The Finnish handset maker plans to roll out a range of new phones in the U.S.
By Gregory MonePosted 05.05.2008 at 9:00 am 2 Comments
Nokia indicated today that it intends to release a bunch of new phones through U.S. carriers in the next few months. The Finnish manufacturer sells 40 percent of the mobiles worldwide, but only accounts for about 10 percent of the U.S. market. But a daily paper in Finland quoted a Nokia chief designed as saying that the company plans to ramp up its U.S. presence.
Livescribe aims to revolutionize note-taking by linking your scrawl to audio recordings
By Steve MorgensternPosted 05.02.2008 at 11:53 am 7 Comments
Like previous digital ink pens, the Livescribe Pulse converts your writing to searchable computer files. The Pulse, though, adds audio recording synchronized to your handwriting. Point the pen to a spot in your notes (or click on your computer screen), and hear what was said when you wrote it. That sounds good on paper, but will it work, er, on paper?
A gesture-reading camera lets you play videogames without a controller
By Sean CaptainPosted 05.01.2008 at 12:07 pm 2 Comments
Soon youll be able to ditch your game pad and Wiimote. A new camera system for computers and consoles will track your movements in three dimensions—essentially turning your body into the game controller. For example, play Rock Band by waving your hands at imaginary drums, or dodge punches in a fighting game.
The readers have spoken—and I shall heed your call! Based on the flurry of responses from a Grouse column last month (in which I bemoaned the snake oil sales tactics of the overpriced cable market), theres clearly a hunger out there for clarity when it comes to parsing the jargon-filled nonsense thats used to market consumer electronics. Hype is always to be expected when it comes to sales, but unfortunately sometimes conventional wisdom gets swept up in the hubbub and eventually we find ourselves believing in techie urban legends. Great for sellers, not so much for consumers. So taking my own advice, Im following the Gadgetry Golden Rule and passing on a five choice bits of somewhat counter-intuitive wisdom Ive had need for and which may inform your next purchase. Pay it forward—hit the comments section with your own, and spread the word.
The nation's capitol follows France's lead with a promising public bike program
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.29.2008 at 6:33 am 11 Comments
While the news that Mayor Bloomberg's plan for NYC congestion pricing was defeated is something of a low point for urban cyclists, that coming out of Washington, D.C., is much more encouraging. Next month D.C. will become the first U.S. city to launch a public bike sharing venture like the wildly popular Vélib (short for vélo liberté) program in Paris. One hundred and twenty bicycles will be available at 10 central locations for an annual membership cost of $40.
The Grouse officially launches the Technology Deathwatch list. Find out if your despised gadgets make the cut
By Jon ChasePosted 04.23.2008 at 5:41 pm 3 Comments
Over the past dozen columns of Grousings, Ive occasionally, sometimes vehemently, nominated various bits of gadgetry to an ad hoc deathwatch list. In particular I singled out Polaroid photos, home photo printers; disposable batteries; and Sprints WiMAX venture Xohm (maybe even Sprint itself, if they arent careful). Some of those predictions are necessarily more long-term than others, and some probably wishful thinking.
That's what a new online interface we've stumbled upon seems to suggest
By Sean CaptainPosted 04.23.2008 at 1:56 pm 2 Comments
Hmmm...What's this? Looks like a Web-based remote control for your TV. We happened upon this randomly today, and it raises lots of interesting questions. The URL sonyathome.com brings up a Web page that sure looks like it belongs to Pioneer Electronics -- what with the big "Pioneer" badge in the corner and an email function that sends a message from "email@example.com" ("Elite" is Pioneer's premium brand of A/V gear).
Is Pioneer developing software for Sony? Is Pioneer merging with Sony? Seems unlikely, since Pioneer just formally announced a joint venture to get plasma panels from Panasonic, and already have a deal to get LCDs from Sharp. But then again, Sony also gets LCDs from Sharp. Hmmm.
A palm-sized turbine provides a recharge on the go
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.22.2008 at 11:55 pm 2 Comments
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/gadgets/Wind_Power_On_The_Go';
I've seen hand-held solar chargers before—the Solio immediately comes to mind—but I've yet to see a functional wind-powered hand-held charger. Enter the HYmini. It's palm-sized, comes in three colors, costs 50 bucks, and can charge your gadgets with nothing but a stiff breeze. Well, almost. While it's a welcome idea, on closer inspection, the feature set isn't all we'd like it to be.
Infighting and changes to the program's philosophy continue to plague OLPC
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.22.2008 at 10:53 pm 1 Comment
The ambitious One Laptop per Child program continues to flounder. OLPC's cornerstone XO laptop, which was widely lauded when it was functionally revealed in 2006, has still failed to reach its original price point of $100. Currently selling for $188 and achieving a narrower distribution than initially intended, the machine has yet again run into problems. Last week, Walter Bender, long the second in command on the project, left the group apparently out of disagreement over a significant internal shift in goals and direction.
A report suggests an Italian telecom company will be selling unlocked iPhones, without the mandatory service plan
By Gregory MonePosted 04.22.2008 at 11:41 am 1 Comment
Italians have better coffee, better food, shorter workdays. And now their iPhones are going to be cooler than ours, too? That's unfair. But according to La Repubblica, a daily newspaper in Rome, Telecom Italia has signed a non-exclusive deal to distribute a new, 3G-compatible iPhone. It will be unlocked, and won't come with a two-year contract.