Archive for Mar 21, 2007

Never forget where your photos were taken again

Have you ever sat down and sifted through your pictures only to be confronted with questions of where and when the snapshot took place? It may not seem like a big deal at the time the picture is taken, but years later you may find it important to know these things.


Microsoft Research video tour

I’ve always been impressed with Microsoft’s research department; while the rest of the company seems to be ruled by the iron fist of “market forces”, the engineers and developers in the test labs are gleefully mucking about with software and hardware that stretches the interaction of computer technology with our lives to new lengths.  I’d jump at the chance to go take a tour of their facility, but as I await the invitation I’ll have to make do with Robert Scoble’s latest video project.

There are a few different videos to choose from, including a full hour of in-depth footage and various “editor’s choice” clips.  You can find them all from Scoble’s blog, linked below (and with an obvious link-bait title; Robert, come on, we expect – or at least would like – better from you).  I just wish more of what these clever guys come up with would make it – untainted by the cruel hand of commercialisation – into mainstream release.

One thing Microsoft does WAY better than Google: Research[Scobleizer]

ASUS Vistagami units reach reviewers

That James Kendrick is a lucky swine.  I’m not sure which ASUS executive he had to bribe/seduce in order to manage it, but he’s got his hands on one of the first R2H UMPCs running Windows Vista Ultimate.  It’s no slouch, apparently, zipping along like a sugar-charged toddler with 1GB of RAM, and he’s already had time to be impressed by the new Origami Experience preloaded.


Xbox 360 Elite – 120gb, HDMI – gets sorta-official

We had a hint it was coming on Valentine’s Day, but Engadget is quoting the old “trusted sources” chestnut and spilling the proverbial beans on Microsoft’s XBox 360 Elite.  Clad in a sexy black catsuit (which may in fact turn out to be a black casing) it’ll be a limited edition run of the console, sporting a 120GB hard-drive and all-important HDMI port and priced at $479. 

Once they’ve all been sold – guesstimated to be late summer/fall – Microsoft intend on upgrading the existing “Premium” model with the new storage and HDMI.  Hopefully they’ll also run as cool as the Elite is rumoured to; however the HD-DVD drive will remain an external accessory and there are no current plans to add in WiFi.

The fanboys are already foaming at the mouth, arguing about whether this will be enough of an upgrade – along with Microsoft’s lead – to stave off the PS3’s assault.

Xbox 360 Elite [Engadget]

Roast your bulbs in style

This headline from AVING – “Let’s enjoy roasted garlic in 27 minutes!” – is probably the best invitation I’ve had all day.  Yeah, someone did invite me out for 43 minutes of roasted garlic, but I only get a half-hour lunch break so I had to say no.  We’ll be baking our cloves in this nifty (and for some reason pumpkin coloured) Roasted Garlic Express, a machine whose sole purpose in your kitchen is to take on board the pungent bulbs and turn them into sweet, moreish chunks of flavourful deliciousness.


US70x series UMPCs still look fantastic

I’ve already frothed, foamed and fulminated about the US700, an achingly tasty slate-style UMPC running Vista, and now JKK over on the Origami Project forum has pointed us in the direction of the video he shot at CeBIT of it and it’s convertible (and no less attractive) sister, the US702.

No more specs (though there’s a pretty comprehensive run-down of the US700 here) but there’s no beating first-hand experience; apparently both units are “really small and solid”, and have light-touch screens for tireless prodding.

Origami Project [via jkontherun]

When packaging sells a product: Energizer’s emergency charger

Seventeen to twenty-five minutes ago, if you’d told me I was going to be writing about a portable emergency charger that runs on a couple of AA batteries I would’ve spat in your dirty face and tripped you head-first into the mud.  And yet here I am, about as cogent as I can get surrounded by all these damn owls, wide-eyed in admiration for a product’s packaging.  Ellen over at Gear Diary has reviewed a tubby little device which, in one of those “cellphone battery is dying; how will I call the kidnappers now?” situations, could come in ever so useful for eking out a few more conversations; what grabbed me, however, was Energizer’s genius idea to make the various charging cords accessible through a hole in the plastic blister-pack.


Creative’s latest webcam ends driver despair

It seems like it’s been ages since we’ve seen the smiling face of Everything USB‘s Scott Clark as he uses any excuse to get photos of himself onto the internet.  In this case, it’s reviewing Creative’s latest webcam, the Live! Cam Optia, that gives him the opportunity, the sly minx.  Still, he puts together a damned good review as well, and the Cam Optia is one of a growing number of slightly unusual webcams notable for – in some cases – not needing any specific drivers.



Guitar Heronoid rocks!

I’m a Guitar Hero addict. Granted, I still can’t beat Jordan, but then again I’ve only met one person that can, so I guess it’s not that bad. Perhaps one day this Guitar Heronoid will be able to master that horrendously difficult song.

A couple of guys set out with the task of creating a humanoid robot that can play Guitar Hero by processing the video from a PS2 in real-time. The project took them about 2 months to complete and a whopping $50. Not too shabby.

video after the jump


Swapping drives made easy by Logitec

How often do you swap out hard drives on your desktop PC? Well, most people don’t really find themselves doing it all that often. But I do it enough to consider a case that’ll make it easier for me.


New PDA concept will make diagnosing server problems a breeze

How many people do you know that carry a dedicated PDA? Personally, I don’t know anyone that does. Everyone seems to have switched over to phones that can do it all for them. I guess there must still be a market for them because Seattle-based design firm Teague has released a concept for a new HP device.


New flash drive from Corsair will “survive” just about anything

If you’re as hard on flash drives as I am (I currently have 3 sticks lying around without casings from various accidents) you might want to look into this new offering from Corsair.