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Archive for News

Japanese banana vending machines

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on July 5th, 2010

The Japanese put everything in vending machines. I’m surprised they don’t have prostitutes in them, where you can pay and the door opens. Now they even have fresh bananas thanks to Dole’s new machines which are installed in an underground connection at the Shibuya subway station.

Bananas are a hot commodity too. The vending machine was sold out on its first day. A single banana is about $1.50 (130 yen) and a bunch of five or six is almost $4.50. (390 yen) I guess people are willing to pay for a healthier snack.

HDMI to be replaced with HDBaseT?

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on July 4th, 2010

The HDMI standard has been targeted for assassination. The killers? LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor. They have introduced a brand new audiovisual standard, called HDBaseT.

Don’t worry, this will not likely introduce a new kind of cable to your home. Instead of a new connector, it is based on the Cat 5e/6 network cables, commonly referred to as ethernet cables. The cable can pass HD and 3-D video signals, as well as data through an integrated 100MBit Ethernet connection. That feed should allow for new internet-connected TV services, like Google TV.

Military-designed “Bat Hook” lets you charge your devices using power lines

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 30th, 2010

If you’ve ever wondered how Batman gets his gadgets charged, this is probably the answer. The military has developed the Remote Auxiliary Power System or RAPS. RAPS can be deployed like a grappling hook with overhead power lines. Then a tiny blade will penetrate the power line and make contact with the live wire inside.

The area around the blade will make contact with a second exposed wire that all powerlines have, transmitting electricity to an AC to DC converter safely at the end of the cable.

Lightbulb labels that look like nutrition facts

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 28th, 2010

Why does everything need to be complicated? It used to be that you would just buy some light bulbs and screw them in. But soon, when you buy a new light bulb you’ll see a new Nutrition Facts-style label that shows you the numbers most important to you: like how bright the bulb is, what the energy cost is, and when they’ll burn out.

I guess it’s a good thing. I just like to buy bulbs and plug them in without worrying about the facts. The new numbers tell you a bulb’s typical energy cost and average lifespan, which are probably the mainthings I would want to know. The new light bulb labels are expected to arrive sometime in mid-2011.

Coke vending machines in Japan with 46 inch LCD touchscreen

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 24th, 2010

Touchscreens all over Japan will be upgraded by the end of the year since new Coca-Cola vending machines will now feature a 46″ LCD touchscreen instead of buttons and knobs. The idea is to make purchasing drinks more fun while making the machines stand out from the crowd.

The integration of LCD panels will also allow advertisers to expand their reach and display maps of the area for tourists. So have a coke and a smile along with some advertising.

Sears and Kmart to launch streaming video service this Christmas

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 24th, 2010

Is it too early to talk Christmas? Not for Kmart and Sears. As physical media sales continue to drop, these two names are looking toward streaming content, with the Alphaline Entertainment service. Alphaline is powered Sonic’s RoxioNow and will be available on TVs and Blu-ray players manufactured by Sharp, LG, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and RCA.

Setup of the device is included in the sale price, should you find your DIY skills lacking. The service will arrive this holiday season.

California license plates may soon get ads

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 21st, 2010

You know what’s awesome on top of a car that you paid too much money for, which runs on gas that you paid too much money for? Advertising on your license plate that you have no control over. I know, sounds great right?

The California Legislature is considering a bill that would at least begin a research process on digital license plates. These license plates would replace old stamped metal ones that we are used to. Apparently, the system would display your normal license plate number when your car is in motion. It would stop for four seconds to advertise a service or product when not in motion.

Pandora Mini Mac Nettop

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 20th, 2010

If the Pandora Mini Mac nettop looks familiar it’s because this is actually a Mac mini clone that comes with a Chinese porcelain painting on the top, adding a touch of color and style to it’s fakeness.

This nettop features a 1.6Ghz dual-core Intel Atom 330 processor, nVidia Geforce 9400M Graphics, 1G RAM, a 160GB hard drive and WI-FI connectivity. Some additional features include a DVD-RW optical drive, an HDMI port and a VGA port.

Need to catch a criminal? There’s an app for that

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 16th, 2010

You can’t get a straight answer from a criminal. They are criminals after all. So cops in Brockton Massachusetts are using specially equipped iPhones to make the job easier. Cops could use the break.

The officer uses the iPhone to take a picture of the suspect, which then connects to the department’s database for a biometric comparison. If the suspect has been arrested before, the officer can get his complete file, including info on prior arrests and convictions.

San Francisco passes cellphone radiation law

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 16th, 2010

We know what happens when a radioactive spider bites you. You become spiderman. But what happens when you get too much cell phone radiation? Nothing good, that’s for sure. And so the people of San Francisco will soon have a new cellphone radiation law to help.

The law requires retailers to post notices on how much radiation is emitted by the cellphones they sell. This is the first law of it’s kind in the United States. The cellphone industry claims that this law could hurt sales and make consumers believe that some phones are safer than others. No one can agree on just how harmful cell radiation is.

Facebook CEO slams the iPhone

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 15th, 2010

I wonder what Steve Jobs thinks when he reads what the CEO of Facebook has to say about the iPhone. It seems that Mark Zuckerberg isn’t a fan of the iPhone as he has had some bad experiences using it. Steve probably doesn’t care since he’s too busy bathing in money.

In a recent Facebook post, he said “This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls”. But I wonder why he had to actually get an iPhone to figure these things out.

Spyder III: The world’s most powerful laser/lightsaber

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 10th, 2010

Built with the blue-laser diode of a dismantled Casio Green Slim projector, the $200 Spyder III is the world’s most powerful portable laser. It can make you the most powerful Jedi ever. If it doesn’t permanently blind. It will set your skin, or anything else on fire almost instantly.

Yes, this is no laser toy. This thing can kill. The diodes in Casio’s new mercury-free Green Slim projectors apparently allow for unprecedentedly powerful portable lasers, and Wicked Lasers is more than happy to use them for the 1 Watt Spyder III. The blue Spyder III laser is 2000 times brighter to the human eye, compared to their $2000 Sonar and this one is only $200.

Mayor Bloomberg replaces index cards with an iPad

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 3rd, 2010

No matter what you think of Apple, you have to agree that the iPad, just like the iPhone is changing the world. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg used his iPad for a speech instead of using index cards. Earlier that day he even showed it off in Staten Island declaring that it may replace his daily briefing book, itineraries, and other notes.

Pretty high praise indeed. It might not have been the best venue to show off his new toy though, as he was there speaking about the city’s struggling economy and facing questions from taxpayers. He loves the device. The mayor says that he even uses it to relax with a virtual Koi pond.

Hitachi outs 320GB world’s fastest 7mm hard drive

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 1st, 2010

Hitachi is claiming the world’s first 320GB hard disk drive to spin at 7,200 RPM in a 7-mm thick package. The 2.5-inch Serial ATA 3Gbps Travelstar Z7K320 boasts a 1,334Mbps maximum transfer rate with a 16MB cache. This HDD draws 1.8 watts during read/write and 0.8 watts while idle, at 23dB when idle or 24dB when seeking.

Thanks to the slim form factor, it’s ready to boldly go some places that standard 9.5-mm thick drives can’t. Expect these to hit production lines in August and appear in next generation ultra-thin netbooks.

Cursed phone number gets banned

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on May 26th, 2010

Folks in Bulgaria won’t have to worry about being assigned the cellphone number 0888 888 888. Every single person who’s ever had that number was killed under suspicious circumstances. Cellphone provider Mobitel has permanently banned the number.

In other Bulgaria news, the government has recently banned the numbers 666. The new number of the beast will be 667. Make a note of it.