In what will probably come as a horrific turn of events for 17-year-old Welsh girls, police in South Wales have implemented a monumental raise in the fine associated with text messaging while operating a motor vehicle. The new ticket will cost £1000 ($1815 USD) rather than £30 ($55 USD). Additionally, six demerit points will be added to the offending driver’s record, which will take a noticeable toll on insurance rates. With gas running over $5 a gallon in the UK, driving the high-tech lifestyle may just have gotten too expensive in South Wales.
Read More | TheNewspaper.com
For everyone holding their breath for a Rhapsody-type subscription service from Apple: stop before you pass out. According to information from two music executives received by BusinessWeek Online, Apple has no plans to enter the subscription-based service arena any time soon. The major factor in Apple sticking to its by-the-song download system in iTunes is its market dominance – iTunes is making huge profits from its 500 million+ song downloads, comparatively crushing the 2 or 3 million subscribers to Real’s Rhapsody or Napster’s services. The only thing that looks like it could change Apple’s mind would be true financial competition from one of these services, a factor that is still far off.
Read More | BusinessWeek Online
Recently we had the opportunity to review the Tom Bihn Monolith and Brain Bag. Today we are proud to present our thorough review and impressions of the Brain Bag - Tom Bihn’s carry all rough and tumble backpack. When you need to haul your your stuff in style, the Brain Bag is your friend. Check out after the jump for the full review.
The funky touch driven iRiver U10 keeps throwing cool features our way. It looks like the diminutive Korean player will support both landscape and portrait use - which makes sense given it’s unusual interface. The U10 is controlled by pushing the screen edges in the direction that the menu interface indicates for a desired action, and a UI like that is easy to rotate. The U10 features a 2.2” 320x240 screen, FM radio, and support for MPEG4 video including DivX and Xvid. With a 20 hour battery life - presumably for audio, video would of course drain the batteries quicker - this little device looks like it might be a solid competitor to the iPod mini. The U10 will feature support for Macromedia Flash Lite 1.1, thus enabling a wide variety of games and other entertainment to be ported to the U10 - an attractive feature for developers. While a 1 GB and 2 GB unit have been announced, it’s only a matter of time before the microdrive gets upgraded and we see an 8 GB version methinks. I’m expecting that this will be a popular gadget when it hits American shores - Gear Live will be certain to snap one up for a review.
Read More | DAPreview
With a lot of people wondering when PIM software for the PSP will be available, one creative guy by the name of Matan just might have a solution for you: Windows 95. He has successfully ported the Bochs emulator over to the PSP and has been able to run Windows 95 from a large Memory Stick Duo. While this emulation is slow, taking nearly 10 minutes to boot, it does provide full Windows 95 functionality. The directional pad and keys act as a mouse and you can use an on screen keyboard. The folks over at PSPLinux are shooting for native support so that should be faster, but they don’t have a working version yet. For all your PSP computing needs in the meanwhile, it looks like ghetto tech like Windows 95 is your friend.
Read More | PSP Bochs
Gear Live has reviewed bags made by the Washington State based Tom Bihn, and we have been quite impressed by them. We recently had the opportunity got to check out two more of their bags - the Monolith and the Brain Bag. The review is being done as a two part series and this first part is focusing on the laptop toting Monolith - a great solution for todays widescreen laptops. For a through review of the Monolith and our impressions over the last two weeks, read on.
Gotta love the oldie-but-goodies. Check out the Powerpizza. Simply put, it’s a pizza box which has a couple of layers of foam in it, making it ideal to use as a laptop carrier. Obviously, not as good as a high-quality solution of course, but still - I am sure there are a lot more laptop bag thefts than pizza box thefts going on in the world. Well, maybe. Score yours for about $16 USD.
Read More | Powerpizza Product Page
When was the last time that you have been involved in a phone conversation where you wondered if the person you were speaking with was truly paying attention? If you have spoken to me on the phone anytime recently, then I know you have felt that feeling. The “Jerk-O-Meter” is exactly the device that people like me want to keep on the down low. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are at work developing software for cell phones that would analyze speech patterns along with voice tones to rate how engaged people are in a conversation. Time to brush up on your listening skills.
Oh, happy day. The uber-expensive Nokia N90 cell phone is finally shipping after a few delays due to Nokia wanting to get this one “just right”. This one is a high quality clamshell smartphone featuring Carl Zeiss optics along with a very noticeable swivel display which gives it an almost camcorder-like feel. The phone supports 3G and Bluetooth 2.0 as well. Also not to be missed is its 262,000 color high resolution screen, as well as exterior 65,000 128x128 display. No carrier has picked this one up yet, so if you want it, expect to pay around $700. Yowza.
Read More |InfoSync
A new design for automated doors revealed on Japanese websites this week show a complicated system of sliding strips that open just far enough for the individual person passing through the door. Using visual sensors on the ends of each of the panels, the mechanism slides the door open and closed around the shape of whatever needs to enter or exit. Reportedly better for keeping out environmental hazards such as weather, dust, and pollen, and keeping in things such as air-conditioning, the demonstration video proves only that it’s capable of letting in people carrying fun punching bags and keeping out Japanese men. For anyone who’s ever hurt themselves by walking straight into a malfunctioning door at a grocery store or mall, this new design offers about 60 times the reasons to be a little more careful.