Author Archive

TomTom navigation coming to iPhone

Posted in Apple by Darrin Olson on June 9th, 2009

TomTom teaming with Apple for iPhone navigation appTomTom announced on Tuesday that it would be making it’s navigation software and some hardware pieces available specifically for use with Apple’s iPhone sometime in the not too distant future. TomTom will be offering the navigation software through the iTunes App Store and will also provide some type of charging dock and speakers for use on the go.

The navigation company did say the software would be available for the iPhone 3G but did not specify if it would be available for the newly announced iPhone 3G S version, however logic tells us it will.

Nokia N97 Available Tomorrow – In Some Places

Posted in Mobile Phones by Darrin Olson on June 8th, 2009

Nokia N97 mobile smartphone in blackThe N97 that Nokia unveiled way last December is hitting stores tomorrow afternoon. Well, at least hitting the Nokia flagship stores in New York and Chicago. If you’re not already in line at one of these two places you might have some luck online as Amazon appears to have some in stock and we would imagine (or at least hope for the sake of all you that pre-ordered) that they will start shipping today or tomorrow as well.

This release from Nokia comes right on the heals of the new and improved iPhone 3Gs announcement and adds some healthy competition to Apple’s reigning smartphone champion. The N97 sports not only a wide touchscreen display but also has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to add some ease and speed to your mobile …

Monkey passes glowing gene to offspring in research milestone

Posted in Science by Darrin Olson on May 28th, 2009

Monkey with glowing green feet passes gene to offspring.In an article published Wednesday in Nature, researches in Japan reported the successful passing of a transgene from a primate to its offspring, marking a milestone in this type of research. In the study the scientists injected a number of marmoset embryos with a manufactured virus which contained a gene that would be inserted into the animals DNA, making their feet glow green under ultraviolet light.

Zune video services moving to Xbox Live

Posted in Microsoft by Darrin Olson on May 27th, 2009

Zune video services to be integrated into Xbox LiveAlmost true to rumors, along with the press release from Microsoft late Tuesday about the new Zune HD release, the company announced they will be extending the Zune video service into Xbox LIVE this fall as well.

“The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we’re proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device,” said Enrique Rodriguez in the Microsoft press release on Tuesday. Rodriguez is the corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group.

Microsoft makes Zune HD Official

Posted in Media Players by Darrin Olson on May 27th, 2009

Microsoft officially launches Zune HDMicrosoft made the official announcement late Tuesday that the Zune HD, the next generation of the Zune media player, would indeed be hitting the market in the near future. The Zune HD packs some new features including built-in HD radio, high-def video out, OLED multi-touch screen, WiFi and an included internet browser.

Spotlight 12V Rechargeable LED Flashlight Review

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on March 28th, 2009

Spotlight 12V rechargeable LED flashlightThe tough guys over at Spotlight were nice enough to send us a few samples of their their small rechargeable 12V flashlight to try out for ourselves we have to admit that we were impressed. Now, the Spotlight has but only a couple features and is no new radical cutting-edge technology but we would consider it a gadget nonetheless. Also, its refreshing to see a very simple and useful gadget come across the desk from time to time.

The Spotlight is just like it sounds; it’s a small flashlight measuring a mere 2 inches and weighing in at a svelte 1.8 ounces. What makes this little guy so handy is it’s small size which is by no coincidence the same size as many automotive outlets. The flashlight alone fit in 4 of the 6 different car outlets we tried and emits a glowing red light to let you know it’s charging. For those outlets that don’t quite fit, Spotlight provides a small length adapter and a Super Socket adapter (separately) to allow it to fit just about any vehicle.

Hands on with WickedLasers Spyder II GX

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on March 28th, 2009

WickedLasers Spyder II GXWe’ve gotten our hands on some pretty cool and powerful lasers in the past, but never one of quite this magnitude. If you were wondering if there really is a difference between laser pointers, or if there is a difference between a $300 laser and a $1700 laser; well we’re here to tell you that there is.

From the time we opened the box of the Spyder II GX we could tell that this one meant business. The Spyder II is another green laser with a beam that can be seen from miles and miles away, literally. It’s powered by a special single LI-ION 18650 rechargeable battery (the device comes with 2 of them and a charger) and is housed in a military grade, water resistant case. It operates by a rubber toggle switch in the back that keeps it on until you press it again, unlike the Elite Series which requires you to hold it to keep the laser on.

Microsoft Releases IE 8 with Accelerators, Slices and Standards

Posted in Browsers by Darrin Olson on March 20th, 2009

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8, its latest version in the browser battle. This latest version comes loaded with a set of new features designed to make browsing the internet more convenient, fast and secure. The latest IE browser is also the latest blow to rival Mozilla’s Firefox in the quest for online browsing dominance.

Microsoft added a number of security features to IE8, such as increased protection against malware, cross-site scripting attacks, click-jacking, and protection against installing malicious Active-X controls. In addition, they’ve added an InPrivate browsing mode which will track no history of your browsing activities, negating the need to delete the history after the fact.

Review: WarnLaser 120mW Tiger Series laser

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on February 12th, 2009

WarnLaser laser reviewPowerful laser pointers are something that many people are often curious about, however not too often does someone get a chance to handle one. The folks over at WarnLaser recently gave us at the ‘Brick a chance to try out one of their lasers to see what we thought. This is not the first time we’ve had our hands on a laser of this caliber and through this we’ve learned that all lasers are not created equal.

The sample we received is a 120mW Tiger Series GX, running on a couple of standard AAA batteries in a frame about the size of a large pen. In fact, this laser has pen-like clip and can pretty easily fit in a shirt pocket, but might be a little bit heavier than most of the items in your pocket protector at 55 grams. The Tiger Series is a nice balance between power and portability in the array of lasers from WarnLaser. It’s about in the middle of the road – you can get weaker lasers and you can get them much more powerful.

Review: OtterBox Blackberry Curve case

Posted in Otterbox,Review by Darrin Olson on February 8th, 2009

OtterBox defender case for the Blackberry Curve reviewThe folks over at OtterBox, protectors of gadgets for the active and accident-prone, gave us a chance to try out one of their defensive products to see just how well it holds up. In this case, OtterBox sent us a protective case for the Blackberry Curve, a device I have with me day in and day out.

Since the case from OtterBox is protecting something I own and depend on daily, we did not put it through the usual drops, dunks and vodka-proof trials that we would normally do. But, despite this we can tell you that this case blows away any other protective case we’ve had our hands on, for any mobile device.

Review: Clarion MiND mobile internet navigation

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on February 8th, 2009

Clarion MiND hands on reviewThe Clarion MiND appears to be a GPS navigation device at heart, but expanded into a special type of mobile internet hybrid device packed with connectivity and applications bringing dangerously close to a mobile PC, but just not quite. The mobile device has many addition features such as an internet browser, YouTube viewer, media player, file storage, weather, news, maps and of course navigation but runs its own type of hard-wired OS that leaves little for customizations.

The MiND is basically a small mobile computer running on an 800 MHz Intel Atom processor with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (with an additional MicroSD card slot) and connects to the world via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and of course GPS. It also houses a couple of USB ports for connecting and transferring data, a headphone jack, speaker and docking port for an included dash mounting kit.

Iomega eGo BlackBelt portable hard drive review

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on January 26th, 2009

Iomega eGo BlackBelt portable hard driveIomega kicked out a couple of new portable hard drives last month, one of which being the rugged 250GB eGo BlackBelt that we’re taking a look at today. The most stand-out feature we found in the BlackBelt was its Drop Guard Xtreme, allowing the portable drive to take a hit to the pavement from as much as 7 feet in the air and keep on ticking.

This ability to take a long drop is largely due to the black rubber “belt” that envelopes the drive (mostly the corners) protecting it from all angles of impact. The rubber belt is not adhered to the drive so it can be removed if you would like, and your left with a smooth, flat-black flask-shaped chasis that’s maybe a little to big for a pants pocket but will easily fit into the pocket of a jacket.

Contests

What the Flip? camcorder giveaway winner!

Posted in Contests by Darrin Olson on January 22nd, 2009

What The Flip? video camcorder MinoThank you for all the great suggestions of themes that you would make with your Flip Video Mino camcorder for our What the Flip? giveaway contest. The contest period has ended and it was time for us to pick a winner.

Some of our favorites include: “A comparison of the events following consumption of “food” at drive-thru “restaurants”.” by Alex and “How to Drive your Mother Insane in Less than 24 Hours!” by Julianne B and her government-bribed offspring.

Contests

WTF – MTV/Flip camcorder Giveaway Contest

Posted in Camcorders,Contests,Digital Video by Darrin Olson on January 12th, 2009

What The Flip? video camcorder MinoFlip video recently teamed up MTV and gave away 100 of these little Flip camcorders to 100 college students around the country and asked them to create footage based on different themes provided by MTV. They then uploaded these videos, along with many others to MTV’s What The Flip? site.

Anyone can get in on the action and upload their own videos based on the different themes, including “Worst Date”, “Last Dream”, “Bridges, Rhinos, Chandeliers”, and “If I Could Change 1 Thing About The World” to name a few. MTV and Flip Video are also giving one of these Flip Mino camcorders away each day by registering at the What the Flip? website (see the bottom of the About page).

To help spread the word, SlipperyBrick.com is also giving away a Flip Mino camcorder that have a good chance at …

Hands On with the iTami FiTrainer virtual coach

Posted in Exercise Gadgets,Review by Darrin Olson on January 7th, 2009

iTami FiTrainer headsetReviewing a technology gadget is usually is fair amount of work anyway, but trying out the FiTrainer from iTami turned out to be a little more than I had bargained for. The FiTrainer is essentially a customizable, virtual fitness coach with direct access to your current level of exertion and your ears.

The device is essentially a pair of somewhat-large headphones with a built in heart-rate monitor, music and voice prompts to continuously keep you in the “right” zone for your workout. Users enter in the type of workout and their age and then start exercising. The voice inside the headset guides you through the rest.