Author Archive

Opera 4.2 showing off skins, video and faster connections

Posted in Opera Software by Darrin Olson on November 11th, 2008

Opera Mini 4.2 beta availableOpera has a beta version of the latest Opera Mini browser for mobile devices, boasting some cool new features for on the go, and faster connections for those in the Americas. For starters, Opera Mini 4.2 beta has brought back the skinning features from version 3, allowing a little customization to look of the browser. Users of the newest version of this browser who also have select phones such as a new Sony Ericsson or Nokia might also have some luck getting YouTube to run on it as well.

The new 4.2 browser will also make use of the new servers available in the U.S., making browsing faster for those in the Americas and Asia-Pacific areas. Opera says this will make things faster for those in other parts of the world as well since the new servers will off-load some work from the existing servers. Opera 4.2 also has a feature to sync your notes to your Opera Desktop with Opera Link.

Google and Yahoo offer advertising deal revision

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on November 3rd, 2008

Google and Yahoo offer to revise advertising partnershipIn an attempt to keep in the good graces of the Justice Department, Google and Yahoo are looking into revising the deal for an advertising partnership between the two companies. An anonymous person close to the negotiations has said the revisions are drastically scaled back from the original talks.

The new deal would have an agreement term of just 2 years; much less than the original plan for 10 year. It also would limit the amount that Yahoo could earn from ads placed by Google to just 25 percent, which may help ensure Yahoo stays in the advertising game. Google advertisers would also have the option to opt-out of placing ads on Yahoo at their own discretion.

Apple denies any new products ’till next year

Posted in Apple by Darrin Olson on November 3rd, 2008

Apple says no new products until next yearDespite Apple’s Mac Mini being due for an overhaul, Apple has invalidated any recent rumors that they may be launching new products this year. Company spokesman Bill Evans told Macworld that Apple’s line up “…is set” for the holidays.

This is an uncommon move for Apple to stifle the rumor mill but it seems that any hopes of seeing a new iMac or Mac Mini will have to be put aside until next year. Apple has however put out some new iPods lately, as well as some new MacBooks so maybe that is enough for the year? After all, they’ll of course need something big for MacWorld in January.

Google Earth now on the iPhone

Posted in Google by Darrin Olson on October 27th, 2008

Google Earth for the iPhone and iPod TouchGoogle has officially announced the availability of Google Earth to use straight from your iPhone or iPod Touch, and so far reports are that it’s not too shabby. When a good data connection is available the geographical software streams to the device relatively quickly and not only makes use of the phones full display but also it’s functionality.

Multi-touch enables users to zoom in or out of a map with ease and even rotate the map on the screen. A compass in the corner helps keep your bearings. Tilting the iPhone will change the angle of the view to better see the topology of the current terrain, and “My Location” feature will bring the map right to your current location on Earth. Google also of course incorporated their search engine to find information on local businesses and the surrounding area, and built in Panoramio and Wikipedia to get articles and pictures from near your current locale.

September games sales show 7 percent drop

Posted in Games,News by Darrin Olson on October 17th, 2008

September game console sales show 7 percent decline, Nintendo still on top, Xbox has increased salesSeptember games sales actually showed the first decline since March of 2006 according to the NPD Group, however things are still not looking too tough for the gaming industry. September of 2007 saw a huge hike in sales due to the release of Halo 3 which is contrasted by slightly lower sales this last September of 2008.

The drop is sales was not the only change of events for September, either. Due to the price cut of the Xbox 360 models, Microsoft saw a significantly noticeable boost in sales for its console from 195k units sold in August, to 347k units sold in September of this year, bringing it ahead of Sony’s PS3. Microsoft dropped the price to $50 less than the Wii and half of what the PS3 costs, making it the least expensive current-generation game console on the market.

Google states Android has a remote kill switch

Posted in Android by Darrin Olson on October 16th, 2008

Google Android mobile phoneAccording to some recently discovered fine print in the Android Market terms of service, it appears Apple is not the only one implementing a remote kill switch for applications on their phone. In this case however Google has openly stated that they may “discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement”, and in such cases they reserve the right to “…remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion”.

This all comes after somewhat of an uproar when a developer happened upon a feature that allows Apple to remotely remove applications from the iPhone. This type of remote kill feature is meant to help with security and privacy in the event that some malicious application finds its way onto your mobile device, but many find it a little intrusive since it certainly does not give you free reign to run whatever applications you would like on your Google phone with Android.

Nintendo announces the DSi

Posted in Nintendo DS by Darrin Olson on October 2nd, 2008

Nintendo DSi announced by Nintendo to launch in Japan November 1After numerous information leaks about an updated version of the DS, Nintendo has now officially announced the release of the Nintendo DSi. The DSi, is the third iteration of the handheld game console and the company has managed to pack even more features into the device while even making it slightly smaller.

The new DSi looks very similar to the DS Lite with the same clamshell design and dual screens but the chasis is about 2.6mm thinner. They’ve also made the dual screens a little larger, bringing them from 3 inches to 3.25 inches, but that’s those aren’t the most interesting features of this new handheld console.

Nintendo launching new DS with camera, music player and more

Posted in Nintendo DS by Darrin Olson on September 28th, 2008

Nintendo to launch new DS with camera and music playerNintendo has plans to launch a new version of the popular Nintendo DS handheld game console by the end of this year, and it sounds like they are doing more than just adding new colors this time. The new model, yet to be named, will feature a camera and music player, putting itself in competition with a larger number of portable devices and opening up a whole mess of new game possibilities.

This news does not come straight from Nintendo, or at least not yet. It does however come from the Sunday edition of The Nikkei Business Daily, which is a well renowned newspaper in Japan. The new DS from Nintendo is expected to cost around $190 in Japan compared to the $158 price tag on the current DS. The DS goes for $129 currently in the United States.

Large Hadron Collider not colliding until Spring

Posted in Science by Darrin Olson on September 23rd, 2008

Large Hadron Collider operations held until April of next year.Officials at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced on Tuesday that the world’s biggest physics experiments will be on hold until April. This comes as result of recent large, unexpected helium leak into a sector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Earlier this month CERN had its first successful test run of the LHC by sending a beam of protons clockwise through a 17 mile ring making up the system. The next steps were to send the proton beam counter-clockwise through the LHC, and then eventually send beams in both directions having them collide in an attempt to study new forms of matter that could not be studied in any other existing machine.

Research into the helium leak has shown that the likely cause was electrical connections between two of the superconducting electromagnets which caused a …

SanDisk introduces even bigger, faster CompactFlash

Posted in Flash Memory by Darrin Olson on September 11th, 2008

SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash 32GB memoryToday SanDisk has likely pleased at least a few more professionals in the digital photography and videography world with the introduction of the new 32GB Extreme III CF card. Not only have they doubled the capacity of the largest CompactFlash card SanDisk previously had available, but they’ve also bumped the read/write speed up from 20 MB/second to 30 MB/second with this new item.

Anyone that heavily uses memory cards for digital cameras or video cameras can appreciate how nice it is to have more storage in a single card, and upping the transfer rate by 50% makes the decision to get the larger 32GB CF card just that much easier. Sure you can generally get an SDHC card for a little less money and they are a little bit smaller, but the transfer rate is what will make a difference. The Kingston 32GB SDHC card for example can hold just as much, but moving the card’s entire capacity of data is the difference between about 18 minutes for the SanDisk CF and 2.2 hours for the Kingston SDHC.

Large Hadron Collider has successful test run

Posted in News,Science by Darrin Olson on September 10th, 2008

Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has a successful test runIn what is probably the biggest physics experiment in history, today marks the first successful test of the Large Hadron Collidor in Geneva by sending a beam of protons through the the entire underground ring that makes up the world’s largest particle collider. The beam sent through travels through the 17 mile underground ring and nearly the speed of light and can make 11,000 laps through the tube every second.

Officials with CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) dubbed the test a success today and the next step will be to send a beam of protons through the tunnel in the opposite direction. Today’s beam went clockwise and the next trial will be to send the beam counter-clockwise.

If successful then the team will be able to work towards the ultimate goal of sending protons through the tunnel in both …

Horatio the intern keeping things… interesting

Posted in Humor by Darrin Olson on August 10th, 2008

It’s obvious that we can’t let just anyone be an intern with us here at the ‘Brick (along with the other Pragmatic Labs sites) so earlier this year we took time out to pour through all of the applications of intern hopefuls. Unfortunately there was only one application in the stack, but on the upside it did make for an easy decision.

Since then we’ve had the enjoyment of Horatio around the Pragma-plex, constantly giving suggestions, asking questions and soaking up the technology blogging industry like a sponge. I do think he’s enjoying himself but sometimes it’s kinda’ hard to tell. We’ve published a few videos showing what Horatio’s been up to and some insight into his interests. You can see some of our favorites after the jump or check out all of them at the SlipperyBrickTV channel on YouTube.

Thank you Horatio!

REVIEW: Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on August 10th, 2008

Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer RazorHow the folks at Schick knew we were a hairy bunch here at the ‘Brick is beyond me, but we’re glad they did since we got the chance to try out this new Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer. We’re really not in the habit of reviewing personal hygiene products such as razors, but this one is kinda’ cool and runs on batteries so we thought we would make an exception.

REVIEW: D-Link DivX Connected wireless HD media player

Posted in Home Theater by Darrin Olson on August 10th, 2008

D-Link DSM-330 DivX Connected HD media playerToday we got a chance to go hands-on with the DSM-330 DivX Connected HD Media Player that D-Link debuted last month. This media player is a handy piece of wireless-capable hardware that bridges the gap between your computer and your TV bringing your downloaded digital media into the living room at up to 720p, and in our tests it did so with ease.

Review: Wicked Lasers are truly wicked

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on August 3rd, 2008

Review of Wicked Lasers Elite 125Wicked Lasers recently gave us the opportunity to check out one of their popular laser pointers, which gave us quite a surprise. Actually, before we received it we called it a laser pointer but not any more. Wicked Lasers assured us that it is not a laser pointer – it truly is a wicked laser, and we can’t disagree.

The sample product we received was from the Elite Series of green lasers, specifically the Elite 125. This laser appears to be around the middle of the road for the different lasers offered by Wicked Lasers. The average output power according to the company runs from 125mW to 149mW. They also have lasers in their catalog with as little as 50mW and as much as 300mW. The Elite 125 for us had plenty of power and made it very clear why this is not a laser pointer for regular presentations. For starters it would be difficult to see anything on a presentation screen because the light from the laser is way too bright, even from across a large room. Also, the crowd would be so distracted by what you’re using to point with they’d never pay attention to anything else you’re trying to show them.