Dec 31, 2011

These Unwearable Specs Poorly Hide a Digital Camera

If you fancy yourself an amateur Bond, there are plenty of high-tech glasses available that discreetly hide a compact camera. This isn't one of them. In fact, these Fuuvi Megane glasses aren't going to fool anyone.

But I guess they're not supposed to either. It looks like novelty is the name of the game here, with the $60 red, black, blue, or white glasses hanging from your neck with an included obnoxious gold chain.

They're a stylish fashion accessory more than anything. Albeit, a stylish fashion accessory capable of shooting 2048x1536 pixel stills and NTSC quality video. A microSD/SDHC card provides up to 16GB of storage, while a USB charged battery lets you capture up to an hour of video before it conks out. More here.

Skype’s Giving Manhattan Free Wi-Fi For New Year’s

If you live in NYC, or are headed there for the massive clusternut of cold and pain that is the Times Square ball drop, you can officially leave your data plan behind. Skype's flooding the island with free, fast Wi-Fi from noon tomorrow until noon on January 1.

Skype says 16 neighborhoods are covered in all, including Times Square, Union Square, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and most of the places where you can buy a $5 street pashmina. Just find a Skype Wifi hotspot on your mobile device, connect, and browse. Or at least, that seems to be the case; you may need to go through Skype on your desktop or iOS device. In either event, the service will be provided by Towerstream, which has hopefully girded its access points for the coming onslaught.

It's the second time in the last few weeks that Skype has played Wi-Fi Claus; its free airport Wi-Fi offer expired just a few days ago. And while there's no guarantee that the network can handle the crush of millions of New Yorkers and/or tourists googling Snooki's weight loss secrets, it's certainly a nice gesture.

Dec 30, 2011

Girl With a Funny Talent

Ed Hardy Headphones Hope to Ink up Your Ears

Celebrity headphone endorsements are very à la mode right now, and we've seen Ed Hardy's trademark tattoo stylings defacing gadgetry before, so, if you were the one lamenting the glaring omission that was Hardy-branded cans, then he obviously got your letter. The new "Stereo" range evidently refers to the two designs available thus far: Skull and Bones for the over-ears ($66), while your in-ears get some Tiger power ($29). The in-ears also feature a microphone, presumably so you can call for help from the fashion police. Both are available now here.

Dec 29, 2011

1 Million Galaxy Notes Shipped Worldwide

The Galaxy Note, Samsung's unconventional powerhouse, has managed to ship 1 million units in under two months. While eager US customers still wait for the 5.3-inch tabletphone hybrid to arrive on their shores, the Galaxy Note has apparently struck a chord in Europe and Asia.

The number of units shipped is always more substantial than the number devices out there in end-users' (preferably large) hands, but it bodes well for the device's eventual reception in the US. Now, whether it will include an LTE radio, we'll have to wait and see.

Dec 28, 2011

MIT Scholar Builds a Self-balancing Unicycle to Roll Fast and Furious Around Campus

MIT student Stephan Boyer has built his own electrical uni-ride, which he's dubbing the "Bullet." The single-wheel transporter packs a custom MIG-welded steel body, two 7Ah 12-volt batteries, an ATmega328 chip and a 450-watt electric motor. While the Bullet isn't the speediest of solowheel demons (15mph max), it's on par with its $25,000 Ryno Motors counterpart. As far as power efficiency, the Bullet can go up to five miles on a single charge -- more than enough juice to hit a few classroom round-trips.

Volkswagen Is Forcing Employees to Turn Off Their BlackBerrys So They’ll Stop Working All the Time

BlackBerrys are still the de facto standard in the work force and represent a sort of leash an employer has on an employee. If you see that indicator light blink, you better get to work. The problem with that is that no employee ever stops thinking about work! VW wants to change that. They're turning off employee BlackBerrys after work.

It's an impressive and progressive idea that's sure to improve the quality of life of their employees. According to the Financial Times, VW's e-mail server will stop sending messages to an employee's BlackBerry 30 minutes after their shift is over and only start up again 30 minutes before their shift starts. That way, VW employees can really get away from their work and not feel weighed down by after hour messages. Live life! No stress! Save time for yourself.

Plus, the employees are probably thinking any reason to use a BlackBerry less is a good reason in itself.

Untethered Jailbreak now Available for pre-A5 iPhones, iPads and Touches

It's just a few weeks since pod2g revealed his untethered jailbreak for iOS 5 and -- boom -- all of a sudden it's up for the DL. The exploit has been incorporated into redsn0w 0.9.10, the Pwnage Tool and Chronic Devteam's Cydia package, and it works on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (including the CDMA version), iPad 1, iPod Touch 3G and iPod Touch 4G, so long as they've been updated to iOS 5.0.1. Meanwhile, pod2g is reportedly now looking for a way to snap the shackles on A5-based devices too, but hopefully only after he's taken some rest -- a burned-out jailbreaker is no good to anybody. Full instructions here.

Dec 27, 2011

Where Christmas Lights Go to Die

Welcome to Shijiao. It's a bustling town in China that just so happens to be the unofficial capital of dead and unwanted Christmas lights. According to The Atlantic, 20 million pounds of old Christmas lights make it through Shijao every year. What  for?

The answer: slippers. The plastic and rubber that is used in Christmas lights wiring can also be re-purposed into slippers and other materials in China. Hence, the demand. Basically, China has figured out how to capitalize and find new life in our seasonal decorations. People who recycle the Christmas lights, separate the plastic wrap that insulates the copper wire and sells it independently from each other. On one end you have copper (which is plenty valuable) and on the other side you have the re-usable plastic. The process of getting there is not unlike panning for gold in the modern age.

Spire Installer Brings Siri to any Jailbroken iOS 5 Device, Legally -- Proxy Still Required

A few months of work by iOS hackers Grant Paul (aka chpwn), Steven Troughton-Smith and Ryan Petrich has culminated in the release of Spire, a new installer that will easily set up Siri on your jailbroken iOS 5 device. While Apple has kept its little helper exclusively constrained to the iPhone 4S, it now runs on iPads, iPhone 4, iPod touches and the iPhone 3GS, and while that's been done before they claim the other new trick is that it's legal, avoiding the copyright infringement inherent in previous hacks. 

When installed it will initiate a 100MB download of Siri directly from Apple so watch your bandwidth limits, and also be prepared to set up your own proxy server with donated info from an iPhone 4S to hold the line between Apple's backend and yourself. It's available on Cydia now so if you've been waiting for a way to get this feature for yourself it's not far away, however Troughton-Smith tells9to5 Mac that the next major step may not come until the iPhone 4S is jailbroken and they can avoid the proxy server issues altogether. More here.

Dec 26, 2011

An iPhone Case That Poops Flash Drives

The second addition to Hybrid Series line of iPhone cases is the aptly named USB. Because besides providing a protective plastic outer shell, the case also stores a thin flash drive in its—umm—posterior.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but the USB case will come in your choice of five different colors that can be mix and matched with the accompanying flash drives. Which themselves come in five different varieties, ranging in capacity from 2GB to 32GB. Probably dependent on how much data it consumed the night before.

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

Yeah, it's pretty unfortunate that you've got to work tomorrow (well, unless you're down with Boxing Day), but let's take it one 24-hour window at a time, shall we? It's not as if you've had any shortage of gizmos to choose from this year, and while you aren't likely to get a Transformer Prime, there's plenty of other stocking stuffers to look forward to. Speaking of which, what'd you find under your tree this morning? A Kindle Fire? That new laptop you've been longing for? A few new cables to do... cable-y things with?

Dec 24, 2011

Use Siri on Your Mac (Sort Of)

Air Dictate is a clever little app that ports the power of Siri over to the Mac. Kind of. It doesn't have any of the bells and whistles of Siri (don't go starting conversations!) but rather, uses the extremely accurate speech recognition engine in Siri to dictate text to your Mac.

Basically, you talk into your iPhone 4S and words pop up on the Mac. You have to download a companion app on your Mac and make sure both the iPhone and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network. After that, speak away and you'll see your Mac log down every word you say. Definitely worth the buck if you prefer talking to typing.

Dec 23, 2011

Screenshots of Windows 8 Build 8172 Emerge, Looks a lot Like Windows 8

Hope you weren't expecting anything groundbreaking from the latest leaks of Windows 8, because so far as we can tell, build 8172 looks just about like the build 8102. That said, thesedo look a wee bit more polished than earlier betas, and there are a few appreciated shots of the store and a new look for settings. If that kind of nerd-speak gets you all hot and bothered, head on here with your eyes peeled.

Dec 22, 2011

It Scoops, Measures, and Spreads—Is This the World’s Greatest Spoon?

Quirky's latest creation is a flat spreader with a set of "living hinges" that allow it to fold up into a measuring spoon, so you can dole out the exact amount of peanut butter, cream cheese, or mayo. A set of labeled lines marks off teaspoon and tablespoon measurements, and thin grip strips on either side ensures it's not going to fall out of your hand while scooping or spreading like you're playing the inept user in an infomercial.

Pricing is to be determined once the Scoop goes into production, but it's safe to assume it will be on the reasonable side. After all, it's still just a spoon. More here.

Future MacBooks Could Be Powered by Fuel Cells

The latest patent application to come out of Cupertino could allow for new Macbooks that are slimmer, lighter, greener and couldprovide power for days without a charge. What's the magic ingredient? Fuel cells!

Dredged up by Apple Insider, Apple's patent indicates that hydrogen fuel cells would be used to send and receive power from a battery. But they also admit that developing a product which is small enough and cheap enough to be placed in one of their laptops will be a challenge.

Self-Healing Circuits Use Liquid Metal To Turn Electronics Into Superheroes

Researchers have been taking inspiration from X-Men: they've developed a way to create printed circuits that can heal themselves using liquid metal. The best bit is that, unlike X-Men, this is real.

So how the hell does it work? Essentially, the scientists have created tiny micro-capsules that contain liquid metal. When a printed circuit is made, a thin layer of these capsules can also be printed on top of the conventional strip of metal.

If a small crack forms in the printed circuit, usually that crack breaks the circuit. But with the micro-capsules in place, as the crack propagates some of the capsules are wrenched open, in turn releasing a small amount of liquid metal. That metal is enough to bridge the gap and keep the circuit working.

According to the researchers, it only takes microseconds for the micro-capsules to fill the gap when a crack appears. And most of the time, the circuits are repaired well enough to provide 99 per cent of the original conductivity.

Think of cars and airplanes that features hundreds or thousands of metres of circuitry — if faults could be fixed instantaneously there, that's a big deal.

But we're not just talking hard engineering here. In the home, technology like this could mean that minor faults in printed circuits, chips and even batteries could heal themselves. Imagine: No more junking electronics because of a tiny little fault.

Dec 21, 2011

World’s Smallest Flash Drive Makes It Even Easier To Misplace 16GBs

Measuring just 0.77 by 0.57 inches, and a mere 0.11 inches thick, the drive is able to be so small thanks to the Micro UDP chip approach. UDP stands for 'USB Disk In Package' and basically saves space by baking all of the electronics into a single moulded plastic drive. So the included tethered tag is the only place a logo could go.

When inserted into a USB port the drive becomes almost invisible, letting you add 4, 8, or 16GB of extra storage to a laptop when they're introduced early next year. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but who pays for flash drives these days? That's what trade shows are for. More here.

Dec 20, 2011

Firefox 9 now Available, Boasts Speedier JavaScript Handling

Internet feeling a bit sluggish recently? -- but before you sail the malware-laden sea of software that promises to "speed up" your computer, you may want to check out Firefox 9. Mozilla's latest browser update features a tweak in its Javascript engine that boosts its benchmark performance by over 30 percent -- meaning that the new Firefox ought to give script heavy websites a run for their money. 

In addition to the new Javascript trick, which is called Type Inference, Firefox 9 improves theme integration and swipe navigation for Mac OS X users. 

Dec 19, 2011

Find My Car Smart app Uses Bluetooth 4.0 to Help iPhone 4S Owners do the Obvious

Do you have an iPhone 4S? Do you drive a car? Do you have amnesia? If you answered yes to at least two-and-a-half of these questions, you'll probably be interested in Find My Car Smart -- a Kickstarter project that wants to help dudes find their cars, with the help of Bluetooth 4.0 technology. The system is relatively straightforward, consisting of nothing more than an iOS app (available now on iTunes for $0.99), and a USB-based Bluetooth proximity adapter. All you have to do is download the app, stick the dongle in your car, and let your iPhone 4S automatically mark your parking spot. Whereas similarly-designed apps typically require users to manually record their car's location before leaving the lot, Find My Car Smart allows you to forget even that, since the app will automatically record your GPS coordinates. FMC Smart says it won't start shipping adapters until it reaches its Kickstarter funding goal, though it's aiming to deliver its first 500 devices by January. More here.

Google tablet coming within six months'

Google's Executive Chairman is good value for a headline-grabbing quote. Sitting down with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera at the opening of the company's new offices on the former NABISCO bakery, he said "in the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality." Take the translation with a pinch of salt, but he either means the company will be launching a "marketing" push with all of its hardware partners, or we'll be seeing Google-branded tablets like the Nexus range of phones by next Summer.

Scientists Create First Solar Cell With over 100 Percent Quantum Efficiency

Researchers over at the National Renewable Energy Lab have reportedly made the first solar cell with an external quantum efficiency over 100 percent. Quantum efficiency relates to the number of electrons-per-second flowing in a solar cell circuit, divided by the number of photons from the energy entering. The NREL team recorded an efficiency topping out at 114 percent, by creating the first working multiple exciton generation (MEG) cell. 

Using MEG, a single high energy photon can produce more than one electron-hole pair per absorbed photon. The extra efficiency comes from quantum dots 'harvesting' energy that would otherwise be lost as heat. The cell itself uses anti-reflection coating on a transparent conductor, layered with zinc oxide, lead selenide, and gold. NREL scientist Arthur J. Nozik predicted as far back as 2001 that MEG would do the job, but it's taken until now for the concept to leap over from theory. The hope is, of course, that this will lead to more competitively priced solar power, fueling thetransport of the future.

Dec 18, 2011

Vans iPhone Case

Until today I've never even considered putting a case on my iPhone. Naked and free is the way I prefer to use it. But that all changed when I gazed upon this case featuring Vans' iconic waffle sole tread.

According to posts on—a forum focusing on Vans sneaks—the rare case was originally created as an exclusive promotional item. But it's also rumored that it could be officially added to their online store in the coming weeks. So if you'll excuse me, I've got a lot of browser refreshing to do.

Dinner Guests Will Love the Shower Of Hot Wax From Your Candelier

Once mankind realized that electricity could save them from severe hot wax burns, they stopped using candles in chandeliers. So what possessed artist Takeshi Miyakawa to make an entire chandelier from wax that completely melts away when lit?

Masochism? Vengeance? A fractured sense of nostalgia? Like with most creations that make you scratch your head or raise an eyebrow, the answer of course is art. The Candelier was created forThe Creatomatic show at New York's Eyebeam Gallery, and even though it took ten weeks to cast and mould, it's destined to disappear in a manner of mere hours. More here.

Dec 17, 2011

Motorola Xoom Tablet Gets an Ice Cream Sandwich Makeover With 4.0.3

Only a day after Google released Android version 4.0.3, one XDA developer has already installed it on his Motorola Xoom WiFi tablet -- making it the first slate to run the frosty Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. Of course, trendsetting is nothing new for the Xoom, which was also the first to ship with Honeycomb's sweetness back in February. 

Being first does have its disadvantages, though, as some of the features like the camera don't work, and there seems to be a green overlay on the screen from time to time.

Google Search For "Let It Snow"

Google seems to be trying its hand at a lot of things these days. And you can now add 'weather control experiments' to its list of success stories with the company's latest Easter Egg.

Just do a regular old search for "let it snow" and then sit back with a warm mug of hot chocolate and a crackling fire. If your browser window gets too frosty, the blue Search button at the top should switch to a Defrost button after a while.

Once your screen gets completely fogged up you can also draw on the Google search results page like a finger on a window.

Android 4.0.3 Announced, Bringing Variety of Optimizations and Bug fixes' to Phones and Tablets

Merely a day after Verizon's version of the Galaxy Nexus was gifted with v4.0.2, Google itself is announcing Android 4.0.3, a so-called " incremental release of the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform." We're told that the new release includes a variety of optimizations and bug fixes for phones and tablets, as well as a small number of new APIs for developers. 

For those curious, the new API level is 15, and some of those new ones include social stream API in Contacts provider, Calendar provider enhancements, newfangled camera capabilities (apps can now check and manage video stabilization and use QVGA resolution profiles where needed) and accessibility refinements (improved content access for screen readers and new status and error reporting for text-to-speech engines). Moreover, we're promised minute improvements in "graphics, database, spell-checking, Bluetooth, and more." Finally, the company makes clear that going forward, it'll be "focusing its partners on Android 4.0.3 as the base version of Ice Cream Sandwich," with rollouts expected for both phones and tablets in "the weeks ahead."

Dec 16, 2011

One-Third of Windows Users Still Use XP

Are you a Windows user? Are you amongst the 32.8% of those using Windows XP?

52% of desktop PCs still run XP, but what about all PC users? The Next Web says that while usage of Windows 7 has risen from 28% to 46%, Windows XP usage has still stayed high, going from an even more mind boggling 45% to its current 33%. Also, LOL at nobody using Vista anymore.

Dec 15, 2011

Google Translate App Update Adds Handwriting Recognition

The Google Translate app for Android received a pretty significant update yesterday, bringing handwriting recognition to its bullpen of functionalities. The app, which added voice recognition back in October, can now recognize handwriting in seven different languages, including English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. It's probably most important, however, for Chinese- and Japanese-speaking contingents, who can now use their handsets to translate characters that aren't typically featured on English keypads. The update to version 2.3 is available now here.

Are Tablets and E-Readers Responsible For a Rebirth of Reading?

According to The Economist, we're entering a new age of digital consumption: Lean Back 2.0. They say tablets and e-readers are to thank, but is it all just hyperbole about hypertext?

In a presentation given by Andrew Rashbass, CEO of The Economist Group, he claimed that the old publishing models of web and print are "irredeemably broken." (I wasn't aware that web publishing was old yet — though admittedly for some publishers it definitely is broken.)

So what the hell does he mean by "Lean Back 2.0"? Simple, really. He points to the fact that the use of tablets and e-readers is growing — at the expense of print and web use — and simultaneously also changing our reading habits. Unlike reading on a laptop, reading on an iPad or Kindle is a leisure activity. Unlike reading a print newspaper or magazine, you can access whatever the hell you like. We're now combining the utility of modern tech with the enjoyment of reading as relaxation.

It kinda makes sense. But don't just take Rashbass's hyperbolic word for it, take some of his (not altogether convincing) figures too. In his presentation, he points out that 42 per cent of tablet users regularly read in-depth articles, and another 40 per cent read them occasionally — which suggests people read more longer items on tablets than on computers. Apparently.

Also, users' eye activity is far more focused on an iPad app than on a website, and many people also claim they find it easier to learn new things and enjoy news more when digesting it via a tablet. Apparently.

Dec 14, 2011

Ice Cream Bar Speaker

As certain as death and taxes, the speaker on media players are bad. And even if this adorable ice cream bar shaped speaker doesn't impress audio engineers, it should improve the sound coming from your portable device.

Remove the popsicle stick and you'll find a USB port for recharging its lithium polymer battery good for about two hours of use. Remove the top of the plastic iced treat and you'll find a standard stereo mini plug—that's all there is to it. For $30 you get an extra 0.8 watts of listening pleasure, and whatever joy you can derive from its novel design. Get it here.

MacGyver Unable to Fix his Own Car

Richard Dean Anderson is just an actor. He is not MacGyver. He cannot fix everything with a paperclip and a ballpoint pen. Yet, there's something disappointing about seeing him with the hood on his car open waiting for someone to help him. You're MACGYVER. Help yourself, man. Help yourself.

The 61-year-old actor was caught helplessly standing next to his dead Audi in Malibu yesterday, waiting for help. He just stares at it. At the car. Like he has no idea what to do with it. He's wearing cargo pants. It's really sad.

Of course, the car is an Audi Allroad, which is so mechanically screwed up even other Audi owners scoff at it for being unreliable. With its Torsen quattro four-wheel drive system and air suspension it's impossibly complex. The real MacGyver probably couldn't keep an Allroad on the road for more than six hours at a time without a Staples full of office supplies.

Dec 13, 2011

Would You Dangle Your iPhone From This Carabiner?

Instead of just clipping into the iPhone 4 and 4S' dock connector—which would have eventually guaranteed a shattered phone—this carabiner accessory comes with longer replacement screws that are promised to securely attach it to the bottom.

So while you can't just pop it on and off without the aid of a screwdriver, it does let you clip your phone to your belt or shoulder strap so it's always in reach. You can even use it as a giant keychain if you don't mind your keys banging against your face when you make calls. The metal plate sits flush enough for most dock accessories to still be used, and for $30 it's just about the easiest way to add a permanent tether to your phone.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Don’t Know How to Use

One of the cardinal rules of Hollywood is that in order to be a very good looking actor, you also have to be very smart.

In an interview with USA Today, Jolie was asked whether the two online shop for Christmas presents—this was a hard-hitting interview, okay?

"Brad and I were on for the first time a week ago. But we got lost. After an hour, we just shut it off. My brain is too scattered and the wires go in different directions. I'll stick to catalogs."

Granted, Amazon's web interface is pretty lousy, but if you're used a computer within the past two decades, you should be able to navigate it without calling in a personal shopper and/or seeing eye dog.

Dec 12, 2011

Robots finally able to follow 'make me a sandwich' command

Pancakes? No problem. Cookies? You got it! Sandwich? there a Subway near by? Why robots have such a hard time slapping meat and cheese on bread is beyond us, but we're glad the crack team at the Technical University of Munich has finally figured out how to teach them. The dynamic duo of James and Rosie don't exactly blaze through their task of making a sandwich and some popcorn, but at least they're nice enough to toast the bread for your salami- and cheese-based chow. As usual, the moves here are not preprogrammed, the two bots make decisions on the fly based on a complex "reasoning" mechanism and data it can cull from a Kinect.

Samsung Claims Record 300 Million Mobile Sales This Year

Add together ten million Galaxy S IIs, a dollop of Galaxy Nexii, a gargantuan gathering of Galaxy Notes and a healthy serving of Badas, and what do you get? 300 million handset sales so far in 2011, that's what. And Samsung claims that makes this the best year in its mobile-making history, surpassing 2010 by a whopping 20 million. 

Of course, more sales doesn't necessarily translate into greater revenue -- Nokia is still the world's largest manufacturer by volume and is a case in point. Nevertheless, we'll know more when Samsung reveals its Q4 earnings next month.

Dec 11, 2011

Why Do Three Google Execs Own Eight Private Jets?

How is the world's top search engine going to put its software in every TV on earth? Not by flying commercial, like some sort of company for poor people! Let's just buy a few spare private jets, just in case.

Most reasonable people are content with one or two private jets, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt aren't content with one plane each—The Mercury News reports the search triumvirate share eight. That's a lot of planes for three guys! Do they race? Do they pay people to fly all eight at once while they watch from the roof of a castel made of money? Is that ecologically or financially responsible? The answer to all of those things is probably no! But don't expect them to kick the habit anytime soon—they're ready to pony up $33 million in an effort to restore an old NASA hangar as their personal parking lot. See, if you had thought of Google first, you could be doing fun expensive things like this right now.

Indonesian Government Threatens to ban BlackBerry Services if it Can't spy on Users

It's not the first time that RIM's security measures have caused a bit of an inferiority complex, but the Indonesian government now is threatening to ban BIS and BBM services within the nation if it doesn't get its way. Partially, it seems that Indonesian officials are upset that Research in Motion will be building its new data centers in Singapore, rather than in the homeland. Additionally, as is, the government is unable to monitor these communications, which it sees as a security risk. 

As you likely know, all data is currently processed in RIM's Canadian facilities. Heru Sutadi, a member of the Indonesian Telecommunication Regulation Body, had the following to say: "With the condition as it is now, we warn that the country's users to be cautious about using BlackBerry because the data exchanged is not safe or cannot be guaranteed of its safety." Sounds creepy, right? We always feel safer when knowing the government is monitoring our messages, too.

Dec 10, 2011

Quirky Stem Turns Citrus Fruits Into Spray Bottles

If you prefer a fresh blast of lemon or lime juice on a salad instead of a heavy dressing, just jam Quirky's new Stem accessory into a citrus fruit of your choice, instantly turning it into a spray bottle.

Besides a set of serrated teeth on the bottom that let it easily pierce the skin, the mechanics of how the Stem actually works are a little vague. I mean the general idea is pretty obvious, but how it manages to avoid getting clogged with pulp and seeds is a mystery to me.

However its patent pending design works, the Stem is going into production with pricing details to be revealed when it's closer to being available. And while the first version will probably be limited to citrus fruits, I'm optimistic the technology can eventually be adapted to sticks of butter and hunks of ham to make sprayable versions of more delicious foods. Get it here.

Google-Funded Study Says Firefox Less Secure than Internet Explorer

Remember when you downloaded Firefox circa 2004 because Internet Explorer was inundating Windows XP with viruses? Those days have long since passed, and according to a Google-funded study carried out by Accuvant, Firefox is now among the least secure web browsers. Naturally, Chrome is the best.

Obviously this has to be approached with a fair amount of skepticism, Forbes points to Accuvant's industry cred for objective reports on security. his particular report calls out Firefox's inability to sandbox code in the browser, thus preventing hackers and malicious code from gaining access to the rest of someone's operating system.

Accuvant's researchers argue that Google's ability to start from scratch in creating Chrome allowed the company to incorporate new security features that were tougher to integrate into Firefox's legacy code base. "Mozilla's products were around before browser security was such a relevant issue," says Accuvant researcher Chris Valasek. "Chrome was just born at the correct time in the correct environment."

Internet Explorer, which has been bashed for years as being a security cesspool was actually found to compete quite well against Chrome as far as security goes, though it wasn't found to be better. Also curious about this report: where's Safari?

Dec 9, 2011

How to Catch Tomorrow Morning’s Lunar Eclipse

Clear skies and geographical location permitting, Saturday will be your last chance to spy a total lunar eclipse until 2014. Here's what you need to know to catch a glimpse before it's gone.

First things first: if you live in South America or some of Africa's westernmost regions, we're sorry — it looks like you're going to have to wait a few more years to witness a total lunar eclipse in person. Fortunately, you can still watch the eclipse online via a live feed over on Everyone else, congratulations. You win.

For the majority of the Western Hemisphere, the eclipse will be most noticeable early Saturday morning in the hours right before dawn. The Moon will enter Earth's shadow at 3:33 PST, and the total eclipse phase will begin at 6:06 PST. This means that those of us on the East coast may have a hard time spotting the eclipse, as the Moon will be setting more or less right as it's entering Earth's shadow (the more dramatic, ruddy colors typically associated with a total lunar eclipse won't likely become noticeable until around 4:45 am PST). Views will improve, however, as you move north and west; in fact, Alaska should be able to catch the eclipse in its entirety, right up until the Moon leaves the Earth's shadow around 12:30 PST.

Nokia Lumia 710 now Shipping Worldwide

It's been a few months coming, but today, Nokia announced that its Lumia 710 handset has finally hit store shelves in Taiwan, ahead of its broader international release. Priced at around €270 (or about $332), the Mango-laced handset will arrive in stores across Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Russia over the next seven days, before expanding to other global markets "over the coming weeks." The 3.7-inch device joins the Lumia 800.

Dec 8, 2011

Knuckle Meat Pounder to Beat the Crap Out Of Your Steak

Knuckle Meat Tenderizer. I don't know how it is supposed to work (do I hang up the piece of meat first?) but $13 sounds fine to release your stress and get tender steak. Get it here.


The Pope Has Chosen Android

This, my friends, may be the end of the smartphone fanboy wars. I can give my two cents. The rest of the tech community can give theirs. But God Almighty himself, through his appointed papal mouthpiece, has picked a winner.

For this year's celebration of Christ's birth, Pope Benedict will remotely light a giant Christmas tree display attached to the side of a mountain, from 130 miles away.

But! Scandal! He's doing it with the Lord's fave new gadget, MSNBC reports, straight from the Vatican newswire:

Benedict XVI will activate the illumination from his apartments in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. He will touch the screen of a Sony "Tablet" with an "Android" operating system which, via the Internet, will transmit the command to switch on the electric current to the tree.

Will this alleged "Android" "Tablet" be a Sony S? It doesn't matter. The heavens have parted, and the choice is clear: The Pope Chooses Android.

Dec 7, 2011

HP’s $99 TouchPad Firesale Is Finally Back

The time's come, cheapasses: HP's $99 TouchPad firesale is about to make its triumphant return. Oh my god I've waited so long for this.

At 7:00 PM Eastern on December 11th, HP's eBay store is going to have the next and maybe last cache of cheap TouchPads. $99 16GB models and $150 32GB models will both be up for grabs. That's great! Here's the catch: The units are refurbished, not new—which isn't a bad thing, necessarily!—and all sales are final. But like, who's going to try to return a $99 TouchPad anyway?

Since the original cheapo stampede over the first TouchPad firesale, the Kindle Fire's shown up with its $200 pricepoint, and the PlayBook dropped to that price as well—and maybe even further soon. But the TouchPad is still the only full-sized tablet to get the here-take-it-please-oh-god prices, and webOS has gotten a few upgrades while HP shuffles its feet over what to do with the mobile OS. So basically, it's still a totally awesome deal and you should get one if you can.

Amazon Will give you $5 if you use its Price Check app This Weekend

No joke, it really will. All you have to do is walk into a retailer this Saturday, whip out your smartphone and use Amazon's Price Check app to collect price data on in-store items. In exchange, the company will offer you a discount of five percent (or up to $5) on "select items" in electronics, toys, music, and other product divisions, though you'll only be able to use it a maximum of three times. 

The campaign represents Amazon's latest attempt to creep into the brick and mortar sector on the back of barcode scanning technology, and seems like a pretty clever way to bolster its mobile presence, while gathering intel on its competitors' prices, as well. It all kicks off at 9 PM (PST) on Friday, and will draw to a close just before midnight on Saturday.

Dec 6, 2011

Windows Phones Starting to Receive Support for Twitter Images in Pictures Hub

The "What's New" feed in Windows Phone Mango's Picture Hub has done a great job offering thumbnail images for Facebook and Windows Live messages, but for some reason lovers of Twitter pictures have been shunned, with only a link to the image being provided. Not the worst thing on the planet, of course, but certainly it's been a minor thorn in the side of frequent users of the social networking service. Reports are beginning to come in, however, that this is all changing now -- it looks as though quite a few photos originating from Twitter are now showing up, which may be an indicator of some fix-it work going on behind the scenes.

Dec 5, 2011

Sony Ericsson to Become Sony in mid-2012

Sony and Ericsson's decade-long partnership may have humbled Kim Kardashian, but dwindling market share and an over-reliance on feature phones signaled the end of the affair. Ericsson will have until "mid 2012" to clear its things from the spare room before the electronics giant begins a new solo venture. The revitalized enterprise will leverage its parent company's brand strength, R&D and content (since it owns a massive chunk of the entertainment industry) and in comments made to Times of India, company Vice President Kristian Tear said there would be a "fierce" advertising push to restore the company's reputation as a major player worldwide -- before taking a Pilates class to try and fit back into its bachelor pad.

Samsung Teases Flexible, Transparent Display in Concept Video

Samsung's flexible display technology isn't slated to hit the market until 2012, but the Korean manufacturer is already giving us a glimpse of how it may transform our lives, with a freshly released concept video. Yes, it's just a concept ad, and a relatively brief one at that, but it still paints a pretty mouth-watering portrait -- one full of transparent, flexible screens, smartphone-tablet hybrids, and augmented reality.

Dec 4, 2011

Mammoths May Be Roaming the World In Five Years

Scientists have been trying to clone woolly mammoths for years, but now they're really close. So close that in five years you may see herds of this gigantic beast—one of the favorite extinct prehistoric animals of the all-time.

Scientists from Japan's Kinki University and the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum have discovered well preserved marrow in a thigh bone discovered in Siberia, buried under the permafrost. The marrow is in such good condition that its cells' DNA could be used to replace the nuclei of elephant egg cells. This will allow scientist to create mammoth embryos.

The team wants to plant these embryos inside the wombs of elephant mothers so they can grow until birth. Although bigger than elephants, both animals are similar enough for this to work. This is a similar technique used in current cloning processes. The key is that the DNA has to be intact in order for this process to work. This discovery is their chance to achieve their objective.

Samsung's mSATA PM830 is Eight Grams of Pure SSD

The newest member of Samsung's 6Gb/s PM830 family of SSDs is designed to sit inside the Ultrabooksof 2012, which means it's had go through some slimming down. The mSATA drive uses 20 nanometer NAND for face-melting speed, but is crammed into a 50.95 x 30 x 3.8mm package, weighing only eight grams. The drive will comfortably read 500MB/s and write 260MB/s on a clear day, six times faster than a comparable HDD. 

It'll allow Windows to boot in under ten seconds and transfer "five DVD files" (roughly 45GB) in around a minute. The drives also come with 256-bit AES for those moments when your Ultrabook gets stolen, or more likely, floats away in the wind. 64GB, 128GB and 256GB variants will roll out to OEMs shortly but we expect a consumer version to be announced shortly for everyone with some courage and a screwdriver.

Dec 3, 2011

If You Don’t Like the Names of These New Elements, Now’s the Time to Complain

Flerovium and livermorium have a nice ring, yeah? Chemistry's governing body thinks so and wants to name two new elements with them. If you disagree, you've only got five months to come up with something better.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, a union of chemists that maintains the periodic table and vets potential new additions to it, has proposed naming recently-discovered elements 114 and 116 flerovium and livermorium, respectively. Now, the names undergo a five month comment period wherein any member of the public can suggest alternatives—that includes you.

These super-heavy elements are so large and so unstable that they can only be manufactured in labs and rapidly degrade into other elements. Both were actually discovered a decade ago but their existence has been undergoing independent verification since then. They were created by a collaboration of researchers from Lawrence Livermore Labs and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia.

Livermorium is named after the Livermore lab where it was created while flerovium bears the name of Georgi N. Flerov, the founder of the Dubna lab. If the names pass muster by next May, flerovium and livermorium will join three other recently-named elements—darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn)—at the bottom of the elemental table.