Remember that X-Series Walkman that Sony kept behind protective glass at this year's CES like it was the Mona Lisa? The one I swore would never actually hit the states? The one that U.K.'s Stuff Magazine had to fly to Sony headquarters in Japan just so they could fondle the prototype (see below)? Well, the lucky bastards at France's Le Journal du Geek actually got their hands on a legitimate version of the X-Series Walkman and then proceeded to photograph the living bejeezus out of it. [Correction: Sony has confirmed with us that the X-Series unit … Read more
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined Fusion-io, a start-up specializing in high-speed solid-state drives, the company said Thursday.
Wozniak will be Fusion-io's chief scientist and will also advise the company on technical strategy for product development.
"With the revolutionary technological advances being made by Fusion-io, the company is in the right place at the right time with the right technology and ready to direct the history of technology into the 21st century and beyond," Wozniak said in a statement. "The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer … Read more
The X Prize Foundation announced the winner of its "What's Your Crazy Green Idea?" competition on Thursday.
The first-place winners, which will receive $25,000, were University of California at Irvine students Kyle Good and Bryan Le on the Capacitor Challenge team, for their idea that someone should develop a more efficient energy storage device to replace batteries, for everything from iPods to cars.
I'm no fan of Windows Mobile, but Toshiba Europe just dropped a new smartphone that might make me forgive the OS. This is the TG01, a new touch-screen handset that Toshiba is apparently aiming at the iPhone. And it runs on the Snapdragon CPU at 1GHz.
The speedy proc is nice, and the other features are as high-tech, such as the HSUPA/HSDPA data modem for 3G connectivity, the 4.1-inch hi-res WVGA display, Wi-Fi, GPS, and built-in support for DivX.
Toshiba also has a TouchFlo-like UI layer over the ugliness of Windows Mobile 6.1 that appears fairly … Read more
Guitars with electronics built in are hardly new. Most people are familiar with standard electric guitars, but Takamine and other companies started putting in equalizers and other sound-shaping gear in the '80s and '90s.
MIT's Chameleon Guitar, however, goes a few steps further, incorporating a full computer, as well as a small soundboard that can be interchanged with other soundboards made of a different wood or a different material altogether.
The sound generated by the electronic pickups on that board can be manipulated by the computer to produce the effect of a different size or shape of the resonating chamber. By putting extra acoustic modules together, the guitar can mimic any other guitar and practically any other instrument.
It's a neat idea, to be sure, but it might prove too complex for the everyday user. The everyday user, though, isn't who creator Amit Zoran likely had in mind for the unique piece. He envisions a production model for professional musicians that features quick-changing components, allowing the player to change the instrument live during a performance.
It's an ambitious task, but Zoran's a graduate student at MIT's Media Lab, so he's probably up to the challenge. Who knows, we might start seeing the five-pickup-wielding Chameleon onstage soon. And it even looks good. Check a video of the thing in action after the jump.… Read more
The U.S. Army has committed to renewing its partnership and providing another $50 million to Arizona State University's flexible-display research facility, the university announced on Thursday.
That brings the Army's total investment since the Flexible Display Center (FDC) started in 2004 to $100 million.
The announcement comes in conjunction with a two-day event in Tempe, Ariz., near ASU, in which the U.S. Army and Flexible Display Center plan to showcase their progress to the public.
So why is the military so keen on flexible displays?
It's all about information and communications...and possibly profit.
Flexible displays are paper-thin electronic screens that can be bent, mounted onto objects, and sewn into clothing. Soldiers could easily wear them on their sleeves or wrists, and use them to receive critical data in real time in the form of instructions, photos, or maps.
In addition, flexible displays can be made more durable than regular LCD screens, allowing them to get banged around in combat and still work. They also consume only a fraction of the power of LCDs.
That doesn't just make them good for the military; it also makes for cool tech products.
That commercial value is something the military, ASU, and its partners clearly have in mind.… Read more
At CES last year I was lucky enough to get a chance to spend a good half hour with a prototype of the Microsoft Surface device. Since then, I've been to the campus in Redmond a few times and have seen a few more things it can do. It's promising technology, but Microsoft's going to have to hustle to get it to market if it wants to stay impressive, as other groups, like Sony, look to be rushing their own versions into the world.
Multitouch gestures on the iPhone are simple and really easy to use. Mobile touch-screen devices that don't have it, however, can make Web browsing a harrowing experience. Enter Linja Zax, a new project that's trying to give users an easy way to zoom in and out of Web pages (and potentially other UI elements) with one finger only.
Similar to the "wax on, wax off" mantra of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, this simply involves moving your finger in a circular motion. Going clockwise zooms in, while counterclockwise zooms you back out. In the demo, … Read more
When you think of MIT, you probably think of math. Maybe some blackjack, thanks to the movie 21. But I'm betting you don't think about cooking. And even if you think about cooking, you certainly aren't thinking trivets.
Yeah, trivets. Those little things you slide under hot pots to keep your table from being scorched. Well, it turns out that even if you're not thinking about them, the guys at MIT are, as part of the "Counter Intelligence" project. Looks like these guys are as much into kitchen gadgets as we are!
We've still got a long way to go before human beings can be beamed from one place to another Star Trek-style, but on Friday a team of scientists at the University of Maryland achieved, nonetheless, a milestone in teleportation.
According to LiveScience, the university's Joint Quantum Institute for the first time was able to teleport information between two separate atoms across a distance of a meter--about one step for an adult.
Generally, teleportation works thanks to a remarkable quantum phenomenon called entanglement that only occurs on the atomic and subatomic scale. Once two objects are put in an … Read more