From the monthly archives:

October 2008

The Recon Scout looks like it has borrowed its design from the Sony Rolly, but it is able to take video footage instead of playing music.

The Recon Scout, designed by a Minneapolis-based company called ReconRobotics, is a durable little mobile camera designed to roll along the floor. It is a discrete way of getting video footage in hostile territory, and has already been successfully tested in war zones like Iraq. It even has an infrared camera with night vision for shooting in the dark.

According to Popular Mechanics, the Recon Scout is planned to be tested in prisons. That way, you could send it into areas where no one would want to go, and it will scan some areas discreetly. Now this is way to see what prison life is like. So, the next time a prisoner drops his soap in the shower, he can bend over and?see the Recon Scout.

The Recon Scout can be controlled from over 100 feet away, which isn?t that far away, but might be just the distance needed for a surveillance operation. The device can survive a 30 foot drop on concrete, which should make it durable enough for hot zone work.

I don?t think that the Recon Scout is available to the general public, but this device costs about six to nine thousand dollars.


The Sneakey sounds like some spy technology plucked out of a James Bond movie, but it is close to becoming real.

The Sneakey uses teleduplication, which is a way of extracting a normal key?s complete and precise ?tooth pattern? at a distance using optical decoding and then cutting precise duplicates. In other words, a camera can take a picture of key from a distance, and from the high resolution photo, the photographer will have the information necessary to make a perfect copy of the photographed key.

This technology is under development by computer scientists at the University of California at San Diego. They were able to demonstrate this teleduplicaiton tech by photographing a whole ring of keys that were on a table from 195 feet away using a telephoto lens.

Believe it or not, they were able to duplicate all the keys on the ring. They have even claimed to get duplicates from pictures of keys taken with an ordinary cell phone camera.

So, what does this mean? It means you should probably be wary of displaying your keys in public. I?ve heard of scams where ordinary cashiers take pictures of their customer?s credit cards using cell phone cameras, then use the numbers to purchase goods illegally. This teleduplication technology takes this identity theft scam to a Sneakey level as scammers can get the information to break into someone?s home.


Take Your Tech on the Slopes!

by Techno Witch on October 31, 2008

The last time that I went skiing, cellular phones and MP3 players didn?t exist. If I ever do go skiing again, I probably would not take any mobile devices on the slopes, because a wipeout could smash them, not to mention what damage the snow could do. However, I found two devices that are good to go for the snow.

The first is the Stereo Toasters, a pair of headphones that can work as earmuffs. They adjust with a sliding mechanism to create a behind the head fit that will keep your ears warm. Unfortunately, the product description does not say whether or not it is wireless, which would be an excellent feature when you are skiing.

The second is the G.Cell GX-1 Bluetooth Ski Gloves, which have a speaker and microphone built-in. You can sync these gloves to your mobile phone via Bluetooth so you can receive calls with the answer and disconnect buttons.

So now you can listen to some great tunes while your shushing and slaloming, and not worry about missing an important call! Now, if only they could make a device that will allow you to surf the net while waiting in the ski-lift line.

The Stereo Toasters are available for about $21.95 in seven colors. As for the G.Cell GX-1 Bluetooth Ski Gloves, they will set you back about $495.

Source1 and Source2

Samsung Delve for pre-order with Alltel Wireless

by Techno Witch on October 31, 2008

The Samsung Delve has come to Alltel Wireless and is available for pre-sale at as of the 30th of October. The Samsung Delve offers the user a touch-screen which is highlighted by a virtual QWERTY keyboard along with tactile feedback.

The Alltel Samsung Delve incorporates Samsung?s unique TouchWIZ interface with specially designed widgets which allow the user to customise and personalise the Samsung Delve whereby the user can drag and drop widgets onto the main screen.

The Samsung Delve also offers up a 2.0 megapixel camera, MP3 player, Alltel Mobile Advisor, Alltel Pic Transfer, City Id, Bluetooth, Collapse Chaos and Wallpaper Universe, 3.5 millimetre headset jack, and microSD and all for $199.99 after a $100 rebate, and will be in retail stores as of November 6th.

Three complaints made about a recent ad campaign by Vodafone have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Agency; said complaints related to Vodafone adverts which promoted Vodafone?s mobile broadband service.

The main reason was the boast that Vodafone offered “The fastest, most reliable mobile broadband in the galaxy. Only £15 a month.” A member of the public along the 3 and T-Mobile made the complaints stating that Vodafone has no right to claim to be the fastest mobile broadband operator.

The Advertising Standards Agency requested LLC International to find out if Vodafone?s claims to be the fastest held any substance, the result was LLC International found competitor broadband services were actually faster than Vodafone?s for downloading a page in 6 out of 10 regions.

The Snowball Launcher with 50? range

by Techno Witch on October 31, 2008

Just because you’re an adult does not mean that you don’t still enjoy chucking an occasional snowball at your friends. Actually, at times it makes it more forbidden and therefore a lot more tempting. Well if you don’t have the greatest throwing skills then you might want to look into a cool contraption to help you out. With this cool gun, hopefully no one will notice that you didn’t buy it just because you thought it was cool. Likely they’ll just see a new toy to drool over and your secret of a puny throwing arm will stay quiet.

Not only would this be great for those that have a throwing handicap, but for those that want a longer range with their snowballs. You could stay out of range of your friends efforts at retaliation. The launcher has a 50′ range and shoots at rapid speeds. Hopefully you can either have a friend making the snowballs to load into it or you can reload quickly. Otherwise your enemies might take the chance to gain on you and get revenge. The launcher works with a slingshot mechanism and can be bought for $29.95 from Hammacher and Schlemmer.

Source: OhGizmo

Verizon Wireless must be jumping with joy as finally the Department of Justice has given its approval for Verizon?s $28 billion deal to purchase Alltel Communications subject to required divestitures of wireless assets in 100 markets and across 22 states.

Assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division, Thomas Barnett, said: ?The divestitures required are necessary to protect wireless customers and are among the most extensive required by the department in a wireless case.?

The Department of Justice has said the divestitures will cover the entire states of North Dakota and South Dakota, sections of Arizona, Alabama, California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, and major areas of Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming.

RIM BlackBerry Storm Vodafone plans announced

by Techno Witch on October 31, 2008

Vodafone has announced its plans for the RIM BlackBerry Storm along with pricing for the European BlackBerry Storm, below you will see four of Vodafone?s Perfect Choice 100, 200, 400, and 600 plans expected to be on the BlackBerry Storm.

First the Perfect Choice Access 100 plan offers the BlackBerry Storm for ?109.99 with a monthly fee of ?49.99 with 100 minutes, 100 texts, mobile TV, 10 music downloads and 1GB of BlackBerry email.

Next is Perfect Choice Access 200 which offers 200 minutes and 200 text but data remains unchanged and costs ?64.99 per month with the BlackBerry storm costing ?64.99

The Perfect Choice Access 400 offers 400 minutes and 400 texts with same data for ?84.99 per month and the handset will cost ?69.99.

Finally the Perfect Choice Access 600 offers 600 minutes 600 texts, same data and at ?99.99 per month while the BlackBerry Storm will cost ?49.99.

Apple blocks Opera for iPhone from App Store

by Techno Witch on October 31, 2008

Opera Software, who distributes the Opera browser across multiple platforms, is apparently being blocked from becoming a version for the Apple iPhone by Apple not allowing the Opera iPhone app into the Apple App Store.

Mr. von Tetzchner said that Opera?s engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini that can run on an Apple iPhone, but Apple won?t let the company release it because it competes with Apple?s own Safari browser.

This could be something to do with the Javascript interpreter, or Apple restricting applications which compete with their built in iPhone applications such as Safari. With Apple restricting apps, especially alternative browsers, iPhoner will probably not be seeing an alternative such as FireFox anywhere on the Apple App Store very soon.

Beatles catalogue possibly coming to Apple iTunes?

by Techno Witch on October 31, 2008

A special time for music loving iPhoners out there in Apple iPhone world, as Apple iTunes may finally be seeing the Beatles coming its way. The word is The Beatle?s label Apple Corps is to join MTV for a London based announcement to unveil plans to bring the Beatles catalogue to the Rock Band video game.

This is more than MTV scoring the world?s most valuable music catalogue, it actually signals a shift by Apple Corps to embracing digital distribution, and this could well mena the possibility of new discussions with Apple Inc with a view to bringing the Beatles to the iTunes store.

In the past, the Beatles label has held back from going digital, while there has always been animosity between Apple Inc and Apple Corps which has probably put a block on this move, maybe now the Apple iTunes store will soon be able to offer iPhoner?s the Beatles catalogue.

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