Archive for April, 2011

Sceptre releases new 40″ LCD TV

If you have not yet made the jump over to the world of flat screen TVs and are rockin’ it out in the last century with a chunky old CRT, then you might be interested in what Sceptre has on offer at the moment – a spanking new stereo inspired 40″ LCD FullHD 1080P TV that sports SRS TruSurround XT and TruVolume. It will come encased in an elegant ultra glossy black design, sporting new surround sound technology in order to re-create an expansive three dimensional sound field so that viewer experience and enjoyment are enhanced.

This will also be the latest addition to Sceptre’s range of design oriented and environmentally friendly HDTVs, making it the ideal candidate for those who want to make an upgrade from what they have (a 32″ model in your living room, perhaps?) without having to take out a new mortgage on your home. This 40″ LCD TV is touted to deliver a similar attention to detail compared to pricier units, including its fingerprint-magnet glossy black finish and a swivel base that increases flexibility and its space saving wall mounting capability.

Throwing in SRS TruSurround XT and TruVolume will ensure your ears enjoy 3D sound, while it also does away with background noise, with benefits including an increase in dialogue clarity and optimized bass for an enhanced home theater experience.

Boasting a couple of 10 Watt speakers with a 7-Band equalizer, a 90,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio, a quartet of HDMI ports, 1.07 Billion Colors, and a solitary USB port, this is flexible and powerful enough for you to watch a movie or to make it as a secondary (albeit large) computer monitor. Retailing for $599.99, would you be willing to part with that amount of cash? Apart from Sceptre, what other budget-friendly TVs would you recommend to the rest of our readers which offer above average performance?

Press Release


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Robot is inspired by the caterpillar

I have said before that if you are going to build a robot, then you should imitate something of nature. I have seen robots inspired from snakes and birds, but this is the first one that I have seen that have looked to the caterpillar.

Actually, it is a certain type of caterpillar. Have you ever seen that type of bug that curls into a ball when it is touched? This is what you can see here in the video after the jump, and in slow motion, it is quite impressive.

A team from an organization known as Tufts has got some funding from DARPA to create the GoQBot, a soft-bodied silicone robot that is four inches long with actuators made of shape-memory alloy coils. It already has a push-off time of less than 250 milliseconds.

You might be wondering why in the world someone would create a robot that can do this. Apparently this “ballistic rolling” behavior could be used on other sort of robots, like the ones modeled after worms and the aforementioned snakes.

I see a world full of “bugged bugs” that will ball up for protection when they are discovered. Hopefully, the important information will be downloaded by the time they self-destruct. Yes, the future is a buggy age.

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RM50 Internet Radio

You might think to yourself that Internet radios are dime a dozen these days, but why have such closed thinking that you might miss the next available gem? We would like to think so with the RM50 Internet Radio that ought to keep your ears more than happy, bringing a modern touch to an old classical device in your living room. Retailing for £99.99 each, the RM50 Internet Radio will be able to let you access a bunch of stations that suits your fancy, ranging from music to news, local and specialist radio stations.

Since it is Wi-Fi enabled, it will be able to do more than just pick up old school FM signals, as it trawls through the Internet on your behalf, doing all the hard work of looking out for stations by name, theme, genre or region. You no longer need to grab a pen and paper to write down the correct wavelengths and frequencies, instead all you need to do is follow the dummy-proof on-screen prompts and you’re good to go.

To make things even better, all those channels will be free, so you won’t have any download fees or subscriptions to worry about. With the presence of an internal hard drive, it is capable of storing all your user settings so that you need not go through the hassle of configuring it all over again each time you boot it up.


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5″ Angry Birds Plush with Sound

Now this is one cash cow – or should I say, cash bird, that needs to be milked for all it is worth while still possible? I’m talking about the Angry Birds franchise, where you will now be able to carry those pesky avian friends in the comfort of your bosom while letting out their signature sound – sans the creaking of the catapult, of course.

The 5″ Angry Birds Plush with Sound can be triggered simply by tapping its forehead, and you can choose from birds or pigs – subject to availability, of course. These are soft and hand-washable plushes, and are actually officially licensed Rovio (Angry Birds) products. At $9.99 a pop, they aren’t exactly cheap nor expensive, but you might just want to hurl it at your mate or friend during one of those more boring moments at home.

Just imagine the audio chaos that occurs when you decide to go all out with a pillow fight using these!


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Origin PC offers overclocked processors in EON17-S gaming laptop

Gamers are an extremely discerning lot, and some of them can be more picky than the rest. It doesn’t matter if their gaming skills aren’t exactly up to par with the rest of your clan mates, but as long as you have the best hardware on the market, then that alone is enough for bragging rights. This has led to hardware companies churning out some rather souped up machines that tend to force you to part with your hard earned cash, but it won’t do nuts to improve your gaming skills.

So what if you can eke another 3 more frames per second in Crysis 2? That will not change anything, and your eyes probably will not notice any of the changes, either. Still, that has not stopped Origin PC from announcing the availability of overclocked processors in the EON17-S gaming laptop, which we will cover in greater detail in the extended post.

Boasting the second generation Intel Sandy Bridge platform alongside the range of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M graphics cards, these laptops are touted to be the most powerful among the Origin PC range. Boasting of updated B3 stepping motherboards as well as the ability to be overclocked, not to mention having Turbo Boost technology that lets Origin engineers successfully increase the speed and power of the processor without impacting system stability or longevity.

EON17-S laptops that can be overclocked are fully covered by Origin’s unsurpassed warranty, which will comprise of free part replacements, free shipping, and free lifetime support. To get a better idea on what the EON17-S offers right out of the box, here are some of the features and specifications :-

  • 17.3″ Full HD Widescreen, LED Backlit, 16.9, 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
  • Customizable ORIGIN top cover
  • 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 Processors
  • Overclocking up to 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost on Core i7 Extreme Edition processors
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M 1.5GB or GTX485M 2GB
  • FOUR Memory Slots for up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333Mhz or 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz
  • Bluray burner & reader, Hybrid and SSD drive with RAID options
  • Full size keyboard with numeric pad
  • HDMI Out; Optical Digital Out, up to 7.1 HD Audio with THX TruStudio support
  • Built-In 802.11n & Bluetooth Support
  • Bluetooth 3.0 & Wireless Video options
  • Built-In TVtuner support
  • Built-in USB 3.0 & E-SATA ports
  • (W)16.22″ x (D)10.87″ x (H)1.65″ – 1.79”
  • 8.6 lbs with the battery

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Tout.com – Share the Moment

First there was Twitter for instantly gratifying text-based communication, but now there is Tout… delivering the same instant gratification, only this time, via video, So let’s call it “instant visual communication.” The ability to update your Facebook friends and Twitter followers with short video status updates that can be captured with your smartphone.

Each “Tout” is a short smartphone video of around 15 seconds or less, and provides a new, streamlined way to connect, communicate, update status and engage with friends and followers. Seeing is believing… and a whole lot more fun than reading.

“Some moments in life just can’t be reflected in text.  Tout delivers “life as it happens” in full-motion color and sound, as opposed to ‘life as it’s written in 140 characters or less,’” explains Tout founder and CEO Michael Downing.  ”Not everybody has witty and well-crafted writing skills to express themselves in blogs or Tweets, but we all have unique visual perspective and, these perspectives will be the basis of a new form of conversation and storytelling moving forward.”

The Tout application is already available for free download at the iPhone App store, and once downloaded enables users to point, shoot and share short, real-time “video status updates” with friends.  At the Tout website, users can follow family, friends and people with shared interests and also get real-time updates as they “Tout” moments from their lives. This is either going to be really fun, or really, really scary. Let’s face it, there are just some things you will never be able to “un-see.”

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Calibur11 Vault case system

When it comes to the world of video games, there are those who do not really bother with the kind of systems that they have – as in, the case can come in any color, it does not matter as long as it can play their latest and favorite titles. As for the rest of the folks out there, they might prefer something which is more solid – helping them stand out from the rest of the crowd especially when it comes to video game parties as you tote your console over to your friend’s place.

Calibur11 knows this, which is why it decided to expand on that particular market with the Vault case system. The Vault case system comprises of a high-quality and customizable case range that will arrive this coming May 10th on major online retailers such as Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, GameStop.com and Walmart.com, and depending on your needs, these stylish cases can be customized by color and accessory, and will ensure complete protection over the slim version of the Xbox 360 console.

Of course, we do wonder what will happen to those who rock to Sony PS3s and Nintendo Wiis? They will just have to wait or sit this one out anyways, so there’s that. In the mean time, let us see what Calibur11 offers with the Vault’s launch. For starters, Calibur11 will offer a free, personalized nameplate that is worth $17.95 to everyone who places an order by May 10th.

According to Coy Christmas, CEO of Calibur11, “With unmatched protection and complete customization, our Vault product line offers a tremendous value to Xbox 360 owners. Our engineering team spent months developing the most efficient, performance-enhancing design so that the Base Vault not only protects your investment but optimizes air flow for better performance.”

What will you get right out of the box? We are looking at better stability thanks to an industrial grade foot chassis, and the Base Vaults will arrive in an array of popular colors where individual ones can be customized via a range of accessories, including controller and headphone holders. Not only that, you can also opt for personalized nameplates if you happen to want to give it as a gift, and there are 10 background templates to choose from, where each of them can be customized with a tagline in the font and color of your choice.

Calibur11’s Base Vaults will retail for $59.95 a pop, and if you decide on customized nameplates, those will cost $17.95.


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Lego Audio Book Helmet can read to kids

Since the beginning of recorded audio, there has been books written to work in tandem with a record, cassette, CD, or digital file so that children can be read to.

This concept helmet is by Jonathan Robson, and his helmet allows a child to hear a story by plugging a Lego Brick USB stick in back on a USB slot in the back. On the Lego bricks/USB sticks are stories that go along with Lego comic books, and I believe that the child is supposed to read the comic, while the helmet provides the sounds.

I’m not certain how the technology of that would work, nor what would power this (presumably batteries or some USB charging of some type). I think it is interesting that it is shaped like a helmet from a Space Lego minifig, and made so the kid is in a private world of narration.

I believe that the comic books would be available by subscription via the mail, and the info on the Lego bricks will probably be downloaded via some iTunes service of some type. However, it is still in its concept stage, but we’ll see if it ever comes to pass at the Lego catalog.

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Electric/Hybrid Car comes with a scooter in the back

This is the McCar, and before you crack the most obvious Mcjoke that you are thinking, it is built by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Volvo.

The McCar is presently on display at the Shanghai Motor Show, and it is both a car and scooter at the same time. I suppose that you could call it a “cooter”, but I don’t like the implication.

The purpose of the car and scooter combo is so the user/driver is able to use the scooter to get to where he or she is going if the place is far away from where he or she had to park. For example, let’s say you park in a huge parking lot at the mall, and instead of walking the city blocks to get to your favorite store, you unload the scooter from the back and drive there.

The McCar is planned to have a hybrid model and a fully electric model capable of a 93 miles per charge. The scooter itself will have a range of 18 miles per charge, and I’m not certain whether this smaller vehicle can be charged by the bigger one.

All in all, this is a pretty good idea, in a world where cars have to be inconveniently separated from us. Of course, this leaves the question of where you park the scooter. Unless you intend to drive the scooter around all day like certain lazy people at the Wal-Mart.

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Wii Successor is coming, Nintendo to have it on display at E3 2011

I guess we all knew that it was coming, but Nintendo has officially announced the successor to the Wii is on its way.

This new console is not planned to hit the market until 2012, possibly in the Spring. Apparently, Microsoft and Sony are not planning to unveil their new successors until 2014, so that gives some time for Nintendo to raise the bar as far as console gaming is concerned.

This console, which is said to have the code name of “Project Cafe” is expected to have “bigger and badder specifications than either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3″. That probably means that it will finally get the HD going on, but this high-tech upgrade probably won’t include 3D.

The Wii 2, or whatever the big N will call it, is suspected of having a new controller interface that has the D-pad with buttons layout as well as a large touchscreen input. It will also support the Wiimote controllers that really changed the gaming industry through simplification.

Do you want to see it for yourself? So do I. The Wii successor is planned to be on display at E3 2011 from June 7-9, 2011 in LA. I attended E3 last year, and I might attend this year. If you remember last year, they company showed off the 3DS. I never did wait in the lines for that, but I think I would be more than willing to brave them in order to play with the Wii Successor.

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