tech - hawg
Friday, February 24, 2006
  Because I'm a geek
The first official Spider Man 3 picture! Black and white image or black and white costume he's wearing?

  The LG F9200 gets reviewed

The LG F9200 looks pretty sharp, comes with a QWERTY (damn that's easy to type) keyboard and is more affordable than you probably think it is. Providing you buy it with the standard two year contract of course. With the contract, the LG F9200 comes in at $150, cheaper than other phones that look similar or perform similar functions. The overall verdict in this review is that it's a bit clunky but easy to use and just plain ol works.

  Info on the Sony Ericsson K800i leaks out

A picture of the Sony Ericsson K800i and a spec list were leaked via forum post so that mean a release can't be too far behind! Some of the said to included features are a 3.2 megapixel camera, video streaming, digital music playing ability (mp3, aac, aac+ and eaac+ formats) as well as being Bluetooth enabled.
  The WeeRider puts your tots in the front

Do you like going on bike rides with your young-uns but hate having them sit in the back, out of the view of your ever-watchful eye? Me too! Now with the WeeRider Centric Carrier, you can replace your keeping your eyes on the road with keeping your eyes on your child. You'll sleep better at night knowing that you can watch junior while you crash into the telephone pole you didn't see coming because junior was in your way! Seriously, does anyone else think this isn't the best idea? Good thing it comes with a free toddler helmet cause i guaruntee they're going to need it.
  Coolest iPod covers ever

I would have to say these iPod video covers featuring various pop icons are the slickest iPod covers out today. Most of the iPod covers you see are all professional looking and very quitely sleek. These covers break that mold and it's refreshing, not to mention just flat out cool. Dig it.
  The Cyber Snipa, built for the hard core

If you're gonna frag, you might as well frag in style. Dig the under-lit Cyber Snipa gamepad from...ah who cares. This game pad may be a little overkill for your midnight sessions of The Sims but for the descriminating Half Life 2er and the still-playing-Quake-er, this may be close to perfect.
  Dino ate my cell phone

This dinosaur skull cell phone holder looks almost guarunteed to scratch up your leg and rip your pants to shreds. If you could fit it in your pocket that is. I wonder if anyone out there actually uses one of these?
  That's one big mouse pad

It's not just the size that makes the Soft Trading Steelpad 5L Gaming Mouse Pad different, check out the official description:

A unique mouse pad featuring the durability and stability of a hard plastic, as well as the softness and smoothness of a cloth mouse pad. The SteelPad 5L is composed of five different layers, each layer contributing to the overall precision and feel of the pad. The surface of the SteelPad 5L is highly durable and offers consistent and precise mouse control.

A mouse pad that is strong like hard plastic but feels like cloth. Genius!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
  Microsoft's Origami Project
What the heck is Microsoft's Origami project? According to Microsofter Robert Scoble, it's a codename for a "new kind of device". Hmmmm, device eh?
  iTunes passes the one billion mark

Looks like iTunes passed the one billion downloads mark very early this morning. Nice. How much do you want to bet it takes even less time to get to 2 billion?
  some new iPod Accessories
I was snoopig around iLounge and found some must-have iPod accessoires. I consider them "must haves" because I hate wires and I drive a lot. The ones that I would spring for first would be TEN Technology's naviPlay Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset Kit (how about TTNBWSHK for short). I hate having my ear phones getting stuck or caught on what ever protruding object I happen to be walking by so wireless via the TTNBWSHK would be great. Being an iPod accessory, it doesn't hurt that the set looks sleek as all get out either.

Next up is Macally's three-in-one iPod kit for the road warrior. The accessory sits right in a cupholder from where it can emit your tunes via an FM channel as well as charge your iPod. All that from a cigaret lighter adapter. Good stuff. Now if I only had an iPod.

  Get a piece of HAL

Get your hands on 1GB of HAL's memory via thinkgeek. You know HAL as the crazed intelligence from the movie 2001: A Space Odessey. The awsome product description:

Who knew computers would be so advanced in the year 2001? Certainly not us... we were damn impressed with Furby and along comes HAL. HAL was created in 1992 at the HAL plant in Illinois... then had some minor "issues" during a 2001 space mission. Subsequently HAL's memory units were removed for later examination and some of these happened to fall into our hands... or that's what some Dave guy told us. Technology wasn't quite as refined back then but these slim USB thumb drives can hold 1 Gig of your files and interface using USB 2.0, an engineering miracle at the time. All of HAL's schizophrenic tendencies should be removed but we guarantee nothing. Watch your computer carefully for any erratic behavior and please leave your pod bay doors open.
  Give your mobile phone a memory 8 friggin gigs!
No idea why you would need 8 gigs of memory on your cellphone but if you were so inclined, now you can go nuts thanks to US Modular's Stik&Stor memory modules. Now you can hold a bajillion useless pictures and songs that you will probably not listen too all that much, why? Because who listens to music on their cell phone? No one yet, that's who. Some of the features:

* 32-bit RISC core

* Integrated on-chip components

* MicroSD mechanical interface

* Compliant to the SD standard rev. 1.01

* Hardware support for the C2 encryption and decryption routines (CPRM)

* On-chip ECC

* Data transfer rate to flash memories: up to 40 MBytes/s

* Sophisticated software for wear leveling

* Automatic power-down mode and sleep mode

* Optimized pre-formatting

* Re-programmable firmware

Available: February 2006

1GB: $79 (flash)

2GB: $99 (flash)

4GB: $149 (micro drive)

8GB: $199 (micro drive)
  Funky looking Mpio players

These too-interesting-looking-to-be-released-in-America Mpio FY700 digital music players were available in Korea and have just recently been released in Japan. They come in 512mb or 1GB storage sizes and sport some pretty long battery life times.
  The gun cellhphone

Don't you hate it how people can be so rude with their cell phones? Don't be so quick to complain next-time, the cell-phone-manners-abuser may be using this .22 caliber cell phone gun. When a certain sequence of buttons are pressed, the phone will release 4 rounds in quick succession. Just hope you never mistakingly fire off when trying to dial someone's number.
  how to really use MS Paint

this is how you really use ms paint...
  Web Design demystified with Google Pages

Google has unleashed Google Pages, an easy way to create web pages or a basic little web site. You can edit the HTML yourself if you're feeling adventerous but the editor can do a lot of the work for you. Nice for people who want to get on the web quick and easy, bad for those who crave good web design.
  MacBook Pro gets reviewed

David Ciccone over at MobilityToday put up his review of the oh-so-new and oh-so-fast 2GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro. Some good morsels mentioned in the article; the laptop isn't held toghet by a latch of somesort, some quite strong magnets keep it closed, the keyboard is backlit in the dark but the MacBook Pro also has a built-in ambient light sensor that helps it determine how bright to make the keyboard and screen. He didn't get the full advertised battery life though, he got around 3.5 hours of battery life vs the advertised 5-8 hours. That could have been due to not fully optimizing it to conserver battery life but eh, no biggie. Basically the Intel Dual Core MacBook Pro is nice, slick and fast. Color me envious.
  The Nikon D200 reviewed

dpreview has their review of the more professional orientated Nikon D200 digital SLR camera. Basically it's a friggin montster of a camera. It packs quite a punch but not as much a the Nikon D2X. Check out the comparison charts and review of the Nikon D200 here.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
  RIM lives to fight another day
Looks like Research in Motion (RIM) has won a victory in their battle over the patent infringement dispute that threatened to shut them down. While the Canadian Blackberry makers were fortunate in the US Patent and Trademark Office issuing a final rejection of the two claims that caused this whole mess, intellectual property expert, Robert Greene Sterne, still believe RIM is walking a very thin line...

On Wednesday Robert Greene Sterne, an intellectual property expert specialising in the electronics industry and who represents neither NTP nor RIM but has been following the case closely for his clients, said: "It is a mistake to assume that Judge Spencer will not shut down the Blackberry system soon after the February 24 hearing.

"RIM continues to play a dangerous game with its users and shareholders by not settling this dispute with NTP."

oh schnap.

  Wireless plans compared

The Wireless Report did up a nice little diddy comparing how the big four (Verizon, Cingular, Sprint and T-Mobile) best met a certain set of needs. The needs are:

Customer need: an individual, regularly-available calling plan with these details:

We will assume coverage is advertised as available in the customer’s area for home and work

400 to 600 anytime weekday minutes and unlimited/free night airtime minutes (after 9pm) and weekend airtime minutes
Nationwide toll-free calling and national roaming included (whether in or out of home network)
200 to 500 text messages per month (not including MMS, video and picture messages, unless applicable)
Wireless handset-only internet access with at least 2 megabytes of data traffic per month (we’ll dispense with all the acronym jargon such as WAP, WML, xHTML, EV-DO, EDGE, etc.)
Voicemail, Call Waiting, Caller ID (typically free with any wireless plan)
That’s it! For a normal customer, this is a typical calling plan need most likely. The above example could be described by a customer as this: “I need about 500 minutes and free nights and weekends, a few hundred text messages, national toll-free calling and roaming, and the ability to check my email from my phone a few times a day, and maybe I’ll buy some ringtones and games occasionally”.

They even show coverage maps which basically show that yes, the Verizon network is pretty big.
  Samsung's SCH-B340

Get TV in the palm of your hand with Samung's latest mobileTV phone, the B340. Well, you can get it in Korea at least. It looks similar to the one released stateside but this one comes with satellite DMB service as well as the seemingly standard goodies, a 2 megapixel camera, mp3 player, TV out and some pda-like functionality. It's also motion-sensitive to a degree, allowing you to chage the menus (and "create beat box"?) but shaking the phone up and down.
  Edgeio - ride the edge

Edgeio is taking the whole listings/classifieds business model one step further and by making it easier for those who have items to sell to integrate their listings into the edgeio site. But doesn't Craigslist already do this? To a certain extent. You can post to Craigslist the items or services (ahem) you have to sell but with edgeio, you can point edgeio at your site and say, "Here's my feed of superfly gear i'm selling...make me proud.". Then bam, you have your site on which your selling the schwag and edgeio is taking your feed and publishing your items on their site.

When searching for items, you can put in your city or state and it pulls up the items that are associated with that location. You can even broaden your search right from the results page by sliding out the slider to the right while you watch the search results update seamlessly (via ajax magic of course). You can do this sort of zooming in and out the scope of your results for anything that you've searched for. It works and looks pretty nice to boot.

The only gripes I have is that I wish there were more pictures to go along with the associated items but that probably has more to do with the content creators (the users) than the service itself. All in all, playing around with edgeio was a pleasant experience. It'll be interesting to see how large it gets and how it does with a lot of data.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
  MacBook Pro...unpacked

The title says it all really. All I can really add is...that's one fine looking machine. Fine and sassy.

get more unpacking pics here...
Friday, February 17, 2006
  Never scratch a CD again

A Denver based startup, succintly named Scratch-Less Disk, is making a cd that is neigh un-scratchable.

To protect their playing surfaces, the discs are made with aerodynamic bumpers around the edges and a clear 4-micron layer of a polymer developed by General Electric

Gotta love it. You can get the Scratch-Less goodness from these shops shown here, I'm sick of burning a DVD (of home movies of course!) and then having it unreadable a week later due to a scratch. It's depressing after awhile. I'm all over it.

  Apple to sell out and switch to a Windows?
Woah. That would be some earth-shattering news. John Dvorak seems to think this could be in the process of happening already. His uses some interesting arguments, like how Apple has been so cut-throat in regard to keeping their secrets secret even when it comes to something small. They just don't want anyone digging as to not unearth the biggest whopper of them all. Another reason for Apple to go with Windows operating systems on their Macs, the fact that Macs are still not mainstream. Despite the iPod's best efforts, there hasn't really been a huge influx of Macs taking share from Windows-based pcs. There are some other arguments in the article, which you can read here but color me unconvinced...yet. I would think Apple would have to be pretty desperate to gain mainstream acceptance for them to make this switch. That being said, I would be all for an Apple-modified version of a Windows operating system. Maybe they could pump some OSX goodness into Vista. Doubt it but I can still dream.
  Good pic of Helio phones...


  Hello Helio

Up and comer Helio announced their two launch phones yesterday. The Pantech Hero and equally slick VK Mobile Kickflip (pictured). The MVNO mobile provider plans on bringing some cool overseas technology to the US market with Amp'd being their main competitor. What's interesting about Helio is that they're partnering up with MySpace to debut MySpace mobile which will (can you guess?) let you perform the most common MySpace functions. This one could be a hit with the design impaired teenagers who run MySpace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
  Ma.gnolia is the bees knees

Before I begin yes I use Finding out about was a lightbulb moment for me. "Now I can access my bookmarks anywhere! To hell with sending myself e-mails with links to visit!". Now that has been out for what seems like years in web 2.0 time and has gone corporate (i.e. bought out by Yahoo), the time seems ripe for some innovation in the whole online bookmarking space. Gnolia steps up to the plate and almost knocks one out of the park with their entry into the online bookmarking space Ma.gnolia.

Let's first look at what I considered good. The site just feels fresh. It has a certain visual pop to it that's refreshing coming from the dull grey void that was Ma.gnolia just feels fresher as a result. What's also cool is the tag groups you can setup. You can create a public or moderated group where others can add bookmarks to your group, like a flickr album of sorts. You also get the must-have tagging functionality and a spot to view your or your group's most popular tags as well as a view of the tagging going on in the community as a whole. There's also a basic contact organizer included as well. You can add contacts, send and recieve messages. It's not extremely robust but you almost get the feeling like it's something that may be improved upon down the road. Nonetheless it's still good.

Now that we have the good out of the way, I'll get into my gripes. They aren't many since as a whole, my Ma.gnolia experience went fairly well. The only thing keeping me from switching whole-heartedly to Ma.gnolia is the fact that I can't work as fast in Ma.gnolia as I can in That may just be me having used for so long but i think it may also be attibuted to the interface itself. Ma.gnolia is more laid out versus the compactness of I just got used tonot having to look too far or move too far to delete, edit or add a new bookmark. It also crashed IE for me when I tried to delete a bookmark. I pulled up my gibberish bookmark, clicked the delete icon, the browser window turned dark and after a few seconds it was "not responding". I don't think it was anything wrong with the site but it still didn't give me warm fuzzies.

Forgot to add that adding new bookmarks to your groups is a bit clunky. You have to create and save the bookmark first and then add it to a group. Shouldn't you be able to create the bookmark and save it to a group in one fell swoop? eh, maybe I'm crazy but that would be a touch quicker.

Will I be using Ma.gnolia? Yes, for two reasons: 1. It makes me happy and 2. It's built with Ruby on Rails (or so I've heard). So in short, Ma.gnolia is a nice, bright, new online bookmarking service that builds upon the foundation laid by those before it (namely just Worth your time? Yes.

[link] Ma.gnolia
  NTT DoCoMo unleashes the Nokia NM850iG 3G FOMA

Is it me or does Nokia seem to make the buttons and the button pad a little more compact with almost every generation of phones. Hmmm. The handset is bluetooth enabled with a 1.23 megapixel camera. Heck it even comes with currency and measurement converters. If that isn't enough to make you foma at the mouth (get it...FOMA...ahhh, you'll laugh later), I don't know what will.

More goodies from the press release:

The NM850iG's CMOS camera offers effective resolution of 1.23 mega pixels. Travelers will appreciate the phone's calculator, which is configured to quickly convert currencies and measurements. The clock is preset with the local times of major cities around the world, and up to 15 cities can be displayed simultaneously on the stand-by screen.

The handset will be available at all DoCoMo sales channels. The price will be open (unfixed). It will come with a standard kit including exclusive AC adapter, stereo earphones with integrated microphone, USB cable, Nokia PC Suite data link software and 32 MB RS-MMC memory card.
  Office Live gets

Looks like the Microsoft Office Live team is beginning to roll it out for a select few. Reading the three product descriptions, it looks like Office Live is going to be a little bit different than what I thought it was going to be. Here are the descriptions...

Office Live Basics: Create your own professional Web site in minutes! Microsoft Office Live Basics is the perfect way to get started on the Web. It features all the basics you need to create your first Web site, including free hosting, Web site statistics, personalized domain name, and e-mail addresses.
Office Live Collaboration: Microsoft Office Live Collaboration lets you store, share, and manage your everyday business information in one central online location.
Office Live Essentials: Get the essentials for establishing and managing your business online. Create your own Web site, access e-mail, share documents, and track projects — in or out of the office from almost any Internet-connected computer.

Seems a little 37signal-ish to me with the project tracking and the online coolaboration and all. The "step up" here is the whole "create your website, domain and manage the hosting" angle but is that over kill? Do they integrate it semalessly and make it easy as pie to manage? I don't know. Somebody will know soon but for now I'm keeping my apprehension.


  brrreeeport !
For the scobleizer and because i'm sooooo a Z list blogger...

brrreeeport !
  Is the iPod going iPhone?
amphetameme lays out a case for why Apple may be moving towards an iPhone pretty soon. Some of the reasons for their specualtion include Apple recently registering to sell mobile phones and service as well as their filingto trademark the phrase "Mobile Me". "Mobile Me" doesn't scream iPhone to me, maybe more of a portable media device, a beefed up iPod video perhaps? What's also interesting is the fact that the manufacturer of various controller chips for various iPod models has hooked up with a company that makes "modems" that are designed to keep you connected to the web all day, everyday.
  Nintendo DS gunning for the PSP

Well so far, the Nintendo DS is beating up on Sony's PSP in the "fun games to play" department but they were lacking in the PR-friendly features department. At least, they were until today. Nintendo recently held a Nintendo DS press conference to chat up thier increasingly popular Nintendo DS. What they also let the world know is that the DS will be getting an Opera internet browser and a digital tv tuner. No word on when this will be available but I wonder if you'll be able to watch two channels at the same time via the DS's two screens. Hmmm...
  Sleepycat sells out
and we by no-means meant that to be taken in a bad way. Oracle scooped them up for an undisclosed amount as they begin to rev up their picking-up of open-source projects. Here's the Oracle press release and SleepyCat themselves have to say.

I do want to be absolutely clear on one thing: We have no plans to change the open source strategy that Sleepycat pioneered, and that has been so successful for us. The Berkeley DB products will continue to be distributed under both open source and proprietary licenses. The open source community remains a critical factor in our success. Our commitment to that community is as strong today as it has always been.

If you're a Sleepycat customer, I think you'll like what you see. We'll be easier to find, we'll be able to offer more services in more places, and we'll have a much wider range of products for you to choose from when you're making your end-to-end architecture decisions. Our product plans are unchanged. We're staffed up and hard at work on the features you've asked us to build.
  and we're back!
After a long, much needed break, we're coming back to bring you the tech goodness. We hope you enjoy it.
Cell phones, Gadgets, DVRs and DAPs. All around Tech-coolery....


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