If you love the sound of your own voice, then Griffin's iTalk Pro is for you. Turning your iPod into a portable audio recorder, the iTalk has a little stereo mic built-in that allows you to record those brain-waves on the move, all in nice 16-bit 44.1 kHz stereo audio. Use it to record interviews, lectures, or even friends if you think they're talking about you behind your back. If you find the quality of the built-in mic not good enough for the subtleties of your voice, then you can simply attach your own external one.
Get it now from Griffin for $49.99. Remember it's only compatible with 5G iPods and 2G iPod Nanos.
Anyone else sick of seeing Bono's face on pictures of video iPods?
JanSport's been a personal favorite of mine when it comes to backpacks. Keeping in sync with the popularity of personal digital music, a recent innovation of theirs was the AudioPack - a backpack with a headphone port and capability to fully remote control an iPod. Carrying the trend forward is the Recourse. This backpack comes with built-in flat panel audio speakers embedded at the front . What this means is that you can connect any portable music player to the supplied audio port and listen to music through your backpack. The speakers are well protected from the elements by compression molded panels while your audio player lies inside the bag within a special protective V-loft pocket. As added attractions, there's also a thermally insulated compartment to keep your drink of choice chilled and a bottle opener attached to the zipper pull.
An ideal companion while trekking through your favourite trails, the backpack comes in three colors - pink, purple and black. Currently not available in the US, it retails for ₤ 99.99 in the U.K.
OK, yet another travel related story. Have you noticed the serious upgrade in headphones on airplanes recently? Only a few people use the ones that are supplied by the airlines, which isn't so surprising. My ears hurt for a couple of hours and of course the sound quality is rather lousy. These days, you see personal ear buds, and a lot more of the high end Bose Quiet Comfort Noise Canceling variety.
Check these out for your next trip. I saw the ultra lux Grado GS 1000 Statement Series in a nameless mall in Taipei.
This flagship offering has a wooden housing that offsets it up to date features. Grado tweaked the driver to work with the wood to reduce distortions. The cushion shaped foam creates a large chamber for a more spatial quality to the sound.
Stone Audio UK offers it for £995 (or about $1,890).
This week and last there have been many blogs writing up a little USB device allowing parents to snoop on their children. It's called the SnoopStick and uses a client-server setup to allow for remote access to a child's d. Concerned parents simply plug the SnoopStick into a target PC and install the monitoring software. The USB stick can be plugged into a different PC to establish a connection to the remote PC; it essentially works as a key so the parent doesn't need to remember web addresses or passwords. The parent can monitor computer usage in real time, but also view logs of web usage, email sent, and instant message conversations. There's even a "Social Block" for one button blocking of social networking sites, and a line item for blacklisting individual web addresses.
The typical program used by black hat ninjas for this type of surreptitious monitoring is a backdoor trojan or a modified copy of VNC running in stealth mode. This isn't new technology, but it does make things a bit simpler for the unskilled eavesdropper, and the SnoopStick can easily be used for alternative purposes. Solid Oak has protected the company from the customary accusations of social irresponsibility by choosing not to include a keylogger within the SnoopStick software, and admitting that there are some things that no honest user needs to monitor.
Because this isn't new technology it isn't much of a threat, and any child old enough to use a computer unassisted will be able to easily disable the software upon realization that Big Brother is watching over a shoulder. Symantec has the software registered as spyware in the virus definitions from February 22nd onward, and their website also includes full removal instructions in case an amateur decides to snoop you out.
Just FYI, for a temporary fix there are several online virus scanners that can clean out this and similar threats, and there are also several freely downloadable permanent anti-virus programs such as avast! and AVG. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Here comes what could be the next photo fad.
The Zink mobile printer lets you print business card size photos (2 in. x 3 in.) on photopaper or paper with a sticky back.
It's small enough to fit in your pocket and is conveniently inkless (the names is abbreviation of zero ink), so you don't have to worry about any mess. You can hook it up to your camera through a USB port or Bluetooth, and it's also compatible with the Pictbridge camera.
I can envision the Zink being used as a mobile Purikura (Print Club) photobooth or becoming the next big party fad, like the Polariod izone camera once was. But I can also see it being used in the design world as a tool for ideation sessions and rapid prototyping.
The Zink will be available later this year, and pricing information has not yet been posted.
While I don't sing in the shower very much, I often wish I could boogie to one of my iTunes playlists while going through my morning ablutions. So even though this wireless water-resistant iPod speaker doesn't come in classic iPod white, I'd be happy to have it in my bathroom, knowing that I wouldn't have to worry about any accidental splash damage.
The 3" full-range 6-watt speaker comes with a dock, of course, but it's kept separate from the speaker so that it can be kept somewhere safe and dry - anywhere within the 150' radius of its wireless signal, in fact. So you could leave the docking station in one place and move the speaker around the house, even out to the pool if that's where you need some tunes going. However, both the dock and the speaker need AC power, so they're not truly portable units.
The system is compatible with all iPod nanos, 30GB and 60GB iPod video, and the 20GB iPod photo. The dock also recharges iPods while it's playing. Speakers come with AM/FM radio, an alarm clock, 3 audio/video out jacks, and one audio in jack for connection to a PC or CD player. And there's a remote control, of course.
The entire speaker system costs $199.95. Available from March 9 at Hammacher Schlemmer.
This is one for all of your geeky friends. The R2-D2 trash can is a fully functional trash receptacle in the body of a lovingly rendered R2-D2 replica. When you step on R2's center "foot" his dome head swings open welcoming whatever refuse you might pass its way. The R2 trashcan stands twenty four inches tall and includes a removable interior can with handle and is fully licensed as a Star Wars Collectible... but only in Japan! So take advantage of this rare opportunity to snap one up stateside while you can.
This RFID Experimentation Kit looks awesome. With over a dozen types of RFID tags, a USB based RFID reader and instructions for tons of RFID projects you'll be hacking away in no time. But be forewarned, though the kit provides everything you'll need to get started, the makers assume a baseline level of technical knowledge. So if you're not afraid to get your hands dirty, reserve your copy right away. The RFID Experimentation Kit is already out of stock and on backorder so you'll have to get on it to get one.
Daaaaling.....I could totally see using this as my day-to-day handbag. Did you see the silver and pink? Oh my gawd!'
Okay, so this isn't my style but I can see that many people might like the glitz, and the retro styling. The best part is you just plug in your iPod, PS, MP3, Satellite Radio or CD player using the included cables and "break out the beats." The water-resistant stereo speakers put out 3-watts and are powered by 4 AA batteries . It's big enough to carry all your stuff and will put you back $130 at Lifepod .