Saturday, July 26, 2008

Asus Offers new Eee PC Accessories

Asus has officially killed off the Eee PC brand in my eyes by unveiling yet even more accessories for the range. There is no official announcement yet, and I have no idea on whether these will arrive in the US or not, but the world will soon be able to have a peek at the Eee Drive (an external hard drive), the Eee Writer (an external Eee PC optical drive) and a 3G connection card known as the T500. Well, I would say it is now imperative for you to get a USB hub to go along with these new accessories because your poor Eee PC will definitely need it.

NZXT Guardian 921 PC Chassis

NZXT has a new PC chassis that targets gamers - the Guardian 921. It will hail from the NZXT Crafted Series line, featuring an interior that is spacious enough for you to stuff in a couple of high-end video cards as well as up to four hard drives. Made from 0.8mm and 1mm steel, features include integrated temperature monitoring and silent cooling with a trio of 120mm fans. Other ports consist of eSATA, HD audio, mic and dual USB on the front. This will target those who love building their own rigs from scratch, and at $89.99 a pop, it is definitely one of the most affordable gaming chassis around.

Chinavasion CVSJ-1304 is Super Slim

Chinavasion might not manufacture any iPod-killing devices, but they do have what is touted to be the "thinnest portable media player" on the planet - the nigh unpronounceable CVSJ-1304. Measuring a mere 4.5mm thin, you get 4GB of internal memory, ASF format support, compatibility with major audio formats, an integrated FM tuner and USB 2.0 connectivity to get all those files transferred over. Just how thin is 4.5mm? Stack up a quartet of credit cards and you'll have your answer. The Chinavasion CVSJ-1304 will retail for $39.55 a pop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Methanol-powered PC

PCs don't go down well with booze, but that idea could offer a sign of things to come as computers of the future could run using a 'direct methanol fuel cell' (DMFC) method that involves methanol which is then converted into an electricity to power a computer. This is in essence, a new type of fuel cell that can be refilled whenever you run out of juice, and will definitely be a greener way to running things. Imagine the positive environmental impact if all computers were to run in this manner - those folks at Energy Star would be out of a job then, and tree huggers will have to look elsewhere for victims to pick on.

Sony to enter ultra-low-cost laptop market

not actual photo

It might be the “race to the bottom” that Sony had feared: the netbook market is getting hot (if that wasn’t obvious), and with major players like Dell & HP jumping in, Sony has little choice but join the fight. Digitimes reports that Foxconn Electronics (a contract manufacturer) is “set to manufacture the notebook for Sony”. While not everyone agrees with the scope of the work to be done by Foxconn (build the whole thing, or only provide the components), there’s little doubt that major Japanese manufacturers are going to enter this market. And I bet that they will overwhelmingly choose Intel’s Atom as their processor of choice.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wall Climbing A Cinch

The C-Bot may be peering thru your office window soon. Based on biomimetics, it uses a gecko’s innovative foot design as a template to climb walls without any artificial adhesion. Tho it may not look like it, a gecko’s foot is hairy, fine enough to only be seen on the micro level. This molecular adhesion, combined with C-Bot’s array of ultrasonic sensors means costly (and ugly) scaffolding may be obsolete. Theoretically you can build them big enough to carry a human. Now wouldn’t that be something!

UPDATE: it’s essentially a bionic climbing robot which creates a diagnosis of the building fabric. Designed by Niklas Galler.

The sensor emits ultra-sonic rays and gets the required information through specific ray reflection. Inner damages of buildings, like rust inside of reinforced concrete, or mildew infested walls, can be detected.

Three symmetry axis enables the robots to move in different directions, without gearing. The complex leg architecture, qualifies the C-Bot to navigate and kind of edge or spherical surface - also vertical walls constitue no problem. C-Bot can be steered via GPS or a 3D-map with all required information can be uploaded on its hard disk.

Bean Vac Vacuum Cleaner

Now the Bean Vac vacuum concept is certainly a friend to homes in Asia, Europe, or the Americas. While it does not compromise quality and build, the Bean Vac vacuum offers the agility to maneuver within Asian homes when it is in canister mode. Making it stand upright makes the Bean Vac vacuum suitable for homes in North America and Europe where they are in general, much larger and more spacious. You just gotta love that green color though. The Bean Vac vacuum was designed by Ying-Hao Juan.

Bluetooth Umbrella

I guess it is only a matter of time before somebody came up with the idea of a Bluetooth Umbrella - this concept device features a Bluetooth-enabled handle that offers you handsfree connectivity to your cell phone. In addition, it also comes with an integrated FM radio to allow you to stay entertained despite the gloomy weather all around. I don't think many people will prefer to use this as their conversation device of choice, especially in public, as you will then make all your word exchanges public - dirty linen and all. Kudos to designer Mikhail Stawsky for the luscious design and concept art though. Why not throw in a solar panel on top so that this is self-powered indefinitely?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vye S41 Mini PC and Tablet Computer

The S41 is a mini-v which can handle full versions of Microsoft software applications such as Office. A mini-v is a new category of mobile device that is in between a large tablet PC and a small PDA. Since it can function as both a tablet PC as well as a laptop it is considered to be a mini version of both; hence the term mini-v. The S41 in tablet mode is a decent gaming device, having buttons on the side of its screen for that as well as a d-pad and mouse pointer on the left, and on the right there is left and right click and the scroll up ad down hardware keys which can be bound to an action.

Priced at $1499, the Vye comes with:
  • Intel A110-800MHz processor
  • DDR2 667MHz 1024MB memory
  • 7" WSVGA(1024x600) TFT + TSP Touchscreen display
  • 80 GB HDD
  • Internal DVD Burner
  • Internal GPS receiver
  • Windows Vista Home Premium

Starmac Quadcopters

STARMAC is a multi vehicle test bed used to demonstrate new concepts in multi-agent control on a real-world platform. The fleet, consisting of six quadrotor vehicles that can fly indoors and outdoors as well as being able to carry computing and sensing resources sufficient for autonomous operations. Among the computing resources on board are a low level microcontroller board called the Robostix, the Gumstix Verdex for positive estimation and control, a PXA270 based single board computer and a PC-104 computer running Linux(Fedora) for onboard processing of vision information, optimal path planning and other high level automation tasks. These vehicles will be able to be used in real-world application with enough computing resources and excess lift capacity to get the job done… autonomously.