Nov 6, 2011

Dell Latitude S Tablet Available for Pre-order, Might just Arrive Before Christmas

Serving as further evidence that the stylus really is back, Dell's coy enterprise slate, the Latitude S is now available for pre-order with an estimated delivery date of November 29th and an $859 price tag. If your too impatient to wait for Windows 8, this one's sporting Microsoft's seventh generation, weighs a hefty 816g -- nearly twice as much as the BlackBerry PlayBook -- and contains a 1.5GHz Intel Atom Z670processor.

Nov 5, 2011

A Leopard-Print Garden Hose Cover for Your Summer Home at the Jersey Shore

I'd imagine this is the sort of hose Snooki would own—were I to also imagine Snooki capable of fathoming the whole "watering plants" concept. The "Hose Clothes" cover slips onto hoses up to 5/8-inches in diameter and costs $24 for 25 feet or $34 for 50 feet at Dirt Couture.

Korean Bendy Memory Could Make Plenty of Trendy Tech

Flexible displays aren't much good unless there's flexible memory alongside. It's been attempted before, but bending memory pushes the individual transistors so close that they begin to interfere with one another -- causing degradation and shortening the device lifespan to just a single day. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has solved the problem by pairing transistors with memristors, which are immune to such annoyances. By fixing both inside a flexible substrate, you can push them as near as you like without any electo-radiation spanners jamming up the works. This also means that the flexible RRAM behaves just like flash memory; maybe in the future it won't just beantennas sewn into our clothes.

Magically Transform Brown Eyes to Blue with Lasers

There is something about blue eyes that can pierce another person's soul while also acting as a revealing window into your own. Brown eyes? Not so much. What if you wanted blue eyes, though? Color contacts? Meh. Try this new laser surgery that'll permanently transform your brown eyes to blue.

Brown to blue, permanently. That's what Dr. Gregg Homer from Stroma Medical in California says he can do. His Lumineyes procedure uses a laser tuned to a specific frequency to blast the brown out of eyes into blue. The process only takes 20 seconds too and it literally removes the melanin—the brown—from a person's eyes, which in turn reveals a blue color in two to three weeks (of course the blue isn't real, natural blue eyes have lower melanin in the front of the iris—the blue color in blue eyes come from the same effect as to why the sky is blue).

Dr. Homer says he still needs about $800,000 to complete clinical trials and if all goes to plan, the procedure will be available in 18 months outside the US and 3 years inside the US. The process is expected to cost around $4,800.

Nov 4, 2011

Microsoft-Approved Windows Phone 7 Unlocker Goes live

Let the great Windows Phone 7 unlocking begin! ChevronWP7, the Microsoft-sanctioned Windows Phone unlocker, went live today. The project is aimed at "hobbyist developers," giving owners of WP7 handsets the ability to run and test unsigned apps on their phones. Interested parties need a Windows Live ID and $9 to sign up -- that price'll give you unlimited unlocks on a single phone. You can grab more info and an unlock here.

How to Securely Wipe Your Data from Any Phone on Any Platform

It's phone upgrading season, and if you're industrious, you might be looking to sell your phone on eBay or craigslist or pass it on to your snot-mouthed little brother. Whatever, it's going; it's gone; fare thee well, you old piece of junk!

But please oh please oh please don't forget to wipe your data before your phone changes hands. Here's a quick guide for anyone who might need it, so you're not fumbling through options and settings for half the day.


  • First, you should probably back up your phone using iTunes
  • Go to Settings
  • From there, go to General
  • Now go to Reset
  • Select Erase All Content and Settings
  • You'll be prompted to enter your passcode at this point
  • It will take a few minutes, unless you've got a fairly ancient iOS device

  • Android

  • Backing up for Android is relatively straightforward; just connect your phone to your computer via USB and drag all of your files into a new folder.
  • Pull down your Menu and go to Settings
  • Scroll to Privacy
  • Click Factory data reset

  • Windows Phone 7 and 7.5

  • Back up with Zune software if you're on Windows, but there's currently no way to totally back up your SMS texts for Windows Phone, so keep that in mind if you like to keep hang onto your messages.
  • Go to Settings
  • Tap About
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap "reset your phone"
  • Press "yes" when the warning prompt appears
  • Warning: You won't be asked to confirm your password

  • BlackBerry OS 6

  • Use BlackBerry Desktop Manager to back up your phone
  • Go to Options
  • Scroll to Security
  • Now scroll to Security Wipe
  • Select all options (Email & Contacts, Applications, Media card)
  • Type the word "blackberry" into the box and hit confirm

Nov 3, 2011

Cheaper Android Phones Are Crap Compared to iPhone and BlackBerry

Fandroids say that iPhones, Blackberries and Windows Phones are way too expensive. Anyone can buy a cheaper Android! Now a study covering 600,000 support calls has found that these cheap Androids are exactly that: Cheap. And cheap phones break.

According to this study by wireless service company WDS, hardware failures are more common in Android handsets than in the more expensive competition. Makes sense: The culprit is not Android itself, but Google's OS licensing. Since it's so easy to license Google's OS, inexpensive phones are common. And inexpensive phones do not put as much of an emphasis on construction as expensive ones.

But the thing is, these are not cheapo phones from the developing world. The study's 600,000 support calls come from Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia—primo mobile markets.

It makes sense: while top of the line, more expensive Android phones from Samsung or HTC are solid, the inexpensive phones that are helping Google take so much market share are also its Achilles Heel. According to WDS' Tim Deluca-Smith: "At the moment, Android is a bit of the Wild West." Giddyup.

OpenBSD 5.0 Offers More Hardware Compatibility, Less Bugs

Fans of the Unix-based OpenBSD can crack open a bottle of their favorite open-sourced champers because the operating system has launched version five-point-oh. More evolutionary than revolutionary, this version has been given plenty of nudges in the right direction, with broader hardware support, OpenSSH 5.8 and improved network capabilities. The full change log also includes a plethora of stability improvements and bug fixes too. The volunteer-run OS can now be grabbed from OpenBSD's FTP servers or as a paid-for CD set if you're feeling a little noughties.

Nov 2, 2011

Internet Explorer Does Less than 50 Percent of World's web Surfing

It's been a long and winding road for Internet Explorer, Microsoft's venerable web browser, and for over a decade it's been the browser of choice for most netizens. According to Net Marketshare's latest numbers, however, IE now enables just under half of the world's total -- meaning mobile and desktop combined -- web traffic after owning 95 percent of the browsing market seven years ago. The decline is at least partially due to a rise in mobile web browsing and an increasing Chrome user base. Of course, Microsoft's finest still has a healthy 52.63 percent desktop market share, which gives it a sizable lead over the competition from Firefox (23 percent), Chrome (18 percent), and Safari (five percent). There's plenty more graphs and charts to show you exactly how the browser war is going, so hit the links below for the full pie-chart treatment.

Apple Admits Battery Problems: It’s iOS 5’s Fault

All those problems with evaporating iPhone batteries? Looks like it's not the hardware's fault—Apple's 'fessing up to a buggy iOS 5 release that's sucking more juice than it should, The Loop reports.

Apple confirmed the problem in a message to The Loop, stating "A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks."

Looks to us like it's more than "a small number of customers," but either way, we hope the battery-fixing update arrives ASAP. I've got so many stupid Siri video ideas I need to execute!

The Cleanest Way to Get Pomegranate Seeds into Your Mouth

Every pomegranate is composed of exactly 840 seeds. To extract every last sweet morsel, you could either spend a half hour picking at the husk with crimson-stained fingers or just knock them clean out of their skin with the ART.

The Arils Removal Tool (ART) from the Shoham company comprises a collection cup, grate, and cover. After splitting and de-crowning a pomegranate, you set the half on a grate that sits over the collection bowl, cover it, and rap the top soundly with a heavy spoon. This knocks the arils (the seed itself and the red, fleshy sac it sits in) free of the pith, allowing them to pass through the grate to the collection cup. The ART retails for $16 on EBay

Nov 1, 2011

A Majestic Bench That Records Your Ass Heat

You! You're full of body heat. Your blood is boiling. Maybe just figuratively. But you're not just a pile of molecules, you're throbbing with vitality. This bench by Australiandesigner Jay Watson shows it to the world. Thermochromatic assprint.

It's a handsome modern bench set, sure, but the thermochromatic coating is why we care. Any body part that touches the surface will change its color, leaving a mark behind. From the photos, this looks cool and frankly kind of gross.

Nokia Lumia 800 to hit the UK on November 16th

The Lumia 800 will be making its way to the UK in November, the confirmation that Nokia's "first real Windows Phone" will indeed be available within the UK on November 16th, just a day before Samsung unleashes its Galaxy Nexus handset to British users. Last month, the company confirmed that the device would be priced at €420, though there's no word yet on what that price tag may look like in sterling.

Oct 31, 2011

Varley's evR450 All-Electric Supercar set to hit Australian Roads Next Year

As Autoblog Green points out, Australia's Varley Electric Vehicles is known more for bulky industrial vehicles than high-end sports cars, but the company's now looking to change that perception with its new all-electric evR450 supercar. While it'll no doubt turn a few heads simply standing still, it also looks to measure up reasonably well under the hood, boasting a top speed of 200 kilometers per hour (or 124 MPH) and a zero to 100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds. 

The company's also promising a range of 150 kilometers (or 93 miles) that can be doubled with an optional range-extension pack, although its not letting anyone actually drive the car just yet (or even look under the hood, for that matter). As for a price, Varley's saying that the base package will come in "below" $200,000 Australian dollars (or about $213,000 US), and it says it could roll out "as early as January 2012."

Ubuntu Coming to Tablets, Phones, Cars and Smart TVs by 2014

We've already seen Ubuntu running on tablets and smartphones, but not in any official capacity. Rumors had it that Canonical would be making a serious push into the tablet space in early 2011, but that effortnever materialized, or at least was never acknowledged. Still, Unity has some finger-friendly streaks and Oneiric added ARM support -- so it's not much of a stretch to see the popular Linux distro on your mobile devices. 

Well, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth made that move official by issuing a challenge to the Ubuntu community to start pushing beyond the traditional PC form factor. There were no products to announce, but Shuttleworth was confident the OS would be ready and in shipping consumer electronics by the time version 14.04 arrived in April of 2014.

Oct 30, 2011

Productivity Future Vision

Garmin Announces FR70 Fitness Watches to Keep you on Track

Looking to keep those New Year's resolutions past the first week of January in 2012? Garmin's out to help you stay the course with its FR70 fitness watches for both guy and gals. Using this trainer's timepiece, you'll be able to track your workout time, heart rate and calories burned right on your wrist. Powered by ANT+ technology, the FR70 can connect to compatible devices like treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, your boyfriend's Segway, etc.

For avid runners, pairing the watch with a wireless foot pod will clue you in on speed, distance and cadence during your training sessions. If biking is more your style, a pace sensor is available for you as well. Combine an FR70 with the Tanita BC-1000 system and you can track weight, water levels, body fat and a handful of other measurements that will be stored right on the device. Once all the data is collected, it can be sent to Garmin Connect whenever you return with range of your PC. The pair will be available in the UK, starting in November, for £129 / €139 ($197).

Do You Think This New Urban Camo Will Fool Anyone?

It goes without saying Western soldiers haven't seen a lot of jungle and woodland shooting these days. The arid climes of the Middle East—and their urban centers—have been warfare hotspots. So how about some crazy new urban camouflage?

This experimental piece of kit, by camo firm HyperStealth, might look like a hideous screen printed dress. 
This is the unconventional pattern in field trials, previous computer simulations showed this pattern to be quite effective for both outdoor and indoor urban environments. The perceived depth within the pattern throws off the ambient and focal vision from noticing the target.
So, you think this would work? It's hard to say without actually being out there, but it's fascinating to see the psychology behind something as simple as a shirt.

Oct 29, 2011

New High-Precision eye Surgery Robot Helps Doctors Stay Sharp

A researcher at the Netherland's Eindhoven University of Technology has invented a new type of eyesurgery robot designed to steady the ophthalmologist's hands and minimize error -- always a good thing when it comes to having needles and knives near your peepers. Kind of like an Igor to a mad scientist, the robot is considered a "slave" to its "master" doctor, who controls the automaton's arms using two joysticks.

The doctor is still in charge of the cuts, but the technology makes sure the MD jabs that needle in at the exact same entry point each time without shaking to minimize ocular marring. Another notable feature is the robot's ability to switch between tools quickly, ensuring that if this whole doctor thing doesn't work out, it'll at least have a job at Hibachi waiting.

Are Stars the Origin of Organic Life?

Our Sun's energy is the source of all life on the planet, sure. But what if it was also the source of the first organic compounds that gave rise to life itself? A team of Hong Kong researchers believe they've proved just that.

The team from the University of Hong Kong have published a report that apparently explains the phenomena of Unidentified Infrared Emission features. These features cause observable infrared emissions in stars and were originally thought to have been caused by simple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules comprised of carbon and hydrogen. However, this report pins the source of the UIE features as complex organic compounds—structurally akin to coal—that are made naturally by stars and ejected into space. Trace amounts of these compounds can be found in interstellar dust clouds.

This isn't the discovery of extraterrestrial life, mind you, as these compounds are organic but can't be classified as either alive or dead. However, they are the first evidence that stars can naturally generate compounds on this scale of complexity—and quickly, producing them in a matter of weeks.

"Our work has shown that stars have no problem making complex organic compounds under near-vacuum conditions," said Prof. Sun Kwok, of the research team. "Theoretically, this is impossible, but observationally we can see it happening."