December 27, 2006

the get it
Wow, I can remember just a short time ago when I paid around $100 per gigabyte for USB memory. Here we have 6GB for a measly $31.99 with free shipping! That’s craaaazy. The Matsunichi Hi-speed USB 2.0 Hot swappable Micro Drive actually contains a mini hard drive from Seagate. It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, measures a tidy 1.92w x 2.56h x 0.51d and weighs a mere 1.55 oz. It supports transfer speeds of up to 480mbps and a USB cable is included.
the gizmo
Those pesky land mines. Just another tidbit leftover from the good ol’ days of the Cold War. There are 60 to 70 million undetected land mines in 70 countries. They kill or maim an estimated 26,000 people a year. Surprisingly, most are civilians with over half being children under the age of 16. Unfortunately, up to now, most detection systems are only able to detect metal and are many times impractical in the field. Hopefully that is all about to change. Those crazy kids at MIT have developed a detection system that can detect all types of land mines at a safe distance, including those made of plastic. The new system uses a tightly focused beam of sound that triggers vibrations in the mine’s plungers and membranes and produces a very unique signature. According to Robert W. Haupt, a technical staff member at Lincoln Lab, “It turns out that mines will vibrate quite differently from anything else,” and that “You can determine what types of mines there are–and which countries made them–by their unique signatures.” The result is that the sound waves push up on the ground around the mine which can then be measured with a laser system called a Doppler vibrometer. Click the link for all the juicy details.
the gorgeous

Here on the Hit List I try to be fair and present all products, even those technologies that I don’t find particularly pleeeeasing (read: long-drawn-out-John-Houseman-tone). Here is such a case, and in the spirit of the holidays I present to you a beautifully designed bluetooth headset. Okay, I’ll admit it, every time I see one, I laugh and mock the person after they have passed by. However, if you must use one, at least look stylish in the process. Most headsets look like some errant piece of equipment from some Battlestar Galactica set. Always in the obligatory silver and black combination with that annoying blue light a flashin’. Well if you must, grab yourself a Jawbone. It is the new headset from Aliph and its beauty is more than just skin deep. You see, it uses military noise canceling technology that can drown out all types of every day noise by utilizing an array of microphones. It comes in red, black and silver and features interchangeable earloops and earbuds of differing sizes for you Alfred E. Neuman types. Also, to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack, it uses a soothing white LED. It was designed by the industrial designer, Yves Behar and is available from Cingular for $120.
the green

Alright, the Holiday season is coming to a close and I thought I would throw out a thought for next year’s decorating. In the spirit of Mr. McGuire, of The Graduate fame, I want to say one word to you. Just one word… LEDs. Now is the time to replace all of those cheap-ass Christmas lights. LEDs are the shit. They last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, are incredibly durable (no fragile filaments), safer, brighter and use a fraction of the energy (approximately 80 to 90% less!). Stop you sexy LEDs, you had me at 10 to 20 years. I can’t even tell you how much of my life has been wasted dealing with those evil little incandescent lights. You’ve been there, you get them all strung up, lookin’ pretty and then half the string blacks out. It gets you scrambling for the eggnog. Now is the time to take advantage of the sales to ready yourself for next year.…
the gossip

In its first geographical move toward world domination, it looks as though Google is heading east. A shell company linked to Google has just paid close to $17 million for 520 acres in the Goose Creek area of Berkley County South Carolina. The company, named Pyrite, has recently received tax incentives for development totaling $750 million. According to Jim Rozier, Berkley county supervisor, the projects are descriptively named Project X and Project Y. Google has remained tightlipped. However, rumor has it pegged as a giant human battery farm er, I mean server farm. Rozier also added that the company behind Pyrite is “a very high-tech firm” and had “to be near a lot of electricity and a lot of water.” For those of you playing along at home, Goose Creek is located about 20 miles outside of Charleston.…