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06.30.2009

Fulton Innovation Wants to Turn Your Sofa into a Wireless Charger

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06.30.2009

New website encourages parents to Panic About Babies

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It seems like expectant parents are always being faced with incredibly scary information (like the fact that if you're pregnant, that baby is going to come out of you, and it is going to hurt, or that you are going to be sole caretakers of another human being, that kind of stuff). "Don't panic!" Parenting books exude, while you're hyperventilating into the paper bag they came in.

Well, a new site launched this week by popular "mommybloggers" Alice Bradley (aka Finslippy) and Eden Marriott Kennedy (of Fussy fame) takes a total different tack.

Continue reading "New website encourages parents to Panic About Babies"

Posted by Diane    Category: on the web
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06.30.2009

Another USB hub that's much more

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Here's yet another USB hub with a difference - this one has an integrated luminous calculator for number crunching, a mouse pad and a 3-port hub, all rolled (out) into one entity.

The USP of this device is that it lights up with a "blue, moody light" that illuminates the calculator making it look pretty fetching (in complete darkness, ofcourse). And it is super-slim too, measuring just around 4mm in thickness. The calculator can be switched off and used as a mouse pad, or as a USB 1.1 (only ?) hub. The device itself runs either on external power supply or a single battery (power adapter / battery included).

Well, if you haven't bought yourself even one of the zillion USB-hub-cum-this-'n-that devices yet, head on to GizFever and check this one out. Costs $17.99.

Via Engadget.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | misc gadgets | peripherals
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06.29.2009

14 year old girl discovers supernova

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We're more used to seeing news stories about teenage girls running up astronomical cell phone bills than having an interest in astronomy, but 14 year old Caroline Moore is clearly exceptional. Caroline, who is from New York, was scouting the night sky with her amateur telescope when she spotted celestial object SN 2008ha (catchy name, huh?)

The supernova is an exploded star located 70 million light-years away from Earth (approx) and no-one had ever identified it before. It appears to be unusually bright.

As Alex Filippenko, the leader of the supernova group at the University of California in Berkeley told Softpedia.com:

“Coincidentally, the youngest person to ever discover a supernova found one of the most peculiar and interesting supernovae ever."

Kudos, Caroline - keep up the great work!

Image: NASA.

Posted by Diane    Category: science
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06.29.2009

What does the internet think ?

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Ever wondered what that huge informational powerhouse called the "internet" thinks about a particular topic, say - Barack Obama, Swine Flu, The iPhone 3Gs, or just Dirty Laundry?

Well, being the powerful entity that it is, the "internet" ought to have a mind of its own now, doesn't it? Which is why this site called whatdoestheinternetthink tries to demystify those nagging questions which have, until now, remained unanswered. whatdoestheinternetthink analyses the search results from popular search engines (Google, Yahoo & Bing), and categorizes the final result on the topic as being Positive, Negative, or Don't Care. It also colorfully depicts the percentage of search results that fall under each of these three categories, along with a short summary of this topic being discussed on Twitter.

Pretty useful and gets quite addictive. Plus, it was quite interesting for me to know that 64.7% of the internet doesn't really care about Michelle Obama, while 71% is actually positive on Lindsay Lohan (according to Google). Hmmm.

Posted by kanchana    Category: on the web
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06.27.2009

What's the miracle cure for cellulite?

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There is none. But you knew that.

The New York Times's Catherine Saint Louis explains why. If you are beach-bound, there's really only one small ray of hope. Your cellulite may be temporarily less noticeable if the skin around it is plumped up. Cellulite creams and machines often work this way. They irritate your skin so that it swells, which disguises lumpiness a little bit for a little while.

Very irritating.

Posted by Tam    Category: body
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06.26.2009

Sony Ericsson Wants to Light up Your Wardrobe

As our gadgets have become more prevalent in our lives, it's also become a necessity for our tech to not only improve our lives but look good while they do it. Cell phone companies have answered the call for high-quality tech and aesthetics with phones specifically designed to function as high tech fashion accessories decked out with everything from precious metals to jewelry.

Download file

Continue reading "Sony Ericsson Wants to Light up Your Wardrobe"

Posted by sherri    Category: wearables
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06.26.2009

Every girl's dream: the weightless wedding

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It wasn't exactly a wedding in space, which I told you last year will happen in 2011. But it was a weightless wedding, probably the first to be held in the 30-second periods of zero gravity possible when the G-Force One aircraft flies loop-de-loops. Cost: $7500 per person, not counting the photographer.

Thanks to Jennifer Ouellette at Twisted Physics, who provides technical details on the nuptials. For a more traditional account that covers how bride Erin Finnegan and groom Noah Fulmor were dressed, plus a photo gallery, see Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Posted by Tam    Category: current affairs
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06.25.2009

Limited edition Nooka UNDRCRWN watch up for grabs

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The footwear and apparel company UNDRCRWN has teamed up with watchmaker Nooka to create this stunning Nooka UNDRCRWN watch which is now available on pre-order.

The limited edition watch (only 200 to be manufactured) has a smart, black ZenV display that depicts the time, date, and alarm functionalities in a unique graphic-like format. It is water-resistant, and sports a colorfully striped polyurethane band that is sure to get you abundant attention. If you have $275 to spare and a love for style, book one now and hold your breath until June 29th when it is going to be shipped out.

Via Likecool.

Posted by kanchana    Category: wearables
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06.25.2009

Belkin Makes Hands Happy with Three Cool Mice

When you spend 8-10 hours a day in front of a computer, it's important that you're as comfortable as possible. The right chair, correct posture, glare guard it all works in tandem to get you through the day with as little detriment to your productivity as possible. Belkin, stylish yet functional peripheral maker has just upped the comfort ante with its latest releases, the Wireless Comfort Mouse, the Retractable Mouse, and the Bluetooth Comfort Mouse.

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Continue reading "Belkin Makes Hands Happy with Three Cool Mice"

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06.24.2009

Nokia N79

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Falling into the category of a smartphone-that-doesn't-look-like-a-smartphone, the Nokia N79 very nicely fills a niche in the vast array of mobile communication devices by packing robust PDA features into a sleek, fashionable candybar style phone.

The N79 is perfect for the busy executive, socialite, or about-towner that wants powerful calendar, contact, e-mail, and multimedia features without the bulkiness and utilitarian qualities of a Palm or BlackBerry… or the ubiquity!

Essentially an update to the Nokia N73, the N79 feature list is long. Standouts include: Symbian S60 3rd Edition FP2; 2.4" QVGA display with accelerometer and excellent readability / light sensor control; XpressOn covers - box includes several different shells that allow you to easily switch the color of your phone – switching the shell automatically switches the screen's color scheme to match; 5MP still / video camera with flash that is protected by a slide cover (which also activates the camera); secondary front-facing camera for video calling; Navi-wheel - lets you scroll through menus or lists iPod style; FM radio with integrated FM transmitter lets you listen to your music on your car stereo without additional hardware; handles up to 8GB microSD cards giving you lots of storage capacity for music, photos, and video; also includes Wi-Fi, voice-guided GPS, Quickoffice for working on-the-go, built-in stereo speakers, and, of course, HSDPA and Java-enabled browser to make internet surfing zippy.

The N79 is power in a small package and gets the thumbs up. The only real drawback is the keys. They are, indeed, a vast improvement over the N73 and one must take into account that there needs to be a balance between the relatively large screen and the keyboard size (and that I have large fingers), but it's definitely something to make sure you check out when considering this little beauty.

Currently on sale at the Nokia online store, so take advantage of the price drop now!

Posted by Brian    Category: cell phones
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06.23.2009

Samsung Makes HDDs Pop in Pink and Blue

Apparently nothing sells a gadget like bright colors. Samsung has just announced the release of a pink and blue version of the S2 Mini Portable Hard Disk Drive, the S Series Pop edition. The colors, labeled Ocean Blue and Sweet Pink are an obvious attempt to attract more female buyers. The Sweet Pink version is even lined with tiny heart to make it even more irresistible, because nothing makes a women swoon like a pink gadget decorated in hearts (eye roll).

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Obvious and patronizing marketing ploy aside, there are no spec differences which mean the HDDs still have the same solid tech. The lightweight 2.5 inch drive is still convenient to carry and easy to use. Available with a storage capacity range between 160GB to 500GB, the S2 is great for backing up and using important files on the fly. The Auto Backup program allows users to back up files in real time or on a schedule while the SecretZone program creates a virtual drive for data encryption.

Via Engadget

Posted by sherri    Category: portable media
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06.23.2009

Tengu makes a comeback with the new AllStars avatar

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They are cute, have an astute sense of melody and can be your faithful dancing partners for the weekends, given that you - the geek - haven't been particularly successful in building many meaningful relationships since you got outta college. They are - Tengu - and these hugely popular USB devices which were earlier quite plain-jane, now make a comeback in their funky, All Stars avatar.

These three brand new characters - Rotten, Stardust, and Woodstock - are all decked up versions of the modest Tengu underneath, done-up with abundant stickers to produce the rock-star effect. Which means, lovers of the original Tengu can retain the original threadbare looks by just removing the stickers. All yours, if not sold out yet, for a well-spent $40.

Via Chip Chick.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | entertainment | novelty
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06.22.2009

Coway AP-1008 Air Purifiers: Clean Air with Great Style

With summer in full swing, the pollen count is sure to be high as is dander from shedding pets.Keep your air fresh and breathable with the stylish Coway AP-1008 Air Purifiers. Slim and sleek, the Conway is a showpiece and useful gadget combined.

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06.19.2009

ODM Chocolate watches are a timeless indulgence

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There was one predominant feeling as soon as I saw this chocolate-y brown watch (first in the image above) that I just couldn't ignore - hunger (physical), and given the fact that I had just had a satisfying lunch, accompanying fear (mental) that my carefully thought-out diet plan for the week was about to be tossed out into the wind pretty soon.

Well seriously, this series of digital watches from ODM are inspired by the sinful delicacy called chocolate, and though only one of them truly looks close to being one, all of them have been designed to give the effect of a bar of (foldable?) chocolate being wrapped around your wrist. Looks cool, is water resistant and is pretty reasonably priced too, at around $20. I only think that its funkiness can be carried off only by teenagers, though. Atleast, you can relax knowing that your kids are buying the healthiest chocolate that they can.

Via Design Milk.

Posted by kanchana    Category: design | wearables
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06.18.2009

Billboards that Know What You Crave

Soon those roadside billboards will be able to tell if they should be promoting those brand new radial tires or a relaxing trip just by looking at you. Thanks to A *Star, Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, there will soon be a gender recognition program that will change the way advertising is done.

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Using a complex batch of formulas and algorithms, the program can tell the difference between men and women and respond in kind, displaying the appropriate ad. The current version of the program can only scan faces that are facing the camera but the agency is hoping to release a more fleshed out version later in the year.

Via Crave CNet

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06.18.2009

RedCanper's laptop bag doubles up as vintage slide show

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We've highlighted some great laptop bags and we've written recently about the trend to take another look at those old photographic slides from the attic and convert them into JPEGs or trendy-looking lighting.

What we've never seen before is slides incorporated into a laptop bag, but that's what RedCamper's Maura Gramzinski has done with this unique design, The LTD, which also incorporates 1970s car upholstery.

Handmade to order, the bag costs a hefty $225 from RedCamper's website but at least unlike many designer bags with a similar (or bigger) price tag, it will fit a 15-inch laptop (plus smart phone, iPod, wallet etc).

Via Crave.

Posted by Diane    Category: accessories
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06.17.2009

AT&T iPhone 3G S uprade pricing change

If you're one of the many people who've decided to wait to buy the iPhone 3G S until they are eligible for the best upgrade price, you may be in luck. Due to complaints from early adopters who bought their iPhone 3G when it first arrived last July, AT&T has slightly revised their upgrade pricing. Now if you're one of the people who would qualify for the upgrade pricing later this June, or sometime in July, August, or September of 2009, you can get your iPhone 3G S at the highest discounted price of $199/$299 for 16 GB/32 GB now instead of waiting a couple of months or paying more and fuming about it.

If you've already pre-ordered your iPhone 3G S, you don't have to do anything. If you're picking up your phone at an AT&T store, the price will be adjusted there. If you're getting your phone delivered from AT&T, you'll be issued a credit. If you pre-ordered from Apple, it's not yet clear if the price will be slashed at the store at the time of pick-up, but if you're eligible, you will get the credit.

This is great news, and kind of a hahaha to all the people (probably eligible for the upgrade already themselves) who have said the complainers were whining unreasonably. My view is that Apple/AT&T breeds the early adoption longing, and for re-upping your contract, complete with hefty data and texting fees, you should get the partially subsidized price. After all, at some next year, you may be able to get an iPhone that's not tied to AT&T.

My complaint? I have a three iPhone family plan, bought the iPhone 3Gs (that's plural, not the new model) last July when they came out, have a HUGE bill that's well over $300 a month, have never been late on a payment and yet somehow I am not eligible for the early upgrade, and won't be eligible for the full upgrade price until December. Why? My cynical side says that my billing profile screams someone who will impatiently buy the iPhone 3G S anyway, without financial incentive. This seemingly arbitrary system of awarding upgrades at different times, with vague explanations of a "formula" is definitely incentive enough for me to consider going elsewhere with my iPhone, as soon as I can. Also, stupid AT&T- I and I would think most people who pay their bills on time, can't afford a $700 phone.

The online eligibility tool to determine your highly individualized, seemingly random date of obtaining your iPhone 3G S at the upgrade price will be updated at some point tomorrow to reflect the new, less harsh upgrade policy.

2 Days to go! And I will be reviewing the iPhone 3G S (harshly, haha), just not buying one on Friday.

Posted by Mia    Category: cell phones | current affairs
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06.17.2009

This 4-port USB hub also charges your cellphone

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Agreed this 4-port USB hub isn't much of a looker compared to the cute ones floating around currently, but you could give it a try based on that one thing that really matters to all of us these days - more juice for our cellphones.

Though this 4-port USB hub functions like any other when connected to your computer, there is an additional port to which you can jack up your cellphone through the connecting cable provided (connectors specific to the cellphone models supported) and receive those few drops of nectar to bring it back to life. The charging itself works in dual mode. When connected to the computer, the USB hub charges your cellphone by taking power from the PC's USB port. But you can even let the hub's own internal battery charge itself through its solar panel and then connect your cellphone to the hub to transfer the stored charge.

This nifty combination of (solar) cellphone charging and USB hubbing, plus a pocket-sized form factor makes this device a wise addition to your travel bag. Available for $22 from USBFever.

Via TechChee.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | eco
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06.16.2009

Reasons to love I Heart Daily

Reason 1. It's a really cool site set up by two friends, Melissa Walker (who is also a YA author) and Anne Ichikawa, who used to work together at ELLEgirl.

Reason 2. The site highlights gorgeous must-haves every day, from funky new music to the best nail polish color for the season.

Reason 3. It's primarily aimed at teens but written by adults so grown women don't have to feel bashful about loving it.

Reason 4. They're often having competitions and giving cool stuff away, like a Fred Flare gift certificate every Friday.

Reason 5. It's like a more fun verison of Daily Candy and a less self-flagellating version of Goop.

What more could you want, and what more do you need to know?

The web address perhaps? Access I Heart Daily's daily brilliance here, or follow them on Twitter to stay one step ahead.

Posted by Diane    Category: on the web
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06.16.2009

Western Digital releases 4TB external hard drive

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Ask a nerd about his/her wealth and you are most likely to get an answer that points to the amount of storage capacity that he/she has accumulated over the years. And it is more than likely that the answer is also going to include the word "Terra-Byte" (TB) when it comes to the really (read virtually) wealthy nerds. No surprise then that Western Digital has decided to cater to this ever-growing hunger for computer memory, and has brought out an external HDD with a whopping 4TB memory as part of its MyBook Studio Edition II dual-drive storage systems.

The 4TB drive is specifically formatted for Macs and offers four interfaces for connectivity : eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. The performance of the drive, the company claims, is "extra-fast" on account of the eSATA and FireWire interfaces, though no standard performance figures are on the specs sheet. Expect some silent data transfer as well since this hard drive comes without a fan and cools itself through an "efficient convection cooling architecture". The drive, however, has to be re-formatted to work on Windows Vista and Windows 7 (with the included s/w).

To acquire this virtual wealth, you will have to part with $649.99 of hard currency. And get included into the "trillionaire" community.

Via DVICE.

Posted by kanchana    Category: peripherals | portable media
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06.15.2009

Get in the Loop with Hillcrest

With increasing numbers of households incorporating their PCs and Macs into their living room entertainment center, you'll need a reliable tool to help you navigate the depths of cyberspace and beyond. Lucky for us, Hillcrest Labs recently released the Loop Pointer to satisfy our lust for sexy and useful peripherals.

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Billed as a "mouse for your TV," the Loop combines cool motion control with the familiar tangibility of a mouse packaged in to an ergonomically friendly circular design, hence the name. Users control the Loop pointer via the four buttons and scroll wheel located on front of the device. But lets not forget the motion control, the patented Freespace motion control technology provides for tight responsive control for "in-air pointing", moving the cursor on the screen via your natural hand movements. No matter how you hold it or how far you are from the TV, the pointer will work. As long as you can see the cursor, you're in business. It even compensates for hand tremors for those of you with nervous dispositions.

Continue reading "Get in the Loop with Hillcrest"

Posted by sherri    Category: peripherals
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06.15.2009

Now you can Runpee without missing much of a movie

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There's no movie-related trauma worse than watching a film you've been waiting months for (and splashed out your hard-earned bucks on going to see) and not being able to enjoy it because that 64oz soda you chugged during the previews has left you desperate to pee.

When that happens, you have a couple of options: uncomfortably ride out your discomfort and dash to the bathroom as soon as the opening credits roll... or dash to the bathroom mid-movie and hope you don't miss anything essential to the plot.

Now there's a third option: check Runpee.com before you get to the theater. This site lists the best time to go to the bathroom in a number of movies, including summer blockbusters Angels and Demons and Terminator: Salvation. It may not be the most glamourous of websites, but your urinary tract will thank you later. (Or something).

Follow Runpee on Twitter for the latest news and keep your eyes peeled for the iPhone app, which is coming soon.

Posted by Diane    Category: on the web
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06.14.2009

Another iPhone app we didn't need: Period Tracker

I know that some women need to keep an eye on their cycles because they are trying to conceive, or for health reasons, or just because they want to... but did we really need an iPhone app to remind us we're about to menstruate? Someone thought we did.

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For $2 you can download the Period Tracker application from the iTunes store, which allows you to add into your phone all kinds of info such as how much your cramps are bothering you (mine's going to involve some cursing I'm afraid) and in return you get a reminder of when you're ovulating and when your period's due, in the form of what Geeksugar rightly identifies as "twee 'lil hearts and flowers".

If you don't have an iPhone, you could use PMS Buddy, Mon.thly... or you know. a diary.

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06.14.2009

Web TV star Sarah Haskins skewers "women's" advertising (with a smile)

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Women may take on a variety of roles these days, from mother to CEO to computer programmer... but it sometimes seems like commercials designed to sell us stuff have remained stuck in the 1950s. We're expected to be obsessed with the cleanliness of our homes, our clothes and our kids - and looking after all those things is never portrayed as a man's responsibility. (I guess single men or gay guys have to live in hovels. Shame.)

The only good thing about the often woeful standard of advertising on TV is that now we have Sarah Haskins to make fun of the worst offenders. Taking a funny feminist look at advertising aimed at women, her show Target: Women is a must-see.

Take a look here (but be careful, it's not entirely safe for work).

Posted by Diane    Category: on the web
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06.12.2009

Puff your way to better health with chocolate inhalers

Love chocolate but want to lose weight? Or just like the idea of inhalable food? Then the Le Whif (no, really) chocolate inhaler could be the answer to your prayers.

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Described as "akin to sucking a tiny bit of cocoa powder through a straw" (and who doesn't want to do that?) the Le Whif gives flavor with next to no calories, and comes in four different chocolate flavors, including plain and chocolate-mint.

It's around $2 for three puffs from the Le Whif shop.

Posted by Diane    Category: eat/drink
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06.11.2009

Secure Your Computer with the Touch of Your Finger

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Worried that your computer might not be as secure as you'd like? Then check out the latest gadget on Chinavasion Wholesale Electronics. Compact and simple to use, comes the 16GB USB Fingerprint Security Lock Flash Disk. This little gizmo puts all your security concerns to rest. Encrypt important files and ensure that you're the only person accessing your computer, all with the touch of a finger.

Continue reading "Secure Your Computer with the Touch of Your Finger"

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06.10.2009

The Palm Pre looks like a splendid new Smartphone

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Amid all the iPhone madness, equal time for the Palm Pre, please.

The Palm Pre Smartphone--released last weekend and running a brand-new fast and versatile operating system, WebOS--has been received most enthusiastically in nearly all quarters. BBC News has thoughtfully rounded up several reviews so you can see for yourself.

Reviewers particularly liked the Pre's real keyboard, which that other phone still lacks. The cool QUERTY keyboard slides out gracefully so as not to interfere with the Pre's attractive and ergonomically sound curve design. Another feature unique to the Pre is its ability to multitask--you don't have to close one app to open another.

But. A big disadvantage of the Palm Pre is those apps. The you-know-what phone has a giant online store with thousands of them. The Pre's online app store has only a few for now, %^(. But let's be optimistic, %^). Surely developers will rush in to fill the gap, and software updates are expected to add spiffy features in the next few months.

However--and for me this is a huge however--there are thousands and thousands and thousands of apps that run happily on previous Palms. When the Pre was announced earlier this year, long-time Palm-lovers like me were devastated to be told that existing Palm apps would not run on the new WebOS.

Happily, Palm saw the wisdom of making a place for those of us who kept the Palm faith through the lean years. It's appropriately called Classic and makes it possible for most existing Palm OS apps run on the Pre, only faster. Even PIM databases like Contacts, Tasks, and Calendar. $29.99 and available through the Pre Apps Catalog too.

I can't share my Pre experiences with you because I haven't had any. I use the nifty Palm Centro and my current contract won't run out until next fall. Plenty of time for Palm to shake the bugs out of the Pre and issue some software updates--and for the App Catalog to fatten up.

Posted by Tam    Category: cell phones
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06.10.2009

Chanel Brings High Fashion to Automobiles

We've seen quite a few fashion houses work with automakers to create designer vehicles. Usually the fashion house designs the interior while the car company designs the exterior. But if South Korean car design student Jinyoung Jo has her way, high end fashion vehicle will soon be taking their turn on the catwalk.

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Continue reading "Chanel Brings High Fashion to Automobiles"

Posted by sherri    Category: cars
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06. 9.2009

Music on the Go: Philips GoGear SA018

Just in time for summer, Philips, consumer electronics company, has unveiled their latest mp3 player, the Philips GoGear SA018. Compact, sleek and cute to boot, the GoGear is also wearable. Simply clip it onto your outfit and you're good to go.

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GoGear has 4GB and can hold up to 450 songs for 12 hours of playback. It also has an integrated FM tuner. The mp3 player employs a drag and drop system eliminating the need for software and allowing for quick and easy operation.

To enhance the sound Philips has included FullSound, a new technology that has been patented by Philips. FullSound restores compressed mp3 files, enhancing it so the music is heard without any distortion.

Set to retail at $39.99 and $49.99 for the 2GB and 4GB versions, the SA018 might be the coolest clip-on accessory ever.

Posted by sherri    Category: entertainment
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06. 9.2009

6-Foot HDMI cable at $3.19 includes shipping

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Here's a disclosure that's going to make you drop off your chair - Eforcity (via Amazon) is offering 6-foot HDMI cables at just $3.19, including shipping! We aren't kidding - just helping to spread the word that Rick Broida over at CNET's Cheapskate blog has uncovered.

For those who take interest in this extremely useful length of wire that carries non-processed digital data between the TV and set-top boxes, blu-ray players, PCs and gaming consoles, this piece of news comes as a huge money saver considering that even a 1-metre length of basic HDMI cable costs as much as $40. Also, it is pretty sensational to discover that of the $3.19 that Amazon quotes on the product, the cable itself costs just 21 cents with the rest being the cost of shipping. And no, you don't need to get skeptical on the performance as the product has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and performs just as well as the highly overpriced HDMI cables in the market.

Isn't that an absolute steal or what?

Via CNET News.

Posted by kanchana    Category: deals
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06. 8.2009

iPhone 3GS pricing weirdness

I know I'm rah-rah about the iPhone 3GS, but my ridiculous geek parade is being rained on, it seems. If you have an iPhone 3G, then the earliest you could have started your phone plan is July 11th, 2008, so you will not be eligible for the upgrade pricing of $199/$299 for the iPhone 3GS. At best, you may be able to get "early upgrade pricing" which is $399/$499 for 16 GB/32 GB, respectively. At worst, you'll have to pay full price: $599/$699.

It seems very odd, as most of the features of the new phone will be available in the free software upgrade, and only the most eager/geeky would care that much about the differences in the 3G/3GS. How many super-geeks don't have an iPhone 3G already?

Weird. I think June 19th just freed up for a whole lot of people.

Posted by Mia    Category: cell phones | current affairs
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06. 8.2009

Pre-order your iPhone 3G-S

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I'm obviously a tad over-excited about the whole iPhone 3G-S news, but here's a new tidbit that will make eager beavers like me a bit calmer: you can pre-order your new iPhone 3G-S, and be assured that you will have your phone in your hand on June 19th! Starting at about 5 PM EST this evening, you can go into any AT&T store and pre-order your phone. AT&T stores will open early, at 7 AM, on June 19th, just for those pre-order-ers, so you can pick up your phone before everyone else. Later tonight, online pre-ordering will also begin, and the online pre-orders will be received in the mail, rather than in-store pick-up. I am getting confirmation now about whether online pre-orders will be delivered by June 19th. This is a first-come, first-serve sale so availability may be quite limited.

You can also pre-order your iPhone 3GS at Apple retail stores.

The AT&T pre-order site will be open for orders later tonight.

Full press release:
AT&T Pre-orders for iPhone 3G-S

Update:
I've confirmed with AT&T that if you do your pre-order of the iPhone 3G-S online, your phone will be delivered on June 19th. At the mercy of FedEx, perhaps, but you won't spend hours in line.

Update #2:
Oddly, I've gotten emails/calls from people telling me their AT&T stores are not only not yet doing the pre-sale, but have no idea what they're talking about. I called a local store and was told to call the nearest Apple store. Wondering if the online pre-sale will go live, as promised, at "some point tonight".

I'm confused, but looks like the online site is taking orders:
Buy your iPhone early

Posted by Mia    Category: cell phones | current affairs | devices
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06. 8.2009

iPhone 3G-S D-Day- June 19th!

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Another summer, a new iPhone model. The highlights:

- Much faster phone in general, so apps will load faster, run better, less crashing.

- Way better battery life: Up to 12 hours of talk time on the 2G network (still 5 on 3G), 9hours of wifi Internet surfing, 10 hours of video playback.

-Voice dialing and Voice Control of iPod functions.

-3.0 Megapixel camera with video, at last, and in-phone video editing. MMS (multimedia messages with photos and video) will be supported but won't be available until the end of the summer.

-Built in compass (in addition to the GPS, of course) to further help the directionally challenged.

-Spotlight search: search across the entire iPhone for any search term- you don't have to look separately in your calendar, contacts, etc...

Bottom Line- Do you need it if you have an iPhone 3G?
I think yes. But I'm crazy and I also have an Android G1 phone, the Palm Pre, and, um, a few others. The improved battery life of the iPhone 3G-S is reason enough for me to upgrade. The added processor speed (makes the phone about twice as fast) helps too, if you're a power user or use a lot of apps. The compass is good if you can't find your way out of your own house, like me.

But... other than the battery, processor, compass, and voice controller, most of the upgraded features will be included in the iPhone 3.0 firmware upgrade, which will be available for free on June 17th. This uncommonly gracious move allows iPhone owners to play around with the new features before deciding if they need the upgrade to the new hardware.

Continue reading "iPhone 3G-S D-Day- June 19th!"

Posted by Mia    Category: cell phones | current affairs | devices
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06. 8.2009

Old or excess shopping bags make great new pillows

Like most people who are even the slightest bit environmentally-conscious, I have a number of canvas bags to use when I go out . (In theory that is. In practice I never seem to have any with me when a spontaneous shopping urge hits). In fact, I may even have too many bags, and at least a couple are looking a little worn. But throwing them away would defeat their purpose, so what should I do?

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One option would be to get inspired by this picture from NotCot and make my own cushions. I've confessed before that crafts are not my strong suit, but this project looks simple enough even for me (stuff pillows into the bags and you're done) and appeals to my desire for offbeat and unique decor. I might take it a step further and cut off the straps and sew up the ends..

Via Treehugger.

Posted by Diane    Category: home
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06. 7.2009

Pretty plates to pack up for a picnic

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Those posies sure look familiar, don't t they? Oh yeah, Andy Warhol. The flowers are four of a number of Warhol images that have been impressed on picnic plates made of melamine.

They and several other striking pieces of (relatively) inexpensive picnic tableware are for sale in the online shop run by the New York Botanical Garden. If Warhol is not your fave, several choice non-Warhol designs are among them.

Thanx to Elizabeth P at thekitchn.com.

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06. 5.2009

Daring Bakers Post Monthly Recipe Challenges

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On the last leg of a recent (but all too short) trip to England, I was treated to a home cooked meal by my hosts in London. After a week of eating fish and chips, steak and kidney pie, mushy peas, and scones with clotted cream, a simple but delicious chicken roast and vegetables hit the spot. However, the notable part of the meal (for Popgadget readers) was the dessert. Mackenzie, my host, urban planner, and blogger of "The Travelling Cook," explained to me that this strudel recipe came from the Daring Bakers.

The Daring Bakers started with two friends, Lis of "La Mia Cucina" and Ivonne of "Creams Puffs in Venice", who would bake the same thing each month, and then blog about it. Eventually, other food bloggers started to participate. Now, each month, a new recipe, which is held secret to the public, is distributed to the group. Then, at the end of the month, everybody posts their experiences with the recipe on their respective blogs on the same day. The website has expanded into food recipes, with the Daring Chefs. According to their website, they have 2000 members, as of early 2009. And of course, there is a Flickr group.

Posted by Ray    Category: on the web
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06. 5.2009

"Magic" soap might make the ultimate recession beauty product

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Most of us like to buy environmentally-friendly products were we can and no-one likes the thought of beauty products being tested on animals, but what is perhaps most appealing about Dr Bronner's Magic soap in these credit crunching times is that it has so many uses: 18 of them, in fact, from body wash to toothpaste to household cleanser and many more. At $21 for two 32 ounce bottles, that's pretty great value.

Popular in the '40s and '50s when penny-pinching became an art form for housewives following the second world war, the soap is now a hit with Hollywood stars like Drew Barrymore and the company donates a share of their profits to charities including War Child International.

Plus, as I alluded to previously, the soap is all-natural: totally biodegradable, made with no synthetic foaming agents, thickeners, preservatives, fragrances, dyes or whiteners and packaged with 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) cylinder bottles and paper labels.

Posted by Diane    Category: eco
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06. 5.2009

Why Bing is a better search engine, especially for shopping and travel

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Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, is not just a Google alternative. Yes, for many searches Bing will bring up a similar hit list. But Technology Review's David Talbott explains why Bing can be better for some things, for example shopping, travel arrangements, and health information.

See for yourself. Here's the Bing tour.

Posted by Tam    Category: computers
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06. 3.2009

Jawbone Earcandy

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Function? Check. Fashion? Check.

Aimed squarely at the female slow-to-adopt-Bluetooth-headsets market, the brand new Jawbone Earcandy gives a fashionable girl everything she could want in a headset… Slim lines, the newest technology, and Spring's hottest colors! (Yes, guys, you can join in, too!)

Earcandy is the colorful version of Jawbone's newest family member, the Prime. These latest additions feature version 2.0 of Jawbone's patented Noise Assassin technology. Noise Assassin is Jawbone's military-grade noise canceling technology that makes use of a Voice Activity Sensor (VAS), which actually touches your face. The VAS helps differentiate and deliver the sound of your voice while eliminating background noise. This latest update to the Noise Assassin technology provides noted improvement over previous versions and can now handle wind gusts of up to 10 mph with ease.

Jawbone's developer, Aliph, has also made some welcome improvements over the last incarnation of their little Bluetooth wonder, the Jawbone 2. The operating controls, which are cleverly integrated into the headset's textured shell, are much easier to activate than those of the Jawbone 2. Also, the array of fittings included to help you customize the headset to your ear have been refined and are a welcome improvement, especially the new fit earbuds. These have an integrated loop that helps the unit stay put in your ear and renders the cumbersome over-the-ear hook loop unnecessary. Earcandy also boasts an impressive battery life at 4.5 hours talk time / 8 days standby time.

All the credit can't go to the design team, though. Aliph's marketing folks deserve applause for their sleek packaging and cleverly-named colors: Frankly SCARLET red, 'YELLO! Yellow, Drop Me A LIME green, and LILAC You Mean It purple. For those of you who prefer your tech in basic staple colors, the Prime's color range is for you: Blah Blah BLACK, COFFEE Talk, and Going PLATINUM. Just make sure your headset matches your shoes!

All in all, the Jawbone Earcandy (or Prime, if you prefer) has definitely come down the runway as the headset to beat this season.

Posted by Brian    Category: accessories | cell phones | devices
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06. 3.2009

Stocco Maitre: The Tech in the Mirror

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Nowadays almost every gadget or appliance has that Transformers "more than meets the eyes" gimmick going. Some do it better than others.The market has been saturated with USB flash drives made to look like conch shell to cute jewelry and everything in between. Now your bathroom accessories are getting into the act.

From Italian high-end company bathroom furniture and design company F. lli Stocco comes the Maitre bathroom mirror. At first glance, it looks like your average mirror until you spot the touch screen console in the bottom right corner. The console controls an integrated radio, clock, a mirror demister with a sensor, and a barometer (although why one needs to measure atmospheric pressure in the bathroom is beyond us). The best feature has to be the built in mp3 player so you can rock out to your favorite tunes while you shower.

Continue reading "Stocco Maitre: The Tech in the Mirror"

Posted by sherri    Category: home | appliances | design
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06. 1.2009

News on the new Microsoft Zune (it's coming soon)

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USA Today reports that Microsoft will be launching a new improved version of their popular MP3 player this fall - and it's going to be packing some pretty impressive specs.

The Zune HD will allow users to play files through a docking station on HD televisions and will also apparently link up with the X Box "to create a game-changing entertainment experience". Even better (as far as I'm concerned) it will feature a touch screen, Web browser and HD Radio receiver. The screen's use of organic light-emitting diodes should also improve battery life and image quality.

However, the next generation of iPod Nanos is rumored to be coming equipped with cameras - which could provide Microsoft with a little added competition.

Posted by Diane    Category: devices
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06. 1.2009

Jill Sobule Releases CD Financed By Her Fans Via the Internet

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In 2008, we reported on indie rock musician Jill Sobule's experiment with a new way to create and fund music. After multiple contracts with major and independent record labels, Sobule decided to make music on her own. She launched a website asking her dedicated fans to donate money before the CD came out to finance the recording and production costs. Tiered donation levels gave devoted fans the chance to appear in a song (US$500,) to singing on the CD (US$10,000.)

One year and US$80,000 of donations later, Sobule has released "California Years." The title and songs, like "Palm Springs" and "San Francisco," are inspired by her move to LA. The CD also closes with a track called "The Donor Song," which lists some of the people who contributed money. Aside from Sobule being the writer of the first "I Kissed A Girl" song in the 90s and now pioneer in innovative music business models, Sobule is a talented singer, song writer, and guitarist. While the funding the album through donation via PayPal is notable, it would mean less if she didn't make great music that people want to hear. And now, they have that opportunity.

Posted by Ray    Category: entertainment | on the web
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06. 1.2009

Satio: The Ulimate Cameraphone

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Last week, mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson, announced the release of a trio of phones that will put the company back in the running for phone dominance. One of these devices is the Satio. Billing itself as the "ultimate multimedia experience," the Satio has some cool features that will definitely appeal to the amateur photographer in all of us.

With a 3.5 inch, 16:9 widescreen format with 640 x 360 pixels for a crystal clear view. The touchscreen menu provides easy access to your favorite media including your favorite images, videos, and webpages. Satio is being run on a Symbian OS which is a plus since there are tons of apps already available when the phone goes to market

Continue reading "Satio: The Ulimate Cameraphone"

Posted by sherri    Category: cell phones
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