Archive for January, 2008

Leapfrog Tag brings audio to story time

Posted in Toys by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Leapfrog Tag Reading SystemLeapfrog, a developer of educational products for kids, has unveiled a new handheld “learn-to-read” technology which lets children interact with the stories they read. It is called the Leapfrog Tag Reading System and pricing is around $50.

The Leapfrog Tag Reading System is a small handheld scanner a child can use to touch a page of a special “Tag book.” These pages, when touched, emit audio for the stories. This is supposed to create a higher degree of interactivity with what the child is reading. Parents connect the Tag handheld to a computer to transfer audio for each book onto the device. 16MB of internal memory lets Tag hold around five books worth of material.

Sony delivers 1080i video conferencing system

Posted in Video Conferencing by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Sony PCS-XG80Sony is preparing to take video conferencing in a new direction as it unveils what it is calling the industry’s first 1080i video conferencing system. It is known as the Sony PCS-XG80 and pricing will be set at around $9,000.

The Sony PCS-XG80 will offer video conference participants frame rates of up to 60fps. Besides being able to connect with HD video quality it will also be backwards compatible with standard definition systems. It also offers up some other technical features called BrightFace, Video Annotation, and RF Remote functionality.

Lumix TZ5 – another with wide-angle and HD video

Posted in Digital Cameras by Darrin Olson on January 29th, 2008

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 digital cameraPanasonic announced the DMC-TZ5 as another Lumix camera heading for shelves soon with very similar features to the DMC-FX35 model including a wide-angle lens and high-def video recording. The TZ5 loses a little in megapixels compared the FX35 with 9.1, but gains in just about everything else.

The DMC TZ5 Lumix has a 10x optical zoom, generous 3-inch LCD display and a 28mm wide-angle lens that can get almost twice as much panorama compared to typical lens. It also features Panasonic’s big 5 Intellegent Auto features for automatic adjustments for exposure, scene selection, image stabilization, facial detection of as many as 15 faces and ISO Control to adjust shutter speed for moving images. This model can also record video with 1280 x 720 HD resolution at 30 frames per second with an HD out component cable port.

Panasonic is expecting to have the TZ5 available by the end of March with a retail price of just under $350. More detailed release information below:

12 Star Trek gadgets that became reality

Posted in Lists,Sci-Fi by Conner Flynn on January 29th, 2008

12 Star Trek gadgets that became reality
Like many Sci-Fi novels shows and movies, Star Trek showed us futuristic gadgets that at the time were complete Science fiction, but soon came to be a reality. Here’s a list of such technology, in no particular order.

These might be new to you if you have always been far to enamored with the women of Star Trek to notice the tech and gadgets. I don’t blame you, from Yeoman Rand to Tasha Yar, to Beverly Crusher and beyond, there’s some hot babes gallivanting around in the final frontier. Before we get so easily sidetracked, back to the theme. Star Trek gadgets and tech. Some you can own, some are in the works and some are just strange.

New Panasonic compact cameras offer manual control

Posted in Digital Cameras by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Panasonic DMC-LZ10Panasonic unveiled today some new Lumix LZ-Series compact digital cameras which are point and shoot models with a decent set of features. These are the DMC-LZ10 and DMC-LZ8, priced at around $250 and $180 respectively.

Both LZ-Series models feature Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses and wide-angle shooting — 30mm on the LZ10 and 32mm on the LZ8. Manual controls are available for use, there’s 5x optical zoom and battery life is provided via AA batteries.

Panasonic says the DMC-LZ10 and DMC-LZ8 will both be available in February. More details after the jump.

Diamond Multimedia delivers new TV tuner cards

Posted in TV Tuner by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Diamond Multimedia TV WonderDiamond Multimedia recently unveiled to the masses a new line of TV tuner cards. Seven models make up this TV Wonder line and they are available now.

Diamond Multimedia said its new TV Wonder cards let you view free-to-air analog and digital cable signals on your computer. The HD 600 series of TV Wonder cards includes a single hybrid tuner and remote control, while the HD 650 Combo come with a dual tuner, FM tuning and remote control. All models work with over-the-air Digital TV/HDTV (ATSC), Clear-QAM Digital HD Cable, and over-the-air/Cable Analog TV (NTSC).

GizMac brings to market new iPod nano cases

Posted in iPod Accessories,iPod Cases by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

GizMac AluminateGizMac Accessories, a maker of add ons for iPods and iPhones, recently unveiled some new third generation iPod nano cases. These are called the GizMac Aluminate and GizMac DuraSport. Pricing is set at around $30 for both.

The GizMac Aluminate protects the nano in a mixed shell of aluminum. Built-in screen and click wheel protectors also exist. Accessories which come with the Aluminate include a lanyard and a carabiner clip.

New Pulse smartpen writes, records, dances a jig

Posted in Pens by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Livescribe PulseA company by the name of Livescribe has unveiled what it is calling a “smartpen,” a computer within a pen. It is called the Pulse and it will be available this March.

The Pulse captures handwriting, according to Livescribe, while at the same time recording audio and synchronizing it with the writing. One can tap on the notes to play what was recorded while they were writing.

Ace Bayou develops wireless audio chair

Posted in Furniture by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Ace Bayou Wireless Audio ReclinerAce Bayou, a developer of self described sound furniture, is coming out with a new recliner which will cut the cords, so to speak, when connecting to an audio device. It is called the Ace Bayou Wireless Audio Recliner. No specific word on pricing or availability.

The Ace Bayou Wireless Audio Recliner makes use of space inside the chair to “amplify sound, increase sound quality and improve the user experience.” It has a built-in 2.1 sound system with two forward-facing speakers and subwoofer.

Panasonic’s latest Lumix with wide-angle lens

Posted in Digital Cameras by Reuben Drake on January 29th, 2008

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 10.1 megapixel digital cameraAmong the many shooters hitting the market today from Panasonic, the latest added to the Lumix lineup was announced as the DMC-FX35. This model has Panasonic’s first wide-angle lens at 25mm giving the ability to get almost double the width into the picture.

The Lumix DMC-FX35 takes photos at 10.1 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom, and can also recored 720p high-def video 1920 x 1080 ready to play on your widescreen at home. If pictures are too slow and high-def video is just too much this Lumix also has a high-speed burst of photos that can take up to 6 per second and go non-stop, limited only by the size of the memory card.

A USB/PS2 keyboard & mouse to your PS3

Posted in PS3,USB by Conner Flynn on January 29th, 2008

A USB/PS2 keyboard & mouse to your PS3
XFPS has created a nifty little gadget that allows you to connect a USB or PS2 keyboard and mouse to your Playstation 3. The question is, will it be PlayStation 3 authorized only, or are we finally going to be able to use any keyboard and mouse on those integrated USB ports as long as the game supports it?

A company representative said that you will be able to play games such as Unreal Tournament 2007 with the keyboard and the mouse, which might mean the end of auto-aiming that is now have on Playstation 2. More details are sure to come. We will try to get more info on this one for you.

Nikon busts out Coolpix S600

Posted in Digital Cameras by Nino Marchetti on January 29th, 2008

Nikon Coolpix S600Nikon is showing off its early 2008 load of digital cameras this week and one which is in the spotlight is the Coolpix S600. It is priced at around $300.

The Coolpix S600 is a compact, stylish 10-megapixel shooter available in a black body color. It offers a 4x wide-angle 28-112mm Zoom-NIKKOR lens, technology to compensate for camera shake and ISO abilities up to 3200. Start up time is rated a quick 0.7 seconds, according to Nikon.

The Nikon Coolpix S600 will be available in March. You can get full details after the jump.

Cheeseburger in a can the new spam?

Posted in Home by Conner Flynn on January 29th, 2008

Cheeseburger in a canWhen char broiling a burger with your tailpipe is just not doing it for you, why not cook up a cheeseburger in a can? This tops my list of bad ideas and has got to be this century’s equivalent to spam.

The entire cheeseburger comes in the can. You just boil the can for a few minutes and pop it open. This comes from a company called Katadyn, a Swiss-based company that primarily deals with mobile water sterilization and desalination equipment. Until now. Now they are focused on strange MREs. They have a powdered wine that when reconstituted has an alcohol content of over 9%, a chocolate mousse, and of course the burger in a can. They all supposedly have a shelf life of 12 months. Gross.

Star Wars poker chips will win your hand

Posted in Home,Star Wars by Conner Flynn on January 29th, 2008

Star Wars Poker Chips
What happens in Bespin stays in Bespin. When you are taking in Cloud city, otherwise known as Bespin, and you sit at the table to play a round of cards hoping to score a Millenium Falcon, you don’t want to use boring old poker chips. You want the power of the force. You’ll need it too, players like Lando and Han are tough. How do you think they won the ship?

The set even features a chrome dealer token that looks like the Death Star, plus a set of translucent chips illustrated by artist Russell Walks. You get 50 blue Luke Skywalker chips, 50 blue Obi-Wan Kenobi chips, 50 green Yoda chips and of course 50 red Darth Vader chips. The case even has 72 LEDs that make the chips glow like lightsabers when they’re stacked in their slots. Now that should make other players quake in their boots. The fun doesn’t end there. You also get 2 casino-quality card decks that come in their own foil boxes.

RockBand Mic reveals the game will be hitting the Wii

Posted in Games,Wii by Conner Flynn on January 29th, 2008

Rock Band Mic
It was only a short time ago that Harmonix had finally announced the release of standalone instruments for Rock Band. At the time there was no word of a standalone mic. As it turns out, it is already on sale. The packaging teases us with a single word. Wii.

No, that doesn’t simply mean yes in France. It means that Rockstar should be hitting the Wii sometime soon. This isn’t the best picture, but if you look in the top right corner of the package, you’ll note which systems it’s compatible with: Playstation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. This is interesting because so far Harmonix has been strangely silent about a version of the game for Nintendo’s console.