Ferrofluid – A Magnetic Liquid

Posted in Magnets by Darrin Olson on August 31st, 2006

FerroFluidThis picture caught my eye and was so cool I just couldn’t resist posting about it. This is a liquid called FerroFluid. What you are looking at is a 3-D representation of a magnetic field revealed by this magnetic fluid. To get a really good look at this, check out this Google Video of Sculptures with Ferrofluid.

The fluid is basically made up of very small (nano-small) particles of ferromagnetic material. Ferromagnetic items are the same type of magnets you would find on your refrigerator, except these are obviously much smaller. They are usually suspended in water, and something interesting is that although they are a common type of magnet, they do not retain their magnatism on their own, only when an external magnatism is applied. That is what gives them the ability to display the external magnetic field so well.

Ferrofluids are not uncommon in …

Miuro For iPOD

Posted in Digital Audio,iPod by Darrin Olson on August 31st, 2006

Miuro iPODAs if the iPOD does not already have enough cool accessories, the Miuro has got to be one of the cooler ones. Miuro stands for “Music Innovation based on Utility Robot technology”. Kind of a stretch for an acronym in my opinion, plus the whole web site i not in English, so I’m not sure why the acronym is?

Anyway, this device allows your iPOD to dock into the top of the device and then run on wheels.
The device has speakers built it to project the sound throughout the room, and the “robot” is able to move around the room to the sound of the music.

It has a wireless remote that can operate the Miuro robot, and it has an optional and a sensor which “let the robot map it’s position and remember it’s routes”. I’m not sure what that means, …

Pioneer Inno Live Satellite Radio

Posted in Digital Audio,Satellite Radio by Darrin Olson on August 31st, 2006

Pioneer InnoXM Satellite Radio has a product called inno which is an MP3 player and live satellite radio player in one. The key to this is the live part. With this product you can listen to live satellite radio through XM Satellite Radio and record up to 50 hours with one-touch recording.

This also has a built in FM transmitter, so you can listen to whatever the Inno player is playing using an ordinary FM radio. Also, it’s integrated with XM and Napster which allows you to manage songs, playlists, transfer MP3 and WMA files and buy music online.

The Pioneer Inno comes with these items:

Remote Control
Home Stand for holding the device and playing.
Power Adapter to recharge the rechargeable battery.
RCA Cable to connect external speakers.
USB Cable to connect to your PC.
Belt Clip
Ear Buds
Rechargeable Battery
Setup CD and Product Manual

Some common Inno accessories:

Vehicle …

iRobot Roomba Scheduler Vacuuming Robot with Intelli-Bin

Posted in iRobot,Roomba,Vacuum by Paul Patterson on August 31st, 2006

iRobot Roomba Scheduler Vacuuming Robot
I would have to say that vacuuming is my least favorite housecleaning activity. Like most people, I spend a lot of time away from my house and I don’t always have the time to clean when I am home. The problem is that I like to have a fairly clean house with minimal work when I do get home. Thankfully I can get a robot to do my cleaning for me.

The iRobot Roomba Scheduler Vacuuming Robot with Intelli-Bin is the latest vacuuming robot innovation from iRobot. This new, sleeker model offers all the features of the Roomba Scheduler, plus the added benefit of Intelli-Bin. Intelli-Bin takes the guesswork out of when to empty Roomba’s bin. An indicator light lets you know when your bin is full.

Go ahead and check vacuuming …

Segway Moves Forward with x2

Posted in Personal Transport,Segway by Darrin Olson on August 30th, 2006

Segway Personal Transporter X2
Segway has continued to “move forward” from its original product – the Segway Personal Transport (PT). They now have come out with the Segway Personal Transporter x2. This product is designed to provide enhanced personal transport performance on rugged terrain.
The changes to the Seqway x2 version of the PT from it’s original include:

All-terrain low-pressure tires
More robust fender design
Lithium ion batteries
Specially tuned internal software rugged terrain
Increased track width
Aluminum fender frame for easier loading and unloading
New Leansteer technology

Versions of the Segway x2:

x2 Police – includes accessory bar for mounting lights and sirens.
x2 Adventure – has handlebar bag for water bottle and other items.
x2 Golf – comes with a golf bag carrier attachment.

Shure E2c Sound Isolating Headphones

Posted in Headphones by Paul Patterson on August 29th, 2006

Shure E2c HeadphonesI would estimate that I wear headphones on average about 6 hours a day. I wear headphones not only because I love to listen to music but because headphones are my only salvation to drown out noise of my office. I recently switched to the in-ear style of headphone in the hopes of better noise cancellation. The key test to determine if a set of headphones are good is if they can drown out your noisy cubicle neighbors and these headphones passed easily.

The Shure E2c headphones are a great choice for those people seeking great sound while also blocking outside noise. These headphones are ideal for portable MP3, DVD, and CD players as well as all other audio sources. My favorite features of the E2c headphones are:

Sound Isolating Technology – The E2c’s in ear design works …

Cordless VoIP Phone – Now Roam ENTIRE House

Posted in Mobile Phones,VoIP by Darrin Olson on August 28th, 2006

Keyspan Cordless VoIP PhoneI have to say this is an improvement. This is a Skype compatible VoIP Phone from Keyspan. You can call PC to PC or PC to Phone, and do pretty much everything you need to with using Skype from the phone – except leave the room.

Skype was a big deal at the last eBay developers conference, and I asked one of the Skype reps (all of which had some fancy European type accents) about taking the phones away from the PC or Mac. You see, if you have never used this, up until now it only worked when you had the phone physically connected to the machine. This is nice if your sitting at your PC and you want to talk into a phone instead of trying to fumble with speakers and mic’s and trying to master the full duplex …

Intel Core 2 Duo Faster – Battery and Lap Stay Same

Posted in Intel,Notebooks,Processors by Darrin Olson on August 28th, 2006

Intel Core 2 Duo ExtremeIntel’s latest processor for notebooks, the Core 2 Duo which was previously code named “Merom”, has started shipping in with the leading notebook manufacturers including Dell, HP, Gateway and Apple with the MacBook Pro. This new processor promises 20% more processing speed than the previous Core Duo. So, basically this means that the your notebook battery lasts just as long and your legs won’t melt any faster.

The Core 2 Duo processor can achieve such great speeds because it has 2 processing cores that allow it to do multiple tasks simultaneously. This might make things a little tougher for AMD’s Turon.

MX1000 Wireless Mouse

Posted in Mouse by Paul Patterson on August 28th, 2006

MX1000 Wireless MouseI started using this mouse a few days ago and I am pretty happy with the results. I’ve been using a wireless mouse for a few years now and I decided to give a laser mouse a try. The problems I had with my previous mouse were pretty insignificant and were mostly related to battery life.

The MX1000 comes with a rapid-charging base station and a lithium-ion battery that never needs replacing; making battery life a non-issue. Another benefit is the laser which provides additional tracking power over the optical sensors found on optical mice. Gamers who are traditionally adverse to using a cordless mouse may find this a suitable gaming replacement.

Other features include:

Universal page forward and back, plus an application switch that quickly moves between open windows.
A tilting wheel for side-to-side scrolling.
An illuminated 4-level battery indicator to monitor …

HELIO – Not a Phone

Posted in Helio,Mobile Phones by Darrin Olson on August 27th, 2006

Helio LogoAccording to the Helio TV ads, calling it a “phone” is a misnomer, and they really don’t want to be compared to other mobile phone providers. Probably the most significant feature that separates this device from the others is it’s integration with MySpace.

With Helio, you can do a number of functions to interact with your MySpace account, including post photo bulletins, mail, comments, add friends and more. Helio boasts having the only device that is built around interacting with MySpace.

Helio offers something called Speedy 3G that gives high speed internet to the device for getting the “Helio On Top” news streams, surfing, games on a QVGA screen, video and music as well as messaging.

Gift and Beg is an interesting feature, were you can either “gift” someone a ring tone, video or game, or you can “beg” for one from someone.

At the time …

Find Your Destination With Garmin eTrex Legend Cx

Posted in Garmin,GPS by Paul Patterson on August 26th, 2006

Garmin eTrex LegendI purchased the Garmin eTrex Legend Cx GPS a few weeks ago for some trips I have planned this summer. It has everything I wanted in a GPS; it has a color screen, small footprint, light, easy to use, and most importantly, it tells me where I need to go. I planned on using this device specifically for hiking and bicycle touring but it works really well for navigation in the car too. Here is a rundown on some of the main features:

256-color, sunlight-readable TFT display (176 x 220 resolution) with adjustable brightness level.
MicroSD card slot for storing MapSource data. Mine came with a 64mb card.
36-hour battery life (I use Energizer Rechargeable AA Batteries).
Mini-USB port for map uploads and downloads.
Turn-by-turn directions with alert tones (when navigating on streets).
Preloaded Americas …

Plug Your Headphones Into These Little Playaway Books

Posted in Digital Audio,ebooks by Darrin Olson on August 26th, 2006

Playaway
Playaway has come out with the newest version of books on tape. These are actually little, digital books! They are about half the size of a deck of cards, have the cover of the book on one side, and the 8 button player control on the other. It runs off of one AA battery that comes with the device, and if you keep a charged battery in it you can listen to the book as many times as you would like. The Playaway “books” also come with a set of headphones and a lanyard to hang it around your neck if you would like.
These little digital books are available from Playaway’s online store, and they are also at a few nationwide retailers, including Borders, OfficeMax and of course Barnes & Noble. Most books price from …

Podcasting – No Broadcasting, No iPod?

Posted in Digital Audio by Darrin Olson on August 26th, 2006

Podcast Logo When I first heard of podcasting, I immediately figured it had something to do with the iPod and something to do with radio, but when I looked into it this really isn’t the case. Although you can listen to podcasts with the iPod and get them from iTunes, you can also listen to them with almost any other similar device, and you can get them from many, many sources. It just so happens that the iPod was the most popular hardware at the time and so the phrase was coined.

Podcasts are basically the same medium as any song would be, often an MP3 file, and usually are not songs but are news, interviews, comedy or any other audio distribution.

The Podcast Directory is a great source to find all kinds of different podcasts, and of course if you do have an iPod, …

Apple iPod nano is Smaller Than You Think

Posted in Apple,Digital Audio,iPod by Darrin Olson on August 26th, 2006

iPOD nano
I picked up the 4GB iPod nano not too long ago. I got the black iPOD, which was a little harder to find but I really like the look of it. What really got me was how small this thing really is. They put the dimensions on the add and on the box, which shows 3.5 x 1.6 x .27 inches, but it never really hits you ’till you get one in your hand. This thing is small.

Aside from the size, the another feature I really liked about iPod nano right away was how easy it was to use. Within minutes I had the thing hooked up to my PC and was downloading songs from iTunes. Other attractive points to me were the accessories. There is a multitude of accessories for these things now everywhere, including stereo’s you can dock with, …