Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cryptex Mobile: Feel the code

Opus Dei has been needing a mobile phone to call their very own since the demise of the Knights Templar. If only designer Marc Schömann was catholic and lived 600 years ago, this baton style mobile phone might have saved them from a Dan Brown style disaster. This phone called “_______” (yup, it has no name) uses haptic technology to provide physical feedback for making a call. To turn it on…twist a section, to dial a number…twist a bunch of sections, to make an international call…break your wrist! There is no display and no buttons. The vibrate feature should prove popular with 50% of the world’s population.

Designer: Marc Schömann
Texts from the designer:

You turn the dial of every element to the desired cipher. If you entered the number you turn the first segment “to phone” (green LED). If you want to hang up the call you turn the first segment to “hang up” (red LED). The phone works without buttons and without a display and based on the old dial phones.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Microsoft offers new 60GB version of XboX 360

Microsoft today announced an Xbox 360 console with triple the storage space of the original console, but for the same price of $349. Available in retail stores in the U.S. and Canada starting in early August, the upgraded Xbox 360 will include a 60GB hard drive for storing music, movies, television shows, and game content. In addition, Microsoft today dropped the price of its 20GB Xbox 360 console in the U.S. and Canada to $299 while supplies last.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Arcade, which comes with a 256MB memory unit and five Xbox LIVE Arcade games, will continue to sell for $279, and the premium Xbox 360 Elite with a 120GB hard drive will also stay at the $449 price. The Xbox 360 60GB console includes a wireless controller, HDMI output, headset, free Xbox Live Silver account and a one-month Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Source: Cnet, PC World

Monday, July 7, 2008

Apple cuts price of MacBook Air by $500

Apple Inc. has quietly reduced the price of its most expensive notebook by $500, cutting the cost of the upper-end MacBook Air to $2,598. The MacBook Air, which Apple launched in January to some fanfare, has been sold in two configurations since then: with a traditional 80GB magnetic platter hard drive and a 1.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, or with a 64GB solid-state drive and a 1.8-GHz CPU. Solid-state drives (SSD) are built from flash memory and, unlike hard drives, have no moving parts.

The MacBook Air with the solid-state drive is more expensive than the one with the hard drive, but several Apple-specific Web sites, including AppleInsider, noticed that Apple had dropped the price of the SSD-equipped model by 16% on Thursday, July 3. Prior to the price cut, the solid-state MacBook Air sold for $3,098. The less expensive hard-drive-equipped MacBook Air retained its $1,799 price tag, according to the Apple online store. The price cut came from changes on two of the MacBook Air options. Selecting the SSD now adds $599 to the price of the notebook, compared to $999 earlier. Also lowered was the 1.8-GHz processor option, from $300 extra to $200.

Source: Computerworld

Sunday, July 6, 2008

JVC Camcorder Records Up To 50 hours!

Running out of space in your camcorder or camera is one of the top complaints from people who document every part of their vacations (another is poor battery life), and JVC has come up with a simple way to deal with it: juice up the hard drive capacity.

The upcoming GZ-HD40 and GZ-HD30 will not only include dual format recording (AVCHD/MPEG-2), but the HD40 will supposedly last up to 50 hours of recording time (in EP recording mode at 120GB). That's enough for a full weekend's worth of action, even if your dad 'forgets' to turn it off. ('Read the instructions Dad! Jeez. Here, give it. You know, just go over there and pour the chips on the bowl will ya? Thanks.')

Interestingly, the cameras also include a UI device called 'Intelligent Grouping,' that groups similarly themed scenes together. This appears to be camcorder’s version of the all-too popular 2.0-style tagging function. There's no word about whether these 'groupings' are automatic or whether they will allow you to define them. For example, I'd like to group all of my 'random head collisions in the middle of my vacation trip' clips, (which will help for the pleasant CAT scan coming up), and of course, not all of them occurred at night, or while playing sports.

Olympus' Omni-directional Camera Sensor Makes Pictures Look Like HAL-9000 Clones

If the imaging group at Olympus has its way, we might soon start to take pictures with omni-directional cameras. This will either lead to panoramic, life-altering photo perspectives, or it just might make pictures unnecessarily complicated and so dizzying as to be useless.

Olympus_onmi_directional_new_sensor Yesterday, Olympus' Future Creation Lab announced a new 360 CCD sensor/lens combo prototype that will allow photographers to take pictures of 360-degree views. These types of sensors have a curved symmetrical axis, and are about 1.18 inches in diameter.

The way they work is that as light passes through the curved lens when taking a picture, the internal reflection is captured in a wide-angle 360-degree limited view, allowing for a 'full' perspective of a single image. It's assumed that the sensor in development will be able change the magnification and size of the viewfinder's perspective. In a way, this is just a different approach to adjusting the depth of field.

The omni-directional system is also defined as axisymmetrical, but the sci-fi inclined will inevitably call it something else: Pictures that look like HAL-9000.

New Eee Monitor Might Be All-In-One Entertainment PC

Asus' new mystery-meat Eee product is called the Eee Monitor. A quick look around the back, though, reveals that this is more than a mere display, although just how much more remains, as we said, a mystery.

The Monitor appears to be a 20" screen with a gaggle of sockets on the back panel: Three USB ports, an ethernet port and a modem port, various audio in and outs, a card reader and a built-in webcam. Tellingly, there are no display inputs, which suggests this might be an iMac-alike all-in-one.

Laptop Mag also points out the Denon logo bottom right, which leads to speculation that this is some kind of standalone entertainment unit, especially if it contains a rumored TV tuner. Price, availability and actual real specs are all still unavailable, but one thing is sure. The March of the Eee continues.