A day after Motorola released its new Razr 2 cell phones, I got the chance to play with the handsets up close. Though I've grown quite weary of recycled Razrs, I have to admit I liked what I saw. The Razr 2 design is more a refresh of the popular thin handset than a revolution, but it wins new points for beauty. The redesigned hinge and the flattened bottom end are eye-catching, and they contribute to the overall sleek and shiny appearance. And though the V9, V9m, and V8 are just a hair's (0.07 inch) slimmer than … Read more
Those seeking to divine the future directions of hardware makers have a reliable friend in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Public documents posted on the USPTO Web site regularly inform bloggers and techies of upcoming developments from tight-lipped companies such as Apple (like its recent filing about laptops with bottom-loading optical drives).
"One aspect of the enclosure pertains to enclosure parts … Read more
Apple's iPhone took one step closer to launching Wednesday, as the company received permission from the Federal Communications Commission to sell it in the U.S.
It's not like that permission was ever really in doubt. But the FCC requires anyone who makes a phone or wireless device for use in this country to pass some basic tests that ensure the device isn't putting out harmful radiation, or death rays, or other emissions that could cause problems. The FCC also publishes those documents on its Web site, which has led to the discovery of unannounced products in … Read more
JVC will be rolling out three new flat-panel LCD HDTVs this fall, each featuring 120Hz refresh rate and JVC's new Clear Motion Drive II (CMD II) technology. Both the high refresh rate and the CMD II technology are supposed to reduce the blurring that sometimes occurs on lesser LCD panels during fast-motion scenes, although we have to admit we haven't seen much of that on newer LCDs. The CMD II technology also claims to do some motion interpolation--in other words, taking two frames of a movie and averaging them together to make a "new" frame in … Read more
Where does a laptop end and a handheld computer--or even a really, really smart phone--begin? We have no idea, and we're not sure it really matters. But for those who care, Fujitsu is doing its best to blur the lines.
The "U series" addition to its "LifeBook" line of laptops features ultra-portable machines that are barely an inch thick and weigh less than 1.3 pounds. But you wouldn't necessarily know it by the specs: an 800MHz Intel chip, 20GB hard drive, 512 of memory and a built-in fingerprint reader. All of which beats … Read more
Critics of digital rights management have long insisted that record labels could boost sagging sales by offering music unencumbered by copy-protection schemes.
Apple's iTunes and e-tailer Amazon.com are in position to test this hypothesis in the coming months. On Wednesday, Amazon announced that it plans to sell DRM-free digital songs from the record label EMI Group. Amazon's unprotected music, which will be sold from the retailer's upcoming download store, can be played on a wide variety of portable music players, including Apple's iPod and Microsoft's Zune. Amazon's news follows a similar announcement last … Read more
Are we the only ones who thought this was a ski rack? Never mind. Off the slopes, this is the latest in an ever-growing list of digital bathing controls or, as we prefer to call them, "showers for lazy people."
We will say, however, that the "Ondus" from Grohe definitely has the most unusual name we've come across. But ultimately, it's just a digitally controlled faucet that can pause the water TiVo-style and resume flowing at the previous temperature, as Gizmodo says.
The black finish is a definite plus, and we appreciate the Ondus … Read more
Some rockin' San Francisco geeks have taken Guitar Hero, and heroically programmed the system to produce live, concert-ready music. With due humility the quartet calls themselves "The Guitar Zeros." Take a listen, we think they're at least a seven on a scale of one to ten.
As programmers, these guys are definitely a ten.
LG seems determined to repeat the success of its "Chocolate" branding beyond its mobile phones, extending it to home theaters and other equipment. The latest object of this confection affection, according to PClaunches, is the "Z1" laptop.
The computer is notable for the type of dual LCD screens (12.1 and 2.5 inches) seen in other laptops designed to use the "SideShow" feature in Windows Vista PCs. The rest of the specs aren't too shabby either, including a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory, a 120GB hard drive, … Read more
Now that we're all sufficiently terrified that global warming will turn Kansas City into a beach town, there's been a wave of technological efforts designed to put us on an energy diet. Likewise, a proliferation of gadgets have hit the market claiming to monitor our piggish ways, though most of them are fairly limited in scope.
But a device called the "Intelliworks" claims to act as a traffic cop for the entire household or workplace by controlling the total flow of electricity. While plugged into a regular wall socket, "it automatically optimizes the voltage and … Read more