And while we're on the subject, David Pogue has just done a thorough job of comparing Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's e-book services.
B&N won't introduce a Kindle-like reading device until next year. Meantime you can not only read B&N books on your iPhone, you can read them on your computer--a first for commercial e-book services.
Of course, for many years that service has been available--free--from Project Gutenberg, always on my Top Ten list of 'Net freebies. If you don't always have your computer with you but do have a Palm PDA or Smartphone, there's a free app, called plucker, for reading any of the thousands of free Gutenberg books. Get plucker versions of e-books from the Gutenberg site.
The Walkman era with the big hair, cool jean jackets and soulful music might be gone, but memories of it are still hanging around like the smolder left over from a mighty flame. And it is made fresh with this lovely REW Headphone Cord Wrap that looks like mini tape and can, if nothing else, hold your dangling earphone wires in place. They will be available in different colors from Perpetual Kid in late September, for $4.99 a piece.
Hey I want to entertain my inner child too.
Via Chip Chick.
Seven years down the memory lane, I still remember the times when at the end of a day's work at office, I would have to erase the paltry few MB of data on my 256MB thumb drive to accommodate a few files that I would take home to complete pending documentation. That seems like eons ago as I sit here, seeing a picture of this monstrous 256GB thumb drive from Kingston - the first ever in the world - with shivers of excitement down my spine.
Kingston has just released the Kingston DataTraveler 300 - a 256GB thumb drive which will allow a whopping 51,000 images, or 54 DVDs, or 365 CDs, or a database of documents which in an analog world would translate into a 1km paper tower. This beast is plug-n-play, has a 20 MB/sec. read and 10 MB/sec. write speeds, with a "Password Traveler" security software for Windows, and supports Windows ReadyBoost on Windows Vista systems.
Well, not everyone can rejoice just yet though since the release is only for Europe and the UK. And for those of you who can, it won't be unreasonable if you expect to win a lottery to be able to buy one - it is priced an equally monstrous $924.
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).
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.
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.
Expect an extremely interesting USB drive to make its debut during the first quarter of 2010 - the USB flash drive with integrated OLED display from Ennova Direct Corporation. The company has recently announced that it has received a patent for the unique design of this USB drive. The flash(y) drive not only incorporates an OLED screen that scans/stores the user's fingerprint, but also has a sliding mechanism which encloses the OLED display within a protective shell when the drive is not in use. Open the shell and out comes the retractable USB connector at your service.
And while we are still going ga-ga, let us also spread the word on the fact that the OLED screen even takes in inputs from the user - such as file selection or intiating specific actions. To let my imagination soar a bit, it would be kinda nice if the device will also let us have picture previews on its tiny screen just to maximize on its exclusivity quotient.
Since there are no other details available as of now, you can keep your guesses going on its capacities and pricing.
This is perhaps the only thing that my geekdom was missing - a gizmo with the similing face of the one of the most popular US presidents on it. The Obama Drive from Active Media is a 2GB fash drive that not only facilitates that (Obama’s image is on it), but also comes preloaded with 30MB of material containing, among other things, his inaugural speech and his famous "Race Speech" in MP3 format. There is almost 1-hour of audio and textual PDF versions of his other speeches, plus an official (meaning, the White House) Obama photo.
Also be informed that this cool drive is waterproof. A must-grab at under $10 from Amazon.
Via Chip Chick.
Yes, it's $500, and few of us have that kind of cash to splash on an iPod speaker, but.. isn't it gorgeous? And the pocket-sized (well, almost) Phonofone II is brilliantly engineered, too: it uses "passive amplification," meaning it requires no power to transmit tunes from your MP3 player to a roomful of people.
According to the product website, "Although it is not intended to be used as home stereo system, it is perfect for a studio, next to the bed, or for a dinner party." You're telling me.
Via Mighty Goods.
Most of us have had the frustrating experience of witnessing the not-so-hard aspect of the external hard drive once it has had a fall. I did recently. As my little son tugged at the USB cable of the hard disk while it was connected to the PC and brought the disk down to the ground with a huge thud, it not only stopped my heart for what seemed like ages, but also corrupted the disk for good. Though I swore then to never use it while he was pottering around, promises like these are easier said than done and I can already see my next hard disk drive go down the same path soon.
But help seems to be at hand for people like us who like to court danger at our desks once too often - the ToughDrive Sport - a USB(2.0), shock-proof external hard drive that takes your abuse with a smile, all the while retaining your data intact.
The ToughDrive Sport is designed for rough terrain - it can withstand falling on a flat surface from upto a height of 2-metres and an applied force of upto 300G during operation and upto 1000G when not being used. Inspite of being ready to handle this kind of toughness, the design of the ToughDrive Sport is nothing but uber-sleek - it is small enough (2.5-inches) to fit into your pocket and comes with an integrated USB cable that has a trendy climbing rope texture, sans a noisy cooling fan. Additionally, it also has an MD5 encrypted secure 256-bit password protection which ensures that the data can be accessed only by the right hands, rough as they may be. You can get transfer speeds of upto 480Mbps. There is even backup software included on the drive to help you make hassle-free copies of your data.
Good enough to toss in with the rest of your camping gear on that next adventure trip. Available in 250GB ($144), 320GB ($170) and 500GB ($223) capacities and currently only in Europe.
Via The Red Ferret.
Geek.com's Brian Osborne says he wishes he'd thought of the MobileRiser first. You can't beat a simple product that satisfies a need--especially when it costs only $4.95.