USB Batteries

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Date: Sunday, September 24th, 2006, 03:50
Category: Gadget

aacell.jpgFresh from the ‘What-A-Good-Idea’ department comes the USBCELL. This 1300mAH rechargeable battery has a hinged cap that folds back to reveal a USB connector. This can then be plugged-in to any full-size, powered USB port, avoiding the need for separate recharging devices, cradles or cables.
At 1300mAH, the USBCELL is half the capacity of many conventional rechargeable batteries. However the conveniencce of being able to recharge or top-up by simply plugging into a USB port is a definite plus.
AAA and 9 volt batteries are being planned, along with power-supplies for a wide range of portable devices including mobile phones and game consoles.
Contributed by Brett Jordan.

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Gadget Charging Station in Airports

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Gadget

charge-carte-station.jpgWhile traveling this weekend to Austin City Limits festival in Austin, Texas this weekend (more about that on my personal blog later, promise) I stumbled across this cool gadget charging station in the George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH) airport. The Charge Carte kiosk is brought to you by the same people who extort US$3 out of road-weary travelers to rent luggage carts in airports.
The concept is simple: insert US$3 in the Charge Carte machine and you get 30 minutes of gadget charging time. Many devices are supported, the top row of three is all iPod chargers, the rest are phone chargers for Treo (yay!) Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry, Nextel, LG and Samsung rides. The company claims that a 30 minute charge should provide up to 50 percent of the power capacity of a dead gadget and that their rapid charge technology will charge a cell phone or PDA up to twice as fast as a standard outlet charger.
I didn’t have to use it (luckily) but it’s a great idea nonetheless.

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Hands-on with the Apple iTV prototype

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Date: Tuesday, September 12th, 2006, 15:32
Category: Gadget

We’re as surprised as you, but Apple actually put their iTV units on display right after the show! Really, there isn’t a whole lot here that we didn’t already see in the keynote and up on their site, but it’s definitely Mac mini sized in terms of footprint, and is a sexy little bugger. Click on for lots more pics!

Hands-on with the Apple iTV prototype – Engadget

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Miuro: your iPod, on wheels!

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Date: Thursday, September 7th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Gadget

Fresh from the ‘Who the heck would buy one of those?’ department, Yahoo.com reports: [edited]
The Miuro turns an iPod music player into a dancing boombox-on-wheels. The 14-inch-wide machine from ZMP blares music as it rolls and twists from room to room.
The $930 (yes, you DID read that right, ed.) Miuro — short for “music innovation based on utility robot technology” (ouch! ed.) — responds to a handheld remote control and WiFi trasmissions from a PC to play music from iTunes and other programs.
At a demonstration in Tokyo, the 11-pound Miuro did a preprogrammed dance, rolling about and pivoting to music.
“This is a robot version of music-on-the-move that’s so popular,” said Miuro designer Shinichi Hara, who also creates album jackets for Japanese pop stars. “I designed it to have a gentle look because it becomes a part of everyday life by integrating robotics and music,” Hara said.
The robot went on sale Thursday in Japan by Internet order, and overseas availability is expected in the second half of 2007. ZMP is hoping to sell 10,000 Miuros in the first year, targeting sales of more than $8.5 million.
ZMP President Hisashi Taniguchi said robotic technology adds another convenience to mobile music. “The robot helps you listen to music wherever you are without even thinking about it,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to put on a CD.”
Separately sold options add a camera and sensors to the robot so it will map out its own position and remember routes.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan

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Analyst sees Zune, hears static

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Date: Wednesday, August 30th, 2006, 23:23
Category: Gadget

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said he has looked at the Zune documents that Toshiba filed last week with the Federal Communications Commission and is not impressed.

“We are frankly underwhelmed by the much-hyped Zune device,” Wu said in a research note on Wednesday. “It appears that the Zune is essentially a repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat that has seen limited success.”

Apple | News.blog | CNET News.com

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Gaming Goes Pink

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Date: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006, 09:04
Category: Gadget

The release of a new games console in Japan is always an event. Huge, police-managed queues are not uncommon. However, when the Nintendo DS lite was released in Japan, it wasn’t the length of the queues that made headlines, but their content.
For the first time in gaming history, there were females in the queues. And not just teenage manga lookalikes. The Nintendo DS’s friendly interface and games like Nintendogs, Animal Crossing and Brain Age have drawn a wide range of Japan’s demographic into the joys of gaming.
The pink Nintendo DS was released on July 20, and has been a tremendous success.
Never one to miss a marketing trick, Sony has responded with pink versions of their PS2 and their PSP.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan

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The Laptop Crusade – More on the $100 Laptop

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 10:30
Category: Gadget

100-dollar-notebook.jpg

For nearly a year, Béhar has been at work on the most visible and most controversial project of his career. His client, a nonprofit offshoot of the MIT Media Lab, had dreamed up a radical new computer. Depending on who you asked, it was either soon-to-be-legendary vaporware or a shortcut to modern education for tens of millions of poor kids around the world. The plan called for a garage full of experimental technology: radio antennas that network computers up to 10 miles apart without satellites or towers; a dual-mode display that switches to monochrome in bright light; a power scheme that lets the computer run indefinitely without an electrical outlet. But nothing worked together. Media Lab cofounder Nicholas Negroponte was looking for someone to puzzle together the technology – someone to make it bright and iconic, rainproof, dustproof, heatproof, drop-proof, spillproof, and intuitive to a Thai or Nigerian child who had never seen modern technology. Negroponte would offer the laptop to governments who would commit to buying at least a million computers each; it promised to outsell every other laptop in the world in just a few years. Oh, and one more thing: The machine would need to cost one-fifth the price of the cheapest laptop at Wal-Mart. The Media Lab dubbed the project One Laptop per Child, but everyone else knew it simply as “the $100 laptop.”

Wired 14.08: The Laptop Crusade

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Nintendo Wii, the Anticipation Grows

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Date: Monday, August 14th, 2006, 05:15
Category: Gadget

nintendo-wii-2.jpgWith an expected release date of late November 2006, details of Nintendo’s latest console are causing a growing wave of speculation. Much of it is in the context of how different it is from Sony’s next console, the PS3, which is slated for release at a similar time.
The disparity in the length of queues to try out the Wii and PS3 at E3 2006 have become a thing of geek legend. And the price differences (c. £450 vs £150) are equally significant when considering items that are going to be at the top of many people’s Christmas lists this year!
To view some of the reasons why I believe that the Wii is going to be a Christmas hit, visit this link for a five-minute video montage of some Nintendo ads.
And if you’re willing to turn down your politically correct antennae, this perceptive and hilarious spoof of the recent Apple ads will tell you more about the differences between the consoles than any comparison charts or discussion forums will!
Read More…
(Contributed by: Brett Jordan)

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Mylo, Yet Another Gizmo to Lug Around

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Gadget

mylo-250.jpgWired reports:
Hoping to tap into the growth of wireless networks across college campuses, other public spaces and within homes, Sony is introducing a new pocket-sized gadget for instant messaging and other internet-based communications.
The Sony mylo, slated for availability in September at a retail price of about $350, is a first-of-its-kind product that uses Wi-Fi networks, analysts say. It is not a cellular phone and thus doesn’t carry monthly service fees. And though it could handle web-based e-mail services, it doesn’t support corporate e-mail programs.
Instead, the slim, oblong-shaped gizmo that has a 2.4-inch display and slides open to expose a thumb keyboard specifically geared toward young, mainstream consumers for messaging and internet-based calls. As long as a Wi-Fi network is accessible, a mylo user could chat away or browse the web.
The mylo — which stands for “my life online,” — will be marketed toward 18-24 year-olds, the multitasking generation that relies heavily on instant messaging and is already viewing e-mail as passe, Sony said.
Sony has partnered with Yahoo and Google to integrate their instant-messaging services, and is looking to expand mylo’s support to other services as well, most notably the leading messaging provider, America Online.
Read more…
(Contributed by Brett Jordan)

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Review: Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

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Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006, 10:48
Category: Gadget

nokia-770.jpgSummary: The Nokia 770 is the best bridge-device yet between mobility and the web2.0 world. It is a solid go-to device for messaging and presence, as well as having a very capable browser. It can appear a bit sluggish at times, but it is a very flexible device with a lot of untapped potential. Having said that, Nokia has been making steady improvements to the device in the form of software updates.
I am running the 2006 edition of the software. I am also only going to cover the things I actually use my 770 for, since it does a lot of things, but I think it may be interesting for people to know how I use the device.
The Nokia 770 is easy to like. It runs Linux and X11, has a slew of little applications and allows easy third-party access, and also speaks WiFi and Bluetooth allowing you to talk to the Internet with ease.
Physically the device feels great, it is a good weight and the build quality is nice. It feels substantial and not cheap. It really freaks me out when I’m using something that feels hollow and brittle. I really like holding and using the 770. There are some minor construction issues, namely that when you have the 770 in its metallic sleeve you can’t reach the stylus because its blocked by the lip of the jacket. I don’t know how something like that got through QA.
So it has a stylus and a touchscreen, and it does handwriting recognition but I haven’t used that yet. It doesn’t have a PIM and it doesn’t sync against anything. It isn’t a PDA but is more of a surfboard for IM, Presence, Browsing, and Email. It can also be transmogrified into a softphone via Gizmoproject or Google Talk.
When you first boot the device up and do some simple configuration you’ll be dumped out to a desktop of sorts, which is also activated by using the Home key on the device. You can run little widgets that do things like pull RSS feeds, access Internet radio, or give you easy access to your favorite search engine.
Read more (including about 17 screen shots)…

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