November 1, 2006

the get it
Here is a great deal on a digital camera that has it all, a great lens pedigree, high resolution and a beautiful design (take a look). Butterfly Photo has the highly rated Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01K for the low price of $208. This camera features 6.0-megapixel resolution, a 2.5-inch LCD view screen, MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, 3.6x Optical Zoom, widescreen 16:9 mode and most importantly a bright F2.8, Wide-Angle 28mm LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens. This deal is for the black model which was more expensive when this camera was first released. Black is the new silver you know!
the gizmo
Tired of seeing those cyborg-folks walking around with those wireless cell phone ear-appendages? See the looks on their faces when you pull this baby out! From ThinkGeek comes the wireless Retro Handset. It’s a reproduction of those beautiful old classic Bake-O-Lite handsets from the 1940s but with a twist of updated technology. It can connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth enabled cell phone. That means you can make and take calls from up to 30 feet away. It also features a cool blue LED function mode light and recharges via USB. Imagine the looks that you will get around town chatting on this thing. I can see it now, sitting on the bus with your cell phone safely stowed away in your bag, it rings and you reach in and pull out this, answering "schelleauuuu…" just like J.J. from Good Times. It is well worth the $40!
the gorgeous

Appliance designers have really been raising the bar these days. From toasters to cooktops, things are definitely looking up. Elica, the brand exclusive to D R Cooker Hoods, has certainly taken it the extra mile. However, I’m not sure in which direction that mile is heading. Maybe straight to Studio 54. All kidding aside, this stovetop hood is really beautiful and certainly unique. Taking a very traditional crystal ball chandelier and combining it with the modernity of stainless steel and a space-age remote control is not something you see every day. This unit features a 3 speed illuminated ‘Magic Wand’ touch sensor, metal washable grease filters, halogen lighting and airflow up to 500 cubic meters/hour. Optionally, if you fire this up at midnight on December 31, Dick Clark will show up in your kitchen.…
the green

One of the difficulties of the science of rechargeable batteries is the ability to hold a charge over time. You know how it is, a little time goes by and all of sudden your cordless phone, iPod or laptop doesn’t quite last as long as it used to. As annoying as this is, it’s not so much of an issue when you are dealing with a smaller, relatively inexpensive replacement battery. However, when you are dealing with say an electric car, it can become a very expensive matter. This issue is really what is holding back true plug-in electric and electric hybrid vehicles. This week Altair Nanotechnologies announced that it has concluded a recent test of 15,000 deep charge/discharge cycles of its new NanoSafe battery cells. These new cells were able to retain over 85% of their original capacity. That is a significant improvement over existing battery technologies such as lithium ion, nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium. If like me you are wondering what 15,000 cycles represents, according to Altair, "In theory, a 15,000 charge cycle life would translate into a battery that would last greater than 40 years if it was charged daily, as would be the case in an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle environment. However, in practice, other wear and tear factors would realistically limit the actual life of the batteries to probably 20 years."…
the gossip

To echo the sentiment of Mr. Perot in his quixotic campaign of ’04, I ask what is that giant sucking sound? Well, I’m not talking about jobs and NAFTA; I’m talking about copyrighted materials from the recently acquired YouTube. Now that Google and $1.65 billion is involved, everyone is beginning to take notice. Since the sale, GooTube has been hit up with all sorts of "third-party notifications" of copyright infringement. First it was The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers detailed here. They found 29,549 files from various TV programs, movies and music videos posted without permission that had to be removed. Now Viacom has gotten into the act, requesting that some of their videos be removed. This includes clips from Comedy Central’s ‘South Park’, ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’, ‘The Colbert Report’ and also those from MTV and BET. Pretty soon the only thing left will be those dopey extreme sport videos and nerdy kids lip synching in front of their computers. Jeez, I hope those guys from YouTube already cashed Google’s check.