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07.23.2007

LiveWire Bluetooth backpack

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Jansport's brand-new LiveWire Bluetooth backpack offers full remote control of your iPod functions and Bluetooth compatible phone technology, while still carrying your laptop in a cushioned compartment, and that 15-pound math book.

When I took it out for a hike, I got some strange looks; afterall, it looked like I was chatting it up with my backpack. But really, was I any stranger than those aliens talking on their ear pods?

The Livewire bags have a universal headphone port mounted on the shoulder strap, with an internal connection cord that is compatible with any mp3 player, and a soft-fabric keypad integrated into the shoulder strap so that you can have full remote control of your iPod or your phone. Another backpack strap has a built in microphone for hands-free use with your headphones.

Like all Jansport backpacks, they feature the AirLiftshoulder straps and breathable mesh back panel which stays dry and comfortable. When I had it fully-loaded, I really appreicated the foam padded haul handle.

The Livewire series comes in 5 different styles for fall. For more info, visit the LiveWire Lounge.

And if you want to win one of these $299 LiveWire bags, make sure you're signed up to our newsletter! Contest details later this week in your email.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories | computers | wearables
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07.23.2007

Solve this SMS mystery: iPhone unable to send text messages to Helio

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I've had a Helio Ocean for a couple of months, and when some of our crew started using iPhones, I noticed that I stopped receiving text messages from them. I figured they were just having too much fun on their iPhones to bother replying to my messages, that they'd formed their own little iPhone clique and I wasn't a part of it because I refused to get caught up in the hype. (See my Helio Ocean vs. iPhone post later this week.)

But then fingers started pointing at me: "Why don't you reply to my texts?" So we ran some highly technical tests (sending messages to each other across a table at a diner), and concluded that the iPhone refuses to play with the Helio. I can send text messages from my Helio to iPhones, but can't receive messages from iPhones to my Helio. Calls work fine.

Anyone else experiencing this weird glitch? Has anyone solved this mystery or had any conversations with AT&T, Apple or Helio about what's going on here?

Posted by Hoyun    Category: cell phones | current affairs
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07.23.2007

Security Ring guards your PC while you wander

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I think people at any workplace can be categorized into two kinds – those who take breaks in between work and those who work in between breaks. If you belong to the latter group (good for you), then concerns about protecting your PC from prying eyes could be quite valid. In which case, the Security Ring by designer Yang Hai could perhaps let you wander in peace.

Essentially, this strange-looking device (still a design concept) consists of a base station which is connected to the PC and a ring which you wear on your finger. So if you wander out of a certain range, the base station gets notified and all your programs on the PC are locked. The concept seems pretty neat. Except, personally, I couldn’t be bothered to wear a bulky ring for long. Unless of course, if the device could get all my work completed automatically as well…

Via SlashGear.

More on computer security for your office cubicle:
Seeing you from my rear view
Hyundai USB fingerprint reader
USB Kitty provides computer security
High security cloth bag

Posted by kanchana    Category: design | devices
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07.23.2007

Digger Dog digs his way to China

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I apologize in advance for my growing vulnerability to stupid dog toys (not toys for dogs, but dog-related toys for seemingly intelligent adult humans). You lay this little guy on the ground and he appears to be digging his way to China, together with sound effects -- including farting and barking noises. You can add to our gi-normous affiliate sales coffers by ordering this fun picnic/backyard toy for $17.99 from Amazon. I am bothered by one thing, though: placed in the wrong environment, the headless dog may scare small children or adults with no imagination.

If it appears that I'm heading in the direction of those people who buy little doggie statuettes to line their wndow sills, please help me.

Meanwhile, I blame this one on bookofjoe (note that I've spared you the link for the sound effects, but you can listen on Joe's blog - just make sure your office door is closed tight).

Posted by Hoyun    Category: pets | toys
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07.23.2007

Starry nights: Sky Scout Planetarium

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Immortalized by Van Gogh, staring starry nights is a year-round and timeless pleasure, shared by the Greeks, Galileo, and even us. Planetariums use technology to help your eyes learn how to navigate and detect thousands of stars, planets, constellations, meteors, and more. While you could travel to a planetarium, we've discovered a portable planetarium that you can own.

The Sky Scout Planetarium is a handheld planetarium that reveals the many mysteries of the heavens no matter where an individual stands on this planet. Enjoy astronomy alone or entertain friends and family any day of the year and anywhere--from a rooftop in Manhattan to a beach in Bali.

Continue reading "Starry nights: Sky Scout Planetarium"

Posted by chrissie    Category: toys
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07.23.2007

Box for your computer doodads

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Yes, it's just a box, but such a cute one! The straightforwardly named Computer Storage Box is a simple wooden cube with felt pads inside to protect whatever computer accessories and peripherals are tossed inside. The lid, secured by magnets, is also imprinted with a little reminder: "Computers are useless, they can only give you answers."

The box measures 22 cm in length/width/height - a handy size to add a little old-school charm to a desk or workstation. Available for £15 at NotOnTheHighStreet.com.

Posted by Yu-Mei    Category: home
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07.22.2007

Facelift for your gadgets

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I was wary of putting ANYTHING on my brand new iPhone, let alone a skin, soooo . . . I experimented by putting a DeCal Girl's Motorola RAZR one on my daughter's cell phone first. It was like a new phone, and fortunately, she thinks so too. (And hopefully, I've bought myself another month before she starts asking for a device with a full QWERTY keyboard.)

Cheap and easy to apply, my daughter and I decided to do her DS Lite next, in Peach Dots. Beautiful, except getting the stylus out is a bit of a pain. Then my husband's Playstation in the Blue Neon Flames . . .

There's no shortage of skins for any kind of gadget either; laptops, Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation, Game Cube, cell phones, iPhones, you name it.

Continue reading "Facelift for your gadgets"

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories
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07.22.2007

Butler Bag: Get a handle on your gadget clutter

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I first learned about the Butler Bag a year ago when it was touted by a handful of major publications as a savvy bag for moms. Well, I'm not a mom, but this past year I've become addicted to my gadgets. In addition to all the usual suspects found in a 30-year old gal's purse, you'll find a cell phone, memory stick, camera, Flip, battery charger (for the cell and the camera), and honestly way too much else in mine!

In a desperate attempt to regain control over my now scary-purse, I caved and ordered this mommy-friendly bag for my gadget gear. There's no doubt in my mind when I tell you that the Butler Bag is a "tech lover's best bag."

Continue reading "Butler Bag: Get a handle on your gadget clutter"

Posted by chrissie    Category: accessories | wearables
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07.21.2007

BlackBerry 8820

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We knew this was coming -- the newest BlackBerry model, the 8820, which is the first dual-mode BlackBerry handset, combining EDGE/GPRS/GSM cellular service with Wi-Fi connectivity. (Whom do think BlackBerry is competing with? Yes, starts with an "i".)

The sleek new BlackBerry 8820 seamlessly switches between cellular networks and Wi-Fi connections, enabling users to access email, Instant Messaging, organizer, Internet and other mobile applications via Wi-Fi networks in the office, at home or, say, Starbucks.

While it's RIM’s thinnest design yet, it still features a full QWERTY keyboard, a necessity, if you ask me. The mobile phone features include advanced noise cancellation, Voice Activated Dialing and Bluetooth 2.0 for hands-free use. But of course. A microSD expansion memory slot supports both microSD and microSDHC memory cards.

What else? It supports thousands of third party applications and business solutions, making it still the choice for most executives. BlackBerry Maps (for maps and turn-by-turn directions), and the multi-media player are new, but note that there's no camera.

It will be available at AT&T in the U.S. later this summer. And just when I promised my BlackBerry Curve that I'd never upgrade.

Posted by Evan    Category: cell phones
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07.21.2007

Spontaneous serenade by ringtone no more!

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Every day the concentration of desk-bound warriors around the world is broken by the spontaneous serenade of the mobile ringtone. Open office space renders our privacy vulnerable. But, it is the occasional belting out of a one-hit-wonder, the Sponge Bob Squarepants theme song, or better yet pre-recorded personal message from friend, child, or lover that reveals our most intimate selves.

When you can't bring yourself to turn your mobile to off, consider going "silent" and investing in Pure Modern's SIGNAL Cell Phone Adviser. The Adviser is a simple frosted desktop mobile phone holder that detects your mobile's radio waves and begins blinking instead of ringing. If nothing else the modest $21 investment might be enough to stave off the stares, giggles, and rolling eyes of your coworkers.

Price: $21 at Pure Modern.

Note: Not compatible with Treos.

Posted by chrissie    Category: cell phones
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