Monday, June 29, 2009

Sprint Introduces Motorola Clutch i465

Sprint today announced Motorola ClutchTM i465 will be available this summer, in all Sprint sales channels, including Sprint stores, 1-800-Nextel-9 for $39.99 with a new two-year service agreement, $20 instant rebate and $50 mail-in rebate.

Customers can register for more information about availability for Motorola Clutch i465 at

Motorola Clutch i465, fueled by the Nextel National Network, is a rugged device in a slender candy bar form factor, and the first Nextel Direct Connect messaging-centric device that brings the strength of a full QWERTY keyboard to the iDEN line. Motorola Clutch i465 also offers Group Messaging, which lets customers create groups of up to 20 people to send messages to at the same time.

“Sprint Nextel Direct Connect customers are used to the immediate communications offered by push-to-talk devices, but Motorola Clutch i465 with a QWERTY keyboard gives those customers a better way to instantly communicate with friends, family and colleagues,” said Danny Bowman, president of Sprint’s iDEN Business Unit. “By combining Nextel Direct Connect with text messaging, Sprint customers have two of the most efficient ways to get business done wirelessly.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pentax Optio W80: Shock and Waterproof Digital Compact

The manufacturer that builds digital cameras to go boldly where none have gone before has announced the PENTAX Optio W80. More adventure-proof than ever, this latest PENTAX digital camera is waterproof, dustproof, coldproof, and now shockproof enough to withstand impact from a fall of more than three feet.

PENTAX first introduced dunkable digital cameras in 2003 to the delight of outdoor enthusiasts, travelers and families everywhere. Today, the PENTAX Optio W80’s waterproof design withstands depths of up to 16 feet (5 meters) to protect from rain and spills, as well as allowing full underwater photos and video for up to two hours. On dry land, the rugged, shockproof design protects against drops of up to 3.3 feet to protect the camera from hard use and occasional spills.

Also featuring 12.1 megapixels, a 5X internal optical zoom (equivalent to 28-140mm), a slim body, and a wide angle 28mm lens, the Optio W80 offers an expanded perspective that is ideal for landscape, group and more confined shots. With a PENTAX-developed imaging engine and a high-performance PENTAX zoom lens, the Optio W80 delivers brilliant, high-quality images with well-defined details.

A Super Protect (SP) coating applied to the mineral crystal cover of the internal zoom lens helps repel water, grime and finger marks.

Available in Cardinal Red, Azure Blue and Gunmetal Gray, the Optio W80 will be available in July 2009 for $299.95 USD. To help keep the Optio W80 fresh and at hand, PENTAX offers a custom designed clear protective skin ($16.95 USD) and a comfortable floating wrist strap ($19.95 USD).


SanDisk Unveils World’s Fastest 32GB SDHC Card

SanDisk Corporation, the global leader in flash memory cards, today introduced the fastest 32-gigabyte (GB)1 SDHC card on the market. The 32GB SanDisk Extreme SDHC card at up to 30 megabytes per second (MB/s)2 read and write speeds combines industry-leading performance with massive storage capacity, helping digital photography enthusiasts utilize the advanced features of today’s DSLR cameras.

“The market for entry to mid-level DSLR cameras is growing, and SDHC is becoming the de-facto card format for these devices,” said Susan Park, director, retail product marketing, SanDisk. “Our card’s 32GB of storage and up to 30MB/s read & write speeds enable DSLR users to shoot without worrying about storage or speed limitations. SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards provide consumers with a more enjoyable user experience, letting them focus on what is really important – the images that they are capturing.”

An SD card’s speed Class is based on its minimum data-transfer rate, and is used to ensure high-quality video recording standards. The SD Association added Class 10 as part of the SD 3.0 specification released earlier this year. The SanDisk Extreme SDHC card’s performance exceeds the requirements of even the highest-quality AVCHD video recording device, and is currently the fastest Class 10 card in the world.

The SanDisk Extreme SDHC 32GB cards will be shipping worldwide to major retailers in August. Also in August, the current 4, 8 and 16GB capacity SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards will be upgraded from Class 6 to Class 10


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jointech JE100 e-book reader

Ever since that Amazon Kindle DX came out, news of e-book readers has been spreading like weeds. I already reported on iRex’s promise of a full-color ebook reader by 2010, and Jointech, a company that I had previously never heard of, has just unveiled the JE100.

The Jointech JE100 has a 7-inch screen that uses an LCD touchscreen in lieu of e-ink. It also has a 400MHz CPU, 128MB of flash memory, and 64 MB worth of RAM. The user has the option of using Transflash cards for up to 4GB worth of extra storage.

The JE100 will also have Mobipocket Reader, as well as support for eReader and MSReader. Rumor has it that it will also have video and audio playback, with the possibility of viewing Microsoft Office documents.

Other features include an integrated speaker plus audio output socket, and the battery life is about 3-6 hours from the 1,500mAh pack. It also features two USB ports: one is for hooking up extra peripherals, and the other for hooking the e-reader to a computer, presumably.

As you can read, details are a little sketchy on the other features of this e-book reader. My sources don’t seem to know the release date or price.


Great Scott! The Back to the Future II Hat is now available!

Some of you might remember one year ago when we reported on the Nike Hyperdunks, the shoes that Marty McFly and his son wore in Back to the Future II. For those of you who are looking to complete your Future wardrobe, you might consider purchasing the Back to the Future Marty McFly hat.

Some of you might remember that weird rainbow pattern on it, and this one-size-fits-all cap has it. I was never certain if that material was popular in the future, or if only a “complete wimp” like Marty McFly Jr. would wear it. I suppose we will have to wait until the year 2015 to find out. Either way, this cap with its chromatic glory are the ultimate homage to that classic time-travel trilogy.

Now all that is missing is that odd-looking jacket that can adjust its size and dry itself at the touch of a button. I’m sure that somebody is going to make that jacket, if it hasn’t been made already. I imagine that their version of the jacket would be a mere replica, and it wouldn’t do those things. After all, the Hyperdunks failed to have the “power laces” that allowed the shoes to tie themselves.

Fortunately, this rainbow hat has no technological advancements save for a Velcro strap, so it can be purchased for a moderately small price of $20.00.


Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit: World’s Highest Tech Roller Coaster?

I remember watching some documentary special on roller coasters, and was very surprised to find that there is nothing holding the cars upside-down on the loop except centrifugal force. In other words, there is very little advanced technology involved with roller coasters, which is why I am skeptical of Universal Orlando theme park calling their Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit “the world’s highest tech roller coaster”.

The 3,800 foot long attraction is unique because it allows the user to select his or her personal soundtrack from many genres, then an individual song. I would hope that Universal would choose “Song 2” by Blur. Just listen to it, and you’ll see why it is perfect song for a roller coaster.

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit also has a various LED flashing lights, and fourteen digital video cameras to capture the experience. I can’t help but wonder if the user has the option of getting a video clip of their experience after it is over.

As for the ride itself, it begins with a 167-foot vertical lift that the coaster car climbs in 16 seconds. There are also six “near miss encounters”, where the spectator’s roller coaster car will appear to collide with other cars going around the track. There are also many “Treble Clef” curves, like the one you see in the photo here.

So, if the family is headed to Orlando for summer vacation, you might want to stop by Universal Studios Orlando and be prepared to Rip, Ride, and Rockit. The ride is due to open sometime this summer, but I don’t have the exact date.


Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II hits 4TB

Western Digital has released its latest My Book Studio Edition II that will now come with 4TB worth of data, double from the previous version which had just 2TB capacity. This new My Book Studio Edition II dual drive storage system was specially built to play nice with Mac computers, bringing together a balance of high performance as well as power conservation. It works great with the Apple Time Machine automatic backup feature is specially formatted for Mac computers, targeting creative professionals, workgroups, small offices and folks looking for superior speed in data transfer courtesy of its dual-drive RAID 0 configuration and high-speed interfaces. Regardless of any system you use, the My Book Studio Edition II is able to hook up thanks to the four interfaces it offers - eSATA and FireWire 800 for maximum performance as well as FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 for maximum flexibility.

Not only that, since hard drives tend to sip up a pretty amount of juice off the grid, Western Digital has made sure that their My Book Studio Edition II will play nice with Mother Nature, featuring an eco-friendly system that complements WD GreenPower Technology for power savings and cool and quiet operation. According to Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD’s branded products group, “The new My Book Studio Edition II is the best choice for creative professionals who require massive capacity and extra-fast performance,” said . “With 4 terabytes of capacity, photographers, graphic artists, videographers, and home video enthusiasts alike will have the space they need to store hours of high definition videos as well as the performance they need for demanding video editing applications.”

Those who are interested in upgrading their backup storage solution can look to the My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage system that will retail for $649.99 a pop.


Magellan RoadMate 1475T hits the streets

Magellan hasn’t exactly lit up the world with its offerings of late, but it is nice to know that they’re still in the GPS navigation system game with their latest device, the RoadMate 1475T. This model from MiTAC Digital Corp. will bring together premium features in a relatively compact body to make sure that you’ll always reach your destination using the most efficient route possible, regardless of whether this is your first time in a foreign land or not. What makes the Magellan RoadMate 1475T special is its ability to be equipped with traffic-enabled device (VPA) that offers subscription free, real-time traffic alerts, incidents and road congestion reports, letting you avoid all the potential traffic hotspots in the area..

Just like many other new models in the Magellan RoadMate series, the Magellan RoadMate 1475T will boast the revolutionary OneTouch favorites menu which will place personally selected addresses and searches within a mere click away. Once the user has identified and stored his/her preferred banks, restaurants and other destinations into the OneTouch favorites menu, they’re easily accessible regardless of where they travel, as the RoadMate 1475T dispenses with the closest preferred destinations there and then. In addition, the Magellan RoadMate series comes with searchable AAA TourBook listings that comprise of AAA Diamond Rated restaurants and lodgings, alongside attractions, events and campgrounds, making it much easier to plan your trip whenever you hit the road. You can also access AAA-Approved Auto Repair shops and businesses that offer AAA member discounts through the listings, and Magellan assures you they won’t bring you round the block like a headless chicken as all listings include the exact GPS location.

Features of the Magellan RoadMate 1475T include :-

* New 4.7-inch, WQVGA - color, anti-glare touch-screen display in an ultra-thin design
* Acclaimed easy-to-use OneTouch favorites drop-down menu with personalized search icons to easily find favorite places
* Features AAA TourBook listings and member Roadside Assistance menu
* 6 million points of interest (POI)
* Spoken street name guidance tells the user the street name and which way to turn before each maneuver
* Highway Lane Assist points the user in the right direction and ensures the correct lane will be chosen before the next interchange or exit
* Highway Exit POI search let the user find gas stations, restaurants and hotels near upcoming exits
* QuickSpell with New SmartCity Search intelligently narrows searches and checks spelling when entering addresses
* Offers multi-destination routing with route optimization lets the user plan trips with multiple stops in the order they want or optimize a trip for the most efficient route, saving them time and money
* Includes NAVTEQ maps of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico

Expect to fork out a relatively affordable $299 for this puppy.


Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks

Logitech is an old hand when it comes to computer peripherals, and this time round they’ve released yet another model for those who do plenty of traveling and yet want something that isn’t too serious - the Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks. This new notebook mouse will come in a variety of limited-edition patterns and colors, and is based off the design of the company’s most popular mouse. Color, comfort and convenience are rolled into a single device, where you can pick it up for $29.99 a pop.


Nano-Tech Japanese Aqua Dance Game

Trust the Japanese to come up with the zaniest of ideas that actually work - the latest among them, the Nano-Tech Japanese Aqua Dance Game.

A cross between Pachinko and a waterfall the Nano-Tech Japanese Aqua Dance Game is Bandai Japan’s second foray into frivolous uses of nano-technology. The original Aqua Drop was a kind of simple puzzle game using hyper-beading water particles. Now the Aqua Dance turns water into a automatic cascading frenzy of beads that zoom and bounce their way to the bottom. The secret of course is an internal nano surface that causes water to hyper-bead using “Adesso WR”, a nano-tech agent invented and patented by Nikka Kagaku Co., Ltd. Japan. Simply fill the tank on the top of the Aqua Dance with water then push the pump a few times to pressurize. Turn the lever beneath to control the size and speed of the water beads as they drop repeatedly out of the tank. With the reduced friction the natural surface tension of the water takes over to create some unusual liquid dynamics. You’ll find beautiful patterns in the water that are different each time. The ridges and funnels on the surface scatter the water in unpredictable ways as it zooms like quicksilver to the bottom.

Well, if you have $39.99 to spare and would want something non-electronic in your hands for once that is able to keep you entertained and mesmerized, why not give the Nano-Tech Japanese Aqua Dance Game a go?


The iPod Stereo Pool Oasis with built-in massager

I remember back in my day when a we just had normal blow up chairs in the pool. Normally they were the kind you have to lay flat on too. Now all these crazy kids have their new fangled technology tossed in. They can’t just have a normal blow up chair, no, they need speakers and cup holders. Well this blow up gadget would definitely make for a relaxing day out at the pool. Especially since you’ll have you tunes handy and playing right by your head.

It also has a vibrating massager that targets your lower and upper back as well as your thighs and calves. It has a spot to hold your iPod or MP3 player that will keep it safe, it stores it within a built-in waterproof dock. There’s an attached remote that fits into the armrest to control the massager, but no such remote to take care of the MP3 player. Which means you’ll have to either deal with a song or brave taking it out of the waterproof area to change the song. To keep the lounger powered it requires 4 AA batteries. It’ll cost you $199.95 from Hammacher and Schlemmer.


Win a LG 42″ LCD TV (UK only)

Hi, I’m excited to report that LG have kindly agreed to give to one of our UK readers a cool new 42″ LCD Television, the LF7700 (which we reviewed).

We are running the contest on our UK spin off site and the rules are pretty simple. The easiest way to follow the contest is to subscribe to the UK site via email or RSS.

Good luck everyone and apologies to our none UK readers, we’ll have more global competition prizes soon.


The 3-in-1 Digital Compass

For those of you that enjoy wandering aimlessly throughout the summer months, you might want a little something extra to give you a little direction. Of course then it stops being wandering aimlessly and instead just simply wandering. This 3-in-1 gadget will make sure to point you in the right direction. Of course you’ll have to know what the right direction is, so you’re on your own there.

It’s of course a compass, but a digital one, instead of being the classic type. In addition to the compass function, it also has a clock to keep track of the time. Then a thermometer to let you know how warm or cold it is outside. Anyone else find it a little silly that they tell you the temperature? Especially when it’s likely that you’re already standing outdoors while you’re using it. Perhaps you could use it while you’re camping. Hold it outside of your tent long enough to find out how cool it is, before you decide to crawl out from under the warm covers. The LCD screen, that gives all of the information, can be tilted to make it easier for you to read it. You can purchase the compass for $25 from Gadget4all.


Monday, June 08, 2009

The always stylish Metal Detecting Sandals


Alright so you won’t be setting any kind of fashion statement with these, but the full sized metal detector that is typically seen, isn’t exactly classy either. So it’s safe to say that most that use a metal detector aren’t entirely concerned with how they look. Plus this way you don’t have to really carry anything, just wear a goofy pair of sandals and you’re set. Plus if you’re wearing pants, no one will even see the strange black box attached to your leg.

On the right sandal is a copper coil built into it, that is powered by the awkward looking battery pack that wraps around your leg. When you come within 2′ of a metal object it alerts you in one of two ways. It flashes a light and then you can either set it to gently vibrate or give a much louder buzzing noise. To keep the pack up and going, it requires a 9V battery, which is of course not included. That battery will get you up to six hours of use while you’re out wandering the beach. They offer both men’s and women’s sizes. You can purchase them for $59.95 from Hammacher and Schlemmer.


The Remote Controlled 100 Foot Water Cannon


Few things bring out the kid in adults like having their hands on a water cannon. You don’t have to run around, you just choose an unsuspecting target and blast them with water. With this you don’t even have to be anywhere near them. Giving you plenty of time to get a head start before they tackle you to the ground and steal the cannon from you. You just have to make sure that you’re quick on your feet, otherwise you might find yourself being the one getting shot by the cannon.

This water cannon can hit a target from 100 feet away and works by attaching to a garden hose. Even better is that it has a remote that works from up to 30′ away. The cannon has three different interchangeable nozzles that allow for you to choose between a stream, mist or spray. I suppose if you switch it to mist it’d be perfect for watering the lawn or a garden. Giving you a practical reason to own one, if you predict you might have issues explaining to your significant other why you need it. It has a base on it, so you can set it down on the ground or up on something a little more high up. It also can tilt to hit the target. It uses 4 C batteries, not included, that will power the cannon for 10 hours. You can purchase this from Hammacher and Schlemmer for $59.95.


Kensington releases new notebook lock

Kensington has dealt with notebook and desktop accessories for quite some time to date, and their expertise in this department is not to be underestimated, otherwise they would’ve pulled out from such a market a long time ago as the customer is certainly always discerning. Well, this time round Kensington will aim to help you secure your precious new notebook wherever you go, not by arming it with some sort of magical electrical force field that will only deactivate at your command, but a more simple solution that is pretty much secure in its own right - the Kensington MicroSaver DS Keyed Ultra-Thin Notebook Lock. Boasting a modern design that functions to safeguard while providing a physical deterrent against theft of valuable business equipment and the sensitive data stored within them, the new MicroSaver DS Keyed Ultra-Thin Notebook Lock will come in a ground-breaking ultra thin design without sacrificing on performance and reliability.

This notebook lock is special as it can secure even the thinnest notebook around, so all you MacBook Air users as well as the new MSI X-Slim series will be pleased to note that this $49.99 anti-theft device will also handle those notebooks perfectly. Some of the features and specifications available include :-

* Advanced disk style keyed locking mechanism - the most secure available Revolutionary slim design, ideal for Ultra-thin notebooks
* A rotating head and pivoting cable allow you to easily connect to your notebook and position the lock
* Attaches to most notebooks via the Kensington Security Slot found in 99% of notebooks
* Patented T-bar locking mechanism provides superior strength and theft protection
* Super-strong carbon steel cable provides greater security in a 10%-thinner design
* 5-ft carbon tempered steel cable
* Includes two keys
* Rubber tie for cable cord management and portability

You can place your pre-order for the Kensington MicroSaver DS Keyed Ultra-Thin Notebook Lock from and, where it will ship at the end of the month to other major retailers.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Asus offers O!Play HDP-R1

Asus is one versatile company that seems to have dipped their hands into just about anything and everything imaginable. Their latest release would be the Asus O!Play HDP-R1 HD Media Player - offering users yet another way to stream and enjoy a vast array of high definition content on your flat panel displays at home (if you’re still stuck with a CRT, isn’t it about time you got on with the times, mate?). Let’s take a closer look at what the O!Play HDP-R1 HD Media Player is able to offer the home theater buff, hopefully it will be able to come up with satisfactory nods all around instead of being sold short.

The Asus O!Play HDP-R1 holds the distinction of being the first (and only, to boot) High Definition media player which will tout the ability to handle a wide range of file formats, and among those include MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1, and the ever popular RM/RMVB. Playing nice with a vast array of video formats isn’t just the only thing the uniquely named O!Play HDP-R1 is good at - it also allows users to share both videos and photos straight from their PCs and notebooks in enhanced clarity and high definition with anyone else who has an internet connection, all straight from the living room (or conference room if you’re more of the business type of person).

The remote control even comes with a dedicated button for music shuffle, allowing you to indulge in some random audio goodness during moments when you want to be pleasantly surprised by your own digital music collection. The inclusion of an eSATA interface on the O!Player HDP-R1 itself enables users to experience up to 6 times faster transfer speeds as compared to USB 2.0 under selected situations, virtually doing away with delays that are normally associated with video streaming, what more in high definition this time round.


Sanyo releases two more projectors

Sanyo is no stranger when it comes to projectors, regardless of whether they are of the LCD or DLP variety. This time round, they will be unleashing two more portable projectors to the market - the PLC-XW250 and the PLC-XW200, where these two models will target the education field without breaking the annual budget, boasting outstanding cost performance with an eco stand-by power mode that sips just 0.4 watts of juice. Coupled with their very own “Easy Setup Function”, getting one of these up and running even by a newbie should be a snap.

Their power consumption of 0.4 watts places both the PLC-XW250 and the PLC-XW200 under the category of “most ecological data projector” from Sanyo’s stable. When the eco power stand-by mode kicks in, it helps you save approximately 80% of the energy that is consumed by similar previous Sanyo projectors. This is made possible by a redesign of electrical circuits, fully complying with the EuP-Directive Lot 6 and the EU RoHS Directive. Not only that, the packaging that both of these projectors come in are also environmentally friendly, being made out of pulp molds that can later be recycled as used paper.

What’s so great about the “Easy Setup Function”, you ask? Well, it includes Auto Input Signal Search, Auto Vertical Keystone Correction and an Input Guidance Function. Firstly, the Auto Input Signal Search will be able to detect the input signal automatically and make the relevant changes to internal settings. Secondly, the Auto Vertical Keystone Correction function will be able to automatically detect its position angle and make corrections for any image distortion. Last but not least would be the Guidance Function that shows on-screen connection instructions whenever there isn’t any input signal detected. Sanyo will be rolling out the PLC-XW250 and the PLC-XW200 later this month, retailing for $895 and $795, respectively.


LaCie to release LaCinema Black Series

LaCie is back this time round with not some variant of an external or portable hard drive, but the LaCinema Black Series of media players instead, coming in both PLAY and RECORD varieties. By expanding their range of Wireless HD media players, LaCie has certainly stepped out of their comfort zone, giving some competition to players in this market with Neil Poulton-designed products that are pleasing to the eyes this time round. Both models from the Black range were specially constructed to optimize the way consumers access and play content straight off from their HDTV.

The LaCinema Black PLAY and RECORD will boast some of the most up-to-date home networking capabilities right smack in your living room, at least that’s what the press release claims. Users will be able to select from a direct network connection, but I suspect that more people would prefer to opt for the Wi-Fi connection since that is more or less a given in most homes these days. Regardless of your choice of connectivity, you will be able to use this new player to store music, movies and photos from any computer on the local network. An integrated UPnP client player makes it a snap for users to access media content from a networked PC or Mac from anywhere in the home.

In tandem with the High Definition age that we now live in, the LaCinema Black PLAY and RECORD will enable users to enjoy downloaded HD movies and television programs straight on their new flat panel display, virtually ensuring that you will need to have a HD-ready TV in your home before you decide to pick up either player from LaCie. Shared features among the two include 1080p resolution decoding capability for movies and TV shows, HD JPEG photos and 1080i upscaling of Standard Definition movies. Prices for the LaCinema Black line will start from $429.99 onwards.


Sony Ericsson goes green with GreenHeart phones

It is nice to see companies taking more responsibility in keeping the planet clean with each product release without sacrificing on performance, such as LCD monitors and now, cellphones. Sony Ericsson just unveiled a couple of GreenHeart pioneer products that underline the efforts the company is taking when it comes to environmental sustainability, featuring eco-friendly products that won’t compromise on product design and functionality. The two handsets on parade today would be the C901 GreenHeart as pictured as well as the Naite.

The flagship C901 GreenHeart will comprise of an electronic, in-phone manual that does away with the standard paper version - good thinking on their part. Now all they need to do is to sell a gazillion of these handsets in order to make a real, significant impact when it comes to deforestation prevention. Well, sarcasm aside, this move looks set to save more than 90% in paper, further reducing the environmental impact during transportation of the final product as it would mean a more compact packaging. As for the case, the C901 GreenHeart handset uses at least 50% recycled plastics within, while the optimized display light sensor will further reduce your carbon footprint.

Interestingly enough, the Sony Ericsson C901 GreenHeart will be equipped with a WalkMate application that enables users to literally walk the talk as it goes about calculating the exact number of steps you’ll take in an equivalent journey traveled by car, showing how much CO² you save in the process whenever you walk to your destination instead of drive.

Some of the features found on the Sony Ericsson C901 GreenHeart will include :-

* Smile shutter
* One-click uploading
* Face Detection
* GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
* UMTS/HSPA 900/2100.
* 5 megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom and xenon flash
* Video recording capability
* Bluetooth stereo A2DP connectivity
* 2.2″ 240 x 320 resolution TFT scratch-resistant display
* Memory Stick Micro slot


The Car and Wall USB Power Charger

This is a small gadget that would definitely come in handy. It’d be one of those things that makes traveling or even your day to day life a bit more simple. It can charge all of your USB gadgets and it does so in a versatile manner. Making it so you are unlikely to ever be somewhere that you can’t charge it up. Just plug it into your car and you can charge up your iPhone or iPod while you’re on the go.

It also can be plugged into the wall as well, so if you’re not able to get access to a computer someplace that has an outlet, you’ll still be able to get charged up. It doesn’t require a three prong outlet either, so if you’re visiting family that lives in a house where three prong outlets are scarce, this would be great to have handy. There is also a status LED light that lets you know that the outlet is providing the power you need to charge your gadget. You can purchase the Car + Wall Plug USB Power Charger for $12 from USB Geek.


The PC Mouse Ladybird

Although this isn’t likely to appeal to the average geek, it might appeal to the very girly female and especially to young females. This cute ladybug works as a mouse and gives your computer a less boring look. After all, so often computer feature nothing but blacks and grays, which is fine, but it does get a touch monotonous. It also doesn’t have quite the cartoon-like look that the other ladybug mouse I’ve seen had. Since it’s not so cartoonish, it makes it a better prospect for women who enjoy anything with a ladybug theme.

It’s a mouse, so the specs are pretty basic, it’s thankfully an optical mouse. I have on occasion come across a novelty mouse that wasn’t optical. It connects through your USB port and since it is just a mouse it will of course work with either a PC or a Mac. It’d be a great mouse to take to work if you can get away with it. Just to add a little more color to your office environment. The mouse is being sold through Lazy Bone UK and not at a bad price either. You can purchase it for $28.95.


The Memory Pill USB Drive


This is one of those drives that you wouldn’t expect it to be a USB drive concealed within. It looks more like something someone would stash a little Tylenol within. Instead it’s a small USB drive that allows for you to store random files inside. It’d be a humorous keychain for nurses and various medical workers to carry around. Of course it won’t discriminate if you’re not within the medical field, it’ll still safely store your files just the same. Plus it can be attached to your keys as a keychain.

Once again this is another one that the keychain part is attached to the cap. Which makes me a little concerned that it would stop clinging to the lid so well and the drive itself, with all of your data, would be dropped and lost. The serious down side of the drive is that it’s only a 64MB drive. That still leaves room for 40 photos though or 30 minutes of MP3s. Still, it’s not exactly a decently sized drive. The drive will cost you £10.95 or about $18 from GiftLab.


Pharos Traveler 137 GPS Smartphone

Most smartphones these days come with GPS navigation capability, but they were made by companies that have phones as their primary business. Turn the tables around and you’ll get the Pharos Traveler 137 GPS Smartphone - this is a GPS unit with cellphone capabilities, or should we call it a cellphone with GPS navigation skills? Regardless of what you classify it under, we’re pretty sure you’d be well pleased with the following specifications :-

* Qualcomm MSM7201A 528MHz Processor
* 3.5” WVGA 480 x 800, 65K color TFT LCD with touch panel
* Tri-band AWS 1700/1900/2100 MHz, UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA: 384K/7.2M/2Mbps
* Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, GSM/GPRS/EDGE
* Built-in GPS
* Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
* FM transmitter
* 3.1-megapixel camera
* 0.3-megpaixel front camera
* Free real-time traffic, gas price, movie and weather information

This cute little number will retail for $599.95 - pretty hefty since it comes unlocked and is not subsidized by any carrier.


Belkin TuneCast Auto Live FM transmitter

Belkin is back with the Belkin TuneCast Auto Live FM transmitter alongside their very own ClearScan Live software application that will allow both iPhone and iPod Touch owners to gain easy access to their FM transmitter, picking out the most suitable radio frequency to play music in the car.

ClearScan Live allows the iPhone to display the FM frequency and the controls on its screen. This hardware-software combination is the first to utilize an iPhone application to control FM transmission and utilize GPS coordinates to determine the clearest FM frequency at the user’s location. TuneCast Auto Live capitalizes on the ability of iPhone OS 3.0 to enable application control of hardware accessories, with ClearScan Live as the first application to interact with an iPhone FM transmitter accessory. Together, the Belkin hardware and software provide a powerful tool for people to easily control and listen to their music in their cars.

The Belkin TuneCast Auto Live FM transmitter will arrive across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia later this Fall, retailing for $79.99 a pop.


Thumb Stadium Electronic Game Kit

Handheld gaming sure has gotten a whole lot more complicated with releases from Sony like the PSPgo and the Nintendo DSi, so why not hark back to the good old days where the notion of handheld gaming did not mean the presence of some high resolution LCD display? Here’s the Thumb Stadium Electronic Game Kit
to get you started, and there are four different built-in games to choose from as described below.

Game 1 - ThumbWar
The object of ThumbWar is simple: press while the other player is pressing. If you do, you get a point.

Game 2 - SlapJack
During SlapJack, Thumb Stadium randomly flashes the center LED red or green. Be the first to press when center is green and get a point. Don’t press if it isn’t green or the other player gets a point.

Game 3 - Jai Alai
Center lights up ~ quickly press to “catch” your color. Press again to “throw” to the other player who has to catch on time and throw back. The time to catch gets shorter each throw.

Game 4 - Reflexy
Reflexy is a one-player game. The object is to quickly press the button that matches the color in the center LED. You go until you miss or are too late. The time to react gets shorter each turn. After the game, your score is flashed ~ Center = x10, Red LED = x1. Press the Red Side Button three times to restart.

The Thumb Stadium Electronic Game Kit can be yours for $19.99.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bomo Baby Carriage

As a parent of a toddler, I am always looking for the latest and greatest baby products. The Bomo Robot Baby Carriage might be one that I probably wouldn’t buy, even if I could afford it.

The point of this product is to put the little baby in, and then program it to automatically follow the parental figure around the house. It can apparently “see” obstacles and navigate around them, provided they don’t move independently, like pets or older siblings.

Of course, if you want to give the baby the wheel, that is an option. Manual mode allows the tyke to hit the accelerator and use a fully functioning steering wheel. You might want to make certain the safety gate is on the stairs first.

After the baby has taken his or her joyride, its unique horizontal swing motion will help put him or her down for a nap.

I can’t help but think that a device like this is preparing a child for a world like WALL-E, where humans just sit around on their hovering chairs with their Internet all day. I suppose that if you have a child who is a real Cling-on, then this could come in handy.

I briefly mentioned the high price earlier, but never gave you the actual number: $780. All I got to say to that is this: Bomo Arigato, Mr. Roboto! Yeah, Styx would not be proud.


The Neuton CE 6 Lawn Mower with rechargeable battery

Although it would be great to have the robot solar powered mower that takes off and mows your lawn for you, plus the perk of it being eco-friendly. However, it’s a bit on the expensive side, so it’s not something that most people can afford. For those on a tighter budget, this battery-powered mower might be the better option. It has the perk of being quiet due to being an electric mower, but doesn’t have the obnoxious extension cord to deal with.

The Neutron CE 6 is one of the larger of their electric mowers and cuts a 19” path in your lawn. The mower specifies that it is only ideal for those with a lawn up to 1/3 of an acre. Which is about 15,000 sq ft. Anything above that and you’ll have to recharge the battery to finish the job. Although it does come with a spare battery, so even if it does run out, you can just switch batteries and continue the job. To purchase the mower it will cost you $499.


The Mouser is sure to turn heads


As common as a computer mouse is, there are few that could ever be considered artistic. Some are shiny with LED lights or small crystals, yet they have a certain mass produced look to them. This mouse designed by Andrey Chirkov is one of the few I would call artistic. Surprisingly it’s not steampunk either, that usually is the only way gadgets get a little bit of a creative twist to them. Instead this has a minimalist modern look, while still being pretty.

The down side of such a mouse is that I’d be petrified I would break it, since it does have a flimsy look. You’d almost rather put it on display than mess it up by using it on a daily basis. As of now it’s still a design though, so you won’t be able to purchase it. However, with a look like this I’m sure those with plenty of money to burn will be dying to get their hands on it. Wealthy investors means that this might actually be created for purchase. Even if that does happen though, the general public won’t likely ever see anything like this at their local store.


Kingston releases SSDNow V Series solid-state drive upgrade bundles

Kingston is no stranger when it comes to memory products, and you name it, they’ve got it. Anything from SD to miniSD and its smallest variant, the microSD alongside their High Capacity counterparts are available, and if you’re one who prefers to tote around USB flash drives, feel free to do so with Kingston’s wide range of said merchandise. Let’s not forget memory for computers, too, as Kingston has had some fair bit of success in this arena to date. What we are here to look at today would be their latest upgrade bundles of the Kingston SSDNow V Series solid-state drive (SSD).

These upgrade bundles will specifically target mass-market consumers as well as small and medium businesses, where it will come in two different configurations - 64GB and double that amount, at 128GB. Both products are the first in a new series of low-cost, value-driven SSD solutions that aim to help existing desktop and notebook owners gain an increase in performance. According to Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston, “The SSDNow V Series upgrade bundles are a terrific solution — given the current economy — for cost-conscious consumers who want an instant performance increase on an existing computer at a very reasonable price point. “We are trying to garner mass-market adoption of SSDs by bundling together all of the software, hardware and step-by-step instructions in a couple of low-cost options aimed squarely at everyday users. The V Series upgrade bundles are a perfect complement to our existing line of SSDNow products that target enterprise customers and prosumers.”

Each of the SSDNow V Series upgrade bundle kit will come with the following :-

* Kingston SSDNow V Series solid-state drive
* Acronis True Image cloning software and CD installation guide
* 3.5″ mounting brackets and hardware (desktop bundle only)
* SATA data and power cable extenders (desktop bundle only)
* 2.5″ USB SATA external enclosure (notebook bundle only)


Kingston rolls out HyperX Fan

Kingston does not only offer memory products for your computers, notebooks and mobile devices, they also include accessories to keep those said products running at optimal level by being cool. Cool as in the temperature, and not according to what society deems as “in” at this moment in time. Their latest offering? The HyperX Fan that was specially designed to keep Kingston HyperX memory running cool.

The HyperX Fan is made of anodized aluminum and in the same familiar blue color as the HyperX heatspreaders. When turned on, the fan blades are illuminated by eight small blue LEDs. Power use is minimal and noise is not an issue as the fan runs at a whisper-quiet 25 dBA*. The fan is available as a standalone or bundled with Kingston’s 6GB 2000- and 1800MHz triple-channel memory kits with the T1 heatspreaders for Intel Core i7 systems.

Each purchase of the HyperX fan will come with a one-year warranty and free round the clock technical support. It will cost you $23 a pop, but you can get it in a bundle of memory included as well.


TomTom White Pearl

Getting lost is no fun, not when you have a bunch of kids sitting in the back row who can’t stop asking the question, “Are we there yet?” Having a GPS navigation system is more or less indispensable these days, especially when driving around has gotten so much more convenient. For folks who tend to drive out of state frequently and head off to unfamiliar places, toting a GPS navigation system is a God-send since you don’t have to worry about folding up any maps once you’ve got your bearings, and there is always the software to blame before your wife lets loose on you a verbal tirade on how you are too stubborn to stop by and ask someone for directions. Hey, you asked the GPS software, didn’t you? TomTom is offering yet another model for the masses - the White Pearl, which is a special edition navigation product with a twist.

The White Pearl comes with a stylish, pearlescent design which makes it ideal for a gift, and it will definitely add a touch of glamour in your vehicle. Each purchase comes with a chic pearlescent finish EasyPort folding mount to match the White Pearl itself, and is based on the TomTom ONE IQ Routes edition, making sure that driving is stress-free all the way to your destination. In addition, TomTom has also thrown in new features such as special Points of Interest including ‘Places to be seen’ and ‘Shop ‘til you drop’, making sure everyone in the family has something to look forward to each time they step into the vehicle with you.

While we don’t know when the US will be getting this device, folks in the UK can get their hands on the TomTom White Pearl from this month onwards via for the recommended retail price of £179.99.


Sony unveils PSP go

Looks like Sony can’t really keep their secrets from leaking out to the public before the official announcement, as image leaks as well as whispers of the PSP go were already making their rounds well ahead of the E3 announcement. Well, for those who recently picked up a Sony PSP-3000 (yes, it is in its third iteration already for that particular generation), there is a new device that looks set to displace the PSP-3000 in due time - assuming it does crazily well, of course. We’re guessing that Sony is taking Nintendo’s similar approach as they did all those years ago, touting the DS Phat to be the “third pillar”, only bringing it to the forefront and discontinuing the Game Boy line when the DS was found to be doing exceptionally well. Only time will tell, but let us take a look at the Sony PSP go in greater detail today.

The PSP go will arrive in stores for folks living in North America this October 1, while Europe/PAL territories and Asian countries will get theirs a month later, retailing for $249 and an equivalent amount in Euros, of course. As stated earlier, the PSP go will co-exist with the PSP-3000 in retail stores as gamers as well as those who are curious learn to decide which is the best possible portable gaming system for them. What makes the PSP go different is it won’t come with any UMD drive - instead, it will ditch all disc-based content by catering to those who want on-demand entertainment, featuring 16GB of internal memory as well as the ability to receive digital entertainment via the PlayStation Network. Sounds fine and dandy, but what about less developed markets where over-the-air download speeds are excruciatingly slow? Guess those folks will just have to settle for regular PSP-3000s.

Some of the interesting features available on the spanking new PSP go include an easy sliding panel alongside original applications, a game sleep function that lets you operate the XrossMediaBar while suspending gameplay for the moment, Bluetooth connectivity and a wide range of accessories to go along with it. What do you think of the form factor, and will the PSP go do for Sony what the DS Lite did for Nintendo?


Windows 7 arriving October 22nd

Microsoft has recently confirmed that they will be offering Windows 7 worldwide this October 22nd, which is pretty near, hence cutting short the life of the ill-fated Windows Vista operating system. Dell has stepped up to the challenge by allowing users to purchase Windows 7 factory installed on your favorite Dell configuration. This is the fruit of having worked with Microsoft over the past three years in order to come up with the best computing solutions possible, which means most of new Dell computers will have a Windows 7 option come this October.

Microsoft also confirmed that as with previous Windows launches, they are partnering with PC manufacturers like Dell to offer the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program. Later this summer, if you purchase select systems through retail or directly from Dell you may order a Windows 7 upgrade kit. It’s important to note that the Windows 7 upgrade kits will not be shipped until AFTER Windows 7 has officially launched (Oct. 22 as noted above). Once the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program is officially announced more details will be available including supported PCs, languages and countries.

Does this piece of news help you hold off your new computer purchase for at least a few more months, or you are fine with Vista running in your life?


Dell unleashes power of Alienware M17x

It is nice to know that ever since Dell bought over extreme gaming brand Alienware, they haven’t really affected the company’s performance in any way. Dell still churns out reliable (for most people, anyways - there are always horror stories to tell of any brand in this world) notebooks and desktops for millions of people around the world each day, and Alienware sticks to what it does best - working on drool-worthy gaming machines that cost a bomb, and yet people won’t mind forking out good money for it due to the overall aesthetics as well as performance that come in a single package. Having said that, Alienware has rolled out yet another masterpiece today - the Alienware M17x gaming notebook that is set to blow your mind away.

While the M17x isn’t exactly the best kept secret in the world, it is nice to get an official announcement, where Dell has touted it to be the “most powerful laptop in the universe.” That’s surely stating their faith that advanced alien civilizations out there don’t exist - but that’s a different can of worms for another day. What can you expect from a thoroughbred like the Alienware M17x? For starters, check out what a fully pimped out model can offer.

* Dual 1GB nVidia GeForce GTX 280M GPUs
* An Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core CPU
* 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
* A 1TB 7200-rpm (Raid 1 or Raid 0) or a 512MB of solid-state storage capacity
* A slot-loading dual-layer Blu-ray Disc Drive
* A nine-cell battery
* An nVidia GeForce 9400M G GPU with HybridPower technology
* 802.11n (2×2) Wi-Fi connectivity
* A 1920-by-1200-resolution edge-to-edge LCD Display

2GB of total video memory just blows our minds away. We’re guessing that this means the era of notebooks being viable gaming platforms is coming, although bringing down the price by a bunch would go a long way in helping that dream get realized. One thing’s for sure – we’d strongly recommend you sit right next to a power outlet if you plan to use this for more than a couple hours of hardcore gaming.


GEN-X Genesis/NES Game System

Mario and Sonic was thought to be eternal enemies, but necessity has brought both creative licenses together in the past, and who knows, with that, they could actually end up being best friends forever? With the GEN-X Genesis/NES Game System, this is possible since the device itself is pretty self-explanatory. While you can’t carry it around wherever you go like the Pocket Retro Game Emulator, you will be able to play legitimate games using your collection of old NES and Genesis carts that are collecting dust in the attic. Since it is meant to sit right smack in the middle of your living room, you will pay considerably less for this as well, retailing for just $49.99 each.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Mellanox Large-Scale, 324-Port, 40Gb/s InfiniBand Switch Available from HP

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. announced that its MTS3610 324-port 40Gb/s InfiniBand switch is available through HP as part of the HP Unified Cluster Portfolio that includes servers, networks, storage, and cluster management software as a total integrated solution. Built with Mellanox’s 4th generation InfiniScale IV InfiniBand switch device, MTS3610 switches provide up to 25.9 Terabits per second switching capability, and non blocking 40Gb/s bandwidth per port. The MTS3610 provides the highest performing fabric solution by delivering high bandwidth, low-latency unified I/O to Enterprise Data Centers and High-Performance Computing environments in a compact 19RU chassis.

When deployed to support servers equipped with Mellanox ConnectX® 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapters, the MTS3610 enables a 400 percent reduction in the number of adapters and cables when compared against 10-Gigabit Ethernet systems while delivering four times the bandwidth. In addition, the Mellanox InfiniBand switch delivers significant reductions in power, space, and cooling costs when compared with other switches of similar capacity, making it an ideal solution for green computing initiatives.

“We are pleased to partner with HP to provide the most advanced interconnect solutions for their scale-out solutions to deliver critical networking capabilities for efficient data centers and high-performance systems,” said John Monson, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Our 324-port InfiniBand switch and complete InfiniBand interconnect portfolio provides the fastest, most reliable, and most economical fabric for scale-out compute applications.”

Available today, Mellanox’s 40Gb/s InfiniBand products, including the MTS3610 324-port 40Gb/s InfiniBand switch and ConnectX 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapters, can be ordered through HP.


Wrap-Around-the-Corner Digital Photo Frame from Photojojo

I’m not certain if the traditional glass photo frame has gone the way of the dinosaur, but I think we all agree that we are in the age of the digital picture frame. It seems like every time that I am looking for new material to write about, some company somewhere has a new digital picture frame. Even now, I am hoping to give a hands-on review of Viewsonic’s TrueView line in the near future.

In short, the digital picture frame market is flooded, which is why a unique take on the traditional photo frame like the Wrap-Around-the-Corner from Photojojo is so needed. As you can see, it can hold about 7 to 12 photos in its stained and lacquered frame. Since it is non-digital, there is no slideshow option. However, with all these frames packed into one, do you really need one?

You may notice that some of the photos are split down the middle for a “folding” effect. In case you are wondering, you have to splice the picture like that yourself. The auto-splicing effect is hopefully a feature for Wrap-Around-the-Corner 2.0, the digital photo frame version.

If you are interested in getting this stand-out frame in your “corner” of the world, you will have to pay about $99. Some of you may find that a high price to pay, but I can’t think of a more personalized look for the home of the future.


Sony Ericsson’s Aino

Sony Ericsson has just released a mobile phone called the Aino which is able to sync wirelessly with a PS3. I am not certain if this is the first mobile phone to connect to a video game console, but if it is, then it is a long time coming.

After all, who wouldn’t want instant access to their digital content on their PS3 from their mobile phone? As long as there is mobile internet available on the Aino, the user can sit back at watch whatever content is on that large PS3 hard drive.

In addition to that huge connect-to-PS3 as their biggest selling point, the Aino can also sync wirelessly to your PC. Other features include a 8.1 Megapixel camera, 3G connectivity, and assisted GPS. It also comes with a Bluetooth headset, a wireless dock, and light-up headphones.

When I first saw that the Aino could sync with the PS3, I immediately had visions of surfing through the main menu of the PS3 on my mobile and playing games, sans joystick. Not in this version of the Aino, but I am hoping that I’m giving Sony Ericsson a few ideas. Not that they aren’t already thinking what I’m thinking, I’m sure.

Sony Ericsson’s Aino should be available in the fall, but so far, there is no word on a price. Rumor has it that the Aino is slated for a European-only release.


Dustbot could change Sanitation

This Dustbot robot is the type of concept technology that I live to report on. European scientists have come up with a new way of removing trash in narrow streets with these wheeled guys. Clearly, Disney-Pixar was the inspiration as the Dustbot is essentially a WALL-E without the ecological apocalypse.

This new garbage collection process would start when a consumer with a bag full of trash gives the Dustbot sanitation organization a call or sends a text message. The automated system then sends the nearest Dustbot right to the user’s door, navigated via GPS.

From there, the consumer selects the type of trash he or she is disposing on the touchscreen, and put it in the drawer/compressor that comes from the Dustbot itself. I can only presume that the Dustbot goes somewhere and dumps the trash in an eco-friendly spot after that.

You may notice that the Dustbot is precariously balanced, like a Segway. So what happens when you call up a Dustbot, drop in your garbage, and then it tips over? Talk about awkward.

Well, I’m certain that you can see the potential for the Dustbot in today’s society, and it would definitely change society as we know it. Just picture a big city where Dustbots roam the sidewalks like the taxis that fill our streets. Better yet, picture a world where people actually separate their trash.


The Grill Alert Talking Remote Meat Thermometer

For those that have started grilling out already, you might want to pick up this handy gadget. Grilling out is fun, but sometimes it can be frustrating if you’re stuck standing near the grill all day. Then if you do happen to become distracted, you’ve just burned everyone’s dinner and there is no one around to blame except for you. It’s the short ones you have to worry about the most though, if they aren’t fed, they will come after you. With this remote thermometer, you’d always know when the meat is done, without having to hover over the grill all day long.

Just grab the handheld and hook it on your belt with the belt clip. Meanwhile the thermometer stays in the meat. Your handheld will display the temperature and even announce out loud when the meat is almost done and then done. Giving you time to run inside to grab something to place the meat on before it’s actually finished. Both are of course water resistant, so you won’t have to worry about screwing up the electronics while cooking. The handheld has a backlight for late night grilling. To keep them powered you’ll need two AA batteries and then two AAA batteries. It’ll cost you $69.95 from Brookstone.


The GameOn Video Gaming Console Storage System

Finding ways to store gaming accessories can at times be a bit of a chore. For various reasons, like the plastic guitars are large and awkward. Then there are the regular controllers that usually get stashed in a drawer somewhere. To top it off, if you have a 360, you have to be careful about the type of entertainment center you use with it, for fear that it might overheat and get the wretched RRoD. Well this storage system from GameOn solves all of those common issues.

It mounts to the wall, meaning it’s not going to take up any of your floor space. It will store up to 4 different hand controls and guitar accessories. At the top it can hold various games and then the bottom shelf is where the console or consoles can be stored. To make sure the console stays cool there are vents on either side of the shelf. It comes in 6 different colors, black, white, green, red, blue and yellow. You can purchase the GameOn Video Gaming Console Storage System for $59.99 on Amazon.


The Gold Bar USB Drive

For some, expensive tastes just come naturally, unfortunately the money to supply those tastes doesn’t always come so easily. Well if you’ve always wanted just one shiny new gold bar, you can show your appreciation for it with this USB drive. It’s not quite as snazzy as having the real thing lying around, but at least it’s better than nothing. It’d also make for a humorous USB drive for a banker to have handy.

The Gold Bar USB Drive has all of 4GB of memory. To hold to that gold bar look, they made it so that the USB drive actually retracts within the gold bar. That also means this is one of the good drives that makes it so that you never have to worry about losing the cap to the USB drive. It’s not made of real gold, which I would think is fairly obvious. Instead it’s built with metal housing surrounding it to keep your data safe and at hand. You can purchase it for $27 through USB Geek.


LG offer Network Blu-ray Disc Players

I guess Blu-ray hasn’t really taken off according to Sony’s liking (as well as the other partners in the Blu-ray conglomerate), as it sure is taking its time compared to DVDs back in the day where the latter was released. Well, at least it is making inroads after a short but bitter battle with HD DVD, but it has been more than a year now since HD DVD was declared to have given up the fight, and yet not that many people are adopting Blu-ray players in their living rooms. This time round, LG Electronics aim to offer something different for their new range of Blu-ray players featuring NetCast Entertainment Access and Wi-Fi capabilities in the US.

Consumers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to extensive content-on-demand options for instant access to Roxio CinemaNow, Netflix and YouTube content. It does raise an interesting question though - back in the day where there were just a couple of TV channels, we were extremely hooked and would watch anything and everything. Fast forward to today and you have hundreds of channels, where you will still find someone sitting down on a couch, flipping channels and remarking, “There isn’t anything good to watch.” Ironic, isn’t it? Well, the LG BD370 and BD390 Network Blu-ray players were first unveiled at CES 2009, with the latter being the first-ever Blu-ray player to offer an interactive Download-to-Own and Pay-Per-View options, giving consumers the freedom to purchase content from Roxio CinemaNow at the click of the remote. It also boasts 1GB of internal memory to cater for BD Live functionality.

Both models will feature the following :-

* 1080p up-scaling for standard DVDs
* Dolby TrueHD surround sound
* DTS-HD Master Audio Essential
* USB 2.0 Media Host
* 1GB built-in memory (BD390)
* Wireless capability (BD390)

The BD370 and BD390 will retail for $299.95 and $399.95 respectively. Image from ibdcegypt.


Panasonic DMP-B15 portable Blu-ray player

Panasonic is proud to announce that they have released their first portable Blu-ray player from their stables, although it definitely isn’t the first in the world. Known as the Panasonic DMP-B15, this model aims to offer the definitive High Definition Blu-ray experience for those on the go, coming with a high quality 8.9″ WSVGA LCD display that will feature Panasonic’s very own VIERA CAST Internet accessibility and BD Live functionality, in addition to an SD memory card slot. More on the DMP-B15 in further detail right after the jump.

Don’t be fooled - just because it is portable doesn’t mean it is gimped in any way. The DMP-B15 will come with virtually all the technology found in its stand-alone counterparts, notably the DMP-BD60, DMP-BD80 and the VHS-Blu-ray dual player DMP-BD70V. You can expect top image quality courtesy of its PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus technology that was specially developed in collaboration with Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory. What is the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus? This is but a high quality image-processing technology which is capable of processing each pixel of the Blu-ray Disc video signal in the vertical direction. This results in color data reproduction at twice the accuracy of conventional systems, giving your eyes the enjoyment of faithful and sharp colors.

Similar to the trio of stand-alone Blu-ray players from Panasonic, the DMP-B15 will come with VIERA CAST functionality. This special application allows users to access selected Web sites such as Amazon Video-on-Demand, where streaming video service like that will be able to be enjoyed instantly by offering consumers over 40,000 titles to choose from, YouTube; Google Picasa Web Album; Bloomberg and a weather channel. Expect the Amazon VOD to be rolled out later this month. Interestingly enough, the DMP-B15 is self-sufficient as there is no need for an external set-top box, and you won’t have to fork out an additional cent for it. Inside, you get a 2.5 hour rechargeable battery, HDMI connectivity and an optional headrest mounting bracket to complete the package.


Re-Juicer recycle old water bottles

Have plenty of those plastic water bottles lying around your home, and have no idea on what to do with them? Well here’s a novel one - the Re-Juicer that uses the bottoms of old plastic water bottles to function as a juicer just in case you want to have a glass of freshly pressed orange juice at that moment. Not only is it lightweight, it is a snap to clean as well, and you would have done your part in using the same water bottle more than just once before discarding it away to our landfills. The Re-Juicer costs $6.50 a pop.


Freeloader Pro

We’ve seen the Freeloader a couple of years ago, but this time round there is a bigger, better model - heck, improvement should come along after two years, right? The Freeloader Pro has returned to offer you portable power for your plethora of gadgets and gizmos, ensuring the frustration of not having enough juice to finish up that phone call will never happen again. All you need to do is to plug in your device’s battery into the Caddy and wait for the sun to do its job, thanks to the two solar panels that are revealed when the Freeloader Pro opens up fully. The Freeloader Pro retails for £69.99 and looks to be an essential device to carry around if you’re thinking of going camping this summer.