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Archive for August, 2008

Plantronics unveils new USB headphones for PC gamers

Posted in Plantronics by Shane McGlaun on August 29th, 2008

Plantronics GameCon 777I have said it before, and I will say it again — PC gamers need a good set of headphones. Headphones are a great way to keep the neighbors/wife/girlfriend/mom from complaining every time you fire up Call of Duty to frag some noobs. Headphones also let you hear more nuances of the sound as well.

Plantronics makes all sorts of headphones and headsets for different tasks — including PC gaming. The latest gaming headphones from Plantronics are called the GameCom 777 and are connected to the PC and powered by one USB connection. The headphones have a built-in USB sound card and utilize Dolby Pro Logic II and virtual 5.1 surround sound.

iSpank Apple logo spanking paddle

Posted in Humor by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

iSpank Apple logo spanking paddleWhat can you say about a paddle that will inflict not only pain but brand others with Apple’s logo? We aren’t all born with the mark ya know. This device is great for so many reasons. If you’re an Apple hater, you can run around Zorro style and give those iPhone users the what for with a good smack. If you love Apple, you may want to brand even your girlfriend with the famous logo for some reason, though you will surely pay dearly.

It’s also a great way to incorporate your love of gadgetry into some of your questionable bedroom activities. Hey, I’m not judging. Of course, it’s created from a ping pong paddle and a stencil. Hell have your own Mac/Apple cult, wearing black robes. Smack! “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Beijing Olympics Fuwa mascot mice

Posted in Mouse by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Beijing Olympics Fuwa mascot miceThe olympics are over, but the gadgets continue thanks to Lenovo. How about a set of five wired USB mice named after each of the Fuwa mascots: Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and NiNi? If you can believe it, the mouse asymmetrical design took six months to complete, after two hundred or so modifications. We’re taking that one with many grains of salt.

At 1000 dpi optical, the mice are elevated for palm support during prolonged use. The Fuwas are UV painted so they won’t get all scratched up when you make them fight each other on your desk. Each mascot mouse retails for about $20, but it looks like they’re available in China and Hong Kong only.

Behold man’s new best friend, the Manvan

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Behold man’s new best friend, the ManvanThose who are always looking for the latest innovations in tailgating will want to take a serious look at the Manvan. Designed by Aimee LoDuca, this oversized behemoth of a van targets football fans who need more nachos, more beer and just plain more of everything.

It’s inspired by the Nissan NV200, and can expand in the rear just like you after a huge meal. It will house almost everything that you need for indoor and outdoor use. We first told you about the Nissan NV200 almost a full year ago, but it’s still at a conceptual stage, despite being completely awesome and extremely useful. One day soon we hope to see it realized. Man’s first parties were in caves, man’s next parties will be in vans.

Samsung X360 ultraslim laptop

Posted in Samsung by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Samsung X360 ultraslim laptopThe new Samsung X360 laptop looks like it might be something special, measuring in at only 0.66-inches thick and weighing 2.8-pounds, it obviously wants to compete with the MacBook Air. The 13.3-inch laptop is powered by a Centrino 2 ULV processor and sports 1GB of RAM and can support up to 4GB.

You can choose from 64GB or 128GB SSD, or a 5400RPM 120GB HDD, X4500 integrated graphics. Some other features are a 7-in-1 card reader, three USB ports, PCI ExpressCard/34, HDMI, VGA, LAN, docking port, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0+ EDR and a 1.3 megapixel camera. No optical drive. The battery will supposedly give you 6 to 10 hours. No word on price yet.

French public transport using USB drives as tickets

Posted in USB by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

French public transport using USB drives as ticketsWhen you think about the French, chances are you think comedy involving mimes and baguettes dancing with their comedy god Jerry Lewis. Is that just me? Alright then. The French are doing something interesting with USB and trains. A kind of wireless easy-pass for trains. French public transportation company SNCF is getting 1,000 customers to help it test an RFID-enabled smart card that doubles as a USB drive, known as the Weneo ID Smart.

SNCF wants to expand its contactless payment system, and the plan would allow customers to plug their train passes into their PC at home. Which makes sense, because at home they can add money to their account, avoid missing trains because the train is pulling away as they rush to put money onto a card, and it probably helps with crowds as well. Schedules can also be downloaded to the card and it’s a photo ID. Once on the train, the fare would be deducted from the card by an RFID reader or an attendant with a handheld device. They’ll have to see if it’s a success first, but if so, the SNCF may want everyone using the system by 2010.

Dad’s Cab: A taxi meter for your kids

Posted in Home by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Dad’s Cab: A taxi meter for your kidsBeing a parent isn’t easy. You have to be a jack of all trades. One of those trades is Taxi Driver. Can you drive me here and pick me up at 10? And it never ends until the kid is old enough to drive. That’s where the Dad’s Cab novelty taxi meter comes in handy. Dad’s Cab is a novelty taxi meter that comes with a bunch of cards that dad can give out to their kids as a bill. Payments include such things as ‘tidy your room’ and ‘make dad a cup of tea’.

In other words, no more free rides. With the included adhesive strips, you can secure the taxi meter to the dashboard of your car. Turn it on every time your kid uses you as a taxi service and the meter will go up. Also doubles as an alarm clock and is powered by 4 LR44 batteries at £9.95. It teaches kids that nothing is free and your time is valuable.

Apple files patent for a multi-touch tablet

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Apple files patent for a multi-touch tabletIt’s far from the first time that Apple has filed patents for some kind of tablet computer. It’s been described in the past as a large iPhone, or as a full tablet, but these latest images look like a large mobile internet device that would be pretty neat. Most of the 52-page filing is in regards to the touchpad.

The device would be large enough to read easily and use, but also thin and light. One of the images has an interesting virtual keyboard. Some of the illustrations show a tablet Mac with a full windowing interface, where interface windows can be enlarged, shrunk, moved, and cycled, rather than being locked in place like the iPhone. Click the link for an interesting read on more details.

Nintendo talks Wii Fit shortages: Says same old things

Posted in Wii Accessories by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Nintendo talks Wii Fit shortages: Says same old thingsAnybody else getting tired of hearing the same old thing from the big N regarding shortages? The company just issued a statement regarding shortages of Wii Fit and it’s a familiar tune: Regarding Wii shortages in November of 2007 they said: “The demand for Wii hardware globally has been unprecedented and higher than Nintendo could ever have anticipated.” Fast Forward to NOW, regarding Wii Fit shortages: “Nintendo had a substantial supply nationwide for launch, though some stores saw spot shortages due to unprecedented demand for this unique product.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you have a huge demand for the core product, wouldn’t the demand for a fitness accessory be nearly as huge? And shouldn’t you have planned for it rather then having to pay PR people to explain that there is a Huge demand? Nobody is taking you seriously.

The Rolling Bridge retracts out of the way

Posted in Outdoors by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

The Rolling Bridge retracts out of the wayThis is a great design for a bridge. It retracts into itself like one of those rolly-polly bugs. It’s creator is Thomas heatherwick and it’s an award-winner as well as a fantastic addition to the grand union canal system in london. There are other movable canal bridges, but the rolling bridge curls up on itself to form an octagon by using hydraulics. Check out the video below to see it in action. It’s always nice to see a fresh take on an old theme. Turns out London bridges aren’t falling down, they’re just moving.

Pac-Man mini portable mod

Posted in Games by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

Pac-Man mini portable modMany of us have fond memories of Pac-Man as well as other Namco arcade classics, so what could be better then putting a whole bunch of Namco classics in a portable? That’s what modder Sam Thornley did. The portable Pac-Man Mini console is built around one of those Jakks Pacific Namco Arcade Classic systems, with a tiny 2.5-inch LCD display and it gets it’s power from a set of 4 rechargeable AA batteries.

He did a great job as the end result is a nice clean retro looking portable that will match your Wii. Thanks to a direct composite video connection, the screen image is super sharp. It will play Pac-Man, Galaxian, Rally-X, Bosconian, and Dig Dug.

The Linux Space Cube, apple-sized computer

Posted in Computers by Conner Flynn on August 28th, 2008

The Linux Space Cube, apple-sized computerThis thing looks like it’s alien in origin, but it’s made right here on Earth. It’s the future people! It’s the size of a small apple. And they crammed a lot inside. A 300 MHz processor, 16MB of onboard flash memory, 64MB of SDRAM, and a 1GB CompactFlash card loaded with Red Hat Linux. On the outside, it’s got a single USB port, VGA, Ethernet port, RS232 port, and mic and speaker plugs.

The entire deal is powered by a 5V plug. But that’s not all. It’s also got a “Space Wire” port, which is a proprietary interface used by people like the ESA, NASA and JAXA, for when the Cube actually goes into space. Get it? Space cube. But it’s not just for space, you can get your own soon, “once a few technical issues have been ironed out”. They will retail for as much as $2,769.

Samsung Wi-Fi digital photo frames announced

Posted in Samsung by Shane McGlaun on August 28th, 2008

Samsung SPF-105P 10-inch Digital Photo FrameMany people who shoot lots of digital pictures are big fans of digital photo frames. The frames give somewhere for all of the digital pictures they shoot to be viewed. Digital frames have become much more useful since makers have begun integrating Wi-Fi into the frames.

Samsung introduced four new digital photo frames today called the SPF-85H, SPF-85V, SPF-105P, and SPF-105V. The 85 models have an 8-inch screen and the 105 models both have a 10-inch screen. Both the 85V and 105V have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with 802.11b/g. The Wi-Fi frames are optimized for Windows Live Spaces for photo sharing and can display RSS feeds from USA Today and more.

Sony whips out DSC-T500 digital camera

Posted in Cameras by Shane McGlaun on August 28th, 2008

Sony DSC-T500 CameraThis has been quite a week for introduction of new digital cameras. This week Canon announced its new DSLR camera called the EOS 50D. A plethora of other cameras was also introduced by various manufacturers.

Today, Sony pulled the wraps off its own new digital camera called the Cyber-shot DSC-T500. The camera stores images to the Sony proprietary Memory Stick — one of the lines biggest drawbacks if you ask me. The camera has a 10-megapixel sensor and can record video as well.

Olympus adds new member to rugged Stylus SW family

Posted in Digital Cameras by Nino Marchetti on August 27th, 2008

Olympus Stylus 1050 SW

The camera gods of Olympus have rained down a fair number of new digital cameras this week – another one is a new member of the rugged Stylus SW series. It is known as the Stylus 1050 SW and you’ll find it pricing around $300 when it comes out in October.

The Stylus 1050 SW is a 10.1-megapixel shooter which Olympus says has a shockproof, waterproof and freezerproof body. It is available in four body colors and can be controlled with a simple tap on its top, back or sides, “which is made possible thanks to the new camera’s 3D accelerometer that detects the direction of the force on the camera’s body.”