Jun 18, 2011

Razer Ships $80 Orochi Black Chrome Edition Mobile Gaming Mouse

It's an Orochi, but with 100 percent more gloss. The Orochi Black Chrome Edition is the exact same mouse that shipped last fall, but with a much more vivacious set of duds. Aside from being fully capable of sneaking into either of your front pockets, this Bluetooth-enabled unit also touts an ambidextrous design, a 4000DPI laser sensor (with tracking at up to 100 inches per second), on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments and a gold-plated USB connector for those who'd prefer to roll wired. If you've been looking to treat yourself, she's in stock now for $79.99.

Jun 17, 2011

Acer Aspire Ethos: A Detachable Trackpad Is a Pretty Good Idea

Acer's new Ethos Laptop isn't the world's craziest lappy when it comes to guts—Core i5/i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M graphics—but it has one interesting feature: a detachable trackpad. that not only detaches from from the laptop, but also functions as a media remote.

The card-sized trackpad functions exactly the same while detached, but then with the touch of a button, LEDs appear from beneath the trackpad's surface and it gains a second life as a media remote with music, movie and presentation control capablities. Useful if you have your laptop plugged into a TV.

The rest of the laptop's feature set skews towards entertainment purposes, with edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass in 15.6-inch and 18.4-inch sizes, instant-on media mode and Dolby sound. The Ethos is available now, with prices starting at $1600.

LG's Optimus 3D Officially Launched, Debuting in Europe With Dual Lens and Dual Core CPU

The long wait is finally over! Joining the likes of HTC EVO 3D and Sharp SH-12C is LG. The specs for this Android 2.2 device have remained untouched: a 4.3-inch glassesless 3D LCD with 800 x 480 resolution, a 1GHz dual core TI OMAP4430 processor, 512MB of speedy dual channel RAM, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and a couple of 5 megapixel cameras on the back that can capture 3D 1080p video at 24fps, or 3D 720p at 30fps. Other tidbits include 14.4Mbps HSPA+ connection, an HDMI-out port, and a removable 1500mAh battery, all inside a 5.93 ounce package. Alas, no date's been mentioned for the phone's US launch, but the lucky Europeans will get to pick up this phone first, followed by the rest of the world "over the next several weeks."

PowerSkin Battery Case Pumps Juice to HTC Inspire 4G, Desire HD

When it comes to battery-boosting power sleeves, the iPhone's covered, but what of the little green monster? Well, at least two Androids can now get juiced by way of a new charging case from PowerSkin. HTC's Inspire 4G and Desire HD are getting a little extra power with the release of this black silicone skin, which promises 1500mAh and up to eight hours of added battery life. The PowerSkin will set you back $60, and is now available at Amazon.

Jun 16, 2011

iCufflinks for the iFan in your iLife

These iCufflinks are so cool, yet oh so nerdy. I secretly would like to buy them for Father's Day, but would be slightly embarrassed if my man actually wore them to our next formal occasion.

Crafted from machined aluminum, just like your MacBook Pro, the iCufflinks are shaped like the familiar Apple power button. They include a pulsating LED to make all the guests at the party take note of the extreme Apple nerd in their midst. The group behind the iCufflinks have made the design open source, so you can download the schematics and mod them to your liking. If you want to snag a pair, they can be had for a cool $128 here.

Fujitsu Releases F-022 Flip Phone for Women Who Like to Smell Good

Because they're brutish and sweaty, most men don't have a problem with their phone's naturally metallic musk, but 20 to 40 year-old women with a well-developed sense of fashion" apparently do. That's why Fujitsu has announced the F-022 -- a glittery flip phone designed for females who demand slightly morefrom their handheld's olfactory offerings. Developed in collaboration with Japanese accessory maker Folli Follie, this bejeweled little bauble comes with a "detachable fragrance chip" that allows users to mark their tech territory with the perfume of their choice. Just spray the chip with a dab of your scent, latch it on to the phone, and every conversation you have will end up smelling like roses. The F-022 goes on sale in China on June 24th, but for more information, just follow your nose to the PR, after the break.

Sony Tablets Hitting Europe in September

The device, will be available through Sony Direct, UK department store John Lewis, and a third still-unconfirmed retailer at launch. Availability will apparently open up after the Christmas holiday.

 The note doesn't offer up much info on the tablet, though it does promise that it stacks up well against the iPad and offers up some "unique design features," which may well refer to the S2's clamshell -- or, for that matter, the S1's curved back.

Jun 15, 2011

Microsoft's Comfort Curve Keyboard Makes a Contoured Comeback

Like a vinyl record left out in the sun too long, Microsoft's Comfort Curve Keyboard has returned,slightly more warped than before. The ergonomic peripheral is an attempt to improve the comfort and posture of users who just don't go in for the split variety.

The 3000 features uniformly-sized QWERTY keys, offering up a similar layout to traditional straight keyboards. You'll be able to get your fingers on the input device in August for $20, to see if the comfort does indeed match the curves.

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook now Shipping in Arctic White

Samsung hasn't been particularly shy about its teasing -- but the big day has finally arrived, and the Series 5 Chromebook is now officially shipping to those eagerly awaiting the Google-powered laptop. If you weren't among the high-end coupon clippers who snatched one up during the surprise sale at Gilt a couple of weeks ago, you can now pick up a Chromebook of your own.

At least for now, however, it looks like you'll have to settle for a white exterior -- the "Ttian Silver" (also known as black) edition is still in pre-order mode at both Best Buy and Amazon.

Starbucks Rolls Out Mobile Payment App for Android Users

After having already introduced its own iOS app, Starbucks has now decided to bring mobile mocha payments to Android users, as well. With the free Starbucks for Android app, all you have to do is add credit to your mobile Starbucks Card, scan the app's barcode at the cash register, and that triple shot skinny latte will be yours to pound.

 Available on devices running Android 2.1 or above, the service will also locate all outlets within your immediate vicinity, while offering even more coffee-based incentives, via Starbucks' rewards program. Thus far, there are about 6,800 stores that support mobile payments, though the company is planning to add an additional 1,000 locations, this July.

Jun 14, 2011

A Peek at the Steve Jobs Comic Book

From the people that brought you the Mark Zuckerberg comic book comes the boringly named (yet still enticing!) Steve Jobs: The Co-Founder of Apple, a pulp biography in pictures. A few of which PC World has gotten an early look at.

As you can see from this shot—the pages still need to be colored in and dialog needs to be added. A shame for those looking forward to a minimalist kabuki interpretation of La Vida Steve!

The book will be available in August for a reasonable four bucks; no word yet on whether that includes an iBook version. And be sure to check out PC World for more of a taste.

USB Power Pot Uses Excess Heat to Charge Your Gadgets

Most stoves produce heat that far exceeds the temperature necessary to boil water, but TES NewEnergy has found a way to convert that excess energy into power, which can subsequently be used to charge your USB gadgets. Released yesterday in Japan, the Hitochaja HC-5 USB power pot can generate up to 400mAh of juice -- enough to charge your iPhone in three to five hours. If you want to expand the service offerings at your local soup kitchen, this double-duty cooking vessel may be the solution you've been looking for.

Logitech Lets Loose HD Webcam C615 Gets You Video Chatting in 720p

So, you're looking to up your video chatting game using SkypeHD, but found that little camera in the lid of your laptop can't cut the mustard? Good news, friend, because Logitech's latest HD webcam, the C615, is here to shoot images of your face over the internet in 720p. Like its sibling, the C910, it works with both Macs and PCs and has one-click uploads to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Additionally, the new unit takes 8-megapixel stills and 1080p videos (software limits video chat to 720p), plus it packs a 360-degree swiveling autofocus shooter to make viewing those hard to reach places easy. It's available now in the States for $79.99, and is making its way overseas in September.

Jun 13, 2011

ASUS to Ship 300,000 Eee Pad Transformers in June

ASUS has had a hard time meeting demand for its Eee Pad Transformer since the device's launch earlier this year. Jerry Shen, the Taiwanese company's CEO, says that he expects to sell 300,000 of the tablets this month, following shipments totaling 400,000 in April and May. That figure puts the device in the number two spot for worldwide tablet shipments, just behind the prevailing iPad 2. At that rate, ASUS's latest hybrid will bring in NT $2.5-3 billion (approximately $86.6-104 million), accounting for 10 percent of the company's total revenue for June -- a figure which could increase after sales pick up in Europe and mainland China in Q3. As for North America, it looks like e-tailers are finally able to maintain inventory of the $399 (16GB) flavor -- it's listed as in stock with major sites, including Amazon and Best Buy.

Toshiba Thrive Pre-order Now Live, Starts at $430

As promised, Toshiba is marking June 13th with pre-order availability of its Thrive Android (3.1!) tablet, a device whose life aspiration and name happen to coincide perfectly. This 10-inch Tegra 2 portable has the usual 1280 x 800 resolution, dual cameras (5 megapixel on the back, 2 megapixel up front), a gigabyte of RAM, and a 23WHr battery, but it also brings nice expandability with full-size HDMI, USB 2.0 and SD card slots. 

The Easy Grip back covers can be swapped -- which, yes, means you can also replace the battery -- though you'll have to splash out $20 for any non-black hues. The 8GB Thrive costs $430, followed by the 16GB unit at $480 and the 32GB option at $580. You can order yours directly from Toshiba or at Amazon, Best Buy or Office Direct, with deliveries slated for mid-July.

Jun 12, 2011

3M’s Silicone Medical Tape Will Make Bandage Removal a Painless Process

Imagine taking off a band-aid or medical tape, not grimacing in pain as the bandage adhesive pulls hair and skin cells with it. That is what 3M is promising with their new silicone tape technology, which bonds with skin in a way that other tape adhesives don't.
The unique properties of the tape's silicone adhesive work with skin in a different way than acrylate adhesives, found on most traditional medical tapes. This allows tape with silicone adhesive to be removed with minimal disruption of fragile skin layers or pulling of hair, without compromising securement.
Aside from use in hospitals, this medical tech could be useful for sports trainers (who have to wrap and tape ankles, knees, fingers and wrists), or kidnappers (who have to tie up and tape the mouths of those they snatch).

Virgin Mobile lets Android run Blur-free on the Motorola Triumph

Motorola hopes to rescue its tarnished MOTOBLUR UI with a name-change. The rust runs deeper than that, Virgin Mobile has decided to give its prepaid customers the "true Android experience" from now on, which means you'll find no proprietary shell whatsoever sitting atop its new Motorola Triumph handset. Aside from a few bits of Virgin bloatware, the Triumph escapes with a relatively standard install of Android 2.2. Meanwhile, MOTOBLUR will still be foisted on pay-monthly customers who buy a Photon 4G or XPRT from Sprint, Virgin Mobile's parent company. Some of them might like the shell and its add-ons, but others will be better off without such OS contamination.

Is Google Getting Old and Slow Like Microsoft ?

According to an ex-googler, the search giant may no longer be the quick-moving, innovative company we have grown to know and love.

Former Google engineer Dhanji R. Prasanna claims Google has become your typical large company. It has a corporate culture that rewards developers for protecting old code instead of creating new code. Some projects fail to reach their goal, because of this mindset. It's not a place for nimble hackers to work, he warns.

And the software infrastructure that powers its services is now ten-years old and very much obsolete, he claims. Software components are described as "ancient, creaking dinosaurs" and projects as "sluggish, over-engineered Leviathans". It may just be me, but that sounds a lot like *cough* Microsoft.

Jun 11, 2011

Extraordinary Hubble Photo Shows a Gigantic Exploding Death Star In Space—or Homer Simpson

Astronomers are in awe as they witness the evolution of Supernova 1987A using the Hubble Space Telescope. I don't blame them. It's awesome indeed. The actual explosion was first detected in February 1987, in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Supernova 1987A—NASA, can we call this Flabbergasting Giganormous Pink Glitter Ring of Glowing Awesomeness?—is "the closest supernova explosion witnessed in almost 400 years." The debris sprayed by this extremely violent stellar event started to fade away as it moved out of the center, but now it's impacting the surrounding ring "creating powerful shock waves that generate X-rays observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory."

These Shoes Tell You What’s Wrong With the Way You Walk (But Not Your Fashion Sense)

This footwear might look like the spawn of a three-way with shoes, stilts and a computer, but the super-awkward ForceShoe is actually a smartie, telling you exactly how you walk.

Developed by researchers at University of Twente's MIRA research institute, the ForceShoe contains four sensor modules at the heel and the front of the foot to analyze the precise movements of your feet. Like how much force your foot is exerting on the ground at any given moment. The shoe was initially developed to assess rehabilitation in stroke patients, but researchers are now looking at using it in high-level sports analysis.

Keep Yours Keys Safe and Cut Things to Shreds With a Bladed Carabiner

The Bounty Hunter carabiner packs blades into its silver body. Convenience andcutting! If you're using it for pocket key duty or rappelling, you might find yourself in need of a blade. Or nail file! Or scissor! The Bounty Hunter carabiner has you covered either way. Really, nothing ruins a day on the side of a cliff like an uneven nail. Or, if you encounter a very small bear, you'll be properly equipped for self-defense.

Jun 10, 2011

Where Did the Word "Sexting" Come From?

Sexting starting off like one of those stupid terms nobody actually uses, like netiquette. But now it's on CNN nigh daily. So where'd this strange neologism come from? The internet has an answer!

The Atlantic Wire did some digging, and the first utterance they could come up with was way back in 2004, when penises weren't being beamed across Twitter with quite the same frequency as today: "For many people, 'sext messaging' has a disinhibiting effect, like having a couple of cocktails," said Canada's The Globe and Mail.

Since then, the term's become completely informal, losing its quotation marks and "messaging" suffix. Of course, this hasn't stopped the media clueless from struggling to understand this zany wave of hormonal phone-wielders trying to express their urges via electricity-powered machinery.

But sexting isn't even related to SMS anymore—the term's flung around every time a dong appears on Twitter or Facebook. 

The Eatensil: For All Those Times You Need a Pizza Cutter on the Go

The Eatenisil combines seven tools which make eating easier—a spoon, fork, knife, pizza cutter, chopsticks, bottle opener and wooden chip fork—all in a Swiss Army Knife-type casing. Novel indeed, but I have to ask: why?

I could see the need for something like the Eatensil if a person were going on some minimalist camping trip that required as light a load as possible. 

The Lightest Olympic Torch Ever

It's being referred to as a "golden cheesegrater" in various circles. The public seems to hate it. Still, at 800 grams, this is the lightest Olympic torch yet. And that's important, because a lot of people are going to carry the thing a long way.

Reuters says the design ties in London's Olympic history:

Ignoring the unwelcome comparisons, the designers said its triangular shape symbolises the three times that London has staged the Games in 1908, 1948 and 2012, the faster, higher stronger motto of the Olympic movement and the sport, education and culture triple vision of the 2012 Games.

Designed in London and manufacured in Basel, the torch is 800mm high and has 8000 holes, representative of the 8000 mile journey and the 8000 people who will carry it throughout the UK.

According to the UK Independent, original designs for the aluminum torch included an eco-friendly, torch with low-carbon emissions, but the designers weren't able to find a suitable propellant for the flame in time. Instead, it will burn a more traditional gas concoction. The journey will begin next may in Ancient Olympia and end July 27 at London's Olympic Stadium.

Jun 9, 2011

IBM Outs Integrated Circuit Smaller Than a Grain of Salt

Graphene's the thinnest electrical material, comprising just a single atomic layer. In addition to its electrical, thermal, mechanical, and optical properties, researchers dig it because it has the potential to be less expensive, more energy-efficient, and more compact than your garden-variety silicon.

So imagine IBM's delight when a team of company researchers built the first circuit that fits all the components, including inductors and a graphene transistor, on a single wafer -- a setup that consumes less space than a grain of salt. The advantage, scientists say, is better performance than what you'd get from a circuit combining a graphene transistor with external components. 

Ricoh Waterproof, Dirt-resistant PX Camera For Outdoorsy Photographers

This small warrior packs a 16-megapixel CCD sensor along with a 5x optical wide zoom lens and is capable of booting up in just 1.4 seconds. The device also supports subject-tracking and face-priority auto-focus features, in addition to a host of shooting modes, including toy camera, soft-focus and high-contrast black and white, among others. Most alluring, however, is its resilience. According to Ricoh, the PX can survive drops from an altitude of up to five feet, remains waterproof at depths of about ten feet, and is impermeable to dust, sand and dirt. There's also a 2.7-inch, scratch-resistant LCD on its backside, meaning you won't have to worry about casually tossing it in your backpack as you make your way along the trail. 
More flamboyant hikers, meanwhile, can add their own personal touch to the PX by wrapping it in a protective silicon sleeve, available in five, vibrant colors. If you're interested, you can grab a PX of your own when it hits stores later this month, for$317. 

Samsung Spinpoint M8 Puts 1TB Drives On a Diet, Just In Time For Bathing Suit Season

The trouble with high capacity hard drives is that they're about the size and weight of a brick, and just as bad for throwing in glass houses or ultrathin laptops. Samsung is slimming up the beastliest of disks though, with the just announced Spinpoint M8. Inside this 1TB drive are a pair of 500GB storage platters, instead of the three 334MB ones found in most storage solutions of this size. By using AFT, Advanced format technology, Sammy was able to up the storage density and trim its latest Spinpoint to a svelte 9.5mm thick (your average 1TB drive is 12.5mm). 

As an added bonus, the increased density also boosts performance and power efficiency since the drives heads need to move less. If you want to slap one in your notebook you can pick one up for $129.

Jun 8, 2011

Will It Blend? - Justin Bieber

Not Just Any Old Bottle Opener Case, It Also Tracks Which Drinks You Guzzle

Bottle opener cases have been kicking around the block for ages, but the iOpener case is a lot cleverer than it looks. It actually contains an accelerometer, which detects when it's being used, and then opens a drink-tracking app.

The app, BevConX, lets you input the drink you just opened with the bottle opener, with the time and location also recorded. You even have the option of updating your Twitter or Facebook friends with the fact you just opened a cold brewski. Of course, not all your drinks consumed will come in a bottle—nor be opened by your fair hands—but for any serious drinker, that blind eye being turned by the app is probably for your own good.

On sale now for $30, it's only available for the iPhone 3G or 3GS—apparently an iPhone 4 model is coming soon.

Retrieve Lost Balls With the Golf Ball Wrangler

Somewhere in our extended circle of friends and family we all have a golfer who loves to talk about the many balls he lost in water hazards and the crazy ways he's retrieved them.

He's probably tried a few visual ball finders, but they don't work underwater. Before he rents some scuba gear, you should tell him to checkout the Golf Ball Wrangler.

The Wrangler is low-tech, but it gets the job done. It's basically a series of plates mounted on a spindle. You toss the Wrangler in the water, pull it across the bottom of a pond, and the balls get trapped between the plates. It's simple and brilliant.

Jun 7, 2011

Woman Gets Massive Tattoo of All Her Facebook Friends’ Faces

The latest edition of absurd Facebook-related tattoos: This lady got a tattoo of her 192 Facebook friends' faces on her arm. Ugh. If this is going to become a trend, then Facebook needs to add a privacy setting that lets you not allow people to get your Facebook profile picture tattooed on a person's arm.

Japan Scores Official Bluetooth PS3 Keyboard For ¥5,000

If you've ever seen a Bluetooth keyboard there isn't much surprising here, though it does feature a PS button for powering the console on and off. Instead of a touchpad Sony went with a Thinkpad-style nub which will be loved by some, but loathed by others.

And don't worry, pairing this thin one-pounder with other devices should be quite simple. Folks in the Land of the Rising Sun can pick one up on June 30th for ¥5,000 (about $62), but there's no word on a stateside release.

The Wii U Controller, Revealed!

Woah! The rumors turned out to be true: a 6.2-inch screen will be built into the controller for Nintendo's next-generation Wii U console. It'll also feature a microphone, a gyroscope, dual analog controls, two shoulder buttons and two triggers, a front-facing camera, a stylus, and yes, it's a touchscreen, too! The Wii U's controller was "not designed to be a portable game machine," even if it shares some characteristics with handhelds. You will, however, be able to game and video chat even without a TV. The Wii U controller is backwards compatible with all current Wii accessories.

Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel Will Arrive in Early October for $60

Microsoft's Kinect motion controls may be infiltrating all sorts of games this, but the Xbox maker isn't neglecting those in need of a more tangible control scheme. A new Wireless Speed Wheel has just been revealed, with a reasonable $60 price tag and an early October launch date. 

As you see above, it's technically three-thirds of a wheel, but that does allow for extra green bands of lights to be applied and, slightly more importantly, a set of directional and action buttons to be added to the handles of this steering implement. There's a rumble pack inside for force feedback and a pair of trigger buttons on the underside for smashing the gas or dabbing the brakes.

Jun 6, 2011

Test Your Browser’s IPv6 Readiness With a Simple Web Page

In preparation forWorld IPv6 DayGoogle's set up a simple test page to allow users to check whether or not their current browsers, systems, and networks are set up to handle the impending changeover. 

What’s Apple Hiding on This WWDC Mystery Banner?

OSX Lion is coming. iOS5 is coming. iCloud is coming. The banners for these products are already flapping in the air conditioned wind at Moscone Center. But what is behind this mystery banner, shrouded in black?

Full size would it be a new iPhone? A new Time Capsule?Some other, unforeseen One Last Thing?

HTC EVO 3D launches on June 24th for $200, joined by EVO View 4G tablet at $400

The HTC bonanza that Sprint has been cooking up for a while now has its official launch date: June 24th. That will be the day when the 4.3-inch EVO 3D and its tablet buddy, the 7-inch EVO View 4G, launch on the Now Network, both equipped with WiMAX radios and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) as their OS. The 1.2GHz dual-core EVO 3D costs $200 on contract, with pre-orders available right now provided you buy a $50 Sprint gift card, whereas the 1.5GHz single-core EVO View 4G will set you back double that, at $400, while still requiring a two-year contract. 

Official Steve Jobs Biography Gets a Cover and Price Thanks to Amazon

Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the Walter Isaacson-penned Steve Jobs biography, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, slated for release March 2012. Along with the listing is what might be the final cover and price for the tome.

It's a little generic, no? As though someone photoshopped it together for this express purpose. And note how the iBookstore only has a placeholder up.

Jun 5, 2011


Right out of the box the LW5600 impressed with its design, it's a slim edge-lit LED model and while the bezel is wide, from the side it is incredibly slim measuring at just 1.2-inches thick. There aren't any annoying lit-up logos on the front, with the only light coming from the power / standby indicator that can be toggled to off in the settings. The power and volume controls mounted at the lower right are touch sensitive and although easy to use and responsive, they can be hard to find since they don't light up. The stand matches the rest of the frame with an unassuming design that keeps the 49-pound screen steady while also easily swiveling left or right so we could access the inputs on the back. HDMI (2) and USB (2) jacks are mounted on the side where they're easily accessible.

That slim frame means you'll need to use the included dongle to connect any component video inputs, Ethernet cables or headphones in the rear. 

Government: Tasers Are Totally Safe! (Unless You’re Drunk, Crazy, or Stressed Out)

Bad news for anyone who might be thinking about committing a crime anytime soon: the National Institute of Justice, a division of the Department of Justice, just put out a report saying tasering is A-OK. With a few important caveats.

The study found that "There is no conclusive medical evidence in the current body of research literature that indicates a high risk of serious injury or death to humans from the direct or indirect cardiovascular or metabolic effects of short-term CED exposure in healthy, normal, nonstressed, nonintoxicated persons." That's great! So incapacitating most people via shock is a great police tool.

But a quick thought: aren't a large number of criminals intoxicated, stressed, or mentally ill? This is the exact group that was found to be an exception to the it's all good study. Which is troubling. Drunk, disturbed, and strung-out people tend to be the ones who need to be tasered the most. And just because they're drunk, disturbed, or strung-out doesn't mean they should be at an increased chance of dying. 

Mad Catz' Exclusive Xbox 360 Wireless Headphones With Integrated Voice Chat, 5.8GHz Base Station

According to IGN, the new Mad Catz Warhead 7.1 will get everything it needs from a base station connected to your console. String USB and optical cables directly from the Xbox 360 to that tiny tower above, and you'll reportedly get enough 5.8GHz bandwidth to deliver virtual Dolby surround sound to four pairs of headphones at once -- plus wireless Xbox LIVE audio chat thanks to some native support from Microsoft. What's more, the USB base station will also give you an on-screen battery readout, and if the Warhead runs out of juice, you'll find a second swappable battery pack sitting in the base station's charger. 

If that sounds too rich for your blood, the Devastator will ditch the surround sound and rechargeable batteries while retaining the same connectivity and 50mm drivers of its premium brother. How much that'll cost you is still to be determined, though Mad Catz told IGN they'll all ring up under $300.

Jun 4, 2011

Froyo Is Still Leading the Android Race, But Gingerbread’s Gaining

Hey, look at that—Gingerbread is gaining in popularity after more phones are either shipping with it, or receiving the OTA update. From 3 per cent last monthto 8.1 per cent now, a Cupcake is weeping somewhere.

Fujitsu Fingerprint/Palm Reader Does Large-Scale Biometric Identification, Won't Tell Fortunes

So it can't predict the future, but the latest biometric reader from Fujitsu can tell that you're one in a million -- quite literally. Looking something to the love child of Simon and a Polaroid camera, this as-of-yet unnamed device is apparently the "world's first biometric authentication technology that combines data on palm vein patterns with fingerprint data from three fingers." 

That's a mouthful, but Fujitsu says the combination of these two biometric authentication techniques allows for accurate identification of an individual in a pool of one million in just two seconds. What's more, it expects to up that capacity to groups of ten million by the end of 2011. For professional evildoers rocking three fingers and a palm, maybe now's a good time to start rethinking your career path.

An External Battery for Your iPhone that Doesn’t Quite Look Stupid

If you want extra juice for your iPhone, there aren't that many options out there that don't look rather goofy. They're bulky, corded, or just plain ugly. But the PhoneSuit battery is a nice cange—only 17 mm thick.

The PhoneSuit Elite claims it'll double your iPhone 4's life with its 2100mah lithium-ion polymer, and charges to the top in less than two hours. Not too bad, if true! Still, any phone purist will scoff at the notion of adding any extra flesh to their cell.

Jun 3, 2011

Microsoft Sells 55 Million Xbox 360 Consoles

If you work for Sony you might want go watch TV right now -- there's something on Discovery about ostriches and sand. Meanwhile, Microsoft just said that they sold 55 million Xbox 360s globally, which is very probably enough to maintain its lead over the PS3.

 Moreover, 360 sales in the US are still accelerating six years into its life-cycle, thanks largely to updates like Kinect -- and Microsoft boasts that "no other console in history can make that claim." What's more, neither the Wii nor the PS3 has yet reached its sixth birthday, so the story isn't over. 

New Apple Camera Patent

Apple is always filing patents for strange and fantastic things that never seem to find their way into actual products. But an application published today details some interesting tech that we could actually see getting jammed into a future iPhone (for better or worse). By pairing an infrared sensor with the camera already on board, portable devices could receive data from transmitters placed, well, wherever. Beyond simply blasting out text and opening links like a glorified QR code, transmitters could disable certain features, such as the camera, to prevent recording at movie theaters and music venues.

If completely shutting off the cam seems a bit heavy-handed, watermarks can also be applied to photos identifying businesses or copyrighted content. Some potential uses are a little less Big Brother, like museums beaming information about exhibits to a user's or launching an audio tour. Obviously third parties would have to get behind the IR push and there's no guarantee that Apple will put this in a future iProduct. 

Jun 2, 2011

Crux Loaded Case Almost Turns Your iPad Into a Laptop for $250

Plenty of people are happy using the iPad as Apple intended -- as a tablet -- but some of you have been searching for a way to add a sleek keyboard and trackpad to the device since day one. The Crux Loaded clamshell case brings both input devices to the mix, and even packs an external battery within its base, adding 7.5 hours of juice. Sound good? Unfortunately, you'll need to wait until fall to shell out a whopping $249 for the case.

You'll also need to hand over $30 for a remote desktop app if you plan to use the combo to control your computer (no, Crux hasn't found a way to run OS X natively on the iPad, as the image above might imply). With its netbook-like price, however, we'd rather keep our wallets Loaded than pay $249 for a case -- but if you've been dying for a way to make your tablet slightly more functional, you may be in luck later this year.

Texas Instruments Announces Multi-core, 1.8GHz OMAP4470 ARM Processor for Windows 8

The company has just announced a new addition to its OMAP 4 family of ARM SoCs, with the 1.8GHz OMAP4470. TI's new chip is powered by a pair of 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore engines, as well as two, 266MHz ARM Cortex-M3 cores that handle multimedia duties. According to the company, this multi-core structure will enable faster web browsing and more frugal power usage, while putting the OMAP4470 in square competition with quad-core chips like NVIDIA's Kal-El and Intel's latest Sandy Bridge line.

The SoC was designed for tablets, netbooks and smartphones running Android, Linux, or the next version of Windows, and can support a max QXGA resolution of 2048 x 1536, and up to three HD displays. There's also a single-core PowerVR SGX544 GPU capable of running Direct X 9, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenVG 1.1, and OpenCL 1.1. T

Jun 1, 2011

Microsoft Unveils Windows 8

Reportedly, there'll be two kinds of applications for Windows 8, one that runs in a traditional desktop, and the other pseudo-mobile apps based on HTML5 and Javascript, but both environments -- rather, the entire OS -- has apparently been designed from the ground up for touchscreen use, though keyboard and mouse are also options for both sets of programs.  "Windows 8" is just a codename for what we're seeing here.

Turtle Beach Announces PX3 and Z6A Gaming Headsets

The Xbox-friendly, surround sound Z6A rocks eight amplified speakers (including two subwoofers) and is juiced by a 5.1 channel amp that promises to bathe your head with booming bass. The USB-powered device may leave you tethered to your console, but at least it will house your ears in an oversized mesh cushion, which may make those late-night gaming marathons a little more bearable. The PX3 will retail for about $150, with the Z6A set at around $100.

Printed Keys for Any Lock

Apple software engineer Nirav Patel wanted to create something useful with his 3D printer, so he designed a system that generates any key from any lock from any manufacturer using just the lock code.
Using a specialized CAD program and the manufacturers' various pin depth specifications, he was able to generate functioning keys for the two most common American cylinder types, the Kwikset KW1 and the Schlage SC1.

To make a key, Patel first fashions an appropriate-sized blank, then generates a model of the key in a specialized CAD program using the manufacturer's lock code to determine the correct bitting and then hits Print.