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Archive for December, 2006

Barrel Toroid is Largest Superconducting Magnet

Posted in CERN,Magnets,Science by Paul Patterson on December 31st, 2006

The ATLAS DetectorThis is the ATLAS Detector, home of Barrel Toroid – the largest superconducting magnet ever built. The barrel-shaped magnet provides the magnetic field for ATLAS, a particle detector at CERN1′s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The Barrel Toroid consists of eight precisely aligned rectangular-shaped superconducting coils measuring 5m wide, 25m long and weighing 100 tonnes. The magnet will be used in ATLAS to bend the paths of charged particles produced in collisions at the Collider.

The goal of ATLAS is to answer questions like: why particles have mass, what is the unknown 96% of the Universe made of, and why Nature prefers matter to antimatter.

The magnet was recently powered up to its nominal operating conditions on the first attempt. Still in development by over 1800 scientists from 165 universities and laboratories, the new particle accelerator is scheduled to turn on and start taking data in …

Buffalo LinkStation Pro Home NAS Device

Posted in Buffalo,NAS by Chris Weber on December 31st, 2006

Buffalo LinkStation Pro reviewThe Buffalo LinkStation Pro is a home network storage device that is more like a corporate file server than an external USB drive. This NAS unit comes with its own processor, Gigabit Ethernet networking and SATA drives. So in fact this little unit is a stand alone file server.

Speed issues with other models seems to have been alleviated with the usage of a Gigabit network connection and of course the inclusion of faster hard drives. Buffalo claims that the speed of this unit rivals a local USB drive. In practice this performance claim didn’t quite pan out but it is still by far the fastest unit like this that we have seen.

The unit comes in several different capacities; 250, 300, 400, 500 and 750 GB units are all available. The 250 GB unit …

OV-Watch Tells You When To Do It

Posted in Watches by Darrin Olson on December 31st, 2006

Fertility WatchWe’ve written about a number of cool gadgets in the form of wrist watches, and the OV-Watch is a unique addition to the list. The OV-Watch is a fertility prediction gadget that can be worn on the wrist to predict what days are the most likely to become pregnant. This in turn let’s you know what days to have sex, or not have sex depending on what your goals are.

The OV-Watch senses the increase in amount of chloride ions on the skin of the wearer, indicating up to four days in advance when they are going to be fertile. Due to this method, simply putting on the watch would not immediately indicate fertility since it needs to establish a trend to identify the increased chloride.

This OV-Watch inherently has some advantages over other fertility detection methods since it doesn’t measure temperature or require …

Heat Sensitive Spoon

Posted in Home,Kitchen by Darrin Olson on December 31st, 2006

Heat Sensitive SpoonIn the world of low-tech gadgets this heat sensitive spoon is one of those items that is actually pretty cool. It can be used in the microwave to sense the temperature of whatever is being heated up and indicate when it’s at 120 degrees Fahrenheit by a change in color. Conceivable just the opposite could apply, where this spoon would also indicate when something has cooled below 120 degrees avoiding someone sticking their finger in your food either way.

The heat sensitive spoon is meant for microwave preparation only as it is only heat resistant to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and could melt otherwise. The spoons come in a set of 3 in different colors and go for under $10 for the set.

Source [RedFerret]

USB Memory on a Stick

Posted in Storage,USB by Quagmire on December 30th, 2006

Memory StickNow this is a memory stick. This memory stick is made for anyone looking to commune with nature, play fetch with their dog, or just bring a little taste of the outdoors into their cubicle.

The memory sticks are a creation from the Oooms Design Studio based in The Netherlands. The sticks were “made to stand out against its natural environment of computers and offices.”

The sticks are handpicked from the woods based on their beauty and uniqueness. Then they are handmade into a USB 2.0 memory stick. The sticks are available in 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB sizes.

This certainly brings new meaning to the term “memory stick”. This is a nice break from the utilitarian design of most personal storage devices. Be warned, you might get a few double-takes around the office wearing one of these on a lanyard around your neck….

Asus EN8800 GTX

Posted in ASUS,Computer Components,NVIDIA,Video Cards by Chris Weber on December 30th, 2006

asus en8800 gtx boxPrepare for the next generation of video cards. DirectX 10 is right around the corner with Vista and with it the graphics upgrade games have been waiting for. In fact, DirectX 10 might be the only compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. If the screen shots we’ve seen are any indication, graphics are going to get a whole lot better.

Of course with new software comes need for new hardware that supports it. The next generation cards are coming out. The Asus EN8800 GTX is a high end video card that supports DirectX 10 and DirectX 9. In fact DirectX 9 support is incredible. As many games will still use DirectX 9 in the foreseeable future a card like this might be worth it to kick up the graphics on today’s …

Google Blog Search Supplants Technorati and Attracts Younger Crowd

Posted in Google,Hitwise,News,Technorati by Paul Patterson on December 30th, 2006

Google Blog SearchAccording to Internet traffic-monitoring firm Hitwise, the number of visits to Google Blog Search has surpassed visits to Technorati for the week ending 12/23/06.

Google Blog Search was introduced in September 2005 and experienced some trouble finding an audience. However, October marked a significant increase in Google Blog Search traffic when Google placed a link to Blog Search on the Google News home page. This action resulted in a 168% surge in market share for Google Blog Search over a two week period and positioned the Search tool as a serious threat to Technorati. Since then, approximately 60% of Google Blog Search’s traffic has been coming directly from Google News, compared to less than 1% before the change.

Google Blog Search Surpasses Technorati

Hitwise also identified another interesting fact regarding Google Blog Search visitors. The Demographic data show that 34% of visitors to …

AllofMP3.com Continues to Operate Despite Lawsuits

Posted in Legal,MP3,music,News by Chris Weber on December 30th, 2006

aAllofMP3 continues despite lawsuitA new cold war of sorts is brewing in the online music industry. The Russian music store AllofMP3.com is planning to continue business as usual even as US lawsuits are pending.

The US music industry is claiming that AllofMP3.com is operating illegally. AllofMP3 claims that it is following all Russian laws.

AllofMP3 offers MP3 downloads that are free of DRM (Digital Rights Management) schemes that most US music download sites use. The company also charges much lower rates sometimes by as much as half or lower. For instance, we found Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up” for 42 cents on AllofMP3 versus 99 cents on iTunes (www.applie.com/itunes).

In a recent post on its blog AllofMP3 claimed that the court case against AllofMP3 was “imprudent.”

They continued:

“AllofMP3 understands that several US record label

Nexto CF Ultra ND-2525 Storage Device

Posted in Storage by Paul Patterson on December 30th, 2006

NextoDI CF Ultra ND-2525This is the Nexto CF Ultra, an ultra-fast personal storage device to backup memory cards from your digital camera or other portable devices.

The device acts as a backup for your memory cards and thereby frees you up to carry just one or two cards at any given time. Just take the memory card out of your digital camera and insert it into the Nexto CF and press the copy button to backup the card. Once the copy is complete, pull the card out and start taking more pictures.

The ND2525 uses X-Copy technology, making it one of the fastest backup devices on the market. X-Copy allows the device to read data from the card and write it simultaneously. It takes less than 50 seconds to backup 1GB of data at the max speed of 32MB/s. A H/W verification process compares the data …

iTunes Unable to Keep Up Over Holiday

Posted in Apple,Digital Audio,News,Services by Darrin Olson on December 29th, 2006

Apple iTunes overloaded during Christmas seasonAfter some misinterpreted data on falling iTunes sales earlier this month, recent reports from CNN.com are saying that this iTunes sales continue to do quite the opposite.

According to reports, over the holiday season the iTunes store was receiving so much traffic that users were experiencing delays and at times where even unable to download music from the iTunes website. According to Hitwise, iTunes had received four times the amount of traffic during Christmas than it did at the same time the previous year.

“What you’re seeing is the tremendous success of the iPod,” said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director with JupiterResearch. “No doubt it was a very, very popular gift, and no matter how well you plan on the server side of the equation, there are always times when you get caught short.”

Although many people had reported having trouble …

i-Blue757 Solar Powered GPS Receiver

Posted in Bluetooth,GPS,Solar Powered by Darrin Olson on December 29th, 2006

i-Blue757 Solar Powered Bluetooth GPS ReceiverTransystems have come out with another small GPS receiver to take with on your travels, but this one can gather it’s power from the sun. The iBlue757 GPS receiver has a built-in rechargeable battery that supplies up to 26 hours of up time on a 3 hour charge, but it also has an added solar panel to add countless hours of operation to this device.

It transfers data wirelessly via Bluetooth, so you will need a Bluetooth enabled smartphone or PDA with your mapping software to send this information to. The site also says it’s compatible with TomTom Mobile Navigation software.

The whole GPS receiver with battery and solar panel included only weighs 105 grams, and allows you to have a nice compact receiver that won’t run out of juice. Now you just have to make sure that your device running your …

GMail Users Reporting Mass Deletions

Posted in Google,News by Chris Weber on December 29th, 2006

gmail mass email deletionIt started as a post in the Gmail help group. Users were seeing their email and contacts being deleted before their eyes. Posts then trickled in that the users affected were using Firefox 2.0.

From the available evidence it appears that possibly a security hole in Firefox 2.0 allowed some malicious users to delete emails in a user’s account. One user claimed they received a message in their inbox stating, “This is not a mistake. All your emails and contacts have been deleted
on purpose. This was a malicious attack and not an error. Have a nice
day. =)”

It appears that Google may be moving towards a resolution with this issue. However it …

Hello Kitty iPod Dock / Clock Radio

Posted in Accessories,Clocks,Hello Kitty by Chetz on December 29th, 2006

Hello Kitty iPod Docking Station Clock RadioThere are continuously fewer popular gadgets that don’t have some type of accessory related to Hello Kitty, and this Hello Kitty Clock Radio / Docking Station for the Apple iPod comes as no surprise.

This clock radio has some of the normal functionality you would expect, with an alarm that will play the radio or your iPod, and a 5 minute snooze button. Also, of course it bears the familiar pink colors and design of Hello Kitty products.

There are a couple things that could make this particular clock radio a little more worth looking into for some, though. It does dock, charge and play your iPod Mini or nano through the stereo speakers, but it also has a video out jack. This allows iPods that have video or pictures to display them on a TV set, which was something a little …

Company of Heroes RTS Game Review

Posted in Games,Relic,Review,RTS by Chris Weber on December 29th, 2006

company of heroes rts game review box coverRelic, the company that produced the Warhammer 40,000 games has done it again. We have long been fans of the Warhammer games (actually one of us spent Thanksgiving day playing through the Dawn of War games again) and we’ve been anticipating Company of Heroes. We are glad to say that it does not disappoint.

Company of Heroes follows Able Company through the D-day invasion of Omaha beach up until the Battle of Normandy where the Allies defeat the Germans in France.

The game just does things right. Company of Heroes is a an RTS but like other Relic RTS games the sometimes tedious resource gathering and base building concepts are turned on their head. You have to capture and hold strategic positions in …

AACS HD DVD Protection Compromised in 8 Days

Posted in Digital Video,News by Darrin Olson on December 28th, 2006

HD DVD AACS Protection Cracked in 8 DaysA forum poster by the name of Muslix64 has recently cracked the new “unbreakable” AACS protection or HD DVD movies and posted it in a thread on Doom9 forum. It also appears that Muslix64 has created a video about using the BackupHDDVD software, showing a command line interface, the files being created and a clip of Full Metal Jacket while showing that the DVD was in hand, not in the player.

“just bought a HD-DVD drive to plug on my PC, and a HD movie, cool! But when I realized the 2 software players on windows don’t allowed me to play the movie at all, because my video card is not HDCP compliant and because I have a HD monitor plugged with DVI interface, I started to get mad…” posted Muslix64 on the forum. “This is not what …