Tech news, gadget reviews and how-tos on just about anything and everything.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How to play MKV files and troubleshooting tips

I better jot this down right away before I forget again. I have a couple of mkv x264 files on my PC that I wanted to play. I know for a fact that VLC or VideoLAN is the best media player that can do that without having to install any additional codecs, however, if you want to have other options, it's best to download a universal codec pack so in case VLC is in the fritz, you can use Windows Media Player Classic. However, the best and most effective way for me to play h.264 mkv is using TheGreenButton's tutorial. AVC really does works wonders even if you only have a dual core laptop or less than 2.0 GHz core 2 duo processor.

Another player which I found useful is the Windows Media Player Classic Home Theater Edition and they have a nice tutorial over at boxtorrents.com.

PROBLEM: VLC and Media Player Classic plays sound but no video

Here's one of the problems I've encountered which frustrated me and took me about three hours of googling before I finally found the solution. Boxtorrent's tutorials actually did the job the first time with no problems however, I really wanted to play my mkv files on VLC. It turns out the problem was with my settings on VLC. Just click on settings and then preferences. Click on the General Video settings without clicking any of the drop down menus. On the right, you will see that the "overlay video output" box is checked. Uncheck this and then you're good to go.

Cuil Review: Why Cuil is not so cool

Technology news site has been abuzz with a new search engine called "cuil" from a former Google engineer. I have tried a few search terms out just to try it out, sadly, my first search terms alone didn't yield any results. I typed in "Samsung i780 Review" since it's one of my main keywords on one of my other websites and I was surprised that Cuil didn't yield any results. Not even a single unconnected page was churned out...And they say that their search engine is comprehensive.

I'm not saying that I'm a Google fanboy but even though Google most often of the time spews out junk they at least are able to spew out a few good sites out of those results. I guess I should give Cuil another try in maybe 6 months or so, that is, if they did anything new with their system. Maybe they haven't refined their search engine yet to include long term keywords. I know I always use long keywords in order to get more specific results and it seems more and more people are doing that too. If Cuil doesn't do well in terms of long term keywords, then therein lies one of their weaknesses.

Also, the fact that Cuil doesn't have regional sites--yet, would make long time Google users wary to transfer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Girlsense.com

Ah, to be young and have cooties. Girlsense.com is a website that caters to your girl tweeners. Everything about this website screams “I’m a teenage girl!”.

Website Design

The website itself is mostly colored pink, the color associated with teenage girls and even adult girls who likes to feel girly (i.e., Paris Hilton). You can browse the website with cute icons at the top most side of the web page.

What the Site is about

Girlsense.com is a site for girls, specifically, the fashionistas. Budding designers would love this site as it allows you to create your own clothes and share them with others or even sell your creations. Girlsense.com is also a social networking site for fashion designers. The site is like a virtual fashion community and members can view each others design, share or sell them. What’s great is that users don’t have to download any software as the site provides real Web 2.0 experience. Those with slow internet connection or those that haven’t updated to the latest flash player may have a hard time navigating the website.

Free fashion games - GirlSense

Aside from offering fashion design games, Girlsense.com also offers different kind of games for tweeners. These are flash based games which also blend with the whole theme of the site: fun, cute, and wholesome. One of the fashion games, bad hair day, allows you to earn G-cents which you can use throughout the site.

Go Green

Girlsense is also concerned with the environment. Right now, they’re trying to create a green awareness among their users. Users can design green fashion items, green games, as well as join green groups and view videos. Users are encouraged to create shirts with an environmental friendly theme, i.e., save mother earth, etc.

Get discovered

Girlsense.com allows you to create your own boutique wherein you can show off or sell your design. If you have many friends and if you’re lucky enough, you’re boutique could get featured on the homepage and who knows, you might be the next top fashion designer. Hey, every body has to start somewhere.

Panasonic’s UniPhier Mobile Phone Chip

While we’re still struggling with regular TV signals on our mobile phone, in Japan, it looks like companies such as Panasonic are refining their technology for watching HD quality TV shows on mobile phones. Panasonic has developed a mobile phone LSI based on their Uniphier digital equipment platform already used by Panasonic on their digital TVs. Panasonic’s new LSI is capable of functions such as graphics rendering, 1seg reception, and audio/visual content playback. Panasonic’s UniPhier 4MBB+ also reduces power consumption in mobile phones by about 25% and its communication function can support W-CDMA/HSDPA as well as GSM/GPRS standards. The LSI also supports 2D/3D graphics standards.

Panasonic will start shipping samples of their UniPhier around the end of July 2008.

TalkReviews.com

Here's a new way to bash the website you hate the most, through talkreviews.com. If consumer products already have thousands of websites wherein consumers can review the product, how about a site that offers Web Site Reviews? One of the great thing about having sites like talkreviews.com is that those looking for reviews of a particular website, specially if that site is about shopping online, consumers can now review and share their experiences with that website. The bad? ANYONE can review your web site so there's a good chance that sour competitors would bash your site non-stop. Top Websites reviewed by users are also listed.

Hmm, I wonder if I can submit a review of my own blog. If I can, the review would probably go like this: www.gamesourceonline.com doesn't only provide its readers with gadget news and reviews but game reviews as well. Occassionaly, the blog would make how-to articles for those not so technology savvy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FakeTV a new anti-burglar system


So how come this FakeTV reminds me so much of Home Alone? Some people, in order to deter burglars would leave the lights on in their houses, others put up a sensor wherein lights would automatically turn on when someone gets near their house. FakeTV has a rather crude idea and may be less expensive than just turning on your regular TV. This system works by making burglars think that there’s someone watching TV inside your house. FakeTV can simulate the light output of a real television, from scene changes, fades, and flicks or any on-screen motion, the unit turns on every dusk and can automatically switch off in four to seven hours.

So, what’s the advantage of FakeTV rather than using a real TV? Well, if your TV doesn’t have an automatic on function or off function, this one has, FakeTV also consumes less power, and in case a burglar is not deterred, it’s cheaper to replace rather than a real TV.

So, what will they think of next, FakePERSON a full sized cardboard cut out of a person that automatically passes through the window every hour or so? Hey, it’s also crude but probably more effective.

FakeTV company site
Press release

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chunky Cell Phone T-Shirt

Ah, the nineties, a decade of Adidas windpants, somewhat good music, and chunky cell phones. If you want to relive the glory days of the nineties and if you're a mobile phone fanatic and why not 90s t-shirts that commemorates the era of nineties where in cell phones still have cells in them. This holla atcha boy with a picture of a chunky cell phone, your parents probably has one lying around somewhere in the attic (or worse, probably still using one). This shirt costs $25 at localcelebrity.com. I know what you're thinking, if you're the cheapskate type of person, you're probably going to grab an image then print it on an iron transfer and make a shirt yourself. Dude, that's infringement, besides, it probably won't last when washed.

Anyways, if you want to find out where Hollywood stars are purchasing the cool t-shirts they're wearing, try and visit localcelebrity.com's celebrity fashion page and you'll see some of Hollywood stars wearing their shirts. Celebrities such as Tori Spelling, Elliot Yamin, Drew Lachey, Carrie Underwood, etc are wearing these shirts. Here are just some of the pics I've grabbed from the site together with the corresponding actual shirt.















Above is Kevin Peake wearing the local celebrity T-shirt. Shirt costs $25.
















RYM (respect your mother) organic cotton T-shirt being worn by Carrie Underwood (left). Price is $25.

So if you're the kind of person who wants to have anything that the stars have, why not start with the affordable and buy the shirts they're wearing?

Sony Ericsson MPS-100 Portable Speakers


Sony has released some new speakers for your mobile phone. One of them is the Sony Ericsson MPS-100. Following the footsteps of its predecessor, the MPS-60, the Sony Ericsson MPS-100 is an affordable portable speaker that provides you excellent sound quality in its small body. Available in silver and black colors, the Sony Ericsson MPS-100 has an aluminum body and has a 3.5mm line in and weighs only 137 grams. The Sony Ericsson MPS-100 will be available in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Atlantic Global Time Management Software


One of the widely used business management software is a Time Management Software. With a time management software, a company can have complete control of your human resources, projects, and costs by providing information real time. Atlantic Global's Timesheet Management Software is one of the most commonly used software around.

Features

Atlantic Global's Timesheet Management Software has a web-based interface which provies you with a summary and detailed timesheet report. Atlantic Global also offers an automated web timesheet approval functionality as well as user defined notifications. The administrator will also have the ability to assign to users particular projects or tasks to work on as well as easily manage holiday and sickness leave. Management will also gain a lot of information for top-level decisions since they can track a project's progress by comparing the work don with the budgeted and estimated work.

Conclusion

A Time Management Software is an essential software to have especially if your company relies heavily on your human resources. Lower rank individuals who have access to the system benefits from the system since they can easily justify workloads and deadlines. The management benefits from the system by identifying project costs so that they can easily control any costs that is beyond the allocated budget. The system can also speed up your billing cycle and payroll processes by providing real time information of actual time and cost spent.

The Dark Knight's living room by Bang and Olfusen

Since I still haven't found any screenshots of Morgan Freeman's mobile phone in Dark Knight movie, I thought I might start the gadget identification in the movie by starting with his living room.
The LCD TV you see as well as some of the gadgets on their is by Bang and Olfusen. Take a look at the screenshot I've grabbed from the Bang and Olfusen website below. Pretty cool but I guess you also need the trust fund of Bruce Wayne to afford the whole set.

Monday, July 21, 2008

E/pop web conferencing software

One of the great things that the Internet has given businessmen is that video conferencing has now become cheaper with web conferencing software. Unlike video conferencing wherein you need many video equipment and is often costly, web conferencing only requires you to have a desktop PC and a webcam. E/pop's web conferencing software is a fairly easy and cheap web conferencing software.

Features

The e/pop web conferencing software installs in as easy as 5 minutes. Video quality is smooth and clear, but of course, it also depends on the video camera you’re using. You can also change the video resolution and frame rate while you’re using the software. E/pop’s web conferencing software also includes multiparty audio conferencing which means participants in the web conference can talk at the same time. E/pop makes it easy for you to determine who’s talking via live participant list.

Another cool feature of E/pop’s web conferencing software is the PowerPoint presentation sharing. You don’t need to upload your powerpoint presentations since it is shared over the web in real time. You also have the option to record your web conference and choose the appropriate format to your liking so you can playback your meetings to anyone who missed the conference. Your conference is also secure as E/pop uses Industry Standard SSL3/TLS.

Outlook

The E/pop web conferencing software brings video conferencing at the reach of small businessmen without the need for any expensive video conferencing equipment. It can save you time and money rather than traveling to meet up with your clients.

Sentrysafe has launched the AS-1 autosafe

SentrySafe recently announced a new product called AS-1 autosafe. This protects the valuables of the user located inside their vehicles against vehicle break-in burglars. Some of the most common valuables that can be seen in vehicles include mobile phones, cameras, PDA’s, wallets, and more. AS-1 autosafe is not only limited to cars but RVs and boats as well.

The SentrySafe AS-1 autosafe is a small unit created with a high-security key lock that has 2 locking bolts made from steel, fastened in a steel cable that is theft-resistant.

You may now avail the AS-1 in various stores such as Target, Wal mart, Home Depot and Costco.

How to increase memory of Asus EEE PC

The Asus EEE PC is one of those great inventions of all time. It just goes to show that those big named manufacturers can actually deliver a product that is both cheap and reliable. However, one of the many limitations of an Asus EEE PC specially the 701 model is that it has very limited memory. The 8GB memory alone on the Asus EEE PC 701, is not enough specially when you opted for the Windows XP version. So how do you increase storage capacity of the Asus EEE PC? Well, here are some options.

Online Backup

There are many Online Backup sites on the web, one which I recommend using is ibackup.com. For as low as $9.95 per month you can get an online storage space without lugging any portable media with you. Since the Asus EEE PC is called a “net pc” I’m sure you won’t have problems connecting to the Internet. Some of the features of ibackup.com includes backup scheduling, easy drag and drop solution, create subfolders within folders, encrypted data transfer, resume function when data transfer is interrupted, allows sharing, has proxy support, and has the ability to map your online storage account as a local drive.

Flash Drives

Because technology is every changing, there are now many cheap USB drives or flash drives available. The advantage of flash drives is you can easily move your files from one PC to another and some Flash drives nowadays are wearable so you won’t need to worry about losing it.

Memory Cards

The Asus EEE PC supports memory cards or SD cards. With memory cards as well as flash drives, you’re only limited to 4-8GB of storage space since I think that’s the highest capacity available nowadays, without burning a hole in your pocket. One main advantage is that memory cards can be easily transferred from one device to another so if you have a digital camera, MP3 player, or PDA that supports memory card, you can transfer your files easily.

Portable hard drives

The main disadvantage of portable hard drives is that they’re a lot more expensive than memory cards or flash drives plus they’re not as portable. The main advantage however is that you’re not limited to having 4-8GB of storage space but your available space can go as high up as 250 – 320GB.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Overview: Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH


Another one of Sony's flagship VAIO laptops, the Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH. The Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH is the first of Sony's VAIO laptops to feature a 16.4 inch screen. I guess Sony opted for 16 inch so that users can still view HD movies on their laptop without the additional weight that goes with a 17 inch screen.

The Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH has specifications with HD in mind. Since Sony already won the High Def format wars, it's only natural that they incorporate the technology to everyone of their consumer electronics. The Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH's 16.4 inch screen has a 1600x900 screen resolution so that users can enjoy HD movies without the need for an external LCD monitor. However, if you still feel the need to watch your favorite movie on a 40 inch LCD TV, then the Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH has an HDMI output so you won't miss out on all the picture details. Also, this VAIO notebook already comes with a Blu-ray disc drive (read-only).

The Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH is already packed full of features. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9400 (2.53 GHz, 6MB L2 Cache), 4GB of installed RAM, ATI Radeon HD 3400 graphics card, BD optical drive, and a spacious 400GB hard disk drive, which if it still isn't enough for you, you can still use any Online Backup software by accessing the internet via Ethernet or Wifi (sorry folks, no WAN).

Other input options include: 1 DC-In, 1 Headphone Jack, Microphone Input, 1 Modem Jack, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 VGA Output, and an i.LINK Connection. The Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH also has a built-in 1.3 megapixel camera.

Estimated retail price of the Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH is $1769.99.

The Dark Knight's Mobile Phone: Nokia or Samsung


I've just recently watched the Dark Knight and I might be doing a post these upcoming days about the gadgets I found interesting on the movie. However, right now, I'm a bit confused and still wondering what The Dark Knight's Mobile Phone was. You know, the one Morgan Freeman had on him when he visited that Chinese guy in the movie and the one he gave Christian Bale, the one with the touchscreen.

Now I know that Nokia is in partner with The Dark Knight producers since they're the ones launching the Nokia 6205 The Dark Knight Edition phone and there's a good chance that it was a prototype of the Nokia Tube that was used in the movie but the interface seems like that of Samsung or HTC's. Anyways, with all the touchscreen phones going around on the net and everyone trying to be iPhone like, it's hard to recognize which one is which.

Anyways, The Nokia 6205 The Dark Knight Edition mobile phone will be coming exclusively to Verizon Wireless and sports a black color with the Dark Knight logo at the back of the phone. The Nokia 6205 is a flip phone and has touch sensitive external music keys similar to the one on Motorola's Razr2 series. Since this is a somewhat official movie merchandise phone, naturally, the phone has The Dark Knight theme from wallpapers, animated screen savers, voice ringtone, and preloaded with the full movie trailer. If that's not enough for you maybe you can download ringtones with the Batman Theme.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FCC clears 3's Skypephone

Looks like FCC gave 3's Skypephone the go signal. 3's Skypephone will be called IM2 and will sport a 3.2 megapixel camera, HSDPA, and a candybar design reminiscent of Sony Ericsson's candy bar phones. 3 subscribers, watch out for this phone if this goes on any 3 Mobile deal promos.

Listen to High Quality Audio using ZEN X-Fi with Wireless LAN

Creative is a brand famous in making products related to digital entertainment. Recently, the company has announced a new revolutionary unit that will surely be loved by music and video enthusiasts. They have introduced the Zen X-Fi with Wireless LAN. It is a digital media player that allows the users to have a different kind of music experience when listening at home.

Through the use of the ZEN X-Fi with Wireless LAN, you do not need to insert cables on your music player to your computer just to transfer your favorite songs, videos, and photos. You can now wirelessly download and stream the music to your player straight from your laptop or PC using a wireless home network. Afterwards, you may now start playing it as you listen to a music that has a high audio quality. You may listen to your favorite songs through the digital media player’s built-in speaker or in a ZEN X-Fi docking speaker. You may even listen to the songs using your own home speaker system!

Aside from the music files, videos, and photos, the ZEN X-Fi with Wireless LAN also allows you to stream various ZENcast as well as podcast channels straight to your player.

If the built-in memory of the ZEN X-Fi with Wireless LAN is not enough for you, you may expand the device’s memory by inserting an SD card on the slot provided. Moreover, you can also get to use IM services such as Windows Live and Yahoo. Chat with your friends using the ZEN X-FI with Wireless LAN and surprise them with personalized avatars.

You may now purchase the ZEN X-Fi with Wireless LAN at Amazon.com, Creative.com, Buy.com and other online stores. You have two options depending on the size of the memory that you prefer. The 16 GB model costs $199.99 while the 32 GB model costs $299.99.

HP goes individual

HP has apparently taken a page out of Epson ink cartridge technology and opted to go for individual ink cartridges rather than their usual three color cartridges or black and white cartridge. This technology has been incorporated in their latest home printer, the HP Photosmart D5460 Printer which I've already talked about during my previous posts. HP has called their ink cartridge technology, the HP five-ink printing technology which they hope would give consumers more control over their ink cartridge costs and also delivering high quality printer output.

I guess the problem with HP's previous ink cartridges is the fact that when you tend to print photos, only one color naturally gets to be used more often so with the three-color individual ink cartridge, even though it still has blue or green ink, if the yellow color is already depleted, the whole cartridge becomes useless. That is why more people opt to buy generic and remanufactured cartridges rather than those made by HP or other printer manufacturers since it's naturally cheaper. While others would opt to buy Deskjet printer cartridges at a discount on eBay rather than direct from the manufacturers.

The new HP ink cartridges includes the colors, cyan, magenta, yellow, and photo black. The fifth color has black pigment ink which according to HP, can product laser-quality black text on plain paper.

Sony BDP-S350 now available

Sony has announced that their next generation Blu-ray player, the BDP-S350 is now available at Sony Style Stores and Retailers nationwide.

Features of the Sony BDP-S350 includes Bonus View (picture in picture), BD Live and of course, the Ethernet Port. Previous releases of Sony's Blu-ray player does not include an ethernet port which means you have to update the firmware through discs. Toshiba's defunct HD DVD player already had ethernet port on them which was one of the major advantages of HD DVD over Blu-ray before the former's death.

The price for the Sony BDP-S350 is around $400.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Computer Repair Service

The only reason why some people hold out on buying their own customized PC is because they don't want the headache of having to fix their PCs themselves as compared with a branded PC which has a warranty and tech support. But I really think that people shouldn't hold out just because of this reason alone. The money they could save plus the specs they could get for a similarly priced custom built PC spells a huge difference. Besides, if worse comes to worse, there are a hundred of free online tech support as well as computer repair service on the internet.

It could be a learning experience for them. I for one don't know squat about motherboards, RAMS, etc, five years ago but because I kept my mind and options open, I can say that buying custom built PCs made me more tech savvy.

More gadgets from Iron Man

Update: Iron Man 2 Gadgets post now up.

Speaking of Iron Man movie, here are more added gadgets which I've seen from the movie.

Tony Starks has Mac

Looks like Tony Starks owns an Apple Computer in his workstation at home. When you look at the picture below, you can see the Apple logo just barely peeking from the monitor on the left side. Photo courtesy of IGN.

Mac AND Dell??

I don't get it, Tony, so which one is it? Do you prefer Macs or PCs because from what I can see, your office computer is a Dell PC. The one pictured below is a Dell XPS M2010 portable pc.

Micrsoft and The Island Movie

I was watching The Island the other day and I couldn't help seeing how the movie was just one big advertisement for Microsoft. I mean, you could see Microsoft's logo everywhere. Though when I saw the Microsoft Surface being used I have to admit, it is really something. I was reminded of Iron Man when Tony Stark was working on his workbench designing the holographic image of his Iron Man suit. Now if Microsoft Surface has the ability to project holographic images like that, then the Surface would become the ultimate Workbench for engineers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 million Apps downloaded from iPhone App store during first weekend

Apple has announced that since the launch of their new App store late last week, more than 10 million applications has already been downloaded not only by iPhone users but by iPod Touch users as well. According to Apple, more than 800 native applications are no available on the App store with more than 200 of them being offered for free. Applications range from games, location-based social networking, medical applications, to a variety of productivity tools. Hmm, I wonder if there are any good RSS readers for us Mobile Blog owners?

Those applications that require payment can be charged to the user's iTunes account. Those looking for Ringtones for their iPhone can check out unlimitedcomplimentaryringtones.com.

HP Photosmart D5460 Printer



The HP Photosmart D5460 Printer is one of HP's newest printers on their line-up. The HP Photosmart D5460 has a compact design, perfect for everyday home printing. It utilizes HP's five-ink printing system so you can print out high quality photos with vivid colors as well as professional looking documents.

Features

The HP Photosmart D5460 has a 1.5 inch display so you can get access to your printer without having to boot up your PC. A multiple memory card slots also ensures that you can be able to print your photos stored on a variety of media whether the photos are taken through a cell phone or digital camera. The HP Photosmart D5460 can also print designs, text and photos direct onto CDs and DVDs and also has the ability to print multiple sized photos through an automated photo tray that can automatically select the size and type of paper so users can switch effortlessly between photo and document printing.

HP's newest printers now utilizes individual ink cartridges, something which Epson printers have been long doing. This allows consumers to truly save on ink as they only replace the colors that really need replacing. The HP Photosmart D5460 can also handle a variety of media types and sizes so users can print business cards or Greeting Cards though probably not as professional looking as the greeting card pictured below from cardsdirect. Besides, even with HP's supposed high capacity ink cartridges, I bet the cost per greeting card you make on this printer is nowhere near $1.25. Print speeds of the HP Photosmart D5460 is around 33 ppm for black and 31 ppm for colored documents.


Outlook

The HP D5460 is a low cost printer that is perfect for any home. At a suggested retail price of $99, you can't go wrong with the HP Photosmart D5460.

A look at the Creative Zen X-Fi


One of the most popular brands in digital entertainment industry is a brand called Creative. Recently, Creative has announced a new product called Zen X-Fi. The Zen X-Fi is a digital media player that allows the users to stream music, download videos as well as photos from their computers over their wireless network. Unfortunately, it is not yet out in the market. However, Creative fanatics may expect the Zen X-Fi and may start purchasing the product within this month.

With the help of the Zen X-Fi, you can now hear the sound of your MP3 music as if it is fresh from the music studio recordings. And to make your listening experience even better, Creative has also included a pair of EP-830 earphones with every purchase of Zen X-Fi.

Of course, Creative wants you to share the listening experience that you will enjoy using Zen X-Fi. The product has a built-in speaker so that other people can listen to the high-quality music as well. You can also insert an SD card in order to store more videos, photos, and music to the player. You may also get to record voice with the Zen X-Fi’s built-in microphone. Aside from that, Zen X-Fi also has an FM radio integrated with 32 presets.

But Creative is not yet done with developing the Zen X-Fi. By August, Zen X-Fi will have a video converter so that you can covert your video files into another format that would fit for wireless streaming.

The 8 GB model of the Zen X-Fi can be purchased for as low as $149.99 only. Watch out for the accessories for the Zen X-Fi that will be in the market by next month such as the docking speaker system, the leather case, the silicon skin, an arm-band, and a screen protector.

Sony VAIO Z Series


For those who can't get the 3G iPhone because they're in a bad credit state, you better get your act together and start your Debt Management Plan because you might also miss out on buying Sony's new Z series line-up.

Sony's Z Series of laptop features some high end features which you wont' commonly see on other 13 inch laptops (yep, I'm talking about you, Macbook). Once again, Sony has proven that it's not about being cheap (yes, you, EEE PC), it's all about the features.

With the Sony Z Series, you're actually getting a portable Blu-ray player (a very expensive one at that). Some models of the Z series features a 1600 x 900 widescreen display, just good enough to watch Blu-ray movies. And if you can't appreciate going high def on a measly 13 inch screen, you can always use the Z series' HDMI output to blow things up on your HDTV since it is capable of displaying full 1080 HD resolution. Plus if you still have money to spare, you can also choose to go SSD since the VAIO Z series is available in a 128GB solid state drive model (if you're in debt now, you might expect filing for bankruptcy once you opt for the SSD model.

A closer look at the Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B


Sony's new line of ultra portable notebooks, the VAIO Z series includes the new model, Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B.

Design

The Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B only weighs a little bit over 3 pounds and features a 13.1 inch widescreen display. A seamless, brushed aluminum finish frames the keyboard and the unit is housed in a carbon-fiber casing that protects it from shock and bumps when traveling. Sony designed the keyboard of the VAIO VGN-Z591U/B so that even though it is small, you won't feel cramped when typing.

Features

The Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B features an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz processor plus a 4GB DDR3 RAM. This notebook has a 320GB hard disk drive with 5400rpm speed and Serial ATA connection. The hard drive is also equipped with a G-Sensor shock protection so that your precious data won't get corrupted while traveling.

Connectivity options is abundant on the Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B. It has an integrated Mobile broadband technology powered by Sprint, WiFi and the latest stereo A2DP Bluetooth technology. You might also want to opt for a Blu-ray optica drive since the Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B has an integrated HDMI output so it's like having a portable Blu-ray player. It also has an integrated NVIDIA GeFOrce 9300M GS with 256MB RAM graphics card.

Outlook

Sure, ASUS is making waves with their EEE PC but the Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B is on a class of its own. This is defnitely for the high end market.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tech Deals of the Week: Dells Inspiron 1420 Laptop

And here's another round of tech deals. For those looking for a new laptop, you might be interested in this Dell Inspiron 1420 Notebook which now costs $749 after a $220 Dell coupon which I got over at bestonlinecoupons.com. The Coupon code is: QGDVJKQRVG0CCJ and it will expire on July 17, 2008. Tech specs of the Dell Inspiron 1420 Includes: 1.86 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core processor, 14.1 inch display, CD/DVD writer, 250GB hard drive, 2GB memory, and genuine Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1.



Other deals you can find on bestonlinecoupons.com includes some Walmart online deals which wherein you can get access to Walmart’s Electronics Clearance sale. Some deals you can find on Walmart’s electronics clearance sale includes the Nextar Snap3 Navigation system which features a 3.5 inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, MP3, JPEG, and text to speech feature.

You can also find Circuit City coupons which can get you free shipping if you purchase more than $24 or you can save up to $800 on selected HDTVs plus an extra 10% off using the coupon code: TFA3N9LABH, better grab this coupon before it expires.

Plus if you need to carry your newly purchased gadget with you when you travel (except the HDTV of course), you can get free shipping when you buy luggage online.

A look at the Palm Treo 800w

Looks like Palm is still hanging on. After months of keeping quiet without any new mobile phone except for the Palm Centro, the original smart phone manufacturer has announced a new windows mobile phone to their line-up: the Palm Treo 800w.

Design

The Palm Treo 800w is slightly larger than the Palm Centro which is good considering that it will give you a slightly larger and roomier QWERTY keypad. The Palm Treo 800w feels solid to hold plus it doesn't have that shiny surface which could leave annoying fingerprints.

Features

The Palm Treo 800w sports a Qualcomm MSM6800A processor clocked at 333 MHz. Though in terms of MHz, it is faster than the Samsung Blackjack and Motorola Q9h, for those multi-taskers, you will still feel the lag compared with the Samsung i780 which has a Marvel processor clocked at around 600MHz. Palm is generous enough to put in a 128MB of RAM but the processor and the RAM still isn't powerful enough to handle desktop browsing on the pocket internet explorer. I recommend using Opera Mini on your midlet manager to speed up your browsing experience.

As for connectivity options, the Palm Treo 800w packs a lot of options. High speed EvDO Rev A network compatibility allows you to connect to the internet at broadband speeds even if you're not connected via WiFi hotspot but if you did manage to find yourself an open WiFi access, the Palm Treo 800w has built-in WiFi plus the integrated GPS allows you to find your way if you're in a new city.

Like the Samsung i780, the Palm Treo 800w has a 320 x 320 screen resolution so you might find some compatibility issues with some applications. I recommend using RealVGA at 90dpi in order to make your home screen look spiffy. The GPS receiver is very fast plus Palm has an integrated plug-in on the homescreen to allow you to search for places in a jiffy.

Other features include: 2 megapixel camera, micrSD slot, 256MB internal memory, infrared, Bluetooth with A2DP profile, Microsoft Direct push technology, Windows Media Player, and the new Windows 6.1 Mobile Professional OS.

Conclusion

Since I was able to get my hands on the Samsung i780, I can't help being biased towards the latter. However, since there's no word yet as to whether the Samsung i780 would hit the states, the Palm Treo 800w is a good alternative.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lightway OLED shutters


Sure, the Lightway OLED shutters is a little bit out there than your regular vinyl shutters but come on, who wouldn’t do a double take when they see this in your home. Talk about Retro! I could definitely see this OLED shutters in Austin Powers’ pad… “yeah, baby!” These OLED shutters were designed by Damian Savio, a 23 year old industrial design student. Savio used OLEDs and advance transparent Photovoltaic Nanoscale technology (whew, that’s a lot of syllables) to allow the sunlight in during day time while storing energy in the shutters’ solar cells to power it during night time.

So if you’re one whose room is filled with LED lights already, I’m sure you want these OLED shutters for your collection.

Via: Gizmodo

Xbox 360 gets triple storage

Microsoft has recently announced that come August, US and Canadian customers will get a chance to buy the Xbox 360 with 60GB hard disk for the same price as the original Xbox which is $349. Microsoft also announced that the original 20GB Xbox 360 will now be sold for $50 less or $299 until supplies last.

Well about time. For those still not satisfied with a 60GB space, then just go for the Xbox 360 Elite which has a 120GB hard drive though it would set you back around $449.

Friday, July 11, 2008

AntsSoft Flash Slide Show Builder

AntsSoft is a powerful Flash Slideshow Builder that can make your webpages or your MySpace pages more personal. AntsSoft allows you to transfer pictures easily, unlike some other software available in the market.

Flash slideshows usually require some background about flash programming but AntsSoft's software is easy to use and adding your pictures, including text, animation and sounds is as easy as drag and drop.

With AntsSoft's publishing options, you also have a powerful Web Design Software on your hands. You can choose to have your slide show be embedded on your web page through the wrapping HTML page or if you want to distribute it through email, you can choose to publish it as a stand alone Flash file or an EXE file.

You can download a free trial of the AntsSoft flash slide show builder and if you like what you see, you can buy it for $179.75 with 30 days money back guarantee.

New 2009 Acura TL


Acura has just announced that their all new 2009 Acura TL will debut this fall. The 2009 Acura TL sports a completely redesigned exterior and a luxurious interior plus it is available in two models: the Front Wheel Drive and an All-Wheel Drive.

Acura's press release of the 2009 Acura TL is pretty sparse, there's not even a mention of what's under the hood but rumors have been going around in some auto blogs that the Front Wheel drive model will sport a 3.5L V6 Engine with 280 horsepower while the All Wheel drive has a 3.7L V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower.

The Super Handling All Wheel Drive on the other hand, in order to distinguish it from the two lesser TL models, will have a quad-exhaust and 18 inch wheels. Watch out for the 2009 Acura TL this fall.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pay per click or Natural Search

Ever since I've moved to a new domain, I've been losing my search engine rankings. I usually get around 500-700 unique visits per day but for the past few weeks that has turned into 100-200 uniques. I know this was bound to happen since I've been doing my homework and one of the consequences of moving to a new domain is losing your search engine rankings.

There were some advertisers that have been emailing me to join their network and I was really tempted to do so in order to increase traffic but then, though pay per click (PPC) advertising is a good way to increase traffic, it's only recommended for sites that have something to sell. Honestly, THIS is a personal blog and I used to be not concerned with traffic but I don't think I can spend on traffic when all I do to earn income is Google Adsense and even that only nets me around $100 per month.

pay per click advertising is highly recommended for those who want to turn traffic into leads or sales. Pay per click advertising is very effective and will most of the time get you customers rather than from traffic from search engines. PPC is more targeted plus if you choose Google adwords as your PPC advertiser, you can get a LOT of traffic. Google is only like, THE most used search engine around and almost every site/blog has Google Adsense running on them.

But PPC combined with search engine optimization is the proven killer combo that can boost traffic to your site.

Kodak Easyshare M1093 IS


Kodak has a new digital camera in its line-up, the Kodak Easyshare M1093 IS. This digital camera will join Kodak's affordable M Series line.

The Kodak Easyshare M1093, though affordable, has a powerhouse of features including: 10 megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom, 3 inch LCD, smart capture, ability to shoot HD pictures and video and view them on your HDTV, image stabilization and blur reduction technology, face detection, and up to ISO 3200 capability.

The Kodak Easyshare M1093 will cost $199.95 and is due out in September 2008.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mosler MT900S


The Mosler MT900S is enough to make you drool just by looking at it. I mean, its red and white carbon fiber body is truly an eye candy for any car enthusiast. Underneath the Mosler MT900S' sleek interior is a 7.0-liter V8 engine with 550 horsepower which can propel the Mosler MT900S to 60 mph in three seconds. But according to autoblog.com, the Mosler MT900S is apparently not enough for one of its owners and he had to commission Nelson Racing Engines to build a twin-turbo 427ci V8 engine with up to 1800 horsepower on race fuel and around 1100 horsepower using 91 octane! That's a lot of horsepower and if he has money to build that kind of engine, he probably can afford the gas price that goes with it.

Now if only Advantage car rental has the Mosler MT900S on their fleet, they would probably get a LOT of customers though I doubt if you will ever see this on their 50% discount on Luxury and Convertible car rentals. Though someone should probably think of putting up a car rental business that has sports car for their fleet, imagine the car enthusiast customers that they would rake in---then again, imagine the premiums they would spend on insurance.

Via: Autoblog

Sony Ericsson C905 Price and Availability


I've previously blogged about the wonderful features of the Sony Ericsson C905 and I'm pretty excited about this phone. Apparently, it's only not me who's excited or eagerly awaiting for this release. Over at Howardforums.com, there's already a dedicated thread for the Sony Ericsson C905.

According to some people on the forums, the Sony Ericsson C905 will be priced like the K850i when it was first launched so that's around $700. I guess the price is pretty steep and some people are already searching for Sony Ericsson C905 deals.

I still haven't heard which carrier will bring the C905 on their line-up but based on network compatibility, it will probably be AT&T or T-Mobile. I do hope that some network providers will carry the Sony Ericsson C905 since the price will probably be lowered to around $400-500 if you buy it with a mobile phone contract.

Anyways, the Sony Ericsson C905 will be coming in the 4th Quarter of 2008 but since there's always a delay between the announced date and actual release date of Sony Ericsson phones, it's will probably be late December or early 2009.

Spy Sunglasses


If you're a budding spy--or peeping Tom, then what best gadget to have than this cool looking sunglasses with hidden camera. Not only does it have a Oakley-like style which of course, makes you look maybe a little bit closer to Tom Cruise but it is also equipped with a 1.3 megapixel motion camera. This Spy Sunglasses also has built-in earbuds so you can listen to music while doing---er, your business. The 1GB memory may not be enough for 1 hour of spying but I'm sure it's enough to catch someone red handed.

Hmm, I if I can have this fitted with prescription lens over at zennioptical.com. Spying isn't the same if you have blurry eyesight and contact lens isn't your thing. Of course, if you want a more retro design like the glasses pictured below, you might just want to look into making one yourself.


This spy sunglasses costs $99.99 at Thinkgeek.com

The Playful Toothbrush Game

Here’s a computer game that would probably help your child save on future trips to any cosmetic dentists or emergency dentist: a software game that would encourage your kids to brush their teeth. Playful Toothbrush is the product of scientists at Taiwan University and aims to help parents and dentists to get children to brush their teeth effectively.

The game is similar to games on the Nintendo Wii. LED modules are mounted on one end of the toothbrush and a web camera can on a bathroom mirror to track the movement. The information is then transmitted to a computer to create the game. The game play involves some colored teeth which then becomes white when the brush moves over the teeth.

Via: Dentistry.co.uk

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nikon Monarch ATB


Who says you can’t go high tech if you’re a bird watcher? The Nikon Monarch ATB is a state of the art binoculars which is a must have for avid bird watchers. The Nikon Monarch ATB has a rugged design so bird watchers can take it anywhere with them. It’s waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. The rubber-armor design gives you a good grip and a multi-coated lens for clear images. The Nikon Monarch ATB also has an extended eye relief and central focus for your viewing convenience, whether you’re bird watching or trying to be a peeping tom.

The Nikon Monarch ATB is on sale at opticsplanet for $289.95.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Asus B51: Tough Notebook for businessmen


For people who’re always on the go and don’t want the hassle of always having to worry about their laptops, Asus came up with the Asus B51 notebook. A rugged notebook that is designed and built to withstand any hazards that goes with always traveling with a laptop.

Design

The Asus B51 has a lightweight magnesium alloy chassis that safeguards the internal components of the laptop. Along with the rubber bumpers on the edges and protective film, the Asus B51 is safely buffered from any shock and scratches. According to Asus, the Asus B51 was drop tested to military specifications and can withstand drops from up to 75 cm.

Features

Other safety features on the Asus B51, aside from its ruggedized design is the B51’s hard drive which is floated on a sponge protection system. The Asus B51’s keyboard has a drainage path so that it can withstand spills up to 120cc.

Of course, the Asus B51 is more than safety features. It is equipped with the latest Intel Core 2 Duo technology and has the Mobile Intel GM965 Chipset, Intel Pro Wireless ABG/4965ABGN Network connection, DDR2 667MHz Ram expandable up to 4GB, Sata hard disk drive, optional 1.3 megapixel webcam, and optional Bluetooth 2.0.

Outlook

For those who are looking for durability as well as portability, the Asus B51 offers the best of both worlds.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tech Deals of the Week: Buy Dell XPS Get One 50% Off

Here's some useful Dell Coupons for you: If you buy one select XPS M1530 laptop or a XPS 420 desktop and if you decide to buy a second XPS system of equal or lesser value, you get the second one at 50% off! You have to use the coupon code: L1MKBBCJ89QND3 in order to avail of this promo. Be warned that this coupon will expire on July 10th so hurry over at Dell's.

And another Dell coupon that will expire on July 9th (so you might want to avail of this one first) is that you can get the Dell Studio laptop at only $899 using the coupon code: BG?J7DDHWN71B. These coupon codes are courtesy of 1-coupons.com

Other coupons you might want to be interested in over at 1-coupons are Circuit City Coupon Codes wherein you can get various deals from different manufacturers. You can avail of free shipping or various MP3, notebook, desktop, or digital camera deals.

I tried to look at their Best Buy Coupon Codes to see if they have anything to offer since I much prefer buying over at Best Buy, unfortunately, there are only a few deals on their Best Buy Page.

Of course, if you're not into gadgets this week, you can also visit their Bloomingdale's coupon codes page: http://www.1-coupons.com/coupons/bloomingdales.htm

Motozine ZN5


Looks like Motorola won't give up their no. 3 position to Sony Ericsson without a fight. Right on the heels of the introduction of Nokia's E71, Sony Ericsson's C905, and Samsung's Omnia, Motorola has announced their new camera phone in partnership with Kodak, the MotoZine ZN5.

The MotoZine ZN5 only has 5 megapixels camera, a far cry from Sony Ericsson's 8 megapixel shooter, the C905. What's cool about the MotoZine ZN5 is that it combines Motorola's mode shift technology (the one on the ROKR E8) with Kodak's Imaging technology.

Though there are many 5 megapixel camera phone on the market, the fact that it's Kodak's imaging technology on the MotoZine ZN5 would make this a promising camera phone. The back of the MotoZine ZN5 has a lens cover and when you slide it off, you can easily change to camera mode. Other camera features on the ZN5 aside from the 5 megapixel resolution is its Xenon Flash, auto focus, optional 4GB external memory, and optimum camera settings that can only be found using Kodak's imaging technology.

MotoZine ZN5 Features:

  • Display: 2.4” 240x320 262k TFT
  • Memory: 350MB available memory, optional removable 4GB memory card
  • Camera Options: KODAK 5-megapixel Camera, auto-focus, low light optimized with Xenon flash, Multi-shot mode, Capture and edit modes: panorama, grayscale, sepia, negative, reddish, greenish, blueish, Fixed optical zoom lens, Focal length: 5.56mm. Aperture: 2.8/5.6, Digital viewfinder
  • Sliding the lens cover
  • ModeShift technology
  • CrystalTalkTM technology for clear-sounding calls
  • SMS, MMS, IM, personal e-mail1
  • Full HTML open source browser
  • 3.5mm A/V jack, FM radio6, music player
  • Wi-Fi enabled/ WLAN: 802.11 b/g/i
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 11
  • Stereo Bluetooth wireless technology (A2DP)2
  • Video –C/P 15fps, MPEG4, H263
  • TV out3
  • Dimensions: 50.5mm (W) x 118mm (L) x 12mm (T) (16mm at bump)
  • Talk Time: up to 349 to 574 minutes5
  • Standby Time: up to 310 to 579 minutes5
  • Weight: 114g
  • Battery: 950 mAh
  • Bands/Modes: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12

Saturday, July 5, 2008

From the blogroll: Amana Jot Dry Erase Refrigerator


Okay, so how come not every home has this refrigerator? The Amana Jot Dry Erase Refrigerator is like a giant refrigerator whiteboard. If your kids have the habit of getting a permanent marker and writing on your refrigerator, it's probably a pain to remove (if ever you were able to remove it) so the Amana Jot Dry Erase Ref is probably the best refrigerator for you.

Though of course, some people claim that you can use dry-erase markers on any refrigerator so I don't know what's the point of naming one. I guess it's for people who don't want to take chances. You'll probably save a lot on refrigerator magnets and post-it notes.

Via: craziest gadgets

Friday, July 4, 2008

Host your Image or Not?

One dilemma I’ve been facing when putting images on my blog posts is whether to upload them directly to blogger or to link to them from other sites. Some of the traffic I’ve been getting is from Google Image Search so I want to optimize my images. Now the big question is whether hosting your own image or not would affect whether you show up on Google Image search.

Frankly, I thought the answer would naturally be the first. If you don’t host your image, Google will of course index the site that hosts the original image but from my observation, most of the image traffic I’ve been getting are from images which are not hosted on my blog. I guess the key is to put a descriptive word on the “alt” tags or at least a very descriptive image file name.

I’ve read somewhere that when you link to an image on another site, you will get indexed faster though I can’t really be that sure. Anyways, if you’re concerned about the bandwidth then it’s best just to link to the image on another site, otherwise, just host the images which you think are searched more.

And if you're thinking of upgrading to a hosting company that offers more bandwidth for less price, check out webhostinggeeks reviews of different hosting companies.

Sony PS3 Updates locks consoles

If your thinking of updating your PS3, better hold your horses. According to news reports, users were reporting that their PS3 consoles turned into paperweights after updating their firmware. Sony has immediately stopped all downloads of the version 2.4 firmware so if you've gotten your firmware from other sources, better wait a while until Sony clarifies and addresses the issues.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Safest Way to Back-up Files

Let's face it, when it comes to your important files and documents, you can never have too many back-ups. If fate is against you, chances are even if you have backed-up your files on two different hard drives, it can still get corrupted. So what's the safest way to back-up your files? Well, the safest bet is to have three back-ups, all on different media. In the old days, it used to be three backups on three different floppy disks but floppy disks are unreliable and could easily fail. Now there are a lot of media options for you to back-up your files.

In my case I have three back-up media: CD/DVD rom, flash disk drive, and online backup. Since these are three different media, there's less risk that all three will fail at the same time. I've included online backup because well, let's face it, you don't have to carry any media around and you can access it anywhere where there's an internet connection. Plus, online backup services also backs-up your back-up files in order to protect themselves from any liability.

You can include your preferred media or mix it up. There's Blu-ray disks, memory cards and portable hard drives. If you're the obsessive compulsive type, you can go overboard and backup your files on every available media there is. SO go crazy and backup your data now.

1UP Mushroom


Those generation x people who grew up trying to finish Super Mario Brothers 1 on their family computers will be familiar with this collectible: the 1UP Mushroom. The 1UP Mushroom is a licensed Nintendo collectible and stands about 6 inch high.

You can actually create an illusion that a mushroom has grown. You just get ordinary garden soil, push the mushroom down on soil and fool your officemates, family or friends (if they're all a bunch of 6 year olds) into thinking you've actually grown an actual 1up mushroom.

The 1up mushroom costs $9.99 at ThinkGeek.com.

Pimpstar LED Rims


Nice. Talk about REALLY pimping your ride. Apparently plain custom rims isn't enough anymore, you have to pump it up with more technology in order to really make people's head turn when you pass by. Pimpstar has come up with LED rims. Yes, LED!

Now this is the ultimate in cool. The Tires consists of colorful LED lights, microprocessor, and wireless modem so you can display virtually any IMAGE! YES! Any image! Be it a picture of your mom, girlfriend, favorite candidate (in case you've taken it upon yourself to campaign for them), favorite logo, etc. The possibilities are endless.

The software allows you to send the images individually so you have different images for all four tires or just one image for all four. The great thing is that you can even change image as you drive! Think about hitting on the girl in the porch at a traffic light with these babies. Ooohh, any guy could be a girl magnet. The Pimpstar LED lights even allow you to preload up to 6 images so they can change automatically at our chosen time intervals. These Rims don't run on batteries but makes use of your car electrical system so as long as your car is running, these babies are too.

Really, you can't get your car much more pimped up than this. Be sure you have a handy tyre fitting equipment when you install the Pimpstar LED Rims.

SunBlazer Holster for Mobile Phones

I know environmentalists hate gadget fanatics because we add to the non-biodegradable trash already polluting our world every time we throw out our old gadgets and the fact that we use so much energy that we're probably the reason why there's an ongoing oil crisis.

Well, the SunBlazer will probably cater to environmentalist's taste buds. The SunBlizer is a solar charger for your mobile phone in the form of a wearable holster. Though not really a charger but more of a backup battery that helps power up your mobile phone since the SunBlazer utilizes the sun to maintain your phone's battery at peak charge.

There's no word as to when the company is planning to release the SunBlazer and for how much. The SunBlazer is made by Pricelister's subsidiary, Genesis Electronics. Incidentally, the SunBlazer is the first consumer electronics product made by Genesis Electronics.

Ricoh Aficio SP C420DN


The Ricoh Aficio SP C420DN is the latest color laser printer from Ricoh designed for business users. The Ricoh SP C420DN gives users high productivity printing with low consumption rates.

According to Ricoh, The Ricoh SP C420DN will be able to print color or black and white images at 31 pages per minute and can churn out documents at a high resolution of 1200 x 1200 dots per inch. First print time for colored pages is around 15 seconds while it’s only ten seconds for black and white prints. The Ricoh SP C420DN is also equipped with PictBridge so users who want to print their pictures just needs to connect their PictBridge compatible digital camera or mobile phones.

The Ricoh SP C420DN is one productivity power horse. It has a high paper capacity and can hold up to 2,300 sheets and paper weight up to 57 pounds. The Ricoh SP C420DN can also handle a variety of paper sizes including 8.5 x 14 inches and banner sizes up to 8.5” x 35”. This makes the Ricoh SP C420DN perfect for printing return address labels, envelopes, cards, etc. Though I suggest rather than shelling out a huge amount of money on laser printers just to print out labels, if your printing jobs only involves printing any of the above, then you can probably save more by using online printing services like VistaPrint.

Online Home Plans


If you’re one of those not affected by the Real Estate crisis and you’re planning on already building your home, you might want to save yourself the time of going to the store and buying an architectural magazine to search for House Plans because you can actually do that online.

Before I was a gadget freak, I had this frustration of becoming an architect so I always buy architectural digests and some magazines of different Home Plans since I really just like to browse and search for maybe my dream home. So it came as a surprise for me that even though I’ve been a web addict for some years now, I’ve only discovered that one of my favorite past times (looking at home plans) can actually be done online. I was actually browsing the Log home plans since I am thinking of building some sort of rest house.

Anyways, back to the site, www.HousePlansAndMore.com makes planning your dream home very easy. You can look for your dream home through the architectural design category or if you don’t have a specific style in mind, you can make use of their basic search which lets you search for plans based on square feet or number of bedrooms, etc. Other helpful online tools available on the site are a cost estimator software and a residential estimating software. Once you’ve chosen your dream home, you can order the blueprints online and even they even have a CAD package.

Anyways, this is definitely one useful site.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cool Gadget Clocks


Here's something that you don't want in your bedroom so you better make this a mantel clock, the Tyrant Alarm Clock. This is a concept clock by Alice Wang and instead of blasting off loud sounds to wake you, it hijacks your contacts on your mobile phone and randomly calls someone. It does the calls every three minutes so I guess you're forced to get out of your bed lest you want to call your mom so early in the morning. Nice Concept.

For those of you who want something a little more traditional, say grandfather clocks traditional, how about just a slice of a grandfather clock? Really, it's just a SLICE. This slice of a grandfather clocks is perfect for those still caught between going traditional or modern in terms or designing their room.

Sony HDR-CX11E


The Sony HDR-CX11E is Sony's latest full HD Camcorder.With the advances in digital cameras such as smile shutter and face detection, camcorders need to keep up and Sony did just that with the Sony HDR-CX11E.

The Sony HDR-CX11E is a small, compact camera that features Full HD (AVCHD) recording on a memory stick. The HDR-CX11E has a large, 2.7 inch widescreen LCD touch panel which has a high contrast ratio that enables you to use the LCD even in direct sunlight.

The latest features on the Sony HDR-CX11E is the smile shutter and face detection technology when you capture still images at 7.6 mega pixel resolution though it has the ability to capture still images up to 10.2 megapixel. The dual capture mode on the HDR-CX11E allows users to capture still images even when you're on the movie recording mode. The Sony HDR-CX11E is equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T lens with 12x optical zoom.

The ClearVid CMOS sensor on the Sony HDR-CX11E allows users to capture low noise HD videos plus a zoom microphone allows you to capture 5.1 channel surround sound audio with less background noise.

The Sony Handycam HDR-CX11E has been announced and will be made available in Europe on August this year. No word as to when it will be released in the US.

Sony HDR-CX11E Features at a Glance:

  • 1920x1080 Full HD recording on Memory Stick
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens
  • ClearVid CMOS Sensor
  • Smile Shutter and Face Detection
  • 12x Optical Zoom and 150x Digital Zoom
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation
  • x.v.Colour
  • 10.2 effective megapixel Still Image Recording
  • 5.1ch Surround Recording with zoom microphone
  • 2.7-inch Wide, Clear Photo LCD plus screen
  • STAMINA up to 7 hours (with optional battery)

HP Pavilion dv6700t Review

HP dv6700t Special Edition Notebook
The HP Pavilion dv6700t is the latest 15 incher laptop from HP. Because of its screen size and weight, the HP Pavilion dv6700t is not geared for those looking for a mobile companion but more of a desktop replacement.

Design

The HP dv6700t has a more solid built and the large 15.4 inch Brightview display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution that makes it great for watching Blu-ray on the go, that is, if you opt for the Blu-ray drive. I forgot to mention that the HP dv6700t Special Edition Notebook PC is highly customizable and starts at $699.99 with their base configuration. The dv6700t weighs around 6 pounds so it would be hard lugging this thing around.

Features

Aside from its large screen, you can customize the HP dv6700t Special Edition notebook to suit your needs. You can opt for the Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 2.0 GHz processor if you want to keep things simple or you can go as high up as the Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5 GHz processor if you want more out of the dv6700t. Other configurable options includes the memory which can be upgraded up to 4GB DDR2, the graphics card which is a choice between the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 or the 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS, network cards, hard disk drive, and a standard DVD writer or Blu-ray ROM.

I highly recommend going with the NVIDIA graphics card if you’re going to get the Blu-ray drive in order to maximize and squeeze the portable HD media center of the HP dv6700t. However, if you already have an HDTV in your home, just hook up the dv6700t via HDMI since the screen doesn’t do much justice for Blu-ray movies.

Performance wise, the HP dv6700t delivers fast processing power and good audio quality thanks to the built-in Altec Lansing Speakers. However, the dv6700t can get pretty hot when it’s been used for prolonged periods so I suggest buying a portable notebook cooler. Another advantage of the HP dv6700t Special Edition Notebook over other 15 inch notebooks is the expansion slot on the side. Other notebooks don’t offer much expansion slots so if you’re a USB freak, you can still upgrade the 3 USB ports on the notebook.

Conclusion

The HP dv6700t is another winner from HP. Not only does it have the option for a Blu-ray drive, it also has a built-in HDMI which you can rarely see on a $699.99 notebook. Plus, you can chop off $150 off on the price plus free shipping if you find the right HP online coupons.

Nokia HS-67WL


Nokia has recently announced a mobile phone accessory that would specifically cater to those mobile phone users with hearing problems. The Nokia Wireless Loopset is geared towards people with a T-coil equipped hearing aid or a cochlear implant, giving them unparalleled audio quality and hands-free operation of their mobile phones or other Bluetooth enabled devices.

The Nokia Wireless Loopset can filter out background noise which could increase the distortion level of speech over the phone and is capable of producing excellent audio quality even in noisy environments. The Nokia Loopset is expected to be available early next year for around 200 Euros.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Apple Patents Lifestyle Companion for the iPhone

Looks like Apple is bent to keep you off those weight loss products, meal programs, shakes and diet plans and just concentrate on using your iPhone. Engadget has pictures of Apple's patent applications, six to be exact, to turn the Apple iPhone or the iPod Touch into a Lifestyle companion.

The iPhone and iPod Touch has built-in accelerometer and Sony Ericsson and others already have some applications running on their phones with accelerometer such as a built-in pedometer that would appeal to those who frequent the gym. Some of the applications seen would help suggest workouts and diet plans but of course, since the iPhone is already open to third party applications, I can't see why even if Apple doesn't decide to go through with this, other developers can't. There's also one application that would let you make use of the iPhone's camera to scan bar codes on products, in case you're into calorie counting. Of course, weight-watchers already have their weigh watcher's on the go to help them with their calorie counting.

How to Save on Your Upgrades

Yep, technology is ever changing and if you're an upgrade addict like me, chances are, you probably have a lot of your old gadgets and PCs lying around. However, even though you're an upgrade addict, you don't necessarily have to spend most of your salary on upgrades. Selling your old stuff instead of letting it gather dust on the sidelines could chop off the amount of cash you need to let go of when buying a new gadget.

You might think that no one would want your old junk, well, think again. Not everyone is an upgrade hog like us. In fact, other people would scour eBay and other classified ads for used gadgets that upgrade hogs like us throw out. The key is to find a lot of computer classifieds and list your old PC or gadgets. The more classified ads you post, the better chances there is that someone would notice it.

Used Apple Computers sell more because most PC users who wants to try out Macs would opt for used products to get themselves familiar that way, if they don't like it they won't kick themselves in the a** for spending a lot of money on something they wouldn't be able to use.

So if you're thinking of upgrading soon, just polish up your old gadget, take out your digital camera and start listing.

Shoprider Flagship 4 Wheel Scooter



Wow, if I were filthy rich I'd definitely go buy myself one of those mobility scooters like this Shoprider Flagship. Who needs Segway? Those are old school and besides, you ride it standing up so your precious little feet still get tired. With the Shoprider Flagship, you get to rest your legs plus you're also enclosed safely so no need for safety helmets. Price is outrageous though at $6,999.







SPECIFICATIONS:

Weight Capacity: 350 lb
Overall Length: 63"
Overall Width: 29"
Seat Depth: 18.5"
Seat Width: 22"
Per-Charge Range, Maximum: 50 mi
Maximum Speed: 7 mph
Turning Radius: 70"
Weight, without batteries: 214 lb
Weight, with batteries: 328 lb
Heaviest Piece Weight: 328 lb
Disassembly: None
Front Wheel Diameter: 12"
Rear Wheel Diameter: 12"
Tire Type: Pneumatic
Motor Type: 24V DC, 2 Horsepower
Battery Type: (2) 12 Volt, 75 Amp
Battery Weight: 114 lb
Battery Charger: Off-board
Goes In Reverse: Yes
Freewheel Mode: Yes

JBL Radial Micro Speaker Review


Out of all the variety of iPod speakers on the market, the JBL Radial series has one of the most stunning designs. The JBL Radial Micro Speaker is very portable and would be very perfect for small spaces like your office or a small apartment. The circular design is almost guaranteed to blend well with any d├ęcor.

Features

The JBL Radial Micro has a universal iPod dock adapter so it’s compatible with most versions of the iPod including the iPod Touch. A stereo mini jack is also included for compatibility with other devices such as MP3 Players, laptops, etc. The JBL Radial Micro has an included remote that gives you full access to the iPod. However, I wish JBL would let users access this device without the remote. There’s no volume controls on the unit itself so better keep your remote chained up.

As for the sound quality, I have to say that it’s superb. Though not as powerful as its big brother, the JBL Radial Micro still delivers a pleasing treble range and midrange quality. Since the JBL Radial Micro is primarily designed for a small room, don’t expect to use this for parties as the sound gets a bit distorted when the volume is fully turned up.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for iPod speakers for your bedroom or small office space, I highly recommend the JBL Radial Micro Speakers. For its aesthetics and sound quality alone, it’s definitely worth £ 99.99.

Garmin Nuvi 880 Review


I had the chance to play with the Garmin Nuvi 880 during our recent trip to Wildwood, New Jersey. I have to say this is one drool worthy gadget.

Design

The Garmin Nuvi 880 is a sleek, thin and portable GPS. It only weighs 6.2 oz and is only .7 inch thin. Very easy to transfer it from one vehicle to another. You also get a pure, unadulterated 4.3 inch touch screen. What I mean by unadulterated is that there's no buttons on the front. The touch screen itself is responsive and the interface is user friendly.

Features

The Garmin Nuvi 880 comes with the City Navigator NT maps. We were trying to figure out some things to do in New Jersey and it's a good thing that the maps have a lot of points of Interests and we easily found some Wildwood hotels. Since my friend's Garmin Nuvi 880 is only a month old, we were able to make use of the free 3 month MSN Direct services so we got up to date traffic updates and local movie schedules.

Another cool feature on the Garmin Nuvi 880 is its speech recognition software. Now I rarely use speech recognition on any gadgets because they always turn out like crap and besides, I have an accent so 3 out of 10 times, the software usually doesn't recognize what I'm saying. However, I was farely impressed with the speech recognition on the Garmin Nuvi 880. My friends and I had fun taking turns shouting at the Garmin Nuvi 880.

As for the GPS antennae on this device, it's pretty fast and accurate and takes only a few seconds to lock on our position. As for the route calculation, I can't really say if it's accurate or not since we were threading on an unfamiliar territory so we had no way of knowing if we really are taking the shortest way to our destination.

Conclusion

Though I love to get my hands on the Garmin Nuvi 880, at $999.99 it's still pretty expensive for me specially for a GPS. But I guess quality does come at a price because the Nuvi 880's performance is excellent--at least on my book.