Archive for Jul 29, 2008

It’s Always a Fembot: Why I Can’t Take Robot Tech Seriously

It’s Always a Fembot: Why I Can’t Take Robot Tech Seriously

The promise of improved robot technology is exciting. There are so many options there. But when I see things like the Actroid DER-2 I can’t help but feel a bit queasy. First of all, she’s creepy. Second, it looks as if she may run off of her platform and starting killing people. Well, not really, but she's a bit frightening, don't you think? And third, she’s a fembot. Of course. It’s always a “she,” isn’t it? You never see any male prototypes, do you?

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Where is the Clone Mac’s potential audience?

With Apple stoking the legal furnaces, Psystar facing the prospect of recalling each and every OS X clone machine they've sold, and Open Tech Inc. promising yet another EULA workaround, you could say we're approaching a licencing milestone.  Apple could be walking out of court with a watertight grip on OS X, or its EULA might be picked apart.  But putting aside the terms & conditions, I'm left wondering exactly who would comprise the market for even a licenced OS X machine.

Open Tech Inc next to take on Apple with OS X-running PC

When Apple sued OS X clone-maker Psystar earlier this month, some commenters suggested that multiple other cloners could spring up depending on the outcome of the case.  Open Tech Inc. don't appear to have the patience to wait, however; the company will apparently be selling two new computers that, while not coming with OS X pre-installed, will nonetheless be able to run the Apple OS should the buyer choose so.

ASUS R50A clears FCC: 3G & GPS UMPC

ASUS' R50A UMPC has been delivered to the FCC and promptly stripped of all its dignity in the usual batch of open-casing photographs.  The R50A is based on Intel's Z520 Silverthorne 1.33GHz CPU and was first announced in November last year; as well as a 5.6-inch 1024 x 600 touchscreen and choice of 8, 16 or 32GB SSD, there's also 3G HSDPA, GPS and a optional DVB-T TV tuner card.

iRiver SPINN touchscreen PMP with DMB launches in Korea

iRiver's SPINN PMP was first spotted back in January, but only now has been tipped for release by the company.  Available in Korea now, with a UK launch in August, the flash-based media player features a 3.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen, DMB mobile TV and, of course, the analogue control wheel that gives the SPINN its name.

Dell Studio Hybrid mini PC official: stylish but no powerhouse

Dell have officially announced the Studio Hybrid mini desktop PC, powered by Intel's Core 2 Duo T8100 Penryn processor and starting from $499.  Gigabit ethernet, HDMI and DVI video outputs and 1GB of RAM are standard for the Vista machine, with slot-loading Blu-ray a $250 option and draft-N WiFi a $70 option.  PC Magazine has already reviewed the Hybrid, describing it as "stylish, compact and unburdened by crapware"; however they also criticised the lack of expansion potential (particularly the inability to spec a separate graphics card) and the fact that a large chunk of the cost is for the attractive design.

ASUS planning 23 model Eee PC range altogether

ASUS have already been accused of an almost ridiculous level of variation among their Eee PC brand, and going by this leaked presentation slide they're either blissfully unaware or playing to form.  Sent to Engadget Chinese, it documents a full 23 models and differentiations.

Buffalo 32GB & 64GB SSD expansion for ASUS Eee

Buffalo have announced an expansion board for the ASUS Eee which adds extra SSD-based storage.  The board, which plugs into the Eee's mini PCI-Express slot, will be available in 32GB and 64GB capacities.

Microsoft Surface Sphere demos early: no plans for release

Microsoft isn't set to officially unveil its Surface Sphere until Demofest 2008 kicks off, but that hasn't stopped Seattle PI's Todd Bishop from running his hands-on story a little early.  The multitouch-sensitive display, a spherical version of the original Microsoft Surface table, is intended as a design exercise or "an exploration of ideas", according to project leader Hrvoje Benko, and not planned for a commercial release.

Connection Headaches: When will cars catch up?

How much praise does a manufacturer want for a aux-in socket?  Read through either the marketing for a new car, or a car review, and there's generally an unusually large amount of interest heaped on the stereo having an input for your PMP.  Contrast that, say, with one of our own reviews - a notebook, perhaps, or a cellphone - where the progress from one generation of devices to the next is often surprising; why are the car manufacturers so slow to catch up?

Headphone Muffs to escape the heat somewhere cold

For those of you that like to leave all the summer heat and head out for a bit of snowboarding, well, you're all freaks. Alright, maybe not freaks exactly, but its still wrong, because I said so mostly. Well one DIYer decided to make these warm squishy headphones that keep your head warm while keeping your tunes going.

Ice Red Bags comes out with two new styles

Ice Red Bags have a couple new laptop bags to keep your laptop bag stylishly protected. They are both very different from each other, one being more sporty and the other a bit retro.

The Urban Laptop Tote Bag is the sportier style, it will hold up to a 15.4” laptop. It also has compartments for your smaller electronics and other random objects you may need to carry around. It comes in blue, red, gray and black.

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