NEC has busted out with what they are calling the world’s thinnest camera flip phone - the L1. It certainly is compact, measuring just 47.9mm X 101.5mm X 11.9mm (folded) and weighing in at 96g. The phone supports GSM/GPRS and touts a 1.9-inch 65k color display along with a 1.3 megapixel digital camera (which can also record up to 2 minutes of video.) The NEC L1 is also feature-rich, supporting MP3 playback, polyphonic ringtones, PictBridge, Java, and Bluetooth. It is now being introduced in Hong Kong, followed by Italy, Russia, Australia and China.
Read More | 3G
The Author’s Guild, a group of over 8,000 authors, has accused Google of “massive copyright infringement,” claiming that the search engine takes the works of the authors which have been licensed to particular public and university libraries and puts them in the public domain, therefore violating their copyrights. The New York-based non-profit organization says in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan that, “By reproducing for itself a copy of those works that are not in the public domain, Google is engaging in massive copyright infringement. It has infringed, and continues to infringe, the electronic rights of the copyright holders of those works,”. So what’s Google’s response? “We regret that this group has chosen litigation to try to stop a program that will make books and the information within them more discoverable to the world,” the company said in a statement. Google also claims that authors and/or publishers can exclude their books if they don’t want their works included in the index.
Read More | USA Today
Taking all the fun out of those summer barbeque’s (but hey, summer’s over any, right?), the Corn Cob Cutter is available from Miles Kimball. Simply put, it’s an easy way to get the corn kernels off of the cob. The vinyl unit features a circular blade that should perfectly shave the corn away. Heck, you can even adjust the diameter of the thing. Baby corn anyone? Grab it for $2.49.
Read More | Miles Kimball
Google confirmed Tuesday that it has begun a limited test of Google WiFi, it’s free wireless Internet service. A spokesman for Google, Nate Tyler, says the test is limited to a pizza parlor and a gym, both located in Silicon Valley. “Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters,” Tyler said, “At this stage in development, we’re focused on collecting feedback from users. We’ll determine next steps as the product evolves.” Tyler also explained that the Google WiFi was created through the “20 percent time project” in which Google allows its engineers to spend 20% of their work time creating personal projects.
Read More | Reuters
Apple just released iTunes 5.0.1 into the wild:
iTunes 5 features a new even more powerful instant search, including the new Search Bar which helps you find exactly what you are looking for in iTunes or from among 2 million songs on the Music Store, folders for organizing playlists, and new Parental Controls for music, music sharing and podcasts. iTunes 5.0.1 features several stability improvements over iTunes 5.
Those stability problems mentioned include disappearing music and random crashes. Here’s to hoping all that is taken care of. Mac users, check Software Update for the download.
Read More | iTunes
Got a stuck pixel on your PSP? If so, this program just might be the solution to your woes. According to a thread at PSP-Vault, running a video that flashes red, green, and blue over and over again can fix the stuck pixels by causing them to make rapid changes repeatedly. It has worked for about 60% of the people that have tried it, so if you’re willing, give it a shot…what do you have to lose?
Is it possible to transcribe what others are typing simply by the listening to the noise their keystrokes make? According to Doug Tygar of the University of California, Berkeley, the answer is yes. Tygar and his colleagues recorded 10 minutes worth of typing and were able to figure out what was being typed just by the sound. Each keystroke has a different sound, which enabled researchers to create a computer program that decodes the sound. “Using statistical learning theory, the computer can categorize the sound of each key as it’s struck and develop a good first guess with an accuracy of 60 percent for characters, and 20 percent for words,” explains team member Li Zhuang also of U.C. Berkeley. “We then use spelling and grammar check to refine the result, which increased the accuracy to 70 percent and the word accuracy to 50 percent.”
Read More | Scientific American
According to a report, Cambridge Silicon Radio has approached Apple with the idea of installing their wireless Bluetooth microchips in iPods to come. If Apple were to incorporate this idea into its popular iPod line, it would mean that users would be able to listen to thier music via wireless headphones and also have the ability to sync wirelessly with your computer. One analyst even estimates that consumers could have their hands on a wireless iPod as early as fall 2006. So what do you think? Is wireless the way to go, or do enjoy being “tied down” to your iPod?
Read More | AppleInsider
Designed to withstand a child’s tantrums, Kidz Gear promises not to withhold sound quality with these headphones. The headphones are also sized appropriately for little ones, and at only 19.99, I don’t see how any parent could resist getting these for their car riding, video gaming, DVD watching toddler. Unless, of course, you like getting your $200 Sennheiser ‘phones covered in applesauce.
Read More | Gearz For Kids
Late last night Apple unleashed a slew of new features and improvements to their .Mac subscription service, including:
.Mac Groups: .Mac members can now easily create private, ad-free online communities that make it easy for family, friends and private groups to communicate, coordinate and share digital media. With .Mac Groups, members can send emails to the entire group using a single address; post files, pictures and movies with a common group iDisk; publish group web pages and post links to other sites; and keep up-to-date with the latest group events with a shared iCal calendar.
Backup 3: .Mac Backup has been redesigned from the ground up resulting in easier setup, quicker backups and the ability to seamlessly automate the process so users don’t have to remember to run a backup. New features include the ability to automatically back up iLife content, Home folder, iTunes purchased music, and other Mac essentials. Built-in Mac OS X “Tiger” Spotlight search capabilities make it easy to select specific files to backup, while incremental backups help to save time and media costs.
Increased Online Storage: .Mac members now have four times more online storage space than before to host their email messages, documents and digital media files. Storage for individual members has increased to 1GB of combined email and iDisk space, .Mac Family Pack customers now receive 2GB of combined storage. Members can utilize their storage any way they choose dedicating more or less storage space to email or their iDisk. Individuals or Family Pack members can optionally purchase an additional 1GB of storage for US$49.95 annually.
French and German Localization: In addition to English and Japanese, localized versions of the .Mac website are now available in French and German.
I will be diving into the .Mac groups later today, but I must say that for now, I am most excited about the storage increase to 1 GB from a measly 250 MB. Good job, Apple.
Read More | .Mac
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