Remote-control jets have never performed particularly well. Their engines are less efficient than exposed propellers at an R/C plane's speed, which makes the toys sluggish and difficult to steer, leading to crashes. To compensate for the lack of power, engineers at toy manufacturer Great Planes reduced the weight of their F-86 craft to 2.35 ounces—30 percent lighter than any comparably sized R/C jet. With less mass to maneuver, the F-86 flies faster, turns quicker, and allows pilots to do loops and rolls.
Despite the landslide of smart devices in recent years, headphones have remained decidedly dumb, lacking the multitude of sensors found in everything from phones to watches. The ZIK Parrot--which was one of our favorite gadgets at this year's CES--is the first pair of headphones with the intelligence of a smartphone.
Amid all the discussion about iPads in the cockpits of commercial and military airplanes, one question has remained unclear — what about during takeoff and landing? Passengers are supposed to turn these devices off, lest they interfere with aircraft avionics--at least, that's the line the FAA's been giving us, despite evidence to the contrary.
Plenty of gadgets we take for granted come to us via the space program — GPS, cordless tools, the Fisher space pen. But NASA doesn’t always have to reinvent the wheel; sometimes off-the-shelf technology can serve the space agency just as well. Take the accelerometers in the iPhone, for example. Why build a space station-specific device when there’s already an app for that?
With Appple's announcement today of the new iPod Touch—just as we and many others suspected, an "iPhone without the phone"—the conditions of the NEWIPOD prop on PPX have officially been met. The stock was halted shortly after the announcement at POP$81.00, meaning the market had the probability of the announcement coming before the end of this month at 81%—not too shabby. NEWIPOD will begin to pay out at POP$100 per share immediately.
It's interesting, the picture of Apple painted by NEWIPOD and another proposition that closed recently, SUBPC—which proposed a new Apple sub-portable computer before Labor Day (which obviously didn't happen). Clearly, Apple has shifted a huge amount of their engineering resources to their consumer electronics division, focusing on what has become their specialty in the 21st century: slick, beautifully designed consumer gadgets that are a joy to use no matter what kind of computer you have on your desk at home. So while die-hard Apple users may be clamoring for a compact, UMPC-like Mac, their numbers pale in comparison to the number of folks currently carrying an iPod (and drooling over today's upgraded versions).
When one thinks of a typical Apple user these days, it's not the basement-dwelling, beard-wearing, PC-hating zealot that we all have come to know, love and appreciate. No, the typical Apple product user today is, well, pretty much anyone. Much to Apple's delight, purchasing and using their products no longer feels like being a member of your high school's A/V club—now, it's like being one of the cool (and well-off) kids. Ah, how things change. —John Mahoney