August 9, 2006

the get it
Looking for a new laptop? That old and slow boat anchor got you down? Well I am here to tell you that it rarely gets any better than this for a deal. Lenovo, formally IBM, has its z60t laptop for the ridiculous price of $749! That is nearly $900 of the list price. This is no Best Buy/Circuit City/CompUSA sub par PC made just to discount to the general public. This model consistently shows up in everybody’s top 5 list as a perfect clear cut combination of business and consumer functionality. The specs on this deal include a Pentium M Processor 740 1.73Ghz, 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, a CDRW/DVD drive, supports wireless 802.11abg, weighs in at a mere 4.8 lbs and on top of it all, comes loaded with Windows XP. Trust me, this is a true bargain.
http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=4…
the gizmo
From the folks at Oregon Scientific comes the Giovannoni Weather Station, designed by Stefano Giovannoni. This little weather station packs a lot of technology in a small monolithic-2001-Space-Odyssey-ish package. Not only can it report the weather, it also has a built-in self-setting atomic clock, supports five languages and has an alarm clock with eight-minute snooze function! More importantly, it also has that cool low-tech-Pulsar-digital-watch-circa-1970 graphics look to it.
http://www2.oregonscientific.com/shop/product.asp?cid=23&scid=97&pid=640&src=22
the gorgeous

Not satisfied to produce yet another speaker set to support the iPod and its brethren, Gyanze Corporation has upped the ante. This Kata Mali 01 speaker set comes wrapped in a beautifully designed aluminum ingot that weighs nearly 12.5 pounds and can support any device that supports mini-stereo output! But there is more. This new model not only has beauty and brawn, it also has a brain. The Kata Mali 01 has a built-in amplifier that produces 15w per channel and has an auto-on/auto-off detection system that detects audio input. Well now that I have given you the good news, the bad news, well for some of us anyway, the price is listed at around $1300. Holy gazookas!

http://www.newlaunches.com/archives/kata_mali_01_aluminium_speaker_set.php
the green

With all of this talk about closing the gap in underdeveloped countries with inexpensive computers, many have been pointing out that there is something that has been overlooked, internet access. These devices created for programs such as, Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), sometimes have hand or foot cranks that allow the user to generate the low wattage needed to run them. However, there has been no thought as to how these folks could connect up to the web. Well, a pair of employees from Sun Microsystems have thought about it and have come up with quite a novel approach. They have created wi-fi access nodes that are solar powered. More importantly, they have kept costs low by using off-the-shelf equipment, keeping the cost around $200 per node. These nodes are made up of a small solar panel, a heavy duty battery and a router and can be linked up together to provide a "mesh" network that can be extended virtually anywhere! Hmmm… I wonder if Philadelphia can qualify…

http://www.green-wifi.org/
the gossip
Well it looks like those I’m a PC/I’m a Mac ads are really starting to generate some blowback. First there were a couple of funny spoofs and now a not so funny demonstration of a security hole in Apple’s Macbook just in time for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2006). Apparently, this security hole is exploited through the Macbook’s wireless device driver when the card is active, whether it is connected to a network or not. Jon Ellch and David Maynor are the two "hackers" that are behind this discovery. What drove these two to investigate this? Here are two quotes from the article: "they ultimately decided to run the demo against a Mac due to what Maynor called the ‘Mac user base aura of smugness on security.’" and "We’re not picking specifically on Macs here, but if you watch those ‘Get a Mac’ commercials enough, it eventually makes you want to stab one of those users in the eye with a lit cigarette or something,". Why can’t we all just get along?
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2006/08/hijacking_a_macbook_in_60_seco_1.html