BMW rolled into town last night with a fleet of Hydrogen 7 sedans for us to test drive. Having already driven hydrogen cars from Honda and GM, we were intrigued to get behind the wheel of a hydrogen Bimmer, which differs from most other hydrogen-powered cars in that it doesn't rely on a fuel cell and electric drive train. Instead, it uses a modified version of the BMW 760Li's V-12 internal combustion engine to burn hydrogen in the cylinders in the same way as gasoline. It also differs from the pack in that that the hydrogen is stored … Read more
For a conference about getting work done, there are sure a whole lot of toys here at Office 2.0 in San Francisco. Sure many of them are old hat, like the the Nabaztag/tag, but there's some new stuff here too like Pano Logic's zero client desktop. This shiny metal cube is actually a computer--well kind of. Actually it involves setting up a a beefy server to give everyone in your office a full version of Windows sans hardware. Just give give them a keyboard, mouse, monitor and one of these shiny cubes and they're ready … Read more
As Microsoft announced its new Extender solution today, many have been asking if it will be the new be-all, end-all for the home viewing experience. Some have called this an amazing development that deserves attention, while others are saying it's not all that great. I tend to agree with the second group.
For those of you who are unaware of this new product from Microsoft, Extender will be able to take any media (video, TV, music, print) from a PC to a television or from a television to another television in another room. In other words, you can have the same show playing in your bedroom and living room without missing a beat. Ideally, this would work with the help of a Media Center PC and a device being created by Linksys, D-Link and others.
This may sound great on paper, and the ability to move media around in my house like this would be nice, but is it really necessary? More often than not, I have the equipment I need to do this already. Sure, it may not be as easy as Microsoft's product, but if the current infrastructure is there, why get rid of it for something new? Simply put, this technology is a few years too late.… Read more
The truth is, some people just don't have much style; and it's up to you to usher in the revelation.
That's one way to look at a Yahoo Messenger plug-in that helps you give your buddies' avatars a makeover (see special feature for more on avatars). Back in the old days, before plug-ins were invented, we had to coax and needle our contacts for permission to outfit them with some fancy new 'dos and duds. Now we can mount an indirect atta--suggestion--for avatar rebirth, all in the name of good chatting fun.… Read more
If you are thinking of installing solar panels, don't wait.
Lyndon Rive, CEO of solar installer Solar City, says that prices for residential solar systems are climbing. Over time, they will decline. In five to seven years, he predicts solar energy will be on par with regular grid power. (Dick Swanson of SunPower has made the same prediction.)
Unfortunately, buyers right now are caught in a bind. The lingering shortage of silicon continues to keep panel prices high. Meanwhile, the subsidies are going down. Last year, California offered a rebate of $2.80 per watt, he said. This year, … Read more
Microsoft made a splash earlier this year with a tabletop PC called Milan. Designers and developers there might have been spared building their 85 early prototypes, however, if they'd just gone shopping at defense contractor Northrop Grumman instead of Ikea.
As it turns out, Northrop Grumman--best known for missile systems and other military gear--for several years has been hawking the similar TouchTable as part of what it calls an "integrated collaboration environment." It'll be showing off the technologies next week at a defense conference in London, and last month delivered a TouchTable to the Federal Aviation … Read more
It's so difficult to maintain one's individualism these days. Car-boats, once at the top of the 007 cool meter, are hardly unique anymore. But there's still hope: Enter the "Flying Boat" from Brazil-based BRio.
It comes as a kit, which might seem kind of expensive at $10,000, especially because Gearfuse says the cost doesn't include the engine. Still, it's a fraction of what one of those new jet packs will set you back, and it promises to stay airborne longer than a minute.
Best of all, if the flying mechanism fails, you … Read more
The funnel is one of the unsung heroes of the kitchen. I use mine all the time for transferring liquids like soy sauce or cooking oil from large, bulk-size containers into smaller bottles that are more practical for regular use. It also comes in handy for dry goods, like for refilling the sugar bowl from a 5-pound bag or filling a pepper grinder from the giant container of peppercorns I have at home.
Apple's price cut on the new iPhone is causing some confusion among existing iPhone users about who is entitled to a price adjustment and who isn't.
Apple's CEO Steve Jobs announced Wednesday the company is slashing the price of the iPhone by $200. The 8-gigabyte version of the iPhone was $599 but now sells for $399.
Apple and AT&T have said they will give $200 credits or refunds to customers who bought the iPhone in the past two weeks. So what about the thousands of people who waited in line all night for their iPhones … Read more
Toshiba on Wednesday pushed the capacity of its 1.8-inch hard drives up one more notch to 160GB but said it also made the products more power-efficient.
The 8mm-thick, dual-platter model also employs a new interface called CE-ATA for consumer electronics devices. Toshiba also introduced a 5mm-thick single-platter 80GB drive; both drives spin at 3,600rpm and have an average seek time of 15 microseconds.
Toshiba won't comment on who's buying this drive, but it doesn't take big brains to figure out one company Toshiba is courting: also on Wednesday, Apple introduced new iPod media players with 160GB drives. … Read more