Jumat, 26 Desember 2008

Amazing Angelis Labor Gabriel luxury turntable

Amazing Angelis Labor Gabriel luxury turntableThe “Gabriel” turntable from Angelis Labor resembles a starship construction yard more than a fancy record player. Four separate arms will ride the grooves of your vinyl treasures on a platter that is suspended on a magnetically levitated spindle. Mmmm. Shiny and nice. Four arms are better then one, I guess.

If you actually had a robot willing to play your old records, this is pretty much what it would look like. The price is just as mind-blowing of course “between $27k-$64k”. I know that some of you will disagree, but is the sound that you are going to get from vinyl ever worth that much money?

Somehow I think not, despite the fact that this is the most awesome turntable I’ve ever seen.

World of Warcraft hits 11.5 million users

World of WarcraftIf you are a PC gamer odds are you have played or are still playing the most successful MMORPG title ever offered — World of Warcraft. To many gamers this game is more addicting than all of the Coke and pizza in the land.

Back in October, I reported that WoW had hit an astounding 11 million subscribers worldwide. This week Blizzard has announced that WoW now boasts 11.5 million subscribers thanks in part to the very successful launch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack.

The newest expansion pack moved 2.8 million copies in its first 24-hours, setting a record for most copies sold in the first day of launch. Blizzard says that the expansion pack has sold over 4 million copies to date. It’s hard to believe that WoW added 500,000 users in about two months. I guess we should expect to hear the 12 million subscriber announcement shortly.

Two brothers choke and stab one another over Playstation 2

Two brothers choke and stab one another over Playstation 2Two brothers living in Waukesha reportedly choked, cut and stabbed each other when they fought over a Playstation 2 video game controller. Waukesha Police are recommending that charges be brought against both brothers who acted out of violent anger. When family members are freakin’ stabbed by other family members over video games, it reminds us all that despite our various awesome human achievements, there are still some turds floating around in the human gene pool just waiting to be flushed. This is exactly the kind of thing that gets government all up in our gaming bidness, when parenting could have avoided it all, by raising level-headed humans instead of ignorant savages who choke and stab, because they couldn’t get back into their fantasy world fast enough.

The incident took place on Sunday at a home on Whiterock Avenue where the two brothers got into an argument over whose turn it was to play the video game. The fighting went from yelling to one of the brothers choking the other. Apparently, the brother who was being choked pulled out a knife and cut the hands of the choker, after which the kid doing the choking took the knife and stabbed his brother and then fled the scene. The brother who ran then walked to the hospital and suffered from severely frostbitten fingers.

Crazy. Makes gaming look bad, but really people just need to raise better humans.

Kamis, 25 Desember 2008

iPhone gets Xenon flash from Snapture

Snapture iPhone FlashI have tried on a few occasions to take pictures with my iPhone. It seems that no matter how brightly lit the room is, the camera simply can’t take a shot that’s not dark and grainy. Many other high-end camera phones offer a built-in flash, but so far, Apple has not added that feature.

Snapture offers editing software designed to run on the iPhone and it has now announced a new polycarbonate case that not only protects the iPhone from damage, but also adds a bright Xenon powered flash.

The case has a rechargeable battery that offers enough power for 1000 flashes or more. A low-light detection sensor automatically activates the flash when needed. I will say that the iPhone needs a flash, but the optics also need work before the iPhone is really a camera replacement.

The Vertu Signature Dragon

The Vertu Signature DragonThe Wynn is one of those super luxurious hotels along the Strip at Las Vegas, so of course they host a whole bunch of high-end items such as exotic cars, designer clothes and expensive phones. The Vertu shop there is currently displaying it’s latest luxury cell phone, the Vertu Signature Dragon. Just like the Vertu Signature Cobra, the Dragon is not yet featured on the company’s website.

It’s a pretty cool looking phone. I think the only thing they could have done was to make the dragon’s eyes glow red when there’s an incoming call. Sadly, it doesn’t breath fire either, but it will burn a hole in your pocket with it’s enormous cost.

Yes those are jewels in the dragon’s body.

Senin, 22 Desember 2008

OCZ opens the Throttle on flash drives

OCZ ThrottleI have a gob of flash drives laying around my office, crammed in desk drawers, filling up my penholder and generally getting in my way. I don’t really use flash drives, it seems that companies issue members of the press these things as a sort of initiation. The main reason I don’t use them is that they are rather slow and don’t offer enough storage for a real backup.

OCZ introduced a new flash drive this month called the Throttle that does away with one of the common threads in the flash drive world — the USB connector. Rather than the comparatively pokey USB port, OCZ grafts a full-blown eSATA connector onto the Throttle.

The use of an eSATA connector allows the Throttle to offer blazing fast read and write speeds for a flash drive. OCZ claims a read speed of 90MB/sec and a write speed of 30MB/sec. The Throttle is also available with up to 32GB of storage space. With a much faster interface and high capacity, this flash drive might actually be useful to me.

Minggu, 21 Desember 2008

Hands On with the 8GB Sansa Clip from Sandisk

Sandisk 8GB Sansa Clip MP3 player reviewAnyone in the market for a small MP3 player should definitely take a hard look at the Sansa Clip from Sandisk before making a purchase. Comparable in size to the iPod Shuffle, the Sansa Clip packs in more features and now more storage giving some significant bang for your buck.

The most significant item for us on this particular MP3 player was the storage capacity. This little device now comes with the ability to pack as much as 8GB of music which is really a lot of songs. Connect it to your computer through the included USB cable and quickly transfer music or even use the device as mass storage to go. Also as we had mentioned when the 8GB Clip first came out, the clip provides 4x the storage of the iPod Shuffle for just a small more in price. But the storage is not all you get.

The Sansa Clip measures just 2.17″ x 1.35″ x .65″, weighs under an ounce and houses an FM radio tuner, microphone, equalizer and the ability to visually navigate your music, stations and settings through a surprisingly easy-to-see 1″ landscape display.
8GB Sandisk Sansa Clip review

Using the Clip was easy and pretty intuitive. It has sliding power button on the left which is used to turn the device on and off and to lock the controls. The little sliding button was a little loose and rattled some when we would move around on our sample model, however other than that the player felt very solid. On the opposite side of the player is the volume and I have to say that compared to other MP3 players I’ve used, having separate buttons for the power and the volume was nice and made it easy to manage without even having to look at the player.

But, looking at the player is actually one of the nicest features. Sandisk has somehow created that small one-inch display to be big enough to easily read the songs that are playing, menu options and tune in radio stations. In fact, there is multiple lines of content on the display which is relatively easy to navigate.

The center buttons control the main navigation and I did find myself trying to rotate the circular button multiple times, but the navigation basically uses the outer circle for pushing up, down, left or right on the corresponding side. The center button is for selecting and there is a small “Home” button on the front that brings you back to the beginning which made it pretty easy to get around.

Tuning in radio stations was quick and easy as the player has a feature to quickly scan through and find all the stations available within range and has up to 40 preset stations. You can use the recording feature as well to easily record songs on the radio without any ambient noise from the microphone. The recording can be set for a predetermined amount of time or started and stopped at will, and the result is an MP3 file that you can transfer onto your computer and edit or move anywhere you would like. The device also has a microphone that allows you to record the sounds around you from class, personal notes or friends, and with an 8GB capacity you can record a lot.

The player comes packaged with a decent set of headphones (not great, but decent) some brief instructions that are mostly unnecessary and an installation disk with free one month subscription to Rhapsody. The Clip also has an internal battery with 15 hours of continuous playback ability which in our case actually lasted longer. With a combination of perusing the menu, playing the radio and MP3 music we hit almost 17 hours before the battery gave out.

In conclusion we were presently surprised with the Sansa Clip. The device is small and convenient, holds a relatively large capacity of data and has a larger feature set than it’s competitors for a comparable price. The 8GB Sansa Clip goes for $99.99, but you can get the same features with smaller capacities (and different colors) for as little as $34.99.

Yoda Christmas lights to rock your geek tree

Yoda Christmas lights to rock your geek treeThese Yoda Christmas Lights are awesome. Hang them on your tree, in your cubicle, over your bed, on your patio, hell decorate your fake lightsaber. This string of Jedi Master Christmas lights is available just in time for the holidays. Only $29.95 for 10 light-up Yodas on a 10-foot UL listed cord.

The only way it gets better is if they talked. “Naughty or nice be you?” “Judge me by my Christmas lights do you?” Your tree will suddenly be filled with ancient Jedi wisdom. And just like the movies, none of these 10 light up Yodas will tell you that Leia is your sister until you’ve already kissed her. Wise, but useless.

iDesign SongView iPod alarm clock

iDesign SongView iPod alarm clockThere’s no shortage of iPod alarm clocks on the market, but every now and then you see one that stands out. Take the iDesign SongView for instance. It suckers you in with it’s 1.3 inch scrolling display on the base, which cycles between the date and time, current song, artist, playlist and album when you’re listening to your iPod. You can actually see it from across the room.

Get it? SongView? It comes with the usual remote for controlling all the features, line out and line in jacks for external speakers and will take a non-iPod MP3 player as well. Not too bad for $99.99.

It even looks fairly decent design-wise. The main thing is you won’t have to squint to read the scrolling info.

iPhone nano case appears

iPhone nano case appearsWe probably shouldn’t be basing predictions for important new Apple products on protective case mockups from China. Even so, things like this have revealed the truth in the past. iDealsChina is reporting that XSKN is working on a silicone skin for the upcoming “Nano iPhone” a shorter, chubbier version of the iPhone 3G.

According to iDealsChina sources, the phone will feature EDGE data, but otherwise is pretty identical in specs to its predecessors. Well, it has a smaller screen. According to them, Apple plans to sell tons of these for low prices in places like Walmart, and that the company will be unveiling the new handset in January during Macworld.

They even say that leaked photos of the device should be surfacing in the next few days. Pretty bold claims. I guess we’ll see.