We usually stay pretty far away from smokeless cigarettes—the “chemical kazoo” aspect kills it for us—but the pushback against public smoking may finally have created a device so strange, we have no choice but to take notice. Here’s a summary: there’s tobacco, and there are drags, but there doesn’t seem to be any smoke.
Computer peripherals tend to be a bit lacking in the way of design sense, but there’s always the exception...
This brushed steel optical mouse from VAIO is one of the better-looking pieces of computer equipment we’ve seen so far, at least among those without an apple on them. And given the amount of time you spend moving a mouse around each day, it’s worth it to get one with a bit of style to it.
Pointless gadgetry has a real track record with most dads, so we thought we’d add this timepiece to the Father’s Day pile.
Of course, it’ll help if pop’s a surfer. The Quiksilver Deep X works as a compass, heat timer and virtual thermometer, but the real prize is the tide data stored up for thousands of prime surf spots throughout the world, all of which should put his Timex to shame. Not every Dad’s got a yen for useless info gathering, but if he does, this is one of the better ways to get it.
Apple just finished their annual developer conference, where they rolled out a new line of MacBooks and the iPhone 3GS, but otherwise the pickings were pretty slim.
There were a handful of new features that non-Apple firms have been refining for years (voice commands, MMS, and remote medical tech among others) along with a long string of incremental updates, but the most impressive function was something they picked up from a 30 Rock episode. Absent-minded techies: your time has come.
Internet radios like this one have been a favorite with the CES crowd for some time, but they haven’t quite had the content to break through to the mainstream. A box lets you stream audio feeds through something a bit more lush than computer speakers, but so far, most of the feeds come from FM stations, which isn’t quite tempting enough to make us toss out our antennas.
But it’s coming along. Amazing Radio (via PSFK) just launched in the UK with a roster of all unsigned artists. The artists get the lion’s share of the mp3 sales, but mostly they get some much-needed exposure and a chance to get their songs on the airwaves…or audio streams, as the case may be.
Of course, the jury’s still out on their choice in bands…but at least they won’t have to worry about keeping their signal clear.
Google’s been showing a healthily geeky interest in astronomy ever since they turned Google Earth skyward, but we never thought of what they could do with a smartphone…
Consider us pleasantly surprised. Google just capped off its annual Searchology conference with a sneak peek at a new mobile app called SkyMap, a constellation-finder program that makes finding the big dipper as easy as holding up your phone.
The app gives you a mobile map to the stars that’s responsive to the location and direction of the phone, which means you should always know exactly what you’re looking at. And if you’ve got a particular constellation in mind (Capricorn is always a crowd favorite), the app will point you directly to it. Of course, it's not the first electronic map to the stars, but it's the first one that's integrated so smoothly with the actual sky.
It’s still pretty far from mass production, but when it makes it through, it should be one of the more impressive mobile apps around…and a potential killer app for Android phones.
The tech world is one of the few areas left that still gives visionaries enough room to work, so when we see a sea change coming, we try to call it as early as we can. Amazon’s Kindle is as close as we’re likely to come for this year, so when the fine folks at NotCot got their hands on one, we figured we'd give it a look.
The trend in the tech world has been consolidating gadgets—by now, we’ve got a phone, email unit, media player, camera, and game module in one…and counting—but the big companies have overlooked some of the simpler ideas out there.
At long last, we have arrived at CES…but unfortunately the mighty power of Energi-to-Go was not enough to force the airline industry into competence. So, after a five-hour delay and various fun with baggage handlers, we were greeted with the disheartening scene above. Although the subwoofer arch from Vibe does look pretty awesome.
Expect our savage journey into the heart of consumer electronics to continue with a little more gusto tomorrow.
The world isn’t all work boots and cardigans, so as of next Wednesday, we’re heading off to Vegas’ own Consumer Electronics Show to scout out a few new gadgets for the new year.
As for how we’re getting there, we’ve found a brand new gadget to pay our way. Say hello to Energi To Go, an egg-shaped trinket powerful enough to charge your phone or blackberry for nine hours or send your favorite blogger to the adult entertainment capital of the world. It runs on two AA batteries, and contains more than 130 square miles of gambling, vice, and generally raucous revelry.