HIH Studios

Thursday, September 21, 2006

BurnAway: Data Transfer Without PCs

Who needs a PC? The smarties over at Delkin (no, not Belkin) have found two great tastes that taste great together. They’ve taken a standard external DVD writer and combined it with a USB multi-card reader. Not content to just combine them into one USB connection, they’ve also added a microcontroller and an LCD screen, so you can transfer the photo and video contents of your latest foray into Tara Reid stalking to disk without leaving records on a pesky computer.

The BurnAway reads from SD, MMC, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, and xD, and burns to all your common DVD/CD formats, + and - flavors.

The only downside is the price. At about $370, it makes more sense to buy a handful of 2GB SD cards and a decent camera to shoot with, but there might be applications we’re not thinking of. Since it also acts like a Diskman via stereo out.

m300 GSM Cell Phone Watch - First Cell Phone Watch

As much as we love our respective cell phones, there’s something about using a watch to talk to someone that makes you James Bond/Dick Tracy/Inspector Gadget/A Super Nerd. And we’re all for it. This m300 GSM phone will have a 99-count phone book, 70 hours of standby, and will be available by Christmas season. Their site says we have 72 days left until its release date of December 1, so we’re super excited.

The watch also has Bluetooth in case you wanted to use a headset and keep your conversations private. We don’t have anything to hide - if anyone wants to hear where we buried that body, be our guest.

Product Page [My Mobile Watch via uber phones]

USBCELL AA Batteries Are USB Rechargeable

The batteries fit into any USB port, be it your laptop, PC, or powered USB hub, and will work with several regular chargers as well. However, the batteries are not rated to be used with a 60mA charger that charges in less than 2 hours, rather, use a 250mA charger that charges in 7. Otherwise you’ll create a temporal vortex that will suck your loved ones into the Zeta Zone, where you’ll only be able to visit on Thanksgiving and President’s Day. And you know how they keep changing President’s Day every year. It is said that they will cost $24.

Product Page [USBCELL via Far East Gizmos]

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

USB Card Reader with TV-Out

This USB card reader supports all your standard cards (CF/MD/SM/SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro), but also has a TV out function. Why? To display your pictures on your TV in case your camera doesn’t have that ability.

Unfortunately the device only supports JPEGs and not video, but has a 3×3 preview screen, slideshow, and works on NTSC as well as PAL. Rotate and zooming also supported, for some on-screen temporary photo manipulation. We think this would be pretty useful to take to your parents’ place when you want to show them a slideshow of your kids.

Product Page [Win-Star via Red Ferret]

Key Finder Thing

The value of this product is kind of nebulous, but if you lose your registration key or are criminally inclined - pick up a copy of Key Finder Thing. It’s a little program that comes in Full and Lite versions and shows you which keys it found on your disk. Might be a good way to backup your info, as necessary, and keep things on the legal.You could also potentially go into Best Buy, pop out your USB key, rock some warez.

Retrieve Serial Numbers or CD Keys from your computer [Raymond]

Nike MaxSight Lenses

Nike MaxSight lenses, co-developed with Bausch & Lomb, offer clear vision for people with 20/20 (or less than perfect) vision. The lenses offer enhanced clarity, elimination of glare, and filter over 90% of harmful blue light and 95% of UVA and UVB. Aimed mostly at the athletic audience, the MaxSight lenses also offer distortion free optics and the individual does not have to worry about fog or fit issues. Pretty cool concept here, except that contact lenses in general can cause eye irritation (depending on the individual) that can really affect an individual’s performance. The lenses also come in two different colors: grey-green for golf, running, and training and amber for soccer, tennis, baseball, football, and rugby. Yes, the colors actually improve your vision for that specified sport. And before you ask, no, there aren’t any blue lenses for swimming or checkerboard lenses for competitive chess.

Nike MaxSight [ubergizmo]

DigiMate III: USB Card Reader

Enter the DigiMate III. It’s a USB-2 multi-card reader (SD, MMC, MiniSD, Memory Stick, CF, Microdrive, XD), but it’s also got a touch screen for previewing and manipulating your data, as well as support for a 2.5″ laptop harddrive, and a battery pack, so you can back your stuff up on the go. It’s not just an interface, it’s a data manager, and looks pretty slick to boot.

The DigiMate III costs less than $50 from USB Geek, and works with your various flavors of Windows and Mac OS.

DigiMate Touch Screen Version [USB Geek]

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blackmagic Design Gets Intense

Blackmagic Design has announced the first HDMI PCI Express card. As you can see it features two ports and is said to work by bypassing the HDV compression chip to allow raw video. It supports 525 NTSC, 625 PAL, 720p and 1080i. It will be available October 15 for $249. This might be the product many people were waiting on before building an HD media center.

Blackmagic Design Announces Intensity, the World’s First High Definition HDMI Editing Card
[via Engadget]

Monday, September 11, 2006

In memory of all who died in 9/11/2001 and all the soldiers

Brando’s Tiny Portable Bluetooth Keyboard

You’re always entering in data or typing out txt messages to your cell phone, you know how janky those non-qwerty keys can be. Try this $56 portable bluetooth keyboard from Brando, which works with Palm OS, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile Smartphones and even regular PCs.

It’s only 3.7-inches when not in use, and weighs under 3 ounces - perfect for going into your pocket. Because of its size, it’s probably not nearly as comfortable as a regular keyboard, but it’s definitely a lot better than the keypad you’re using now.

Product Page [Brando via Gizmodo]

Chinese Car That Drives Itself

FAW, an automaker in China, according to the manufacturer, the vehicle can stay in control when driving at speeds up to 93 MPH. The system involves two cameras that are connected to a computer which interpolates things like curbs and center lines in an effort to make turnoffs, stop at street crossings, and stay in your lane. No word on how it does with not hitting people that pull out in front of you.

Look Out: Chinese Send Unmanned Vehicle Onto Streets [Edmunds via Jalopnik]

Toshiba Creates Three-Layered Disc

Toshiba has been tinkering with the HD DVD and DVD disc formats, putting together a hybrid format with three layers that contain both formats. The DVD section will be playable on conventional DVD players, and with a firmware update, standard HD DVD players can play both formats.

So it looks like we'll be seeing either a single-layer 4.7GB DVD along with a dual layer 30GB HD DVD, or conversely, a dual-layer 8.5GB DVD and a single-layer 15GB HD DVD, all together on one disc. One more layer, lots more content.

This idea could add more capacity to those already-existing single-layer hybrid discs, where a movie is offered on DVD for use today and also includes a high-def HD DVD copy on the same disc for those who think someday they may be suckered into buying an HD DVD player. However, this is at cross purposes with movie studios, who prefer the idea of selling the same content over and over.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

JBL Tackles Mt. Everest

Alright so technically, they just made some speakers named Mt. Everest, but they do weigh 313 pounds, which might as well be as heavy as a mountain for some people (me). The Mt. Everest speakers blast at 500-watts and measure mountainously at 9″ x 18.5″ x 44″. So if you have $30,000 to buy them, I hope you have a lot of spare room.

Our pals in Nippon will be able to purchase the Mt. Everest on September 21. I’m going to import seven of them and make a surround system using these monstrosities solely. Yea. Someone want to recommend a good receiver?

Mt. Everest JBL speakers

Motorola Linux E690 PDA

Motorola hasn’t announced it yet, but it looks like they’re working on a new RAZR-esque touchscreen PDA phone that will notably feature Linux. This thing has a big, bright 262K QVGA TFT touchscreen interface, a 2MP digital camera with flash, and, of course, video recording and conferencing. It can also play MP3, WMA, RealAudio, MIDI, WAV, AAC, AMR, RealVideo, MPEG-4 and H.263, through its two MFT speakers. The E690 features WAP, full internet browsing, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, Bluetooth and a built-in voice dialing system. The only negative seems to be its USB 1.1. Only USB 1.1? Come on Moto, you can do better than that.

LEAKED: Motorola loves Linux - E690 PDA Phone [Gizmodo via Hand Cell Phone]

Yahoo! Go for TV

Yahoo! Go for TV is a downloadable video recording software that works with your TV tuner card and creates a Media Center. It came out a few months ago, but now they’ve added Flickr integration, picture-in-picture functionality, movie recommendations, and local network music streaming.
The service is obviously free and probably one of the few ideas in this whole Web 2.0/post-content/advertorial world. Essentially, this gives Yahoo! a captive audience - unfortunately only folks with TV tuners really need apply because the rest of the functionality is a bit underwhelming - and puts Microsoft in the awkward position of having to make a good Media Center product.

Product Page [Yahoo]
Yahoo! Go for TV puts more Yahoo! properties on your TV

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another Upgrade of Mac Mini

Just like the iMac line, the Mac Mini line has also been upgraded today, albeit with just a speed bump. Instead of getting Core 2 Duos like their screened big brothers, the Mac Mini now has a 1.83GHz Core Duo in the $799 model and a 1.66GHz Core Duo in the $599 model.

Both of these have a 2MB L2 cache, 667MHz frontside bus, 512MB of DDR2 memory standard, and built-in AirPort and Bluetooth 2.0. The 1.83GHz model has a SuperDrive (DVD writer) instead of a Combo Drive (CD writer, DVD reader). Still standard shipping in 1-2 business days.

Product Page [Apple]

Plug ‘n’ Play USB Turntable

The Plug ‘n’ Play USB Turntable allows you to listen to your vinyl LPs digitally on your computer via USB. The turntable can also be connected to your stereo system if you just want to listen to those smooth LPs again. This is a really good product for DJs who have hundreds of vinyl’s they keep around for sampling. Plug ‘n’ Play USB Turntable also comes with software to edit and cleanup your files once they’re transferred onto your computer. Of course, we don’t know how well the editing software works or how it ends up making the great sounding vinyl sound digitally, so its probably best to keep your vinyl as raw as possible. The turntable retails for $139 and comes with a felt slip mat, 45-rpm adapter, line level RCA cables, USB cable and recording software on CD-ROM.

USB Turntable [popgadget]

The Silicon Valley Is Geting 1,500 Sq. Miles Of Wireless Coverage

The Metro Connect consortium, which includes Cisco and IBM, got the winning bid to provide WiFi to the entire Silicon Valley. Each city in the valley needs to approve the contracts, but Metro Connect is privately owned and plan to operate through sponsorships, not through money from each city.

What’s also interesting is that Internet VoIP calls will be charged extra, no doubt to not compete with current phone companies. A competing group, the Wireless Silicon Valley Task Force, which is made of local government officials and utility companies’ representatives, have a competing plan to cover all areas from San Francisco down to Santa Cruz. We’ll see how Google will fit into this plan.

Silicon Valley Wireless Project Moves On [NYTimes]

Philips Touchscreen Message Board

This is a neat idea that probably isn’t too new. Nevertheless, Philips has unveiled a concept product that is essentially a large mirror touchscreen intended to be used as a message board for families and offices.

The device displays thumbnail avatars of its various users. One simply clicks the user you want to leave a message for and the board allows you to either write a note with a stylus or you can record a video message with the board’s included camera and mic. It can also receive MMS and SMS messages in case you need to send a last minute message that you’ll be late for dinner. Cool stuff.

Philips Touch Screen Message Board

SanDisk V-Mate Flash Video Recorder

The SanDisk V-Mate’s job is simple. Stick in a flash card (SD, MMC, MMCplus, MMCmobile, SDHC, MiniSDHC, MicroSDHC, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo), connect the device to a composite video source, and it will record video onto the card using MPEG4 compression. SanDisk says a 1GB flash card can support up to 3.5 hours of whatever video you throw at it. The MPEG4 format makes it easy to just stick the card into a phone or a portable media player and start viewing your video.

The estimated price is just $123 when it comes out in October. It’ll be useful for people who haven’t quite gotten the hang of re-encoding stuff on their PCs for iPod/Cellphone/PSP format. But if you do want to save yourself the $123, get yourself a copy of Videora iPod Converter and you can format your stuff for MPEG4 yourself.

IFA 2006: SanDisk V-Mate Gets Video To Your Flash [Trusted Reviews]

Videora [Videora]

Creative Zen Vision W Reviewed

Asia got to review the Creative Zen Vision W, no doubt thanks to all their contacts in the Asian manufacturing community. So why did this player get the editor’s choice? Because the 4.3-inch screen is so large and pretty, it makes the player unable to be held by just one hand.

Other good stuff: the GUI, a CompactFlash slot to dump your photos into, WMV/MPEG1/MPEG2/MPEG4/MJPEG/DivX/XviD support, radio and voice recording, TV out, a virtual keyboard, Outlook syncing, 5 hours of video playback and 18 hours of audio playback.

Better yet, even the called “bad stuff” is really negligible. CNET says it’s thicker than the original, has no TV recording and only has a mono speaker. All stuff that appeals to a small segment of the user base. Available late September in 30 and 60GB models.

Creative Zen Vision W (30GB) [CNET via dapreview]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sony LF-B10 and LF-B20 LocationFree TV

These two Sony LocationFree units let you placeshift your video anywhere you like, much like the Slingbox from Sling Media. The LocationFree lets you control and watch your TV from any connected PC or laptop. The base-stations, the LF-B10 ($200) and the LF-B20 ($250), allow you to control two devices connected with composite or S-Video. Both units encode the video stream using H.264 instead of MPEG-2, which gives you higher video quality at less bandwidth cost.

You can use this with the LocationFree TV Box that lets you view LocationFree on another TV in your own house. This lets you get your channels you have on your main TV in the living room upstairs to your office, for example. Both the LF-B10 and LF-B20 use ethernet, but the LF-B20 has 802.11b/g so you can connect wirelessly. Best of all, you can use your Sony PSP to watch content just by updating to 2.50 firmware or higher. Slingbox has more support for more devices, but Sony’s seems to be an up-and-comer with some decent features as well.

Look out, Slingbox: Sony announces new LocationFree TV models [CNET]

Sony did it again.

When not building exploding batteries, Sony are creating teeny-tiny computers for everyone to buy. Case in point: the UX-280P. The original UX model, the 180P, came out eight weeks ago to much rejoicing. However, if you bought a 180P, you may want to fire up the old EBay because the 280P is quite a bit better.

* Ultra-portable design that fits in your pocket
* 4.5” wide SVGA screen with XBRITE’ technology
* Built-in cameras & mic for communication & photos
* 1GB (1GBx1) PC2-3200
* Intel Core’ Solo Processor U1400
* Ultra Low Voltage
* 40GB
* $1,999

The problem here is that most companies usually have a nice long mourning period before they phase out a model. Sony, on the other hand, pumps stuff into stores and then announces an upgrade immediately. Bad for early adopters, good for Sony.

Sony UX-280P silently appears.. [Mobility Today]
Product Page [Sony]

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Amina Tech’s SoundUnseen Plaster-In-Wall Speakers

Amina Tech’s SoundUnseen Plaster-In-Wall Speakers are high-powered vibration element flat speakers that can be plastered entirely into a wall or a ceiling, and can produce a high definition sound without any interference. The speakers not only get rid of visible wiring and room clutter, but they pack on an interesting design that makes location and listening position of the speakers very flexible.

“The speakers are designed with lightweight composite material that vibrates the same way an acoustic instrument would, allowing the speaker to recreate the diffuse source of sound energy in a less directional manner and more evenly than a conventional speaker.”

Regardless of what type of room you’re in or where the speakers are set up, they can recreate a surround sound or stereophonic sound field set up. The speakers carry a self containted engine which allow the speakers to set up tiny powerful vibrations that can transfer through any surface covering. The vibration causes air molecules to vibrate and excites them further way, sending a crystal clean sound wave into the room.

No pricing yet, stay tuned.

Amina Tech [Product Page]

Canon Launches Rebel XT Follow-up: Rebel XTi

Heavens to murgatroid! A new Rebel! The XT is pretty much the SLR of record in the prosumer market - no one else can really come close to their sales. Well, here’s the next generation, the XTi aka the Canon EOS 400D, a 10-megapixel SLR with new CMOS sensor, a 2.5-inch screen, and a self-cleaning system which vibrates the mirrors to dislodge dust, dirt, and chewed food.

How much are you paying for this? $899 with EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens or $799 for the body while the XT will run for $799 for the kit and $699 for the body.

So let’s just say this isn’t a massive upgrade, but it’s sufficient to consider dumping the XT and moving on up.

UPDATE - From PC Mag -

That’s not all. The Rebel XTi also uses an inventive firmware-and-software-based spot-detection function, which Canon calls its “Dust Delete Data” feature. Essentially, the camera itself takes an internal snapshot of the image sensor after the camera has been cleaned, recording any dust particles not shaken from the CMOS sensor. It then embeds this snapshot in the metadata file of every image file. After this, pictures are uploaded into Canon’s included image-editing software program which will later detect the spots and remove them.

More Coverage:
Canon EOS 400D [Livingroom]
Canon Unleashes A New Rebel and Powershots [PCMag]

Fujifilm S9100: It’s Not an SLR, But Who’s Cares?

Another camera? The S9100 is a 9-megapixel pseudo-SLR with 10.7x optical zoom and picture stabilization. The lens has an equivalent range of 28mm - 300mm includes a Real Photo, which adapts the flash and aperture to the ambient light and can also bracket shots, taking three shots using varying settings in just a few seconds. It has a 2.5-inch screen and will cost $599 in September.

Product Page [FujiFilm]

Onkyo Introduces D-TK10 Guitar Speaker

The D-TK10 guitar speaker, developed by Onkyo and renowned guitar manufacturer Takamine, is a revolutionary cabinet that is modeled after a guitar. It features a freely-vibrating thin-wall enclosure based on high-end guitar construction to create a much fuller and richer sound. The speaker has strategically placed struts, stringers, and thickness variations (like a guitar) so it can harness and control sounds that would normally be lost in another speaker system. The bass cabinet is made of mahogany and features a 4-inch cone woofer for the lows and a one-inch ring-drive tweeter that can reproduce frequencies up to 100 kHz.

“The Onkyo D-TK10 also features gold-plated binding posts that are compatible with banana plugs, spade lugs, or bare wire. The speakers are magnetically shielded, allowing them to operate near video equipment without degrading picture quality.”

These are some very well made speakers, so well made that Onkyo only releases fifty pairs a month due to how much work is put into each pair. Each pair will run you around $1,999.00 but if you’ve got a high-end studio and are looking for some great new monitors, the D-TK10s are definitely worth a listen.

D-TK10 [Product Page]


This ASUSTek R2H UMPC is a little bit less powerful than other UMPC-devices, having a Celeron M ULV 900MHz processor and only 256MB of RAM, but it does run Windows XP Tablet Edition, so you can use this to do just about everything you can on a regular XP machine.

Other features: a 7-inch WXGA touchscreen, 1.8-inch 20 to 60GB hard drive, Bluetooth, three USB ports, GPS, fingerprint reader, and a maximum of 768MB of DDR2 RAM. Despite the low amount of RAM, the features seem halfway decent. There’s no video cam for webcam calls, unfortunately, but this thing does have WiFi, right? Right?

Actually, Kevin from jkOnTheRun says it does have a 1.3 megapixel webcam on the top. Thanks Kevin!

Press Release [Asus via jkOnTheRun]


We’re going to have to take Nokia’s word on the affordability of these new Vertu Constellation phones, seeing as they haven’t released a price and the launch date is way over in October.

There are three models available, one with gold and black leather, one with polished steel and black leather, and the third with satin steel and dark-brown leather. The good news is these phones won’t be entirely featureless, as they’re coming with EDGE, GPRS, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and a music player. They’re also using the Nokia S40UI, which is better than the old Vertu’s UI by quite a long shot.

Still, even if they call this “affordable”, it’s still a Vertu, which means your kids aren’t going to private school any time soon.

New Vertu Constellation series [GSM Arena]

Logitech Z-10 Interactive 2.0

Logitech is really firing on all cylinders these days, at least in terms of industrial design and usability. These Z-10 speakers look way cooler than almost anything else I’ve seen out there and, if past experience is any guide, should sound halfway decent as well.

The speakers have a touch sensitive surface and reverse LED that is compatible with iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, and Musicmatch. You simply hook it up via USB and track information and controls appear on the display along with a clock and system info from the PC. There are even Internet radio presets, just like in a radio.

The speakers are 9.7″ tall, 4.5″ wide and 4.7″ deep and will be available next month for $149.99.

Product Page [Logitech]

Beyond Microwave Oven

I have a few friends who could immensely benefit from the Beyond Microwave Oven from Smart Home. Using a bardcode scanner, this micro can automatically adjust cooking times and temperatures. It features 4000 preprogrammed items and based on what you scan, it analyzes the food and estimates appropriate settings based on what information the barcode gives it. As Popgadget points out, this would be useless for experimentation or leftovers, but for $150, it’s not ridiculously priced or anything. Not to mention it does look nice and stylish.

A microwave beyond the ordinary [Popgadget]

PowerPoint Control with your iPod

There are lots of ways to present your latest sales losses via PowerPoint–A veritable cottage industry has been built around little devices that advance or retreat your negative sales figures. They use RF, Bluetooth, WiFi, VooDoo and cables to interface with your laptop. Well the addition of the iPod to that list is long overdue.

Using iPresent It, an app that costs less than $20, you can load up your presentation to your little multimedia friend. You can then play it back on the screen (as a series of photos) to practice, or you can use the A/V connection kit to output directly to a projector.

While you’ll still need a computer to make edits, you can conduct your presentation using devices that fits in the pockets of your jacket, and it works quite well. It’s great for doing sales pitches at, say, a client’s office or home, and should impress those who pay attention, which is hopefully anyone you happen to be pitching to.

Motorola ROKR E2

Can’t quite tell if this is an Asia-only phone or not, but it seems the ROKR E2 is hitting the streets of Singapore and it’s ready to rumble. It uses a USB cable to load music into an SD card - maxmimum 2GB - and allows you to store up to 500 songs and even has an FM radio tuner when you run out of tunes.

The E2 runs Linux, which probably means iTunes is right out in this iteration, and has a 1.3-megapixel camera. It’s available in Singapore now and costs about $300. The design is quite a departure from the original “block of music” look, which is refreshing. Unfortunately, music phones just haven’t taken off.

Motorola Announces the ROKR E2 [Slashphone]

DVD condoms

Son, you’re getting older. And sooner or later, you’re going to meet a DVD player that you want to put your disc into. That’s natural, it’s part of growing up and seeing the world. But you have to be careful. Some DVD players and too-tight carrying cases can hurt your discs. Those scratches, well son, they don’t come out. And if you get enough of them, your disc will be useless, unable to do what discs are made to do.

So I want you to promise to always carry a d_skin Protective Disc Skin, just in case. They’re made of a clear material that’s thin enough that you can leave it on the disk, even while the disk is in action. It’s just like it’s not even there, but there it is, protecting you from scratches. If the Disc Skin breaks, just replace it with another one as soon as possible.

It’s not that I don’t want you to have fun and watch Deadwood, son, it’s that I want you to be safe about it.

d_skin Protective Disc Skins [d_skin]

Ricoh Drops Two New Wireless Cameras

If you’ve got an 8.13 megapixel camera, and you want to improve on it, what would you do? You’d make it shockproof. And waterproof. And dustproof. Then you’d have a ruggedized, “sport camera”, perfect for the outdoorsman.

But outdoorsmen need to pack light, so you wouldn’t want to bring any of those pesky cables with you. So you’d make sure to make this camera Bluetooth capable. This way, you could instantly send any or all photos to your paired device (phone, pda, laptop) without having to worry about USB or card transfers, which can be tricky when running from a bear. Or, if you’re really smart, you could add WiFi, with WEP and WPA/WPA2 security built in. That way the guy in the next cabin won’t be browsing the photos from last night’s in-tent rendezvous.

Fortunately, the good people at Ricoh have done this for you. And they’ve included 26MB built-in storage, SD compatibility, and a 2.5-inch LCD, all in two cameras: the Caplio 500SE model B, which has the Bluetooth at $990, and the model W, which, yes, has WiFi at $1,100. The cams weighs in at a little over a pound each, so that “packing light” was a metaphor, but at least you know you won’t ruin it without really, really trying.

And sorry, campers, it’s Japan-only for this camera for now.

Ricoh’s WiFi/Bluetooth Caplios

Garmin Nuvi 660

The most notable feature of this new model is the inclusion of an FM transmitter that can be used to broadcast directions or MP3s to any FM tuner. It also has a widescreen 4.3″ touchscreen display that can project at a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels.

Like many of its recent models, Garmin promises that the Nuvi 660 will have far greater GPS sensitivity with the inclusion of a SiRF star III receiver. Drivers will also appreciate its ability to discover and respond to impending traffic doom. On the PDA side, there is an SD slot, a picture viewer, a currency converter and it can be connected to your cellphone via Bluetooth 2.0.

And with its nearly $1000 MSRP, it’ll go nicely with your solid gold Rolls-Royce.

Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS: Widescreen With a FM Transmitter [Gizmodo]

Toshiba - HD-E1 and HD-XE1

oshiba is releasing two new second gen HD DVD players in Europe. Both the HD-E1 and HD-XE1 are on display at IFA, and are quite a step up compared to current Toshiba HD DVD players out here in America. The HD-XE1 goes full HD with 1080p resolution and an HDMI 1.3 port which supports 48-bit color. TheseHD DVD players have also gotten a whole lot prettier than the current models out on the market.

The HD-E1 is just a lower end model, and stupidly does NOT feature 1080p resolution. The official announcement from President & CEO of Toshiba Digital Media, Yoshi hide Fuji, will not be made until Saturday. The HD-E1 is due to drop this November for €599 ($769 US) and the HD-XE1 should be out in December for €899 ($1154 US). Yikes, hopefully we’ll be able to live in full HD glory without the European price.

Friday, September 01, 2006

HORNMASSIVE blows sound 1km away

The HORNMASSIVE sound system can project sound from up to 1km away, making it a great addition to musical festivals around the globe. The mobile sound system is made up of a gigantic 2000-watt steel and aluminum horn, and weighs in at a massive 2-tons, all powered from a commercial 12” speaker driver. The sound system functions as an audio input station, where users can plug-in and project, and designed to be a monophonic sound projector cleary intended for outdoor events. There you have it, a way to blast Iron Maiden for all to hear, at least in monophonic sound.

HORNMASSIVE [the cool hunter]

Zen Vision

Creative officially launched recently the Zen Vision W that we heard about last week. The new player features a high resolution 4.5-inch, 16:9 format, color widescreen TFT display. Aside from the screen though, this player is essentially identical to the older M model.

The ZEN Vision W will be available in 30GB and in 60GB models. It will be showcased at COMDEX todaywith it expected to drop in the US in late September. I want one!

Creative Introduces the ZEN Vision W

Commodore - smallest player including a beaing a tv

With what might be the worst product name ever, Commodore will demonstrate tomorrow at IFA its new personal media player the Gravel In Pocket. Despite its unfortunate naming, this PMP seems to be a relatively valid device. It will sport a 2.8-inch screen, 1GB or 2GB of storage and WiFi. The GIP is capable of playing DivX, Xvid, WMV, MP3 and WAV files. It also features an SD slot. It will be available in November, but not word yet on pricing.
ComodoreCorp PDF data [via Engadget]

Firefox 2 is out

Desktoplinux.com went ahead and downloaded Mozilla’s Firefox 2 Beta 2 edition and were kind enough to do a rundown of the new features. Right now, it’s only available from Mozilla’s FTP site, here. It’s only supposed to be used by developers, but if you really just NEEEEED it now, here’s a rundown of the new features, as listed by the Firefox team:

* Visual refresh — Firefox 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them.

* Built-in phishing protection — Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled.

* Enhanced search capabilities — Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.

* Improved tabbed browsing — By default, Firefox will open links in new tabs instead of new windows, and each tab will now have a close tab button. Power users who open more tabs than can fit in a single window will see arrows on the left and right side of the tab strip that let them scroll back and forth between their tabs. The History menu will keep a list of recently closed tabs, and a shortcut lets users quickly re-open an accidentally closed tab.

* Resuming your browsing session — The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session. It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.

* Previewing and subscribing to Web feeds — Users can decide how to handle Web feeds (like this one), either subscribing to them via a Web service or in a standalone RSS reader, or adding them as Live Bookmarks. My Yahoo!, Bloglines and Google Reader come pre-loaded as Web service options, but users can add any Web service that handles RSS feeds.

* Inline spell checking — A new built-in spell checker enables users to quickly check the spelling of text entered into Web forms.

* Live Titles — When a website offers a microsummary (a regularly updated summary of the most important information on a Web page), users can create a bookmark with a “Live Title.” Compact enough to fit in the space available to a bookmark label, they provide more useful information about pages than static page titles, and are regularly updated with the latest information. There are several websites that can be bookmarked with Live Titles, and even more add-ons to generate Live Titles for other popular websites.

* Improved Add-ons manager — The new Add-ons manager improves the user interface for managing extensions and themes, combining them both in a single tool.

* New Windows installer: Based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, the new Windows installer resolves many long-standing issues.

Firefox 2.0 beta 2 boasts enhanced look, features [Desktoplinux.com]

Apple upgrades Mini

People are reporting that their recently ordered Mac Minis have been quietly upgraded prior to shipping. As a revision on the old specs, the new Minis feature:

  • Core Duo 1.66GHz instead of Core Solo 1.5GHz
  • HD 100GB instead of 60GB
  • SuperDrive instead of a Combo!
  • Not a huge revision, but a revision nonetheless. There has been much speculation that this update was coming, but many expected it to be an upgrade to Core 2 Duo. This also isn’t the first time the Mac Mini was updated stealthily. I wonder why they insist on revising this product so quietly.

    Apple Did It Again: Silent Upgrade of Mac mini Models [HardMac.com]

    Pioneer near releasing Combo HD DVD/Blu-ray Drive

    Pioneer announced at IFA that it will be releasing a drive capable of reading both HD DVD and Blu-ray discs. The BDR-103 will utilize Ricoh’s smart blue laser diode that can recognize what type of disc has been inserted.

    There have been a few of these drives that have been announced in the past. None of them have gelled, so here’s hoping that the BDR-103 actually makes it to market. If we start seeing more of these players, all that noise about format wars will be effectively nullified.

    Pioneer planning BDR-103 HD DVD/Blu-ray combo drive