Archive for February, 2008

Movie Gadget Friday: TRON

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

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Ariel Waldman contributes Movie Gadget Friday, where she highlights the lovable and lame gadgets from the world of cinema.

Previously on Movie Gadget Friday, we traveled across war-torn galaxies in the 1978 version of Battlestar Gallatica. Moving forward a few years to 1982, we'll take a look inside the computational arcade culture of TRON. Saturated with neon suits and Pac-Man blips and bleeps, the sci-fi cult Disney film has achieved pop culture status over the years.


The ENCOM Digitizing Molecular Laser
Using a matter transform sequence and a grid matrix, the ENCOM Digitizing Laser is able to transport physical matter into a digital space. The laser is able to lock on a target and dismantle the molecular structure on a cubic grid. When used for its original intentions, the molecules remain suspended in the laser beam. However, the Master Control Program is able to deviate this sequence into transporting the restructured molecules into a digitized computer game world where TRON resides. The molecules can then be shifted back safely into the physical world by selecting the run mode through the laser system. Surprisingly, the only side effects the laser has on humans is minor disorientation and temporary memory loss. Phew. More after the break.

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Sega Toys’ Body Trainer headset coaxes you into working out

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

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Oh sure, we've seen gadgets used as motivational tools before, but Sega Toys is apparently banking on you not being a hothead. Otherwise, you just might fling its Body Trainer headset from your dome as soon as you hear "please exercise a little bit harder" over your incessant panting. Nevertheless, those with oodles of self-control may actually benefit from having a personal trainer (of sorts) in their ear while working out, and by monitoring the wearer's heartbeat via a sensor, it can blurt out messages at the appropriate time to help users through their session(s). Reportedly, this nifty exercise buddy is set to launch in Japan this April for ¥5,775 ($54), and while we've no idea if this thing is destined for US soil, we can definitely see it being used more so for its musical abilities and less for its steadfast encouragement.

[Via CNET]

 

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Apple “actively courting” Sony for slot-loading Blu-ray drives?

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

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We know, we're getting tired of Apple Blu-ray rumors as well -- they're right up there with refreshed Cinema Displays in terms of rumor persistence -- but until Steve and the gang actually shove a drive into a machine we're stuck with them. The latest says that Apple is actively pressing Sony for slot-loading BD-R drives but quality control issues are gumming up the plan. Reportedly, this latest ho-hum MacBook Pro refresh was to feature BD-R drives, but all Sony could muster up were Blu-ray / DVD±RW drives, which Apple refused. That seems a little odd, frankly -- now that the format war is over and the competition's already shipping mid-range laptops with slot-load BD-R drives, you'd think Apple would want to cash in that Blu-ray Disc Association membership card with whoever can supply the drives. As always, we'll see when we see -- it's gotta happen sometime, right?

[Image courtesy of dadako.com]

 

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Love To Talk Jawbone headsets make your other ear jealous

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

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Quite frankly, the traditional Jawbone headset is pretty stylish as is. Nevertheless, Yves Behar has somehow managed to make it even sexier with the creation of the Love To Talk family. This trio, which will reportedly be made available "in a very limited quantity," consists of a gold Sweet Talk version, black Dirty Talk edition and white Trash Talk model. No word on a price nor where to actually find one outside of the totally shady black market, but feel free to take a closer look at each in the read link below.

 

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MSI Motherboard Fan Powered Without Electricity [Peripherals]

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

string-engine-fan.jpgFans of green technology will undoubtedly be glad to hear that MSI has developed a working concept design that utilizes Stirling Engine Theory to power a motherboard fan. Instead of conventional electricity, the fan will harvest heat emanating from the processor to function.

Interestingly enough, during a recent visit to their HQ in Taiwan, MSI told TweakTown that they "would probably end up adding the world's first powerless air cooler to an Nvidia motherboard." Nvidia? No wonder MSI boards suck. [TweakTown via Boing Boing Gadgets]


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Cellphone Makers Have No Idea Why We Hate Their Phones [Cellphones]

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

iphone.jpgCellphone makers like LG, Moto and Nokia are apparently laboring harder than ever over what we think about their phones (mostly not happy thoughts!). But guess what? Even with this newfound "concern" they still don't get it. Here's a couple of their ridiculous, out-of-touch ideas about how make us happy from a panel at MWC:

One panelist suggested that cellphone makers tap into consumers' "neural networks", while another said they should understand their subliminal needs.
WTF?

I actually know what a neural network is. But WTF does it have to do with making a phone that's not crappy? This is all BS business-speak, and talking and thinking like that is why makers put out shitty, unintuitive phones. They should make a phone with how real people use phones in mind.

This "changed world" where "there is more relevance in what other consumers say than what the company is saying" isn't a bad thing, though the article implies that's how the handset makers feel. And as long as they feel that way, they'll keep trying to push crap into people's pockets. [NYT]


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Eco Park Time Travel Mart: “Whenever You Are, We’re Already Then” [Time Travel]

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

time-travel-mart-marquee.jpgDavid Eggers can now add time travel entrepreneur to his long list of literary and social accomplishments thanks to the Eco Park Time Travel Mart he recently opened in LA. Some of the humorous products available for purchase include: mammoth chunks, barbarian repellent, packets of shade and anti-robot fluid. More info after the break.

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As with the other novelty stores in Eggers stable, the time travel mart will be used to support his non-profit 826 chain of tutoring and writing centers. If I lived in LA, I know that I would be a generous supporter. After all, how many places can you say "I want that yesterday" and get your wish? [Product Catalog and 826LA via io9 via Boing Boing Gadgets]


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This Week’s Best Posts [Highlights]

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Uncategorized

It's Friday, people! Let's celebrate with a look back at this week's most popular posts:



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How would you change Apple’s Penryn-based MacBook Pro?

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

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While everyone and their second cousin third removed had something to say about Apple's ultra-sexy, ultra-hamstrung MacBook Air, we've a sneaking suspicion that folks previously eager about this week's MacBook Pro updates will be equally vocal. For whatever reason, Cupertino faithful had February 26th pegged on their calender, and while the addition of a Penryn or two was nearly a given, the dreamers in the crowd had much higher hopes for that fateful Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the time came and went, and the re-opening of the online Apple store brought a whole heap of disappointment to many. Sure, folks still (somehow) enamored with the aging MBP design were thrilled to have access to a more potent, less scalding iteration of their favorite machine, but honestly, we're still using the GeForce 8600M GT? Really, Apple? Needless to say, this refresh likely did little to satisfy your desire for a revamped MacBook Pro, but we're interested in finding out exactly what it is you really wanted. An option for an SSD? What about a built-in Blu-ray drive? Would integrated HDMI make things more appealing? Or is a top-down case redesign the only thing stopping you from abusing your credit card in the name of Steve Jobs? Go on, we know you folks are chock full of good ideas, so let's hear 'em, shall we?

 

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RelaxStyle Lamp: Like Tripping at the Bottom of the Sea [Lighting]

Posted by Ry on Feb 29 2008 | Technology

relaxstyle-lamp.jpgNeed to unwind? The RelaxStyle Room Palette Effect lamp can transport you to a tranquil undersea world at the push of a button. The lamp projects light onto walls or ceilings that resemble undulating waves—giving users the feeling of being submerged in shallow water, looking up into the sunlight. You can even set a timer that will automatically shut the light show down after 120 minutes. That way you can blissfully set adrift into sleep and peacefully pee your pants in the middle of the night. Available for $69. [Japan Trend Shop via Crave via DVICE]


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