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08.12.2006

Window shopping gone wild

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Just when I thought the ultimate decadence was shopping at my home computer in my PJs, they come out with "window shopping" -- literally.

At Polo Ralph Lauren's flagship location in NY, customers can tap on the huge store window which has a projected image of a Lauren tableau. All 67". A "thin touch foil" mounted on the glass powers the touchscreen. Tap what you want -- those rustic suspenders, say -- and swipe your credit card on the wall-mounted card reader.

The company will experiment with this through Sept 10 and then evaluate it's success - or failure.

Talk about an impusle buy. This is just plain dangerous.

Posted by Evan    Category: current affairs | devices
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08.11.2006

Play music from your PC on your stereo system with Logitech wireless DJ remote

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Have lots of great music on your PC but not able to play it on your stereo system? This common problem now has a classy solution - in the form of the new Wireless DJ Music System from Logitech.

This 3-piece package consists of a wireless transmitter that plugs into your PC’s USB port, a receiver that plugs into the auxillary inputs of any stereo system and a wireless remote control that allows you to access and navigate your music. The receiver also serves as a docking charger for the remote. The most glamorous component of the package is definitely the sleek remote which has a pleasing blue backlit LCD display and an iPod-like scroll wheel. Using the remote, you can navigate through all your music files, playlists and internet radio stations, play a song, playlist or station of your choice and also see what is playing on the screen. With Logitech's Music Anywhere wireless technology you can access your music over a 300 feet range, without having an existing wireless network. Wondering why it's called "DJ" ? With the remote, you can configure an active playlist called the "DJ List", and add songs or albums to the queue without stopping the music. What's more, you can also use iTunes and WMP playlists as well - the device supports MP3, AAC, WMA, Internet radio, and podcasts.

Check out the first CNET review which has labelled their experience with the device as a "positive first impression". The wireless DJ will be out late September at $250 in the US and Europe. Definitely something to watch out for.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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08.11.2006

Automatic beauty software from Israel

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We've seen cheap parlor tricks used in cameras to provide a slimming look, and we’ve all seen Brittney’s heavily airbrushed spread in Bazaar. Four researchers from Tel Aviv have developed a system that could remove the human interaction from retouching photos and let machines decide just what true beauty will be. “Digital Face Beautification” can autonomously manipulate a photo of a woman's face to be more aesthetically pleasing.

The two part system analyzes the distances between facial features, and adjusts the spatial relationships to bring the photograph more in line with accepted perceptions of beauty. The perceptions are based on 200 photographs of women rated by volunteers, where facial structure and features were assigned points to weight the look that the participants found most attractive.

The changes made are minimal, almost imperceptible, but they do make a difference. Minute changes in face shape, cheekbones, nose lines, eyebrows, and lips manipulate the original photos into slightly different looks. Judging from the before and after photos I would equate the changes on par with a proper makeup job. While this might be a triumph for computer science, the makeup counter at Famous can also conjure cheekbones out of thin air.

Via Celeste Biever at NewScientistTech and Stefanie Olsen from FutureTech.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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08.11.2006

Retro robots, rockets and rayguns

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LockWasher Design takes found objects and turns them into rockets, robots, and rayguns. I love the retro-sci-fi vibe, which makes this vision of the old "future" feel new again. Harking back to a time when the future wasn't dark and scary, this future is shiny and full of chrome.

Via atomic17

Posted by Ray    Category: design
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08.11.2006

The 2006 Machinima Festival is taking submissions

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The 2006 Machinima Festival has just announced that its submission form is up for all you gamer filmmakers out there. The festival will be held on November 4-5, 2006 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. Watch the promo video and then get to work!

Via Rhizome

Posted by Ray    Category: toys
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08.10.2006

Zyb will keep your contacts safe

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Helpful reader Roar Nielsen remembered reading a post where I admitted to dropping my Treo in a toilet after a night of carousing. He recommended a new service called Zyb that lets data enabled cellphones replicate all the important information via the internet. The service is very similar to the online storage that the Hiptop uses, except this is manual and currently supports over 200 phones. Yahoo Mobile's Contact Backup service is very similar, but Zyb has many fewer restrictions as to who can sign up.

Zyb users can manage synced contacts with a web interface, and they can be shared with other Zyb users. Each account can be linked to multiple mobile phones, and Zyb can be used to push old contacts to a new phone. The early adopter geek in me is thrilled at the prospect.

Most cellphones ship with the required SyncML data interface so the majority of phones are compatible. There's no cost to use the service, and the founders guarantee that it will remain that way. The company's business model shows plans to roll out additional fee based premium features in the future. Eventually you'll be able to sync your contacts from the website to Outlook or an iPod.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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08.10.2006

Fiddling with digital photos with Photofiddle

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I am a lazy ass photographer. I still have rolls of 35mm film sitting around from 1999 that have never been developed, and now I have several years' worth of digital photos in my hard drive which have never seen the light of day. I always think I'm going to print them out, put them in albums, and frame a few when I have a sufficient block of time free -- which of course will be never, since it would take me nine months to do this project.

Meanwhile, rude friends keep asking me why, a full year after I moved into my house, there's still nothing on my walls except dirty paw prints and post-its. "Why don't you slap up a few of your family photos?" they say. These are the same people who send you baby pictures when their baby is six hours old, and Christmas cards before April. How superior.

The truth is, I think family photos are kind of boring except to members of your own family (and sometimes boring even to them). I'm playing around with Photofiddle, a new web service that turns your mind-numbingly bland photos into sillly or stunning works of art. The one above is a photo of Brooke Shields taken at a Photofiddle event -- done up in one of the Pop Art selections.

Continue reading "Fiddling with digital photos with Photofiddle"

Posted by Hoyun    Category: design
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08.10.2006

Sony's mylo for mobile wifi chatting

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Sony has been pushing the mylo product line since 2001, and Sascha at PCMag has the lowdown on their newest addition. The mylo is a mobile instant messenger device that doubles as a Skype phone, web appliance, and media player. Sony is dubbing the mylo as a way to take advantage of open hotspots for those who use instant messaging as their primary form of communication.

In no way is the mylo a cell phone. There’s no cell modem, and it needs a hotspot to be useful. Luckily, JiWire’s services are built into the handheld so locating hotspots in a metro area should be a piece of cake.

Google Talk, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger are all supported, but curiously there's no AIM or MSN. A redeeming feature is that the mylo runs a mobile version of the Opera web browser; a browser which I fanatically support. Web support is full HTML, and there are several display and scaling modes to help fit big pages to a small screen.

The device ships with a paltry one megabyte gigabyte of onboard memory, and expansion is provided with Sony’s Memory Stick Duo. In a strange twist of a retro feature set the device also supports .txt file editing, so it can double as a mobile emergency essay machine.

Haha - Thanks to Jennifer Chase for pointing out that I misread the spec sheet.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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08. 9.2006

Popgadget writing positions

We're looking to add two new freelance writers to our writing crew:

1. A morning news writer who can commit to being available every weekday at a specific time to scope out the day's news, talk to our editor and write up pieces for posting the same day or the following morning. If you're already a tech news addict with an eye for products and events that appeal to women, and can consistently deliver at least 25 posts per month, this may be your perfect outlet. Professional writing experience is not required, just humor, an original voice, and an avid interest in pop/tech culture.

2. A weekend writer available at least one day every weekend, and a couple of days during the week to write up pieces primarily on new consumer electronic devices. Let us know if you also have interest and knowledge about cars. Minimum of 5 posts per week (20 per month) required.

Our payment rates are competitive with other high-profile commercial blogs.

To apply, please send an email to Mia with the following:

1. Name and location (city and country),
2. Languages spoken/written,
3. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: Three to four sample posts of approximately 300 words (images not necessary) (these should be examples of what your actual posts will look like on Popgadget, so articles from another publication may not be helpful),
4. Current profession/job,
5. Your areas of knowledge,
6. Some background information (formal resume not necessary),
7. Days and times you can be regularly available;
8. Any other information you think would be helpful (though please keep it brief).

Deadline to apply is August 18th. We'll look at all responses as they come in, and start calling people this week. If you've applied previously, we may be calling you (and my apologies for not replying to each person who responded), but please feel free to send us another email if you're still interested.

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08. 9.2006

Event: metaverse roadmap pre-release party at eyebeam, august 10th, nyc

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Taking its name from Neil Stephenson's seminal book "Snowcrash," the Metaverse Roadmap (MVR) is a ten year project which investigates the intersection of 3D virtual worlds, such as Second Life, with Web 2.0 applications.

The project site describes areas of study as:
"... the convergence of Web applications with networked computer games and virtual worlds, the use of 3D creation and animation tools in virtual environments, digital mapping, artificial life, and the underlying trends in hardware, software, connectivity, business innovation and social adoption that will drive the transformation of the World Wide Web in the coming decade."

After an initial summit last May, they are holding an event, a "Metaverse Roadmap Pre-Release Party," at Eyebeam. Presumably, they will be showing some preliminary findings from May. Eyebeam is located at 540 W. 21st Street, (between 10th and 11th Avenues), NYC. The event is on Thursday, August 10, from 6 to 9 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Posted by Ray    Category: current affairs
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