Archive for April, 2009

Blackberry users hit 1 million downloads for Slacker Radio application

Posted in Mobile Phones by Shane McGlaun on April 30th, 2009

slacker-sbI am not a big fan of streaming music personally, but in theory services like Slacker sound cool. Rather than buying individual tracks, Slacker lets users create personal radio stations. The service is available for mobile phones and computer users.

Slacker has announced that its application for the Blackberry line of smartphones has now been downloaded a million times via the Blackberry App World. Using the application Blackberry users can listen to personal or programmed radio stations over a wireless network.

SanDisk releases a quartet of slotRadio cards with 1,000 tracks each

Posted in SanDisk by Shane McGlaun on April 30th, 2009

sandiskslotradiocards-sbI still don’t get the slotRadio format. I can see what the record companies are trying to do, but they still don’t seem to get why consumers prefer digital tracks to physical formats. With a digital track, you can port the song to multiple devices, assuming there is no DRM. SlotRadio tracks are stuck on the microSD card, which might as well be a CD.

SanDisk has announced the launch of four new slotRadio cards from Billboard that each feature 1,000 tracks. Each of the cards covers a different music genre and will sell for $39.99. The genres covered include rock, country, oldies, and Hip Hop/R&B.

Samsung gives new camcorders Touch of Color treatment

Posted in Samsung by Shane McGlaun on April 30th, 2009

samsungsmxc14-sbMost parents have a camcorder that they use to capture home movies of the kids and family events. Many kids use a camcorder to capture video of friends and themselves doing crazy stunts and generally acting goofy.

Samsung has announced a pair of new camcorders that are more for the parents than for kids looking for a cheap camcorder for YouTube uploads. The camcorders include the SMX-C14 and the SMX-C10. The two units are virtually identical with each offering the same ergonomic design and Touch of Color looks.

Imation announces new SSDs and SSD upgrade kits

Posted in SSD by Shane McGlaun on April 30th, 2009

imationssdkit-sbI am still not ready to start looking at upgrading any of my notebook or desktop computer to SSDs. At this point, the SSD is still too expensive for the slight benefit a consumer will get from the SSD upgrade. I will hold out until prices drop significantly for SSDs and capacities are more in line with what you can get on a traditional HDD.

Those who want to upgrade to an SSD for their notebook or desktop now can get new SSDs and upgrade kits from Imation. The company has announced that it is shipping its S-class and M-class SSDs along with all-in-one upgrade kits.

Fuji EnviroMAX eco-respectful batteries available in retail chains

Posted in Batteries by Shane McGlaun on April 30th, 2009

fujienviromax-sbAs most readers of The Brick, I am a big gadget hound which means I always seem to be in need of batteries. For some of my gadgets, like digital cameras, I prefer plain AA or AAA batteries over rechargeable. That way, if I run out of juice away from home more power is but a flick of the battery door away.

Fuji has announced that its EnviroMAX eco-respectful batteries are now available in retail chains across the country including Ace, Tru Value, and ACO Stores. I guess eco-respectful is sort of like eco-friendly. Then you can be respectful without being friendly so who knows.

Coveroo color laser engraved backplates featuring Marvel characters

Posted in Mobile Accessories by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Coveroo color laser engraved backplates featuring Marvel charactersCoveroo has announced their latest update to their line of laser engraved backplates for cellphones and Blackberries. New HighColor printing processes will be used for accuracy and some brilliant color. The design won’t fade, rub off or get dirty like skins.

You can swap out your existing backplate fo a custom one from Coveroo’s catalog of licensed brands. Everything from vintage images of Beverly Hills 90210 to Resident Evil. You can also get the new Marvel Collection and NBA logos, which will be the first to be using this new color technology. The Marvel characters are Wolverine, Hulk, Captain America, Spiderman, and Thor.

Stickers spice up your boring microwave

Posted in Kitchen by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Stickers spice up your boring microwaveMicrowaves are boring. They all look alike. They’re just plain, boring boxes that magically heat your food. There is no iPhone of microwaves. But if you want to spice up that bland food box, help has now arrived in the form of Microwave Stickers.

They come in a variety of patterns and make it seem like you have a cool new appliance. When you get sick of it, just put a fresh sticker on top of the old one. I for one want nothing more in life than to have some fish swimming on my microwave.

Samsung announces STORY Station HDD

Posted in Storage by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Samsung announces STORY Station HDDSamsung announced the STORY Station external hard drive, which includes a few interesting features. The storage device uses a 3.5-inch HDD for backing up your information. It will be available in only Korea first. Some features include a USB 2.0 interface and Auto Backup, SafetyKey and SecretZone functions will give you an optimum level of security for your data.

There’s also a power-saving mode so you aren’t an energy hog. The hard drive is encased in a brushed aluminum exterior. The STORY Station from Samsung will be released in Europe sometime in May in 500GB, 1TB and 1.5TB flavors. The device will appear in other areas as well, though we don’t have release dates yet or even pricing.

Elderly to get GPS so they won’t get lost in supermarkets

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Elderly to get GPS so they won't get lost in supermarketsIt’s one thing to get lost in a car, a town, a city. It’s something else entirely to get lost in a supermarket while driving a shopping cart. Apparently Grocery stores are more dangerous and confusing than any of us knew. Especially to the elderly. It’s a real concern. They get confused.

One minute you’re pushing your cart by the oatmeal, hitting a few stock boys with your cane, bitching about the government, talkin’ about the good old days when bread was 50 cents, when next thing you know you’re in the frozen food section with a pregnancy test in your 80 year old hand and a fresh fish sticking out of your purse. Wth?

High Road Aerocar cruises at 180 MPH

Posted in Aircraft by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

High Road Aerocar cruises at 180 MPHLeigh Aerosystems’ latest concept is the “High Road.” A new kind of flying car. The High Road has already completed initial wind tunnel tests at the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s 12-foot tunnel with great success, which led to more detailed mechanical and structural design.

Some of the operational and performance goals for this aerocar include a 180 mph cruise speed at 15,000 ft., 20,000 ft ceiling and a 500-mile range. Sure, it will cost a fortune when it sees the light of day, but the rest of those poor suckers will be on the ground and you’ll be flipping them the bird while tossing empty red bull cans on skyscraper roofs.

Ultraslim laptop backpack

Posted in Notebooks by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Ultraslim laptop backpackIt’s like a bullet-proof vest for your back. Only not bullet-proof. No, this won’t cause anyone any concern. You just look like you are part of some covert op and wearing your gear. I’m sure it won’t raise any eyebrows at the airport or the bank.

On the plus side it goes with anything you might care to wear. Hell, why not let your spine handle the load? Especially if you have an old clunker of a laptop that has caused you some arm injuries. It has 3 compartments. One for your Laptop, one for accessories and a pocket.

Wake up to Darth Vader’s head

Posted in Clocks by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Wake up to Darth Vader's headI can’t think of a geekier way to wake up. Vader should have had the time displayed on his eyes in this fashion throughout all the movies, just to be helpful to others. Because I don’t remember seeing many clocks in the Star Wars universe. In fact, don’t let Lucas see this, or he just might re-edit the whole damn series to include such a thing.

For $30 you’ll get an AM/FM radio and Vader’s head will also act as a speaker for your digital audio player. It’s pretty cool, but what I was really hoping for was to wake up to Vader’s breathing.

Kid gets rocks in Nintendo DS box

Posted in Nintendo DS by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

Nintendo offers two new DS Lite bundlesJodi Wykle just wanted to get her son a new Nintendo DS for his birthday. Sadly, what he got was a box of rocks. The story goes that the kid opened up his gift only to find bunch of stones and some rolled up Chinese newspaper in place of the popular handheld.

Doesn’t that just suck. Maybe the kid had it coming and it’s the work of Santa, who is sadly a few months behind…Or ahead of schedule. Whatever the case, the mom contacted the local Wal-Mart where she bought the box, but reportedly workers told her it wasn’t their problem and that she should contact Nintendo. Big surprise, Nintendo told her the same thing.

The PXP-900 looks familiar

Posted in Handheld Entertainmnet by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

pxp-900_1-480x389We’ve seen our share of gaming and gadget rip-offs, but this is one of the most blatant knockoffs we’ve seen in a while. Look familiar? Why it looks exactly like a Sony PSP. And while the PXP-900 clones the style, it doesn’t bother with the titles, instead, sticking to retro gaming ROMs.

The PXP-900 can handle classic titles from the NES, Famicom, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Super Famicom and SEGA MegaDrive. Onboard storage is 2GB, and it functions as a PMP too, playing up to 25fps 320 x 240 video in a bunch of formats on a 4.3-inch display.

Acer working on several Android devices

Posted in Android by Conner Flynn on April 29th, 2009

AndroidEverybody is jumping on board the android wagon. Acer is already hard at work on several different devices using the operating system and software, and they plan to launch a smartphone using the software later this year.

Acer doesn’t want to be left in the dust, what with Samsung recently outing the I7500 and HTC pimping the Magic overseas. Gianfranco Lanci (President and CEO) says that “the entire industry is looking at Android,” and that the company “is testing Android on a lot of different solutions.”