Yes, we're aware we used the same adjective twice, and truth be told, we'd be justified in using it two more times. No offense to designer Robert Potter, but his prototype ear cushions, while perhaps practical in certain situations, are too much of an eyesore to warrant a shipping product.
Of course, opinions are like...you know how the rest of that goes. Point being, just because we don't find Potter's "Earos" attractive doesn't mean there won't be someone else who does. The ear cushions, which we spied on Yanko Design's website, are designed to slip over your mobile phone and provide a bit of comfort for extended chats.
"Earos provides a convenient padding to your ear when you use it with your mobile phone," Yanko Design writes. "It fastens to any phone and even doubles up as a axdisplay stand, when used in reverse position. A convenient fastener hooks it up to most phone models. It rotates on two axies, so that the ear pad can be repositioned in a jiffy, allowing access to the display. It looks to be a comfortable addition to the phone, especially if you are the sort to talk on it for long. Ears really tend to heat up fast, and Earos can be a good barrier!"
After antennae-gate and glass-gate, we didn't think there was anything that could make the iPhone 4 more absurd, Boy were we wrong. British designer Stuart Hughes was commissioned to turn two regular iPhone 4s into ultra-fancy devices with gold and diamond trim, and what he ended up with were two of the most expensive handsets on the planet.
Hughes wrapped each device in more than 500 individual diamonds, all of which were flawless cut. All told, the diamonds came out to 100 carats. Two interchangeable diamonds fit over the Home button, including a single cut 7.4ct pink diamond and an 8ct single cut flawless diamond. These two pieces alone are worth over $4 million.
"It was a fantastic challenge and I am really pleased with the end result -- the phones look superb," Hughes said. "It was amazing that someone is prepared to spend £4 (just shy of $8 million) on a phone, I doubt it will get used because it is worth so much money. It would be a disaster if it was ever lost."
How's that saying go about a fool and his money? Ah yes, they buy Apple products -- ZING!
A New Hampshire company called NextComputing announced its latest rugged mobile PC, the Vigor Evo. This little beast was created for military and homeland security chores and comes configurable with up to three displays (integrated 17-inch HD display and optional 2nd and 3rd swing-out displays for panoramic viewing) so three people can run mission critical apps at once.
"Our Vigor series rugged portable workstations and servers have been known in the industry for their top-end performance and flexible, modular design approach which allows the systems to be extremely versatile, while remaining small, lightweight, and efficient," says Bob Labadini, President & CTO of NextComputing. "Our unique FleXtreme architecture allows us to adapt our products quickly to changing market needs. The Vigor Evo Plus is a perfect example of this engineering philosophy, and was designed to satisfy the compute-intensive requirements of today’s C4ISR programs."
Hardware consists of a rugged mil-anodized external chassis and shock-mounted internal chassis, up to two Intel Xeon processors, up to 16GB of ECC RAM, 11TB of storage, and up to six full-length PCI Express cards.
It is common knowledge that Google’s wet dreams are almost exclusively comprised of browsers. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the search giant sees a browser in every TV. According to Rishi Chandra, a senior product manager at Google, the time when all TVs will ship with built-in browsers is near. He made these comments while talking to CNN’s Google blogger Seth Weintraub.
Chandra is confident that GoogleTV will escape the miserable fate of similar undertakings before it. He believes they got the timing all wrong, whereas “we are at a tipping point” now. The company expects GoogleTV to be a graduated hit, a la Android, rather than an instant hit.
ViewSonic today announced the launch of its first 24” 3D-LED Monitor. The V3D241wm-LED is AMD-certified for compatibility with Radeon graphics cards and ships with a pair of active shutter glasses. This is where things get weird, or shall we say wired, as the company has opted for wired 3D glasses in an age in which we are beginning to dream about wireless electricity with some conviction.
Coming back to the ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED, it boasts a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, 120Hz frame rate, 2ms response time, 300 nits brightness and a contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1. The monitor is priced £330 (or about $525) in the UK. No word on a possible North American launch.
As Adobe's Max developer conference nears, the company has announced that their version of Flash for Android has been downloaded over 1 million times. It took time, but Flash content is working on a range of mobile devices running Android 2.2. Performance tends to vary from device to device, but it seems most users are installing it.
Adobe originally intended to allow most Android devices to run Flash, but as development continued, it became clear that wasn't happening. The minimum specs for Flash ended up being fairly modern. This has at least kept the experience fairly good. The limited number of devices also means this 1 million mark is more significant. If you're an Android user, let us know how you are liking Flash. Do you have it set to only display on demand, or is it snappy enough that you just leave it on?
The Medal of Honor series has finally made the leap to modernity, but the latest installment of the game has done exactly the opposite for PS3 pirates, consigning them to their frustrating past, when the console simply rejected backups. It is the first PS3 game that requires the 3.42 firmware to run.
The firmware, which nips hacks like PSJailbreak in the bud, is also included on the game disc, making Medal of Honor immune to all such hacks. However, the PS3 hacking community isn’t expected to remain quiet. As they always do with the PSP, they could come up with a workaround and include it in future hacks or even a custom firmware.
Say what you want about how Nokia's N8 smartphone stacks up to Apple's iPhone 4, but at a minimum, the two devices share one trait in common: Bill of Materials (BOM).
According to iSuppli, the N8's BOM comes out to $187.47. If you want to split hairs over four cents, then technically Apple's iPhone 4 costs more to produce. Otherwise, the two are identical in terms of component parts.
"The N8's BOM shows Nokia is targeting the product squarely at the touchscreen smartphone segment now dominated by the iPhone," said Andrew Rassweiler, director, principal analyst and teardown services manager, iSuppli. "Although the two phones differ markedly in key areas, including th camera and core silicon, both are designated to hit similar production cost budgets."
While the costs are nearly identical, the parts in each device are not. The N8, for example, makes use of a CMOS sensor with a 12-megapixel resolution, whereas the iPhone 4 goes up to 5 megapixels. At $31.08, the camera subsystem is the third most costly part of the N8.
The N8's display ranks as the most expensive piece of hardware. It uses an AMOLED screen, while the iPhone 4 comes with an 3.5-inch LCD screen using In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology.
We can reminisce all we want about those simpler times before luggage fees became so strict, but it won't do us any good. What might, however, is Balanzza's new digital baggage scale.
"Balanzza helps travelers avoid unexpected overweight charges at the airline ticket counter as well as the inconvenience and embarrassment or having to repack on the airport floor," Balanzza says. "The patented design makes it easy to use; simply secure the scale to the luggage handle by using the strap, lift with one or two hands, wait for the beep, and check the weight in pounds or kilograms."
The Mini Luggage Scale is Balanzza's smallest version yet, though it still features an oversized LCD screen. It also weighs less than one-third of a pound and can weight bags up to 100 pounds.
While 3D-enabled displays struggle to gain a foothold in mainstream living rooms, Internet-connected televisions are barging through the front door. According to market research firm WitsView, TVs with integrated NICs will balloon to 40 million units in 2010, or roughly 20 percent of the global LCD TV market.
And that's just the beginning. By 2015, Internet-connected TVs will account for more than 65 percent of the market with 200 million units in the wild, WitsView predicts.
Both Apple TV and Google TV will help drive this explosive demand, as well as the increased attention being paid to streaming downloads.