August 31, 2009

Jakks Pacific unveils new products for 2009

Jakks Pacific, the brains behind the Plug-It-In-and-Play TV Games category that made a splash in early 2002, has furthered their trend of innovative products with its new and improved EyeClops Night Vision 2.0 Goggles, the super small handheld EyeClops Mini Projector and a whole new lineup of TV Games products that follows the current trend that the Wii started - by incorporating accelerometer-driven motion technology without breaking the bank. We’ll look at each of these in greater detail right after the jump.

The EyeClops Mini Projector says it all - a pico projector for your little ones and even adults who want a device that allows them to share their favorite videos and photos with folks around, anywhere - as long as the room is dark enough, of course. Perfect for young people who want to impress their date with their own bedroom ceiling movie night. It relies on high powered LED illumination to project movies, TV shows, video games and other media up to a maximum size of 60″ from a compatible multimedia device, ranging from DVD players to cellphones, camcorders and digital cameras. Heck, it is even compatible with Jakk’s own Plug It In & Play TV Games products. The included battery pack offers 5 hours of battery life through the use of D batteries, but you can also connect it to a power outlet through the DC adapter when required. The EyeClops Mini Projector retails for $99.99.

The second iteration of the EyeClops is obviously known as the EyeClops Night Vision 2.0 Goggles, retailing for $59.99 which is $20 less compared to last year while bringing an improved, action-styled, hand-held design alongside the power to see using both eyes. You get up to 50 feet of visibility in complete darkness, letting you stalk your cat outdoors instead for fun.

The new line of TV Games Motion games will merge Jakks Plug It In & Play TV Games technology that boast real accelerometer technology, boasting a reactive motion controller that lets your character’s movements on screen depend on what you do in the real world. It plugs into the A/V jacks of any standard TV, where each controller comes with multiple games without the need for extra consoles or cartridges. The TV Games Motion lineup will include Star Wars: Clone Wars, SpongeBob SquarePants, Spider-Man, Disney Fairies and Power Rangers, retailing for $29.99 a pop.

ViewSonic introduces new devices

Mention ViewSonic and most of the time you would probably think about LCD monitors, but this time round they have released two devices for the masses - the smallest DLP projector from the company to date known as the PJD2121, while the WPG-350 wireless presentation gateway offers a solution for meeting rooms that won’t break the company budget. These devices are able to offer decent performance and capabilities despite their small size, making them suitable for those who do not want to be limited by projection technology in their line of work.

Let’s take a look at the Viewsonic PJD2121 first - the smallest short throw DLP pico projector from the company that tips the scales at just 2.2 pounds. This advanced device will come with integrated BrillantColor technology that is able to deliver 400 lumens of brightness, where your images are thrown at 800 x 600 SVGA native resolution, easily placing it as one of the brightest projectors available in its class. Contrast ratio for a pico projector is also pretty respectable at 1,800:1, where this combination ought to be enough to handle situations in virtually any lighting environment. It comes with a short 1:1 throw ratio that makes it perfect for tabletop personal use or for small meeting rooms, and can display images of up to 60″ from as near as just four feet away. The ‘Off to Go’ function also enables one to power the PDJ2121 automatically without having to worry about the lamp overheating due to insufficient cooling time. This filter-less design offers easy maintenance and a lower total cost of ownership, while it comes with a Kensington security lock port for added peace of mind. Each $449 purchase comes with a three-year limited parts and labor warranty, although the lamp stands at just one year.

As for the WPG-350 wireless presentation gateway, this device offers wireless capability to any compatible projector, LCD TV or large screen display without having the need to fork out a large amount of money for an embedded wireless projector. It is able to support 1,024 x 768 resolution and full-motion video up to 1080p, featuring 802.11b/g/n hi-speed wireless connectivity. Interested parties can pick up the WPG-350 wireless presentation gateway for $199.

Bugatti Vera Kettle doesn’t come cheap

I have rituals when it comes to my tea that are so set in stone that it’s dangerous to go mixing them up. However, the things I do have to make the tea aren’t anything special. They’re just your average low cost items, they just happen to be ones I like. As much as I love my tea, I really don’t feel the need to spend a ridiculous amount on it. However, if you love having the top of the line items, this Bugatti Vera Kettle will help you make your tea in style.

The kettle has special electronic controls for all of the functions required to keep the tea kettle up and functioning. It can achieve temperatures between 45 and 100 degrees Celsius. The screen and all of the buttons are located on the handle itself. The screen displays a clock and includes a self-timer that sets and regulates the tea kettle. The kettle can be programmed to make sure that your tea is done when you need it to be, like on a coffee break or first thing in the morning. To get this Bugatti Kettle it’s only going to cost you a measly £185.00 or about $300 from Where Did You Buy That.

August 22, 2009

Iropod: Invading your home with a new way of mobile computing


Designer Salvatore Matteo’s Interactive Robotic Pod Computer, or Iropod, is not designed to be Johnny Five’s taller brother, but a simple way for users with one PC to move it throughout the house.
I mean, if you think about it, it really does make sense. We are clearly becoming a society that requires a computer in every room. We keep recipes on a database in the kitchen, watch video files in the living room, and other tasks that run us amok throughout the house.
The Iropod is a stand with wheels for the computer that is designed to take the computer wherever it needs to go without worrying about wires getting caught or whatnot. It is also flexible enough to allow the user to stand or sit, depending on his or her needs.
Even though the Iropod site shows the device being used all around a home (even in the backyard), I actually think this would work better at businesses. If it is easier for an employer to take a PC and show their boss something rather than having to bring the boss to the PC, than the Iropod can be a great help.
In short, keep working on the Iropod, Mr. Matteo. It is a good idea. That is, until we get homes with computer screens on every wall. I suppose that idea is pretty futuristic, but so is the Iropod.

USB Hub and World Travel Clock

This is one of those gadgets that it’s most definitely debatable as to whether or not it’s useful or completely pointless. I suppose it purely depends on your perspective and what you need out of a device like this one. This USB hub will at the very least offer you a few more ports to make plugging in your gadgets a lot easier. Plus it does tell the time, although so does your computer.
It seems a little silly to have a clock to sit directly next to your computer that typically displays the time anyway. Of course it can flip between 25 different cities around the world, so you can know the time elsewhere. Again, you’re already at your computer, so you could just as easily look it up on the internet. However, if you deal with one specific time zone a lot, you could set it to a different time zone than your computer is set to. The hub has a total of 4 different ports and the clock will automatically illuminate when it’s plugged into your computer. You can purchase the USB Hub and World Travel Clock for $29.99 from Oregon Scientific.
Source: OhGizmo

iHome iHMP5 Series is both headphones and stereo speakers


Last time we covered something from iHome, it was their new iHM10B Portable MP3 Player Speaker System. Today is it is the iHMP5 Series, which is something that I have been seeing more and more of these days: a speaker system/headphone combo.
The iHMP5 Series is designed to work with all sorts of music players which include the iPhone, iPod, laptop, and just about anything that has a headphone jack. You put them on your head to enjoy the music in private, and put them down to share it with their friends. That sounds like the slogan for the product, doesn’t it? I actually made that up myself.
Of course, you could probably do the same thing with any stereo headphones, maybe even a pair of earbuds and then crank the volume to 10. Apparently, what makes the iHMP5 Series work is that it has a “magnetic proximity switch which activates the power amplifier and kicks the music to room volume”.
I know for sure that I have reported have reported on another pair of headphones that double as stereo speakers before, but I cannot remember the name. If you know any other headphones/stereo speakers out there, feel free to put them in the comments.
If you are looking for a product like this, feel free to head over to the iHome site and lay down $69.99 in silver, red, and blue.

Razer Naga Mouse crams in 12 extra buttons

When you’re a PC gamer, those extra buttons sometimes are what keeps you from dying nearly as often in the game. However, there are some mice that tend to take things just a little too far. At this point it just seems like they’re all competing to see who can fit the most buttons into one mouse. Which seems a little silly, because frankly after a while I start to forget what buttons go with which function. When it gets to that point, extra buttons just stop being useful. However, if you have a fantastic memory, you might be able to keep up with all the extra buttons.
Well this Razer Naga manages to cram in a total of 12 different buttons on the side. All of which will rest on the same side as your thumb. I suppose if you never really set a good portion of the buttons to anything it’d give you something to fiddle with when you’re bored. If you’re interested in getting a mouse with 12 extra buttons you can find the Naga mouse for $80.
Source: OhGizmo

Personal Pocket Safe keeps your data safe

Here’s another drive that will help keep your data safe, just in case you feel the need to be extra careful about the contents stored on your USB drive. This one even requires a combination for the data to be unlocked, which if nothing else will make you feel just a little extra important. It also will make your coworkers endlessly curious as to what is so special on your USB drive that you need something as complex as this.
The Pocket Safe USB Drive even has a self destruct feature, for those times when the drive is lost and someone is tampering with it. If someone should attempt to force access, it will automatically destroy absolutely all of the data on the drive. If that makes you nervous, not to worry there are services to ensure that your data is safe elsewhere. There is also an optional PIN replacement service as well. It is a bit expensive to purchase this Personal Pocket Safe though. It’ll cost you £59.99 or about $99 from Thumbs Up UK.
Source: SlipperyBrick

Worlds Biggest, largest and the longest structures

Basilica of our Lady of Peace, Yamoussoukro o.
Inside sitting capacity.....18,000 Outside overflow capacity..100, 000


World Water Park...Edmonton, Albert, Canada......SIZE..5 Acres


Chicago Merchandise Mart...Illinois, USA


Steampunk Mouse uses a sheep skull

There is steampunk and then there is the spooky morbid form of steampunk. This would be the morbid kind, obviously. Despite that it is truly morbid and somewhat wrong, you have to admit that they did a great job with this mouse and it’s most definitely a very original mouse. Somehow I doubt you’ll ever run into one like it. This skull mouse is also bound to turn heads, of course it might then scare off the people that happen to see it.
It’s made out of a sheep’s skull as well as brass of course. The creator, Ivan Mavrovic, does want to reassure people that the poor sheep died of a natural death. He didn’t kill the sheep just to create a sadistic looking mouse. That was nice of him. Of course, this is an original work of art and you won’t be able to buy your own anywhere. You could however attempt to create your own though, but please try to find an already dead sheep to borrow a skull from.
Source: Technabob

Canon introduces new printers

Canon is a household name when it comes to printer technology, and this time round they have unveiled a couple more PIXMA Wireless Photo All-In-One (AIO) printers, alongside a new PIXMA Inkjet Business Printer with PgR technology and a SELPHY Compact Photo Printer with a new voice guidance system. Depending on your needs, there is a PIXMA available to fill those so why not head on after the jump to know more about each individual printer in greater detail?
What makes the SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer so different from the rest is its ability to offer step-by-step instructions for printing as well as adding graphics to images without the need for a manual, making it easy even for grandad to do so, thanks to its voice guidance system (hopefully a female voice). which provides step-by-step instructions for printing and adding graphics to images without having to rely on a manual. Other features include a large 3.5″ LCD display and Easy Scroll Wheel that makes printing and navigating through menus and images a whole lot more intuitive compared to its predecessors. You can also personalize your photos with new frames and clip art that are pre-loaded under the Creative Print function to unleash your creative juices on the spot. The Canon SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer will retail for $149.99.
As for the PIXMA MP990 and PIXMA MP640 Wireless Photo AIO printers, they come with the Auto Photo Fix II feature that allows users to correct the photos before they’re even printed out, kissing goodbye to common photo errors including underexposed images. Auto Photo Fix II is smart enough to help you out with features including Multi-Zone Exposure Correction, improvements in overall face detection, scene analysis, plus brightness and saturation correction.
The inclusion of PgR technology on the Canon PIXMA iX7000 Inkjet Business Printer allows one to recreate professional-looking documents in-house without forking out a fortune - we think this would be good for small and growing businesses, but huge corporations ought to look elsewhere for a heavy duty multi purpose printer. The PIXMA iX7000 printer is tipped to retail for $399.99.
Press Release

Canon Vixia HF S11 dual flash memory camcorder

Most families have at least one camcorder simply because there is a need to record down all the memorable family happenings, and if you’re looking for the latest in the market, you won’t really go wrong with the Canon Vixia HF S11 dual flash memory camcorder. This device will target video enthusiasts who are looking forward to capture the moment in breathtaking HD quality, thanks to the Vixia HF S11 being equipped with advanced HD features and professional-level manual controls. Apart from that, Canon will also offer a new camcorder accessory known as the RA-V1 Remote Control Adapter that will bring professional-level functionality whenever you decide to shoot your mini movie from a tripod.
The Vixia HF S11 will see many of Canon’s core imaging technologies being retained, but will also add in a few new features that ought to go some ways in making sure it compensates for your shortcoming in movie shooting skills. 64GB of internal flash memory provides you with ample storage space to record up to 24 hours of crisp high-definition video, and should you actually be one lazy bum to transfer the past few days’ of recording over to a computer, there is always the option to rely on its SDHC memory card slot that theoretically, bumps up the memory count by another 32GB. Canon’s new Dynamic SuperRange OIS system makes sure you get the ultimate in shake correction by offering continuous adjustment throughout the entire zoom range, while an Advanced Video Snapshot Mode allows one to develop the perfect highlight movie so that you will beam with pride when family and friends view it.
Other features include a Genuine Canon HD Video Lens, Canon designed and manufactured 8.59-megapixel Full HD CMOS Image Sensor and Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor that work in tandem to create breathtaking video and stunning 8.0 megapixel photos. Apart from that, Genuine Canon Face Detection, Instant AutoFocus, and the ability to record in 24p Cinema Mode or 30p Progressive Mode ups the ante even further when it comes to recording quality. Expect the Canon Vixia HF S11 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder to be released for $1,399.99 later this September with the RA-V1 Remote Control Adapter going for $120 then as well.
Press Release

With the Eyeball R1, someone’s a Star Wars fan in the Military

Mention Hannspree and what comes into your mind automatically? For most of us,it would probably be LCD TVs that look anything but ordinary, featuring a bezel that is unique, boasting a wide range of designs that will definitely strike a chord with the kid in you. In the past, most Hannspree products are LCD TVs that feature interesting bezel designs, and they have also made the jump to the world of LCD monitors as well. This time round, Hannspree has taken the plunge with the HannsNote netbook.
The HannsNote will ensure you get a decent computing solution no matter where you are without breaking the bank (and your back in the process of lugging it through airport security), where it retails for a relatively affordable $379.99 a pop. This model will come in the fingerprint loving high gloss Pearl Black as well as Pearl White, depending on which side of the fence your color preference resides. The HannsNote boasts a footprint that is no larger than a letter-sized sheet of paper, making it slip into a backpack, briefcase or even a handbag with ease. Even with its battery attached, you surely won’t tire by carrying 2.9 lbs of extra weight with you, right? Powered by a 6-cell Lithum-Ion battery that ought to last around 5 hours on a full charge, you will also get the following system specifications.
10″ LCD with LED backlight
Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor
Windows XP Home Edition SP3
1GB RAM (Expandable up to 2GB)
160GB SATA HDD (5400 RPM)
802.11b/g/n, 10/100 LAN
Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity
1.3-megapixel webcam
Built-in mic/stereo speakers
Full-function keyboard
3-in-1 memory card reader
Each purchase will come with a protective sleeve and cleaning cloth to make sure those nasty fingerprints of jealous colleagues stay off. Measuring 10.2″ x 1.8″ x 7.1″ with its battery attached, the HannsNote will come with a limited 1-year warranty. Looks something worth getting especially for the back-to-school season in full swing!
Press Release

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

Bose is a name that is synonymous with quality audio devices, and their latest foray would be the QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. This model is touted to be the company’s best-performing, quietest set of headphones to date, although it will still take some comprehensive listening tests in everyday situations before one can actually come to that conclusion, right? The Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones does not waste a single day of the past 30 years’ worth of continuous Bose research in noise reduction technology, where significant engineering advancements in active and passive noise reduction technologies have been incorporated into the QC15 headphones in order to offer more attenuation in louder environments and across a wider range of frequencies. It does so without making an excuse where audio quality is concerned, while ensuring a comfortable fit that is worthy of the QuietComfort headphone line.
The Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones will feature a brand new sophisticated yet proprietary electronics approach that aims to introduce active noise reduction, placing microphones within and without the earcup. This electronics system results in the ability to better sense sound in almost any environment, followed by taking a much more effective measure so that it can produce an opposing cancellation signal almost instantly. As for the new proprietary ear cushion technology used, one benefits from additional passive attenuation while a new mechanical design as well as careful selection of materials for specific acoustic properties help prevent more noise from entering the earcup.
There is another interesting feature about the QC15 headphones - a single earcup cable can be detached for untethered noise reduction. Whenever the cable is removed, all you need to do is flip a switch on the right earcup in order to activate the proprietary technology. The QC15 will run on a single AAA battery for up to 35 hours of non-stop playback, and whenever the green on/off indicator light starts to flash, it means there is roughly five hours of battery life left, giving you ample warning to prepare a spare.
Press Release

Canon goes nuts with new camera range

Canon U.S.A., Inc. has a slew of new digital cameras that ought to keep any budding shutterbug happy. After all, DSLRs might be gaining in popularity but if you really want to make money, better target the mass market as that’s where the cash is at. It is a good thing that Canon’s line of PowerShot digital cameras do have an honorable history of high performance and capability without requiring one to break the bank. We’ll take a look at all five digital cameras in greater detail right after the jump.
The Canon PowerShot S90 shares some good looking resemblances from the PowerShot Digital ELPH line, where it will come with a High Sensitivity System sensor and a 28mm wide-angle f/2.0 lens that will go some ways to capture sharper images despite being in low-light conditions. The customizable control ring enables one to adjust shooting settings for added flexibility. At home in both the hands of a professional photographer or advanced amateur, the 10-megapixel PowerShot S90 comes with 3.8x Optical Zoom, Optical Image Stabilization, a 3″ PureColor System LCD display and RAW support. It will retail for $429.99 when available later this October.
Both the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and SX120 IS digital cameras will feature a pretty impressive zoom, with the former boasting a 20x wide-angle Optical Zoom lens while the latter settles for a 10x Optical Zoom lens. Both devices will feature Optical Image Stabilization for sharper images even when your Parkinson’s is acting up. The 12.1-megapixel PowerShot SX20 IS can also record 720p HD video while featuring HDMI output and a 2.5″ PureColor System LCD display. As for the 10-megapixel PowerShot SX120 IS, it gets a vanilla 3″ LCD display, an easy mode and is AA-battery powered. The PowerShot SX20 IS and SX120 IS will retail for $399.99 and $249.99, respectively.
As for the Canon PowerShot SD980 IS Digital ELPH Camera, this 12.1-megapixel device will come with a 3″ touch panel PureColor System LCD display, 720p HD video recording, HDMI output, a 5x Optical Zoom lens and Optical Image Stabilization, coming in silver, blue, purple and gold colors. It will retail for $329.99 when released this October. Last but not least would be the 12.1-megapixel PowerShot SD940 IS Digital ELPH Camera that boasts a 4x Optical Zoom lens and Optical Image Stabilization, 720p HD video recording, a 2.7″ PureColor System LCD, and will come in blue, black, silver and brown colors, costing $50 less than its bigger sibling.
Press Release

Plantronics out Discovery 975 Bluetooth headset

Bluetooth headsets - either you love them or loathe them. I feel indifferent about the matter though, but have always hankered to own one despite rarely finding myself in a situation where I have the need for it. Plantronics is an old hand where Bluetooth headsets are concerned, and their latest release would be the Plantronics Discovery 975 Bluetooth earpiece. This model will take over where the Discovery 925 left off. Not to say that the Discovery 925 is a douchebag, as the 975’s predecessor did boast superior audio quality and an innovative lightweight design that is evident in the genes of the latest Discovery 975. Users of this new headset can look forward to an improved audio experience that boasts advanced AudioIQ2 and WindSmart technologies which are capable of delivering natural sounding voice in harsh noise environments.
The Plantronics Discovery 975 will come with the aforementioned AudioIQ2 technology, which is a formal name for the next generation of Plantronics’ AudioIQ digital signal processing (DSP) technology. This new technology will see the use of a couple of microphones when it comes to capturing the user’s voice precisely, while canceling most background noise automatically at the same time. Users can continue with their conversations without worrying about pressing a specific button or having some sort of sensor in touch with one’s face just to get the noise-canceling capability up and running. As long as there is a conversation going on, AudioIQ2 will work automatically.
Each purchase of the Discovery 975 comes with an improved rechargeable carrying case which is touted to not only double, but triple the talk time from 5 hours to up to 15 hours. It does so in style, offering adequate protection when storing the earpiece within. The case itself features an LCD display that shows off the remaining battery and earpiece charge levels so that you can pace your conversations the next time round. Apart from that, you will also get a glance at Bluetooth connectivity strength. Tipping the scales at a mere 8 grams, the Plantronics Discovery 975 is starting to look like a real winner where Bluetooth headsets are concerned, retailing for $129.99 a pop.
Press Release

Go Commando with Night Vision Goggles

Using infra red, these night vision goggles allow you to see up to fifteen meters in absolute darkness and even at full power, the light emitted is barely visible to the naked eye. Perfect for playing hide and seek in the garden, or watching owls and bats of an evening. And yes, you do get to pretend your stalking the bad guy (although I believe it is a prerequisite to hum the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme tune as you do).
The full post can be found on Gaj-it .

Cloud Telecomputers Phone for the office desk

I don’t have a land-line phone connected to my house anymore, but most offices usually have them so employees can have calls wired to their desk. If you are going to have a land-line to your business, you might as well make it a fancy one like this Android Glass phone from Cloud Telecomputers.
The phone is more computer than it is traditional phone with an 8-inch touchscreen, as well as applications like voicemail, calendar, SMS, and email. You can also link to your cellular phone via bluetooth, and the OS also allows you to access important applications for business today, like LinkedIn.
In short, this Cloud Telecomputer looks like the perfect replacement for any wired phone made before the cell phone age. Unfortunately, the product is not ready to be sold as yet, but Cloud computers reports that they have some backers behind it, and it should hit the market in no time.
However, if you are looking for something like it, I highly recommend the iRiver WAVE-HOME, which I got to try out at CES last year. That one was built more for the home than for business, but it really is the same concept.
Well, if Cloud Telecomputers do get the Android Glass phone out, the projected price will be about $599 to $699.

The Terminator T600 Skull USB Drive

Terminator, like a lot of science fiction movies has a wide range of fans. Since there is a decent gap between the newest movie and the movies that started it all, they will also have a decent range in the ages of the fans. Well hopefully there are a few tech loving fans out there with quite a bit of extra cash to spend. Otherwise this poor Terminator T600 Skull USB Drive won’t get all that many buyers. Somehow though, I don’t think that’s going to be a huge issue.
However, there are always people out there willing to pay a few extra dollars just to get something reminding them of their favorite movie. Sadly though, you’ll have to be extra determined if you want to get your hands on one of these. Especially since there are very very few details on the product. There is no word on when it will become available or in what size. At least the price is known though. It’ll cost you 15,000 Yen or about $160.
Source: TechFresh

Duracell soon to release myGrid SmartPower

There is nothing I dislike more than dealing with charging my cellphone. Especially since it seems like I do it way too often. I’ve even gone as far as taking out a staple gun and attaching the cord to the back of a shelf so that the top sticks out and the cord never unhooks from my phone and falls down. That does make it easier, but something like this myGrid from Duracell would be far more simple. When it comes to charging, simple is definitely a good thing.
Instead of plugging in your cellphone every single time you need more of a charge, wouldn’t it be nice to just plop it down on a flat surface? Especially for those of you in families with multiple cellphones, you’d never have to worry about dealing with a tangle of cords from too many chargers in one area. This will charge MP3 players, phones and other devices by slipping a power sleeve or power clip onto the gadget. Within the phones it will work with the iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola phones. You can expect the myGrid to be shipped out this October.

Keyboards decorated with anime girls

We all have our preferences with our keyboards. Some people see no need to get frivolous and just go for the plain type, others like bright pink and then of course there are the gamers that like the large complex keyboards. Well now there’s even a keyboard out there for those of you that are hardcore anime fans. In some parts of the world, anime fans are slightly more obsessed than in other areas, but likely there are still several eager anime fans even in the US and the UK.
They all feature the bright eyed anime females, not the guys. These USB keyboards are likely more targeted at the male anime audience. Especially since there is one featuring a bikini clad anime female on the keyboard. These artsy USB keyboards are on sale through E-Junex’s E2 retailer, but will only be available for a limited time. Within that time period you’re going to end up paying about $100 a piece for these keyboards.

August 15, 2009

How Your Facebook Account Can Get You Fired

August 14, 2009



New HTC Leo pictures look good

New HTC Leo pictures surface

New pictures of what seems to be the HTC Leo have appeared on the web. The HTC Leo runs on a Qualcomm 1Ghz snapdragon system on a chip (SoC). The device thickness (or thinness) is 11mm and its design looks like a good compromise between the large display and the use of physical buttons required by Windows Mobile 6.5. There's another photo and a list of rumored specifications in the full post.

Permalink: New HTC Leo pictures look good from Ubergizmo | Hot: Wii, PS3 and Natal Motion Sensing

Black Dreams..........


Black Dreams

When the Dare To Get Dirty Challenges were going on a couple of weeks ago, I really wanted to participate inSharon’s, but I didn’t have the right designer paper. I was excited to see black/white Designer paper in the new Mini catalog and ordered it right away. I used it for today’s sketch challenge.
My card base started out as a 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ piece of cardstock folded in half. I cut it with the new Scallop Square Clear Die from Big Shot. Next I cut two pieces from the Night & Day Specialty Designer Paper, the darker one measuring 1 3/4″ x 3 7/8″, the lighter one a 3 7/8″ square. I taped the darker strip to the left hand side of the lighter square and tied 5/8″ wide red grosgrain ribbon over the point where the darker designer paper ended.
The sentiment is fromDreams Du Jour and was stamped in Black Stazon on a 1 1/4″ x 3″ piece of Whisper White cardstock. The medallion (oh…I LOVE that stamp) from Friends 24-7 was stamped on the right hand side of the sentiment strip in second generation Real Red ink. It was layered on a slightly bigger piece of Basic Black cardstock. The bottom of that strip had been punched with the Eyelet Border punch. The edges of the White cardstock had been paper pierced. The sentiment strips were adhered to the card base with dimensionals. To finish off the card front I added a Pretties Kit flower that had a Clear Rhinestone Brad in each center.
For the card base I started with a 3 7/8″ square in Real Red. It was layered with a 3 3/4″ Whisper White square. The designer paper strip measures 1″ x 3 3/4″. A small strip of Real Red cardstock that had been punched with the Eyelet Border punch was taped underneath. The top of the Designer Paper was paper pierced and the entire piece sanded. The medallion was stamped in second generation Basic Gray ink. The top left edge was paper pierced.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Hugs and smiles

Blackberry Bold


11-Year-Old Finally Interviews President Obama


Mr. Weaver Goes To Washington: 11-Year-Old Finally Interviews President Obama [Dream Weaver]

PopoutEleven-year-old reporter Damon Weaver, who has been trying to interview President Obama since he was still on the campaign trail, finally got his wish with an hour-long sitdown in the Diplomatic Room.

Weaver has previously talked to Joe Biden, Dwayne Wade, and Oprah, among others, and started off this interview with questions about education. The President gave what may be a preview of his upcoming Sept. 8 speech on the issue, saying that the federal government, state governments, and parents need to come together to improve kids' performance. They also discussed school lunches, which Obama promised to make healthier. He deemed Weaver's suggestion — french fries and mangoes for everyone — to be tasty but perhaps impractical, as mangoes don't grow well in northern climes.

Obama looks pretty graceful throughout — especially when he answers a question about whether he gets "bullied" a lot as President — but Weaver obviously steals the show. His charm and self-possession have been on display since the beginning of his campaign to interview Obama, and he comes off as smart as well as adorable. Some of this interview is pure cuteness — like when Weaver sums things up by saying Obama is very "tall and nice" — but Weaver is also an apt spokesman for some real issues. Coming from struggling Pahokee, Florida, Weaver asked Obama what he would do to help schools in poor neighborhoods. And in an earlier segment on 20-20, Weaver says, "I worry about what's happening to my community," and "that's why I'm telling you my town's story, so more people don't die."

Weaver is a passionate advocate for his family and his home, as well as living proof of the promise that exists in kids all over the country, not just in places with money. He dreams big — in the 20-20 segment, he says he wants to be "a journalist, and a football player, and a pilot, and a person who trains whales, and President, and a senator, and a commissioner." He's already the first one — but Obama and America have the responsibility to make sure that he, and his brothers (one says he wants to be "a football player, or if that doesn't work I'll be a lawyer or a doctor"), and the other kids in his town, have the opportunity to achieve all of their dreams. In his remarks on education, Obama says "setting a really high standard for kids" is important. Damon Weaver is doing just that.

Student Reporter Damon Weaver Interviews President Barack Obama [YouTube]
Reporter, 11, Grants Obama Homeboy Status [CBS]
Young Pahokee Journalist Interviews Obama [ABC]

Digg for the Real World


GraffitiGeo: Mobile Review App is like "Digg for the Real World"

A new Y Combinator funded startup called GraffitiGeo has just launched with a fresh spin on user-generated reviews. The mobile application is somewhat like a mashup of review site Yelp, mobile social network Foursquare, and social news site Digg. The Digg-like element of the application is the easiest piece to use: like that restaurant? Vote it up. You can also leave more detailed comments to go along with your vote, if you so choose. To encourage people to participate in the "game" aspect to the app, GraffitiGeo also introduces a point system whose concept is borrowed from mobile app Foursquare...but is a bit more confusing.

What's more interesting than the mobile application launching now is the second GraffitiGeo app which is right around the corner. The next app will be an augmented reality application for the iPhone which takes the above elements and layers them over your iPhone's viewfinder.

Yelp + Digg + Foursquare = GraffitiGeo

GraffitiGeo's first mobile application will initially suffer from all the usual problems of sites and services that rely on user-generated reviews. Until enough people start using the service, there won't be much value to it. While the concept behind the mobile review app is solid, its focus primarily on restaurants at the moment means it's not likely to attract a large user base right off the bat. There are already a large number of mobile restaurant applications out there, not to mention there's Yelp, which does restaurant reviews and a lot more.

The GraffitiGeo team acknowledges they have competition in this area, but are quick to point out the others' shortcomings. For example, Yelp reviews are too long - especially in "the day and age of Twitter," they write on their blog. They also incorporate the Digg-like voting element for fast rankings (which Yelp does not), offer Facebook Connect integration for easy sign in, introduce nifty heatmaps to highlight the hotspots, and let you leave a comment with only 2 taps (Yelp takes 5-6). In short, they feel they've designed an application specifically for the mobile platform where Yelp just ported their successful website to mobile instead.

The Digg-like voting aspect is probably the app's killer feature. Instead of star ratings or lengthy reviews, you can simply vote "thumbs up" in order to rate a restaurant positively or a "thumbs down" if you're not so pleased. This ease-of-use makes the barrier to entry that much lower and could encourage more participation from casual users.

Another element to GraffitiGeo is the game aspect. This may or may not be a plus, in our opinion. With inspiration obviously borrowed from mobile social network/gameFoursquare, GraffitiGeo awards points for any activity, whether that's a vote, a comment, or anything else. After reaching 100 points (aka "street cred"), you can start or join a "mob." Not a violent mob, of course, just a "mob." Mobs can claim territories which, in turn, unlocks more features in the application. There are also badges which can be earned. The entire setup is explained here. It's a bit complex and frankly, we're not sure if this is the sort of app that needs a gameplay element. If you're trying to find out if a restaurant is worth trying out, you're probably more interested in reading reviews and checking ratings than you are in playing with a bunch of online friends.

Even Better: An Augmented Reality Version

The real trick up GraffitiGeo's sleeve, however, is the app that's yet to come. Basically, the next app fromGraffitiGeo is an augmented reality version of what's described above. That sounds much more appealing, to be honest. With the iPhone's viewfinder, you scan the restaurant in question and GraffitiGeo comments will float across your screen. What's really cool about the AR app, though, is that you don't necessarily have to have a restaurant in the viewfinder to see these ratings. Because the app is location-based, it knows what's nearby. In the demo, they aim the app down the street from where they're standing and GraffitiGeo displays the ratings for all the restaurants on that block. If you're ever just wandering around looking for a place to eat, this could be a real timesaver. We imagine you'll then be able to interact with the app in other ways, too, but that's hard to tell from the YouTube video demo.


GraffitiGeo's first effort may or may not be worth your time, especially considering its already robust competition, but the AR app definitely looks worth the wait.


best iPhone developers


Microsoft to court the best iPhone developers? You bet!

Microsoft to court the best iPhone developers? You bet!
Microsoft has been helping iPhone
developers switch to WinMo
The Zune HD is a very powerful handheld, much more so than the current iPod Touch, and probably more so than the upcoming iPod Touch (based on the iPhone 3GS hardware). But it is clear that all this power is “overkill” for a device that has no games or apps in general. The good news is: it will (I think).
Daring Fireball has been reporting that it got a tip from a developer who said that Microsoft has proposed to pay him/her "a bucket of money" to port his/her app to the Zune (HD). While this is unconfirmed, I believe that it is true. In the videogame world where Icome from, it is very frequent that a hardware/console brand would pay for such a port. That's a way to get good titles, and therefore make one’s platform more relevant. Microsoft has taken a first step in helping iPhone developers, but they should also provide a good implementation of OpenGL ES 2.0 on the Zune HD. Yes, they have DX for mobile (on WinMo), but they should swallow their pride and make it easy for iPhone developers. Right now, Microsoft has not said much about its Zune HD SDK, so it’s hard for developers to be excited.
Permalink: Microsoft to court the best iPhone developers? You bet! from Ubergizmo | Hot: Wii, PS3 and Natal Motion Sensing

Lotus Evora


Lotus Evora called UK's best drivers car by Autocar

2010 Lotus Evora - Click above for a high-res image gallery

The gang at Autocar have singled out the new Lotus Evora as the best drivers car in the U.K. for 2009. The award came following an evaluation that included the 2010 Nissan GT-R and nine other new models launched in the past year. The defending champ GT-R dropped all the way to fourth in this year's roundup following the new Lotus, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and the Porsche 911 GT3. The key to the Evora's victory appears to have been its impressive handling capabilities and in particular its forgiving nature.

Apparently, potential buyers agree with the assessment from Autocar as demand for the Evora has been so great that Lotus has had to to increase its manufacturing staff by 30 percent. The Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V6 also allows Lotus to get some pretty decent fuel economy of the Evora - a combined 27 mpg (US) on the EU test cycle.

[Source: Autocar]

Hans Christian Ørsted Electrifies Google

In short, Ørsted was an early discoverer of electromagnetism. According to a very concise account:
Hans Christian Ørsted, one of the leading scientists of the nineteenth century, played a crucial role in understanding electromagnetism. In 1820 he discovered that a compass needle deflects from magnetic north when an electric current is switched on or off in a nearby wire. This showed that electricity and magnetism were related phenomena, a finding that laid the foundation for the theory of electromagnetism and for the research that later created such technologies as radio, television and fiber optics. The unit of magnetic field strength was named the Oersted in his honor.

BONUS: Google Doodle Gallery

For those partial to “Google doodles” (we certainly are), YouTube user Zephopper has put together a compilation video of some of the best from over the years:

Nikon Coolpix S220 10 MP 3x Zoom Digital Camera + 4GB SDHC Memory Card $126.95 w/Coupon at Abe's of Maine


iPhone Killer Video


I found this Video while surfing YouTube and thought it was worth sharing.
I would have used a .40 :)

Camera Cube


Camera Cube levels your shooter

Camera Cube(Credit: Photojojo)
The first thing landscape photographers check when they frame the shot is to make sure the horizon is level to prevent crooked shots. While you can try to adjust the shooter by estimating with your eye, the Camera Cube can help you be more precise.
Measuring 1 inch ...

The Adobe Photoshop........


The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers
Publisher: Adobe Press | ISBN: 0321555619 | edition 2008 | PDF | 624 pages | 58,77 mb

While Adobe Photoshop has long been their choice for editing digital photographs, many photographers want a more focused tool. That’s where Adobe Photoshop Lightroom comes in. Designed from the ground up with digital photographers in mind, Photoshop Lightroom offers powerful editing features in a streamlined interface that lets photographers import, sort, and organize images. This completely updated and expanded bestseller, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book, was also written with photographers in mind. Author Martin Evening describes features in Photoshop Lightroom 2 in detail from a photographer’s perspective. As an established commercial and fashion photographer, Martin knows first-hand what photographers need for an efficient workflow. He has also been working with Lightroom from the beginning, monitoring the product’s development and providing feedback on the public beta. As a result, Martin knows the software inside and out, from image selection to image editing to image management.

HOW TO: Use Facebook for Professional Networking


Boris Epstein is the CEO and Founder of BINC, a Professional Search Firm that specializes in the Software Marketplace. Boris shares his thoughts about the recruitment industry, job hunting and career advice at
Ask anybody why they use Facebook, and most people will respond with reasons like staying in touch with friends, or being able to share pictures. Rarely does one’s professional life ever get mentioned when describing the social network. When it comes to business networking, LinkedIn tends to take all the thunder, and Facebookis generally written off as a place just for fun. Yet, perhaps that’s a mistake.
Facebook, after all, has 250 million active users compared to about 44 million for LinkedIn, and even though the atmosphere is clearly not as focused on business, there are still a ton of opportunities for professional networking that business users would be remiss to pass up. Once you look beyond the obvious social features like sharing pictures and poking friends, there are plenty of ways to tap into the professional community on the world’s largest social network.
In this post we’ll talk about how to setup your Facebook for professional use, how to find others to network with, Facebook features that work for professional networking, and ways to maximize the value from those features.

Setting up your Facebook for business networking

If you’re like most people, your personal and professional lives have already blended. You share your personal stories and pictures with your work colleagues, you discuss both work and your personal life on your blog and Twitter, and you’ve probably let go of the notion that professional and personal must be kept completely separate.
But even with that blurring of our work and social lives, most of us still want some separation, and I would recommend actually splitting the two on Facebook. Once split, you can continue to reap the social benefits of Facebook with your friends and family while simultaneously connecting with your professional colleagues.


Here’s how to split the two.
– Go to your friends list by clicking on the Friends tab at the top of your Facebook page.
– Click the “Create a New List” button and create one called Professional.
– You can now go through your entire friend list and add all of your professional contacts into this new and separate business list.
– Once you’re done, navigate to your profile privacy settings by clicking on the Settings link in the top right corner of your Facebook; then click on privacy; then click on profile.
On the profile privacy settings page you can begin slicing and dicing your Facebook world into personal and professional segments by restricting access to various parts of your profile using your newly created friend list. For example, if you don’t want your professional friends to see any of your pictures, click on “edit photo album privacy settings.” In the “who can see this” drop down, click on “customize” and then in the “except these people” field type in your newly formed professional friends list. Now only your personal friends will be able to see your pictures.
Though these settings can get fairly complicated because of their granularity, you can control your entire Facebook experience from this area of the site and decide what parts of your personal life you would like your professional friends to be able to see. Bear in mind that there are no best practices here. Meaning, if you don’t want your professional friends to see your wall comments, don’t let them. If you don’t want your professional friends to see your pictures, don’t let them. It’s your world and you can set it up exactly how you like.

Using Facebook groups for networking

One way to professionally benefit from Facebook’s enormous user base and to grow your professional network is to participate in Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups is a feature that allows Facebook users to connect, discuss and network with each other within the context of a common interest or topic.

Finding groups

There are groups on Facebook representing just about every topic under the sun. To find the right group for your professional aspiration, think of topics that will motivate you, allow you to connect with others of professional interest, and will allow you to gain insight into your industry/skill set – groups around these topics are the ones where you’ll find professionals you can network with.


Now that you have a direction in mind, enter your keyword into the search box on Facebook, and click on the “Groups” filter to the left of the results. You can also filter down the displayed groups by drilling into a number of sub categories, including business (a good bet for many professional groups), common interest, geography, Internet and technology, and organizations.
There are, of course, other ways to find Facebook Groups. Here are a few techniques that should give you plenty of groups to get started with.
– If you have friends whose professional advancements you respect, go to their profile page and click on their info tab. Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll see links to all of the groups to which they belong.
– On the main page of any Facebook Group, there are links to several other similar or related groups.
– Conduct an Internet search for “popular Facebook Groups” coupled with some of the keywords that interest you. You’ll often uncover blog posts, articles and people tweeting about a variety of groups, some of which may interest you.
Once you find a group that interests you, it’s a good idea to evaluate whether or not it will be a good fit before joining and pouring too much time into it.

What to look for in a professional group

There are millions of groups on Facebook, so how many should you join and which ones? Joining too many might prove to be unmanageable, so it’s a good idea to only join the ones that you can actually see yourself participating in.
Below is a list of the features you’ll find in each Facebook Group and what to look for in each to determine whether a group is quality enough to be worth joining.
Recent News – This section contains news from group administrators that is either about the group itself or is about a topic that might interest the group. Is it up to date? Is it useful information or just self-promotion?
Member Listings – Lists all group members including their profile photos, location and link to their profile page. This is an easy access way to send a message to a specific group member OR to request them as a friend. You can also use this tool to evaluate the group before joining. Does the group attract people with similar backgrounds and interests to yours? Can you see yourself giving information to and appreciating information from these other members? Do they seem like people you would value interacting with?
Discussion Board – The group’s discussion board allows members to engage in a discussion about topics listed by other group members. Before joining, use the discussion board to measure group activity and member engagement. Are discussions recent? How many are there? Are they interesting and on-topic? You should contribute to an existing discussion or start your own, once you’ve joined.
Wall Posting – This section is usually for member introductions or job postings. This is a great way to introduce yourself and your interest in this group. How recent are the latest postings? If there is any spam, how quickly is it cleaned up?
Groups also often have photos, videos, links sections, and event listings. You should evaluate these areas for recency and quality of information, as well.


Group participation

Once you’ve joined a group, it’s time to start participating. This is where the real fun begins and the true business value will happen. Below is an example workflow I would recommend following upon joining a group for professional purposes. It’s a great way to show your presence in the group and get some professional networking activity under your belt.
Post an introduction on the Group’s Wall stating your interest in the group. If you’re looking to network, say so. If you’re looking for a job, say so. If you can offer advice, say so. The key here is to make this a simple introduction so the group knows who you are – not an advertisement for yourself or services, which may come across as spam.
Add links to interesting events, pieces of news or blog posts. Anybody who reads them will know you posted them, which will add to your professional branding efforts.
Go to the discussion board and comment on a few topics; don’t be generic. Find a discussion where you could truly add value and help some fellow members with their questions or contribute to some discussions with your thoughts.
Post a topic for discussion. Ask a question or propose a thought-provoking topic of discussion and share your thoughts — the object is to engage your fellow group members. Check back on this discussion often so you can participate and remain an active part of it.
Add friends. Because Facebook was intended to be an online extension of your offline social graph, it is proper etiquette to know somebody before adding them as a friend. While being in the same group might satisfy that requirement for some people, I think it’s a good idea to have some sort of further engagement with a member before requesting them as a friend. Once you’ve engaged someone (such as in a discussion board topic), request them as a friend but include a personal note letting them know you appreciated the interaction. That way, they will have some context for the request and will be more likely to accept. Once you’re friends, make sure to add them to your professional friend list so that you are able to maintain that line between social and professional.
Now that you’ve gone through this workflow for each group you’ve joined, you can now consider yourself to be an active member. So what’s next? Networking! Come back to each group often to post new links and videos, engage in discussions or start your own. You should also invite other existing contacts to join the group as a way to help spread the word and keep the group active. Also remember to befriend those with whom you’ve been active and take your professional relationship to the next level.
Once you have the basics down, professional networking on Facebook is very similar to professional networking in real life. The same rules and etiquette apply. As you build your professional network on Facebook you’ll be able to use those contacts for job hunting, business development, and more.


Although Facebook was built as a social network and most people treat it as such – there is a tremendous amount of professional value that can be gained there. Once you’re a member of a few groups and have completed the introductory workflow for each one, the professional value of Facebook should be evident and ready to be fully realized. Be creative, have fun, and remember: What you put into things is what you get out of them, so always try to stay active!
If you have any other tips for professional networking on Facebook, please share them in the comments.