Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finally, "some" truth on the iPhone

So, the iPhone hype is bigger than ever with just 2,5 days to go (and with the first in line already in Apple stores) and now the first real reviews are coming out. And surprise, surprise, the iPhone is not all that perfect!

Check out Wall Street Journal's columnist Walter Mossberg video review:

The "keyboard review" is quite strange: in 3 days you'll want to throw the iPhone through the window, but in 5 days you'll love it?? I find that quite disturbing.

The network coverage and the internet speed might actually be the weaknesses of this beautiful smart phone, but it's hard to believe that such simple things like assigning mp3s to ringtones and copy/paste text are not allowed. Also, flash-based animations in the browser are not supported, which means that YouTube or any other flash-based website won't work on the iPhone.

In spite of these somewhat annoying disadvantages, most reviewers are pleased with the new Apple's gadget. Read some more reviews:

  • Read - David Pogue "The iPhone matches most of its hype"
  • Read - Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret "Despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use"
  • Read - Edward C. Baig "Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype"
  • Read - Steven Levy "one of the most hyped consumer products ever comes pretty close to justifying the bombast."
Source: Engadget

Don't feed the robots

It's good to see this kind of things happening right here, specially related to my research area. A Portuguese artist has just launched the first Zoo for autonomous robots in Alverca, Portugal.

Leonel Moura, who has been working with autonomous robots since 2003, has constructed "the first zoo for artificial life" filled with 45 different robots. Most of these robots are powered by solar energy. Check out the video to see the robots in action:

In addition to the robot zoo, this month Leonel Moura opened the first art gallery featuring art made exclusively by robot artists. The paintings are made randomly created by robots loaded with paint and left to roam across a canvas.

Source: CNET

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

People in line for the iPhone...yeah, already!

Three days to go, and already there are 3 guys in line in Apple's Manhattan store waiting for the opportunity to buy the first iPhone.

#1 and #2 are doing it for the real thing: to own an iPhone. But that hasn't stop them from blogging the all thing.

#3 doesn't actually want the iPhone. He's planning to buy the iPhone and then sell it and donate the proceeds to the Taproot Foundation. He also decided to blog the whole thing.

All 3 "campers" are accepting donations, say, for food and their honorable goals (in case of #3's). But accepting donations for being in line for $600 cell phone, isn't it a little bit weird?

The early iPhone queuers, as well as the others who will inevitably be joining them over the next few days, will have to deal with some challenging weather conditions: blistering heat as well as some thunderstorms that are predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday.

But, hey...what a heck? Anything for a brand new iPhone, right? :-)

Source: CNET

Monday, June 25, 2007

The most ridiculous/genius gadget of all times

Be honest: who doesn't like to pop those bubble wraps that come with household electrical devices and other fragile items?

Being this one of the most expensive hobbies that you can get into (since each time you need a "fix" for your need of popping bubble wrap you need to buy a tv set) a Japanese company decided to save the day (and the income of the obsessive-compulsive people that suffer from this condition of having to pop bubble wrap every hour or so) by inventing this gadget that simulates the act of popping the little plastic bubbles.

Ok, this is ridiculous...but it's so ridiculous that it just might work :-)

Source: Engadget

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A new approach to ceiling fans

Apparently, the ceiling fan concept has been used wrongly all of these years. Turns out the best design for a fan blade is to twist it into the shape of a seed pod from a Sycamore tree. You know...those seeds that once you drop them, they automatically go down as if they were an helicopter.

The good thing about this new approach to ceiling fans is that you only have to spin it at just 70 to 130 spins per minute, and you get the same airflow as a regular fan working at twice that speed.

Plus, you get a nice freaky-looking ceiling fan too :-)

For now, these items only exist in Australia, but as soon as people get to know the real efficiency behind this new design I'm pretty sure someday all fan blades will be made this way.

Maybe some PC manufacturer will even pick up this blade design for a PC case fan, and then half the RPMs will equal half the noise.

Source: Gizmodo

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What NOT to do in Power Point

I stumbled upon this video which is quite useful for people who use Power Point a lot to do business presentations. Check it out:

Cell phones on a plane: the near future

It appears like Airbus is working on having people being able to speak on their cell phones during European flights. Yeah, European, because in the States, it seems like the FAA (the institution that regulates the aeronautical activity) didn't like the idea.

Anyway, around here Ryanair and Qantas have been performing some tests and it seems like the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) liked the way tests have been carried out.

Still, worried that this development is going to lead to a rash of incessant yappers on domestic flights, the responsible entities on this process will probably only allow the use of SMS and data transmission. No voice calls... maybe later!

Source: Engadget

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wibree: a short-range and low-power consumption Bluetooth

In October last year I posted on the work that Nokia and others were doing to create a new Bluetooth standard with shorter range but less power consumption, code-named Wibree.

Well, it look’s like it paid off. Nokia will in fact develop the new wireless standard version of Bluetooth to connect devices such as watches and heart rate monitors.

The Wibree short-range radio link uses just a fraction of the power of earlier systems and because of that, it may help hooking up devices with small batteries or power capacity, such as links for toys, sports monitors and watches, as well as sensors used in health monitoring.

Source: Reuters

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The reason why Europe won't have 80GB Playstation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president David Reeves has just announced why Europe won't have the 80 Gb Playstation 3 version:

"The larger hard drive only makes sense in a market like South Korea, which has very high broadband penetration and the people there are used to downloading content, so they require a certain size hard drive."
So, apparently we're not downloading enough movies, tv shows, musics, etc.... Huummm... I guess we can fix that! How about starting a new movement called "David Reeves doesn't like Europeans" to unite all Europeans in a global content downloading initiative? Ohh wait, we already have that (and several others)... it's called BitTorrent!

In the meantime, the "competition" (let's call it XBox) is getting his hands-on a 120 Gb version. Way to go, David...!

Source: Engadget

Friday, June 08, 2007

More on multi-touch interfaces

Microsoft Surface might be really cool as it shows some interesting features of multi-touch screens, but it is just picking up what others have started.

Remember when I posted on this nice multi-touch interface technology? Well, this guy, Jeff Han, decided to create his own company, Perceptive Pixel, to advance this technology even farther.

Here's the result:

Imagine in a few years when all of us will have the chance to have a piece of technology like this in our living room. Can't wait! :-)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Where the hell is that "Any" Key?

This is a real FAQ in the COMPAQ site. Check it here. No comments!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The History of the Internet

Like everything in life, it's interesting to, every once in a while, check out the past and see where we've been and the path that we've taken so far.

And even though the Internet is not that old (compared to other events in History) it already has its own History. And there's so much we can learn from it just by going to the WayBack Machine.

The WayBack Machine is an Internet Archive that has been storing snapshots of the Internet throughout the years, for more than a decade now.

Let's compare some of the giants of the Internet "then" and "now":

Google as it was in 1998:

Google as it is now (well, depending on your preferences :-) ):

Yahoo, as it was in 1996:

Yahoo, as it is now:

Another approach for "clipping" your iPod Shuffle

Don't like to clip your iPod Shuffle on your clothing? No worries, check out these new headphones that take advantage of the Shuffle's minimal size and allow you to dock it directly into the left headphone.

While it may be in fact handy, some issues have to be considered:

  • even though the shuffle is actually quite light, won't the extra weight on the left side cause the left earphone to slide down a little?
  • how easy is to change between tunes if you can't actually see the iPod shuffle controls?
Maybe we should wait for the first reviews on this to check out if it's really worth the $50 base price.

Source: the iPods Blog

Broken iPod? Sell it for $44!

While rumors circulate that the next generation of iPods will have built in WiFi capabilities similar to the Microsoft Zune mp3 player, others worry about getting their hands on old and broken iPods.

The amazing part is that they're paying the big bucks to do so. While older generation iPods go for as little as $3, you can fetch between $44 to $55 for a broken 5th generation video iPod. So, if that's your case and instead of throwing away your non-working iPod, try it out first at and see what you get back.

The big question is: why are they willing to pay so much for broken iPods? The response is obvious: they found out a way to make a revenue out of those separate parts that still work.

Source: the iPods Blog

Friday, June 01, 2007

An Item for the HTML female fans

Are you a HTML fan? Do you dream with those tags all night (and day)? What about some fashionable wearable HTML items? That's right, here's the item that will show those other geeks that you take your website code very seriously:

It's a $20 (around 15€) item and as Etsy puts it, "Make sure you don't walk around without a properly formatted Head. While we cannot ensure that Google will properly index the contents of your brain, these earrings could help. Be W3C verified. Always close your tags!"

A small test on Windows Vista Speech Recognition Feature

I have no words for this post...simply hilarious!
Just watch the video and enjoy:

Source: A Source Of Inspiration