Jul 31, 2012

Gmail for iOS Adds Option to Save Photos, Becomes a Smoother Operator

Google's Gmail app for iOS has been docked by some potential adopters for feeling like a poor cousin to other native apps. It may be worth revisiting: the 1.3 update has just arrived with a much-requested ability to save common image attachments to an iOS device's photo collection. Should that not be enough, Google has smoothed out animations and scrolling for iPhone and iPod touch owners. The new version has pushed live for everyone, leaving just a quick download between us and saving our parents' vacation photos for posterity. More here.

Shop for Keyboards, Mice, and more at Logitech

This Is as Close to Pocketable as High Speed Video Cameras Get

Everything in life is cooler and more epic in slow motion. So Fastec's new TS3 compact high-speed camera is easier to carry than traditional slo-mo gear allowing you to capture and study spontaneous moments—frame-by-frame. Remember, the best high-speed camera is the one you've got with you.

At nine inches in length and weighing almost five pounds you're probably not going to be carrying the TS3 in your pocket all day long. But for remote shoots or extreme adventures where carrying larger and heavier gear is problematic, this is the perfect solution. At its full resolution of a non-16:9 1280 x 1024 the camera is able to capture 500 frames every second. But at lower resolutions it's supposedly capable of running as fast as 20,000 fps.

The camera is compatible with C-mount or Nikon F-mount lenses, but keep in mind that while its size makes it easier to travel with, in many situations you'll probably need additional lighting gear to compensate for the fast shutter speeds. Because the TS3 tops out at an ISO of just 1,600 when shooting in color. As for storage options, a built-in SSD drive up to 256GB in size is optional, but professional-grade video I/O connectors let you send the signal to another recording device when more capacity is needed. But is an epic YouTube channel worth its $14,000 to $25,000 price tag depending on how you configure it? Most definitely. More here.
Olympus SP-800UZ Titanium 14MP Digital Camera Olympus SP-800UZ Titanium 14MP Digital Camera
Inside its slim, elegant body, the SP-800UZ hides something amazing: a 30x wide-angle optical zoom. Bringing you all the power of a 30x zoom in a camera that̢۪s small enough to go wherever your travels take you. And with advanced features like Creative Art Filters, you can truly express yourself.

Jul 30, 2012

Mysterious 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook Appears in Vietnam

Looks-wise, the hardware's largely unchanged, aside from the bigger footprint and a screen ratio that appears closer to the iPad competition, rather than the widescreen shape that arrived on RIM's first tablet. According to the brief teardown shot, there's a potent 7,250 mAh battery housed in the still-slim 10-inch frame, while it's worth noting that the tablet also includes a SIM holder and cellular radio -- though there's not enough meat here to discern whether it deals in 4G or 3G (HSPA+) radio waves. More here.
Performance Mouse MX™

Performance Mouse MX™

Now, the power to achieve is in your hand.

Transparent Open-Air Case Is Perfect for PC Hardware Voyeurs

When you sink a boatload of cash into new hardware for your PC, why lock it all up where it can't see the light of day? With this transparent, passive cooling rig, you can keep it on display for yourself and envious friends.

The upcoming ACB-type3, made by Scythe, is a step beyond just having a window built into your case. Made of 5mm thick acrylic, it's got all the bays you might need for your various drives. Pair this puppy up with a cooling tower and you'll have a system setup that's not only great to look at, but also handy if you like to fiddle with your PC's innards.

The case is due to release soon, and will run you around $85, a small price to pay for form andfunction. In the meanwhile, better dust off your SSD and get that sucker ready for its day in the sun. More here.
Free Tools and Content for 3D artists

Microsoft Confirms Surface Will Ship Alongside Windows 8 on October 26th

Supersite for Windows reveals that a Microsoft filing with the US Security and Exchange quietly reveals that the tablet will start shipping to customers on October 26th.That's the same day as Windows 8 is set to land, as we reported earlier in July. According to Supersite, the filing reads:
"The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012... At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices."
Since launch we've known that Intel-based Surface Pro will take longer to launch, so this October 26th launch date corresponds to the availability of the ARM-powered tablet.

There's still one big questions surrounding the Surface, though, and that's price. That really will be an announcement worth looking out for. More here.

Jul 29, 2012

Next-gen iPhone Parts Purportedly Leak Again

Ready for another supposed look at the next-gen Apple iPhone? Matching up with previous leaks, the elongated iPhone body with a miniaturized docking port and brushed metal back has appeared again, this time courtesy of iLab Factory.

While many of its parts look astoundingly similar to what we've already seen, this is the first time we've gotten a solid look at it fully assembled from all angles -- well, aside from the missing SIM card holder. While most of its all-important innards are clearly absent, this assembly does come complete with what appears to be the locking ribbons for the screen and home button. More here.
Aluminium Alloy Bumper Frame Case+Back Cover for iPhone 4 4S(Green)

Aluminium Alloy Bumper Frame Case+Back Cover for iPhone 4 4S(Green)

- Rugged, lightweight and versatile design - Quality aluminium alloy and plastic material - The Case is machined from a solid block of quality aluminum alloy - Blade has the SIM card slot opened so you don't have to dismantle the case every time you need to switch the SIM - Anodized to create a hard protective coating in brilliant colors - The styling also allows for easy use of the camera and flash 

Jul 28, 2012

AT&T's Garnet Red Galaxy S III for Vampires

While AT&T's been flaunting a rather patriotic red, white and blue Galaxy S III lineup since launch, the carrier's exclusive Garnet Red handset's been rather elusive so far, with pre-orders starting July 15 and deliveries expected July 29.

The phone is identical to its siblings other than the burgundy screen bezel and back cover, and the gunmetal rim running along its edge. It's a pretty gorgeous color scheme that's sure to attract vampires everywhere. Still unsure? Peek at our hands-on gallery below, then sound off in the comments. More here.

Adobe Education Store

ViewSonic Announces a Duo of Budget-Friendly LED Monitors

As gorgeous as huge, expensive monitors are, most situations just don't call for the inches or wallet-dents associated with today's luxury screens. With this in mind, and barely a breath after outing its $299, 27-inch LED offering, ViewSonic is back with two budget displays from the VA12 series. First up is the VA2212m-LED, which rocks a 1080p widescreen, 21.5-inch panel, 10,000,000:1 contrast Ratio, DVI and VGA inputs, as well as a pair of 2W integrated speakers.

Its little brother the VA1912m-LED shares most of the same genes, but with an 18.5-inch, 1,366 x 768 resolution screen. Running with ViewSonic'seco-friendly theme, both mercury-free LED monitors also boast the eco-mode feature for low power consumption and a longer life. If either of the new displays are grabbing your attention, you'll be able to pick up the $149 VA2212m-LED imminently, with the $125 VA1912m-LED hitting North American retailers in mid-August. More here.
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Jul 27, 2012

Why Settle for One Wrench When You Can Have Eight?

We all need a good wrench to keep around the house, but we don't necessarily need a whole toolbox full of them. In this case, the Craftsman Figure Eight Wrench might be the magic solution.

Why? Because the $25 piece of metal is eight different sizes in one, starting at 1/4 all the way up to 3/4 inch. Plus both ends are compatible with a bunch of different styles of fasteners. So on a day when you're doing some work around the house, whether you're fixing the sink or doing maintenance on your bike, you won't be wasting time rummaging around for wrench after wrench. More here.

Jul 26, 2012

Clever Cutting Board Keeps Your Fingers Well Clear Of the Blade

If the fear of accidentally lopping off a finger keeps you from experimenting in the kitchen, designer Rowan Williams' Pego cutting board concept should fill you with more culinary confidence. It has a clever movable peg design that holds what you're cutting for you, so your fingers never get anywhere close to the blade.

With proper cutting techniques your fingers shouldn't be at risk of being nicked anyways, but many aspiring chefs don't have the time to master their blades. So this seems like a fair compromise. From the looks of it the board also integrates a built-in weigh scale, and assorted cutting implements, but it's that brilliant peg design that will have most amateur chefs hoping someone makes the Pego a reality. More here.

Will These Water Bottle Gloves Really Make It Easier To Drink While Running?

It's often tricky, as a runner, to rehydrate without lowering your heart rate. But will Salomon's new Sense Hydro S-Lab gloves—which strap a water bottle to each hand for easy access—make it easier or downright impossible?

The set won't be available until September, but it looks like they use a pair of soft plastic bottles so they can be folded up and reduced in size as they're drained. Which is a lot easier than trying to run with a pair of empty rigid plastic bottles strapped to your hands. The design also lets you squeeze every last drop of moisture out of the bottles using just a single hand. In fact, the only obvious disadvantage is that the heat from your palms is bound to leave you sipping luke warm water, which might not be that refreshing after all. More here.

My Mac doesn't need security software, right ?

This Magnesium Firestarter Will Impress Fellow Outdoorsmen

If you get lost in the woods, sooner or later you're going to run out of waterproof matches. Right? Or at least that's why I always go hiking with a block of magnesium in my bag. This handy firestarter tool takes that rudimentary lifesaver to a magnificent new level.

The Magnesium Fire Starter from Kaufmann Mercantile has a block that's magnesium with a strip of flint on top, which is attached to an elk antler handle and a steel striker. (The antler is found, not pulled off a live animal, by the way.) Flint is a well-known fire starting substance, but magnesium is the real magic. Magnesium shavings will burn at 5610-degrees in basically any conditions. That means when everything's all wet and you're out of options, you can light a fire with a flick of the steel striker against the magnesium.

But more than just a tool that might someday in the future save you from death, the handmade firestarter is totally beautiful. It's something worth having just to hang from your mantle. That it can vanquish firestarting obstacles is just an added bonus. It's available now for $36 here.

Jul 25, 2012

Insanely Strong Wire Cutter Snips Cables as Fat as Your Finger

Cutting wire by hand is hard—even with a pair of light-up dikes—especially when running the fat wires that serve breaker subpanels. Milwaukee's new ratcheting power cable cutter should aid the tradesmen that spend days snipping conduit; pull the trigger, and the tool bites cords with up to 5,000 pounds of pressure. Doesn't hurt that it looks like a cross between a falcon and a Glock, either.

The cutters have enough force to slice through 4/0 (aka four aught) wire. That's the thickest solid copper wire manufactured—beyond that, it's stranded. To put it in perspective, 4/0 is basically a flexible bar of metal nearly a half-inch in diamater, and it's a good bit heftier than the fattest wires leading into most homes' breaker panels. Cutting it in a cramped box is one of the most challenging routine tasks a commercial electrician encounters. For a tool this size to do the job this quickly and with this much force—just, well, watch your fingertips.

When it arrives for $429 in mid-September, the clipper will also handle aluminum, SER cables, G-Type, paired communication cable, and underground cable. That should make the workday a little easier for most electricians and data communications guys. With this tool, they can save their hand strength to twist fat connector tips up under a cramped bus bar. More here.

Gummy Bear Ice Cubes Promise to Make Any Drink Infinitely More Fun

Every handful gives you your recommended daily dose of red, green, yellow, and orange, and with this silicone gummy bear mould, you can now make your own and avoid the atrocious grocery store markups.

It's actually supposed to be used for making ice cubes, but there's nothing stopping you from mixing up a candy concoction and putting this tray to better use churning out chewy bears. And it's just $10, an investment you'll recoup in like a day once you setup a gummy bear stand on your front lawn. More here.

Jul 24, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion Is Definitely Out Tomorrow, July 25

Apple just announced in its earnings call that OS X Mountain Lion is definitely coming out tomorrow. There have been rumors for a while now that that would be the date, but now it's confirmed. So maybe get those backups cranked out tonight, eh?

The New iPad

Cheese Could Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

If you tend to avoid cheese at all costs to keep your weight in check, you might want to think about including a little in your meals—because a new study suggests that a those who eat cheese are at reduced risk of developing diabetes.

The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, considered the health benefits of nutrition on diabetes, taking data from largest ever study to look at the role of diet in health. The results show that cheese eaters are at a 12 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those who shun the fromage.

Why is that? Well, the researchers aren't entirely sure. Most other dairy products didn't show any beneficial effect, so they postulate that it could be something connected to the fermentation process involved in cheese making that triggers some kind of protective reaction when the stuff is consumed.

It is, of course, worth mentioning that obesity is an incredibly large risk factor for diabetes—so eating platefuls of cheese in an attempt to avoid developing the condition probably isn't the wisest move. More here.

Jul 23, 2012

iPhone 5 Will Come With a 19-pin Connector

The smaller dock connector on the next iPhone has been in the rumors for quite some time. Recent reports seem to all confirm that the iPhone 5 will use a nanoSIM instead of a microSIM and now Reuters is chiming in on the connector.

Instead of the 30-pin connector used since the very beginning on the iPhone (and other Apple hardware, even the iPad), Reuters reports that the next Apple smartphone will come equipped with a 19-pin dock connector in order “to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom”. Of course this is probably not the main reason why because the iPod touch has both the big connector and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom (though it doesn’t sport the huge microphone grill).

Aside from the design refresh this will also mean that the huge number of accessories out there will no longer work with the new phone. You’ll have to get a new one, which will be something accessory manufacturers will love. More here.

LG's 27-inch V720 all-in-one PCs pop up on Flickr, IPS and Optional Ivy Bridge

LG has unveiled the V720, a new series of all-in-one PCs, featuring 27-inch IPS HD panels and an Intel Ivy Bridge processor option. The line consists of a high-end model with Intel's 3rd generation Core i5 and an IPS 1,920 x 1,080 3D panel, and a lesser model with a 2nd generation Core i3 and the same display sans 3D. Other specs include 750GB SATA3 hybrid or standard drives, up to 8GB DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0 and NVIDA's GT640M 1GB graphics.

Photos show a white and silver looker with well concealed computer guts, but don't count on being able to pick up one of the minimalist units in the US -- LG normally keeps its PC offerings exclusively in Asia. More here.

Vizio 42-inch 1080p LCD HDTV - E422VL

Jul 22, 2012

Google’s Stopped Selling 16GB Nexus 7 Tablets Because They’re Too PopularGoogle’s Stopped Selling 16GB Nexus 7 Tablets Because They’re Too Popular

Google's Nexus 7 tablet is so popular that sales had to be suspended to try to catch up with demand. Units that were ordered up until last week will be delivered on time.

The shortage comes because Google was taken totally off guard by how popular the 16GB model would be. It had expected the $200 8GB model to be the big seller. That hasn't happened, though. Instead, the $250 16GB model has been a massive, surprising success.

This will probably be a minor setback at worst for Google and the Nexus 7. But hopefully it's also a wakeup call for Google and its competitors that the battle to catch the iPad isn't just a race to the bottom. More here.

Buy the ASUS 12.1" 64 GB i5-470UM 1.33 GHz Tablet

Did the Galaxy Note II's Impressive Benchmarks Briefly get Leaked?

Well, Samsung has something up its sleeve. Whether or not we're looking at a new Note remains to be seen, but it's safe to assume Sammy will update its phablet line as it approaches its first birthday. So it's no wonder people's suspicions were piqued when a mysterious device made a brief appearance at with the model number GT-N7100. 

The original Note was N7000, so obviously many are guessing this unnamed Ice Cream Sandwich device is its successor. Whatever it turns out to be, it's got a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor with Mali-400 graphics -- the same you'll find inside the Galaxy S III. The one spec that does leave a bit of doubt however is the resolution, which is listed at juts 1280x720, instead of the 1280x800 of the original. In the benchmarks it manages to eke out scores slightly higher than the GSIII, which makes sense thanks to its higher clocked CPU. Now it's just time to sit back and play the waiting game. More here.

Nexus 7 Hooks up With External USB Storage, Floppy Drive for Retro-Gaming

There's only so much kit you can cram into a sub-$200 tablet without pushing past the price ceiling. And for Google's Jelly Bean-blessed Nexus 7, corners were definitely cut, leaving users without a handy microSD slot for expansion and rear-facing camera. But where there's a will, there's the XDA and its community of developers to remedy the situation. 

As you can glimpse from the photo above, an enterprising forum member by the handle of c0m47053 devised an interesting workaround for the slate's lack of expandable storage and then some. Using the StickMount app available on the Play store, which allows users to mount/dismount mass storage devices, he was able to connect the ASUS-made tab to a USB hub and hook it up to a keyboard, mouse and, most amusingly of all, a floppy drive -- to playUltima on DOSbox, of course. It goes without saying that a feat of this kind requires root access, but thankfully that's what Mountain View made the Nexuses for. More here.
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Jul 21, 2012

Windows 8 Store Will Offer Free Seven Day Trials for Paid Apps

Microsoft has released the details on how they plan to run the apps released through the new App Store coming with Windows 8.

First and foremost, all paid apps will cost at least $1.49 as opposed to the $0.99 other platforms allow. And most importantly for consumers, Microsoft plans to implement a 7-day "try before you buy" setup with apps that will let you opt-out of the full purchase if you don't like it.

Microsoft seems to also want to provide app developers with an incentive to churn out apps for its platform. Although they are sticking with the same 30% royalty cut that Apple takes, Microsoft's new store will only take 20% once your app earns $25,000 in sales. More here.

Jul 20, 2012

Microsoft Announces Record Q4, $18.06 Billion in Revenue

The company reported a record fourth quarter revenue of $18.06 billion, but did suffer a net loss over the last three months of $492 million. While the net loss was in stark contrast the net profit of $5.87 billion from the same time last year, Microsoft is still optimistic heading towards the launch of Windows 8 and its sibling mobile platform. 

And who can blame them, the new OS is sure to drive plenty of consumers to their local Best Buy with fists full of cash. And, it's easy to paint a rosy picture as long as revenues continue to grow, as they did by roughly $700 million compared to Q4 2011, and roughly $600 million sequentially. It's also important to realize that that loss is due to a one-time "goodwill impairment charge" associated with the collapsed aQuantive deal that set Redmond back $6.2 billion.

A good chunk of the revenue increase is thanks to the company's Business and Server divisions, which saw growths of seven and 13 percent, respectively. Income from the Entertainment and Devices division, which makes up a much smaller chunk of revenue over all at just $1.78 billion, also grew dramatically year-over-year, largely because of the inclusion of Skype.

Alongside Q4's results, Microsoft also released its year-end financials and, while that $6.2 billion lump drove profits down, revenues were up by $3.76 billion from 2011. Even with the aQuantive related hit, Redmond still managed to post a net income of $16.98 billion for the year. More here.
Buy the new Acer 10.1" Atom N2600 1.60 GHz Netbook

Microsoft Sets Windows 8 Release Date

We’ve known for a while now that Microsoft will release Windows 8 sometime this fall, but so far the company had yet to provide a hard date for the platform’s retail launch. With just over three months to go, Microsoft has now revealed October 26 as when Windows 8 will finally arrive.

Microsoft’s announcement of its Surface tablets last month caught us all a bit by surprise. Sure, some sort of tablet news was rumored, but the quality of the products Microsoft ended up revealing, along with that very compelling keyboard cover, were really an unexpected slam dunk. Today’s revelation of the Windows 8 retail launch doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing Surface arrive at the same time, but you can bet the first of those tablets will be hot on its tail.

That’s the case for the Windows RT version of Surface, at least. Don’t forget that there’s also a more full-featured Windows 8 Pro version, with an Intel processor and specs more in-line with those of a typical laptop. Last we heard, that model could be landing another three months after the RT Surface debuts, meaning we’re looking at some time around late January or early February of next year. More here.

Who Will Buy an Ubuntu Ultrabook?

Dell has announced that it's planning to bring Ubuntu to the masses. In the fall of 2012, Dell's XPS 13 will be available with an install of Ubuntu direct from the company. But who's going to buy one?

The concern with Dell's move is that, by and large, people who want an ultrabook probably don't overlap much in the Venn diagram of computing with those who use Ubuntu. But then, maybe it's wrong.
Backup that is simple, automatic, and secur

Jul 19, 2012

Scientists Develop Nanoparticle Which Completely Destroys Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C now kills more Americans than HIV and, while there's increasing progress towards finding a reliable vaccine, results can't come soon enough. Now, researchers have developed a nanoparticle that effectively eradicates hepatitis C 100 percent of the time.

Researchers from the University of Florida have developed what they call a "nanozyme". Based around gold nanoparticles, these things have their surface coated with two biological agents. One is an enzyme that attacks and kills the mRNA which allows hep C to replicate, while the other is a short string of DNA which identities the disease and sends the enzyme off to kill it.

While current hep C treatments attack the same replication process, they only work on about 50 percent of patients treated. In lab-based tests, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Univeristy of Florida researchers showed that their approach was 100 percent effective in both cell cultures and mice. They observed no side effects in the mouse models, either.

While it's great news, such a treatment is some way off becoming available to patients any time soon. All targeted drugs have to be extremely carefully tested, as there's always a risk that they could also end up targeting healthy parts of the body by accident. Given the current problems posed by hepatitis C, though, that testing can't happen soon enough. More here.

The Only Tool You’ll Ever Need

Do you ever find yourself looking for a certain tool, but you can't find it? Over the course of a year, there are dozens of things you could use Colghan's 12-in-1 Scissors for.

Whether it's camping or yard work or simply cracking a bottle of beer, they're the kind of thing that's worth having on hand. Bike repairs? It's a screwdriver. Eating a walnut? Mending the fence? It's a wirecutter. And for only $8, you might as well stash one in the house and one in the car and one in your stealth escape backpack (in the event of nuclear holocaust or zombie apocalypse). More here.

Does Your Brain Burn More Calories When You Think Hard?

Taking the SAT, crunching through a tough problem at work, or even concentrating while driving in difficult conditions can leave you feeling physically exhausted. But does thinking really hard burn more calories, or does the exhaustion come from somewhere else?

Ferris Jabr from Scientific American wondered just that, and ended up writing a really interesting essay about the phenomenon. Firstly, he points out, there's no denying that the brain works hard:
Although the average adult human brain weighs about 1.4 kilograms, only 2 percent of total body weight, it demands 20 percent of our resting metabolic rate (RMR)-the total amount of energy our bodies expend in one very lazy day of no activity. RMR varies from person to person depending on age, gender, size and health. If we assume an average resting metabolic rate of 1,300 calories, then the brain consumes 260 of those calories just to keep things in order. That's 10.8 calories every hour or 0.18 calories each minute.
But the tough question is, how much does that change when you think really hard? Actually, that's not easy to answer and—despite many experiments involving all manner of cognitive tests, biological samples and nutrition experiments—Jabr finds there's no firm conclusion. What does become apparent, though, is that increases in energy consumption are probably far less important than our attitude towards the mental workout:
Completing a complex crossword or sudoku puzzle on a Sunday morning does not usually ruin one's ability to focus for the rest of the day-in fact, some claim it sharpens their mental state. In short, people routinely enjoy intellectually invigorating activities without suffering mental exhaustion.
Such fatigue seems much more likely to follow sustained mental effort that we do not seek for pleasure-such as the obligatory SAT-especially when we expect that the ordeal will drain our brains. If we think an exam or puzzle will be difficult, it often will be. Studies have shown that something similar happens when people exercise and play sports: a large component of physical exhaustion is in our heads.
So, while thinking hard may leave you exhausted and eating might help you feel better, it's not because you're replacing lost calories: in actual fact, you're likely to be comfort eating to make yourself feel happier. More here.

Jul 18, 2012

Bulletproof iPad Case Still Won’t Stop the Tablet’s Biggest Threat: Fingerprints

If you find yourself living in a wartorn part of the world—dodging gunfire and errant shrapnel all hours of the day—a bulletproof iPad case might not seem like overkill. But for the majority of iPad users, this resilient case does nothing to protect the tablet from more immediate and pressing daily threats.

Sure, a bullet would instantly put the device out of commission, but a spilled can of soda can be just as deadly. And we won't even go into the horrors of having a friend leave greasy fingerprint streaks all over its pristine display. So while VestGuard UK is certainly to be lauded for applying its expertise in making bulletproof vests to create a case that can shrug off a shot from a 9mm handgun, it might not be as popular a seller as they hope. Particularly since it will probably come with a price tag fit for a Department of Defense budget. More here.

Google Brings Wallet Support To Nexus 7

Chances are, even if you’ve been a longtime smartphone user, you’ve yet to make a wireless payment over NFC. Even with Google Wallet being on the scene for as long as it has, limited support from carriers has largely kept the feature away from Android users.

Now sure, a seven-inch tablet doesn’t make for the most convenient device with which to make payments on-the-go, but if you’re already lugging it around in a bag, you might be interested in giving Wallet a try now. It may not save you any time compared to pulling out your credit card, but the integration with Google Offers might end up finding you a deal or two, and there’s always the convenience of having multiple payment and loyalty cards digitally stored in one device. For now at least, it’s only available for users in the US. More here.

Jul 17, 2012

Apple’s Next iPhone Could Be Thinner Due To New Screen Technology, Will Reportedly Use nanoSIM

In case you were missing your daily dose of iPhone 5 rumors — or whatever the name of the next Apple smartphone will be — the Wall Street Journal chimes in, quoting “people familiar with the matter”, claiming that the phone could be thinner.

This can be mainly due to the fact that Apple will allegedly go with a new type of display for its next phone, using so-called in-cell technology, which doesn’t need an extra layer above the display itself for the touch sensor but incorporates it inside the screen. The extra layer is usually a couple of microns thick but even that small dimensions could be important when producing a phone.

Also, this new screen, will improve display quality; it is allegedly in production and waiting to be incorporated in the next Apple phone which, according to Financial Times, will use nanoSIM cards instead of the currently used microSIMs, being also 40% smaller. More here.

These $150 Earbuds Are Probably the Only MartinLogan Speakers Someone Can Afford

MartinLogan makes expensive speakers. They're the kinds only the most anal-retentive audiophile would consider buying. The company's Motion Vision Soundbar costs $1500, and forget about the top-end CLX speakers. Twenty-five grand? No, thank you. At $150, the new Mikros 70 in-ear monitors aren't a bargain, either—but if they sound good enough, your average joe might actually consider them.

On specs alone, the Mikros 70 headphones might look like others on the market: They're aluminum with 6.6mm drivers, so they should deliver a nice mix of tones. The Mikros 70 are in-ear buds, so the little gel tips seal sound into your ear canal, making the low-end sound better and blocking outside ambient noise. The headphones are definitely designed to be used with a phone, as they come with an inline remote and microphone. The headphones have a sensitivity of 98dB (@ 1kHz), which is high enough that the output from a phone is plenty to drive the headphones.

So if these headphones are better than the rest, it's because of superior engineering that doesn't show on specs alone. MartinLogan is a company with quite a pedigree, so hopes are high. They may or may not be worth the money, but one thing's for sure: They're freaking gorgeous. More here.

Jul 16, 2012

This Ice Cream Cart Runs on Sunshine

In New York City, the instantly-recognizable tinkling of the Mr. Softee truck approaching is the hallmark sound of summer. Those old white trucks might deliver melty dairy goodness, but whatever comes out of their tailpipes can't be good for the planet—which is what makes thesesolar-powered ice cream carts so awesome.

Designed by Springtime, a Dutch design venture, the carts have solar panels on the roof, which juices up the batteries to keep the scoops are ice cold. It totally makes sense that in the thick of July, you'd use the oppressive power of the sun to keep the fridge running. When it's this humid, you constantly feel like a pot of cooked rice, and ice cream is the perfect thing to cool you down. More here.

Charge Your iPhone with Burning Pine Cones

The idea is brilliantly simple: burn whatever you find in the woods—sticks, leaves, pinecones, whatever—and let the stove transform the heat into electricity you can use to charge via USB—and it should provide about the same output as your laptop. No bulky solar panels, no extra battery packs—though it will add an extra two pounds to your kit. And since it's a real fire and not some extra charging gadget, you can actually use it to boil water and cook with—and that's really why you're sitting out in the wood anyway, right? More here.