Author Archive

GPS ‘Guide Dog’ For Real?

Posted in GPS by Darrin Olson on December 9th, 2006

Guide Dog GPS NavigationThis slim gadget called Guide Dog from Power Digital Card is a GPS navigation device that packs a lot of functionality into a slim and sexy design.

The GPS gadget is expected to be on display at the CES 2007 in Las Vegas and boasts enough functionality to the point where we are questioning it’s validity. It is stated that the Guide Dog has 4 inch TFT LCD color touch screen, built in GPS antenna, and 3D gaming. On top of that, it has some internet access to allow web browsing, email and components of MS Office along with functioning as an IP Phone and of course containing GPS navigation software.

External accessories would allow it to receive DVB-T (a compressed video and audio stream used in Europe), Bluetooth, GPRS, UART, and handsfree functionality. The exact dimensions are not listed for the Guide …

Nintendo DS Motion Sensing Card

Posted in Games,Nintendo by Darrin Olson on December 8th, 2006

Nintendo DS LiteThere will soon be a new gadget available for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite to sense motion by the user.

The card can plug into the DS slot and contains a three-axis accelerometer and a single-axis gyroscope to sense motions such as tilting, twisting and gestures by the person holding it. The new card opens up a lot of opportunity for different games which could be along the same lines as the new motions sensitive controller for the Nintendo Wii. Some example applications show using the Nintendo DS as an etch-a-sketch type toy by tilting it to draw, or rolling points around like water droplets to make different designs.

The Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite are both portable gaming systems with two vertically tiered screens. The botton screen is a touch screen and the top is for viewing only. It also has …

Nintendo Wii Released in the UK

Posted in Games,News,Nintendo,Wii by Darrin Olson on December 8th, 2006

Nintendo Wii Japan Release The Nintendo Wii game console has finally hit the UK early Friday morning, and like the previous releases in the US and in Japan, it was met by crowds of enthusiastic fans.

Die hard Nintendo fans waited outside of the Oxford Street branch of HMV in London for as long as two days, weathering rain storms and even a tornado. HMV is one of the few stores offering the new game console that did not have all of them already pre-ordered.

The launch of the Nintendo Wii is done in direct competition with the Sony’s PS3, although the target consumer may be slightly different. The Wii is a lower priced system and is not as powerful as the PS3, but it has some features that appeal to a wider range of gamers.

The Wii debuts with what some call a revolutionary type of …

Lexar Safe PSD S1100 For Enterprise Security

Posted in Flash Memory,Security by Darrin Olson on December 6th, 2006

Lexar Safe PSDLexar has released an advanced security USB drive for use in enterprise organizations to enhance the level of data security when using thumb drives to transfer data.

The Lexar Safe PSD S1100 uses a multi-layer security platform to allow users to safely store and transfer secure data and lessen the risk of loss or theft. The USB memory device has something called PSD-Lock that provides device-access control technology to keep those out that do not have the right password.

It also has some “off-line” defenses to protect the theft of data from the device itself. It uses an internal 256-bit EAS encryption algorithm, and has a housing designed in such a way that makes it very evident if it has been tampered with. This keeps someone from removing or replacing the contents without it being visibly obvious.

Moving data to and from the Safe …

Reports in that James Kim Found

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on December 6th, 2006

James KimReports have just come in from a live broadcast through CNET that they may have found James Kim. They say that searchers have found a person they believe to be James Kim laying face down in the Windy Creek drainage in Oregon. His condition and positive ID are still pending.

UPDATE: The Flash Alert site for the Oregon State Police is reporting that “James Kim was found deceased at approximately 12 noon”. The family is requesting NOT to be contacted.

Arrangements are being made to transport Kim to an undisclosed location, according to the authorities. Kim had been missing in the remote southwestern Oregon wilderness for 11 days.

This is very sad and difficult to report, and our heartfelt sympathies are with James’ family, friends, and coworkers.

Previous information on the Kim family story.

More information can be found at CNET and at the Flash

Pop Art Toaster Burns Patterns Onto Your Bread

Posted in Home,Kitchen by Darrin Olson on December 5th, 2006

Pop Art ToasterNot to often does a guy get to write about breakfast gadgets but it’s a good thing that cool gadgets are everywhere, including your kitchen!

This is the Pop Art Toaster, intended to burn a little fun into your morning routine. I can understand how you can get tired of plain old toast in the morning. With this you can surprise your significant other in the morning with a special unexpected message, burned right into their breakfast bread. What better way to say you care than sending a message charred into bread?

You can obtain a varied number of Pop Art toasters with different plates that slide in between the heating elements and the bread that have cut outs to make the different patterns. Aside from that it works like a regular toaster. The plates can be removed to do some regular toasting, and it …

Toshiba 1.8 Inch 100GB HDD

Posted in Hard Drives,News,Toshiba by Darrin Olson on December 5th, 2006

Toshiba 100GB 1.8 Inch HDDTokyo – Toshiba has announced the release of a new 1.8 inch hard drive with a capacity of 100GB. That is a density of 155.3 gigabits per square inch, and is the most of any current 1.8 inch drive.

The new small hard drive (MK1011GAH) uses perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology and an improved error correction code to help obtain the high density in the small drive, and it also complies with energy conservation laws consuming a low amount of power.

Drives like this are key in continuing to provide smaller technology gadgets that can continue to hold more information. The press release mentions that this innovation will help move forward with smaller and lighter notebooks, but the iPod also uses this size of a hard drive, which could mean even greater capacity for it or similar devices.

The new 1.8 inch 100GB …

Samsung Releases Ultra Messaging i600

Posted in Mobile Phones,News,PDAs,Samsung,Smart Devices by Darrin Olson on December 4th, 2006

Samsung Ultra Messaging i600 SmartPhoneHong Kong – Samsung along with Microsoft today launched a new mobile device boasted as the the thinnest 3G phone in the world with a full QWERTY keyboard. The Ultra Messaging i600 weighs only 99 grams and is just 11.8 mm thick, sporting HSDPA support and runs on Windows Mobile 5.0. This release marks the first smartphone in Europe and Asia-Pacific that supports HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) , WiFi and Bluetooth.

Running Windows Mobile 5.0 with Direct Push, users are able to take advantage of instant updates to emails, meetings and tasks through your hand held phone in the same manner as you would using Outlook from the desktop. The Windows Mobile OS also of course amkes office documents more easily accessible and supports Office application formats such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint as well as viewing PDF’s. This i600 smart …

Wife and Daughters Found Alive – James Kim Still Missing

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on December 4th, 2006

CNET Kim FamilyKati Kim and the Kim children (Sabine and Penelope) were just found alive in Oregon in their car; they apparently flagged down a search and rescue helicopter hired by the family that was hunting for the missing family.

James Kim is still missing, however. From what we understand he left two days ago in search of help wearing tennis shoes. We do not yet know the details of the whole situation or the condition of Kati and her children, although she and the children have been airlifted to a local hospital.

For those unfamiliar, CNET editor James Kim and his family have been missing in Oregon for over a week now. All our previous coverage can be found here.

CNET has more information here. A press conference will be held at 5:00PM PST today.

Sony DCR-SR40 HDD Handycam Reviewed

Posted in Camcorders,Digital Video,Review,Sony by Darrin Olson on December 3rd, 2006

Sony DCR-SR40 HandycamThe DCR-SR40 Handycam is a small camcorder with a large capacity for video. This video camera holds it’s multimedia with a 30GB hard drive instead of using a tape or miniDV.

After shooting with this camera for a couple of days the best part of it, especially compared to non-HDD camera’s, is the fact that you can view and manage the video files with the touch screen LCD interface. Each time you start and stop the recording, the camcorder creates a new file. The files are automatically organized into dates when they are saved to the hard drive, so navigating them is fairly easy. Also, the files are represented on the screen by the first frame of the video. A few times I would forget to remove the lens cover before shooting, and those videos would all be identified as black, but aside from …

Nintendo Wii Released In Japan

Posted in Games,News,Nintendo,Wii by Darrin Olson on December 2nd, 2006

Nintendo Wii Japan ReleaseJapan – In an uncommon fashion the Nintendo Wii was released to consumers in Japan this Saturday after it’s release to the US two weeks ago. Nintendo stated that the earlier release to the US was to capture more of the holiday shopping season, and speculations are that the timing was to also rival the PS3 release which was only days prior. Previous Nintendo releases have usually been done in their home country of Japan first, and then to the US.

Nintendo has 400,000 units available for sale in Japan and has already sold over 600,000 in the US. The price for the game console to consumers in Japan is about $216 USD, or 25,000 yen which is about half the price of the PS3, and about four times the number of consoles were available at the launch date.

According to reports, thousands …

Kenwood MEDIAkeg HDD Music Player

Posted in Digital Audio,Kenwood by Darrin Olson on December 2nd, 2006

Kenwood Mediakeg MP3 PlayerThis MP3 player from Kenwood is debuting in Japan this month, and has probaby gotten less attention than it should compared to it’s iPod and Zune rivals.

The HD10GB7 Mediakeg is a digital audio player that can play MP3, WAV and WMA files, and can hold up to 10GB of them. It’s dimensions are only a width of 44mm, 62mm in height and 17mm deep, weighing in at less than 80 grams.

A lot of work went into the design of the Mediakeg to ensure a superior sound quality and little or no interference or vibrations from the 10GB HDD embedded in the center of the device, which gives it a balanced feel in your hand. A special gel was used around the drive to absorb vibrations and ridding the chance of it affecting sound quality.
The buttons on the front allow …

Motorola Krzr K1m From Sprint

Posted in Mobile Phones,Motorola by Darrin Olson on December 1st, 2006

Motorola KRZR K1m This version of the Sprint MOTOKRZR K1m from Motorola has a shiny sleek design not found on the gray colored version from Verizon, but has the same basic functionality.

The K1m has a thin clam shell design with a 1.3 mega pixel camera and some really cool touch sensitive buttons on the front to run your music playback without having to open up the phone. Buttons like this on the outside of phone are really nice and convenient, but they usually involve some protrusion that looks clunky. This one definitely does not, and gives some common and convenient functionality while keeping a clean look.

A somewhat uncommon and nice feature in this phone is a slot for a memory card to move music and image files easily between devices or your PC, as well as adding extra storage. A memory card slot is pretty …

Self Destruct Button / USB Hub

Posted in USB by Darrin Olson on December 1st, 2006

Self Destruct ButtonNumerous times throughout the course of a normal week at work, a self destruct button like this could seem all too appropriate. Make sure someone else holds the key to ensure that more than one person is involved when the decision is made to “pull the trigger”. If nothing else this self-destruct gadget would make for a cool conversation piece or stress reliever on any desk or meeting room.

For functionally the device acts as probably the most unpractical 4-port USB hub ever, but aside from that it has a key switch, light, toggles and a big red cover-protected self destruct button that gives audio messages through your PC speakers when pressed (example in video below).

Once you get it plugged in, you can flip on the two toggles, switch on the key which activates a red light, and then flip open the safety cover …

CNET’s James Kim and family missing near Portland

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on December 1st, 2006

CNET Kim Family
We’ve received word that a respected member of our tech community, James Kim (whom many of you may know as CNET’s senior editor of digital audio), and his family have gone missing. As we understand it, last weekend James, his wife Kati (above right), and his very young girls Penelope (left) and Sabine (baby), drove from their home in the SF Bay Area to Seattle. They were expected back some time Sunday, but were last seen by a hotel clerk at 5:45 PM on Saturday in or between Gold Beach or Portland, Oregon. We sincerely do hope they are all safe, and our hearts go out to the Kim family.

We’ll have more information as we get it. If you have any information as to the Kim family’s whereabouts, please contact the SFPD at 415-558-5508 during normal business hours, and 415-553-1071 after hours.

Update: Crave