Archive for January, 2007

PC to TV media swapping made super-simple

PC to TV media swapping made super-simple

I've a shudder-inducing feeling that my own personal purgatory will be a nightmarish bombardment of acronyms and abbreviations.  Seriously, is there any other industry so in love with initials and oddly-constructed names?  Well, the latest to offend my eyes is USBTV, basically a USB memory stick with built-in video encoder and video line-out.

 

Tech-shy users slap the key into their PC, drag'n'drop a load of content onto it (which get DRM-encrypted as it transfers) and then either slot it into an LCD or Plasma TV which has a compatible USBTV USB port, or use the cradle and a bog-standard video-out cable. 

It might sound bland - and compared to wireless media streamers, it is - but it's obviously caught the attention of LG, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer and Zoran who have all jumped into bed with Sandisk.  Expect to see USBTV products later this year, after some trial testing starts at the beginning of February.

USBTV [via EverythingUSB]

Kohjinsha ultra-portable is perfect mobile-blogging tool

Kohjinsha ultra-portable is perfect mobile-blogging tool

Steve Paine is a man on a mission: a mission to test out the world of UMPCs and ultraportable computing and vanquish sub-par offerings from thoughtless manufacturers.  It's a thankless task (if of course you overlook the opportunities to play with cool tiny tech and the constant link-love) but that's the sort of dedicated man he is.  Steve has been spending some serious one-on-one time with the Kohjinsha SA1F00A, doing everything from emailing, blogging and video-editing in the name of comprehensive testing.

His opinion?  Well, I won't spoil what is a very thorough review, but it's fair to say that as a portable non-touchscreen sub-portable the SA1F00A has very little in the way of competitors.  The fanless-design is clever, although the casing itself is more industrial-chic than catwalk-friendly, and it stands head and shoulders above the crowd when it comes to mobile blogging (see a photo of Steve on a romantic assignation with the Kohjinsha, after the cut).

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SlashGear ModBook OS X Tablet Video – ink drawing

SlashGear ModBook OS X Tablet Video – ink drawing

If you've been curious about just how well the ModBook handles pen-input - and whether it's truly a great drawing tool or simply a stop-gap before Apple bring a tablet out of their own - then you'll be wanting to check out SlashGear's exclusive MacWorld video of some impromptu artwork being created.

As a Windows Tablet PC user, I'm quite impressed.  Ink seems to flow relatively nicely and is pretty smooth, and while there's some parallax from the viewpoint of the camera I'm sure that's reduced if you're using the ModBook head-on.  Still, not quite as slick as, say, a Microsoft tablet using the marvellous ArtRage, though.

Will people buy it?  Oh yes, I'm sure they will - and I bet the company is already planning models with smaller screens for extra portability.  Hopefully this will be the kick in the ass Apple needs to roll out a tablet of their own.

ModBook

Gym or Dungeon? Is there a difference?

Gym or Dungeon? Is there a difference?

Exercise is, as I see it, something best endured by other people - a bit like airport cavity searches and Ebola - and while I've been a gym member more than once I wish I could say the same for the frequency of my visits.  So at first glance I did wonder whether this Kinesis Personal "soft gymnastics" furniture was designed to fix me to a wall with rubber cords until I agree to get on the treadmill.

Of course, it's nothing so barbaric.  Or maybe that should be; of course, it's something far more barbaric?  Using a system of tensile pulleys that encourage you to work out in three-dimensions, you're at liberty to try up to 200 different exercise positions in patented "fullgravity".  No, I'm not quite sure what that means either.

Price, as is typical with these interior/gym crossovers, is one of those "ask and find out" businesses, with sole availability through Technogym.

Technogym [via Cool Hunting]

iPod Shuffle Now in New Colors

iPod Shuffle Now in New Colors

I'm sure we all saw this one coming. How could the iPod Shuffle possibly stay silver forever. Apple is now releasing the Shuffle in a rainbow of colors as green, blue, pink, and orange. Of course, the original silver will still be available, but all will be priced the same at $79. And at that price, you might be able to afford getting all the colors so you can match whatever your wearing accordingly, at least that's what Apple hopes you do.

Continue on for more product shots and Apple's kind suggestions on how you might color coordinate your clothes now.
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Now you see it, now you don’t

Now you see it, now you don’t

For those of you that don't want to stare at a blank screen when your TV is off, here is a classy new gadget that will transform your TV. The HideandChic from Media Décor is a picture frame that you place around your wall-mounted flat-panel. With the push of a button, your choice of contemporary art will unroll, turning your blank screen into a piece of art.

If you think this sounds like a high-class decivce, just wait until you see the high-class price tag. You can expect to pay around $14,000 for one of these. With a price like that, I think I would find a way to bear actually having to look at my TV. (After all, isn't that what they're made for?)

Media Decor’s ‘Hide And Chic’ System [via oh Gizmo]

Lightmare LED Watch : Do you know the time?

Lightmare LED Watch : Do you know the time?

I don't know about you, but I've been itching for a new watch that makes me stop and think about what time it is. The new Lightmare will certainly do just that. With 30 LEDs strategically placed around the face of the watch, it tells the time by lighting up the the inner ring to depict the hour, and the outer ring represents five-minute increments. There are also four lights in the center that represent each of the single minutes and two that show am and pm.

Although the design may not be the most practical, it is certainly unique. The features are what you would expect from most watches. A stainless steel casing, a polyurethane strap and water resistant up to 30ft. So if you're looking for a watch that's going to turn heads, this one's for you. Just be prepared to stare at it for a minute when people ask you for the time.

Lightmare LED Watch [via Thinkgeek]

Can a robot find you a life-long companion?

Can a robot find you a life-long companion?

So you're out there in the real world (scary isn't it) trying to find that special someone, but you can't ever seem to find the courage to chat up a total stranger. Now, imagine that you had a monkey that could help you break the ice. No, not a real monkey, but more of a robot monkey. Echo Robotics is hoping that this is exactly what you've been waiting for.

Essentially what the Echo Robot does is store personal information about you that can be exchanged with other Echo Robots to determine if you're a good match for each other. The monkey (or any number of different animals) then informs you through a series of movements that the other person may in fact be someone you'd want to get to know.

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Big things do come in small packages

Big things do come in small packages

In the market for beefy new PC but don't want a bulky tower? Then Lenovo's got a tiny powerhouse that will be right up your alley. This bite-sized computer named the ThinkCentre A55 can be configured with some pretty hefty hardware. It can handle an Intel Core 2 Duo, 500GB hard drive and up to 4GB of RAM. Surprisingly, the price range is in line with many of the full-size desktops currently on the market with a starting price at $579.

The A55 stands at 3 inches tall, 12.2 inches wide, and 14.1 inches deep. With this tiny form factor, Lenovo is trying to target schools, medical facilities, and other markets where space is always limited. The A55 is expected to start shipping in February of this year.

Lenovo A55 PC is Smaller Than the Average SFF [via Gizmodo]

Say hello to my little friend

Say hello to my little friend

Everyone knows that wandering alone in dark places can make one a bit nervous. You never know who's out there, and what they might do to you. Sure, you can carry pepper spray, but to be effective you need to actually get it in their eyes. Stun guns are great, but they tend to be bulky and expensive. At least that used to be the case, the Lightning Rod from Street Wise will change all of that.

This 6” rod packs quite a punch. 800,000 volts is usually enough to deter even the most aggressive attacker. The stun pen is also an led flashlight, so you'll always be able to see where you're going. It also has 3 different safety devices, a cap that must be removed, a safety lock, and a red led that lets you know it's live. But the best feature by far is the price. At $34.95 no one should wander down dark streets without one.

Electro-Weapon: 800,000 Volt Lightning Rod Stun Pen Flashlight [via Gizmodo]

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