Friday, December 28, 2007

World's Smallest Jet Aircraft Fits in Trailer, Featured in James Bond Movie

World Smallest Jet AircraftMaking its big screen debut in the James Bond flick "Octopussy", the Bede BD-5 is the world's smallest jet aircraft. This 860-pound microjet is powered by a single TRS-18 jet engine and has a top speed of 320mph. It can reach altitudes of up to 30,000 feet, "flying for 2 hours before having to re-fuel."


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Windows Home Server bug corrupts files

Looks like we've got a definitive answer to "How would you change Windows Home Server?" -- make it so it doesn't corrupt data.

Window home server bugsMicrosoft has just posted a Knowledge Base document saying that it's confirmed WHS corrupts various files when saved to the server by certain apps. The bug affects several MS apps, including Money, Outlook 2007, Vista Photo Gallery, Live Photo Gallery, and SyncToy, but it also hits Quicken, Quickbooks, and -- fatally for a media server -- BitTorrent clients. Microsoft says it's working on a fix, but that in the meantime, you should avoid using WHS with these apps.


Dragon Bike is Perfect for Chinese Food Delivery

Perfect dragon bikeThe "Dragon Bike" is the latest creation from famed bike artist Jay Broemmel —and it would undoubtedly turn some heads if you were to ride it down the street. Broemmel even added some special touches in the form of Blue LED headlight eyes that move when you turn the handlebar and a jaw that bites down when you squeeze the left brake (no flames shooting out of the mouth?).

As far as bikes go, it is pretty bad ass — and it would be the perfect chariot to whisk Chinese food to hungry customers. Unfortunately, this bike is a one-of-a-kind, so my dream of starting up a restaurant with an army of delivery guys equipped with flaming Dragon Bikes died before it began.


Xbox 360 Devil May Cry 4 bundle hitting Japan in January

Xbox 360 Devil hitting Japan JanuaryFor all you Devil May Cry fanatics out there (wait -- are there Devil May Cry fanatics out there?) you're about to get a super-special, unicorn explosion from Microsoft. That's right, babies, it's the Devil May Cry special edition Xbox 360. Actually, it's more like a bundle of the boring, old, non-special (though HDMI equipped) Xbox 360, coupled with the brand spaking new Devil May Cry 4, where the Devil, crying, and the possibility of crying meet for a fourth -- but probably not final -- time.

Right now it's looking like a Japanese-only deal, but you never know when something this gooey will drip over to these shores. Available January 31st for ¥37,800 (or about $330).


Nokia puts back gaming service launch to new year

Nokia gaming launch new yearNokia has again pushed back the launch of its gaming service N-gage due to delays in software testing, a spokesman said on Thursday, in the latest blow to the Internet services ambitions of the world's top cellphone maker.

The gaming service, together with a music shop and mapping services, is one of the cornerstones of Nokia's drive into mobile Internet services under its new "Ovi" brand.

Nokia has also pushed into next year expansion of its digital music store offering. Also Warner Music Group Corp has been withholding content from Nokia's only store in Britain.

At the same time it has signed up Vodafone, Telefonica and Telecom Italia for Ovi.

Nokia unveiled the gaming service in August, saying at the time it would be available globally in November. But in November it was delayed into December.

Nokia's spokesman Kari Tuutti said the service would be opened in early 2008.

"We found one more issue which had to be solved before we could open the service," Tuutti said.

Nokia is the first handset maker to move strongly into the content space with services like music or filing sharing site Mosh, where millions have downloaded audio or video files, programs or documents.

Shares in Nokia were 0.2% higher at 27.04 euros by 5:13 a.m. EST, in line DJ Stoxx European technology index.


Samsung Giorgio Armani Multimedia Phone

Samsung Giorgio Armani Multimedia Phone imagePhoneArena reviews the high-end Samsung Giorgio Armani multimedia phone, which sports a 2.6-inch touchscreen display, 3.15-megapixel camera, microSD card slot, 60MB internal memory, and Bluetooth 2.0 w/A2DP.

Here's the bottom line:
While there are some drawbacks functionality-wise, the phone still offers more than most of its owners would require. Considering the audience it is targeted to, just as the PRADA, it has decent (and better compared with the Prada) features, with major drawback being the tri-band GSM receiver, which doesn't allow for using it all over the world.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Upcoming AMD Radeon HD 3450, 3470 and 3650 low-enders leaked

Radeon HD low enders leakedDisplayPort is the most fun when you snag it on the cheap, and according to some leaked specs over on Madbox PC, AMD has a $50 Radeon in the works that'll have you running that 30-incher off of USB for a pittance.

The Radeon HD 3450 card is based on the RV620 core, running at 525MHz, with 256MB of RAM and just a VGA plug to accompany the DisplayPort. The HD 3470 ($60) hits 600MHz and 512MB of RAM, and does DVI, while the HD 3650 ($100) maxes out the trio at 800MHz, with 512MB of RAM as well and the RV635 core to back it up. You might not be thrashing around in Crysis, but HD video and perhaps some last-gen shooters should be totally within your grasp whenever AMD gets these to market.


SmartNav Hands-Free Mouse Controls PC With Your Head

Put the SmartNav hands-free mouse on top of your monitor, stick a tiny little reflective dot on your forehead, and you're ready to do some hands-free mousing around your PC.

Smartnav hands free mouseSure, you'll need a foot pedal for the mouse clicking, which presents a problem for those disabled users who might have hoped to use such a device. But wait, there's a version that solves that problem, too. Check out the video to see this contraption in action.

SmartNav is available in three versions, the AT (assistive technology) version which lets you click on an item by dwelling over it, and its software also includes a virtual keyboard. As you can see on the video, this looks like it might be quite tedious for typing. The EG version has a foot switch, and is aimed at wrist strain sufferers, while the standard version is for those who want to increase their productivity and speed. Now if they can just bring the price down from $298.95.


Apple trades at $200 for first time

Apple iPhone imageShares of Apple Inc. hit the $200 mark for the first time Wednesday- As investor confidence in the company continued rising near the end of what has been a strong year for the iPod and computer maker.

In afternoon trading, shares rose $1.17 to $199.97. They earlier peaked at $200.

Apple shares have traded between $76.77 and $199.33 in the past year, rising steadily since January as investors anticipated and then cheered the release of the company's hybrid cell phone, multimedia player and wireless Internet device, the iPhone. The product went on sale at the end of June.

Apple released a refreshed line of iPods during the year, updating its flash-based Nano model to one that can play videos, and introducing a device called the iPod Touch which is much like an iPhone without cellular calling capabilities.

The company also refreshed its notebook computers during the year.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Caris & Co. analyst Shebly Seyrafi said he wasn't surprised that Apple hit the $200 mark.

"Apple has a lot of momentum right now," he said, noting the company is riding several new product cycles.

Seyrafi, who rates the stock "Buy" with a $225 price target, said sales of the iPod Touch and video-enabled Nanos are helping Apple's margins. Apple's component costs are benefiting from declines in NAND flash memory prices, he added.

"Looks like their business is strong even though retail sales growth in general appears to be weaker than in prior years," Seyrafi said.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wikia search to launch Jan. 7

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has set Jan. 7 as the launch date for an open-source search project that eventually hopes to challenge Google and other established players.

The Wikia Search project has assembled the basic technologies for a search engine, including a search application, search algorithm and Web crawler. The project will allow technology enthusiasts to help filter sites and rank search results, using a community model akin to that of Wikipedia.

The idea is to challenge the established players by offering a search service that is more transparent to end users, meaning they can see how search results are arrived at. Wales has described Yahoo and Google as opaque services that don't explain how results are arrived at.

Wales has started to invite a handful of people to test an early version of the search platform, which will be publicly launched on Jan. 7, he wrote in an email to the Wikia mailing list Monday.

The search tool will take time to evolve, and the initial service won't match the capabilities of the leading search engines. Contributors will have to develop the search platform over time, in a similar way that Wikipedia took time to get enough entries to be useful.

The search project is part of Wales' for-profit company, Wikia Inc., which offers a software platform that anyone can use to build wikis. In a similar way, the Wikia Project will allow other people to build their own search engines.

Wikia Inc. was started in 2004 and has received investment money from and Bessemer Venture Partners.


Google in crowded field bidding for US wireless licenses

Google logo at FrankfurtGoogle is among more than 260 companies vying for wireless licenses to be auctioned in January, which could allow the search giant to extend its reach to the mobile Internet.

Google has an advantage over many of its rival bidders, as it has amassed a war chest of several billion dollars to bid for the cherished telecom licenses.

The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it had received 266 bid applications for the licenses ahead of the January 24 auction. The licenses have become freed up for auction as analogue television broadcasters have to switch to a digital format by a 2009 deadline.

The licenses would enable mobile phone users to access the Internet more readily and enable companies like Google to market more online services to consumers.

"Google cannot grow fast enough relying solely on the PC-driven Internet, according to research firm eMarketer.

"It must extend search marketing to new interactive platforms, new markets and new advertisers who aren't currently online."

Google is developing new software, called Android, which could be used to power a new generation of mobile telephones, but its success depends heavily on securing a wireless license.

The FCC decided the future networks would be open to any mobile device, contrary to existing networks where operators can choose the brands and services.

A crowded field of bidders is jostling to participate in the auction. A total of 96 companies has been cleared to participate in the bidding so far, while another 170 firms are seeking FCC approval to join the auction.

Google announced in July that it was gearing up for the auction and had set aside a hefty 4.6 billion dollars to enter the contest. The FCC said a minimum bid for a "C Block" spectrum will be around 4.6 billion dollars, the block would enable Google to gain a national footprint.

But other bidders are also preparing their offers, suggesting competition will be fierce for the licenses. Telephone giants AT&T and Verizon, regional telecom firms Alltel and Leap Wireless, telecom equipment group Qualcomm and even an oil firm, Chevron, are all vying to snap up licenses.

Smaller companies, such as Vulcan which is backed by a co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, and wireless Internet group Towerstream, are also hoping to win licenses.

Despite heated speculation, technology trend-setter Apple has not joined the ranks of companies vying for one of the mobile telephone licenses.

The FCC is planning to auction off four "blocks" of 700 MHz spectrum including three broadband spectrums and one block which would give an owner national coverage, the C Block.

The smaller firms are bidding for local licenses that analysts say could probably be bought for under one million dollars.

"From a very high-level public policy perspective, Congress and the FCC want to see a couple of new players make it," said Scott Ellison, vice president of mobile and wireless communications at the IDC market research firm.

Analysts believe many of the bidders are speculators who would likely resell the licenses in a number of years in the hope of making a fat profit.

The auction could shake up the wireless landscape radically and enable new entrants, particularly Google if it is successful, to challenge other companies operating in the field.

Apple has teamed up with AT&T to support the marketing of its iPhone, a cell phone with Internet capability, which it launched earlier this year.


BMW M3 vs. Audi RS4 vs. Mercedes-Benz C63 Saloon Shootout

The Top Gear crew drives the BMW M3, Audi RS4, Mercedes-Benz C63 "as well as Emerson Fittipaldi's Lotus F1 racer that won the 1972 World Championship."

BMW M3 vs Audi RS4 vs Mercedes Benz C63There's also the Stig, a Stig-ette in a white bikini and helmet, Clarkson dining on an apple run over at the apex of a turn, a measurement device that we can't mention here, and lots of unkind things said of M3 drivers.


Monday, December 24, 2007

'Manned Cloud' Airship, Around the World in Three Days

Take a look at another fanciful attempt to bring back the glory days of the Zeppelin airships. This one is called the Manned Cloud, and can fly fast enough to take a round trip around the globe in three days.

Planneur Vignet AirshipThe 1640-square-foot craft, whose French designers say could take to the skies in a year or so, will have 60 rooms and travel at a breakneck speed of 173mph. Since this behemoth gets its lift from helium, there's not much danger of a fiery hydrogen explosion like that ill-fated Hindenburg, so we're thinking it might be fun to float around the world in a luxo-hotel. Of all the ideas like this, maybe this one will be the one to actually fly.


World's Smallest 4-Stroke V12 Engine

Despite it being designed for R/C models, this 4-stroke V12 engine is touted as the world's smallest. Featuring a 21mm bore, 87cc displacement, air cooling, and two camshafts.


Digital Vigilantes: Using eBay to Catch a Truck Thief

On the morning of November 17, Ben Adams found himself hiding beneath the retractable cover in the back of a Chevy TrailBlazer. The truck was parked in front of a warehouse in Duncanville, Texas. His friend "Sam," the TrailBlazer's owner, had just finished a test drive on a 1949 Chevy truck--the same truck Adams was certain had been stolen from him four months earlier.

Adams pulled out his mobile phone and dialed 911. "Please help me," he said. "I'm at a warehouse. There are criminals all around me."

The story of how a mild-mannered software developer from San Antonio, Texas, ended up running his own undercover sting operation against eBay fraudsters begins with a truck. And if the story has a lesson, it's the one told on Adams's blog: Don't mess with Texas, especially if it involves a truck.