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Archive for 2009

Ex-employee says Seagate stole Hard Drive Silencing Technology

Posted in Seagate by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

The drives may be silent, but an ex employee is not. The former employee is accusing Seagate of stealing the technology from MIT researchers (violating an NDA), and also alleges that they destroyed the blueprints in order to hide the evidence.

The lawsuit has stretched on for a decade believe it or not. It will be interesting to see the outcome if there ever is one. Especially considering this new allegation.

Epson gets into Augmented Reality

Posted in Epson by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

Epson thinks that greeting cards could use a face lift and it thinks it has found the answer in augmented reality greeting cards. On the website they’ve set up for the end of year nengajo cards and they show how easy it is to use one of their Colorio printers to print off a color postcard with a picture of your face over a cute picture of 2010′s year of the tiger character.

When you hold it up to a webcam it brings the augmented reality to life. If you like that sort of thing, a video can be found here.

Unichal’s Dixau DX3 digital dictionary

Posted in Cameras by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

Nothing makes you feel dumber than encountering a large word you don’t understand. You could type it into google and find out, but that’s too much work. Unichal’s Dixau DX3 digital dictionary saves you all that trouble. It will take a picture of the word with a pop-up digital camera and automatically translate it.

Big words will never slow you down again. And hey, you are learning something new. The Dixau DX3 also features text-to-speech to help you with pronunciation, a microSD slot card, and stylus pen support.

Pocket Radar is world’s smallest speed radar

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

We’ve seen our share of pocket-sized speed radar detectors, but the new Pocket Radar might be the first that could actually fit in your pocket. Or in the palm of your hand. Of course there are some trade-offs for the size.

Still, the company says that it “forges a new standard in speed radar performance,” and supposedly it can track the speed of everything from a fastball to race car within one mile per hour. We can only take their word for it.

GSM encryption cracked

Posted in Mobile Phones by Shane McGlaun on December 29th, 2009

Voice calls have been placed over GSM networks for years now. The calls are encrypted on many networks with a 21-year-old 64-bit algorithm to prevent the calls from being captured. Hackers in Berlin have now cracked the GSM encryption.

A group of 24 hackers led by Karsten Nohl has announced that they have broken the encryption and have provided other hackers with a codebook coming in at 2TB that allows for the decoding of a valid encryption key. Carriers can modify their encryption code to remain protected.

Ford enables iTunes tagging with new HD Radios in vehicle line

Posted in Ford by Shane McGlaun on December 29th, 2009

HD Radio has been around for a while now and promises free over-the-air broadcasts that rival CD quality. Many local FM stations in your area probably broadcast HD programming as well. Ford has announced that starting next year it will integrate HD receivers with iTunes tagging into its vehicles.

The new HD receivers will have a button on the front that users can hit to tag the songs for iTunes. Up to 100 tags can be stored in the SYNC system and downloaded via USB to an iPod to sync with iTunes. When the iPod is synced, the songs can then be purchased with iTunes.

CiragoTV Platinum CMC2000 multimedia center sports 1TB of storage

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on December 29th, 2009

The amount of digital media that some homes consume today is staggering. Today home movies are often all digital, our photos are digital, and our music is digital. We need a place to store all that digital content and we need a way to send the digital content around our homes.

This is where the new CiragoTV Platinum CMC2000 comes in. This device is a multimedia center that can store, stream, record, and play all sorts of popular digital media. The content is stored an internal HDD of up to 1TB of capacity.

Half of all US homes to have HDTVs by end of 2009

Posted in Comcast by Shane McGlaun on December 29th, 2009

The holiday season is the time when many people get new HDTVs and other gear for their home theater. This year there were some raging steals on HDTVs thanks to low prices and holiday specials. Comcast has announced the results of an independent study by Leichtman Research Group about the HDTV market.

According to the study by the end of 2009 almost 50% of the homes in America will have an HDTV. That is a lot of TVs and this year there is another thing coming soon to push people to buy HDTVs. The winter Olympics will be kicking off soon.

Dual-Mode USB Modem from C-motech

Posted in Modems by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

C-motech’s dual-mode USB modem, known as the CBU-450D, handles HSUPA and also WiBro in South Korea as well as looking pretty in a floral motif. It measures in at just 92.7mm × 33.4mm × 12.2mm and weighs 43 grams>

The CBU-450D will handle a maximum download speed of 7.2Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 5.76Mbps in HSUPA mode, while in WiBro you’ll get 33Mbps download and 5.2Mbps upload speeds. It plays nice with Windows 7, Vista or XP.

PQI releases 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Posted in USB Flash Drives by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

Have you been holding out on that 64GB flash drive purchase, because you want something faster than USB 2.0? Well, PQI has just the thing. The PQI Cool Drive U366 is a USB 3.0 flash drive inside of an all aluminum shell.

Since it is USB 3.0, you’ll get 5Gbps/sec maximum bandwidth and it has a read speed of up to 97MB/sec. If 64GB is more than you need, 16GB and 32GB options are also available. Soon enough, other manufacturers will be unleashing 3.0 flash drives.

8GB iPhone 3GS coming soon?

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

Will Apple soon offer up an 8GB iPhone 3GS? There’s nothing official yet, but according to a German shopper, when he purchased a refurbished 8GB iPhone 3G, he received the phone with a label on the back that suggests an “iPhone 3GS v2.2 8GB” model.

The model is A1231 and the part number MB490DN/A point to the older model correctly, but the “iPhone 3GS” appears elsewhere on the packaging.

Easy Shot Clip camcorder weighs just 18g, measures 2 inches long

Posted in Camcorders by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

The $70 Easy Shot Clip camcorder from Concord Keystone measures just 2-inches in length and an inch in width and weighs just 18 grams. Of course it isn’t the most powerful camcorder, with a VGA resolution quality of 640 x 480 pixels, but it does shoot sound in 30fps.

It can record up to 2 hours of video on it’s 2GB of flash memory and charges via USB, playing nice with either Windows 7, Vista or XP, or Max OS X 10.4.7 or later.

Helix gaming grip turns your iPhone / iPod touch into a Tie-Fighter

Posted in iPhone Accessories by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

Chances are that the current iPhone and iPod touch steering wheels still don’t have your attention. Maybe PosiMotion’s recently announced Helix gaming grip will be the one for you. It’s ideal for “virtually any game,” and as a bonus, it puts your device into the cockpit of a mini Tie-Fighter.

The Helix will house your iPhone or iPod touch in either portrait or landscape mode, with a “grip-enhancing” soft-touch coating to keep your hands from slipping.

The Rambler Socket hides an extension cord in your wall

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on December 28th, 2009

Short cords on things like vacuum cleaners really stink. And if you use an extension cord, well, it just gets in the way. Let’s face it, cords are just plain messy no matter what you do. Well, the newly designed Rambler Socket is here to help.

It’s basically a 1.5 meter cord rolled up and hidden behind a socket. When needed, all you need to do is pull the cord out and connect your appliance instead of using an extension. When you’re done, just give the cord a slight tug and it winds the cord back into the wall.

Arduino based MakerBotWatch

Posted in Watches by Conner Flynn on December 28th, 2009

This is one of the coolest watches we’ve seen in some time. When you think Arduino, you tend to think robot projects, not watches. This Arduino based MakerBotWatch actually manages to be fresh and exciting and it’s something that any DIYer can try.

The MakerBotWatch uses an ATmega328 microcontroller to run the bootloader, while the two concentric circles of LEDs show minutes and hours. A vertical row of four LEDs adds in the additional resolution needed to get 60 minutes on the watch face. The MakerBotWatch is expected to go into production as a kit soon, but with no laser-cut bezel.