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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Windows 7 RC1 Available Starting May 5th


By Chris Scott Barr

I’ve been using the Windows 7 beta on one of my desktops for a couple of months now. Honestly, I haven’t noticed any more issues with it than on my XP or Vista installations. Naturally I’m looking forward to the actual release of the OS, but for now I have to wait patiently like the rest of the world. At least there’s a nice update coming down the pipes in short order.

Cinco de Mayo seems to be a pretty big day for going out and getting smashed, so you might want to download your copy of the Windows 7 Release Candidate early in the day. That’s right, the official release date for RC1 is May 5th. Actually on second thought, you might want to wait until the next day to install it. You don’t to be late for happy hour because you’re stuck troubleshooting a driver issue or something do you?

[ WindowsTeamBlog ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Industrial Strength GSM Cell Phone Jammer


By Evan Ackerman

Cell phone are a necessary evil, we all know that. But what is just evil, and not at all necessary, is the behavior of people on cell phones in public. Now, you could just politely ask them to shut up and go away, or instead you could buy this gigantic cell phone jammer and shut them up all by yourself. With 45 watts of output power, it’ll block cell phone transmissions within an up to 400 foot (!) radius. The included antennas are highly directional, which means you can target specific people to disable their phones and and probably give them 10 different kinds of cancer at the same time while still using your phone just fine.

The Super Power GSM Cellular Jammer weighs about 27 pounds and includes 4 cooling fans to keep it running 24/7. I’d almost be willing to lug a couple car batteries around to keep this bad boy powered up while I’m on public transit… Plus a shotgun for those pesky CDMA users. It’s $3655.

Oh, and if it matters to you, cell phone jamming and shooting people who use Verizon are both probably illegal.

[ Super Power GSM Cellular Jammer ] VIA [ RFJ ]

Genius G-Shot HD520 Camcorder Unveiled


By Shane McGlaun

Over the last few years camcorders have changed drastically from devices that recorded to tapes of different types to machines that use internal flash or hard drives to store video. With the move to flash storage and HDDs the cameras were also able to shrink to more portable sizes.

Genius has announced its first camcorder called the G-Shot HD520. The little camcorder weight less than six ounces and records video in 720p resolution. Video is encoded and compressed using MPEG-4/H.264 formats. In addition to recording video the camera can also take still images at 11-megapixels.

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Averatec 12-inch Notebook Offers Low Cost Portability


By Shane McGlaun

IT wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted a 12-inch notebook you had to pay a significant premium for the ultra-portable machines. Today you can get small 12-inch notebooks for basically the same price you can get standard notebooks for.

Averatec has announced a new 12-inch notebook that packs some nice features into a machine selling for $699. For the money you get an Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 processor at 2GHz, 4GB of RAM, and 64-bit Windows Vista.

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HP ProBook Notebooks Offer Business Class Sex Appeal


By Shane McGlaun

I worked on a few business class notebooks over the years and one thing they all had in common was that they were plain looking black boxes with nothing redeeming about the way they looked. I always thought showing up to a meeting with an ugly notebook was about the same as showing up with an ugly tie.

HP is offering some new business class notebooks called the HP ProBook series that are designed to be functional, but good looking as well. HP says that the new notebooks are designed with an eye towards minimalist style and combines matte and glossy surfaces. The machines are available with glossy and merlot finishes.

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Tin Can App Turns The iPhone Into A Modem

Tin Can App (Image courtesy Perceptive Development)
By Andrew Liszewski

This is one of those iPhone apps that manages to be pointless but cool at the same time. Tin Can essentially turns a couple of iPhones into old-school modems, allowing you to send and receive text messages using sound, instead of a network connection. Of course it’s not exactly a very useful alternative to a 3G or wi-fi connection since the iPhones basically have to be sitting about an inch apart, or as long as the included headset cables will reach. So there’s a good chance you’ll not only be able to talk to the person you’re communicating with, but you’ll probably be able to see their screen as they’re typing out a message. So whether or not you think you can squeeze 99 cents worth of fun out of it is up to you.

[ Perceptive Development – Tin Can ] VIA [ MAKE: Blog ]

Pre-order The Fujitsu FLEPia E-Book Reader From Japan Trend Shop For Just $1,399

Fujitsu FLEPia (Image courtesy Device Daily)
By Andrew Liszewski

If black and white just seems too Gutenberg for your tastes, you’ll want to skip Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s eReaders for Fujitsu’s FLEPia eBook. Its biggest claim to fame is its ability to display “full color” images instead of just grayscale, with 64, 4,096 or 260,000 color modes. It’s impressive for sure, but you’ll want to keep in mind that running in the maximum color mode will result in page refreshes that take a whopping 8 seconds.

Other features include an 8-inch XGA or 768×1,024 dot touch screen display, Bluetooth, wi-fi, SD card slot and embedded stereo speakers. The FLEPia also runs Windows CE 5.0 which means you have access to additional software like a web browser, email client and even the ability to publish office-type documents right on the reader. At the moment the Japan Trend Shop currently has them available for pre-order for a buck under $1,400, but they won’t actually be in stock until May 29.

[ Japan Trend Shop – FLEPia E-Book reader from Fujitsu ]

Brando “Spy Ear” Cellular Bug

brandoBy Evan Ackerman

This tiny little box is, in fact, a cell phone. Well, it’s half a cell phone. You stick a SIM card in there, dial it, and the box will silently answer and then transmit back whatever it hears going on around it. There’s a rechargeable battery inside, a single power LED, and no other configuration crap to mess with. $65 is kind of a lot for what is essentially a battery, microphone, and antenna, but for all of you vigilantes (or creepy people) out there, gathering evidence (or eavesdropping) doesn’t get much easier than this.

For an extra $1, Brando also sells the same sort of thing integrated into a working power strip.

[ Brando ] VIA [ BBG ]

LaCie DataShare SD and microSD Card Reader

LaCie DataShare (Images courtesy Tech Digest)
By Andrew Liszewski

While they’re not known for having the cheapest external hard drives on the market, you can’t argue that LaCie doesn’t have some of the most eye-catching ways to backup your data. But their new DataShare SD & microSD card reader not only has a clever design that splits apart revealing a separate reader for each card, but it’s actually reasonably priced at around $15. (£9.90)

[ Tech Digest – LaCie DataShare – memory card readers in the 5.5 style ]