Nov 30, 2010

Are the Aliens Coming?

NASA and SETI and countless other groups have been searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life for as long as humanity has been looking at the stars. On Thursday, December 2, several NASA astrobiologists will announce results “that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life”.

What does that mean? Judging by the research interests of the scientists involved in the upcoming announcement, this astrobiological discovery will have something to do with water, evolutionary biology, and aquatic bacteria.

The press conference and the discovery will be announced on Thursday after 11AM PST (2PM EST), NASA will also show a video broadcast of the press conference to journalists at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.

Until then, what do you think this discovery will be? Has extraterrestrial bacterial been discovered preserved in a meteorite? Have we seen evidence of life on a ocean-covered exoplanet?

Toshiba Libretto W100 Is a Full Windows 7 Dual-Screen Curiosity

The Libretto has the specs of a halfway decent ultraportable: a 1.2 GHz Pentium U5400 processor, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 62GB SSD, a USB port and a microSD slot. But that body isn't really like anything else, unfolding to reveal two 7-inch multitouch displays. The screens can either be used together or independently meaning one web page can span the whole device, or be sequestered on top while the bottom is filled with email, documents, or an on-screen keyboard. Pricing has been set at $1,100.

Nov 29, 2010

A Vinyl-CD Hybrid To Keep the Hipster-Yuppies Satisfied

Can't vinyl and CDs get along? That's the reasonable question posed by electronic/techno musician Jeff Mills, who has released his latest album on a two-for-one hybrid format. Thoughtful mediation, or sixth sign of the apocalypse? Check out the flip side:

Personally, I'm always fan of the convergence of analog and digital. The album, called The Occurrence and the latest in a series from Mills called The Sleeper Wakes, is a limited edition release from Axis Records.

Turn a KFC Double Down into Chicken Cordon Bleu

Over at food weblog Slashfood, they've made the observation that the new KFC Double Down (you know, that heavily marketed sandwich that uses fried chicken instead of bread) is actually not that original. In fact, it's barely different from Chicken Cordon Bleu, a popular French dish. In an effort to prove their point (and eat lots of KFC, no doubt), they've shared their recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu, using only 1 KFC Double Down and some organic French tarragon.

Sure, it sounds silly, but we love KFC so much we've learned how to make it at home—so all logic has already been thrown out the window. Plus, it's a great way to make a great tasting "fancy" dish at the last second, when you've set the duck on fire and your guests are arriving in 20 minutes.

Google Employees Sleep In Alien-Like Pods

How does Google keep its employees fresh for long days and nights of working? With sleep pods.

FT reporter Richard Waters was in Google's Mountain View headquarters and snapped this photo of an anonymous Googler catching some rest. When Richard walked past the pod later, he said a pair of female legs were sticking out from the pod.

This contraption is a MetroNap EnergyPod. Metronap says it "harnesses science and NASA technology" to deliver a refreshing nap for users.

On its site, Metronap says, "Occupants are reclined into the optimal napping position to promote blood circulation and reduce pressure on the lower back and ambient sounds help nappers drift into light sleep."

When it's time to wake up, the EnergyPod delivers a light vibration.

Nov 28, 2010

Facebook Like and Dislike Button Rubber Stamps Now Available

The Facebook Like rubber stamp was so popular, that its creators are now selling them. Not only that, but they've created what everyone wants for the real Facebook: A dislike button stamp. Come on, Zuckerberg, you know you want it.

Like them? Then hit that like button in Facebook and go buy one. They are only $15 plus shipping each.Shop

Scientists Discover the First Planet With a Tail

Scientists have discovered the first cometary planet, one with a huge tail, a stream of gas being ripped off by solar winds at 22,000 miles per hour. This jovian world is located 153 light-years from Earth.

The planet—called HD 209458b—orbits 100 times closer to its home star than our Jovian neighbor, traveling in an astonishingly fast 3.5-day orbit. For comparison, Mercury—our solar system fastest planet—has an 88-day orbit.

Since HD 209458b is so close to the sun, the stellar winds are ripping the planet's atmosphere apart. Scientists have used the Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to gather evidence that support the theory that its 2,000ºF atmosphere is being ejected from its body at 22,000 miles per hour.

Samson Q2U Mic Is a Cheap USB/XLR Solution For Home Foley Action

You can easily make your own 1080p movies with relatively inexpensive gear at home now, but what if you want quality sound effects? Samson's (a name brand for microphones) Q2U might be your ticket for do-it-at-home Foley times.

The Q2U supports both XLR and USB cables, letting you plug it into basically any machine you have in your house. Now you can break glass, stomp on light bulbs and do whatever it is those crazy sound recording artists do to get effects to seem more exciting than they actually are in real life. It also has a 3.5mm headphone port so you can listen to what you're recording while you're recording it. Price $117.35

Nov 27, 2010

Tokyo Flash is Making This Watch a Reality

Enough people voted on this "Kisai RPM" concept watch submitted to Tokyo Flash by Brit James Fursedon, that the Japanese company is making it a reality. There's even better news—it's on sale now!

Thankfully, it's one of the easiest-to-read designs we've seen by the crazy watch manufacturer. Inspired by DJ decks, the glowing blue LEDs indicate the hours and minutes around the brushed stainless steel center. It costs £132 in the UK, which is around $208—get in quick!

LG's Got a Tablet Too. A Windows 7 Tablet, in Korea

Would you buy a 10.1-inch tablet, running Windows 7 with mediocre specs? LG's hoping Koreans will, because the tablet's launching there first. Citizens are probably better off waiting for LG's Android tablet, due out in January.

This Is the Fanciest Farm House You Can Imagine

This beautiful 4564-square-foot house reminds me of Magneto's base in Secret Wars, with its second floor almost fully suspended over the air. At night it looks like the Jawas' Sandcrawler. It's actually a farm house on the Minija Valley, Lithuania.

The owner of the Utriai Residence, who is dedicated to the production of chicken eggs and pigs, and his wife, an art college student interested in furniture design, wanted a house that looked like a place "made from huge logs". Like Noah's Ark, "where the family with all their belongings and animals moved from the city."

And on top of having an awesome house, they can have fresh eggs and bacon every morning.

Nov 26, 2010

2010 DeLorean Nike Dunk 6.0

As part of the Nike 6.0 Dunk series, the company teamed up with the DeLorean Motor Company to create a stylish shoe inspired by the retro-cocaine-era-cool car. But, just because they've got the DMC label doesn't mean they're magic. Let's get a few misconceptions out of the way:

1. They are dunks, but they will not help you dunk.

2. They say Belfast on them, but they were not made in Belfast.

3. If you can run 88 mph you will not go back in time, but you'll still be running 88 mph. Which is pretty cool.

4. There's no secret pocket for transporting cocaine.

5. They don't auto-lace or auto-dry

It's almost a shame to wear them as the material slightly deforms when you do — the only drawback to the look. For just $90, the shoes are cheap, which will make tracking down a pair of the limited edition, 1,000-copy shoes is the real challenge.

Chameleon Lamp Copies the Color of His Surroundings

While it won't cast enough light to read by, Huey the chameleon lamp would make a great night-light. Like a true chameleon, he adapts to his environment and glows in the same color as whatever's underneath him.

If your whole house is void of color, he can otherwise cycle through the whole color range. A small squeeze of his body when he settles on your preferred color locks it in. Surprisingly, this lamp only costs $30, which I think is a great price for something that uses a couple of white LEDs and an optical sensor to recognize and emulate the color under his belly.

Playboy's Hard Drive Has 250GB

Got National Geographic's external hard drive on your Christmas wish list? You may want to replace it with Playboy's $300 250GB drive which contains every single issue of Playboy, from vintage 1953 gals to current-day plastic zombies.

Nov 25, 2010

Self-Charging Batteries Powered by Vibration

Brother Industries has developed an AA battery sized generator powered by vibration, which can be used to charge another AA battery. Shaking your remote every once in a while could soon be all that's needed to keep it alive.

Inside the generator battery sits an "electromagnetic induction generator and an electric double layer capacitor" and although you'd have to do an impossibly vigorous amount of shaking to power a DSLR, for low-drain gadgets like remotes and LED torches a quick shuffle should dribble out enough energy for a brief spell of use. 

Imagine You Had a Camera With a ZillionX Zoom

This colossal star nest 5000 light years away, in the Sagittarius constellation, is the heart of the Lagoon Nebula. Now, imagine you could operate the Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys like a gigantic DSLR camera with telephoto lenses.

If that would be possible, this is how the zooming on this titanic dust and gas cloud would be like.

Of course, that's not how Hubble works. The video trip is composed with multiple images, merged onto each other in a digital composition program.

The intricate shapes of the nebula are caused by the ultraviolet radiation glowing from the infant stars, which disperse the gas and dust around them as they form. In fact, scientists found here the "first unambiguous proof that star formation by accretion of matter from the gas cloud is ongoing in this region."

Your Batteries Could Take Down A Plane

Ready for mass hysteria? Apparently the FAA has acknowledged that airplane cargo holds can get hot enough to cause lithium batteries to ignite. And there's more! There was a large quantity of such batteries on a plane that crashed recently:

The Federal Aviation Administration also acknowledged publicly for the first time Friday that a United Parcel Service 747-400 plane that crashed in Dubai last month killing both pilots was carrying a large quantity of lithium batteries.

Since the early 1990s, there have been dozens of incidents of batteries igniting in flight. But it has not been known what triggered many of the fires.

Now this announcement doesn't exactly seem like it's revealing anything novel. After all, batteries come with plenty of warnings regarding the temperature ranges they can tolerate and airplane cargo holds have little to no climate control—it makes sense that combining the two isn't a great idea.

What is fresh and new about this announcement is the potential for an extra huge wave of public hysteria and crazy demands that we leave our batteries off planes entirely despite cabins being air-conditioned.

Nov 24, 2010

Supercharge Your iPad and iPhone Right Now with iOS 4.2

Multitasking lets you quickly switch back and forth between apps, while Folders gets rid of flipping through page after page of apps. Mail gets a unified inbox, finally. Oh, and it forever changes the orientation lock to a mute switch—you now lock the orientation by double-tapping the home button and swiping to the left to reach a soft switch.

The other big feature is AirPlay. New to the iPhone too, it lets you wirelessly stream videos and music from an iPad or iPhone to an Apple TV, hassle-free. AirPrint does the same wireless magic thing, but for docs and webpages—lets you wirelessly print stuff easily.

The free Find My iPhone service is slightly limited: Only iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th-gen) and iPad get it. Once you activate Find My iPhone using one of those, though, you can use the service for free on your older iOS devices too. Find My iPhone, if you didn't know, shows where your lost iOS device is located on a map—as long as it has service—allows you to ping it with alarms and messages, or remotely detonate the information on it once all hope is lost.

Other things in iOS 4.2: new text ringtones for iPhone 4 (and only iPhone 4, weirdly), text searching inside of web pages in Safari, and the ability to use different fonts in the Notes app.

This Door Knob Lets You See What's in the Room Behind It

You probably don't spend much time thinking about door knobs, or how they could be improved. Maybe you should! This glass globe lets you catch a glimpse of what's going on in the room you're about to enter.

Hideyuki Nakayama's "A Room in the Glass Globe," developed in conjunction with door handle manufacturer LEVER, shows you a reflection of what's going on in the room behind it, cast in a sort of strange, dreamlike haze. It's currently on display at the at the Plain People store in Aoyama, Tokyo. I think I'd sacrifice a little bit of privacy to have such a beautiful and simple idea in my home.

Facebook Stalking Can Actually Kill You If You're Not Careful

A new article in the medical journal Lancet details the story of an 18-year-old kid who consistently found himself with "difficult and labored breathing" after using Facebook. The problem? He was using Facebook to stalk his ex-girlfriend.

The 18-year-old subject of the article, whose "post-Facebook" peak flow—the measurement of a person's ability to breathe air—was reduced by as much as 20 percent, was signing online to look at his ex-girlfriend's profile. The stress of seeing how totally over him she was, and how cute she looked, and who is that guy in that picture, no, don't tell me, do you think they've had sex yet, caused his breathing problems. (He had actually created a separate profile to look at her and all the fun she was having without him, which perhaps speaks to other, larger, psychological problems at play.)

Obviously, the knowledge that social stress and anxiety can induce asthma attacks isn't exactly new. But, the authors write, Facebook is "a new source of psychological stress," and doctors should keep their eyes out for Facebook-induced asthma attacks. Ten years ago, when you got dumped, you could only imagine all the hot guys your ex is banging—thanks to Facebook, you can actually see every single one.

The only solution, then, is to ban easily-stressed-out people from Facebook. Poor asthmatic kids! Not only do they have no friends, but they'll never make any, now that we know Facebook will actually kill them.

Nov 23, 2010

Seems Like Black Friday Comes Earlier Every Year

It's almost the holidays, which means it's time to start thinking about gifts for your mother, and brother, and wife's sister's dog.

MacMall is currently having a 36-hour sale which features discounts on a bunch of different Apple products. As most Apple fans know, it's very tough to get any sort of discount at all on the Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Mini, or iMac. During thisMacMall 36-hour Apple sale, you can save $50 to $85 off select Apple computers. They are also offering discounts on the iPod Touch, Apple TV, and various computer accessories.

Kitchen Concept Uses Pedal-Power to Grind Beans, Blend Soups and Save the Planet

This foot-powered food processor has numerous things going for it. As you will have noticed, it's incredibly stylish—and small. It's also eco-friendly, thigh-friendly and perfect for small kitchens. It's just a shame it's a concept.

Designed by German Christoph Thetard, it has various attachments that can be powered by pushing the pedal with a foot—including a coffee grinder and blender. Just pushing the pedal at 400rpm is enough to generate 350 watts a minute, which is enough for simple food preparation. But can it prepare a Thanksgiving feast?

The Looxcie Wearable Video Camera Never Stops Recording

The problem with YouTube is that you can only share stuff you happened to be recording. The Looxcie, a $200 video camera that you wear on your ear, proposes a simple solution: record everything, all the time.
Here's the idea: You wear the Looxcie on your ear and it records everything you see, roughly as you see it. The camera can hold up to four hours of video (in crummy 480×320 at 15fps); when it runs out of space, it starts dumping the oldest footage—it's not made for collectingclips, it's for capturing them in the moment.

Nov 22, 2010

Olympus' Camera Lacks Interchangeable Lenses, But Will Be New Compact Flagship

Early next year Olympus will be selling a new flagship compact camera.

Their claim about it being their new flagship compact camera seems a little strange when you consider their PEN series, but perhaps they're trying to say this will be even more compact—it certainly doesn't have the interchangeable lenses their micro four thirdscameras use, anyway. It will have an accessory port for attaching accessories like their SEMA-1 microphone adapter and presumably an electronic viewfinder.

Origin's Big O Stuffs an Xbox 360 Into a Gaming Desktop Hellbeast

The ingredients that went into Origin's Big O monster are decidedly prime: six-core Xeon 5680 processor, overclocking up to 4.3GHz, crazy graphics power. And the cherry on top is an integrated, liquid-cooled Xbox 360 slim in every rig. That's nasty.

The Big O has ferocious specs, but the real treat is that you can run the PC and the Xbox at the same time. Pretty special, and appropriately expensive; you're looking at $7669 for the base model, and for the pure hellbeast that is the Xeon 5680 model you'll pony up $17,000.

Safety Plug Concept Keeps Away Curious Kiddies' Fingers

Childproofing is a pretty good idea for most new families. Children (and probably some adults) like to stick things in places they shouldn't go. This safety plug concept should eliminate that (for outlets at least).

Nov 21, 2010

Why Do Astronauts Wear Space Diapers?

NASA says this is not a space diaper, but it is. They call it the Maximum Absorbency Garment. I call it the Space Pooper. But why do astronauts use them?

Quite simply, when astronauts are sitting in the Space Shuttle, strapped to their seats and ready to go, they may experience very long delays. Sometimes even hours. And when that happens, they just can't get off their seats to go to the toilet. They just have to do it, as Alan Shepard discovered while waiting inside his Mercury capsule on May 5, 1961, waiting for theFreedom 7 mission launch. He was the first American to reach Space and the first astronaut to pee inside his suit.

Duracell myGrid USB Charger Charges Wirelessly and Gives Gear a Boost

Once you juice it up wirelessly atop a myGrid inductive charging slab, Duracell's new $35 myGrid USB charger will power pretty much anything that has USB, including smartphones (~4 hours), MP3 players (~30 hours), and ebook readers (~100 hours).

The Lithium-ion rechargeable battery is tiny for travel-friendliness—it occupies the top left of the myGrid in the photo above—and can be charged via USB if you don't have your myGrid handy. It'll be available before the holiday for $35 to extend all your new gadgets' lives.

Google Tipster Fired

Google has a lesson for its employees: Don't tell the world how well we treat you, or you'll be fired. The company apparently told staff today it terminated the employee who leaked word of a 10 percent companywide pay raise.

A Business Insider got hold of an internal memo from CEO Eric Schmidt—for "Googlers only"—which said they'd be receiving 10 percent raises plus a cash bonus for the holidays. The source added that the bonus would be $1,000. "Within hours," CNNMoney reports, "Google notified its staff that it had terminated the leaker, several sources [said.]" Apparently there's nothing like holiday season firing to inspire the people Schmidt called the "best employees in the world."

Nov 20, 2010

Scientists Plugging Holes in Concrete With Specially Engineered Super Bacteria

Repairing damaged concrete often requires pouring more fresh stuff, or digging it all up and starting over again. But thanks to germ experts at the University of Newcastle, custom bacteria—"BackFilla"—might be the future of fixing.

The bacteria, once released into a damaged area, procreate and spread into the cracks—and then die. But don't be sad—in their wake, they leave behind calcium carbonate corpses as strong as the original concrete. And don't worry—the researchers were canny enough to design the bacteria to know when their work is done, so they don't run amuck and cover the world in concrete:

The bacteria also contains a self-destruct gene that keeps it from wildly proliferating away from its concrete target, because a runaway patch of bacterial concrete that continued to grow despite all efforts to stop it would be somewhat annoying

Yes, annoying is right—or like something out of a very dull horror movie.

Storing Your Data For a Billion Years

As concerned as we are about memory, we haven't done much to preserve it. Most of ourhard drives don't last past 30 years. But soon, using diamond-like carbon nanotubes, even your Gizmodo comments could last practically forever.

The solution, discovered by researchers at the University of California, takes an entirely new approach to data storage. The proposed device would place a microscopic iron crystal inside a carbon nanotube. With the application of an electric signal of just a few volts, the iron nanoparticle moves back and forth along the tube, registering a binary "1" or "0" depending on its position, basically acting as data bits.

While it's a theoretical solution right now, the scientists who created it are confident that we'll someday see a practical application. And when we do, because of the project's nanoscale nature, we may be able to store 25 DVDs' worth of information on a postage stamp-sized storage device.

The prospect of billion-year storage is fascinating and a little terrifying. Do I want researchers ten thousand years from now combing through my drunken tweets? Actually: maybe. Because when our robot overlords comb through the records and find this post, they'll know that I've always been fully supportive of their cold, steely, logical reign.

Nov 19, 2010

Razer Nostromo Gaming Keypad

The Belkin n52te SpeedPad set the bar for one-handed gaming peripherals that looked like they could control alien spacecraft. It's successor, the Razer Nostromo keypad, maintains the look, and it's been updated to support more instantly-switchable keymaps and gaming profiles.

The Razer Nostromo's got all the new chipsets and drivers that have cropped up since the Belkin Speedpad came out back in 2007, bringing it up to speed with today's cutting-edge competitive gaming (and maintaing its crazy-ass, highly intimidating look.) In addition to its 16 fully-programmable buttons and eight-way directional thumb pad, the Nostromo can now support eight full keymaps (up from three) and twenty gaming profiles (up from ten).

The Razer Nostromo is available now for $69.99 at Razer Zone.

Canned Unicorn Meat: It's Real Now

No trend's got me more excited lately than ThinkGeek turning its April Fool's products intoreal products. And now, the pièce de résistance: canned unicorn meat. For sale. Right now.

First came the monolith action figure, then My First Bacon, and now? Now mythical creature meat served up Spam-style.

Stronger-Than-Diamonds Graphene Can Be Made From Sugar

It's been discovered that you create the very same substance those Ruskis won the Nobel prize for out of household sugar. Borrow a cup from your neighbour, and get baking the world's hardest substance. No, not your Mom's scones. Graphene.

Rice University researchers are responsible for making the startling discovery, which could cut down greenhouse gas emissions and save money too. We already know that graphene (carbon atoms arranged in 2 dimensional linked hexagons) is the strongest (and thinnest) substance known to man, and importantly can conduct electricity. We can look forward to it replacing valuable copper and silicon—and if it's made from normal table sugar, then that's just doubly sweet.

Nov 18, 2010

Viewsonic 3DV5 Is a Pocket-Fitting 3D Camcorder

Viewsonic announced their mini-sized 3D camcorder last month, but now they've finally brought it stateside. Not only does the 3DV5 pack two 5MP fixed focus cameras for 3D 720p video, it's also got a glassesless 3D display panel for playback.

Of course, the 3DV5 has the same problem that all 3D camcorders and cameras do: you're going to have to get yourself a 3DTV or 3D laptop to watch it on. The good news is that this particular mighty mite can also record in 2D, making it as present-ready as it is future-proof. And it might just be worth the $180 to have your bases covered.

Keyboard Buddy: Make Your iPhone 4 the QWERTY

You've had chances before to keyboardize your iPhone, but never with quite so much elegance. The BoxWave Keyboard Buddy is a smoothly built, adorably named iPhone 4 case that crams in a sliding Bluetooth keyboard.

It's a great solution for those who want their iOS but whose sticky fingertips make onscreen keyboards a chore. And it doesn't look to add too much bulk, as far as these things go. But that's coming from someone who gladly saddles his 3GS with battery case bulk most days.

The only wince-inducing part of the Keyboard Buddy might be the price; if I wanted a slider that bad, I'd probably put the $70 towards my ETF or a new device altogether.

Voltron of Computers Combines Phone, Tablet, and Keyboard Into One

Always Innovating's Smart Book breaks the traditional netbook into pieces. A touchscreen VoIP phone, a tablet, and a keyboard.

As if hardware transformation on the fly weren't clever enough, the Smart Book includes a switch they say will instantly swap OSes. That's right—click bewteen Android, Chrome, Ubuntu, or their own AIOS. And underneath all this design sophistication is some decent hardware muscle—an ARM Cortex-A8 processor (speed unspecified), 512 MB of RAM, and 256 MB of built-in flash storage, along with the usual 802.11 b/g/n WiFi.

The whole scheme is a bit extravagant, and probably not a dream device for someone seeking simplicity—and the whole "dude on a couch" aesthetic doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the train out of vaporwareville. But Always Innovating is taking pre-orders for the whole system at $549.

Nov 17, 2010

Baby Pouch Cooks Babies Alive. Sorry, Keeps Them Alive

This low-cost sleeping-bag keeps infants warm for between four to six hours, and once it cools down it can be plugged in or submerged in water for 20 minutes to heat up again. Not while the baby's still inside, mind.

Designed for developing countries where homes are not centrally-heated and children can't afford the luxury of electric blankets, the wax-filled heating pouch has a nylon outer (which gives it that FedEx look which is so hot right now) and can be easily carried by parents. It's aimed at India for now, but if successful will be rolled out to Asia and Africa.

Can Twitter Make You Smarter?

Can using Twitter make you smarter? A new semester-long study found that college students who used Twitter for educational purposes earned GPAs a half-point higher than a non-tweeting control group.

In a group of 125 students at an anonymous medium-sized public college in the Midwest, 70 students used Twitter to access information and complete class assignments; the remaining 55 students used a more typical Internet-based course-management system and billboard. Not only did the tweeting 70 earn higher GPAs, they also reported much higher levels of engagement. The findings were reported in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.

Some early-adopting professors have advocated experimenting with Twitter in the classroom — "essentially asking students to pass notes during class," as the Chronicle of Higher Education once put it. This study may vindicate such an approach. But one professor quoted by the Chronicle expressed skepticism that Twitter alone could have led to such a remarkable boost. "I think more could be done to understand the range of ways that the Twitter design can work better in class assignments and collaborative note-taking," said Dave Parry, a UT Dallas professor who himself has experimented with Twitter in his class.

Meanwhile, to the dismay of more traditional professors, students can point to a new justification for pulling out smartphones in class.

Panasonic's 103-Inch Plasma TV Goes 3D

After falling in price to "just" $50,000 last year, Panasonic's five-year-old plasma has been updated with 3D technology. The TH-P103MT2 will sell for the equivalent of $101,900 in Japan—not including installation, naturally.

This Is What Motherboards Look Like Now

Asus calls the black cladding over its newSabertooth P67motherboard a "tactical vest", which despite the goofy name is there for good reason: the shielding ducts cool air over motherboard parts, while protecting from daughterboard heat. In theory.

Nov 16, 2010

That iPhone Is Burning a Hole In Your Pocket

What can we make of this credit card spending by smartphone platform data from Pageonce? That iPhone owners spend like crazy, and WinMo holdouts are probably saving up for a new phone, for starters.

The data was taken from a random sampling of 275,000 Pageonce users, and includes at least 5,000 users per platform. And it could mean a whole bunch of things! Either iPhone users spend more money on average, or they have more debt on average, or the simple averaging masks extreme expenditures at the high and low end. BlackBerry and iPhone are arguably the most commonly used enterprise phones, so that might have something to do with racking up higher monthly charges.

The study also took a look at monthly phone bill charges:

Vertical Bed Includes Sunglasses To Complete The Pretense That You're Awake

It vaguely reminds me of someone painting eyeballs onto their eyelids to feign wakefulness, but I kinda almost want a Vertical Bed. It's intended to help you catch a few extra zzZZZ's on your daily commute while looking dorky.

Basically the bed fully supports all of your body weight by attaching to subway ventilation grating. And to prove that it works, some poor guy got assigned to the task of taking 40 minute naps in the middle of New York. Since he didn't get mugged or fall over, this could be considered a successful trial.

The Vertical bed comes complete with noise-cancelling headphones, opaque sunglasses, a free standing umbrella, and fits into a suitcase. No idea when we'll be able to buy one, but I'll be wishing I already had it while waiting in line.

Sony EVIL NEX 3 Looks Freaky, But Brings Great Specs

The Sony EVIL NEX 3 camera may look a bit odd, but it's got a 14 MP Sony Exmor HD sensor, a touchscreen—along with old-school knobs—and some nice specs:
  • Image Sensor: 14.2 million effective pixels.
  • Metering: Multi pattern, centre-weighted and spot.
  • Sensor Size: APS-C-sized CMOS (23.4×15.6mm).
  • Lens: Sony E Series mount.
  • Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/4000 second. Flash sync: 1/160 sec.
  • Continuous Shooting: seven fps.
  • Memory: Memory Stick PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC cards.
  • Image Sizes (pixels): 4592×3056, 4592×2576, 3344×2224, 3344×1872, 2288×1520, 2288×1280.
  • Movies: 1280×720, 848×480, 640×480 at 30 fps.
  • Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
  • LCD Screen: 7.5cm LCD (921,600 pixels).
  • File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPEG4.
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 200 to 12,800.
  • Interface: USB 2.0, HDMNI, AV.
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
  • Dimensions: 117.2×62.6×33.4mm WHDmm.
  • Weight: 297 g (inc battery and card).

Nov 15, 2010

What is This?

Space-age jelly? A scary CGI sextoy massager? Let's all pull together now, before opinions are polarized even more.

It's actually ferrofluid (a liquid made from nanoscale ferromagnetic particles, which can turn magnetized very quickly)

Dual-Screened Kno Tablet Aimed at Students Will Cost $899

I guess as it's got two 14.1-inch touchscreens Kno feels it can get away with charging $899 for its tablet, but $599 for the 14-inch tablet with just one screen? Why, that's more expensive than the iPad!

Considering it's aimed at college students, that's a huge ask on their bank account. But Kno's CEO is reckoning on students seeing the Kno not just as a tablet (something to browse and watch movies on), but as a textbook replacement.

It runs on a Tegra 2 chip, and has 16GB of storage—with the OS said to be Linux. Students, would you live off baked beans for a year, just to be able to afford a Kno? Anyone?

This Digital Camera Prints Photos Using Holes

This is the Punch Camera by designer Matty Martin, which was featured at the Intel University Design Expo. And I want it. Instead of using ink, it actually punches images on blank paper. And that's just the beginning of it.

Not only that, but apparently you can show the photo to a webcam, and it will automatically take you to a gallery with more—normal—images associated with the paper one.

After converting the image into a half-tone, the puncturing mechanism moves dot by dot. When all dots are precisely aligned reproduce the image, the camera screen tells you it's ready. Insert the paper in the slot, punch firmly as instructed, and get this: