"

However, I'm sure Sony would prefer us to imagine them chatting about the Cyber-shot's 7.2-megapixel CCD, ISO 1000 for high-sensitivity in low-light conditions, up to 380 shots per full charge and 3x optical zoom.  Extreme macro close-ups - such as to focus on the delicate wrinkles around a model's eyes - are possible right down to 2cm, and while the W35 has a 2-inch LCD display the W55 bumps that up to 2.5-inches.

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Hitachi W51H – Featuring High Resolution Mobile Screen!

Hitachi W51H – Featuring High Resolution Mobile Screen!

I said it before and I'll say it again, Japanese always get the cool gear. Hitachi released W51H phone featuring a whopping 480X800 resolution on a 2.9-inch screen. Other notable features including a security fingerprint scanner, a 2-megapixel camera, and voice navigated GPS. At this time, it will only be available in Japan and currently there are no plan for US release.

Hitachi phone sports highest mobile screen res anywhere [via sci-fi tech]

Airport 802.11n Upgrade Fee Confirmed at $1.99

Airport 802.11n Upgrade Fee Confirmed at $1.99

Apple has confirmed the patch upgrade fee for Core 2 Duo systems equipped with 802.11n card will be $1.99. Apple previously stated that it will charge $4.99 for the patch, however due to many negative responds Apple decided to cut the price. This patch will be available for free to those who buy the new 802.11n Airport Extreme base station. Apple released a statement regarding the reason why they need to charge for the patch.

"The nominal distribution fee for the 802.11n software is required in order for Apple to comply with generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition, which generally require that we charge for significant feature enhancements, such as 802.11n, when added to previously purchased products,"

Apple To Charge $1.99 To Activate 802.11n [via gizmodo]...