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NASA looking to give away Space Shuttles

Posted in Science by Darrin Olson on December 19th, 2008

NASA looking to possibly give away Space ShuttlesNASA has announced that they are looking for ideas on what to do with the two space shuttle orbiters and main engine display kits by issuing a Request For Information (RFI) to the public. If you can convince them that you can appropriately display the shuttle to the public along with having enough money to transport and store them then you may have a good chance and scoring your own space shuttle from NASA.

Hands on with the new Olive Palm Centro

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on December 17th, 2008

Olive Palm Centro hands on reviewA common gift people will give themselves for the holiday season is a new phone. With broadband networks getting faster by the minute, a phone that is smart enough to handle surfing the internet, getting email, supporting IM’s and taking pictures becomes more and more attractive. This holiday season we had the opportunity to take a look at a couple of Palm’s smartphones, and in particular we spent some time with the new Olive-colored Palm Centro.

If you’re in the market for your first smartphone or you’re just looking for something that’s slick and easy to use with broadband access you will be well-served to take a look at the Palm Centro. Palm has been getting some mixed reviews lately when placed against some of the latest in smartphone technology such as RIM’s Blackberry or Apple’s iPhone, but we found the Centro to be a refreshing and fun device, and at just the right price.

Hands On with the 8GB Sansa Clip from Sandisk

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on December 15th, 2008

Sandisk 8GB Sansa Clip MP3 player reviewAnyone in the market for a small MP3 player should definitely take a hard look at the Sansa Clip from Sandisk before making a purchase. Comparable in size to the iPod Shuffle, the Sansa Clip packs in more features and now more storage giving some significant bang for your buck.

The most significant item for us on this particular MP3 player was the storage capacity. This little device now comes with the ability to pack as much as 8GB of music which is really a lot of songs. Connect it to your computer through the included USB cable and quickly transfer music or even use the device as mass storage to go. Also as we had mentioned when the 8GB Clip first came out, the clip provides 4x the storage of the iPod Shuffle for just a small more in price. But the storage is not all you get.

Microsoft confirms Xbox 360 Arcade memory upgrade

Posted in Xbox 360 by Darrin Olson on December 3rd, 2008

Xbox 360 Arcade to get memory upgradeMicrosoft has now confirmed rumors about upgrading the internal memory for its Xbox 360 Arcade game console to have 256MB of internal storage. The upgrade will allow more games and media to be stored inside without the need for an external memory card.

In the current 360 Arcade models, users were required to use an external 256MB card to store information. This worked well for the most part but left the memory open to being removed at the wrong time giving the system adverse effects, and to just plain losing the memory card.

Program TiVo with your mobile phone

Posted in Tivo by Darrin Olson on November 25th, 2008

Tivo mobile allowing programming through mobile phones, beta releaseThere’s few things better than owning a piece of technology or gadget that keeps on giving, and TiVo is turning out to be one of those devices with it’s latest beta release of a mobile website to control your TiVo box. This adds to the devices core ability to act as a DVR, and the company has also recently introduced features to order pizza, stream Netflix content and watch YouTube videos.

TiVo says the new mobile site at m.tivo.com will allow users, subscribers or not, to browse television listings and search for shows. The online app will also will recommend other television shows based on what you are viewing. The site is available to anyone that has access to the internet through a mobile browser, and no installation on the mobile device is necessary.

Opera Mini 4.2 officially released

Posted in Browsers by Darrin Olson on November 25th, 2008

Opera Mini 4.2 official releaseOpera on Tuesday has announced the final release of the latest and greatest version of its mobile browser, Opera Mini 4.2. We saw the 4.2 version go into beta release only earlier this month sporting some new features including skins, additional servers and faster performance, video and Notes sync.

The final v4.2 release that we downloaded today appears to be very similar, if not exactly the same, as the beta version we got a couple of weeks ago. Opera boasts increased speed of as much as 30 percent, support for multiple languages, the ability to skin the browser to match your preference and of course the ability to play mobile-targeted YouTube videos (provided you have a newer Sony Ericsson or Nokia phone, for now). Users can also sync up notes between the mobile browser and the Opera desktop browser with Opera Link.

Intel & Micron announce mass production of 34nm NAND Flash

Posted in Flash Memory by Darrin Olson on November 24th, 2008

Intel and Micron joint venture announces mass production of 34nm NAND FlashIntel and Micron’s joint venture in NAND flash technology, IM Flash Technologies, has announced mass production of 34nm, 32 gigabit multi-level cell NAND Flash device. This move puts the company in the lead of Flash technology ahead of the likes of Samsung and Toshiba with the only monolithic 32 Gb NAND chip that fits into a standard 48-lead thin small-outline package (TSOP).

The companies stated in the announcement that the development of the technology process is going along well and is actually ahead of schedule with the ability to provide companies to create greater capacities of NAND Flash memory for devices like cameras, phones, media players and computers at a lower production cost than what is currently available.

Facebook awarded $873 million judgment against spammer

Posted in Legal by Darrin Olson on November 24th, 2008

Facebook wins lawsuit against spammerThinking of working out some SPAM scheme to take advantage of users on social networking sites? After last week many would-be spammers may be thinking twice. On Friday the social networking site Facebook was awarded an $873 million fine for damages from an online spammer. This was the largest settlement awarded to date under the CAN-SPAM act of 2003.

A Canadian citizen named Adam Guerbuez with his company Atlantic Blue Capital used different types earlier this year to trick Facebook users into thinking they had messages from other Facebook “friends”. The messages were really from Guerbuez and his company and contained advertisement for sex enhancement drugs, illegal narcotics and sexual explicit materials.

Hands On: BlackBerry Storm launching Friday

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on November 20th, 2008

BlackBerry Storm hands on reviewAs I am sure you are all aware, Verizon Wireless is launching the much-anticipated BlackBerry Storm tomorrow. This device is RIM’s first delve into a touchscreen mobile phone and swing at taking some of the market share away from Apple and the iPhone. We had a chance to get our hands on the Storm on the eve of the launch day and had some fun playing with the touchscreen and its unique clicking technology.

Obviously the most interesting part of the Storm is the single big button of a screen so we’ll just cut to the chase. The touchscreen in general works as you would expect, sensing your touch on the glass and allowing you to scroll through things like lists, menus and across maps. What’s different about the touchscreen on the BlackBerry Storm which sets it apart from other touchscreen phones is that the glass display is like a single large, mechanical button.

Samsung now making the 256GB SSD, not pricing

Posted in SSD by Darrin Olson on November 20th, 2008

Samsung 256GB SSD storage driveWe had heard talk about Samsung’s 256GB solid state drive back in May and it appears that today the talk has finally come true. Samsung has announced they are now officially manufacturing the large Flash-based drive, and we can tell you it’s fast. What we can’t tell you yet is how much it costs.

The speed of the 256GB drive is double that of Samsung’s 64GB and 128GB drives in what Samsung is calling “…disruptive performance”, with sequential read rates of 220MB/s and write rates of 200 MB/s. Applications can launch as much as 10 times faster than a 7200rpm notebook HDD with speeds that would be similar to a 15,000rpm drive.

Dell SP2309W HD widescreen monitor with webcam

Posted in monitors by Darrin Olson on November 19th, 2008

Dell SP2309W full HD widescreen monitor with built-in webcamIf you’re in the market for a new monitor we’ve come across one you just might want to take a look at. Don’t let all the expensive-looking features scare you away just yet; Dell is listing this one at a mere $379.

The Dell SP2309W is a 23-inch Full-HD widescreen display with a 2048×1152 resolution and up to 80,000:1 contrast ratio. This resolution allows you to bring up two full-sized web pages side by side like you might do with dual monitors, but enough room on just this one (provided your vision is good).

Hands On: Griffin Simplifi dock/charger/reader/hub

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on November 18th, 2008

Griffin Simplifi iPod dock and charger, card reader and USB hubWe got a chance to get our hands on Griffin’s new Simplifi desktop device recently and we feel they really got the name right on this one. The Simplifi is a small Swiss Army Knife of accessories packed into a smooth silver box that adds some convenience and maybe even a touch of sophistication to your desk.

For starters, the device is a dock and charger for your Apple iPhone and/or iPod. It has the docking port right on top and comes with little plastic adapters to custom fit every iPod ever made with a docking port. However, if you happen to have the iPhone 3G you might want to check the box for a 3G sticker. The original product does not come with a 3G port adapter (not that you necessarily need it for the dock to …

Callpod Drone connects Bluetooth from 100 meters

Posted in Bluetooth by Darrin Olson on November 14th, 2008

Callpod Drone Bluetooth adapterThe folks at Callpod have now officially come out with the Callpod Drone Bluetooth 2.0 adapter we had heard about much earlier this year. The adapter connects to your PC or Mac through a standard USB port and provides streaming audio for headsets or speakers without installing any software or any complicated pairing.

In fact, you can be streaming music to your wireless Bluetooth speakers and the device will automatically switch to your Bluetooth headset when a VoIP calls comes in from tools like Skype. If that’s not enough, CallPod is boasting that the Drone has a Class-1 range of 100 meters. We’re expecting to get a chance to try this out for ourselves in the near future, allowing us to take advantage of the Bluetooth headsets we already have instead of a mess of wires to take VoIP calls.

BlackBerry Storm from Verizon: $199 on Nov 21

Posted in BlackBerry by Darrin Olson on November 13th, 2008

BlackBerry Storm being released by Verizon on Nov 21 fro $199Verizon has now officially announced that RIM’s BlackBerry Storm 9530 will be available from Verizon wireless starting November 21. This smartphone is sure to be a hit as it’s BlackBerry’s first touchscreen (SurePress), and iPhone-competing device. It’s also the first device from Verizon set for Global 3G use.

The BlackBerry Storm is going for $199.99 with a two year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate and will come bundled with an external 8GB microSD card to make sure you can save all that media you’ll be downloading from the high speed connection.

Sansa Clip MP3 player now up to 8GB capacity

Posted in Media Players by Darrin Olson on November 12th, 2008

8GB Sandisk Sansa Clip MP3 playerSanDisk is releasing the latest upgrade the Sansa Clip MP3 player this week, doubling its capacity to 8GB. Aside from the storage change the features are staying pretty much the same, but this is an MP3 player you would definitely want to take a look at.

The Sansa Clip is small, weighing just 0.9 ounces and has a clip to hook onto clothing or whatever similar to the tiny iPod Shuffle. Even though it’s slightly larger (by less than a half an ounce), it really does has some advantages over the shuffle for not much more money. For starts the Clip of course now has an 8GB capacity and is retailing for just under $100 compared to $70 for the 2GB shuffle which is 4 times the storage for $30 more.