On Gear Live: Western Digital Blue SSD review: A solid SSD

HOOAH! Bars

The U.S. military needed a performance nutrition bar for the toughest customer in the world - the American soldier. Since they surmised that Power Bars were for sissies, they created the HOOAH! bar. The HOOAH! bar’s mission: to “improve the physical and mental performance of soldiers during sustained operations and under all climatic conditions.” I know a few people in the Army, and they actually do say that these things work. Who am I to argue with military personnel? The bars have already hit 7-11 and Amazon.

Read More | HOOAH! Bar Product Page


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MacWorld Boston Hello from Boston, MA!  Even though MacWorld Expo doesn’t start until tomorrow, I’ve already begun writing — and after a day like yesterday, who wouldn’t?!  Enjoy the many adventures it took to get to Boston, because I’m sure it’s a lot more funny if you’re not the one who has to be there.

As it Happened: 09 July 2005 : 8:30am

  1. I was almost late to my flight.  a) Erik, my roommate, was going to drive me at 6:15am for a 8:30am flight since a co-worker was coming in early to cover his shift. b) The co-worker didn’t show up until nearly 7am, at which point I realized that I had I lost my tickets and itinerary, and my hotel reservations.  I found them in my fuzzy slipper under the bed.
  2. When I did get there, I was psyched to volunteer for a later flight (woo!  free tickets! ...or so i thought).  If only it were that easy.  The ones who got there and volunteered first were the lucky ones.
  3. They’d already taken all the volunteers they wanted.  Which left me disaffected…. but then….
  4. That’s when i saw that it was some sort of child-ferrying extravaganza - there are literally more children than adults on this flight.  Jesus.
  5. The FAA requires that all placards and signs be intact and apparently my school bus of the Sky has a rip on one of the wing labels.  We’re sitting on the runway while someone goes and gets a spare.
  6. I forgot to charge my PowerBook.  Dammit.  I only 1/3 of a charge on it.
  7. WTF is taking so long about putting on this damn sticker?  Is our wing falling off?  Christ, just peel and stick, people!
  8. The pilot ACTUALLY JUST SAID “Now that we have a shiny new sticker on the wing, so we’re definitely good to go.”
  9. During the time between “good to go” and actually beginning the taxi, I was able to listen to the following songs on my iPod: Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz The Orthodox Pleasure - Information Society Megalomaniac - KMFDM (I should note here that “Megalomaniac” is a 7.5 minute long song) Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana Strength - Information Society  
  10. Between starting the taxi and becoming airborne, I additionally enjoyed: Shake The Disease - Depeche Mode (another 7-8min song) Private Life - Oingo Boingo Tainted Love - Marilyn Manson (it’s another cover from my boy, Manson…) Move Your Body - Eiffel 65
  11. The flight thereafter was somewhat uneventful, the high points were drinking a sprite, reading about AlaskaAir’s new in-flight media units you can rent (total article about these coming), and taking a picture of Mt Rainier at 10,000’ into our ascent to cruising altitude.
  12. I finished an entire crossword puzzle in the Alaska Inflight Magazine (hard questions, too!) in less than two hours.
  13. I will never again travel without an iPod.  Ever.  I don’t know how I lived without one of these!  Dammmmmn!
  14. I wrote all this on the back of my travel itinerary prior to putting it in my PowerBook, because I’m a retard and didn’t bring any paper.  DUR.
  15. I’m almost out of batteries (although 2 hours on 1/3 of a charge is DAMN IMPRESSIVE), so I’m going to listen to Information Society and read “Red Mars” by Kim Stanley Robinson, which Ian kindly lent me for the trip.

In Flight Funnies:  09 July 2005 11am

  • I totally listened to “Narcotic Influence” by Empirion (off the “Hackers” soundtrack) during the pre-flight safety presentation (and then got witty and changed it to Duran Duran’s “Safety Dance”).  Definitely made it more amusing.
  • I spent the first hour of the flight wearing my iPod headphones in the wrong ears (right on left, left on right) all the while wondering why I couldn’t hear it very well and why my headphones were suddenly making my ears uncomfy. 
  • The pilot seems to fancy himself a comedian, since he’s had some brilliant one-liners over the PA, such as “We’ve reached our laid back cruisin’ altitude of 35,000’.”  “We’ve just passed over Spokane on our way out of WA… but it’s more like we left it in the dust” and, I swear to god, “Now that we’ve breezed over Idaho, we can begin our MAGICAL JOURNEY across the FASCINATING mid-western United States!”

Over and out!


DescriptionIntel just announced an interesting use for its aging Itanium line: throw four dual core Itanium chips on a PCI Express card and enable an API for certain types of multimedia or scientific applications to take advantage of them. By simply adding the card (and we are sure a significant power supply and cooling system as well) to a box you gain an extra 45 Gigaflops of processing power. While software would need to be specifically written to take advantage of the card, certain types of applications would certainly benefit from them. I can see scientific research being the primary one (SETI@home or Folding@Home), but I can see next generation games getting ported to a system like this if they can make it cheap enough for a true gaming fan to afford it.

Read More | RealTechNews


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Creative EP-480 Earbuds

The new EP-480 headphones are the latest release from Creative.  Like many other of Creative’s offerings, they’re available in different colors: purple, navy, gray, light blue, lime, orange, red, pink, white, and black to be exact.  They’ll only be available in Europe for now, but I’m sure they’ll hit the U.S. soon enough.  Perfect for those of you who’ve been wanting your headphones to match your Zen Micro, or those who just like to add a little color here or there.

Specifications:

  • Driver Units: 15mm rare earth magnet transducer
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 112dB
  • Cord Length: 1.2m
  • Input Plug: 3.5mm stereo miniplug
  • Net Weight: 15g (without packaging)

Read More | engadget


Car Radio 300We’ve reported on many gadgets that allow you to play your MP3’s through your car stereo, but now there’s a car stereo that allows you to plug in either a USB memory stick or SD card directly into the stereo itself, cutting out the need for any adapters.  The stereo will also play CD’s and CD-R’s, meaning pretty much all your musical media will be accommodated.  It’s only available in the U.K. right now, retailing for about £150 (approx. $260 USD), but I’d expect to see other companies follow in these steps sometime soon. 

Read More | Dr. Gadget


Longhorn BetaMicrosoft has been sending out invatiations to all their beta testers and WinHEC participants.  What’s the occasion you ask?  It’s the Windows Code Name Longhorn beta program, and Microsoft has even rolled out a new beta client to replace WindowsBeta and BetaPlace.  The new OS isn’t avaliable for anyone to download though…apparently the preliminary invitation codes will be unique per user.  If you’re anxious to get your hands on the latest platform from Windows don’t worry, Microsoft should be allowing the public to apply for the beta program later on this summer, and Longhorn will also be apart of the Community Technology Preview program.

Read More | Slashdot


ScribeI can’t tell you how many times I have been in the midst of a quick blog entry or post on a forum, only to discover that my session had timed out. For me, I can honestly say this is one of the most frustrating occurrences that can happen on the Internet. Enter Scribe. This is an excellent Firefox extension which ads quick save functions to web forms. This means you can save any web form text you are currently filling out – including blog entries and forum posts. It even supports the CTRL – S command keys so you don’t have to take your hands off that keyboard. Go ahead and give it a download and ponder how you ever managed without it.

Read More | Scribe Homepage


Crazy JThis is a pretty awesome project involving some electronics and a musical instrument. The guitar player is composed of two mechanical systems that interact to play a range of 29 musical notes.  A plucking mechanism with six independently controlled picks is mounted over the body of the guitar and a fingering mechanism with an array of 23 fingertips is mounted over the first four frets of the fingerboard.

Read More | Crazy J Guitar Playing Machine


PacmanOne of the most popular features of Apple’s latest OS release, Tiger, is Dashboard. Basically it runs JavaScript on a separate and dedicated desktop, and it turns out you can even run games on it. What better game to experience this than one of the greatest games ever to hit the arcades? Someone has actually created a Pac-Man dashboard widget.  Unfortunately, Namco has told the creator to stop the production and distribution of the file, but we have your hook up courtesy of MacUpdate.com. Get it while you can as this download link might not stay alive much longer.

Read More | Pacman For Dashboard


Archive.org Some day our kids will look back on the Internet as something primitive. Heck, if something has a museum dedicated to it, then it’s no longer cutting edge, right? In 1996, a group of people in San Francisco decide to start the most extensive Internet library.  Internet Archive is just that: an Internet archive that continuously records website information. What’s the purpose? Well, future generations will be able to benefit from sites that are long gone through their archives - a lot like how we can read books that are far out of print.  While this is a fantastic humanitarian effort on its own, you must try their “Wayback Machine.” Indeed, it takes you way back.  Be careful, it’s highly addictive.

Read More | Internet Archive

Read More | Gear Live - through the Wayback Machine


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