September 13, 2006

the get it
Have you been putting off getting that new iPod Video? Now is the time to get on board. We’re talking about the 60GB version. That’s up to 15,000 songs, full-color album art, 25,000 photos, up to 150 hours of video and 20 hours of battery life. This new iPod is also 10 percent thinner than the previous generation of iPod. But you knew all of this already, so here is the good stuff. PC Connection is now offering this in Black or White for just $269 with a $30 rebate. The rebate expires 9/30. These normally list in the mid $300 range. Come on, everybody’s doin’ it.
http://www.pcconnection.com/ProductDetail?Sku=6094757
the gizmo
So there you are, stuck out in the field with your cell phone or PDA and you get a text message from someone and you need to respond. I don’t know about you, but if it is anything more than a couple of words, all of a sudden I no longer have opposable thumbs. What’s worse, I look around and see some of these kids typing text messages like Japanese teenagers on Harakuju’s Omotesando Boulevard. Well, if this sounds familiar to you and you have a Bluetooth enabled cell phone or PDA, help is on its way. Brando has developed a mini keyboard that you can take along with you that won’t take up much room. It is just 3.7 inches wide when folded up and weighs less than 3 ounces. It also works with Palm OS, Pocket PC, Smartphones and PCs. It’s not something that you will be writing your memoirs on, but it looks to be quite useful and it’s currently listed at just $56.
http://palmaddict.typepad.com/palmaddicts/2006/09/brando_releases.html
the gorgeous

It’s not often that you see so much thought put into the design of everyday products, but for me, it is so much more refreshing. Designer Jacob Jensen seems to excel in this area. He has already brought us the well designed, intelligent smoke alarm and now he has designed a cordless doorbell that you wouldn’t mind having in your house. Why should these always be so ugly? In addition to being attractive, it also has some tricks up its sleeve. Besides having five different, specially composed, high quality polyphonic tunes, this unit also has one that mimics the sound of a person knocking plus a special tune designed for the hearing impaired. If needed, the chiming unit supports an unlimited number of door units that can be programmed to play different tunes for each.

http://www.momastore.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay…
the green

There are so many cool things about this story; I honestly don’t even know where to begin. So I will simply start with Mini Cooper, 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and 640 horsepower. Are you interested yet? Well what if I also told you this vehicle is as green as the mold on those leftovers in your fridge. PML, a British Engineering firm, wanted to take hybrid cars into a different direction and demonstrate just what could be done using the best technology available today. First off, the PML Mini QED as it is being called is a complete hybrid that can run on 100% electric power for the first 200-250 miles and employs a small gasoline engine for regeneration after that at a sweet 80 mpg. Also, like most hybrids of today, it recaptures the energy from braking. However, that is where the similarities end. This auto distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack in that each wheel has its own electric motor. This design has enormous benefits. Most importantly, it eliminates the need for gearing and a mechanical drive train. No more transmissions or differentials! Also, there is no need for mechanical brakes. Braking is achieved by the motors without any mechanical means, which means nearly all of the energy is recovered. This in-wheel engine design also means better control. The 4 engines are in constant communication at around 1000 times per second and can deliver minute adjustments to each wheel for true traction control. All the details can be found here on PML’s site.

http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm/country/ecf/newsID/2060724…
the gossip
This is just strange. If it wasn’t the middle of September, I’d think it was some sort of April Fool’s joke. It is being reported that Google is working on a system that will use your existing computer’s microphone to monitor what you are watching or what music you are listening to in the background. Google will then use this information to serve you up contextual ads on your browser or desktop. Google has also been talking about getting involved in alternative approaches to TV, so you know that target commercials won’t be far behind. I like the idea of this from a pure technological point of view but am totally creeped out on every other level.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/03/google_eavesdropping_software/