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Sony Eclipse concept media player gets power from the sun

Concept products don’t have to be functional; they just need to look cool. A new concept product carrying the Sony brand has hit Yanko Design called the Eclipse. The Eclipse is a media player that sticks to a window with a suction cup.

eclipse 1

The backside of the Eclipse is one big solar panel so the device can get the juice it needs directly from the sun rather than batteries or AC power. The concept has Bluetooth connectivity to stream music, podcasts, and weather updates from a smartphone or computer.

Other features of the concept are a pop out holder for your PMP that looks like a cassette deck from the 80′s. Speakers are integrated into the design and a supporting app for the iPhone would let the user get screen savers to go along with the songs being played. The Eclipse was designed by Hoang M Nguyen and Anh Nguyen.

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Google Street View hits Antarctica

It’s odd to me that Google Street View has limited Street View offerings for my town of 100,000 people yet it now has Street View for Antarctica. The least populated continent on earth with more penguins than people now has Street View.

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Naturally, the images weren’t shot with the cars that typically roll through towns taking photos. The imagery includes images form an area called Half Moon Island. Google says that the blue dots on the maps of the area are photos that were contributed by users.

The addition of Antarctica continent means that users can now use the Street View service on all seven continents. It is cool and would be cooler if they just strapped that camera to a Penguins back. At least Google doesn’t have to worry about catching WiFi data accidentally up in Antarctica; the penguins know how to secure a network.

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Ballmer’s bonus slashed due to Kin failure

The failure of the Microsoft Kin phone was swift and epic. I haven’t seen a phone fail that fast before. You can bet the failure was felt around Microsoft and CEO Steve Ballmer may have felt the failure in his heart, but it hit is wallet too according to Reuters.

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Ballmer saw his nice, fat bonus slashed in the wake of the failure of the Kin and the Microsoft tablet efforts. The bonus was cut despite the fact that Microsoft had its biggest year ever. Reuters report that the bonus Ballmer received was $670,000, equal to his salary.

That is a lot of green for sure, but the bonus could have been twice that amount had the Kin and the tablet efforts paid off. Reuters reports that the official factors for the bonus cut were according to documents, “unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company’s mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors.”

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USB Desktop Aquarium holds a real fish and your stuff

The number of weird USB gadgets that you can guy never ceases to amaze me. I have seen all manner of strange stuff like a microscope for your ears, a camera for taking pictures of zits, and even lights to pimp your cubicle. A new USB gadget has surfaced that has an aquarium powered by USB along with some other stuff.

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The little tank has 1.5 quarts of water and the recruiting water thing looks like a faucet. An articulating desk lap sheds light on your fish and a panel on the right side shows off a bunch of different info. The panel has a clock, calendar, and shows the temperature

To the right of the fish tank is a holder for things like your scissors, pens, and even your iPhone. I wouldn’t want my iPhone that close to water. The thing will sell for about $40 and should be available by the end of the month.

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World’s fastest lawn mower sets speed record

I have watched a few lawn mower drag races in my day. The things can be surprisingly fast when they are hopped up well enough. An American dude named Bobby Cleveland has set a new lawnmower speed record taking the title back from Brit Don Wales.

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Cleveland previously held the record at 80.833 mph and Wales took that record from him with a run of 87.833 mph. Cleveland decided to take the record back and set about building himself a new mower. The American wanted to hit 104mph and didn’t quite make it.

Taking the mower to the Bonneville Salt Flats Cleveland hit 88.944 on his first run, breaking the existing record. He went back out and crushed the record with a top speed of 96.529. It’s worth noting that he rules say the mower must actually be able to cut crass.

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Life-size Android bot actually runs Android

We like Android around these parts and the OS is finding its way into all sorts of gadgets and gizmos outside the smartphone where it was first aimed. If you are a big Android fan, you will get a kick out of this project that makes the green mascot real.

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The designer came up with a cute little green Android mascot that is life-size and can move around. The mascot is the little green Android logo we are all familiar with. The robot is called RIC Android and it reminds me a bit of R2D2 in size. A couple of Japanese firms teamed up to create the robot.

The firms are RT Corp, a custom robot dev house in Japan, and Brilliant Service, an Android software development firm. RT Corp handled the mechanics of the build with Brilliant Service handling the software aspects of the project. Check out a video of the thing below during the build and in action.

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Jawbone Icon for Cisco breaks cover

Back at the beginning of the year we went hands on with a review of the Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset. Jawbone has now announced a new version of the Icon called the Jawbone Icon for Cisco (PDF). The new headset is designed to allow the worker in an office where they have a Cisco collaboration system to chat on a mobile and the Cisco system at the same time.

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The headset connects to both a mobile phone and to Cisco Unified IP phones at the same time to allow the user to move around the office and remain connected. The office phone or mobile can be answered without needing a different headset for each and the headset will move between endpoints as the user changes location.

The headset is also upgradable with new features as the features are released. The headset has noise cancellation features with NoiseAssassin 2.5 and it shops with different ear tips for a better fit. The headset uses Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR and will work with PC and Mac computers as well.

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disgo Tablet 6000 is another cheap Android 2.1 slate

It’s obviously the week for cheap Android tablets, with Next’s £180 slate being followed closely by the disgo Tablet 6000.  Based around a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen and Android 2.1, the Tablet 6000 packs WiFi b/g/n, a miniHDMI port, two miniUSB ports and 2GB of storage in the box.

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There’s also 256MB of RAM, a microSD card slot and a 2.5mm headphones socket, and an pair of 0.5W speakers.  No word on what processor is inside, though disgo say there’s a separate 2D/3D graphics accelerator, and nor is there any indication of runtimes from the 1,500mAh battery.

Unfortunately, as you might have guessed there’s also no Android Market access, with disgo preloading the SlideMe Market instead; they’ve also put a YouTube viewer, Skyfire browser and the wowBook eReader app on there.  The whole thing measures 14.6mm thick and will be priced at £179.99 ($285) when it launches sometime this month.

Press Release:

disgo unveils the Android powered Tablet 6000

7” of Flexible Multimedia – On the Go

LONDON, 1st October 2010: disgo, the developer of consumer technology products for today’s gadget hungry consumer, has today announced the launch of the disgo Tablet 6000, an android based multimedia device. This 7” touch-screen multimedia tablet offers affordable access to videos, music and games on the move, as well as access to the Internet wherever there is a wireless connection.

Available from October 2010, the disgo Tablet 6000 runs the Android 2.1 operating system. The Android OS allows access to 1000’s of free apps, adding to the device’s capability to check e-mails and use social networks. The device comes pre-loaded with a number of applications such as YouTube, the SlideMe Market apps downloader, wowBook eReader and Skyfire Internet browser. The disgo Tablet 6000 uses simple touch screen technology for smooth navigation, making the overall experience fun and flexible for all ages and technical ability.

Content can be stored on the disgo Tablet 6000’s 2GB Micro SD card included with the product or user can choose to upgrade to a bigger card (up to 32GB). It is compatible with the majority of file formats including Flash, allowing viewers to enjoy content via the 7” high responsive TFT touch screen with 800 x 480 display.

Luke Noonan, Purchasing Director of disgo commented, “Tablets have been one of the big consumer technology stories of 2010, and we’re delighted to get our offering onto the shelves before most other companies. We’re exceptionally proud of the disgo Tablet 6000, and feel that it makes the Tablet more universal – offering fun and affordability, without compromising on performance. We believe that the Android OS gives the disgo tablet 6000 the flexibility needed to tailor every unit to the users’ own distinct interests.”

Pricing and availability
The disgo Tablet 6000 is priced at £179.99 and will be available from October 2010 from, and HMV.

7” TFT – Wide screen display (800 x 480 pixels)
Ultra thin 14.6mm body
Android 2.1 Operating System (open system)
256MB Ram
Built in 2 x 0.5W speakers
1500mAh rechargeable polymer battery
2D/3D Graphic Accelerator
Flash user interface
Support for audio, video and image files (MP3,WAV, WMA and AAC for music, Jpeg, Gif, Png, Bmp for Images, and HD supported MP4 SP, AVI and 3G for high definition video)
Processor – iMAPx200, 1GHz, 16KB L2 Cache, 266MHZ operation frequency
Micro SD card slot
Mini USB x 1, OTG x 1
2.5mm earphone jack#
DC jack
HDMI x 1
Full HD capabilities

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Hercules DJ Console 4-Mx for Pro DJs launches

Hercules has unveiled a new DJ console for professional DJs that have some cool features. The new console is called the DJ Console 4-Mx and it will ship on November 22 for $449.99. The console has many features for the money with a pair of large jog wheels and a lot more.

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Those jog wheels are 4.7-inches in diameter and ¾-inch tall and they are similar in size to the wheels used for scratching on CD players. The wheels are for DJs mixing to switch back and forth from a computer and CD payer without changing g scale. The jog wheels also have detection sensors with touch technology.

The controller can be used in 2-deck and 4-deck modes with 89 controls in 2-deck mode and 150 controls in 4-deck mode. The controller also has numerous pitch faders, controls, and cue zones among other things. A wide range of connectivity makes it easy to connect to different components as well.

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NVIDIA agrees to settlement for defective GPU

nvidia sbYou may remember back in 08 and 09 there were a number of cases when the NVIDIA GPU inside of certain notebooks failed causing the machines to perform poorly and in some cases stop working altogether. One of the major brands affected was Sony among others. NVIDIA has now set up a website for owners of the affected machines to take part in a settlement that has been reached with users in a class action.

NVIDIA points out that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing. Big Green also states that it has mounted numerous defenses against the accusations that its products have failed. What exactly class members get depends on the machine they purchased.

Buyers of Dell or Apple notebooks will get a replacement GPU. Those who bought affected HP notebooks will get new notebooks of similar value. A payment of $2,000 may be provided to buyers of certain models with a faulty GPU or MCP if the user attempted to have the machine repaired and the exact amount of the payment will depend on n the number of claims received.

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