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Archive for March, 2011

The iPad 2′s camera can now see through clothes

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

We knew this day would come eventually and here it is. The iPad 2 can help you see through clothes. Jason Bradbury accomplishes this using a pair of cheap night vision goggles, cling wrap, and an iPad 2′s camera. The man is obviously a genius.

He then takes a photo of himself through his clothes. And it works. Crave gives this as an explanation: “The idea is based on an inadvertent side effect that some camcorders with low-light functions experienced about a decade ago. The cameras worked by emitting infrared light via special LEDs. The camera, when in “night vision” mode, would then record video in infrared instead of visible light. Some cameras, though, generated an “X-ray effect,” allowing the viewer to see through the clothes of the person being videotaped.”

Amazon exploring Mobile-Payment Service for Handsets

Posted in Amazon by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Amazon.com is considering the introduction of a service that would let customers pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores using their mobile phones. This info comes from “two people with knowledge of the project” so we don’t have any confirmation just yet.

This service would use near field communication (NFC) technology, which allows devices to transmit data like payment information, loyalty points and coupons by simply tapping them against special cash registers. It makes sense for Amazon to venture into this field since Microsoft, Apple and Google are said to be planning software, devices or services with NFC themselves. If this does happen it should happen within six months time.

HP readying EliteBook 2560p and 2760p notebooks

Posted in HP by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

HP is hard at work readying two new portable notebooks for release, the EliteBook 2560p and 2760p. The news comes from HP itself and a NotebookItalia report, which reveals some specs for the 12.1-inch notebooks.

They might replace the current 12.1-inch 2540p and 2740p as they are getting long in the tooth at about a year old. The 2760 will be a convertible tablet, and the 2560 a more traditional notebook. Both will feature USB 3.0, DisplayPort and your choice of 1.4GHz Core i5, 1.6GHz Core i7 and 2.7GHz Core i7 chips. They may also have up to 16GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive. The 2760p offers an LED-backlit 1366×768 display and an optional 1440×900.

PlayStation Games now available in Android Market

Posted in Sony Ericsson by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Even before the release of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY smartphone, Sony PlayStation games are now appearing in Google’s Android Market. So you have the games now and are just waiting for the phone. Five title’s are available in the Market so far, added today. They include Syphon Filter, MediEvil and Cool Boarders 2.

The available titles are $6.38 each, with more expected to arrive over the next few weeks. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY is the first PlayStation Certified Android smartphone and of course it will be capable of playing original PlayStation games downloaded through the Android Market. That’s one of the reasons we can’t wait for the smartphone. The Xperia PLAY is expected on Verizon Wireless’ network in the U.S. this spring. Are you willing to pay $6 for games as old as these though?

Nintendo responds to 3DS headache complaints, says take a break

Posted in Nintendo 3DS by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Some gamers have been complaining about headaches and eyestrain when playing the new 3DS console. It seems like it is only a few users right now who are having trouble playing games on the console comfortably. But Nintendo’s UK PR head Rob Saunders says that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and that a risk of discomfort comes with the territory when you are talking 3D content.

Like with any activity that is strenuous on the eyes, he advises that people take breaks. Maybe they could use that break time to go outside and enjoy some nature. Watch a butterfly glide on the breeze, if you know what such a creature is. Feel the warm sun on your pale gamer skin. Whatever. Just don’t stare at a tiny screen all day and you should be fine.

Wasabi Wooden cases for iPad

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Want to spruce up your now outdated old iPad? The best way to do that is to upgrade to the iPad 2, but if you don’t want to do that, then here’s a way to give it an external makeover. The Wasabi collection features five ukiyo-e (woodblock print) designs by the famous 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

My only concern with these is that they seem like they would be heavy. They’re made from African mahogany and will cost you $272 each. Yikes. Heavy and expensive. But they are pretty.

HTC Flyer shows off New UI and Features on video

Posted in HTC by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

The HTC Flyer was announced last month, and in the latest promo video, we get a much better look at it, like seeing the Flyer’s UI in action as well as other features, like HTC’s new stylus. Looks pretty good to us.

To refresh your memory, the HTC Flyer features a 7 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 and comes with Google Android 2.4 Gingerbread, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor and a new version of HTC’s Sense UI. There’s also a 5 megapixel camera on the back and a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera for your video chat needs.

Continuance Rechargeable USB Batteries

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Continuance is a rechargable battery concept by Haimo Bao, Hailong Piao, Yuancheng Liu & Xiameng Hu. It redesigns the traditional AA battery by putting a USB port on it. This way, the battery can be charged via a USB connection or the device can be used to charge mobile and other devices via USB.

It doesn’t seem very practical. You would lose some of the battery capacity just by putting the USB port in the battery. But it is still neat. Maybe in the future this could work very well.

Digital Music to overtake CDs in U.S. sales by next year

Posted in music by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Things have been bad for the music industry ever since itunes and it is getting worse. Physical album sales are expected to drop 40%. The RIAA in the US and the worldwide IFPI have often said that these drops in sales are only due to piracy, but we all know that that is just bogus. Much of the drop is due to the decline of the album format.

Much of the industry’s sales has always been due to stronger whole albums in some cases and of course the necessity to buy a whole album at $15 to $20, even when you only want one or two songs. Strong quality albums are what sells. Quality. Are there any modern Beatles? Stones? Bah. I’m going back to bed.

Acer H274H Full HD Monitor

Posted in Acer by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Acer has just unveiled their latest Full HD monitor, the H274H, for the European market. This one is targeted at gamers and multimedia enthusiasts. The 27-inch LED-backlight monitor has a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, 100,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 5ms response time and 178/170 degree viewing angles.

As far as connectivity ports, you get D-Sub, DVI and HDMI. The H274H is available for purchase right now in Europe for 299 Euro (That’s $422 yankee dollars).

Apogee Duet 2 for Mac

Posted in Mac by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

The Apogee Duet 2 is for musicians who want to record their own music using their Mac. It is made especially for the Mac and made for GarageBand and Logic. It will record your musical instruments and vocals. So you have no more excuses. Lay down those tracks and share your music with others.

The Duet 2 features line/mic/instrument inputs for your gear, and records audio at up to 192kHz. The device is also Core Audio compatible. The Apogee Duet 2 will be available in April for $595.

First USB 3.0 Video Card

Posted in USB by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

It may not look like much, but this is the first USB 3.0 video card. And don’t worry, you don’t have to sacrifice image quality and frame rates with this device because USB 3.0 has enough bandwidth for even multiple HD monitors. Awesome. This USB 3.0 video card from Sunix has a GPU either from in-house or SMSC.

The adapter draws just 400mA current, helping with backwards compatibility. That means that the dongle will work when plugged into a USB 2.0 port. The max resolution the adapter can handle is 2048×1152 and the HDMI 1.2 connection.

Samsung is not installing keylogger software on laptops

Posted in Samsung by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2011

Yesterday we reported that someone had found some keylogger software on some new Samsung laptops. We knew it didn’t make sense for a popular brand to take that kind of risk and as it turns out, it was all a misunderstanding.

The confusion apparently comes from the fact that the VIPRE security software mistakenly identified Microsoft’s Slovene language folder (“SL”) as Starlogger. Samsung managed to recreate it from an empty c:\windows\SL folder, Bottom line is that Samsung laptops are safe.

Logitec’s new wireless router looks like a wind turbine

Posted in Routers by Reuben Drake on March 31st, 2011

The new Logitec (not the big name Logitech we all know and love) LAN-WH450N/GR features four Gigabit Ethernet ports, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking for a theoretical 450Mbps, and a wind turbine on top for good measure.

That design gives you improved wireless with three antennas, but really I think they just wanted a router-copter because they thought it looked cool. These new routers will arrive in Japan in mid-April for about ¥19,000 (or $230).

Google adding a +1 button to search results

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on March 30th, 2011

+1 is making its way into Google search results. This means that soon you will be able to “rate” links or ads you find useful and this will be used to tell your friends about the value of that site. Recommendations are filtered to make them as relevant as possible, while people within your social sphere (Gmail etc) get a higher priority.

This will no doubt help Google to improve their social network side and maybe stick it to Facebook just a little bit. The +1 button will start with English Google search and ads soon. Me? I give it a -1. Are we replacing relevancy with popularity? Probably not since Google wouldn’t want to kill it’s moneymaker, but still, this seems like a road better not taken. Popularity does not equal relevancy. I guess we will all see how this goes.