Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Apple TV Review

I am certainly pleased with mine. I find it works very well puts me one step closer to my dream of having all my media accessible at each television without having a complete PC in each room.

apple_tv_2.jpgSince there is just a simple HDMI connection, you can easily move it from one room to the next if needed. Of course at $99 a pop, you can also just spring for a couple of these little gems.

It is small and compact and easily hidden just about anywhere near the TV. I'll admit the little remote had me worried at first but there are iPhone apps that easily work just as well if not better. If nothing else, a little velcro will keep it secure to the regular remote.

The interface is simple and easy to navigate. Setup is a chore with but it is only needed once and the on screen keyboard is nice compared to some. The Apple "channel" is a bit lacking. It will allow you to 'rent' a selection from the Apple Store but not 'buy' one. I think that's lame. Who wants to pay $3.99 to rent a movie when you can buy it for $9.99. Also, the choice for HD vs. SD is hidden away in the settings. Personally, I'd like to be able to choose between HD and SD when I buy the show, not in the overall preferences on the account. I might want to buy Disney's Earth in HD but don't really care to watch (or pay for) season three of SpongeBob in HD.

There are also a lot of selections in the Apple store for rent that can be watched a channel away on Netflix for free. I imagine this interface will change greatly over time. There will be channel additions and deletions without a doubt. Hulu would be nice to see but I'm not holding my breath. 

Now, if I can just get all my TVs updated with nice new HD flat panels that will take HDMI.

Apple TV Sales Hit One Million: "

Does this mean that Steve Jobs's Apple TV is finally something more than just a hobby? The set top box has managed to sell one million units in around 11 weeks--not spectacular, but certainly a marked increase over its predecessor, which took closer to a year to achieve that number. The second generation Apple TV also faced stiffer competition when it launched at the beginning of October, thanks to an ever increasing number of entries (like Google TV) all competing in a field that seems far from mature."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recycle old gadgets (and make a buck or two) with eBay Instant Sale

Recycle old gadgets (and make a buck or two) with eBay Instant Sale: "

You might already hawk your valuable old gadgets on eBay, but the auction house wants to broker your smaller transactions too -- that's why it launched eBay Instant Sale this last week. If you've got a (moderately recent) gizmo you want to get rid of right away, it looks as easy as can be -- answer the two questions above and get an instant offer, plus a free shipping label to mail it out. From the looks of a few sample queries, you won't get much for older items like the Dell Inspiron 8200 above, but we found a used Palm Pixi in good condition was worth a respectable $57, and even if your old featurephones aren't worth a cent, eBay's partners will recycle them for you and pay your shipping fees. Sure, you could donate the lot and write them off your taxes, but this sounds like it might be a worthy alternative to us.

Fake TV for fooling burglars

Fake TV for fooling burglars: "

'FakeTV is a new burglar deterrent that makes it look like someone is home watching television. FakeTV does this by recreating exactly the sort of light produced by a real HDTV. Viewed from outside the home after dusk, it looks like somebody must be watching television.'

I want one, not as a burglar deterrent, but as a comfort device.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Skim Milk: Hybrid Tube Amplifier by Case-Real

I have an old tube radio from my parents. I envision doing something like this with it. Maybe not quite this cool =)

Skim Milk: Hybrid Tube Amplifier by Case-Real:

I want to start this article off with a quote from one of the most well-known designers in history: Charles Eames. He once said that “The details are not details — they make the product. It is, in the end, these details that give the product its life.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement, and its profoundly precise representation of minimalism and good design.Hybrid Tube Amplifier, designed by Koichi Futatsumata of Case-Real for Elikit, is a product that would not exist without its details."

Monday, October 4, 2010

iPhone 4 tripod mount and stand on Kickstarter

iPhone 4 tripod mount and stand on Kickstarter:

For $20 you can fund a Kickstarter project and get a Glif iPhone 4 tripod mount and stand. The video at Kickstarter has information about the designers / makers of the Glif, as well as examples of how to use the versatile gadget.
The Glif will be manufactured with a Santoprene (grade 101-87) hard rubber. This material feels great to the touch, and holds the phone securely. It is also recyclable.
Glif is the labor of love of just two individuals: Thomas Gerhardt and Dan Provost. We put a lot of thought and energy into this thing, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it. Additional information can be found at www.theglif.com.
Glif - iPhone 4 Tripod Mount & Stand

Thursday, September 16, 2010

HRP-4: Meet Japan’s New And Awesome Humanoid Robot (Video)

HRP-4: Meet Japan’s New And Awesome Humanoid Robot (Video): "

Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has done it again.

After having developed one of the most advanced cybernetic human robots out there (namely the HRP-4C we covered previously), it is now time for the next humanoid. Meet the HRP-4 [JP].

The HRP-4 is primarily designed for use at R&D facilities at universities and companies. It stands 151cm tall, weighs 39kg, and boasts a total of 34 degrees of freedom. Buyers can mount a laptop on its bag to add further functionality.

The robot can strike poses in response to voice commands, and it can also detect and track human faces and certain objects.

AIST and co-developer Kawada Industries plan to start selling the HRP-4 in January next year. The robot itself plus the software necessary to control it will cost $325,000.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another Canon Lens Mug! Want So Bad!

What is it about lens mugs that gets me? Ever since we first saw that 70-200L thermos, I’ve had lens muggery on the mind. And now that classic Canon lens styling is in a more convenient mug form. It’s in the shape of the excellent 24-105L zoom, but unlike that lens, I can afford it. And might just buy it. It even comes with a lens cap lid! It’s a steal at $24.

Another Canon Lens Mug! Want So Bad!:

Oh yeah, I guess some company called Nikon has one, too.

Dell Aero available today for $100 with AT&T contract

Dell Aero available today for $100 with AT&T contract: "

We'd actually kind of assumed this thing had been deep-sixed as faster, better phones have passed it by all summer long, but nay: Dell's Aero is finally in the land of the living. You can score the 3.5-inch 640 x 360 Android phone today with two-year AT&T contract for $99.99, though only through Dell's interwebs -- it's still "coming soon" to AT&T's site. Features include 2GB of onboard storage with microSD expansion, triband 3.6Mbps HSDPA and quadband EDGE, a 5 megapixel cam, and a 3.67-ounce claimed weight that makes it "one of the lightest" Android devices money can buy. Follow the break for the full press release.
Continue reading Dell Aero available today for $100 with AT&T contract"

Monday, August 9, 2010

SEO Guide

I have borrowed the code from Web Distortion for a very nice SEO guide.

Meta Descriptions

Everyones favourite (and probably most misunderstood) on-page HTML element, meta descriptions have their place in a webmasters kit bag to increase the number of clicks you receive on Google. Yes that’s right, they don’t play any part in the ranking of your website.

Repeat after me. Meta descriptions don’t help ranking, Meta descriptions increase clickthroughs.

You should take care to craft unique meta descriptions for each page, and if you can (in natural language) use the keywords you would like to target for that page – not for a ranking boost, but merely because they will be bolded in the meta description if found. This in itself, increases the clickthrough to your website.

The importance of using unique meta descriptions, simply put is this. They can be an indicator to Google that the page containing them, is also unique. Unique content = more pages in the index = more traffic.

Meta Keywords

Again, a misunderstood meta tag, meta keywords are not used by Google, due to the fact that they have been spammed to death over time. Meta keywords, like descriptions play no part in the ranking of your website.

However, its worth mentioning that a) – they will do your site no harm if included and b) – Google isn’t the only search engine out there on the web. You may find that other search engine bots do use meta keywords to determine some degree of relevance to your page, particularly in less sophisticated bots.

One example might be a student writing a basic crawler that looks for them. If your goal is to get as many links and to increase the reach of your website – something as simple as meta keywords might see your site turn up in places that others are not.

Webmaster Tools

Webmaster tools, first introduced by Google (waaaay back with fat Matt) – is a way for you to check a number of search related factors. You can check indexing status (how many of your pages have made their way into the index), backlinks, (places that search engines have found links to your website), robots, (to test your robots.txt file), Keyword searches (including positions and clickthrough data) and any errors that Googlebot finds with your content.

This additional information is available within Google and Bing, and you might as well setup accounts with both of these, as you may find information that correlates between the two. Google Webmaster Tools setup firstly requires a Google account. Once you’ve setup and logged in, you will have to verify your site with a meta tag or upload a file that proves you are the owner of the account.

It’s well worth doing this for both search engines at the start of a project, as robots.txt, and sitemaps are verified through this tool. Bing Webmaster Tools has been recently updated to introduce a couple of new features, and runs in Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. Windows Live account required prior to setting that up.

Yahoo Open Site explorer Verification

Yahoo site explorer and Open Site explorer are both great ways of finding out who is linking to you and your competitors. To obtain additional data from Yahoo on the number of backlinks from various sites around the web, and to get other information on the data they’ve detected, its another verfication tag you should be setting up prior to a site going live for seo and marketing purposes.

To a degree, Yahoo’s open site explorer behaves somewhat like Google’s and Bing’s Webmaster tools, with a much more accurate indicator of backlinks.

Search Monkey meta

As well as the link information Yahoo provide, Open site explorer also lists the data they have recognised for Searchmonkey – this technology is likely to be integrated into Bing’s search technology going forward, so get your coding hats on folks.

The primary reason for making sure your markup uses some of these suggestions is that it is likely to increase clickthroughs from the SERPs – particularly the video markup, which will show a thumbnail alongside your result on Yahoo. There is some crossover here with the data you can use for Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol.


Sometimes, it makes sense to tell Google what parts of your website aren’t really worth offering to visitors via their search engine. Typically, this would include things that are sensitive (private documents), or things such as login pages which you don’t want naughty robots sniffing around. Even if you want your entire site indexed, its still worthwhile to add one to prevent 404′s from showing up in your raw server logs (as robots request this file).

Have you told the search engines what you don’t want included in the search engines? Well, without a robots.txt file, you aren’t likely to get what you want. Google provide good documentation that is worthwhile reading – create it in the root of your website domain, and check, check and check it again. Failure to get this basic file correct could see your entire site deindexed!

Webmaster tools for both Google and Bing include testing tools for robots to make sure everything is kosher, so assuming you’ve set this up, there’s really no excuses for getting this right.


Sitemaps not only give crawlers a comprehensive list of URLs to check frequently, they also result in faster indexing of your site, meaning new content gets to the search engines quicker. I’ve already touted the benefits of that before in generating traffic.

If you think about it, it makes sense to provide an easier, more structured way for Google and others to find your new content, rather than parsing through tag soup HTML, (even though they are pretty darn good at that by now). The faster search engines are, the more profitable they are as they catch waves of temporal traffic and save money on the processing of the information you provide to them.

Sitemaps are supported by all of the major engines, and they managed to agree on the sitemap protocol , so they are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Sitemaps can (and should) be specified in your robots.txt file, and directly in Webmaster tools.

If you are on WordPress, you can generate a sitemap automatically with plugins. If you are on any other platform, and have a small(ish) site, you might get away with generating via a web based sitemap generator – everything else, including sites with complex, and large site architectures – these sitemap generators, and programming code will do the business for you.

There are also a number of different sitemap ‘types’ that many webmasters miss, worth examining if your site niche happens to fit in with those.


Proper heading tags are important to help define relevance for organic keywords in the search engines, and specifying a range of headings helps to segment the page for engines to determine ‘sections’ on the page. Every document on your site should concentrate on a particular topic or feature, and heading tags contain the keywords which describe this. Combined with keywords in the title tag, they strongly indicate what a particular web page is about.

So how do bloggers decide on what keywords go in a heading? Well here is a bit of my own strategy on choosing them, really it’s a delicate balancing act between creating attention grabbing headlines, and on making sure your post has relevance for future high traffic searches.

Title Tags

Titles are probably one of the most important tags in your HTML that market your website. You should treat them as such, and as with heading tags, you need to balance interesting titles with titles that contain the keywords which describe the content on that particular page.

Many brands miss a trick by having their company name in every page title on their website, when in actual fact the only page that arguably needs it, is the home page. The reason you should leave it off elsewhere? If you have a strong and unique brandname, your site will get found anyway, from natural search. Unique phrases (such as brandnames) generally rank at number one naturally anyway. Putting a company name in every page only dilutes the other keywords Google has to crunch on.

Google Places Submitted

Previously known as Google Local Business Centre, Google offer a service for location based business, called ‘Places’ which allows you to submit details about your business, including telephone number, website address, and importantly your exact location.

Submitting data here lets your business appear on Google maps, and show up in location sensitive searches. You will have to verify the data you submit with an automated telephone call, or wait for a postcode – details on the how, why and where’s of Google local are all available at Google’s help centre. If you are wondering how to appear higher in the results once you have submitted this, I’ve blogged at length about other ways to improve your local search position.

Interestingly, alongside the rebrand of this service, and the recent publication of an API for checkin’s – one would expect this hints strongly at the move towards Foursquare territory, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them using a mobile game to crowdsource their business data.

Contact Details Markup

Contact Details such as your telephone number, email address and physical address, should be marked up in RDFa. This gives you the best chance of association of your website address with a physical location, and an increase in appropriate local searches. Multiple business addresses should be listed on multiple pages, according to 2010 local search ranking factors.

Google Profile Created

Your Google profile allows you to create a homepage about yourself, and include the (followed) links of the websites that you manage. A full and complete profile will make its way into the search engines, and provide an additional place to capture visitors to your site(s). You can list YouTube, Picasa and Flickr photos and posts that you create on Google buzz are also syndicated here. If you use Google Sidewiki, Sidewiki entries also make their way on automatically, providing additional content for the search engines to find you.

If you haven’t already created a profile, now is definitely the time to do so. Rumours are abound that Google are about to launch a social network of their own ‘Google Me’ - a full and complete Google profile is undoubtedly going to be the home of this service if and when it launches, so it makes sense to at least have it complete now, and if you really want to jump the gun – to start marketing it around the web on your other social profiles.


Having an RSS feed is paramount to syndication, and providing one can also help to get your content that bit quicker into the search engines. In much the same way that sitemaps improve discoverability, RSS being a structured format is used by search engines to speed indexing in many instances.

The other obvious benefit of RSS is that you are providing visitors with a way to pull your content in, and use it in their own way. Some will use it to automatically tweet your content, some will use it to populate their blog, others will use it programmatically in ways you can’t even imagine. Bottom line, RSS is a must if you are publishing regular content.


Every image on your site should be optimised for maximum search benefits, and if your site is particularly image rich, it can be difficult to provide relevance to Google. Sites such as Picocool , 9GAG and ImgFave have this sorted – introducing a social element to their service, and crowdsourcing tags and descriptions.

A previous post of mine discusses some of the things you can do to optimise your images for search, and one other extra tip to add to this is the image tag inside the sitemap protocol. Further information on how to go about that at the official Google Webmaster blog.

Also worth pointing out that high impact photos used on your site will greatly enhance the chances of your content being shared, so take time and attention to polish your content.

Your website URL’s should if at all possible be rewritten to include keywords that underline the main focus of the page. You have probably come across links on the web that look like this:

http://www.domain.com/?p=72&s=0 -

Well, thing is, search engines aren’t really able to work out what is going on with those, they don’t highlight what exactly p=72 means. If on the other hand, your website looks like this:


Google has a pretty good idea what the focus of that page will be, prior to even parsing the page. Take this advice and apply sparingly – if you already have a structure on the web that looks like the former, it may not be worth the effort to create friendly URLs, as existing links out there will break!

Some people would instictively redirect any broken URL’s that occur, but remember folks, 301 redirects do not carry all the juice, so be prepared to wait a while for you to rebuild your authority, which will probably be worth the effort in the long run. If you are starting out a project from scratch, take the time, and the effort to consult with developers to ensure they are thinking in this way, and following best practise from the get-go.


Your website architecture is an important consideration when developing a site. You may choose to have a flat architecture, with no directories, or multiple directories. Google suggest that deep directory structures don’t work just as well from an SEO point of view. Many people suggest that having dates in URL’s is a no no, as it indicates when content is old to visitors, and adds unnecessary information to your URLs.

The flip side of this is that it enables much more deep directory diving in Google Analytics! I can, for example work out that content in the month of May has attracted more pageviews than February, or that 2008 was a more successful year than 2007. Google automagically categorise content according to pseudo directories. Just another thing to think about when deciding about your site architecture.

Canonical Tags

If your site has identical URLs which serve the same purpose and deliver the same content, you may be suffering from ‘duplicate content‘ issues. Simply put, this is where search engines can’t work out which content is the most important to show in the results, and it chooses itself. This may not be what you intended, and is commonly the fault of the content management system, or site architecture in question.

Thankfully, Google and other engines have agreed to support a new tag, known as the link canonical which can specify which page is the preferred one. This will result in link juice flowing correctly (if people have linked to the wrong version), and help Google figure out what page you intended to show in the SERPs.

Yoast has developed a canonical plugin for WordPress, but if you don’t know what you are doing seek advice before implementing this, always better to be safe rather than sorry when dealing with a tag that influences a search robot’s activity.

Social Media

Social media and SEO go hand in hand, contrary to what others would have you believe. It’s just another tool in your marketing kit to get the job done. Social media makes SEO that bit easier, as it facilitates the sharing of your content.

You can however make things easier on yourself, by weaving a social media strategy around your content. Have you tried turning comments off and letting the debate happen on twitter with a hashtag for example? What about running a competition on Facebook which requires people to enter by commenting on your site? Mix things up a little, and you may find that your content reaches a bigger audience as a result.

At the crux of it, more shares = more potential for secondary links. This is the same reason it is worthwhile making it to the home page of any of the major social voting sites – sure the traffic is bouncy, and not really worth much as regards conversions, but it will put your content in front of the eyeballs that may give links in the future.

Great Content

Not even the greatest attention to detail for on-page SEO can mask poor content. Far too many people build brochure sites that stagnate over time, and then wonder why they are being outranked by the people developing fresh content.

When you are launching a site for a client, you should really be selling them the benefits of blogging, or creating something with a user generated element to it. If you haven’t an ongoing commitment to crafting great content online, forget about it.

Other useful titbits

Google’s seo report card

Optimisation Guide from Google

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Solar Powered Airplane Flies for 26 Hours Straight

Solar Powered Airplane Flies for 26 Hours Straight: "
Photo via the NY Times

A solar-powered airplane piloted in Switzerland has just made a landmark achievement: It flew for well over 24 hours straight, continuing on its journey well after the sun went down. The story is making headline news all around the world, and for good reason -- it's a powerful example of the vast potential held by renewable energy. ...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Graphic Card Reviews

Not that I am in the market but when I am, I always want to find something like this and never can.

The Best Graphics Cards at Every Price [Graphics Cards]: "

Choosing a graphics cards is a confusing endeavor. So Tom's Hardware shared their buying results after testing pretty much every card on the planet. Whether you've got $50 to spend or $250 to spend, this list will come in handy: More »

iOS To Make Its Desktop Debut With Next iMac Revision?

iOS To Make Its Desktop Debut With Next iMac Revision?: "

IOS on the next iMac? That’s the rumor going around this morning. The deal is that Apple wants to bring touch controls to its desktop offerings, and will use the next iMac revision to test the waters a bit. So, you’ll have your standard Mac OS X installation, but then when you activate “touch screen mode,” you’ll switch over to iOS.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Apple TV worth looking into...

The next Apple TV revealed: cloud storage and iPhone OS on tap... and a $99 price tag: "
If you thought that Apple's foray into the world of home entertainment died with the last iteration of the Apple TV, you're quite wrong. A tip we've received -- which has been confirmed by a source very close to Apple -- details the outlook for the next version of the Apple TV, and it's a doozy. According to our sources, this project has been in the works long before Google announced its TV solution, and it ties much more closely into Apple's mobile offerings. The new architecture of the device will be based directly on the iPhone 4, meaning it will get the same internals, down to that A4 CPU and a limited amount of flash storage -- 16GB to be exact -- though it will be capable of full 1080p HD (!). The device is said to be quite small with a scarce amount of ports (only the power socket and video out), and has been described to some as 'an iPhone without a screen.' Are you ready for the real shocker? According to our sources, the price-point for the device will be $99. One more time -- a hundred bucks.

Not only will this be priced to sell (like hotcakes), it seems that Apple is moving away from the model of local storage, and will be focusing the new ATV on cloud-based storage (not unlike Amazon's streaming scheme, though we're talking instant-on 1080p, a la Microsoft). For those still interested in keeping their content close, there will be an option to utilize a Time Capsule as an external storage component, but the main course will be all about streaming. The new ATV will do away with its current OS X-lite variation as a operating system, and will instead adopt the iPhone OS for the underlying experience. There's no word at this point on whether apps and the App Store will be coming along for the ride, but it makes sense given the shared platform. Of course, scaling iPhone apps to that 52-inch plasma in your living room isn't exactly a no-brainer. Perhaps not surprisingly, Apple won't deliver the ATV news at the upcoming WWDC -- that event will be focused on the capabilities of the new iPhone -- but development on the product is most definitely full steam ahead. Is your TV screen the next battleground in the platform wars? Survey says: hell yes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

iPad Steering Wheel Mount

Oh yeah, this is just brilliant.

iPad Steering Wheel Mount: "kevin7kal writes 'The Apple iPad is the ideal automotive communications and entertainment device. It is sized perfectly to mount using the iPad Steering Wheel Mount without obscuring the driver's view. 'I don't think that I am exaggerating when I say that the iPad Steering Wheel Mount probably has saved my life...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Robot Butterfly Means Breakthroughs for Biomimicry in Aviation (Video)

Image via YouTube video

While butterfly populations worldwide struggle to stay afloat as the global temperature rises and changes their migration patterns and food sources, scientists have been hard at work coming up with their replacement - the mechanical butterfly that can survive anything but perhaps an attack of rust. Researchers successfully built and flew a flapping-wing-powered swallowtail butterfly, which could have big implications for the field of aerodynamics - after all we saw those videos of early airplanes that attempted to fly by flapping wings and they sure didn't work. Though from the video, how we can tell this...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Telecommuting Plan

This is my ultimate telecommuting dream. Just imagine rolling this up to a conference table and saying "Helloooo!". If you think about it, the technology is already out there. Someone just put it all together.

Robot Avatar Lets You Go to Meetings without Actually Going There: "

Robotics firm Anybots proposes that its robotic avatars could replace the physical presence of people at far away locations. In the future, you’ll be able to attend workplace conferences and tour facilities remotely by controlling one of their robots:

You log in through the Internet and after a few keystrokes the ‘bot, called QB, comes alive, leaving its charging station and ready to meet, brainstorm, greet visitors or just generally creep people out.[...]

The robot avatar isn’t actually meant to replace videoconferencing, but the idea is to be able to participate in more than just meetings. With QB, you can observe a workplace, participate more directly in tasks, or just be there for those casual conversations — all from thousands of miles away.

Three years ago, Alex wrote about another invention of the Anybots company: the world’s first dynamically balanced robot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Engadget rides the Honda U3-X Personal Mobility Device! (video)

All I can say is WOW. Imagine the possibilities for chair-users and other handicaps. Not to mention racing around the office like the Jetsons!

Engadget rides the Honda U3-X Personal Mobility Device! (video):

We just had a chance to go hands... er, rear-on with Honda's latest R&D experiment, the U3-X Personal Mobility Device, and we've got the say -- it was a moving experience. If you'll recall, the tiny, uni-wheeled unit is built on the same balancing principles which the company's ASIMO uses, and utilizes the world's first omni-directional driving wheel system. What does all that mean? Well, it means that when you sit down on the thing, it moves in whatever direction you lean in, however slightly. The experience is kind of amazing, as it requires very little effort on the rider, and though you feel like you could easily go flying off of the U3-X, you always retain a solid center of balance. As opposed to something like the company's Walking Assist devices (which you can see us taking for a spin right here), this is a totally effortless experience. It just goes where you want it to -- almost by suggestion. There's no telling if Honda will ever bring something like this to market -- they're notorious for crazy projects that never see the light of day on store shelves -- but it's an amazing look into the potential future of transportation. If you thought the Segway was a little big for your taste, this could be the answer to your prayers. As far as we're concerned, now that we've taken a ride on the U3-X, walking just feels like a chore. See for yourself what it looks and feels like in the video after the break!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lawrence to become first city in Kansas to get smart electricity meters

Never thought I'd see the day. Maybe I can get some of that Google PowerMeter action now.

Lawrence to become first city in Kansas to get smart electricity meters: "Thanks to a $19 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence will be the first city in Kansas hooked into the smart grid."

Packing Gigs with Corsair

More Corsair USB Magic!


What is it about having a whole lot of storage in your pocket that just makes a geek feel good? It's like our version of carrying a handgun: even if you don't ever plan on using it, it's nice knowing that you could. High up on this week's wish list is Corsair's Flash Voyager Mini, a USB 2.0 flash drive that now comes in a 32GB capacity. That's a lot of power, pilgrim.

This is a cap-less, retractable USB, which opens with the flick of a thumb. Sweet. It has a durable rubber casing, so you don't need to worry about it getting scuffed or damaged. Corsair's site currently lists only one seller: Amazon has the 32GB drive for $100.99 (with free shipping). That's a lot of power, but I bet you can handle it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Solar Chargers Out There

SolarFold and SolarFan Use Thousands of Tiny Spheres to Charge Your Gadgets:
solar charger folding image
Image via Engadget

Two new foldable solar chargers from AmbienTech have hit the market. But...They look a little odd, right? That's because they're the first mobile chargers to use spherical solar cells. Each cell has around 1,900 spheres collecting solar energy. They're strong, bendable, and just look cool.

...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best USB Stick Ever Made

Best USB stick, EVAR!

If you've ever tried to transfer large files to a Flash drive, you know that not all drives are created equal. Copying massive amounts of data can take massive amounts of time if your drive is pokey. For a faster transfer, check out the new Corsair GTR line. The quad-channel architecture used in this series delivers read speeds up to 34MB per second and write speeds up to 28MB per second, which is close to the maximum transfer rates supported by the USB 2.0 interface.

'The Flash Voyager GTR combines the best features of a USB Flash drive and the performance of an external hard drive to provide the ultimate data portability tool,' says John Beekly, Corsair's vice president of technical marketing.

The Flash Voyager GTR drives will be available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities. They offer durable, water-resistant rubber housing to protect against accidental damage. So far, only the smaller two versions are listed on the Web site.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Solar Egg can't arrive soon enough

Engadget has another great solar charger listed as arriving soon.

XPAL's Solar Egg charges to 90% in four hours of mild sunlight:

Unlike many solar devices that require an abundance of intense sunlight to be useful, XPAL's new Solar Egg does its thing even in 'medium levels of natural light.' The magic SunBoost solar conversion technology is supplied by a company called Intivation from The Netherlands, a country that's not exactly know for its tropical weather. XPAL claims that the internal 500mAh battery can be charged at over 90% capacity in just four hours of average sunlight exposure and can detect a 'wide range of devices' like MP3 players and digital cameras to provide the appropriate level of power for charging. It'll ship next month to select regions -- where that is we can only guess for now.
Continue reading XPAL's Solar Egg charges to 90% in four hours of mild sunlight

Monday, February 8, 2010

Micro Air Vehicles

This is a really cool video. The technology doesn't seem that far off either. It's really amazing what the military will think up to kill people =)

How the Air Force Biomorphic Micro Air Vehicles Will Spy and Kill Unnoticed [Weapons]: "
I thought the Micro Air Vehicles would be small hovering robots but, according to this video from the Air Force Research Laboratory, they will be more like robotic birds with spy and attack capabilities, capable of blending with the environment.

Not only these things would be able to position themselves to perform long-term surveillance duties, but they would be enable to engage enemies individually, attacking humans with incapacitation chemicals and even explosives. The future is going to be a lot of fun. [Design World Online]