Perhaps it's just a coincidence that VTech's $59.99 LS6195 cordless phone has hit stores as the fifth season of "Mad Men" has recently gotten under way, but the phone has a decidedly 1960s retro look with a tagline that Don Draper might approve of: "Back in style. Better styled."
Naturally, the electronics inside the LD6195 are new -- or at least relatively new -- as the VTech Retro Phone has a digital answering machine and uses DECT 6.0 digital technology, which is the standard in today's cordless phones. … Read more
The folks from Olympus Audio were camped out yesterday at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village for some quick press demos promoting the release of the LS-100, the company's new high-tech audio recorder that retails for $399.99.
The LS-100 is geared toward musicians, so, not surprisingly, Olympus had a musician on hand for the demos: Dia Frampton, last year's runner-up on "The Voice," gave a short performance with sister Meg for an audience of six (two journalists and four Olympus reps), as press appointments were staggered in half-hour slots.
The company also showcased the step-down model, … Read more
Remember the original BigDog? That funny robot pack animal? Well, a supersized version has been let off the leash--and it ain't so funny anymore.
We last saw the brute when Boston Dynamics unveiled the AlphaDog prototype last year. Even in a harness, it looked pretty mean and could haul 400 pounds without even panting.
This latest incarnation, though, makes its predecessor look quite poodle-like. As seen in the video below, DARPA recently took AlphaDog, aka the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3, out for a walk in the woods and probably scared off every living creature for miles around. … Read more
If you own an iPhone 4 (or 4S) you're probably already using a case. But if you're still looking for one, or want a new one, here's another to consider.
Ballistic announced today its latest case for the smartphone, called Ballistic LS Smooth. It "offers consumers an unparalleled protection" while remaining aesthetically appealing.
Similar to the original Ballistic LS cases, the new case is made of strong materials. It's now thinner and better-looking.
The LS Smooth has four removable Ballistic Corners that protect the mobile device from drops and allows for customization. The new … Read more
Meet AlphaDog--it's BigDog on steroids.
This is our first glimpse of the brother of Boston Dynamics' robotic beast of burden, BigDog.
The vid below shows a lab prototype of the quadruped war robot, aka the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3, funded by DARPA and the Marine Corps.
The donkey-sized machine is designed to carry up to 400 pounds of gear and follow troops over rough terrain on missions of 20 miles and up to 24 hours.
That's more than BigDog's payload of 340 pounds and 12 miles; as a general rule, horses can comfortably carry up to 240 pounds. AlphaDog will have some degree of autonomy like animals, using computer vision to follow a leader or automatically trotting to GPS way points. … Read more
Compact cameras powered by AA-size batteries are a rarity these days and when you do find them they're either large megazooms or budget-priced entry-level compacts. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5 announced today is the latter, but at least Panasonic didn't make it without value.
Instead of sticking a slow, narrow lens on the LS5, it has a 5x, 26mm wide-angle lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8. That's wider and longer than you typically find in this class and while the f2.8 aperture probably won't give you a shallow depth of field for anything other … Read more
Synthetic biology company LS9 has raised $30 million to help fund commercialization of its process of turning plants into diesel fuel.
The funding was led by giant global private equity company Black Rock. Money also came from investors Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and CTTV Investments, the venture capital arm of Chevron, according to LS9.
LS9 has developed a fermentation-based process for converting sugar in plants into petroleum replacements using genetically engineered e. coli bacteria. The same process can be modified to manufacture different chemicals as well.
The Toyota Prius is arguably the hottest hybrid car for many reasons. Within the blog this week we've explored several of outstanding features of the Prius, and today I'm turning our attention to the astounding intelligent parking assist feature found on this groundbreaking automobile.
The intelligent parking assist feature found on the Toyota Prius isn't entirely new--the self-parking feature was found on the Lexus LS 460 as well. Along with its rear monitor, the drivers can set up a destination parking spot and then allow external sensors and electric power steering do the parking for them--hands free! … Read more
Biofuel start-up LS9 and California researchers on Wednesday claimed a breakthrough in converting non-food biomass into biodiesel using a genetically modified form of e. coli bacteria.
The research, done with the University of California at Berkeley and the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), is a step toward lowering the cost of making biodiesel from wood chips, corn stover, and other residual agricultural products. The group published its results in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
LS9 is one of a handful of U.S. synthetic biology companies that are manipulating microorganisms to convert plants into liquid … Read more