Archive for Nov 30, 2006

SlashGear Giveaway – Winners Announced!

We had nearly 100 entries for our Slingbox Giveaway contest that started last Friday, and lots of great feedback as to what you’d like to see featured on the site in news and reviews.  Needless to say, you’ll be seeing the results soon; we also hope to have another giveaway running in the near future.

But first, the winners!  Our computer-of-randomness randomly selected Edwin Tjhai as winner of the Slingbox AV and Kerry as winner of the Slingbox Tuner.  We’ll be contacting Edwin and Kerry via email.


A big thank you to SlingMedia who kindly donated both prizes, and to everybody who took the time to make a suggestion.  Keep reading SlashGear for our review of the Slingbox, which is coming up soon!

USB TV Tuner for your portable High-Def fix

All these cellphones for the Far East boasting DMB digital TV tuners can get a boy quite down; we’re stuck for the most part with plugging a USB tuner stick into our laptops.  But peripheral-people Pinnacle are giving us something to be proud of – well, if you’re in the US that is – with their HD digital tuner.  Our friends over at Everything USB got one of these 1080i capable sticks in and tested it out, finding that ATSC HDTV blows good old NTSC out of the water, right across the dock-yard and into the nearest skip.

The penalty?  Making it so compact means that it’s your CPU taking the strain of all that HD decoding; Pinnacle claim a Pentium 4 @ 2.4GHz or a Pentium M @ 1.3GHz with 512MB of RAM should do it, but reviewer Scott Clark found just watching HD channels took up between 20% and 36% of his Core Duo 2.0GHz’s capability.  Still, take a look at the comparison shot between an NTSC channel and its ATSC counterpart after the cut, and tell me you aren’t at least a little tempted.  It’s even more impressive that both PCs and Macs can join in the fun, as the tuner is compatible with both, although the software that’s supplied is less than ideal.


Stop accidental scroll-clicks with Prumie

Okay, so there are people out there who aren’t satisfied with mice that can scroll up and down, so manufacturers bring out horizontal scroll-wheels too.  And now we’re told that some people can’t handle the horizontal scroll, in fact they are driven to hopeless accidental clicking, so beneficent Elecom bring out a mouse that apparently prevents that from happening.  In fact, just to make it seem all the more ridiculous, they call it “Prumie”.

The mysterious “tilt guard” seemingly makes it tougher to click the scroll wheel while pushing it from side to side.  I’m thinking they just remolded the plastic inside to change how it can be depressed, but then I’m no engineer (just a cynic).  Anyway, it’s available in basic two-button-plus-scroll form, a version with added programmable buttons, and then a top-of-the-range “high accuracy laser” model.  Strangely enough, none are wireless.  The Prumie starts at 3,150 Yen ($28).


Cingular’s Pearl 8100c in the wild

So it’s not a photo of the Pope kicking a squirrel, but it is one of the first in-the-wild shots I’ve seen of Cingular’s version of the Blackberry Pearl 8100c.  As you can see, the Pearl has gained a shiny silver, carrier-branded chin and some slightly altered key-labelling.  Other than that, it’s the same Pearl you know and maybe love.

Live Shot: Cingular Blackberry Pearl 8100c! [RIM Blackberry Forums; thanks to Gina-Lisa for the tip!]

Halo 3 Beta Not Quite as Open as Thought

Bad news for everyone looking forward to getting their hands on Bungie’s Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta this upcoming spring: Microsoft has revealed that the test will not be a true public beta; instead, users will need to “register for the opportunity to be one of the select members.” So, unless you’re quick, it’s possible that you might need to wait until Fall to enjoy Halo 3 in all its glory. So, how does one register? Hit the jump to find out!


USB Projectiles reviewed

I’ve eyed up these USB cannons before, thinking that they might make funny Christmas gifts, but have always held the poor smoking credit card back due to not exactly knowing how they perform.  Well, thanks to The Gadgeteer’s review, I now know!  Similar in operation, the USB Circus Cannon fires paper-wrapped foam darts and comes with a small net to attempt to land them in, while the USB Missile Launcher has plain darts and expects you to use a co-worker’s head as target.

Are they any good?  Well, you control them via your computer and they fire and all, so that’s the basics ticked; less pleasing is the tacky music that plays.  Oh no we don’t like that.  Check out the full review for all the rest.


Xerox’s Erasable Paper

Xerox Canada has announced a new solution to the overwhelming buildup in recycle bins of offices around the world. Gazillion pieces of paper are printed on each day, used a few times that day, and then tossed out for recycling. To reduce this waste, Xerox has developed what it calls “erasable paper.”

The paper is coated with a special chemical that causes the print on the paper to gradually fade and completely disappear after 24 hours. The paper can, supposedly, then be reused up to 50 times. Its cool if you think of the many uses it could have in espionage, but scary as well considering the many other abusive uses such as disappearing contracts and agreements.

New Xerox paper fades away in 24 hours
[Via: MobileMag]

Breakfast-Art Image Toaster

Some time ago, I read about a competition-winning design of a toaster that could forecast the weather. It would acquire the days weather information via the web and imprint an image of sunshine, clouds, or clouds with rain on to your toast. That way, you can wake up every morning to some warm divine toast and then decide how to dress for the day or whether or not to bring an umbrella. Somewhat useful, somewhat gimmicky. I never really thought it would go beyond the concept stage.

But lo and behold, Brookstone is now offering to the mass market such a toaster that imprints images on to your toast but has lost its forecasting or internet connection abilities. It looks like you can print anything from smily sunshines to christmas trees. I can sense custom imprint plate accessories to follow should these toasters actually start flying off the shelf. So, if you find your toast to be too boring and plain, you might consider shilling out $60 for this Breakfast-Art Image Toaster.

Breakfast Art Image Toaster [Via: Coolest-Gadgets]

Ultra 800W Power Supplies – More Juice For Your PC

As a Gamer PC enthusiast, it’s frustrating not to have enough power from my PSU to overclock my CPU and power my SLI or Crossfire video cards. I wouldn’t want to have less than 600W power supply for my machine, but is 600W really enough? Never say enough when you are trying to push your PC component into sugar rush. Ultra Products is introducing two 800Watt PSU, the X-Finity 800W PSU w/ Active PFC and the X-Pro 800W ATX PSU w/ Active PFC. Both PSU are made to power the latest and power hungry video cards by supplying a continuous 660W across their four 12V rails, feature Active PFC (power factor correction) and After-Spin Technology (that helps quiet the system and aid in prolonging the life of components), and are housed in sturdy anodized aluminum housing. Both of the PSU is retailed for $199.99.

[Ultra Products]

Elecom Mouse: M-D13UR Series

Looking for a new mouse for your laptop computer could be a hard work. You’d need something that portable and fit in your hand. Choose the right one that worth buying is somehow not so easy. Elecom has introduced the M-D13UR series, the flat mouse that can change to the three-dimensional form. It is a wireless mouse with the FH-SS system of 2.4GHz allowing approximately 10m operation. The laser beam of non-visible light gives the M-D13UR a high accuracy performance. The back of the mouse can rotate 180 degrees creating more natural angle when use at a desk or a flatter surface.

For the price of 7,875 Yen (approx. $68), the mouse is available in silver, black, and red colors.

Elecom launches mouse with changing shape, touchpad [via electronista, elecom]

Mickey Mouse MP3/WMA Player

When it goes down to specifications, all MP3 players are alike. Therefore, it is really hard for some people to decide which one is right for them. You may find tons of “good looking” MP3 players in the market but how many of them are considered as a “cute” one. For all of those who are “young-at-hear,” this good looking MP3 player might be just right for you.

I’d say this Mickey Mouse MP3 player is just right for kids (pretty girls, perhaps?) and people who are young-at-heart (and this may include me, ha ha ha). It comes with Disney Music samples, and you know that Disney Music is a good music. This MP3 player can play both MP3 and WMA audio formats. It has 128MB of build-in memory. If that is not enough for you, the SD/MMC slot is also available allowing expandable memory up to 1GB.

The build-in rechargeable battery allows up to 10 hours of play back time. The unit also comes with an audio-jack, lanyard, and ear-bud headphones, and USB port with 4 1/5” H x 1 ½” W x 3/5” D. Plastic/metal.

Price: $49.99

Mickey Mouse MP3 Player [via uberreview]

RC Airgun keeps marauding squirrels at bay

Not many details on this one, but beyond the basic premise what exactly do you need to know?  It’s a remote controlled, laser-guided squirrel-shooting garden gun, made by RC Groups forum member Imopar69.  There’s a video of it in action here.

Obviously SlashGear does not condone firing anything at innocent animals.  Girl Scouts selling cookies, however, are reasonable targets.  Play safe, kids.


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