Aug 17, 2011

The Wii Gets a Redesign

This Christmas, the Nintendo Wii is a getting a slight, wait for it, Wii-design. I mean redesign!

According to The Official Nintendo Magazine, the tweaked Wii will be released in the UK this holiday season (no word about a US release).

The change is that this Wii is designed to lay flat and has a slightly reconfigured design. The original Wii was supposed to sit vertically. The upcoming Wii U console sits flat, so the tweak could be to bring cohesion between the two machines. Or it could bring confusion.

The biggest difference is that this console cannot play GameCube games like the current Nintendo Wii.The redesigned console comes packed with a Wii Remote Plus, a Nunchuk and, according to this photo from Eurogamer, copies of Wii Sports and Wii Party.

Aug 16, 2011

An iPhone 4 Backing That Magically Changes Colors When You Touch It

Ordinary fingerprints on your iPhone 4? Passé. Fingerprints that can morph your iPhone 4 into a color changing chameleon!? Psychedelic.

These heat sensitive backings, made by RF Laserworks, magically turn a variety of gnarly colors depending on the temperature. Get it here.

Sunscreen + Caffeine = Skin Cancer Killer?

Caffeine has previously been correlated with a reduced risk of cancer. But the latest research-aided theory coming out of Rutgers University is that putting caffeine intosunscreen will reduce that risk even more.

The Guardian UK says that when combined with sunscreen, caffeine, which inhibits a gene crucial to melanoma growth, will actually promote the death of cells damaged by UV rays.
Allan Conney of the department of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey wanted to find the specific molecular mechanisms behind it. He suspected that the response might involve a gene called ATR, which is suppressed when caffeine molecules are around. This suppression encourages the death of DNA-damaged cells.
Conney tested the idea by creating genetically modified mice whose ATR genes were deficient and exposing them to ultraviolet light until they developed skin cancer. After 19 weeks of UV exposure, he found that these mice developed 69% fewer tumours than those that had fully functioning ATR genes. In addition, tumours in the GM mice developed three weeks later than in standard mice.

ViewSonic ViewPad 10pro: a Windows 7 Tablet That Also Runs Android

Life would be so much easier if you could just switch operating systems depending on what you need, wouldn't it? That's the thinking behind ViewSonic's ViewPad 10pro, a "dual OS" tablet that runsWindows 7 and Android 2.3. The Wi-Fi enabled device comes with Intel's new 1.5 GHz Atom Z670 CPU, a 1024 x 600 display, 2GB of memory, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, HDMI capabilities and a microSD slot. 

The base model comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and a 16GB SSD for $599, while some extra bucks gets you Windows 7 Professional and a 32GB SSD. If you want one soon, best get a move on, as "limited numbers" are currently available. Get it here.

Aug 15, 2011

Mojang Offers Limited Edition Minecraft Xperia Play on eBay

There may not be many people willing to pay over $1,000 for an Xperia Play, but it turns out there's at least a few willing to go nuts when there's some Minecraft involved. That limited edition model pictured above will be given away to a few lucky winners at the upcoming Gamescon conference in Germany, but Minecraft developer Mojang has decided to let one loose on eBay beforehand, where the bidding has already topped a grand with a full six days left.

Adding a bit of extra incentive for those with deep pockets, Mojang says that it will also donate all the proceeds from the auction to an as yet unnamed charity. Get it on eBay

Google buys Motorola Mobility

Happy Monday to you, and happy Monday to Motorola Mobility, which Google has announced is about to become its next acquisition. This comes hot on the heels of a $56 million Q2 net loss for Moto -- and CEO Sanjay Jha's less than subtle hints about going fishing for Android-related patent royalties. Now, at a price of $40 per share for a total of about $12.5 billion, Big G will be making Moto a "dedicated Android partner" to "supercharge the Android ecosystem" and "enhance competition in mobile computing."

Larry Page had this to say about the deal:

Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.
What happens next? While this will of course strengthen the ties between hardware and software, Google is pledging to continue offering Android as an open platform -- Moto will license it and others will be able to as ever. Additionally, Google will continue to operate its new toy as a separate business and not morph it into an in-house hardware wing. But, one has to wonder what this means for companies like Samsung, which partnered closely with Google on the Nexus S, and of course HTC, which released the Nexus Oneand the iconic G1. And then there's the big question: just where does Moto Blur fit into this equation?

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC:
We welcome the news of today's acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.
Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson:
I welcome Google's commitment to defending Android and its partners.
Jong-Seok Park, President & CEO, LG:
We welcome Google's commitment to defending Android and its partners.

Diesel SBA Black Out Watch

This Diesel SBA Black Out Watch is for those that prefer their watches big, bold, and black. With a unique angled case design and plenty of analog dials, this watch can enhance your style with an audacious flair. It is water resistant to 5 ATM of pressure (50 meters deep in water), which is cool because the main dial is reminiscent of a submarine sonar display.

Aug 14, 2011

SteelSeries Sensei Mouse

It's been more than two years since SteelSeries unveiled its Xai and Kinzu gaming mice, but the peripheral maker has now returned with a brand new sword in hand -- the sleek and presumably sage Sensei. The device  is powered by a 32-bit ARM processor that can digest images at up to 12,000 frames per second and rocks up to 5,700 CPI, with a Double CPI option that extends to 11,400 DCPI, for users gaming across multiple screens.

 The ambidextrous controller also comes outfitted in a metal coating that won't slip from your hands and connects to computers via a gold-plated USB. Best of all, PC gamers can use SteelSeries' Engine software to customize their experience even further, with pre-set configurations and user profiles. The Sensei is slated for release next month, when it will retail for $90 (or €90).

ASUS Eee Pad Slider Shows Off Its Specs, May Launch in September

ASUS' Eee Pad Slider is fast becoming just as mythical as the flying horse the company's named after. Well, judging by a recent report from Notebook Italia and the tab's new product page, it looks like we may actually see a September launch for the 10.1-incher -- in Italy. Contrary to prior rumors, the company will be offering the Slider in two storage configurations -- 16GB and 32GB at potential €479 ($400) and €599 ($550) price points, respectively. 

It should ship with Android 3.1 installed, with a promised 3.2 upgrade to follow. The QWERTYfied tablet packs a 1280 x 800 WXGA display, dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of memory, 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, USB 2.0, mini-HDMI, microSD card reader, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Aug 13, 2011

Google Will Soon Grow Brand New Sign-In Pages For All Their Apps

In keeping with new changes Google's rolling out for their services, all their login pages will soon follow suit. Hence the new layout for Gmail's page. Altogether airier and cleaner. The "Gmail" in plaintext. All the functionality you'd expect.

Firefox 6 Breaks out Ahead of Schedule

It looks like the sly fox is ready to make its worldwide debut a few days early. In typical Mozilla fashion, a complete build of Firefox 6 is now unofficially available for your downloading pleasure, three days ahead of schedule.

 If you're looking for a major facelift to the desktop edition, you won't find one here -- most of the new features aren't cosmetic. Perhaps most visibly, you'll find the domain name of the page you're parked on highlighted in the address bar.

Go Snowboarding in the Dark With This LED Headlamp

Technically, the Snow Peak SnowMiner LED Headlamp is for hiking in the dark. But when you see the words snow and headlamp together, can you think of anything besides snowboarding in the dark?

But you shouldn't snowboard in the dark because even if you managed to find a way to do that, it's probably insanely dangerous. In any case, the SnowMiner is now slouch. The LED lamp emits 60 lumens worth of light. When strapped to your head, it shoots out a 35 meter focused beam. Awesome. But there'smore.

The lamp dome is made of a shape-shifting silicone material. When you squeeze the sides, the concave lens of the headlamp pops out into a dome-shaped form factor, effectively turning the SnowMiner into a lantern. For $50, what more could you ask for from your outdoor gear?

Aug 12, 2011

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean USB Toothbrush to Stay Fresh at Your Desk

For the modern dental enthusiast, I present to you the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean USB toothbrush -- because keeping your stank breath fresh at your computer is essential for early morning Skype calls. Long since gone are the days where brushing your teeth was limited to the bathroom.

 Nowadays, you'll need to keep those chompers fresh no matter where you might find yourself, including (but not limited to): the computer lab at school, your home office, your boss' office, or maybe even the Apple Store. Claiming up to 100 percent plaque removal and 44 percent more bristles, some are going so far as to call this £250 ($405) teeth gleamer the "iPod of toothbrushes."

Will Apple Announce the iPhone 5 on September 7th?

Kodawarisan, a Japanese web site, is reporting that Apple's Fall Event, which previously focused on iPods but will likely include the iPhone 5 announcement this year, is scheduled for Wednesday Sepetember 7th, 2011. The rumored date jives well with previous years.

Apple has always targeted early September for their Fall Events. Last year, the Fall Event was held on September 1st. In 2009 and 2008, it was held on September 9th. So it does make sense from a historical perspective. This year is a little different though because it will be the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on September 11th; it seems unlikely, perhaps, that Apple would want to compete with such an emotional and all-encompassing event for the type of media attention their product launches usually command.

I Hope Temporary Teeth Tattoos Never Become Popular

Trend hunters in Japan say the island nation's latest fad is for people to stick temporary tattoos to their teeth. If these pics are any indication, it looks as if someone's teeth are falling apart.

You might argue that it would make sense when you got a closer look at someone's grill. But how often do you examine the teeth of a friend, let alone some random stranger? And though they wear off in a few days, the idea of repeatedly gluing something to the front of my teeth just doesn't seem right.

Aug 11, 2011

The Evolution of Steve Jobs’ Clothing

This is Steve Jobs' wardrobe evolution since 1998, the year he returned to command Apple as interim CEO. You gotta admire a man who is loyal to his style no matter what. But my favorite Jobs is the old school Jobs.

After he returned to Apple, it was all Levi's, New Balances and black sweaters. One day I saw him wearing a suit—kind of—in a MacWorld Japan keynote, but that was it.

Back in the 70s and 80s his wardrobe used to be a mix of everything, from walking around the Apple campus barefoot in a t-shirt and shorts to old school three-piece suits to show his computers in fairs and keynotes.

FCC Details Plans to Bring Texting, Photos and Video to 911 Service

The Federal Communications Commission or FCC started talking about its intention to allow for 911 texting (and even photos and videos) last year, and now Chairman Julius Genachowski is out with a detailed plan for a "next generation" 911 service. The standout feature of it is just that -- the ability to send a text, photo or video in the event of an emergency -- but that also brings with it a complete overhaul of the backend of the service, and a switch to an IP-based architecture from the current circuit-switched system. 

That, the FCC says, should provide more flexibility and resiliency, and the agency has a number of other improvements in mind as well, including increased accessibility for people with disabilities, and new measures to improve the accuracy of location gathering (including new rules for wireless carriers). Of course, it all still is just a plan at the moment, but the FCC says it will consider a move to accelerate adoption of the plan next month.

Phones Stolen In the UK Riots Will Be Blocked From Networks

Just in case you were thinking of buying one of those 40 iPhone 4s that were most likely looted in the UK riots and put on Craigslist, don't—UK networks are blocking all stolen phones, so they'll be worthless.

Macworld spoke to several UK networks about the issue of the stolen phones, with the general answer being that they'll simply check stock records for each ransacked store, and add the IMEI number associated with each phone to the Equipment Identity Register which will block them from working with SIM cards in under a day. Within two days the phones will also be banned from being used on any UK network.

Sellers of stolen phones will likely still try and shift them onto unsuspecting buyers, meaning anyone who's been thinking about buying a brand new iPhone, BlackBerry or other recent model should probably go by official means only for a while, unless they want to end up with a very expensive door-stopper.

Minesweeper, Sudoku Now Available for Windows Phone Users

Got a Windows Phone 7 and an addictive personality? Well then today's your lucky day, as the Xbox Live versions of both Minesweeper and Sudoku have now landed in the US Marketplace. 

With these new additions, users can now sweep for virtual landmines in either Classic or Speed mode, or put their logic skills to the test by playing Sudoku in Lightning mode -- all while racking up achievements and powerups. Both are available for free and either will do a great job of destroying your productivity.

Aug 10, 2011

New Technique Could Rid Space of Junk in Just 4,000 Years

The earth's orbit is littered with about 20,000 pieces of space junk measuring four inches or larger. Pieces smaller than that are in the tens of millions, according to NASA.

To prevent the Earth's atmosphere from becoming a full-on junkyard, Italian Space Agency scientists have proposed an elegant way to remove space debris: launch a satellite that seeks out the garbage, then using a robotic arm attaches a propellant to it. The propellant escorts the junk to the earth's atmosphere where it burns up.

Sounds pretty neat, kind of like if Wall-E were a garbage collector when he propels himself through space with an aerosol can. The problem is the proposed technique is not so efficient. The Italian scientists report in the journal Acta Astronautica that one of their space junk collectors could take out five pieces of garbage per year. That means if space junk stopped proliferating now (although it's predicted to triple by 2030), the problem would be remedied in about 4,000 years.

Scientists say space junk doesn't pose an immediate threat, but it could quickly become one. That's because of the Kessler syndrome: as space junk proliferates, so does the likelihood of collisions, which quickly multiply the amount of crap in orbit. Space junk instantaneously increased by 25 percent when China detonated a weather satellite in 2007. Just two years later, an American and Russian satellite collided in 2009, throwing even more debris into the mix. If this happens enough times, the earth's atmosphere could become impassable, making space travel impossible.

Other proposed solutions to space junk include lasering threatening garbage out of the way or or employing service stations to lengthen the lifespans of existing satellites instead of launching new ones. But at a space conference in May, Gen. William Shelton, commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command said there's no practical solution in sight for the space junk problem.

Well, at least for the foreseeable future we can still look forward to fireballs of space junk falling from the sky.

You Can Finally Share Photos Natively Using Twitter

Wow. Five years after it launched, Twitter has finally added native photo-sharing to its service. Starting now, all users have a camera icon that lets you add a photo to your tweet.

Images that are 3MB or less in size can be uploaded and embedded into a tweet. If a user follows you they will see the image and a link. If they don't follow you, they will see a "Click to Display Media" message. You can even add a hashtag to your image so others can find it using Twitter's photo and video search feature. In the future, Twitter will enable image galleries and add this upload feature to its mobile apps.

Nintendo to Release Flame Red 3DS Console Next Month

The console, which launched earlier this summer in Japan as the Red Flare, will hit stores next month (alongside the new Star Fox 64 3D game), joining a 3DS lineup that already features Cosmo Black and Aqua Blue.

The company will also be releasing two new games this winter -- Super Mario 3D Land in November and Mario Kart 7 in December -- in the hopes of rectifying its disappointing Q2 earnings report with a strong holiday campaign. Only time will tell whether or not it has any effect on Nintendo's bottom line, but if you're interested in adding a touch of Santa-like cheer to your yuletide gaming season, you can grab a Flame Red console on September 9th, for $170.

Aug 9, 2011

Tokyoflash's Kisai 3D Watch Turns Time Into a Colorful Ice Cube

The folks over at Tokyoflash tend to come up with some pretty inscrutable watches, but their latest creation, the Kisai 3D Unlimited, looks refreshingly simple. Its cube-like, "3D" time display may not be conventional, but its mirrored LCD doesn't require a degree in cryptology, either (the time displayed above is 12:34. See it?). 

The watch also features a pretty sleek, stainless steel design, with a case measuring just 8.5mm thick, and a fully adjustable strap that can fit even the daintiest of wrists. If you're interested in grabbing one, you can choose from seven different colors for about $120 here.

Blackberry Users Are More Important than iPhone or Android Users

Social influence-ranking service Klout released some interesting numbers yesterday showing BlackBerry users are more influential than Android or iPhone users. Take that, you smug RIM-hating jerks.

Klout reported that the average Blackberry user it tracks scored a 43.6. The average iPhone user was a 42, while Android users came in behind both at 40.6. The average score on Klout is 20. Justin Bieber scores a perfect 100, baby.

Klout tracks some 80 million people on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It then purports to measure influence by looking at how one's posts on those networks affect others, and assigns a score from 0-100. It weeds out the bots, and places less importance on follower counts than it does action counts. For example, if you share a link, and many of your followers re-share it, or respond to it, or retweet it, that will raise your score. Likewise, if your network is made up of very influential people, that will also raise your Klout score.

Which sort of explains why BlackBerry users would win this thing. Who gets BlackBerrys? Corporate executives, often C-level types. My guess is that if you looked at the BlackBerry demographic on Klout, it would be an older and more professional user group than iPhone and Android with well-developed networks. Similarly, if you think about how many Android phones are free phones, it makes sense that a lot of those are going to end up in the hands of young people who haven't had the time or inclination to develop the kind of peer networks their elders have.

The Microsoft Touch Mouse

Taking center stage this year is Microsoft's Touch Mouse -- a multitouch gesture-based peripheral. Microsoft has finally made official its answer to Apple’s multitouch Magic Mouse: the Microsoft Touch Mouse for Windows 7.

The ergonomics are quite solid too—unlike the Magic Mouse, which is passable, but not great. As you can guess, the hatches dotted all over the mouse mark the touch area.

Samsung Galaxy S II LTE Phone Surfaces in Korea, Codenamed Celox?

There's a new Samsung Galaxy S II rumor circulating the web today -- this time, it's emanating from South Korea, where specs and images of an LTE smartphone, reportedly codenamed "Celox," have just surfaced. According to its listing, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060processor, sports a 4.5-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display, and boasts 16GB of internal memory, with a microSD slot offering an extra 32GB. 

The phone also runs on Gingerbread, rocks a 1750mAh battery (compared to the smaller Galaxy S II's 1650mAH cell), offers 800MHz LTE support (at up to 50Mbps upstream, 100Mbps downstream) and features an 8MP rear-facing camera, along with a 2MP sensor up front

Aug 8, 2011

Alien-Looking Automatons Have Taken Over Heathrow Airport

These happy-looking automatons are currently jetting passengers around Heathrow airport without any supervision at a 25 mph clip. Man, when did the future happen? I totally missed it.

Created by BAA, these Ultra PRTs whiz around Heathrow's business parking lots independent of human intervention and have yet to experience what we call "an accident." Breakdowns are also extremely rare and the system has a 95% reliability rate.

A Watch Running Android

Albeit it's Donut, but the Italian "I'm Watch" (yes, that's what it's called) has plenty of flair in its bright colors and 1.5-inch screen that you can preview emails and texts on, plus screen calls like a normal Bluetooth watch.

Some basic Android apps work on the I'm Watch, and you can browse photos and play music from the 4GB of onboard storage, for 48 hours (or 30 if you're using the Bluetooth features). It'll set you back a fair ol' whack though—around $350. Get it here.

Blackberry Bold 9900 Up for Ppre-Order at Vodafone UK

The Bold 9900 is already standing proudly up for pre-order at Vodafone UK, along with a commitment to arrive at your doorstep in roughly a week's time if you take the plunge. However, just like the leaked T-Mobile USA pricing, it won't come cheap in the UK either: you'll need to swallow a £41 ($67) monthly price plan on a two-year contract before they'll give you the handset for free.

 Alternatively, you can opt for a monthly contract at half that price and pay a daunting £399 ($650) upfront for the phone. Nevertheless, if you're a BB fan and you're convinced of this form factor, then we predict you'll get on well with 9900's particularly chunky keyboard, high-res screen and top-notch build quality

Aug 7, 2011

July Broke Almost Over 9,000 Heat Records

The data above shows the places that broke heat records by day and by night. You can practically see the entire continental US in each graph! According to the Daily:
Last month almost 9,000 daily heat records were broken or tied across the country. This includes 2,755 highest maximum temperatures and 6,171 highest minimum temperatures (nighttime records).

Is Windows Media Center Not Dead After All?

When Microsoft dissolved the eHome team that developed Media Center and renamed the MVP program to Windows Entertainment and Connected Home, there was some serious questions about the future of the product. While that question won't really be answered until September, when Microsoft is expected to reveal the feature complete beta at the company's Build Conference, a few leaked screen shots at show the same old Windows 7 Media Center running on Windows 8. 

In terms of compatibility with Vista and 7, so there's really no reason for Microsoft to pull it. We're not the only one who'd be surprised to see new features though, as everyone we know seems to agree it would be silly to think otherwise.

Why Do These Shake Weights Cost Over $1000?

Shake Weights were found to be pretty useless in the past, but BodyVib's weights could change that: they vibrate 2,160 times per minute, which is 10x faster than traditional ones.

A 30 - 50 minute charge is apparently good for 2.5 hours of lifting, and according to the company the 1.2mm amplitude is enough to amp your training by up to 50 per cent. I'm not too sure about those claims, but if you want to test them out yourself, go ahead—they cost from $1,060 to $1,190 for the 1.5kg, 2.8kg and 4.6kg pairs. Get them here.

Aug 6, 2011

Is This the iPhone 5 Slim?

On the right, you can see the iPhone 4. But look on the left! There's an iPhone 5 slim just like the one leaked in France! Or is it?

It looks real, but it is not. The fact is that it only took me ten minutes to make that image in Photoshop. It looks even more real than the alleged iPhone 5 image captured in France. Of course, that one is fake too.

That image was originally posted on Twitter by user Robin P, it was reposted on MacRumors Forums.

World Wide Web Turns 20

Happy birthday, World Wide Web! Hard to believe you're turning 20 already. It seems like just yesterday we were hearing the pitter patter of little dial-up, delighting at the words "you got mail," and getting frustrated when calling our friends and receiving that dreaded busy signal. You're all grown up now, helping people learn how to farm and become overnight pop sensations.

 What, we wonder, will the next 20 years bring? At the very least, you'll eventually have to move out of your parents' basement, get a real job, and settle down. It's hard to pay attention to that kind of stuff, though, when you've got another year of sneaking beers ahead of you. So go ahead, World Wide Web, enjoy yourself tonight -- just make sure to be home by midnight.

Pioneer’s SC-57 AV Receiver Wirelessly Blasts Your iTunes With AirPlay Using the Most Powerful Amp Around

Pioneer has announced their newest flagship digital AV receiver, the 9.1 channel, 140-watt Elite SC-57. It uses the most powerful amplifier of any multi-channel A/V receiver on the market. And yes, it runs Airplay.

The SC-57 uses proprietary D3 digital amplifier technology to drive nine channels at 140 watts each, simultaneously. The amount of powered supplied to each channel of traditional analog amps drops precipitously as more channels are connected. The SC-57 loses virtually none, meaning that you can listen to HD multi-channel Dolby soundtracks as ear-shatteringly loudly as you like. What's more, the amp uses fewer parts (causing less electrical leakage and ringing), a more direct signal path (for faster response times), and an advanced 3600 thermal dissipation circuit board to minimize sound distortion.

The SC-57 wirelessly streams your entire iTunes library and, if you don't use Apple, also features DLNA certified 1.5 streaming via an Ethernet connection. It even connects with Bluetooth to stream content from Androids and Blackberries.

One the video side, the SC-57 uses Marvell Qdeo™ processing technology to not only convert analog video signals to HDMI but also scales video signals up to 1080p/24fps. It will even optimize the video signal depending on what kind of TV you have—Plasma, LCD or Front Projection. Get it here.

Aug 5, 2011

Carzor Razor Scrapes off Your Beard, Then Folds Back Into Your Wallet

The Carzor (credit card-shaped razor) can actually be bought—and for only $17, too. The razor/mirror tucks into wallest for scraggly-faced emergencies in the office or public bathroom.

Bizarrely, you can also choose to "scent" your Carzor, choosing between mint, sandalwood, lemon, ocean or orange strips to moisturize and freshen you up. I suppose there's no harm in smelling like mint when ditching the homeless/hipster look, but ocean? Get it here.

Philips Wins DOE's $10 Million L Prize for 60W Incandescent Kller

Put your pig-tail light bulb aversions aside, because Philips has just won the DOE's $10 million L Prize Competition for the creation of a decidedly non-curlicue 60W equivalentLED lighting solution. The company was named the first winner in the 60W replacement bulb category at a Washington DC event.

It's taken three years to find a winner that could meet the high standards set forth by the DOE, specifically "ensuring that performance, quality, lifetime, cost, and availability meet expectations for widespread adoption and mass manufacturing."

Requirements further stipulated that the 60W incandescent killer use less than 10 watts of power, and provide energy savings of 83 percent. If Americans replaced all of their 60W incandescents with Philips' little winner, the DOE estimates savings of $3.9 billion in a single year. The bulb is expected to hit shelves as soon as early 2012. 

Vivitar Waterproof Camcorder

Vivitar may have bad-mouthed newfangled digital cameras last year, but that hasn't stopped it from selling them. The company's latest is the 690 HD, a compact, Flip-like camcorder that records 720p video and is rated for use up to ten feet underwater.

 You'll also get an SD card slot for storage and a 2-inch LCD 'round back, but you'll have to make do without other niceties like an optical zoom or HDMI port -- compromises that shouldn't be too hard to take considering the $60 price tag. Get it here.

Aug 4, 2011

Glow in the Dark Jeans Look Rad…ioactive

Naked and Famous, the Canadian jeans company, has remixed their standard pair of selvedge denim by coating it in glow in the dark resin. Wear it and you'll look like you work at a nuclear plant gone awry...or Kanye West.

The jeans are charged up by light (and look great in it too) to become obnoxiously bright in the dark. Even the selvedge edges glow in the dark! The jeans, as quality denim tends to do, will fall, crease and mold into your wear patterns—which will create unique glow in the dark lines and fades tailor made for your bootie. Who cares if you look like the green panted weirdo in the club, you got style man! $240 here.

Apple's Inductive Charging Patent Application With Earbuds

How seriously is Apple considering the possibility of adding inductive charging to its line of iOS devices? Seriously enough to submit some crudely drawn images to the USPTO, at least. The company's application for "Using an Audio Cable as an Inductive Charging Coil" surfaced today, featuring some interesting solutions to the problem of inductive charging 

Another proposed system also puts the earphones to work -- though without the need for that giant charging post. Instead the headphones slip into an acoustic charger, which cause their speakers to vibrate, creating a current that charges the device. As ever, just because a patent application surfaces doesn't mean a final product will ever see the light of day -- and these methods (particularly that big charging post) do seem like a long way to go to shave off the precious millimeters that inductive charging traditionally brings. But hey, Apple's all about the svelte devices, and stranger things have certainly happened.

Apple’s Been Approving iOS 5 Apps On the Sly Already

It's not expected until this fall, but Apple's already been giving the thumbs up to iOS 5-compatible apps. Mashable's app spells out "iOS 5 compatibility," while Camera+ skirts it with "compatibility with that upcoming OS That Must Not Be Named."

iOS 5's beta 4 has been available to developers since late-July, and the fact that Apple is already approving apps that support the new OS suggests that perhaps we don't have too much longer to wait. (Though obviously these app updates are based on iOS 4.3 rather than the iOS 5 SDK).

With the iPhone 5 expected to launch in either September or October (depending on which rumor you wish to believe), it wouldn't be unfeasible to hope that iOS 5 won't arrive too much later.

Aug 3, 2011

Zotac Adapter Turns Your DisplayPort Into Two HDMI Jacks

You can never have enough HDMI ports, what does that gaming rig you just put together have? Two? And that MacBook Pro of yours doesn't have any at all. But, if there's a DisplayPort hanging around, you can add a pair HDMI jacks with an adapter from Zotac.

 This little dongle turns any DisplayPort or Mini Displayport into a dual HDMI hookup, with support for two 1920 x 1080 monitors -- provided your graphics card can handle it and the HDMI group doesn't kill the product first. Price $50.

Toshiba's Qosmio F755 Delivers Glasses-free 3D August 16th, for $1,699

That Qosmio F750 glasses-free 3D laptop has gotten minor makeover for its US debut, and is now the F755. Thankfully, the news doesn't end with a new name -- On August 16th you'll be able to pick up Toshiba's latest 15.6-inch media machine starting at $1,699. The notebook will hit Fry's, Best Buy, and Newegg all on the same day, sporting the same Core i7 processor, 6GB of RAM, 750GB hard disk, Blu-ray drive, and GeForce GT 540M GPU.

 Sadly, it won't be able to convert 2D games to 3D out of the box, but Toshiba is working with Nvidia to deliver that feature by November. Now you'll just have to bide your time till this 8-pound, "portable" 3D rig starts shipping in about two weeks.

Angry Birds in Convenient Bra Form

I usually shun anything to do with the over-hyped Angry Birds franchise, but this game-inspired undergarment was just too good to pass up.

Etsy is the place you'll find this hand-painted creation and $35 is the price you'll pay for adorning your gazongas in this jovial bird versus pig attire. Get it here.

Aug 2, 2011

Why Stores Price Items at .99 Cents

I always thought it was so unscrupulous store assistants were forced to ring a $9.99 product through the till for the 1 cent change, instead of pocketing the note for a $10 item. But here are some more ideas:

According to the book Life's Little Mysteries: Answers to Fascinating Questions About the World Around You, the professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and Duncan Simester, the professor of management science at MIT's Sloan School of Management claim this is because "some retailers do reserve prices that end in 9 for their discounted items. Comparisons of prices at major department stores reveal that this is common, particularly for apparel." They argue that while $9.99 makes a product look more attractive than a straight $10, some chains feel that discount-style pricing is tacky, and beneath the higher-quality products they sell.

One opinion I love comes from Scot Morris' Book of Strange Facts & Useless Information from 1979, which purports that back in 1876, a Chicago newspaper was priced at a penny rather than a nickle was largely to get more pennies into circulation.

I think the more-obvious connection between an item costing $1 and .99 cents is why Apple chose their particular pricing for the bottom-tier of paid-for apps on the App Store. It's crazy, but .99 cents just seems like a more throw-away figure than a dollar.

Kingston HyperX SSDs Now Shipping, SandForce-Equipped for Hyperspeed

Brace yourselves speed freaks -- Kingston Digital is now shipping its latest 2.5-inch HyperX SSD drives, equipped with 6Gb/sec SATA Rev 3.0 and everyone's favoriteSandForce SF-2281 controller. You want fast? You'll get fast, alright. This SSD's read / write speeds top out at 555MB/sec and 510MB/sec, which is surely enough to keep your rig zipping through those intense gaming marathons office workloads. You'll be able to pick up the drive itself with 120GB of storage for $270 or 240GB for $520, while the install kit -- which includes such goodies as a SATA cable, desktop mount, torque screws and more -- tacks on an extra $15 and $20, respectively. 

Toshiba Unveils MQ01ABD HDD Series, Packs 1TB on a 9.5mm Frame

Unveiled yesterday, the company's new lineup of 2.5-inch HDDs offers up to 1TB of storage capacity, thanks to an architecture that squeezes 500GB out of every platter. Standing at 9.5mm tall, the 5,400RPM drives also boast an areal density of 744Gb per square inch, and are designed to maximize energy efficiency, burning just 0.55 watts in idle mode.

Gamers and entertainment gurus, meanwhile, would benefit from the MQ01ABD's enhanced acoustics, which max out at 19dB in idle, and 24dB while seeking. No word yet on pricing, but the beasts are scheduled to go into mass production by the middle of this month.

Aug 1, 2011

PhoneGap 1.0 Lets Devs Write Apps for Seven Platforms

Until now, mobile app developers have followed a pretty predictable MO: develop for iOS first, Android second, and everyone else after that. Since last year, many of you code monkeys out there have been tapping into Nitobi's PhoneGap, a project that makes it easier to churn out apps for almost every OS, all at once. It's been picking up steam, with about 40,000 downloads per month, 600,000 in total, and a steady stream of donations.

That all culminated this weekend with the release of PhoneGap 1.0, which lets devs use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to write and deploy apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, webOS, Bada, Symbian, and Windows Phone 7.  Get it here

Bedphones Work With Your Android to Lull You to Sleep

There are already plenty of sleep headphones out there, and Bedphones don't pretend to be the most high end out there. They're not supposed to be. It's the app that really sets it apart. It comes with three modes: basic mode; timer mode; and smart mode. 

Basic mode turns your phone into a big play/pause button and timer mode sets a timer for when you want your music to shut off. But smart mode actually shuts the app down by detecting how much you're moving. Pretty cool. Check out the headphones for $30. The Bedphones app is free.

ViewSonic Reveals 24-inch V3D245 3D Monitor, Ships This Month for $500

Still lookin' for that perfect 3D display, are you? ViewSonic would be absolutely thrilled to make your short list, with the 24-inch V3D245 making its debut this morning. Unsurprisingly, this one's arriving with a 1080p LED-backlit panel, and it'll be joined by an inbuilt NVIDIA 3D Vision wireless emitter and a pair of 3D Vision glasses. 

You'll also get a 120Hz refresh rate, two millisecond response time, HDMI 1.4 socket and 300 nits of brightness, and the three-year limited warranty should help quell any fears about longevity. Of course, NVIDIA would prefer that focused on the 550 (and growing) 3D titles available on its Vision Live website, but at least you've got until "mid-to-late August" to determine if the whole shebang is worth your $499.