Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Read this before you buy

So you have gone out and bought the iPod tie, you have warmed up your ears for the loud noise and you are about to go out and buy one of the many types of iPods on the market. WAIT!!!!

Please read this great review from Mygamer.com. This guy is trying to do more than the average Joe would normally but it is worth a read before you go out and spend your hard earned cash on a product that has many many different makers.

Here is a snipit,

This device lacks the most basic of all options for an Mp3 player. Not being able to go from PC to Mac, the inability to move songs from your iPod back to your HD, users are forced to used iTunes to manage every aspect of their iPods, iTunes has some of the most inconsistent and unforgivable options ever, you do not get the promised 30GB worth of storage space, and using a battery that can drain in mere hours is nothing short of unforgivable.

This little piggy went to market... the 21st century piggy bank


Remember the good ole days when you stole money out of your brother's piggy bank? Well, the ante just got upped. All that's missing from this 21st century pig-vault is a device that'll allow you to make micro-deposits into your online bank account. Still... analog money isn't archaic yet, and SOMEBODY has to teach the kids the value of money.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Will Microsoft never learn?

The BBC is reporting that Microsoft will bring out six different versions of thier new Windows operating system. Surely that is 5 more than is really needed? Have they been working on the 5 other versions and that is why it took so long to release?
There is still no date for the release of the 6 versions, but they say it should be out for Christmas this year. Isn't that 2 years after it was supposed to be out? At least we have time now to upgrade our PC's for the memory hungry system.

The six versions are:

  • Vista Business
  • Vista Enterprise
  • Vista Home Basic
  • Vista Home Premium
  • Vista Ultimate
  • Vista Starter

    Vista Business will be the basic version for companies of all sizes and includes tools that will help organisations manage their PCs.

    The Enterprise version of Vista will have all of the features in the basic version and add to them improved encryption including a BitLocker system that will stop confidential data being viewed if a computer is lost or stolen.

    The Home Basic version is intended for those who only want to use their PC to browse the net, use e-mail and create and edit basic documents. It will also include desktop search and security tools.

    Vista Home Premium includes everything in the Basic version and adds the new graphical interface called Aero.

  • Nokia N90: Final

    I have had a Nokia N90 for just under two weeks. I am going to say that I don't like the phone. It is too big and bulky for a modern cell phone. The camera is no better than other smaller phones on the market. The Carl Zeiss lens is a bit of an advertising gimic at the moment and the auto-focus doesn't seem to work very well. In fact, for the first few days the auto focus just wouldn't work. It must have been me though, because it did get working later.

    See comparative pictures from my 6680 and the N90 here....

    Another draw back is that the phone is not a 3G phone. Data is slow, which is not clever as the pictures are huge!!! As the world moves forward, the new multimedia phones MUST be 3G or better, otherwise people just won't buy them.

    All in all, if you want a camera, buy a camera, if you want a phone with a camera, you are willing to accept that the quality isn't going to be great, so get a small one. Let's hope that the next generations of N Series phones from Nokia get smaller and cooler than the N90.

    MWEB Business make talk cheap

    Following the recent launch of its ADSL VoIP offering, MWEB Business today announced the availability of OfficeCall PABX, a VoIP solution targeted at larger companies with existing PABX systems.

    OfficeCall was launched in 2005 to provide businesses with substantial inter-branch call cost savings. MWEB Business has now extended the functionality of the offering to incorporate least cost routing (LCR), enabling businesses to save on all call types.

    “OfficeCall PABX enables businesses to take advantage of cost savings across the board – from inter-branch calls, to international and cellular calls. As it integrates with existing PABX infrastructure, it negates investment in additional equipment or upgrades,” says Gary Hart, General Manager: Marketing and Products, MWEB Business.

    With built-in LCR functionality, OfficeCall PABX promises significantly reduced call rates. Savings of up to 35% on local cellular calls, up to 12% on national calls and up to 60% on international calls are possible. In addition, inter-branch calls and calls between the MWEB Business VoIP community are free.

    OfficeCall PABX is suited to companies with more than one branch, that have an existing data infrastructure and that wish to take advantage of the benefits of LCR. The product has been developed to ensure reliable voice communication, with all VoIP lines backed up to fixed lines. It furthermore utilises the latest security technologies to ensure that customers’ networks are secured, and is provided with 24-hour support and maintenance.

    Pricing and availability

    OfficeCall PABX is available in four variations; namely OfficeCall Two (two VoIP lines), OfficeCall Four (four VoIP lines), OfficeCall Eight (eight VoIP lines) and OfficeCall Sixteen (sixteen VoIP lines). A once-off set up fee of R2052-00 is payable, with monthly rental fees starting at R260-00.

    Customers are invoiced monthly for all calls made on the MWEB Business VoIP network; and inter-branch calls are free.

    For further information, contact MWEB Business on 0860 100 127 or visit www.mwebbusiness.co.za.

    Friday, February 24, 2006

    Light Blue Optics brings you the pocket-sized projector for super-sized screenings

    Know someone who's looked at one of the harddrive-based video players (such as the iPOD Video) and said, 'Huh?? Who would want to watch movies on a screen so small?'

    Well, when these babies hit the market, you'll be able to whip out a video projector the size of a pack of cigarettes, plug your device into it, and show movies anywhere there's a white wall to beam it against.

    Light Blue Optics is the company who has made this fantasy a reality. According to Gizmodo, the device uses an automechanical process called PVPro to scale low res images to higher resolutions, taking care of issues such as keystone correction in the process.

    Does the World Need an iPod Tie?


    By jlewin

    Does the World Need an iPod tie?

    Thomas Pink, a London retailer of fine men and women's clothing, wants to find out. They've released a limited edition Commuter Tie that features a pocket on the reverse to hold an iPod Nano or other MP3 player and an extra fabric loop to keep headphone wires out of sight and close to the body.

    The tie is 100% silk and retails for $95.

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Paper Napkin

    Ninjah, instead of writing for The Technology Cirlce, sent me this great website for those of you who get picked up way too often at nightclubs, bars or anywhere, really. It's Paper Napkin. Here is their blurb...

    So here's the scenario: You're out at a bar, riding transit, or even just walking down the street, and some bozo who desperately wants into your pants starts up a conversation with you. Rather than make a scene or make them upset, you're polite and at least nod at the proper times. Then, of course, they ask you for your number. Except this is 2006, so maybe they ask for your email address instead.

    That's where Paper Napkin comes in. Give them anyname@papernapkin.net (or paamail.com, to be less suspicious), tell them it's your address, and when they write you, they'll automatically get a response telling them how badly they've been rejected. If they sound desperate enough, it may even get posted and ridiculed. Yes, it's cruel, so use it wisely

    Seems like a great idea to me, but I never get picked up in nightclubs, bars or anywhere, so I will bookmark the site for when it is needed. Here is hoping.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006


    Lenovo ThinkPad Z-Series notebooks boast a design ethos that redefines the market’s concept of mobility and incorporates multimedia functionality that is usable outside of the conventional work-cycle. Available in a 15.4” and 14” widescreen, these new Z-series notebooks offer 30 percent more data space than a conventional 15” XGA and 25 percent more than a standard 14” XGA screen. This results in better viewing angles which makes in-flight work more pleasant. Users also have the ability to examine data within two applications simultaneously, or add four additional spreadsheet columns to the viewing area, making the new Z-series the ideal choice for serious mobile warriors that can’t afford to compromise. For more information, go to http://www.tarsus.co.za.


    The Sansa m200 Series MP3 players provide high-quality digital music playback at an affordable price. This improved look also includes Sansa’s excellent navigation: songs sorted by title, artist, album, genre as well as playlist support. The Sansa m200 Series MP3 players are one of the first to provide Microsoft PlaysForSure Subscription support. It comes in three capacities: Blue at 512MB, Silver at 1GB, and Black at 2GB and can also be used as an external storage device. From Tudor Photographic
    021 424 2978

    Macintosh OS X Vulnerability

    Symantec Security Response has confirmed a new vulnerability in the Macintosh OS X (version 10.4) operating system. Symantec Security Response rates the vulnerability as high severity. However, there is no known exploit currently targeting this vulnerability.

    The vulnerability lies in the "Open 'safe' files after downloading" option in Apple's Safari Web browser. By default, the set-up for the Web browser automatically has this option turned on and will displays images and movies or open ZIP archives to display the documents inside if they are deemed "safe."

    “This is yet another example of the continuing spread of malicious code onto other platforms,” said Patrick Evans, regional directory, Symantec Africa. “While there is no known exploit at this time, users are encouraged to turn off the ‘Open safe files after downloading option’ in their Safari browsers and watch for further information from Apple.”

    The disclosure of this vulnerability follows two low level worms from last week that targeted the Macintosh OS X (version 10.4) operating system -- OSX.Leap.A and OSX.Inqtana.A.

    The issue exists because of an error when processing file association metadata. This metadata is contained in the '.__' file contained within an archive and extracted to the '__macosx' directory. Successful exploitation can allow a malicious script file to be renamed with a safe extension in order to trick a user into believing that the file is safe. This issue is considered to be remotely exploitable in nature because the Safari Web browser will automatically open ZIP archives when downloaded. Macintosh OS X (version 10.4) is reported to be vulnerable to this exploit. Earlier versions may also be affected.

    Symantec advises Apple Safari users to turn off the “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” feature in the Web browser software. Users are also encouraged to review Apple’s guide to safely handling files received from the Internet at: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108009.

    Symantec’s security experts will closely monitor further information related to this vulnerability and will provide updates and security content as necessary.

    Digital DJ

    Tools available to DJ's have changed dramtically over the past few years. First CDJ's were introduced, allowing DJ's to not only mix two CD's together but also allow a fair amount of digital trickery such as looping or changing the speed of a track without changing the pitch. Traditional vinyl DJ's at first derided this new way of mixing, but it slowly gained acceptance. These days you'll see DJ's mixing it up with both CD and vinyl decks.

    Mixers have also come along way thanks to built-in audio processors, allowing the DJ to colour the sound with various effects such as phaser, flange and delays.

    The next phase in this evolution is using software to control the way music is mixed. Software like Ableton and Traktor not only beat-matching but also has the ability to add effects without the need for expensive hardware (although a pro sound-card can be pretty hefty in price).

    The debate is now wether this is DJ'ing or cheating at DJ'ing. The purists will still say that by removing the physical medium (the CD/vinyl itself) from the equation, the DJ has lost 'touch' with the sound and relies on software to handle the monkey-skill of matching two tempo's together. Another argument is that the mix is too perfect, leaving the natural drift of imperfect timing out of the mix.

    By using software, the DJ now has greater scope to provide the audience with a more dynamic sound. Beat-matching becomes a single click and provides the time for the DJ to, in essence, create a remix on-the-fly. Not only can audio be stretched, looped or chopped up, the DJ also has the time to respond faster to the fickle response from the crowd. The detractors also say that the mixes can be pre-mixed, but that takes all the fun out off being a moment away from a train-wreck (a term used to describe two tracks being mixed together that arn't in sync)

    More and more DJ's are making the transition, and with products like Final Scratch, the transition can be almost seamless (this technology allows vinyl DJ's to use a vinyl deck to manipulate audio from a PC). Technology is there to use to stretch our creative boundaries by allowing us to manipulate sound in new and interesting ways.

    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Sony PS3 launch could be delayed

    Sony Corp's launch of its next-generation PlayStation 3 video game console could be delayed if industry specifications for some of its technology are not finalized soon, although it is still aiming for a spring rollout, it said on Monday.

    The launch of PlayStation 3 (PS3) has been the subject of heavy speculation in the industry as expectations are high for the powerful machine, which will feature cutting-edge technology in its DVD player, processors and graphics.

    PS3 will be competing with Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360, which went on sale last November, and Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Revolution, which is expected later this year.

    "We're aiming for spring, but we haven't announced specific regions," a spokeswoman for Sony Computer Entertainment said, adding that it was waiting for the final specifications on some of the technology it is using in the PS3, such as that related to the Blu-ray DVD drive and to input and output video and sound.

    The specifications are decided by industry consortiums.

    Read the original Yahoo story here.....

    Clever Idea from Apple, again

    Apple IMC Southern Africa today announced a new campaign that offers customers that buy a new Apple computer up to R3000 cash back if they trade in their old computer, irrespective of whether it is an old PC or Mac.

    The cash back depends on the new machine that the customer wants to acquire. Towards a Mac mini the customer would get a rebate of up to R750, for an iBook also up to R750, for an iMac up to R1000, for a PowerBook up to R2500 and for a Power Mac up to R3000. The only requirement is that when trading in a PC the machine needs to have at least a Pentium® III processor.

    “In addition to bringing in their old computer, the only other thing that people have to do is register their personal data and the details of the computer that they want to trade in online at www.tradein.co.za, and we will send them a coupon via email, which they can then redeem towards a purchase at every participating reseller in the country”, said Greg Hill. “It is critical that interested customers get the coupon first so as to make sure they do get the rebate at the point of sale”.

    Even people for whom it would be problematic to bring in their old computer to a reseller site can participate in this promotion. They are equally entitled to a rebate, albeit 75% of the regular one, by disclosing the make and model of their old computer on the registration site, and selecting ‘I want to keep it on the site’. They will also be sent a coupon, which they need to present at the point of sale when buying a new Mac; no old PC or Mac has to be brought into the store in this case.

    The campaign ends on 31 March 2006.

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    Nokia 6680 vs Nokia N90

    OK, you be the judge. Below are pictures from my Nokia 6680, the 3G phone and the new Nokia N90, the Multimedia phone.
    The 6680 has a 1.3 Megapixel camera and the N90 has a 2 megapixel camera.
    Remember that it is early days for my N90 and I might get better pictures later...

    Nokia 6680

    Nokia 6680

    Nokia N90

    Nokia N90

    Posted by Picasa

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Job Hunting at an all Time High

    The number of job seekers posting their resumès on CareerJunction was reported as being higher in January 2006 than ever recorded before. Similarly, the amount of new jobs being posted on CareerJunction is at an all time high, with over 20 000 fresh jobs on the website in January 2006 alone.

    Comparing figures of jobs and job seekers on CareerJunction from January 2005 to January 2006 illustrates a tremendous growth in Online Recruitment. The number of advertised jobs increased from 13 060 in January 2005 to 20 982 in January 2006, while over that same period the amount of registered career seekers increased from 326 641 to 473 313.

    There was also a rise in new career seekers completing their resumès on CareerJunction during each of these months. In January 2005, CareerJunction saw 7 359 new career seekers completing their resumès on CareerJunction, while in January 2006, 17 169 job seekers registered on CareerJunction and 9 019 of these job seekers completed their CareerJunction resumès.

    According to Nielsen//NetRatings, CareerJunction is once again the market leader in Online Recruitment, with the amount of unique users and page impressions recorded in January 2006 at 242 680 and 10.8 million respectively. This reflects a rise in unique users and page impressions of 31% for CareerJunction from January 2005 to January 2006. Nielsen//NetRatings provides the industry’s global standard for Internet and digital media measurement and analysis.

    CareerJunction’s top two sectors for both advertised jobs and registered resumès was consistent for January 2005 and January 2006, with both being Information Technology followed closely by the Financial sector. However, the percentage difference between the top two sectors and the rest of the sectors changed quite substantially.

    Nokia N90

    I am now 1 hour into installing my Nokia N90 on my work machine. When I say, "Install", I mean installing the software, Nokia PC Suite, and then plugging the phone in to copy all my photos, videos, diaries etc.

    I am running a pretty fast Pentium 4, ok, the memory is a little low, but should it really take an hour? There is a warning when you plug the phone in that it might take a little while. Boy, isn't that the understatement of the week?

    The N90 has a 2 megapixel camera with Autofocus. I am still to work out this autofocus thing as all the pictures I have taken have not been in focus at all. There is a flashing green square when I take the picture but it never stops flashing. Maybe you have used one of these phone already and you can post a comment to help me out here.

    The phone is also very bulky. Larger than the 3G offering from Nokia, so it comes with a wrist strap just to add to my manly look as I walk through the malls of Johannesburg.

    Ok, it's only been 2 hours since I have the phone. I will write more over the next 2 weeks.w

    Take on all comers. Any time. Any place.

    The wait is over, the battle has been won and victory is complete. Tekken™, the legendary fighting franchise, is to make its debut this Summer on PlayStation®Portable (PSP). Having launched ten years ago on the original PlayStation®, Tekken joins the lofty heights of franchises such as WipEoutTM and Ridge RacerTM which have now appeared on every generation of PlayStation® hardware.

    TekkenTM Dark Resurrection for PSP takes all the top elements from the latest arcade version of the world’s best-loved fighting game and introduces a host of new, PSP-exclusive features to deliver great mobile gaming.

    As you would expect from any Tekken game, the graphics are razor sharp, pushing the PSP to its limits. Two new characters from the arcade version, Dragunov and Lili, allow PSP owners the chance to try out some new moves. With the return of classic fighter, Armor King, the list of combatants goes up to a jaw-shattering 30 characters, each ready to fight across 19 ass-kicking stages. In addition to the conventional arcade set-up, a variety of new game modes deliver a “play anytime, anywhere” experience, perfect for gaming on the go, and the inclusion of wireless two-player, head-to-head combat means that you’ll be able to stuff your mates any time, any place.

    With extra items to customise your fighter and new movie sequences, exclusive to the PSP, Tekken: Dark Resurrection is the ultimate beat’em-up experience. You’ll need to fight harder than ever before to rise through the ranks and beat down all opposition. With competition this intense, it’s a good thing you can take the PSP anywhere to help hone your fighting skills…

    Have you got what it takes to be crowned the King of Iron Fist?

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Cellphone, Cellphone in my Hands, Who is the fairest in the Land?

    A new service allows cellphone users to answer the one question that has plagued us since the first single-cell organism gazed upon its reflection in the primordial soup and wondered: “Am I hot or not…?”

    Launched last week by mobile services company LuckyMobile, Rate ‘n Date allows interested people to MMS photos of themselves to join@ratendate.co.za. Photos are then rated by other cellphone users on a scale of 1 to 10.

    A unique feature of Rate ‘n Date is that the service allows one to chat via SMS to other people who have submitted their photos for rating. According to Tracey Cohen, Marketing Manager of LuckyMobile, “Literally thousands ratings have been received since
    Rate ‘n Date was first launched a week ago.”

    After sending their photos via MMS to join@ratendate.co.za, LuckyMobile sends a WAP link to new users’ cellphones enabling them to log onto Rate ‘n Date whenever they wish to view their current scores.

    The cost of each MMS sent varies according to the user’s cellular network. Minimal WAP charges apply to view other people’s photos while each SMS sent to other registered users costs R2.00.

    “Technology impacts every aspect of our lives and it’s natural that people should be using technology to find the perfect partner. Internet dating and now cellphone dating enables one to interact with so many more potential partners than our parents would ever have been exposed to,” said Ms Cohen.

    It is also fun and easy to rate people without registering for Rate ‘n Date. Simply surf to http://www.ratendate.co.za/ using your WAP-enabled cellphone or your computer and spend many happy hours rating people from 1 to 10 while looking for next year’s Valentine.

    The only requirement to actively participate in the Rate ‘n Date service is for users to be 18 years or older. Profiles will be made available for public viewing.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Microsoft to take wraps off Office Live in preview

    Microsoft said on Monday that it is set to begin testing an online version of its popular Office software in a first step toward shifting some of its computer-based products to the Web to fend off rivals such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

    Starting on Wednesday, the world largest software maker plans to offer a "beta" or general test version of Microsoft Office Live for free to help work out any potential problems prior to a full-fledged commercial release later this year.

    Microsoft dominates the market for software installed on a computer's hard drive with its Windows operating system and its Office business application franchise, which packages together word processing, speadsheet, presentation and other programs.

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Clockspeed introduced dating game on IM platform

    Clockspeed, a mobile development company from Stellenbosch, will tomorrow launch “The Dating Game” on their instant messaging client, MXit.

    Herman Heunis, Clockspeed CEO, says users will start the game with a very basic profile and evolve their characters through interaction with the game world elements and other MXit communicators.

    Users will begin the game by entering their personal details. They will also be given points to assign to different aspects of their personality. Once this is done, users will begin the game, entering a virtual city, consisting of a mall, park, gym, hotel, club and restaurant.

    By using products and visiting different locations, a user’s eligibility will be increased or decreased in relation to another user’s profile. The game’s objective is to meet and date as many people as possible and become the most eligible dater in the virtual city.

    With regards to cost around the game, Meiring says users will be able to add a dating contact for free, but will have to use the MXit currency, Moola, to chat and buy items within the game.

    Chatting in the data will cost two Moola (two cents) per message and items in the game will costs between one and three Moola. Moola is purchased from “JoeBanker” by sending a blank SMS to 34006 for R2/200 Moola or 36104 for R5/500 Moola, Meiring says.

    Nokia expands the scope of mobility

    3GSM World Congress Barcelona, Spain/Espoo, Finland - Today, at the 3GSM World Congress, Nokia unveiled three new devices; introduced its first UMA network solution; launched additional frequency variants for the Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station; and announced a new cooperation agreement on DVB-H interoperability.

    Nokia unveiled the Nokia 6131 and Nokia 6070 mid-range GSM camera phones, as well as the Nokia 6136 Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) device. The Nokia 6131 comes in a folding design and offers a 1.3 megapixel camera, while the Nokia 6070 comes in a classical form and offers basic camera phone capabilities at an affordable price point.

    The Nokia 6136 UMA device, which can switch seamlessly between GSM and WLAN networks, offers users more reliable connectivity in homes or office with poor cellular coverage. Nokia also launched a UMA network solution that enables operators to deliver cellular and data services to subscribers over WLAN access networks, thereby increasing mobile service availability. With both UMA network equipment and a UMA capable handset, Nokia is able to provide a complete end-to-end UMA offering.

    In his keynote address at the event, Nokia Chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila spoke about how multiradio technologies are enhancing mobile communications. “We strongly believe that the technological developments announced here today will provide the basis for a future of faster, easier and more cost-effective mobile telephony services,” he said. “Complemented by emerging multiradio technologies, our devices and network solutions continue to offer an excellent user experience.”

    Ollila also delivered some forecasts on Nokia’s device volumes in 2006. “We estimate that Nokia will sell approximately 40 million 3G/WCDMA devices this year,” he said. “We expect to ship close to 80 million devices with integrated music players, and more than 150 million devices with an integrated FM radio.”

    In 3G/WCDMA networks, Nokia announced new frequency variants for its small and modular Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station. In the second half of 2006, the Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station will be available for the IMT-2000 frequencies 2100 MHz, 1700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1700/2100 MHz. In the first half of 2007, more frequencies will be available, including 850 MHz, 900 MHz and 1900 MHz, with additional frequencies to be added later based on market need.

    In the mobile TV domain, Nokia and Sony Ericsson announced their intention to cooperate on achieving interoperability in DVB-H enabled devices, and in multivendor mobile TV services and pilots from 2006 onwards. Both companies recognize DVB-H as the preferred technology for terrestrial digital broadcast mobile TV and are active in ongoing standardization and technology development.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Comstor introduces Linksys Wireless-G Game Adapter

    The Linksys Wireless-G Game Adapter gives any wired Ethernet-equipped game console wireless connection capabilities, either over an existing home network or by connecting two separate consoles together. With an existing home wireless network and a broadband or DSL Internet connection, the Game Adapter allows the connection of a PlayStation2, Xbox or GameCube to the your home network enabling access to online games without running wires to the game room. A pair of Game Adapters can also be used to form a wireless link between two game consoles, for head-to-head gaming – in the same room, or all the way across the house.

    Louis Cloete, Linksys Product Manager at Comstor enthuses: “Home networking is not just for convenient Internet surfing and sharing printers anymore, its becoming a lifestyle enabler geared towards enhancing home entertainment. The Linksys Wireless Game Adapter is the ideal device to connect a PlayStation2, Xbox or GameCube to the Internet to play multi-player games, unleashing a new dimension on your old multi-player games.”

    The Wireless-G Game Adapter is completely driver-free, so it works on any platform. As there are no drivers to load, setup is simple. In most cases, it works right out of the box! If your setup is a little different, just configure the network settings through your PC’s web browser; plug it into your game box and you are ready for hours of interactive gaming.

    The Game Adapter provides lag-free gaming with communication speeds up to 54Mbps when connected to other Wireless-G devices. It can also connect to Wireless-B (802.11b) devices and networks at 11Mbps. In addition, the Game Adapter dynamically shifts channels and wireless networks based on signal strength and link quality for maximum availability and reliability of connection.

    Cloete concludes, “With its compact form factor -160mm x 100mm x 36mm – and handy desktop stand, the Wireless-G Game Adapter is the ideal complement for the serious gamer’s existing setup.”

    The recommended retail price is R954.00 excl. VAT.

    Fluid lenses feel the pressure

    Physicists have demonstrated a new type of tunable liquid lens whose focus can be changed simply by varying the pressure on it. The lens is formed from the curved interface between a liquid and air at the exit of a small aperture. Such lenses do not require any mechanical parts, are much smaller than traditional lenses and can be focused with high precision. They could be used in web cams, mobile phone cameras and portable medical devices.

    The new lens has been designed by Saman Dharmatilleke and colleagues at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) in Singapore. It was made by housing a tiny drop of water -- or any other liquid with a high surface tension -- in the small aperture of a well. Applying pressure to the drop via an actuator changes the radius of curvature -- and hence the focal length -- of the drop. The focal length can therefore be tuned simply by varying the amount of pressure applied. The lenses can be made either from a liquid-air or a liquid-liquid interface.

    Read more at Physicsweb.org...

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    The Best just got better

    The best piece of software ever written has just got better!!! Yahoo News is reporting that Google Desktop has been improved with its 3rd release....

    Web search leader Google Inc. is introducing an upgraded version of its software for users to organize and find information on any computer and to share it with friends, the company said on Thursday.

    Google Desktop 3 poses new challenges to Microsoft Corp.'s dominance of the way people interact with computers, but also demands users place far greater trust in Google's capacity to protect their privacy.

    Google Desktop vacuums up data stored on a user's PC and makes it accessible on any other computer in regular use by the customer at home or work or even on an airplane trip, assuming users consent to storing data on Google's central computers.

    In addition, Google said it is turning "Sidebar," a system introduced six months ago for viewing live updates of personal information, into a way to share quick notes, news, photos or other tidbits of data with friends or colleagues.

    I-O Data's DVR-UW8DP dual DVD burner copies discs without a PC

    By Marc Perton

    We thought we got away from the old disc-swapping shuffle when we graduated from floppy drives decades ago. But duping CDs and DVDs often involves a painful back-and-forth, or at the very least, dumping tons of files on your hard drive as an interim step.

    Fortunately, I-O Data seems to have a good solution: the DVR-UW8DP, a dual DVD burner that works with our without a PC, which will be available in Japan next month for ¥53,000 ($448).

    Without a PC, using it is as simple as putting a CD or DVD with data on it into one slot and a blank into another, and pressing one button. When connected to a PC via USB, it's a double drive that can be used to both play and burn discs.

    And, just in case you were wondering, no, it can't dupe protected commercial DVDs ... at least not without a little help.

    [Via Akihabara News]

    This story pulled straight off Engadget.

    Give up REAL LIFE for a better crack at it in SECOND LIFE

    Right. So you think you're alive?

    Why don't you log onto SECOND LIFE, a new gaming universe with more than 100 000 online users, and book a consultation with cyber-fashion designer 'Janie Marlowe'?

    According to WIRED NEWS, 'Janie Marlowe' is the online pseudonym of Jennifer Grinnell. Jennifer used to be a furniture delivery dsipatcher until she got hooked into the SECOND LIFE game universe. She soon found herself earning an income in the virtual world, and has now given up her job on earth, and earns four times what she used to earn, designing digital clothing or skins for avatars online.

    Get a llife. A second one. Read the full story on WIRED NEWS.

    Thanks to my buddy Zapruder for alerting me to the story.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    How to get rid of e-waste safely

    I am not sure if I am a fan of the new reporter.co.za site but I did find this article a little interesting. After all, if no one else is talking about it, maybe a place like Reporter is just the place. My only worry is that a large news company is using people's good will to make money. Kind of like Google, just more mischivious.

    Read the article though, here is a snippit.....

    A South African website has been launched recently to promote the environmentally sound management of electronic waste in the country.

    An initiative of the e-Waste Association of South Africa (eWASA), the site serves as an information hub to enlighten people about the dangers of e-waste. The site lists recommended service providers to take care of waste.

    Electronic waste includes computers, entertainment electronics, mobile phones and other items that have been discarded by their original users. While there is no generally accepted definition of e-waste, in most cases e-waste consists of expensive and more or less durable products used for data processing, telecommunications or entertainment in private households and businesses.

    MTN to launch HSDPA

    Are you, like me, getting a little confused with all of the achronims bouncing around the technology world today? Prepare yourself for even more. Today, MTN launched an advancement of 3G which was better than GPRS which was better than GSM. Tired yet?

    MTN is on track to deliver commercial High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) or 3G Evolved services to customers this year, says Ashraff Paruk, General Manager of Business Strategy, MTN South Africa.

    ‘’MTN has identified pilot sites to roll-out HSDPA or 3G Evolved Services and has kicked off the acquisition and infrastructure process. Gauteng is our key market at this stage,’’ Paruk says.

    3G Evolved is ideal for applications such as mobile and interactive TV, enhanced video telephony, multiplayer gaming and information sharing. HSPDA or 3G Evolved will enable users to work faster and smarter through enjoying improved business and home mobility. For example by using HSDPA the user will be able to download of a 3MB file in just 12 seconds as opposed to 3G 68 seconds which means an 81% time saving. System capacity will improve three-fold.

    MTN achieved its first HSDPA call to corporate customers on 29 November 2005, offering users additional speed, bandwidth and applications. HSDPA improves the end-user experience by increasing peak downlink data speeds initially to 1.8 Mbps (megabits per second) with a maximum potential of 14 Mbps in the future.

    Paruk says: ‘’MTN is already offering customers the Sierra Wireless AC850 datacard and a variety of other quad cards that offer 3G Evolved services will be available before launch. We expect roll-out to proceed at a rapid pace.

    ‘’Customers want seamless transmission between voice, video and data. MTN has been at the forefront of achieving this for customers since we launched our commercial 3G service last June. Rest assured, we are delivering on our promise to provide a pervasive wireless broadband service to all subscribers as part of our multi-bearer data strategy.’’

    MTN’s services on the network include voice calls, data connections including GPRS and offers seamless changes between 3G, EDGE and GPRS on different speeds. MTN has 100% GPRS coverage in South Africa and nearly four million handsets are in circulation. MTN offers EDGE customers data speeds of up to 236 kbps. Currently in excess of 30% of MTN’s sites offer EDGE and over 800 000 handsets are in circulation. MTN’s 3G network currently offers data speeds of up to 384 kbps.

    Apple's new 1GB Nano

    Apple Computer Inc. cut the price of its cheapest digital music player, the iPod Shuffle, and launched a smaller-capacity version of its mid-priced iPod Nano.

    The move by Apple, which has 70 percent of the U.S. digital music player market, is aimed at further consolidating a market that it leads, Apple executives said. The company also said it has now sold 12 million videos on its iTunes online store.

    Apple has already sold more than 40 million iPods since their introduction in October 2001, and, in 2005 alone, sold more than 30 million of the popular items.

    The price cuts could raise questions about whether Apple's profit margins will suffer, but American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said he was not concerned.

    "The price of components have come down more than 70 percent, especially flash memory for the Shuffle," he said. "And the price of the Shuffle hadn't changed, so they were making a ton of profit off the Shuffle. So they're passing some of those savings on."

    Asked whether Apple needed to cut prices for products that were already so popular, Wu said, "While iPods have a 70 percent share in the U.S., internationally its share is much lower at around 40 percent."

    Cupertino, California-based Apple said the 512-megabyte Shuffle will now sell for $69, down from $99 previously. The 1-gigabyte model will sell for $99, down from $129.

    The 512-megabyte version holds about 120 songs.

    The new 1-gigabyte Nano, the sleek iPod model that won rave reviews from critics and consumers when it was introduced last September, was priced at $149.

    The 2-gigabyte Nano sells for $199 and holds about 500 songs; a 4-gigabyte model sells for $249.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    BMW gets rapped over the knuckles by Google for cheating

    BBC News reports that motoring giant, BMW, has been given a page rank of zero by Google. This is because the automotive powerhouse was using a technique known as cloaking to mislead the search engine. Read the full story.

    Movie Review and Oscar Predictions

    By jlewin

    Knight Ridder has introduced a podcast that features a round table of their movie critics discussing the Academy Awards. The podcast also includes movie reviews by George Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal, Chris Hewitt of The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Christopher Kelly of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and other Knight Ridder critics.

    Featured are reviews of the critic's top ten movies of 2005, along with reviews of:

    Knight Ridder Oscar Podcasts and Movie Reviews Podcast Details

    This article comes from Podcasting News

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    EA Reveals Game line-up for 2006

    Electronic Arts revealed that it will launch mobile versions of Harvest Mania, Word Whomp(TM), World Class Solitaire and Squelchies as well as mobile games based on the FIFA Street, DEF JAM(R) and SimCity(TM) franchises in Winter 2005/Spring 2006. These titles build on EA's commitment to bring hit games to mobile phones nationwide. Now, gamers will be able to download the same compelling gameplay, real-world sports rosters and rich service-based communities found in the games' counterpart console, PC and web games.

    The new games round out EA's roster of mobile games which already includes Need for Speed(TM) Underground 2, Need for Speed(TM) Most Wanted, NBA LIVE 06, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) 06, FIFA 06, Madden NFL 06, The Sims(TM) 2, Poppit!(TM) Turbo 21(TM) and Tri-Peaks Solitaire.

    In his keynote address at the conference, John Batter, VP and General Manager of Electronic Arts' EA Mobile group, noted that, "The growth of mobile entertainment hinges on our ability to deliver meaningful communities and unforgettable experiences. At EA, our focus is to drive the medium forward by bringing our franchises to market in a way that resonates with the unique play patterns of the mobile consumer.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    SingStar Rocks

    Having wowed the crowds at festivals and gigs throughout 2005 – some of the world’s best live bands are coming together well before the first chords of the 2006 festival season are struck. This is the ultimate line-up – including Stereophonics, Jet, The Subways, Rolling Stones, The Bravery, Blur and many more. The big question everyone is asking is where and when are they appearing?

    Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is pleased to announce that these acts – and a number of additional special guests – are all to appear on the latest edition in the SingStar® series, SingStar Rocks!, available exclusively to PlayStation®2 and set for release in Spring ‘06.

    Featuring 30 fully licensed tracks from global rock sensation The Killers to the heartbreak rock of Snow Patrol, and from one of London’s hottest Indie phenomena - Bloc Party to the Courtney Love inspired genius of Hole, SingStar Rocks! delivers a special “access all areas” pass to the finest in live music.

    Say AHHHHHHHH!, and check out this hot li'l no-contact-necessary thermometer

    It's here... the thermometer that needs no contact. Japanese company Ebara Jitsugyo Co will release this new device that works off infrared rays. Temperature is measured in three seconds with an accuracy of 0.2 degrees centigrade.

    Some of the benefits? No spreading of horrible diseases. Extra hygiene. Get out of the doctor's rooms quicker.

    Now assume the position and get your temperature under control.

    We heard about this through Engadget, who heard about it from Akihabara News who heard about it from Ebara Jitsugyo Co.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    The Honda Accord that'll drive you round the bend

    Bleep bleep bleep! Science fiction alert! Be warned... you are entering the Twilight Zone now...

    Step into the new Honda Accord ADAS launched recently by Honda UK, and you're in the hands of a caring robot. Yup... this car can drive itself on the hgihway, automatically adjusting speed when other cars are nearby, and steering itself around curves.

    You literally take your hands off the wheel, and the car does the rest. But it beeps every ten seconds to make sure you're still paying attention, and you've got to give the steering wheel a brief touch just to reassure it that you aren't doing anything silly like taking a nap on the back seat.

    The car uses radar-based cruise control to deal with acceleration and deceleration, and lane-assist technology to keep you on the right side of the road.

    The Honda Accord ADAS goes on sale any day now, and Honda reckons that by 2016 all of their cars will have the system installed.

    Source: Newsfactor.