Oct 14, 2011

It’s A Case! It’s A Battery! It’s A Projector! It’s … ALL OF THEM

Sometimes, smartphone screens are just not big enough. Linking it to a projector is helpful but it's hardly portable and before you know it, the battery's gone. The Monolith, a triple-threat iPhone case that works as a projector and a battery pack, can light up your room while keeping your gear booboo-free.

The case, made by Japanese accessory maker Century, is said to be capable of providing about three hours of image projection at sizes up to 60 cm (in 16:9 format), in 640×360 resolution, with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. But with a brightness of a mere 12 lumens, it's certainly no makeshift movie theater. At best, you'll probably end up using it for a viral video party … if you're entertained by three hours of that stuff.

If you are (and I'm not judging you!), you won't have to worry about killing your battery life; the 1,900 mAh battery will either cancel out the drain or boost your iPhone's lifespan up to 50 percent without projector usage and takes four hours to fully charge. For $260, it's a pricey battery pack, but you can decide whether the novelty of having a handy projector is worth the investment. The monolith is available in black or white. More here.

Stow Your Buds on Your Wrist

Finally, a Live Strong-style bracelet that does more than serve as a smug fashion accessory!

The Budwrap is a silicone wrist strap that securely stores your ear buds. You just tuck the buds under two integrated flaps, wrap the loose wire around it and insert the jack into a small hole in the band.

This Kickstarter project is getting funded and for the next three days (until the campaign ends) Budwrap is giving away a free, bonus bracelet for donations of $15 or more. More here.

Google Announces Q3 Earnings: $9.72 Billion in Revenue and 40 million Google+ Users

Google's just announced its third quarter earnings and, as expected, the company's numbers are continuing on the upswing (even beating expectations). That includes $9.72 billion in revenue, which represents a 33 percent jump compared to the third quarter of 2010, along with $2.73 billion in net income, which is up from $2.17 billion a year ago. 

There's not a ton of surprises to be found in the results otherwise, although Larry Page and co. sure seem to be busy hiring new folks -- they've brought on 10 percent more employees in the span of three months (for a total of 31,353 full-time employees as of September 30th).

Oct 13, 2011

Google+ Has 40 Million Users, But How Many Use It?

Google has announced its earnings for the most recent quarter, and—surprise!—they made lots and lots and lots of money, mostly off of search revenue. Which is the same story that's been written about Google earnings for the last ten years.

But! While the company didn't break out any specific numbers on Android usage, they did confirm that Google+ has over 40 million users. "Users," here, being loosely defined, since Google+ is a relative ghost town of privately shared links about how Google+ is a ghost town. And given how heavily Google+ was promoted in the early days—across however many millions and millions of Gmail accounts—is it wrong to be a little surprised that there aren't even more people who signed up?

Google will be hosting a call to discuss earnings (a not at all shabby $9.72 billion revenue, $2.73 billion net income) at 4:30EST, which will hopefully include some goodies on Android activations, Ice Cream Sandwich, and the Motorola acquisition.

Dennis Ritchie, Co-Creator of Unix and Founder of C, Has Died

In less than a week, the world has lost two tech pioneers. Last week, we mourned the passing of Steve Jobs, and now we say goodbye to computer scientist Dennis Ritchie who also recently died.

Ritchie, or dmr as he was called in programming circles, worked most of his life at Bell Laboratories where he helped create the C programming language and worked extensively on the Unix operating system. Without his work, many of the computing products we have today would not exist. Apple, whose OS X operating system is based on Unix and whoseObjective C programming language is rooted in C, has benefitted greatly from Ritchie's work.

Ritchie also co-wrote the definitive bible on C programming (a must have for any programmer) and has been awarded the Turing Award, the National Medal of Technology and, recently, the Japan Prize for his work in the field of computer science. He died at home over the weekend of Oct 8/9th from an unknown illness. He was 70-years-old.

Microsoft Officially Launches Windows Phone in India

You may have already been able to get a Windows Phone device in India without too much trouble, but Microsoft has only just now made things fully official -- complete with Windows Phone Marketplace, voice recognition support, and a trio of Mango devices. That includes just the HTC Radar initially, which will be available next week for the local equivalent of $490, while the Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro (believed to be the same as the W4) are set to follow sometime in November. Of the three, the Allegro is said to be the cheapest of the lot, and there's also some reports that it will launch in Europe for €299 (or roughly $400) off-contract.

Oct 12, 2011

Samsung Crashes iPhone 4S Block Party, Lures Aussies with $2 Galaxy S II s

Can't say we didn't see this catfight coming after Apple boldly rejected Samsung's settlement offer in Australia, but man, the latter certainly isn't afraid of striking back in its enemy's front yard. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Sammy's set up a pop-up store merely meters away from Apple's Sydney store, all for just stealing the thunder from the iPhone 4S launch this Friday. The campaign? For the first ten customers each day up to Friday, the Korean giant's offering its Galaxy S II for just $2 sans contract -- no wonder the line's already longer than Apple's, according to the Herald. But of course, Samsung's also effectively funding some of these folks for their iPhone 4S from next door, so it's pretty much a win-win situation for both companies. See? There's always a happy ending, and let's hope that the upcoming Nexus Prime won't add fuel to the ongoing patent dispute.

iOS 5 and OS X 10.7.2 Available for Download

Even if you were one of those Apple fans who was less than impressed by the iPhone 4S, there is still reason for excitement -- and that reason's name is iOS 5. If you've got an iPhone 3GS, 4, third- or fourth-gen iPod touch, or either of the iPads you can download Apple's latest and greatest mobile OS right now. That's right, all the fun new features like pull-down notifications, iCloud, iMessage, Find my Friends, Twitter integration and lock screen access to your camera will be at your disposal. Sadly you will not be getting a taste of Siri, which appears to a 4S only feature for now. Still, there's more than enough here to make it a worthy upgrade to your device. So, what are you waiting for? Go hit that update button now. Just so you're aware, you'll need iTunes 10.5 installed to get the latest iOS. There's also an update to OS X coming down the pipes -- version 10.7.2 -- which officially delivers iCloud to your Mac.

Oct 11, 2011

BlueStacks App Player lets you run Android Apps on Windows PCs or Tablets

If you've been dreaming of a world where Android apps are free to roam across your Windows desktop, you're in luck, because BlueStacks has just turned your reverie into reality. Today, the startup unveiled an alpha version of its App Player -- software that allows users to run a host of Android apps on Windows PCs, tablets or desktops, without requiring them to make modifications to their original OS. Available as a free download, this early test version comes pre-loaded with ten apps, and can support an extra 26, on top of that. 

BlueStacks' free Cloud Connect app, meanwhile, allows you to port third-party apps directly from your handset to your computer, though some games, including Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, are prohibited. Those, it turns out, will be included under a paid version of the App Player, which BlueStacks hopes to launch at a later date. You can take the free software for a spin at the source link here.

Oct 10, 2011

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook Rings in at $899

And the Ultrabooks have arrived! Acer Aspire S3 will go on sale in the US and Canada this week for $899 -- making it the first pinch-thin, MacBook Air competitor to hit the market, landing ahead of competing models from Toshiba, Lenovo and ASUS. To recap, this 2.98-pound aluminum beaut has a 13.3-inch (1366 x 768) panel, is rated for six hours (or 50 standby days!) of battery life and promises to wake from sleep in a mere two seconds. For the money, you'll get an ultra low voltage Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 20GB of solid-state storage combined with a 320GB HDD. This $899 version will be followed by models with Core i3 and i7 processors and beefier storage capacity. Intrigued?

iPhone 4S Pre-orders are in The Mail

If you were one of the impatient million who jumped to pre-order an iPhone 4S, well, chances are your fancy new handset is already in the mail. A number of tipsters have reached out to us to share their shipment notification emails that just came in from Apple. If you haven't already handed over your billing info, you'll be waiting at least a week or two longer. But, if you weren't camped out at your computer waiting for the 3am sale to begin, we're gonna assume you're not terribly concerned.

Oct 9, 2011

This Is Why the iPhone’s Screen Will Always Be 3.5 Inches

Why does the iPhone have a 3.5-inch screen? Why do larger smartphones feel awkward on your hand? Dustin Curtis has an answer, and I think it is spot on:
Touching the upper right corner of the screen on the Galaxy S II using one hand, with its 4.27-inch screen, while you're walking down the street looking at Google Maps, is extremely difficult and frustrating. I pulled out my iPhone 4 to do a quick test, and it turns out that when you hold the iPhone in your left hand and articulate your thumb, you can reach almost exactly to the other side of the screen.
It makes total sense. And that is exactly why we would never see any larger screen iPhone. That 3.5-inch screen will be the ideal size until all humans are 7-feet tall and have hands the size of frying pans.

Oct 8, 2011

These Google Designed Nikes Are Proof That Google Has No Taste

The Nike Air Mags, though not the prettiest shoe, represent a sort of nostalgic geek beauty. These Google designed Nike Dunks though? Just plain fugly. Even the geekiest, worst-dressed Googler would never be caught in these.

Sure, I get that it's a complete gag gift of a shoe but still! They use the old hilarious Google logo complete with the exclamation point. And is that Google Maps underneath the Swoosh? Just what the hell is going on here.

The sneakers were designed by Evan Steinberg, Google Community Manager for Android and signed by Larry Page. Are we sure it wasn't Steinberg's niece or nephew who made these? 

No iPhone 4S for You! Come Back, Two Weeks!

If you weren't quick enough in pre-ordering your iPhone 4S, you're going to be waiting an extra week or two. Launch Day supplies of the newest Apple phone have been depleted, according to MacRumors, which cites the new waiting times on the pre-order site above.

Oct 7, 2011

Banish Under Eye Bags With a Vibrator?

Eye bags. No one likes them. And no one gets enough sleep. So everyone has them.

But no one wants them! If tea bags, cucumber slices, the back of an ice-cold spoon, or Preparation H (yes I've tried them all) aren't working for you, a Japanese company says they have the solution: the Eye Slack Haruka. It vibrates.

This four-page article at Web MD on the causes and treatments for eye bags makes no mention of vibration. The device apparently also employs heat, which is strange because nearly every treatment I've heard of involves cold.

But there are several new-fangled approaches that involve microcurrent vibration as well as some you can buy to use at home. But I can't find studies that have shown these treatments work or how long the effects might last.

The thing costs $132, so try at your own risk. Much cheaper approaches: stay hydrated, exercise, don't eat too much salt (that can make you retain water which can lead to puffiness), and, of course, get enough sleep. More here.

Microsoft’s Servers Are Faster than Amazon and Google’s Servers

Amazon and Google generally get all the attention for their data centers and cloud services. But you know who has the fastest servers around? Microsoft. Yep.

According to Ars Technica, the tech monolith's Azure cloud consistently provided quicker load times than Amazon's EC2 or Google's App Engine in a year-long test conducted by Compuware, who peddle a bunch of enterprise services no sane person cares about. For the test, they set up a fake online retail site and employed the services of each company's cloud. The results?
The Windows Azure data center in Chicago completed the test in an average time of 6,072 milliseconds (a little over six seconds), compared to 6.45 seconds for second-place Google App Engine. Both improved steadily throughout the year, with Azure dipping to 5.52 seconds in July and Google to 5.97 seconds. Also scoring below 7 seconds for the whole year were the Virginia locations of OpSource and GoGrid along with BlueLock in Indiana. Rackspace in Texas posted an average time of 7.19 seconds, while Amazon EC2 in Virginia posted a nearly identical 7.20. Amazon's California location scored 8.11 seconds on average.
And why does this matter? Because, the cloud is going play a vital role in Microsoft's short-term and long-term OS plans.

Monkeys Can Move A Touch-Sensitive Virtual Limb Using Only Their Thoughts

Using monkeys as test subjects, researchers from Duke University Medical Center are laying down the foundation for a new class of brain-controlled, touch-sensitive prosthetic limbs.

A series of experiments showed that monkeys can use their thoughts to control a virtual arm and select a target based on its texture. Microwave implants embedded in the cortex handled the two-way exchange between the monkey's brain and the virtual hand. The researchers hope that this breakthrough could lead to the development of prosthetic limbs that can sense their environment and respond via brain control just like a normal limb.

Oct 6, 2011

Sony Nearing the Deal With Ericsson's half

Sony is getting tired of sitting idly in sixth place in the battle for cellphone supremacy. Sure, there have been a few noteworthy devices from the company's joint venture with Ericsson (i.e. the Arc), but for the most part it has struggled since its inception in 2001 to run with the alpha dogs. The Japanese manufacturer's new strategy involves buying out Ericsson's stake in the company and having its tablet, smartphone and handheld gaming units work closely together to develop future products. According to the Wall Street Journal, a deal for the Stockholm company's half of the venture is nearing completion. Some difficulties remain, such as properly valuing the company and settling on a price for Ericsson's roughly $1.3 to $1.7 billion worth of mobile technology patents, but a deal is expected to be reached sooner rather than later. And maybe, just maybe, the new found flexibility will allow Sony handsets to keep pace with the Samsungs and Apples of the world.

Your Windows Phone Will Soon Get Xbox Live TV-Controlling Powers

Coupled with the news that the Xbox 360 is getting full-on TV, WP7 Phones will join in with a new Xbox Companion app. Everything you'll want to watch will be controllable right from your smartphone.

According to the Windows Phone blog, your phone will have built-in access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, allowing you to choose from the full array of games, movies, and tv shows that will be made available by the 40 entertainment providers Microsoft signed with.

Yes, it sounds more and more like the Comcast's Xfinity app—I mean, consider how Comcast will look on your suped-up Xbox Live TV. 360 owners with WP7 phones will probably want to get in on this.

Sprint now Taking Pre-Orders for iPhone 4, Reserve Your 4S on October 7

Looking to grab that iPhone 4 on Sprint and take advantage of the unlimited data? Well, you can place your pre-order now on the current model and for the just announced 4S starting Friday, October 7. The company warns that this is "while supplies last" -- so if you're thinking about jumping ship from the data limiting service of Big Red or Ma Bell, you may want to act quickly. Just hit that source link and head to Sprint's iPhone page to reserve yours. Link.

Oct 5, 2011

Reactions to Steve Jobs’ Death

The world is now reacting to the very sad news of Steve Jobs' death. Including people like Bill Gates, Larry Page, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and President Barack Obama himself.

But perhaps the most important reaction—apart from his family—is Steve Wozniak's. According to the LA Times, he was "overwhelmed and could not get in touch with his emotions". His only words: "People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself."

Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple, has Passed Away at 56

Very sad news. Steve Jobs has passed away. As confirmed on Apple's site, Mr. Jobs has passed away at the age of 56 after recently stepping down from the position of CEO and naming Tim Cook his successor. Steve has had a profound effect on the world of technology, both at Apple and through his many other endeavors. My thoughts go out to his family.

This Piggy Power Strip Is Too Cute/Creepy to Resist

Even though I'm weirded out to no end by it, I still kind of want this thing. Yet another "classic" from Art Lebedev, the Svintus plug pig has 17 Type F sockets for all your Russian power needs.

It's definitely somewhere between creepy and cute—some sort of cthonic pig baby straight out of Carnacki. But having it on your desk is bound to be a crowd-pleaser. Or make some people hungry? Who knows? Unluckily it's just a concept... for now! More here.

Siri Sounds like Ass in Japan. Literally.

You'd think the smart people at Apple might check for this kind of thing in advance. Japan's giggling in the wake of iPhone 4S' birth, as voice control wizard Siri sounds a lot like shiri—ass. Oops!

The WSJ's Yoree Koh reports the confusion is so bad that Google Japan actually asks users if they'r searching for 尻 (shiri) when they enter Siri. While I'm sure a lot of Japanese browsers are in fact looking for ass online, most of them are just trying to get the scoop on the new iPhone. Not that Siri will support Japanese in the first place.

One (poorly Google-translated) Japanese tweet really says it all: "IPhone devices can talk and magical ass."

Oct 4, 2011

iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 4: what's changed?

It's finally happened, after all the wrangling, speculation and aluminum dummies, we now know the truth.

Price (on contract)$199 16GB, $299 32GB, $399 64GB$99 8GB
ProcessorDual-core Apple A5Apple A4
Display3.5-inch IPS 960 x 6403.5-inch IPS 960 x 640
Primary camera8 megapixel AF with flash and f/2.4 aperture5 megapixel AF with flash
Secondary cameraVGA at 30fpsVGA
Video recording1080p at 30fps, optional iMovie720p at 30fps, optional iMovie
CellularHybrid GSM / CDMA "World Phone", Bluetooth 4.0Quadband GSM, pentaband HSPA
Orientation sensingAccelerometer, digital compass, gyroscopeAccelerometer, compass, gyroscope
FaceTime video callingYesYes
SIM standardMicro SIMMicro SIM
Battery lifeUp to 8 hours talk time on 3G

14 hours talk time on 2G

Up to 6 hours data on 3G

Up to 9 hours data on WiFi

Up to 40 hours audio

Up to 10 hours video
Up to 7 hours talk time on 3G, 14 hours on 2G

Up to 10 hours data on WiFi

Up to 40 hours audio

Up to 10 hours video
Weight140 grams / 4.9 oz137 grams / 4.8 oz.
Dimensions115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm

New Nikon D800 May Shoot Ridiculously Large 36MP Photos

Obviously no one told Nikon about the megapixel myth. According to leaked details, the yet-to-be-announced new Nikon D800 DSLR will pack a whopping 36MP of image information onto your SD and CF cards.

Nikon Rumors reports that Japanese camera site, digicame-info posted specs of the new Nikon D800 on their site on September 29. Nikon Rumors was hesitant to post the information until they received additional information about the camera. They are now confident that the new Nikon will be called the D800 and will include a 36MP sensor.

The D800 is also rumored to shoot 1080p video at 30fps, shoot four frames-a-second bursts, sport a larger LCD display, and support both SD and CF cards. Nikon Rumors says that they cannot confirm the rest of specs on the Japanese site. The Nikon D800 is expected to put a $4000 hole in your bank account. That's about $111 a megapixel.

iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

The new iOS 5 will go live October 12. It brings revamped notifications and more than 200 new features for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. These are the top ten, and then some more.

Some of these features you already had in your iPhone or iPad. They just came in third-party apps.

If you used apps like the must-have WhatsApp, which allows you to message in an extremely easy way with all kinds of phones for free, you already were enjoying something like iMessage (even while iMessage adds important services, like device-wide conversation synchronization). If you had the awesome Instapaper, you already had some of the features of the new Safari. Or if you had something like Remember the Milk, you already had a great reminders service.

However, there are features that weren't available before; either because they are completely new or because they are system-wide. And there are real jewels too.

Things that may sound silly, like using the volume + button as a shutter in the Camera app. Or more important stuff, like well thought Notifications and the ability to run your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad without having a PC. Your iDevices are now completely autonomous.

All these features put iOS on par again with some of the features that you could already find in Android, Palm or Windows Phone 7. Some of their implementations, surpass those platforms. But even while none of these new features are extraordinary per se, all of them together are quite impressive.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

1. Notifications

The first big feature is notifications. At last, Apple will get rid of the annoying popups that break your flow. And with "annoying popups" I really meant "stupid dumb boxes that makes me want to smash my f*cking iPhone against the wall when I'm playing a game or chatting with strangers in the night".

They have replaced those with a new app called Notification Center. It's very similar to Mobile Notifier, the iOS notification app—which makes sense, since Apple hired its developer a while back. It not only includes app notification, but mini-widgets that show live information from apps like Weather and apps.

The notifications extend to the lock screen too, so you can see more stuff right away without unlocking your phone. Sliding your finger on it will automatically lead you to the app that generated that notification.

Notifications are clearly and by far the best part of iOS5—particularly coming from the stone age pop-up mess of previous versions. 
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

2. iMessage

Another new useful feature, which will hurt Blackberry and the telecommunications companies wanting to sell you stupid SMS and MMS contracts: Apple has implemented a new messaging system called iMessage.

It works between all iOS 5 devices, allowing you to leave conversations on your iPhone and continue them in your iPad (again, I will not be surprised to see this integrated into Lion at a later date). It comes with delivery notification as well. However, unlike WhatsApp, it doesn't work with other non-iOS devices. Maybe Apple thinks your Android and
Blackberry friends are not worth talking to for free.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

3. New Camera app and photos

The new Camera up gets two of the most-requested features in the history of iOS. The first is a shortcut in the lock screen to access the camera right away, so you don't have to unlock and then click on the Camera icon, which often makes you lose the moment.

The other one, which is something we have whined about endlessly, is using one of the volume button as the shutter button. Just press + and that's it: CLICK! This is a very welcome addition.

The new app also includes basic photo editing. It includes quick enhance—which basically sharpens your image, making shadows and highlights more detailed, and correct color automagically. It also include red eye reduction and cropping, both welcome additions to those who don't have the Camera Plus already.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

4. Newsstand

Apple has built a virtual news stand right onto iOS 5, very similar to the iBooks app but exclusively for magazines and periodicals. It looks like a cross between iBooks and a folder view, actually.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

5. Twitter integration everywhere

iOS 5 will have Twitter integration everywhere. Apps like camera will be able to directly post the image to Twitter. The YouTube App, Safari or even Maps will support direct sharing in Twitter. It also adds a new Twitter address field to your Contacts application.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

6. A new Safari

Safari has been revamped with new features. Reader will allow you to reformat a site on the fly, taking out ads and reformatting text so it looks better on your iPad or iPhone screen.

This feature flows into Reading List, which is a way to save those pages for later offline viewing, keeping them synchronized between all your iOS devices and Lion. Presumably via iCloud.

Apple's web browser also adds tabs in this version. Your open pages will line up right below your address bar. According to Apple, switching between pages is "lightning fast," so perhaps they have made some magic with the memory management to reduce the reload of pages in older devices.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

7. New Reminders app

The new Reminders app makes it easy to make to-do lists. The interface is very simple and it's synchronized between iOS 5 devices and your Mac OS X desktop or notebook.

The really cool thing about Reminders is that it's location aware. Imagine you add that you need to buy milk, but then you forget about it. When you pass by the grocery store, the app will tell you that you need to buy milk.

8. New Mail app

Mail includes a barrage of enhancements

• Rich Text Formatting, which will allow you to annoy the hell out of everyone bolding every sentence in your mails.
• Indentation control, which allows you to control the level of indentation of your quotes from other messages.
• Draggable email addresses, which allows to drag and drop email addresses into to, cc and bcc fields.
• Message flagging to call your attention over a particular mail later.
• Swipe to Inbox, which makes it very easy to access the list of message in portrait mode on the iPad, instead of clicking on a button for a weird pop-up dialog.
iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features

9. No PC required

At long last, the most important feature of them all: You will not need iTunes and PC anymore to use your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Apple has caught up with Android and Windows Phone 7. The new iOS 5 will allow you to set up your new device easily: Turn your new gadget on and a Welcome screen will appear. All software updates will happen over the air.

All the applications will now be completely autonomous. You will not have to go to iCal or some other desktop app to create a calendar, for example. There is no need for a desktop or laptop anymore, for anything.

10. New Game Center

The have enhanced Game Center too. Unfortunately, they have not renewed its awful casino interface, which looks as dated as always. But they have added much needed concepts from Xbox Live and other gaming systems:

• Achievement points.
• Access friends of friends, so you can compare and play with a wider range of people.
• Photos in your profile, so you can flirt with other nerds pretending to be women online.
• Game discovery, to play with whoever wants to play with you at any given time.
• Game downloads within Game Center.
• Support for turn-based games like Words for Friends and Scrabble.

Oct 3, 2011

What’s Behind the Next Apple iPhone 5 Event

Although you can't clearly see Scott Forstall's deranged face on this drawing, everything in this graphic showing the mechanics of Apple's next iPhone event—starring Tim Cook as master of ceremonies—is true.

There are also robotic ninja fembots with titanium shuriken-nippled breasts, but you can't see them in the drawing because they are hidden.

64GB iPhone 4S and 8GB iPhone 4 Show Up on Vodafone Germany’s Site

The Vodafone site lists 16, 32, and 64GB models of the iPhone 4S, and 8, 16 and 32GB models of the iPhone 4 on multiple accessory pages. We've heard about the 8GB iPhone 4 previously, and of course the 64GB iPhone has been rumored for years. With iPhone Day coming tomorrow, this seems like it's probably a little more than gum flapping and guesstimating by Vodafone, but it could just as easily be a dummy listing installed ahead of tomorrow to reduce the turnaround on getting the new iPhones' pages live. For what it's worth, though, the page does mention that the bumper for the iPhone 4 will work with the 4S.

So there it is: maybe-probably-hopefully a huge iPhone 4S and an eeny-weeny iPhone 4. Either of those get any of you guys hot and bothered?

Oct 2, 2011

H-57’s IBDM USB Missile Explodes with Retro Design

USB drives are ubiquitous these days. They plug in. They store smallish amounts of info and make that info portable. We all know this. Getting noticed requires quirky design, like this Intercontinental Ballistic Design Missile from Milan-based H-57.

Not only is the design a nice mix of retro and clever packaging (IBCM is of course a play on ICBM), the shop behind it is also responsible for those cool Star Wars typography posters that made the rounds the other day. Two for two. Soon available here.

The Original Kindle Was So Ugly Because of the BlackBerry

Looking back at the Kindle's history, that original Kindle was pretty rip your eyes out ugly, huh? An odd shape with quirky buttons and even stranger scroll wheel...God who thought of that? Apparently, RIM. Jeff Bezos loved his Blackberry so much he based the Kindle's design off of his favorite gadget.

A hardware designer on the first Kindle told the NY Times Bits Blog that:
"Jeff Bezos would come into our design meetings and say he loved his BlackBerry and the ease with which he could find e-mails and respond to people. That's why the first Kindle was so boxy, had the funky square keyboard and that strange scroll wheel on the side; it was all inspired by Jeff's BlackBerry."
Which is incredibly funny now because the Amazon Kindle Fire looks exactly like a Blackberry Playbook (because it is), though I'm 99.9% sure that the Playbook can't possibly be Bezo's favorite gadget anymore. Either way, it's funny to see that companies were once inspired by RIM and how now everything's just slate after slate after slate.

Oct 1, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday, Disney World!

Today marks the 40th birthday of the largest, most visited amusement park in the world, Walt Disney World. Part of Walt Disney's dream for the theme park was a planned community where people could live with the technology of the future, today. Although that dream was never literallyrealized, the spirit of technology runs strong throughout the park. Disney World has always been about creating the most magical experience possible with the most cutting edge technology available.

Paris Rolls Out a Fleet of Rentable Electric Runabouts

While Paris isn't nearly as god-awful as Mexico City in terms of traffic, it's by no means a commuter's Shangri-La. So, Parisian officials are testing a new fleet of electric four-seaters to ease its congestion woes.

The concept of shared-vehicle rentals isn't exactly new and is already establishing itself here in the US but this vehicle-sharing scheme is a first for the City of Light.

The initial two-month pilot program will allow enrolled members to rent one of 66 Autolib Bluecars for up to 30 minutes at a time for about four to eight euros. Membership fees for the program range from 10 euros a day to 144 euros a year. If the program gains popularity, the 66 currently available vehicles (and their 33 charging stations) could expand out to a total of 3,000 vehicles with an excess of 1,000 stations by the end of 2012, according to Paris' Mayor Bertrand Delanoe.

The initial set of vehicles were supplied by entrepreneur Vincent Bollore (pictured above) and the program itself is being managed by Autolib, the same firm that maintains Paris' public bike fleet. "We want to persuade people to shift from the concept of owning a car to that of using a car," Autolib General Manager Morald Chibout told Reuters.

MadCatz now Shipping Tritton Detonator Headset, Official Xbox 360 Stereo Sound for $80

PS3 owners have been sportin' their own official gaming headset for a few weeks, and now -- after months of teasing -- Mad Catz is finally granting Xbox 360 owners a similar privilege. The company's announced that its Tritton / Microsoft co-branded Detonator Stereo USB gaming headset is available and shipping, priced at $80. Positioned as the first of a trio of its upcoming headsets -- including its wireless brethren, the stereo Devastator and Dolby 7.1 Warhead -- the Detonator keeps it to the FPS-pwning essentials. The cans are loaded with massive 50mm drivers and along its cord you'll find an inline remote for adjusting game / chat volume, voice monitoring and mic muting. Impressively, aside from its detachable boom mic, the inline controller is also removeable, allowing you plug straight into your PMP when you're done trash talkin' on Xbox Live, scheduled to ship this holiday season.