Archive for Dec 21, 2006

BlackBerry gets streaming podcasts

Having not long set up push-email on the loaner Treo 750 I’ve got (look for a review soon on SlashGear!), I’m starting to understand how people can get addicted to their instantaneous mail delivery.  And I also know the aching, crippling pain of sitting there waiting for mail to drop in.  So impatient BlackBerry owners might be interested to hear that QuickPlay have launched a subscription-based streaming audio service of over 100 audiocasts (think: 5-7 minute podcasts). 

For $7.96 a month (plus the necessary network data charges) you can choose from such providers as ABC News,, Clear Channel, Gaiam,, The Wall Street Journal and Westwood One.  Content is updated daily, and the program will run on the BlackBerry 7130e and 8700 series as well as the Pearl.

There’s a review here and another screen-shot after the cut…


China will Standardize Handset Chargers to USB

Getting a new charger for every new phone is a pain, and I have to applaud China for seeing this and doing something about it. Just recently, they have announced that all handsets sold in China must use a standardized USB charger. This will not only save consumers money from not having to buy new chargers all the time, but it will also give the added convenience of being able to charge cellphones via notebooks or PCs.

This will cost accessories manufacturers to adjust to the new regulation, but many have yet to adjust because the details of the new regulation is not yet available. So, it is not certain when this change will truly be enforced and whether the change will make it overseas to the US.

China to Make USB the Standard for Cellphone Charging [Via: EverythingUSB]

Vertu Signature Cobra Phone

New in excessively luxurious phones with no apparent added functionality besides blinding people with their sparkly gemstones, is the Vertu Signature Cobra. Crafted by French jeweler, Boucheron, the ritzy phone features one pear-cut diamond, one round white diamond, two emerald eyes, and 439 rubies.

IMHO this phone looks awfully hiddeous, but commands a price tag of $310,000. And, with a limited production of 26, only a ‘lucky’ few will be able to get one.

Vertu’s Signature Cobra Cellphone Cost $310,000 USD [Via: Slashgear]

Solar-powered GPS-trackable Clothing

Climbing and hiking through snowy mountains has proven treacherous with several tragedies each year of people gone missing. But now there is a product in development that will provide a safer way for thrill-seekers to go about their adventures into the wilderness. Covert Asset Tracking Systems, a company based in the UK, has just announced plans for producing a solar-powered GPS-trackable clothing range.

The wearer of the clothes can be located from almost anywhere in the world and from any internet connection. The clothing is also waterproof, machine-washable, and solar-powered so that it never has to be recharged. The clothing range will be displayed at CES in January 2007.

GPS-tracking clothes [Via: Ubergizmo]

V7 Launches New Budget GPS and 22-inch Widescreen LCD

V7 has just launched two new products for the budget consumer market, a GPS receiver and a 22-inch widescreen LCD. The Navigator 1000, pictured below, is their budget GPS receiver that features a 3.5-inch touchscreen, supports 23 languages, and handles both voice commands as well as touchscreen navigation. The 1000 also supports MP3s, photos, and AVI/MPEG4.

At the same time, V7 released their R22W02 22-inch widescreen LCD, which features a 1680×1050 resolution, a 5ms response time, 700:1 contrast ratio, and has both DVI and VGA ports. Both products are priced very affordably at around $340 and will be available to resellers through Ingram Micro starting early 2007.

Aliph Jawbone Headset is Red Hot and Advanced

The latest Aliph Jawbone headset may be red hot and sexy, but don’t mistaken it for just another dinky device for the fashion-conscious. This redesigned Aliph Jawbone is Bluetooth enabled and uses advanced military noise-canceling technology that incorporates an array of microphones.

However, according to Gizmodo, the headset unfortunately lacks a good wind guard. But, the looks may make up for it. Designed by the talented industrial designer, Yves Behar, this headset comes in red, black, and silver from Cingular. Priced at $120 and is now available. Check out this site for more info.

Aliph Jawbone Headset: Gets Sexy Redesign, Super Noise-Cancelling, and Bluetooth [Via: Gizmodo]

Chase the Clocky to Wake Up

A new alarm clock sure to wake you up with its annoying antics, is called the Clocky from Nanda. It takes the same approach as the flying alarm clock by providing you a nice morning chase that will be sure to wake you up if not cause its own early demise from being whacked with a bat. But this one is perhaps safer to use given it is not airborne and therefore has no chance of falling on your face should batteries run low.

The Clocky has a shiny plastic body with two large rubberized wheels. If you dare to press snooze, it will roll off your nightstand and run around the room, all the while blaring its alarm until you jump out of bed to chase it down. Priced at $50 and comes in several different colors.

Clocky: World’s Most Annoying Alarm Clock Is Now Available [Via: UberReview]

uPlusPen is a convenient digital pen for on the go doodling

Having desired a Wacom tablet for ages, I have yet to acquire one. Perhaps, it was the price tag, my lack of expendable income, or just the overall clunkiness of the tablet that hindered my pursuit. But, I’m letting it go as a thing of the past as there is now a nifty device called the uPlusPen from Korea that may become my new lust.

The uPlusPen performs much the same way as a traditional pen and tablet in that it is able to take whatever you write or draw on a surface and save it in real time on your PC. The drool-worthy part is that the transmitting device is no longer the tablet, but rather the pen itself. So, now you can write on any surface you choose, with no clunky tablet to carry around.

iTWYF Gloves for Gadget-Users

We have seen many types of gloves, including those for driving, golfing, and even photography, but its about time we see some nice gadget-user gloves. I Touch With Your Fingers (iTWYF) is a fashionable set of leather gloves that keep your hands warm on a cold wintery day while allowing you to manipulate and handle all the gadgets you have in tow.

The thumb, index, and middle finger of the gloves have unique designs for precise handling of your gadgets. Most notable are the velcro thumb latch and the middle finger stud that acts as a pen stylus for touchscreens. Priced at around $40.

On Demand Books Coming in 2007

In the very near future you’ll be standing in line at an Espresso machine, only to be surprised that the machine isn’t spewing out caffeine, but rather, is instantly printing out books on demand. Developed over several years by the company On Demand Books, the Espresso, as they call it, is a book vending machine that “can print, align, mill, glue and bind two books simultaneously in less than seven minutes, including full-color laminated covers.”

This $50,000 machine will debut at several libraries and bookstores starting in early 2007. It can also print in any language and accommodate for right-to-left texts by putting the spine on the right. However, the upper page limit for now is 550 pages. Some 2.5 million books are now available and no longer under copyright protection.

An ATM for books [Via: CNN]

MusicGremlin’s MG-1000 Beats Zune with better Wi-Fi

Not content that it seems the only DAPs to choose from these days are the iPod or the Zune, Ken at SciFi Tech has taken a closer look at a lesser known but possibly better alternative, the MusicGremlin’s MG-1000 8GB player. The verdict leans on the positive mainly because the Wi-Fi capabilities of the MG-1000 surpasses that of the Zune.

The MG-1000 Wi-Fi feature allows you to share subscription music with other MG owners who are also on the MusicGremlin Direct subscription service, either player to player or over the Web. And since the subscription service is not pay per song, there is no worries of song expiration like there is with the Zune.

One-sided 3D scrolling LED display

So you think you’re cool, with your scrolling LED sign saying that your mate Barry is an idiot.  Well back off, munchkin, because if you really want to be special in the world of bold, imaginative signage you need a Moebius Strip Display like Martin Bonadeo.  The fruits of two years hard work, several art grants and a whole lot of discussion with engineers, architects and “specialists”, it’s been called “one of the first non-Euclidean space developed as an output for a computer.”

Next on the agenda is a 20x increase in size and full colour LEDs rather than the single tone ones you see in these photos.  Apparently it’s meant to express ambiguity, but I think it just looks cool.

More photos after the cut.