Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Old and busted: Christmas decorations. New hottness: Steampunk earth boring vehicle busting through driveway for Halloween.

  • September 28, 2010 6:18 am

Oh noz…another one of those non-gadget posts has infiltrated the front page. Never fear, this is actually pretty cool. A guy named Peter has this insanely over the top idea of decorating his house with an earth boring vehicle breaking through his driveway — and all for Halloween. Peter’s past works include a sunken pirate ship and destroyed locomotive. Clearly, subtle is nowhere in this guys repertoire. But that’s A-OK in my book. Who doesn’t like a cleverly decorated house, regardless of holiday? The fact that it’s Halloween, unique, and Steampunk means it’s just about as awesome as it gets.

Getting ready for the big day means money. As such, Peter is raising funds through kickstart to get his idea off the ground. (Better hurry Peter, Halloween is creeping ever closer….)

**Hop inside to see Peter’s past works such as the sunken pirate ship and crashed locomotive…
 

The Lightning Guitar by ArcAttack

  • August 20, 2010 7:23 am

After seeing ArcAttack perform, I’m literally speechless. Let’s just say their performance is like something you’ve never see before. Before we get deep into it, we’ll start off with simple terms: These dudes play a guitar in which the actual harmonics are created by lightning arcs from two massive Tesla Coils. Yes. The little metal dude standing in between two giant Tesla coils is actually controlling ever bit of the sound from his super geeky guitar. Crazy shiat. Hop inside to get deeper into the madness and to see a few videos of it all in action, starting with their America’s Got Talent audition and ending with a bad ass cover of the Star Wars Imperial March…1,000,000 volts and all…

 

Sneak a phone into a UK prison? The dogs will be watching…err..sniffing…

  • August 19, 2010 8:01 am

Dogs have long been used by police forces for means of identifying drug paraphernalia. It seems the nose…knows. You can’t fool a dogs olfactory senses as they’re really, really sensitive. But good ‘ol fido will have to put off retirement a bit longer because police forces in the UK, South Wales specifically, have trained one of their 5-year veterans to sniff out not only drugs, but phones too.

He goes by the name of “Max”. This 5-year member of the South Wales police force recently completed an intense 2-week training program outfitting his canine body with the ability to distinguish phones from prison suspects. The really cool part is that it’s not just “phones” in the literal sense. It seems dear old Max can even make out individual SIM cards and batteries too!

With prisons around the world having increasing trouble detecting electronic equipment, having a reliable resource like Max is a big help. Here’s to another five years pup…

**Image is not really Max…**
 

Brazil gets it: 100% legal to circumnavigate DRM for legal purposes. Fines given to rights holders for preventing fair use.

  • July 12, 2010 7:38 am

At first, the title “100% legal to circumnavigate DRM for legal purposes” may seem a bit cryptic. As we’ve seen countless times throughout various governments, “legal uses” is a highly ambiguous and misleading term. But in the case of Brazil and their digital rights laws, it’s a far prettier picture as far as consumer protections are concerned.

Here in the United States, it’s technically illegal to circumnavigate DRM (the digital cancer that pollutes more and more of our digital goods each and every day). Usually, consumers will witness the utter useless of this “technology” when copying a DVD or CD of theirs to their computer or digital device. But, the simple act of doing so technically makes them a criminal — a provision in the law that big media giants just love. Sadly, big media runs this country, not the citizens.

But Brazil is at a shining beacon of light, showing that not every government has bent over for the media industry, and actually stood their ground for consumers’ rights. Under Brazilian law, it is completely legal to break through DRM so long as you aren’t doing so to upload to file sharing sites, pirate, etc., etc. But the best part about Brazil’s digital media laws is this: Any copyright holder who laces their content with DRM and goes against current federal laws for consumers’ rights and “fair use/fair dealings” actually faces a fine for hindering consumers’ rights! +1 Brazel!

§1º. The same sanction applies, without prejudice to other sanctions set forth by law, to whom, through whatever means:

a) hinders or prevents the uses allowed by arts. 46, 47 and 48 of this Act [which addresses limitations to copyright including fair dealing]; or

b) hinders or prevents the free use of works, broadcast transmissions and phonograms which have fallen into the public domain.

How’s Brazil this time of year…anyone feel like a permanent vacation?

 

Review: WinX DVD Ripper Platinum. 20 licenses up for grabs!

  • July 11, 2010 1:59 pm

Movie buffs and downright digital junkies know the importance of backups. For if one hard drive fails, a backup can mean the difference between endless tears and a simple swap of a drive, and continuing of your life. While media pundits and rights holders continually fight against consumers and deem personal backups as some how illegal, it’s nice knowing that there are still ways to get the job done, and keep your content safe. I’ve used plenty of DVD ripping software in the past, though on my new Windows 7 rig, I haven’t had too much exposure to more updated titles. Thankfully, Digiarty was kind enough to drop a line and offer a review sample of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum. After ripping a solid three dozen movies over the last couple of hours, what do I think? Jump in to find out…

 

T-Mobile 2010 road map leaked. 5 more Android devices by years end?

  • July 7, 2010 2:59 pm


**This roadmap is believed to be a month or two old**

Granted, Android devices aren’t the only thing coming before the ball drops us into 2011, but for the sake of this post, that’s all we’re going to touch on. One thing you’ll immediately notice is that some eagle eyes and/or Photoshoping skills are needed to clearly make out this road map. But rest assured, we’ve toiled our eyeballs so you don’t have to. Moving on…

Motorola just took the wraps off of the Charm, so that little ditty isn’t worth fawning over again. With that said, we’ll dip our toes into this hot Android love fest starting with supposed Cliq Cliq XT updates in August. (Anyone excited). From there, September (9th) brings us a new HTC device dubbed “Vanguard”.

October is pretty void of excitement, so let’s skip it, moving on into November. It is in November when things really start picking up. The often rumored about “Project Emerald” will supposedly be revealed on November 5th along with two other unnamed Motorola devices. A grand trifecta in the making if I’ve ever seen one. With Project Emerald’s “HTC Vision” possibly let out of the bag early, Moto still has the element of surprise. Let’s hope they can pump out some seriously awesome hardware on T-Mobile much like the successes they’ve been showcasing on Verizon and Sprint. GSM love, pretty please.

Rounding it out at the end of the month is yet another unnamed device, though this one is being provided compliments of LG. Seeing as how LG’s Android devices have been more mid-range affair (in the US), I’m only slightly optimistic that I’m going to be wowed by their efforts. Though, my fingers are always crossed for the next “King” to claim the crown.

For someone such as myself who’s looking to return to T-Mobile once they get some respectable Android hardware, the second half of the year, specifically around Thanksgiving, looks to be full of mystery and excitement. Be sure to stay close as we seek out more info.

In the mean time, feel free to drop a few opinions inside. Anyone interested with Tmo’s late fall lineup? (Larger pic of roadmap inside)
 

AT&T take note. If you’re going to kill unlimited plans, this is how you do it: 3 UK launches “The One Plan” — 2,000 minutes, 5,000 three-to-three calling, 5,000 texts, 1GB data.

  • July 1, 2010 8:29 am

As much as I harped on AT&T’s new data plans, for a fair share of moderate to light data users, it was actually a good move. But that still doesn’t excuse the fact that AT&Tis ignoring their most passionate heavy user data base. And with the way mobile apps and mobile data consumption is going, that pool of heavy users is only going to grow.

Data aside, you’ve got to deal with minutes and texts too. And thats where carriers really rape you. Unlike the current trend in the U.S. — Killing unlimited/all-you-can-eat plans — 3 UK is taking a slightly different approach by unveiling a new plan that puts shame to just about any other carrier/plan out there — “The One Plan”.

The greatest part about The One Plan is in the numbers: 2,000 any network minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 5,000 texts and 1GB of data. Price — £25 ($37.43 USD). Mind you, that price is only available for 1-year, SIM only contracts. But still, for less than $40/month, 3 UK users are essentially getting unlimited everything — Are you really going to talk for 2,000 minutes? — and a slightly restrictive data plan. Personally, I’d prefer to see a little less minute and/or text allotment in exchange for another gig or two of data. But again, it’s a killer deal.

Further adding usefulness to the package is that The One Plan also comes bundled with 6 months free of Spotify Premium. If you haven’t heard, Spotify is awesome. Unfortunately, t’s not technically available in the States. Nothing a little VPN magic can’t help though. Think of it as a Pandora or Last.fm mashed with iTunes type of deal. Streaming and local music…but better!

If there had to be a downside, nabbing The One Plan with a handset (if you don’t already own one) will force you into a 24-month contract and up the prices just a tad: Xperia X10 Mini £30 ($44.92 USD), HTC Desire £35/month ($52.40 USD), and a 16GB iPhone 4 at £45 ($67.13 USD). **Bonus: no additional handset cost.

In the UK, longer contracts aren’t quite the norm. However, such things are common here in the states. So it appears as business as usual for us. Any way you slice it, for the price and level of service you get, I’d be willing to spend two years with three.

What do you guys think? Does the US need a Three UK-type of their own? UK readers, anyone care to chime in?
 

WWDC 2010 — Everything you could possibly want to know!

  • June 7, 2010 2:48 pm

The days leading up to WWDC were just as stress-filled as ever, with nerds around the world constantly bickering back and forth as to what Apple was going to reveal. Now that the dust has settled and everything has been ‘splayed before our eyes, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of Apple’s latest portfolio. So without further fan fare, jump inside for the full rundown of WWDC 2010…
 

The worst idea I’ve ever heard: US Gov’t to slap 5% tax on all electronics…to “save journalism”.

  • June 7, 2010 7:11 am

Leave it to the U.S. Gov’t to come up with one of the worst ideas known to man kind. Much like other places around the world are unfairly subjected to bogus taxes on electronics under the false guise of “saving the music industy, movie industry, journalism, etc”, our own government is now falling in line. Specifically, the FTC and the U.S. Gov’t are releasing some suggestions as to how the country as a whole might be able to “save journalism”.

The forefront of this new plan — a 5% tax on all electronic goods…

Specifically, the tax is suggested to include (but is not limited to): iPads, iPods, iPhones, laptops, desktop PCs, Macs, netbooks, Zunes, Sansas, Creative MP3 players, digital cameras, video cameras, Android smart phones, Nintendo DS’s, PSP Go’s, Xbox 360s, Wiis, and the PS3. And this — all in the name of “saving journalism”…