Monday, March 31, 2008

Rockford Fosgate T1 12" Power Series Bumps

Rockford Fosgate T1 12” Power Series Subwoofer

Saying the Rockford Fosgate T1 12” Power series subwoofer gives you ‘more bass for your face’, is putting it lightly. Power is Rockford Fosgate’s premier subwoofer series; described as ‘sonically overwhelming’, this decibel factory is packed full of extras to make sure nothing comes between you and those precious low frequency punches you crave.

Tap Read More! to see a video of these air pushers in action.

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Playing with your Wiimote can Make you Rich

Jonny Lee is apparently a renaissance man (or maybe in need of a girlfriend). A quick view of his web catalog reveals his many talents, the most interesting of which is the head tracking system he's devised using a Wii remote.

This turns any display into virtual 3D display. The video below is a demonstration of the unique imaging technology that will fill your heart with wonderment and make you wish you had thought of this.

The video was uploaded months ago, but if you're not a youtube head, like I'm not, it's news to you.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Portable Aviation GPS, Fully Realized

Garmin GPSmap 496Aeronautical GPS navigation just got a booster shot, from none other than Garmin. Garmin unleashed the first aviation GPS portable to combine satellite weather data with color moving maps and terrain alert with the GPSMAP 396.

Now, the newest member of the GPSMAP fold, the GPSMAP 496, comes fully decked out with access to more information than 00 can get their hands on.

SafeTaxi which offers position diagrams for 650 US airports can help you make your taxi less hectic. An airport directory featuring details like the phone numbers of fuel services and ground transportation, as well as information on thousands of airports in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean give you the tools to meticulously plan your trip or the ability to make it up as you go along.

Quicker, higher resolution graphics and more visual reference information such as terrain, obstacle, and private airports sites serve to provide the aviator with the peace of mind that most emergency can be successfully avoided, and if encountered can be dealt with effectively.

Weather satellite data is collected by the GXM30 antenna which as the name suggests uses XM weather feeds to display weather maps. The antenna can also receive XM radio programming; this entertainment option adds a lighter side to the usually strictly business GPSMAP 496.

Since pilots will be toting around the unit once on the ground, Garmin figured they might as well integrate City Navigator NT and TIS traffic alerts for their earth bound ramblings too. This comprehensive GPS’s highly developed since of direction, and bevy of useful features means it could truly be, “The worlds most highly evolved aviation portable”.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jabra BT3013 Stereo Dog Tag Bluetooth Headset

Jabra BT3030 Dog Tag Bluetooth HeadsetEver wanted to play army man when you’re answering your phone calls? Most of us could answer definitively, no. But back in the day I had dog tags, my Dad’s. I would proudly wear them confident that one day I would be saving Mainframe and Lady Jane from the evils of Cobra or Serpentor.

Well, we all grow up, and into new fantasies. But for those that still fantasize about the about blue and red lasers streaking across the battlefield, Jabra has broken with the traditional form that Bluetooth headset regularly take and released the Jabra Bt3030 Dog Tag.

Now I hate regular Bluetooth headsets, that people with no reason to have one wear all day, because they make you look like a tool, for one, and secondly, when Skynet goes live and the robots take over you’re not going to fool them into thinking you’re a robot too, with your Bluetooth headset.

So I was thinking this would be a nice alternative as long as I kept it hidden under my shirt. But for the urban commando, this could rock their world. Think about it, tims, check, du rag, check, white owl, check, oversized dungarees and white tee, check, dog tag Bluetooth headset, check. It’s a match made in China.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Debate Over Whitespace

‘White space’…makes me thinks of an empty room painted blindingly white; a blank canvas ripe for all kinds of uses. The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) would be pleased if this term conjured up these images for everyone. White space is used to describe the airwaves in between the channels (the static). The broadband spectrum used to transmit TV signals will all be white space when vacated after the February 2009 DTV transition. The WIA envisions a large area wireless broadband network that will act as a societal bridge, a “WiFi 2.0”.

It’s sold on WIA blog as a decisive point in history, “a promising new technology called TV white space that would help close [the technology] gap for all Americans, white and all people of color.” Basically, the plan is to provide low cost wireless broadband internet access across the country using this soon to be empty spectrum.

Google, a partner in the WIA, also hopes to realize their wireless phone platform Android’s broadband access, as well as corporate applications on these newly freed airwaves. They have filed a proposal with the FCC to allow the unlicensed use of this viable spectrum. Google must really think they can make some money on this project. They’ve agreed to provide at no cost reference designs, geo-databases, and tech support to corporate users of white space.

The FCC is not really concerned with much as far as licensing, as long as the handsets and other devices interacting wirelessly with the network don’t interfere with anything else, the folks at the Federal Communication Commission are kind of sticklers on this issue. Good thing, because wireless microphone using sports refs and Broadway actors, along with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), are upset by the proposition that their signal could be affected if the FCC allows this to happen.

FCC tests on WIA member Microsoft’s prototype device proved successful in implementing a signal detection technology using geo-positioning; the signal tester gives the all clear before it allows the user to connect, so as to not cause any interface with transmissions that could be taking place on the same channel, and FCC license holders get priority anyway. So Google’s asks what's the problem?

Despite Google’s and the WIA’s best efforts, the NAB has garnished much more congressional support for their rally against the abolishment of the licensing requirements for white space usage. Seems as if, the NAB is hurt, they had to pay for years. Jeez FCC, why should it be free now?

Google’s argument is that the economic and social gains are too great to ignore, and the spectrum would lie fallow and not be used at all. I agree, and want to hire Google’s soothsayer for a personal reading.

One of the FCC’s main reasons for freeing up the airways is to allow public services, like police departments, to use the spectrum; a municipality would have to absorb less cost in raising this network because most of the infrastructure is already in place, and with the addition of Google’s network building advancements they would serve to improve first responder's capabilities more quickly. All of which would further reduce the cost at the local level of building a network.

The technology will get faster and handle more traffic with time, but only if put in place, and used for a variety of applications. So please, FCC do us (the American public) a solid, and prove to us that the corporations don’t own our governmental organizations. If it doesn’t affect the ability to transmit, you must admit.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Kindles in Stock?

Amazon promises to start stocking enough Kindles to quickly quench our thirst for the e-paper reader. The letter of apology, on Amazon’s front page yesterday, from Jeff Bezos was a quick note on their plans to, in the next few weeks, have enough kindles in stock to honor an ‘order-today ship-today’ declaration.

This all comes in the wake of order processing delays of up to a month and a half. Slow order processing apparently hasn’t curbed demand for the unique e-book, however; since their launch at the Union Square W hotel in November, there have constantly been more orders for Kindles, than Kindles coming though the doors at Amazon.

Under estimating demand can be more detrimental than overstocking, as Nintendo found out this Christmas, losing millions on their Wii shortage.

For me Amazon, with this letter, is also making sure that they get enough orders through advertising it on their homepage; so that if the easy availability of the Kindle affects the demand for it, they won’t be overstocked. After all, a product’s exclusivity can breed a higher demand, and if it becomes too commonplace the shininess fades a bit. Plus, you can’t get as much for them on eBay if everyone has one.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

HTC's 'Dream' is the First Phone Slated to Run Android

Since November, HTC has reportedly been working on a phone that would run Google’s new platform Android.

The video below is a BBC report on Google’s platform. The demonstration was preformed on an unknown phone; that is, unknown until this morning when the news broke that HTC, a Google partner in the Android project, supplied the prototype for the report.

It’s called ‘Dream’, and HTC provides the capable candybar phone a full keyboard underneath the large touch screen panel (no multi-touch though), better than average processor speed (300Mhz), Google Map’s Street View, and a 3D processor for 30 fps gaming, all residing in a slightly robust 5 inches by 3 inches case.

‘Dream’ is set to ship around Black Friday; HTC will have good company with most of Google’s other partners planning similar launches around Turkey Day as well.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

iPhone 2.0 Patent...Finally, a Flip iPhone

Apple devotees aren't the type to sit on a technology for very long, and even though the iPhone is hardly old news, the patent office has received an application and drawing from Apple of their latest incarnation of the iPhone, 2.0 styles.

The concept is a flip phone where the flip is a clear dual-sided multi-touch trackpad. When closed, the clear multi-touch flip lays over top the phone's display, and controls the device in the same way as the present iPhone. When open the underside of the flip turns into a keypad for dialing. Of course, being that it's an Apple, they had to get 'cute' with it. In addition to the standard phone pad layout, this new concept calls for a mock up of an old school rotary phone, and the ability to just draw the shape of your numbers individually.

Despite my tagline, this concept seems more about providing choice in the iPhone's form rather than replacing the current iPhone. The clamshell phone design has deeply embedded itself into the culture of technology, starting with "Star Trek", but continue on through to the iconic Razr, and beyond. Plus, it's smaller. It only makes sense for Apple to diversify their product offerings; no phone manufacturer has gained a disproportionate share of the market through just one phone, not even Apple.

The video below is a concept video produced by Christopher DeSantis that has gained some attention recently due to Apple's patent news. The concept presented in this video, if brought to fruition, would bring a new form factor into play. One I think would succeed.

..via unwiredview..

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Preparing for the Digital Television Transition

The U.S. government imposed deadline for the 2009 digital television transition is steadily approaching. Why has the FCC enacted this initiative? Their stated objective is to “allow stations to deliver more programming and to free up space on the airwaves for emergency services”. Surely it has more to do with bolstering the country's lagging economy, than providing viewers with more programming or unclogging the airwaves. Analog broadcasts have little effect on DTV signal strength; digital and analog broadcasts could coexist forever, as they do now.

However, we are a consumer based economy so basically making folks buy a conversion box, or even better a new TV, with Bush's economic ‘rescue’ package is a good strategy; sound a bit cynical, maybe; true, most definitely. There are very few things that will get us Americans out in mass to buy consumer electronics as powerful as messing with our television broadcasts.

Usually, a pile of confusion is what is encountered when the subject of an analog to digital television transition is brought up; this post’s goal is to clear up some of that confusion.

First, you don’t have to get a new TV, just a conversion box, and if your antenna works well now you won’t need to replace that either. Digital signals are sent over UHF, the antenna you have now will pick up these signals. This fact seems to have been pretty well publicized considering the response the FCC had to their $40 off an analog to digital conversion box coupons. Half a million people signed up to receive the $40 voucher in the first 40 hours after the application form went live on the FCC web site. (When did the FCC become a marketing firm?) Although, free is free so fair enough.

Second, if you subscribe to cable you don’t have to do anything until 2012. Until then, cable, satellite, and fiber optic companies are required to keep sending a signal your analog TV can read, but you’ll have to pay to convert eventually.

Third, even if you have an HDTV, to receive free over-the-air HDTV your television needs a digital tuner (televisions sold as HD ready do not have digital tuners), an HD capable antenna, and a station that broadcasts HD programming over-the-air no more than 70 miles away from you. Your distance from the signal source will determine the range antenna needed. Some DVR’s and DVD-R’s have digital tuners built in so if you have one check this out before dropping any cash. To help ease the transition, new laws, that went into effect at the beginning of this month, state any TV or any A/V components equipped with a tuner imported in to the US or shipped in interstate commerce must contain digital tuners.

So, if you’ve decide to go with a new TV, buyers beware. Analog tuner TV’s will be floating around for a while so double check to see which type of tuner the set your considering has. Resellers are required to blatantly advertise if the stock they’re selling is an older analog set. Still, surely some nefarious retailers will try to slip some older sets by unsuspecting consumers.

Lastly, a few notes about what to do with your older sets. Simply put, reuse them or recycle them. Reuse old sets to run DVD players or gaming systems. If you just want to be free of your old set, recycling it is extremely important. TV tubes have up to eight pounds of lead and numerous fire proofing toxins that need to be dealt with properly.

The amount of waste that this transition could produce is astronomical, 30 million households receive only over-the-air analog broadcasts and those homes have on average 2.6 televisions each. This would be a huge influx of waste, even if only half the people replacing their sets were to just put them on the curb to be carted off to the landfill. Please check the electronics Industry Alliance’s Web site, at to help identify a recycling program in your area.

..via Consumer Reports..

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

32GB High Speed 300X CompactFlash Card

Photo Equipment

32GB High Speed 300X CompactFlash Card

If you’re a raw file shooter or just enjoy efficiency, this new 32GB Compact Flash card from Silicon Power could be a nice fit. Make sure to never miss the shot because of a slow writing card. The new card boasts a maximum read/write speed of 45Mb a second, or 300x, which will come in handy when transferring all 32GB the card can hold. Photographers can expect this solid state data hoarder to be speedy, reliable, and provide more storage space than Bush’s head. No word on ship date or price. Updates as details reveal themselves.

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..Via Press Release..

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brooklyn's miShare Teaches iPods to Share

miShare V10 iPod Content Share DeviceBrooklyn is the Borough. Here we like to call it ‘the planet’, for self evident reasons. Highly inventive, and ferociously independent; Brooklynites scoff at convention, and pursue endeavors most outside the borough would find odd, to say the least.

MiShare, LLC, a Brooklyn based start up, exemplifies Brooklyn’s ‘think differently’ lifestyle. They have made their mark by teaching iPods to be more social. Making sweet music together, or swapping music and videos with each other, is not a trick that iPods intuitively know how to do. Apple has been painstakingly removing file exchange from these tune filled totes since their inception, but miShare is here to prove iPods can be persuaded to share with their siblings, given the proper motivation, quickly and without a computer.

A miShare device enlightens the normally self-centered iPod to the existence of other iPods by physically linking them. This gives them the freedom to exchange information, with USB 2.0 speed, via the 30pin iPod interface. You can transfer either the most recently played song or transfer your entire on-the-go playlist, and DRM info is transferred in tact, so it doesn’t unlocked protected content. Although, if it did that would be more Mafioso than Brooklyn.

No word yet on an iPhone or Touch compatible version. Otherwise, as long as you have the iPod connector on the bottom of your pod, you should be good to go. You can start sharing your musical taste ‘on the fly’ with other iPod owners for only $99.

Seems as if it took a pair from Brooklyn to teach a bunch stuck-up Cupertino kids how to share with each other. What else should you expect? As our fair and friendly borough president, Marty, puts it “Brooklyn is the greatest city in America, hands down.”

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Computers Convey Sense of Touch

Butterfly HapticsMulti-touch interfaces recently took center stage, again, with the introduction of newer Apple laptops outfitted with a multi-touch trackpad, and multi-touch is quickly working its way into your computer display as well.

My question is, how much feedback can this system give our actual sense of touch? Achieving this is a whole different set of objectives all together. A game controller does this, in a way. They’re a type of what is referred to as a haptic interface, the car crashes the joystick vibrates.

The newest haptic interface, developed by Ralph L. Hollis and team of Carnegie Mellon, allows you to feel a virtual product by providing users feedback on gravitational resistance and surface texture using magnetic levitation and, that’s right, a joystick. The difference here is the sensations that are delivered by Hollis’ haptic device mimic what the hand would feel with much more accuracy.

This is achieved through the implementation of a magnetic resistance to simulate sense of touch. The controller is topped with a hand grasp, and the stick ‘floats’, or is suspended by way of opposing magnetic fields in a bowl like apparatus.

Butterfly Haptics, the firm marketing the interface hopes to have this device ready and available by June or July.

Some expected applications include virtual surgery or virtual dentistry training. The trainees would be able sense the texture of a tissue, or feel the resistance from a tooth being drilled.

As the technology advances, haptic devices will seep into our everyday lives even further. Their pervasiveness is already evident. The popularity of vibrating cell phones and game controllers has eased this technology into our culture. Adapting more advanced haptic interfaces into our everyday lives shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

FreeLoader Pocket Solar Charger for iPods and Phones

Freeloader 8.0If you're an 0utdoor adventurer, this compact, foldable, solar charger could come in handy. Quickly juice up your iPod in those clandestine locations (you tend to end up in). The clever Brits, over at the aptly named firm Solar Technology, are offing up this tiny but mighty sun worshipping voltage vat for a pittance. That is, if you get paid in British Pounds. The Freeloader 8.0 will run you ₤29.99 or about $69.99; freeloaders always cost you but seldom pay you back. Luckily, this freeloader pays its own way in the end. Go powered...anywhere; beats having to walk half a day to the charging station.

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