Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Logitech’s Harmony activity-based remote controls is widely appealing to both home-theatre enthusiasts as well as by people upgrading their home-entertainment systems with new high-definition TVs and digital video recorders (DVRs).
The Harmony 525 remote has been designed with a very simple and visual setup to speed them through the process. Using a PC, people are likely to spend less than a half hour on the Web-based setup process to fully customise their Harmony remote for their home-entertainment system. Once the setup is complete, any member of the family can watch television, play a DVD, or record a program, by pushing a single activity button.
The Harmony 525 is the first universal remote in its price category that works with all types of components from all manufacturers – including satellite set-top boxes, DVRs and widescreen televisions – without the complex setup process usually associated with a universal remote.
Find out more about the remote here....
Monday, January 30, 2006
As the importance of information security continues to rise, organisations around the globe are looking at revising their existing strategies to ensure that their information assets are optimally secured.
Gary Middleton, general manager of security solutions at Dimension Data, outlines ten predictions that will impact the information security landscape in 2006:
- Expect more damages, but fewer epidemics. Infection rates are likely to increase in 2006, and organisations can therefore no longer rely on the media or mass attacks to alert them of problems. The assumption that no news is good news will lead to a false sense of security.
- Attacks will move beyond Microsoft’s operating system. More applications and other infrastructure elements within organisations will be targeted, resulting in increased workloads to patch vulnerabilities.
- Spyware will remain a major issue. Organisations can expect more spyware infections, which will deplete bandwidth, drive up the number of helpdesk calls and ultimately affect employee productivity. There will be a greater need to invest in additional technology to combat spyware.
- Instant Messenger (IM) and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) will become a bigger headache. Widespread adoption and use of IM and P2P applications can expose organisations to new threats. Organisations need to be aware of, secure and manage these technologies.
- Messaging security will get serious. Two years ago, organisations invested in email security products that controlled spam. Today, the focus has shifted towards solutions that incorporate policy compliance and encryption capabilities – in addition to the ability to deal with viruses and spam.
- Boards will pay more attention to security. In line with the global trend of good governance practices, boards continue to pay greater attention to ensuring that their organisations’ information assets are protected from a growing number of internal and external threats.
- Wireless security will get more attention. As the end-user demand for mobility continues to grow, organisations need to ensure that their wireless access points are secured from unauthorised access.
- Patching will become selective. The number of patches that are released for operating systems, applications and other IT infrastructure elements continues to grow at an alarming rate. Implementing all patches is becoming too cumbersome and costly, and organisations will start to selectively patch their IT assets based on value and the particular threats that they face.
- The trend towards secure infrastructure will continue. As security becomes embedded in the infrastructure layer; we are witnessing the convergence of network, systems and security management as a single competence. As a result, customers will increasingly look at one provider to supply, support, manage and secure the end-to-end infrastructure.
- There will be a greater focus on end-point security. There is going to be a much greater focus on how insecure end-points; such as laptops, desktops and other devices; connect to the network.
Friday, January 27, 2006
The Logitech G7 Laser cordless mouse gives gamers the opportunity to play with a cordless mouse that is truly gaming-grade, with lightweight, quick-swap, rechargeable batteries. And the Logitech G5 Laser mouse features a highly versatile weight-tuning system, enabling gamers to customise the weight and balance of the mouse according to individual preference, resulting in superior control.
The G7 Laser cordless mouse and G5 Laser mouse include an extremely powerful tracking system. Both include resolution of up to 2 000dpi, which can be adjusted on the fly to as low as 400dpi; gaming-grade laser illumination and tracking; full-speed USB data transfer; a fast 6.4 megapixels of image processing per second. Altogether, these specs allow gamers to experience unparalleled precision and speed from their G-series mouse.
Find out more about the mouse here....
The small dimension and sensory experience of the Motorola RAZR V3 does not compromise the performance of the product – though ‘thin in style’ it is ‘thick in features’, which include an integrated speakerphone, crisp, high quality internal colour displays, video playback, integrated camera, MP3 ring tunes and downloadable Java™ games. The unlimited range of black and silver V3s is joined by only five thousand handsets, together with an array of pink accessories. From the matching hot pink inbox pouch to an unlimited range of H500 pink headsets, a Bluetooth device that is discreet and stylish, and communicates with compatible Bluetooth accessories up to 100m away, while still remaining connected. The H500 pink headset is currently available in SA, to be purchased separately from the handset. This handset makes a statement about individual expression – it is a talking point with all the functions needed to remain in touch with the world – from wireless connectivity to photography! Measuring just 13.9mm and combining metals such as aircraft grade aluminium, with new advances including internal antenna and a chemically-etched keypad, the super slim yet hardy Motorola RAZR V3 range has set a new design standard for markets. By adding a significant touch of pink, the design has become that bit more of a style statement! Recommended Retail price R2200
Thursday, January 26, 2006
It can be a person’s worst nightmare. You have just come back from holiday and are uploading your holiday pictures, when your PC crashes! Gone are the holiday snapshots, your MP3 collection, the home video of little Jimmy’s first birthday and everything else you ever wanted to access on your PC. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about a backup solution until it’s too late.
Maxtor has taken the hassle out of backup and introduced the OneTouch III range of intuitive backup solutions that will give your readers peace of mind that their digital memories are safe and secure whether on a laptop, desktop, home network or small business server.
With the touch of a button or at predetermined automatic intervals, the Maxtor OneTouch III backs up virtually everything on your system’s local disk drives, including all Microsoft Outlook emails, address books, Internet favourites, My Documents folder, operating system, applications and more. Once installed, the Maxtor OneTouch III drive runs quietly and automatically.
With capacities ranging from 100GB to a massive one terabyte (1,000 GB) of storage, Maxtor will ensure that there is a OneTouch III drive that matches your lifestyle.
Stock up on sunblock cream, and take your gadgets out into the field with a fold-up solar power panel
These solar chargers were originally designed for... take a guess.. yup... the military. But now that there are no more wars to be won and world peace is with us, power is now portable.
When you buy one for yourself, please add one in the shopping cart for me. In fact.. .add two, cos you can daisy-chain them for added power.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting rather frothy about all the iPOD iPOD iPOD happening in the world today. I don't LIKE the iPOD. Instead, I bought an iRIVER. Which is very nice, thankyouverymuch. But where does one buy accessories for these devices?
Thanks to Sony Ericsson, their W810i Walkman Phone now has a killer fold-up set of portable speakers... the MDS-60. Available in white, grey, silver, and, that wonderful Sony Ericsson colour that we all love... orange!
So throw away your iPOD. And get something else.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The concept is simple.
- Most of the authors on the system release their works under a Creative Commons license.
- You choose the novel or novels you'd like to listen to, and choose a download schedule. (For instance, you might want to listen to one book in weekly episodes, and another in daily doses. Done!)
- If you like what you're hearing, you decide how much money you'd like to pay, and you simply head for the site and make a donation. Podiobooks gets some of the dosh, and the author gets the rest.
- And if you decide not to spend a red cent on the purple prose, you don't get blacklisted as an intellectual-property thief.
The binocular eyewear works indoors and outdoors for a truly portable experience.
According to Mark Spitzer, CEO of MicroOptical, the myvu viewer 'makes watching portable video more practical'.
Duh? Practical??? Get a grip, man! This ain't practical! Let's predict the number of geeks dying in car accidents! As long as they leave me a pair in their will.
ElekTex fabric, manufactured by Eleksen, is a five-layer laminate of conductive material that gets embedded in fabric to make it into a touchpad. The company making this unique and elitist jacket is Kenpo.
The great thing about this fabric is that it's completely machine-washable. Better yet is that it doesn't need batteries and is self-powered.
Pinnacle Micro, has announced the availability of the Logitech G15 keyboard – the ultimate keyboard for serious PC gamers.
The first keyboard in the G-series family of gaming-grade peripherals, the Logitech G15 features a built-in auxiliary LCD display, 18 programmable keys, and advanced software, making it easy to set up custom commands for every game. The adjustable-tilt, backlit LCD can be programmed to display vital in-game information, or data from other applications, without interrupting game play.
The G15 keyboard offers gamers unmatched levels of programmability, giving them a tactical edge in their quest to dominate. Also, the built-in LCD display provides game developers with a whole new way to display critical game information without distracting from the game itself.
“Out of the box, the LCD panel can be programmed to show information from other applications, such as incoming email alerts, CPU speed, or even media player information, without interfering with the game on screen,” says Nicky Dockerill, Logitech brand manager at Pinnacle.
“A software development kit (SDK) will be included on the installation CD, allowing gamers to write their own programs for customised information to be displayed on the LCD screen. When not in use, the LCD panel folds down to protect the screen and offers maximum portability – perfect for transporting to a gaming session at a friend’s house.”
The LCD and Logitech’s gaming keyboard software also help make it easy for gamers to set up custom macro commands, which combine multiple keystrokes into one button press without leaving the game. On the left side of the Logitech G15 keyboard, gamers will find 18 fully programmable keys, called the G keys, and three mode keys: M1, M2, and M3.
Within each mode, each G key can be programmed to represent a different keystroke or macro, meaning a total of 54 different commands that can be customised. This means players can program the G keys to bring up their favourite weapons in Half-Life 2, shortcut team communications in Counter-Strike, or arrange spells more efficiently in World of Warcraft. Different combinations of keys can be programmed for every game and the G15 will default to these game-specific settings when the title is launched.
The Logitech G15 keyboard also features backlit keys – when backlighting is turned on, a light from underneath the key illuminates the character on top of the key, providing easy viewing in any lighting condition – including late-night gaming marathons.
The keyboard has two full-speed USB ports built in, making it easy to plug in a mouse, a headset or another peripheral, without filling up all the ports on the PC. It also features a gaming mode switch, which, when turned on, disables the Windows key so gamers won’t get dropped out of a game if they accidentally press it.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Haunting, chilling and seriously frightening, Forbidden Siren 2™ on PlayStation®2 is coming to get you from Winter 2006 – so don’t turn the lights out!
Released by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Forbidden Siren 2 is set on the island of Yamijima (the Island of Darkness). The story starts as a group of characters are washed up on the island’s shore after their boat is caught in a violent storm. Unbeknown to them some twenty nine years earlier, all the inhabitants of the island mysteriously disappeared in a black-out.
Up until now the events of that ill-fated night remain unsolved. But as the haunting sound of a warning siren rings out over the island the castaways are faced with the awakening of the Shibito (living dead) and the Yamibito (people of the dark) – are they all that’s left of the original inhabitants? Now it is a fight for survival and to unearth the secrets of the island.
To survive on the island players need to use light to their advantage. Both the Yamibito and Shibito are sensitive to light – but in opposing ways. To wipe out the Yamibito players need to turn lights on but, to take out the Shibito players need to eliminate light by turning off lights or smashing street lamps. Other ways players can escape the Shibito are by hiding in the darkness and throwing objects to distract them. Players can also use a variety of weapons to dispose of their enemies as well as running them down by using abandoned vehicles.
Additional features include a map that show the player’s position on the island, a range of difficulty levels, enhanced tutorials, hint displays and an alert system to warn that an enemy is approaching. All of these features have been integrated into Forbidden Siren 2 to ensure that the game play is accessible and the players can instantly get started in their horror adventure!
And for extra ‘chill factor’, the team has enhanced their trademark ‘Sight-Jacking’ view system so players can now see the game though the eyes of animals as well as through the eyes of the Shibito and the Yamibito. Watch the enemy hunt you with the tracking capability of the Sight Jacking and only if you dare – switch and watch yourself be the hunted! Players can also use the Sight-Jacking mode to see past characters in past viewings.
MTN Network Solutions (NS) has beefed up its capacity to cater for the growing demand for more international Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Internet services.
MTN NS Chief Executive Mike Brierley says MTN is now ideally positioned to offer customers carrier class broadband which gives them flexibility in their networks, runs multimedia applications like Voice over IP, and offers advanced functionality, all of which are essential elements in a dynamic enterprise environment.
‘’The MTN Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network offers our customers alternative routing options, backed by Service Level Agreements, to propel their businesses and gain a competitive advantage,’’ says Brierley.
The upgrade has resulted in the installation of a second 45Mb circuit between Johannesburg and New York. MTN NS commissioned a second 45Mb circuit on the SAT-3 cable from Telkom and British Telecom.
‘’This followed a year of successful growth and increased demand,’’ Brierley said.
MTN NS has now done a full upgrade of its London POP infrastructure and also commissioned a full Point of Presence (POP) in New York. The POP provides alternative routing from Sisembra in Portugal and enables IP-VPN services to terminate directly in the United States.
SAT-3 will remain the best way of connecting internationally until such time as the alternate Eassy cable (East Coast fibre between Durban and Abidjan) and the WASC cable (West African Submarine cable) are commissioned.
‘’In anticipation of vastly improved resilience, MTN has taken an interest in both these new cable installations,’’ Brierley says.
The UK and US-based POPs are fully interconnected with dual STM-1 transatlantic fibre links. MTN has established new direct IP transit links with Sprint and Abovenet in New York.
‘’The upgrading of the MTN NS London POP has also been done in preparation for bringing a number of MTN African operations, e.g. Uganda, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, onto a single international infrastructure in 2006, as well as starting to build a full Africa MPLS IP-VPN network,’’ Brierley says.
MTN NS says it is ideally positioned for the growth of broadband technologies such as EDGE and 3G with its additional investments.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Wireless-G Internet Video Camera
The Linksys Wireless-G Internet Video Camera sends live video with sound through the Internet to a web browser anywhere in the world. This compact, self-contained unit lets you keep track of your home, your kids, your workplace – or whatever is important to you. Unlike standard "web cams" that require an attached PC, the Linksys Internet video camera contains its own web server, so it can connect directly to a network, either over your network, or over your existing Internet connection. The advanced MPEG-4 video compression produces a high-quality, high-framerate, up to 640x480 audio/video stream, ensuring you get a detailed picture. Contact Comstor on 011 233 3333 for your nearest retailer. RRP R2 099
OK, so call me a snob but I have traveled around this world a little more than the average person on this planet. OK, not as much as the South African President and certainly not as undercover as the deputy. I have flown business class and economy class on at least 6 different airlines. I even came this close to getting an upgrade to 1st class once, but not.
Now I love flying. I think that it is the greatest thing ever. Also, it's not exactly a gadget or a game, it's not really even technology but it has got to be a great idea. I have just found one of the most amazing airlines in the world. Again, I have never been on these planes, I don't owe them anything and they aren't paying me anything to say nice things about them, but only 40 people on a plane made for 200???? You have got to be kidding!!!!
So next time I have to fly from England to the US, sign me up.
I did a little research on this and I have found that it is actuallt cheaper to fly EOS than both British Airways Business Class and Virgin Upper Class. Let me remind you, ONLY 40 PEOPLE ON THE PLANE!!!!!
No matter which way you cut this, this has got to be a brilliant idea!!!!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Happily, phrases like these are now a thing of the past, thanks to the Play Limit token-operated timer. Give your kid (or spouse) a few tokens, and you get to control how much viewing or playing they do. With each token offering 15 minutes of uninterrupted viewing bliss, and 40 tokens supplied with the system, you're master of the universe!!!
Hmmmm. Don't GIVE them tokens. SELL them!!!
Courtesy of Engadget.
As seen on Engadget.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Remember when it took minutes to install a game from tape? Those sounds of a noisy tape machine installing that silly little game where you ran from one side of the screen to the other?
Remember when Commodore released a stiffy disk to go with your machine? Wow, didn't that speed things up?
You can now re-live all of those great moments on your own PC right now. I loved my 64. It was where I first learnt logic and coded some great litttle applications in BASIC. (Not to self, find a basic emulator).
C64.com has some great games including racing, puzzle and others. If you wear a mullet hairstyle and you want retro computing, check it out....
Using a mobile phone does not increase the risk of developing the most common type of brain tumor, according to a study on Friday.
After a four-year survey, scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and three British universities found no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and glioma.
"Overall, we found no raised risk of glioma associated with regular mobile phone use and no association with time since first use, lifetime years of use, cumulative hours of use, or number of calls," said Professor Patricia McKinney, of the University of Leeds, in a report in the British Medical Journal.
She added that the results were consistent with the findings of most studies done in the United States and Europe.
Anthony Swerdlow, a co-author of the report, from the Institute of Cancer Research, said the survey is larger than any of the other published studies and part of a collaboration involving 13 countries.
During the past two decades, the use of mobile phones has risen rapidly worldwide but there has been no hard evidence to substantiate fears that the technology causes health problems ranging from headaches to brain tumors.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I can understand people needing mice for work that they do for eight hours a day but needing a mouse to prevent RSD while you are playing a game in a dark, smelly and hot room just seems like a waste of money to me.
Picture coming later today or click here...
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Gervan Lubbe said his "Malaria Monitor" wristwatch, due to launch next month, could save lives and keep millions out of hospital by heading off the disease before patients even feel ill.
"It picks up the parasite and destroys it so early that the possibility of dying is absolutely zero and you don't even feel the early cold symptoms," Lubbe told Reuters in a telephone interview this week.
Malaria, caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes, kills more than a million people every year and makes 300 million seriously ill, according to the
World Health Organization. Ninety percent of deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa.
The sturdy digital timepiece pricks the wrist with a tiny needle four times a day and tests the blood for malaria parasites.
Thinking of buying a TV for the bedroom? Think again -- it could ruin your sex life.
A study by an Italian sexologist has found that couples who have a TV set in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don't.
"If there's no television in the bedroom, the frequency (of sexual intercourse) doubles," said Serenella Salomoni whose team of psychologists questioned 523 Italian couples to see what effect television had on their sex lives.
On average, Italians who live without TV in the bedroom have sex twice a week, or eight times a month. This drops to an average of four times a month for those with a TV, the study found.
For the over-50s the effect is even more marked, with the average of seven couplings a month falling to just 1.5 times.
The study found certain programs are far more likely to impede passion than others. Violent films will put a stop to sexual relations for half of all couples, while reality shows stem passion for a third of couples.
Internet users can give Web sites a thumbs up or thumbs down in less than the blink of an eye, according to a study by Canadian researchers.
In just a brief one-twentieth of a second -- less than half the time it takes to blink -- people make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with an Internet site.
The study was published in the latest issue of the Behavior and Information Technology journal. The author said the findings had powerful implications for the field of Web site design.
"It really is just a physiological response," Gitte Lindgaard told Reuters on Tuesday. "So Web designers have to make sure they're not offending users visually.
"If the first impression is negative, you'll probably drive people off."
In the study, researchers discovered that people could rate the visual appeal of sites after seeing them for just one-twentieth of a second. These judgments were not random, the researchers found -- sites that were flashed up twice were given similar ratings both times.
They also matched the responses given by subjects who were shown the sites for longer.
But the results did not show how to win a positive reaction from users, said Lindgaard, a psychology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. "When we looked at the Web sites that we tested, there is really nothing there that tells us what leads to dislike or to like."
And while further research may offer more clues, she said the vagaries of personal taste would always be a limiting factor.
"If design were reducible to a set of principles, wouldn't we find an awful lot of similar houses, gardens, cars, rooms?" said Lindgaard. "You'd have no variety."
Monday, January 16, 2006
Philips Electronics showcases a new display solution, the Philips 200W6 20-inch wide LCD monitor, for business professionals who are looking for a smarter way to improve productivity. Introduced today at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Philips’ 200W6 is designed to boost productivity by displaying two full-size documents or applications side-by-side.
"Philips is committed to providing businesses with the latest technology to drive productivity and security across the enterprise," said John Neilson, vice president and general manager, Philips Business Solutions. "Philips’ 200W6 is the newest addition to our line of wide screen business LCD monitors designed to provide organizations with competitive advantages through improved performance and cost savings."
Created for professionals in the financial and insurance sectors, professional desktop publishers, doctors, lawyers, financial analysts and architects, Philips’ 200W6 provides numerous advantages in the workplace. With a 1680 x 1050 resolution for sharper images, a 16ms response time for smooth full-motion graphics and a wide viewing angle up to 176 degrees, the 200W6 delivers excellent front-of-screen performance. For added convenience, the monitor is equipped with a USB peripheral plug, built-in speakers, screen tilt, swivel and height adjustment and dual input to accept analog VGA and digital DVI signals.
In addition to improved productivity and time savings, Philips’ 200W6 delivers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) across the enterprise. The monitor is equipped with Philips' SmartManage™ asset management technology, which enables IT administrators to track and control all of their Philips monitors from a single remote location via the network, reducing operational costs. This LCD monitor also conserves power, resulting in another cost savings for businesses.
Broad-based ICT distributor, Pinnacle Micro, has announced the availability of its Proline AnyWare MW1 notebook. The notebook is aimed at the corporate and home user markets and is covered by a 1 year warranty.
Proline brand manager at the company, Francois Lottering, says the MW1 incorporates Windows XP Home and Professional to cover all basis. It also incorporates Intel Centrino Mobile Technology enabling true work on demand functionality for users on the move. With up to 2GB 400/533MHz DDR2 memory the unit also offers an additional two DDR memory sockets for users who seek scalability and flexibility from their notebooks.
“The MW1 is incredibly feature rich for such a compact unit,” says Lottering.
The notebook includes a six cell 2400m Li-ion battery that takes three hours to recharge and offers up to four hours battery life.
With an external VGA connector, one PCMCIA type II slot, three audio jacks, four USB port and one TV-Out (S-Video) port users should have no connectivity issues. The notebook also assures users of constant connection to the workplace with an inbuilt 56K modem and Intel’s 10/100/1000 LAN peripheral.
The 15” TFT LCD screen is enabled up to 1 024 x 768 resolution and the unit comes standard with up to 100GB 5400rpm 2.5” hard drive, a DVDRW drive and a 4-in-1 memory card reader.
“As with the entire Proline range, the MW1 has received ISO 9001 quality certification and all products within the range undergo the international WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) program, which tests the machines with a range of peripheral products to ensure that all Microsoft applications and operating systems function correctly,” Lottering says.
Friday, January 13, 2006
So there is finally a site to help you protect yourself on the web. It's a pity that it is an American site but being safe in the web is universal, so it really is worth a read. The sae scams hit us, so learn!! Don't say i didn't warn you....
OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
The Question now is, "Why is there nothing like this in South Africa?" Does our government care?
Thursday, January 12, 2006
This has got to be on ene of the wierdist and coolest ideas around. A Camera that takes pictures when you throw it. A camera that will change the way you look at your world, and it seems as if it's easy to use.
Once again, I haven't had one to review, so I am not sure if it's a good camera or not, but if you are looking to buy the geek in your life something, then this might just be it.
The camera has a timer that allows you to set when the picture gets taken. Set it for 2 seconds, throw the ball in the air and see what comes out.
I do see a problem with voyeurs using this thing for means that it wasn't designed, but who's fault is that?
I have, one again, been invited to judge the entries into Microsoft's Project Firefly.
The amazing thing is the "again" part of that sentence. Last year I had a ball looking at the projects created by some of South Africa's most brilliant young minds. I am sure that a couple of them will go on to become great software creators. I just hope that there isn't just one project in thier heads and that they can go on to create great ideas all the time.
I have put up some pictures from last year's event on my "Behind the Scenes" page, so take a look.
Judging last year was tough. I had some very experienced Microsoft Project Managers on the panel with me and I was the "can every one understand the project" guy. This year I have done a little more homework, so we see what I can add.
I will be bringing news from Durban during the event, so stay close. The date for the event is early February.
Project Firefly is the Microsoft's endeavor to bridging the gap between academia and industry in South Africa.
It attempts through its community efforts to bring different students from different academic institutions together into a single community, while through its partnerships with the South African Developer's Usergroup (SA Developer) and the South African Architect's Usergroup (SA Architect) also exposing them to recognised industry communities.
The ultimate goal is to help students to realise their potential, and to encourage them to take that potential and make it truly shine.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Before you wonder what the heck we're doing posting about business cards, let me tell you that the rCard is no ordinary business card. The rCard is a card that plays video and comes with a 1.875" x 1.875" full color flat screen, speakers, a navigational button, 1 gig of memory, and a USB port. The battery on it is as thin as a postage stamp and lasts about 4 hours of continuous use, but there's a rechargeable battery option, and you can power it off and on. The whole thing only measures 2" x 3" and weighs a measly 2 ounces.
As a video business card, you could use it to show off your company's latest goods or services via streaming video/audio, or by loading product demos straight on it through a USB cable. The card can also be password-protected and can be set to release time-sensitive data, which could prove useful for special trade show announcements.
But the potential uses of this lie far beyond that of a video business card. Enterprising users could hack it for use as a portable gaming device, or perhaps slip in a few TV shows for light viewing on the train. And at $25 each, you could probably afford 3 or 4 of them. They're only available for companies now, but we're sure they'll get into the hands of regular consumers soon enough.
Apple® today unveiled the new iMac® featuring Mac OS® X running on the new Intel® Core™ Duo processor, delivering performance that is up to twice that of its predecessor.* The widely praised iMac design now features dual-core processors, a built-in iSight™ video camera for video conferencing out-of-the-box, and the breakthrough media experience of Front Row™ with the Apple Remote for a simple, intuitive and powerful way for consumers to enjoy their content from across the room. Starting at just R11 949, 00 every new iMac comes with iLife® ’06, the next generation of Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications featuring major new versions of iPhoto®, iMovie® HD, iDVD®, GarageBand™ and introducing iWeb™, a new iLife application that makes it super-easy to create amazing websites with photos, blogs and Podcasts and publish them on .Mac for viewing by anyone on the Internet with just a single click. The new iMac is the first of a new generation of Macs featuring Intel processors that Apple will roll out during 2006.
Find out more about the specs. of this beast here...
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE WIRED BLOG.
Not only did Steve Jobs showcase a new photocasting feature in iPhoto on Tuesday, on Monday ex-Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki introduced the Mac version of a new photocasting application called FilmLoop.
Photocasting isn't new -- several photoblogs offer syndicated snaps via RSS, as do photo-sharing websites like Flickr and Buzznet. But until now, few desktop applications made it easy to download pictures from a camera and push them automatically to friends' and relatives' machines.
In his keynote speech, Jobs demonstrated how photos and galleries in a new version of iPhoto can be pushed, or photocast, to subscribers' computers.
"This is podcasting -- for photos," Jobs said.
Instead of publishing to the web, photos are delivered automatically to subscriber's computers. In iPhoto, the user creates a photocast album. All the pictures added to, or deleted from, this album are automatically pushed to subscriber's iPhoto libraries, where they show up in a gallery in the source list.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE WIRED BLOG.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
"All signs are that (video) today is in the same stage as audio was three years ago," just before digital audio and MP3 players took off, said Phil Leigh, an analyst at Inside Digital Media in Florida. "Everybody has been waiting around for this to happen for years, and with each passing moment it's coming closer."
Now that e-mails have replaced letters and 3x5 glossies have become digital images, the next frontier for tech companies is video.
And it's right around the corner, judging from the new products and services unveiled at the just-ended Consumer Electronics Show.
Apple Computer Inc on Tuesday unveiled a remote control with FM radio capabilities for its iPod music player.
The iPod Radio Remote enables users to skip tracks and adjust the volume of their iPod even when it's in a pocket or backpack and listen to FM radio stations while displaying station and song information on their iPod screen.
I love technology that works and is efficient at the same time. The Innovus Design “Fusion” Solar Messenger Bag with optional PowerPac is basically a messenger bag that uses solar power to charge external batteries as well as internal batteries of a bunch of personal electronics using an existing 12V cigarette lighter adapter. So not only can you throw all your electronic gadgets in the bag, you can use it to quick-charge them as well. No price yet. What are the chances of it being cheap? Why is it that when it comes to solar power and other re-useable power, it gets so damn expensive?
Monday, January 09, 2006
After watching the rest of the high-tech industry unveil its coolest electronic gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Apple Computer Inc.'s Steve Jobs stands poised to unveil his own company's latest and greatest at this year's Macworld Expo.
Apple's chief executive will take center stage at the annual trade show Tuesday, highlighting a four-day tech showcase where more than 36,000 attendees are expected to roam through San Francisco's Moscone Center.
I found this at Reuters and couldn't help but put it in. There is an urban legend that 80% of e-commerce is porn and this seems to prove the fact....
The Consumer Electronics Show wasn't the only entertainment trade show in town last week.
Sharing space with CES at the Sands Expo Center was trade publication Adult Video News' annual AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, the traditional start-of-year showcase for the booming adult industry.
In the first quantitative study conducted in three years, Adult Video News estimates consumers spent $12.6 billion on adult entertainment last year.
Nearly $4.3 billion, or 34%, came from the purchase or rental of adult video DVDs and videocassettes. Another 20%, or $2.5 billion, was generated through Internet sales, with the third-largest segment -- dance clubs -- generating about $2 billion, or 16% of the market.
Adult software providers also remain at the forefront of technology. They were among the first to embrace DVD when the format hit the market nine years ago and are now aggressively going after high-definition and other new formats, including such hand-held devices as cell phones and game players. Digital Playground, one of the adult industry's top software suppliers, recently released a $2 million film, "Pirates," which was shot entirely in high definition. It was released on video in a three-disc set, two of them standard DVDs and the third in HD.
"Right now, most consumers can't play the HD disc because next-generation players aren't yet on the market," said Martin Blythe, spokesman for the Video Software Dealers Assn., which co-sponsored the show with AVN. "But the point is, these companies are already ahead of the curve."
Indeed, Digital Playground just announced that it will issue trailers for upcoming movies in HD and also make them available for playback on iPod and Sony's PlayStation Portable.
"We've been shooting everything in HD for more than two years, and the playback technology is finally available on Web consumers," company founder Joone said.
The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, which wrapped Sunday, was projected to draw more than 30,000 people, 20,000 of them fans on special Fan Days. Nearly 400 companies were exhibiting.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
NVIDIA and Dell unveiled the first-ever Quad-SLI PC at the Consumer Electronics Show 2006. Taking its acclaimed SLI technology to the next level, NVIDIA introduced support for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR GPUs. Delivering the most extreme high definition gaming experience available on the PC, Quad SLI features four of NVIDIA's flagship GeForce® 7800 GTX GPUs with an NVIDIA nForce®4 SLI motherboard.
Imagine tearing through today’s most advanced PC games with an unheard of 41 gigapixels per second of raw graphics performance, 5.2 teraflops of compute power, 96 pixel pipes, and an astounding 2 GB of on-board graphics memory. Nothing can stop you when you have this kind of hardware on your side.
Now imagine yourself doing all of this at extreme HD resolutions with everything turned on. A Quad-SLI PC lets you run your favorite games at an unbelievably high resolution of 2560x1600 while maintaining silky smooth frame rates. In addition, support for a new 32x antialiasing mode and 16x anisotropic filtering enables stunning visuals.
Friday, January 06, 2006
World computer chip leader Intel unveiled on Thursday a new processor designed to turn a personal computer into a living room multimedia centre.
Intel's dual-core Viiv processor will be installed in PCs by leading producers including Dell, Sony, LG and Acer, "from today and in the coming weeks," Intel chief executive Paul Otellini announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
A Viiv-equipped computer will function as "a media centre in the living room" offering a simple, faster and smoother way for users to access and store online content for watching or listening through other connected devices, Otellini said.
Intel also announced new ventures with other major electronics producers, including Microsoft and online content vendors "to give a richer content experience".
Content partners include NBC television's sports division -- which will be broadcasting the winter Olympics -- internet portal AOL, and Indian film distributor Eros Entertainment.
Intel has also formed Clickstar, together with actor Morgan Freeman's production company Revelations Entertainment, to market premium movies and other programmes over the internet.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
The Japanese maker of the Panasonic brand said it had developed the world's largest plasma-panel television set with a 103-inch (2.6 meter) screen.
Matsushita Electric Industrial said it had overcome technical difficulties posed by making large plasma screens to develop a prototype 2.3 meters wide and 1.3 meters high.
Until now 102-inch plasma televisions developed by two South Korean companies were the biggest in the world.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Not to sound overly dramatic, but the LED (light-emitting diode) is on its way to offing incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. LEDs use a small fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs, don’t flicker and, amazingly, last for decades. That’s because they generate light by moving current through durable semiconductors instead of delicate, super-hot filaments that quickly burn out.
LEDs have been used since the 1960s for indicators such as the on/off light on your stereo. More recently, engineers have found ways to use them everywhere from traffic signals to automotive taillights to video screens. The challenge of producing an LED lamp for the home, though, has been packing enough diodes together to get the illumination of an incandescent in a compact case that won’t overheat.
Mesa, Arizona, lighting manufacturer Enlux responded in two ways. First, it removed diodes from their individual plastic housings and clustered them on the surface of a small circuit board, known as a light engine. The board dissipates more heat than an array of separately packaged bulbs, so more LEDs can be crammed inside the lamp. Second, a finned aluminum housing spreads the heat that is generated over a greater surface area. The 22-watt Flood ($80) gives off about as much brightness as a 45- to 65-watt incandescent and lasts 50,000 hours (35 years at four hours per day). But with companies all over the world chasing Enlux down the LED path, it shouldn’t be long before we get even brighter options.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
A few months ago, my 3 year old came home from school and sang a song that took a while, as it does when they are 3, for us to understand. The song, sung to no specific tune, went as follows, “Makro’s burning, Makro’s burning.” Yep, I live around the corner from one of the 3 Makros that caught fire over the last couple of years. I have interviewed the CEO of Massmart at the Olympic flame procession through Cape Town and I asked him if he didn’t think it was a bit dangerous to allow him to carry an open flame through the city. He didn’t find it funny.
Makro opened it’s doors again this week. For the last month there have been radio and TV ads as only Makro can do. The flyers and leaflets in the postbox and at the traffic lights have been littering the neighborhood for the last couple of weeks but it’s all worth it in the end. They say that the savings are great, that is, if you can actually get into the building. I did manage, after a while, to get in on the first Friday morning. The joys of not actually having a real job, I guess.
Now here is the point of my story. I needed to upgrade the memory card in my digital camera. Once I got into the store, fought the many traffic directors and car guards, got past the security and the really sad ladies that need to get in front of you and into the store first, I made my way to the electronics area. Mr Massmart, if you read this, there is a major trolley jam outside this area, change your system.
After fighting for an assistant or anyone with a little knowledge of the product I was going to buy, I gave up and worked it out myself. There is was, the memory card that would change the way I take photos on my camera. No longer am I limited to taking just 50 low quality pics, no, I can now take 136 very high quality pics, 1406 low quality pictures.
“Who in their right mind will ever need to take that many pics?”, I hear you say.
“Ha.”, I say.
The memory card I bought is 128 Megs. That’s right, over 128 000 000 bytes of information can be stored on a piece of plastic smaller than a postage stamp. The first hard drive for my first computer that, I might add, was state of the art, was 3 times smaller.
I was very proud of my 40 Meg hard-drive. “Who would ever need anything bigger?” I was heard to ask myself. Now we know.
A CD holds 640 Megs of info, if you buy an old one. The newer ones hold 700 Megs. The DVD that I use to back up my computer take 8 times that. I was given a 250 Gig hard drive for back-up too, and even though I have tried and tried, there is no way that I can fill it. Everything, and I mean everything that I have in digital format, has been copied onto the drive and it’s still humming away without breaking a sweat. Music from the SABC library, for work of course, every single picture I have taken for the last year and all my radio bits and pieces. I haven’t used a quarter of the drive yet.
In fact, the Nokia cell phone I have to review, it great by the way, has more on-board memory than original Space Shuttle, Columbia. Of course, that’s in a million pieces over Texas, so maybe that’s not a good example. Suffice to say, I can take 10 minutes of video using my phone or take 114 pictures.
So what’s the point?
Good question. I think that we use it because it is there. Kevin Costner was told, “If you build it, they will come.” Same thing here. We don’t really NEED to be able to take 10 minutes of video on a cell phone, We don’t NEED to have 114 pictures on a digital camera. We do it because we can. Let me tell you here that the memory card I bought for my camera was the smallest there was at Makro. There were ones that held 4 times what I bought. I thought it was overkill.
10 years ago, there was no such thing as a digital camera. We took our pictures, went to the Photofirst and 1 hour later, there we were in all our glory. 36 pictures from our point-and-click and we were happy little bunnies. 10 years ago, not a lifetime.
HP told me that those pictures will have faded so badly by now that we will have to replace them. If you buy one of their new fangled Generation 2 printers to print your new, digital pics, they will last for 110 years before they noticeably fade. Note the word “noticeably.” The old pictures of you mom and dad’s wedding are probably yellowish by now. Do we notice? No, it’s quaint. It shows the photo is old. That’s the point, isn’t it?
What I am trying to say, unsuccessfully, why? Will we be better people with 114 + 114 pictures? Will we have better memories of life if our pictures last longer than we do?
The answer is yes, as long as Makro doesn’t burn down and we can’t buy over priced technology to keep up with the Joneses.
Eastman Kodak Co. is again using the world's largest trade show for consumer electronics to show off a ground-breaking innovation in digital imaging.
The company on Monday introduced what it bills as the first digital camera with two lenses on its face — one for taking wide-angle photos; the other a standard optical zoom lens.
Adding a second lens and sensor is another attempt by Kodak to make digital photography increasingly consumer-friendly and more functional than film. The dual lens approach makes it easier to capture group photos, scenic landscapes and city pictures in addition to portraits and close-ups, Kodak said.
"You don't need to say 'Squeeze-in!' at family gatherings any more," says Mike McDougall, a Kodak spokesman.
The V570 camera was unveiled in Las Vegas, where the company is preparing for the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show, the largest trade show of its kind. A year ago, Kodak used the same show to introduce EasyShare-One, a wireless digital camera that allows users to transmit images without first connecting to a personal computer.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Virtual Surf Report: Bonus Link -- Aryan Kaganof's new film, SMS SUGARMAN, the world's first feature film shot exclusively using a cellphone
How do I know? A cinematographer buddy of mine, Eran Tahor, is the Director of Photography on the film, and we've just had breakfast together. His New Year's party was the wrap event for the film.
He's not allowed to tell me anything at all about the film, apart from hinting that it's going to be somewhat controversial. And he's given me the web address for the film. Head to http://smssugarman.com for more info.
The film will release in May this year, and Eran says the story rocks, and the cinematography is revolutionary.
You saw it here first!
Listen to a full podcast of this Virtual Surf Report. Or listen to all of the shows.
This story first appeared on Coffee-Shop Schmuck.
Virtual Surf Report: Charles Kessler's Cool Tricks & Trinkets Newsletter -- a start of the year treat
Charles Kessler has been putting together a weekly roundup of the most fascinating websites in the world for 383 weeks, and he sends it out free to anyone who wants it.
The website is at www.tricksandtrinkets.com. And to subscribe for free, all you need to do is send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been on the list for years now, and I've never once received spam as a result of subscribing, and Charles has an iron-rule not to sell users' details to anyone for any reason. (He has 190 000 subscribers, and counting.)
Let's get to some of the nuggets in the latest issue, number 383. These were chosen by his team of staff as their pick of favourite sites of 2005. They write:
Their Circular LifeVisit Cool Tricks & Trinkets and browse through the archives for 383 weeks worth of amusing, amazing, delicious tidbits. It should keep you occupied for at least a year.
You will definitely want to visit this website, which is a conceptual mixture of mindful meditation and Flash design. "Their Circular Life: An Exploration About Human Behavior" is an extremely cool project that aims to remind us to slow down our harried lives, to stop, listen, and observe the daily circle of life.
Cows With Guns
Cows give us their milk and their meat, but what do they get in return? Watch this hilarious animated music video that tells the story of revenge during a "Bovine Revolution".
The 48 Laws of Power
It is a cutthroat world out there, whether in the arena of Business, Politics or Romance. Learn valuable if not ruthless tactics from The 48 Laws of Power such as 'Win Through your Actions, Never Through Argument' and 'Crush Your Enemy Totally'.
Yoga With Cats
Kitty seeming a bit stressed lately? Spare your furniture and bliss out together at Yoga Kitty, a "practical guide" for people and pusses who seek to achieve physical, mental and spiritual ecstasy, without drugs or catnip.
In free instructional videos for clearing past karma, tapping electromagnetism and meditating, Yogi Karl and partner Yogi Ovaria -- the original Yogakitty -- show viewers how to adjust their shakras in seriocomic scenes that will have you cracking up even while the cat shreds another pillow. "Purr-fect Yoga" items are available in the online shop, like tee-shirts with the site's slogan: "Higher Consciousness, It's Not Just for Humans Anymore."
Listen to a full podcast of this report. Or listen to all of the Virtual Surf Reports.
This post originally appeared on Coffee-Shop Schmuck.