Archive for the ‘Toys & Gadgets’ Category

Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Sep 4, 08 - 6:45 am

Categories //
Technology
Toys & Gadgets
Wireless

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BlackBerry BoldAn enterprising company with a retail location in mid-town Manhattan managed to get its hands on five pre-release versions of the much-coveted BlackBerry Bold.

What did it do? Put them up for sale, naturally. The price tag? A staggering $1,300.00 USD. For that, you get a phone that may or may not be fully optimized forAT&T (NYSE: T)’s network.

The BlackBerry Bold, RIM’s next-generation smartphone, was supposed to go on sale back in July. Then the date was pushed to August. The initial reason behind the delay was supposed network-related issues.

Here we are in September, and still no BlackBerry Bold.

At this point, no one appears to know exactly when the device will officially hit the streets. Some reports suggest that it will be early October before we see it. That is, of course, unconfirmed.

Despite its lack of official availability here in the US, it has gone on sale in Canada and elsewhere and, some how, the New York BlackBerry Center got its hands of five of the smartphones over the weekend.

The company, located in the Time Life Building on 6th Ave at West 50th Street in Manhattan, decided to sell their stock at a price only a banker could afford.

It sold all five for $1,300.00 USD each. Wow. That’s a heck of a mark-up. To those five who purchased them, good luck with your pre-release hardware!


Palm accidentally uploaded a presentation about the Palm Treo 850 — aka Treo Pro — to a public Palm Web site, where it was spotted by bloggers and posted just about everywhere.

It is probably the best looking Treo ever but is that really saying all that much? It sure looks nice:

Palm Treo 850 / Treo Pro

You can see additional pictures of it here and here.

Looks to have either a black or gun-metal finish to it, with nice sharp lines and clean buttons. My one issue is that it still looks chubby.

Palm Treos, even the latest 800w, are a lot thicker than the competition. Motorola, Samsung, Apple, and even RIM seem to know how to make thinner smartphones.

Other details that can be discerned from the presentation are that it will have a full 3.5mm headset jack for headphones, Wi-Fi and of course a touch screen, which all Palms have.

It also looks like it will run the Windows Mobile 6.1 platform and will have a micro-USB jack for transferring data.

When this device will launch is unknown, but it will be with a carrier such as T-Mobile or AT&T, because the first version of it will have GSM / UMTS radios.

This phone is a nice improvement for Palm in the looks department.

Since the next generation of Palm’s own operating system is not going to be available for a while, Palm needs to do its best with Windows Mobile phones if it is to remain relevant in the competitive smartphone market.


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Jul 31, 08 - 7:58 am

Categories //
Geekery
Technology
Toys & Gadgets

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Ancient Olympic ComputerResearchers announced Wednesday that a geared device dating to the second century BC was used to calculate the dates for the first Olympic games.

It has long been known that the Antikythera Mechanism — recovered in 1900 or 1901 from a shipwreck off the Greek coast — was able to calculate and display celestial information, including cycles and phases of the moon and sun.

Now, newly deciphered inscriptions on the device referencing the Olympics, and a dial designed to calculate the four-year Olympiad Cycle, reveal more about the device and how it was used by the Greeks.

The first Olympics were held in Nemea in 776 BC. Reuters reports that “The name ‘Nemea’ was found near a small dial on the mechanism, a reference to the site of one of the prominent games in the Olympiad cycle, the researchers said. Locations such as Olympia also appeared.”

A report published Wednesday in the journal Nature says:

The Antikythera Mechanism is technically more complex than any known device for at least a millennium afterwards. Its specific functions have remained controversial because its gears and the inscriptions upon its faces are only fragmentary

Here we report surface imaging and high-resolution X-ray tomography of the surviving fragments, enabling us to reconstruct the gear function and double the number of deciphered inscriptions. The mechanism predicted lunar and solar eclipses on the basis of Babylonian arithmetic-progression cycles.

Technologists from HP joined the scientific team and contributed imaging analysis. See their amazingly detailed ‘reflectance images’ here.

If you still want more, watch a fascinating video of how researchers deciphered the purpose and properties of the mechanism.

Source: Nature Journal


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
May 6, 08 - 11:27 am

Categories //
Geekery
Movies
Toys & Gadgets

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This 20 foot long, eight foot wide Batmobile is one of five original props used in Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. Of course, it’s utterly impractical.

Tim Burton Batmobile

You have to enter through the roof, the eight cylinder Chevrolet 350 engine won’t be giving you Prius-like fuel economy, and finding spares might be a problem. But who cares? It’s the Batmobile.

Here’s the seller’s description:

Na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN. That is what your neighbors will say when you pull into the driveway. How many people do you know that have a Ferrari, a Mercedes, a Lamborghini, or a Corvette? My guess would be there is at least one of these in your neighborhood. Now how many Batmobiles are in your neighborhood. None, because there were a total of 5 of these cars made.

Sure, it costs half a million bucks, but what’s that to a millionaire socialite like you?

Source: AutoBlog


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Mar 20, 08 - 1:03 pm

Categories //
Technology
Toys & Gadgets
Wireless

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Cortado Connect and Box.net are giving users of BlackBerry smartphones 1 GB of free online storage for pictures, files, music, whatever. If you want more storage, however, you’ll have to cough up some dough. It’s sort of like a mini-FTP for your phone. Check it out.

Box.net offers the free online storage to just about anyone. Simply sign up and away you go. For 1 GB of storage, there is no charge. For 5 GB, you can pay $8 per month, and for 15 GB it is $20 per month. The free version caps file sizes at 10 MB, but the two for-pay options don’t have caps on file size uploads.

Here’s how it works. The Cortado Connect software is an Internet storage solution optimized for BlackBerry users with BlackBerry Internet Service. With the software, BlackBerry users can manage their local and online storage, with the ability to transfer files between them directly from their handset. Users can store music, video, and documents to their hearts content (as long as it’s 1 GB worth of content).

The steps to sign up are pretty simple. Go to Box.net and sign up for a free account. Download and install the Cortado client on your BlackBerry. Use Cortado Connect to access your Box.net account, and begin managing your files.

Once you’ve done that, you can set up shared folders with colleagues or friends to swap files. This can make it truly useful when it is too difficult to send files from phone to phone via e-mail or MMS.

Cortado also makes similar clients for Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and Symbian devices. If the storage capacities offered from Box.net aren’t enough for you, it also offers enterprise support and services.


Belkin’s latest power-strip adds a very smart feature for travelers: USB ports. The strip has a couple of charge-only sockets along with the three-way mains AC extenders and even comes with a mini-USB cable, obviating the need to carry chargers for most gadgets.

Belkin USB Charger

The $25 box also squeezes in a surge-protector for those untrustworthy hotel power outlets. Taken from the product page:

Hotel rooms and airport terminals never seem to have enough power outlets to charge all the devices today’s traveler brings along. Now you can add outlets and peace of mind on business trips and vacations with the Belkin Mini Surge Protector.

This new design features three AC outlets and two powered USB outlets – perfect for MP3 players and mobile phones.

Something to note, the USB outlets cannot be used as a USB hub and does not transmit data. The powered USB outlets on this unit are intended solely for charging devices that can be charged via a USB interface.

Check out the product page for more information. I’ve already ordered two :)