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Archive for July, 2009

Greatest Single Phone Call in History Gets Microsoft to Change Laptop Hunter Ads [Microsoft]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, apple, Art, E3, Hd, Home Automation, itc, Led, Mac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Make, Mic, microsoft, Os, OTS, PC, PCs, phone, Pink, pre, price, Pro, Rc, Real, Rumor, Rumors, star, Tent, Test, time, Top, Via, Video, Videos, what, windows, YouTube

The “greatest single phone call” Microsoft COO Kevin Turner’s ever received apparently worked. Sort of. After Apple asked Microsoft to stop running the Laptop Hunters ads because they’ve dropped prices, Microsoft’s edited at least one of the spots. The original Lauren 2.0 spot’s been pulled off YouTube, and in the re-cut version, the reference to the MacBook Pro costing two grand has been dropped (since “MacBook Pro,” whatever that means now , starts at $1200). Not that it actually changes the intent of ad one bit , since Lauren 2.0 still manages to get in there, “It seems like you’re paying a lot for the brand.” Which is all it needs to say, really, since that’s what most people already think because of Apple’s own success at positioning itself as a premium brand, even as they cut prices on basically everything they make. Success is a bitch that way sometimes. [ YouTube via AdAge via MacRumors ]

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Greatest Single Phone Call in History Gets Microsoft to Change Laptop Hunter Ads [Microsoft]

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Tron Legacy’s New Awesome Lightcycle Escapes Into the Real World [Tron]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, Display, gps, Hd, Home Automation, Light, Make, Mic, ps, Rc, Real, Sd, Tron, Tron legacy, Video, xl, YouTube

Here’s one of the ultra-sleek I-want-I-want-I-WANT new Tron sequel’s lightcycles, which apparently has escaped the grid to get into the real world. It’s on display at Comic Con 2009 , and it gets me as wet as the trailer did . [ YouTube ]

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Tron Legacy’s New Awesome Lightcycle Escapes Into the Real World [Tron]

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Apple Finally Acknowledges Blu-Ray Exists [Apple]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, apple, Blu-Ray, dash, E3, Hd, Home Automation, Led, Mac, Poop, pooping, Pro, Rc, theater, Xm

Apple has finally acknowledged that Blu-ray exists. Sadly—or fortunately—not with a brand new iMac 30, but with the “Create Blu-ray” option in the new Final Cut Pro . Oh poop . [Thanks Frank]

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Apple Finally Acknowledges Blu-Ray Exists [Apple]

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How Much Is the World Pooping? [Twitter]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under 3D, Ads, Hd, Home Automation, Mic, Mit, Os, Poop, pooping, Pro, ps, Rc, Real, time, twitter, Twitter shitters, Twttrpoop, Ui

Um, a lot. TwttrPoop is everything that Twitter has been building toward: It tracks the whole world pooping in real time on Twitter. Or taking a dump, dropping a deuce or having explosive diarrhea. It even will show you how much more people talk about pooping than your company or world peace or the economy: Awwww, dammit. There is simply nothing left for Twitter to accomplish. [ TwttrPoop ]

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How Much Is the World Pooping? [Twitter]

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Hello Kitty Stormtrooper Ruins Both Star Wars and Hello Kitty [Bad Ideas]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under 3D, Ads, Hd, Home Automation, Mic, movie, Os, PC, Pee, Pink, Rc, Star Wars, Trailers, Up, upc, Via

For every cool sneak peek of an upcoming movie we get from ComicCon, we also get a slice of legitimate horror like this Hello Kitty Stormtrooper here. ComicCon giveth trailers, and ComicCon taketh away dignity. [ Kitty Hell via Boing Boing ]

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Hello Kitty Stormtrooper Ruins Both Star Wars and Hello Kitty [Bad Ideas]

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Samsung LED LCD UN46B7000 HDTV Lightning Review: Avoid! [HDTVs]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, Art, design, Gadget, Games, Hd, HDTV, Home Automation, internet, issues, LCD, LCDs, Led, Light, lighting, lights, media, Moon, motion, movie, movies, News, oss, Plus, pre, price, Pro, ps, Ram, Rc, Real, Red, remote, Review, rip, Samsung, Samsung un46b7000, screen, Space, speaker, Speakers, Sun, Tent, Test, TV, TVs, twitter, UN46B7000, Up, Video, Video Games, weather, what

Generally, I love LED LCDs. The UN46B7000 is Samsung’s set with 120Hz refresh and internet widgets. It’s not backlit, like the XBR8, but sidelit, and is as thin as two of your fingers. You should avoid buying this set. The Price: $3000 The Verdict: The problem is that this set dims the sidelights whenever the program material gets dark, and it does it in the most ungraceful way ever. Check out the menu that I popped on screen, merely to show you what happens to white material on screen when the backlight is dimmed to increase black level. See how everything white goes dark, too? So, if there’s a scene in a movie where there’s a moonlit night, the lighting in this set would crank everything down, including the moon itself. Backlit LED tvs can turn off individual lights to increase blacks, yet keep LEDs lit in the area around the on screen moon; this set idiotically turns everything off. (*Some other sets do this for energy savings, but there’s always a way to set the backlight to a consistent brightness level.) I didn’t even benchmark the set after this, as there was no need for me to measure other features when the set had such a glaring problem, which Samsung claims is not a bug. Oddly, many technical reviewers glossed over this fact, giving this set editor choice awards while brushing away the issue. My impressions of the rest of the set are here, however: • The TV’s colors are inflated like a lot of LCDs but the picture and motion handling are pretty damn comparable to any modern late model LCD. • There are no buttons on the set, so if you lose your remote, you’re fucked. • The TV is about 1.2 inches thick, and all the ports are tucked nicely away on the side. But because the case is so thin, the speakers sound terribly thin. Worse than on an old 22 inch TV I have in the back of the house. • The case’s translucent edges are among the best designed cases of any modern gadget, in my opinion. • The internet widgets and content take a long minute to boot up and include Flickr, twitter and weather apps. They aren’t worth the $150-$200 over the 6000 series which eliminate these extras. There’s a media streamer (which I didn’t test) recipes, simple video games, exercises, art and animated children’s songs, like this really freaky one about having the munchies. • Off axis viewing isn’t great, but isn’t bad. • If you have noise reduction on on this set, it will strip the grain from movies, practically, making everything look like it was shot on a cheap digital camcorder. Turn it off. • It’s worth repeating that this set is generally gorgeous. • Like all LED sets, they’re energy efficient. But again, there’s no localized dimming with this set, which is side, not backlit. The good news is that Samsung can fix this dimming issue by firmware. The bad news is that I haven’t heard they even believe its an issue yet. I’ve never been so irritated by such a beautiful TV and recommend you steer clear. A nice picture Super thin Dimming sidelight issues. Sounds thin Expensive

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Samsung LED LCD UN46B7000 HDTV Lightning Review: Avoid! [HDTVs]

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Palm Would Really Like You To Know That They’re Fighting With Apple Right Now [Palm Pre]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, apple, Art, Blockquote, Concept, design, Display, Hardware, Hd, Home Automation, iPod, iTunes, itunes sync, Itunes syncing, Jobs, Mac, Mit, Os, oss, Palm, Palm pre, Palm pre itunes, Palm pre itunes sync, Pr, pre, Pro, question, Rc, Real, Rf, sage, Sd, Services, SILICON, Software, Stand, steve, Syncing, Tegra, Tent, Test, Up, Update, usb, usb-if, Via, what

Did you hear about that Palm Pre update yesterday? The one that re-enables iTunes syncing ? Yes, probably, but Palm would still very much like to emphasize to you, and now the USB Implementers Forum, that it’s fighting the good fight. Following their endearingly blustery update announcement, a Palm spokesperson explained that the company will take this fight, possibly the greatest battle of our generation, to the ends of the earth. Or at least to the leading opt-in industry advocacy organization for USB hardware: Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member. To quote the least appropriate person possible , uhh, “Boom?” But what does “improper use of the vendor ID number” mean? Palm isn’t very specific, though I imagine they have a conceptual, rather than a compliance, issue with Apple. In other words, Palm seems to think that Apple’s use of the its vendor ID to shut others out of using its software is somehow wrong, or out of line with the USB-IF’s stated ethos. That, and the fact that Palm pretty much has to question the legitimacy (or usage) of Apple’s vendor ID, because by designing the Pre to spoof an iPod vendor ID , they’re totally infringing upon it . Check this USB-IF compliance update from 2007 : The Vendor ID used by a product must match the VID of the company producing the product (the integrator). Please ensure that the VID used by the product matches the company making the product. The USB-IF does not permit the product to display the silicon VID instead of the company making the product…With written permission, the device may be listed on the Integrators List. I’ve got a feeling Palm doesn’t have that permission slip. The best part about this is how low the real stakes are: Vendor IDs, “USB Compliant!” badges and iTunes syncing are all that’s materially at risk here for either company. All the rest is a battle for good PR, fought by PR people. If nothing else, it has been, and will continue to be, really, really fun to watch. [Quote via AllThingsD ]

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Palm Would Really Like You To Know That They’re Fighting With Apple Right Now [Palm Pre]

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Robot Baseball Players to Necessitate Man’s Fusion with Rhinoceros [Clips]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, Camera, Dj, Hd, Home Automation, itc, Mit, Mlb, Nec, News, Os, oss, OTS, Pee, Pink, ps, Rc, Real, Red, Research, Rf, Robot, Robot baseball, Robots, search, Tent, time, Tokyo, Ui, Up, Via, Video

Unless you’re Mark Buehrle, it’s nearly impossible for humans to play a perfect game of baseball. But for robots, feats like batting 1000 are already a reality. Developed by the University of Tokyo, two baseball robots, a pitcher and a batter, play head to head in near perfection. The pitching robot uses an arm from MIT and a three-fingered hand developed in-house (that’s so nimble it can open and close 10 times per second) to release a strike zone pitch 90% of the time. Meanwhile the batting robot offers intense competition by wielding a 1000fps camera that can track the pitch in realtime, connecting with the ball almost every time it flies in the strike zone. But before you get too excited, know that the pitching bot only throws the ball at 24mph. So it’s likely that a classic batting cage bot could strike out more MLBers than anything coming out of the labs…for now. Researchers hope to increase pitch speed to 93mph soon and work curve balls and sliders into the mix. We’ll see how well the batting robot (and puny humans) can keep up then. [ Mainichi via Pink Tentacle via CrunchGear ]

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Robot Baseball Players to Necessitate Man’s Fusion with Rhinoceros [Clips]

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SteelSeries Xai Gaming Mouse Is High Definition, Whatever That Means [Gaming]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, Blockquote, Bluetooth, dash, design, Gadget, Games, Gaming, Hd, Home Automation, LCD, Led, Light, Mac, Make, media, Mic, Mice, mini, Mouse, Os, OTS, Pack, PC, PCs, Pee, Peripherals, Plastic, power, pre, Pro, ps, Ram, Rant, Razer, Rc, Red, Research, Rf, rip, search, Ships, Software, sports, Stand, steelseries, Steelseries kinzu, Steelseries xai, store, surf, Technology, time, Top, Tracking, Up, Update, Via, Xai

Did you know it was gaming mouse season ? It’s the time of year when they come out of their Cheeto-packed burrows to mate. SteelSeries’ Xai’s mating call is its “high definition” sensor. SteelSeries rails against the current gaming industry pseudo-standard of DPI (dots per inch) as a measurement of tracking speed, instead preferring to tout CPI, or counts per inch, so the money spec for the laser-powered Xai reads like this: It processes 12,000 frames/second at 5,001 CPI at movement speeds of 150 inches/second. Which makes it high definition. Okay! Xai shares its ambidextrous grip—which supposedly took three years of research with pro gaming teams to deduce—with the slightly smaller, cheaper Kinzu that’s essentially an optical variant. And both of them have seven programmable buttons, with driverless install. And of course, there is a special mat just for high definition mice, the 9HD , though no word on how much it, or the mice, will cost . I would bet you the amount that they cost that they’re not cheap, because then I would make a lot of money. Update : Fairly standard for gaming gear, with Xai going for $80 and the 9HD pad at $35. Kinzu is a relative bargain for $35, competitive with Logitech’s classic MX518 optical. STEELSERIES INTRODUCES NEW HIGH DEFINITION GAMING MOUSE AND GAMING SURFACE After extensive research with the world’s top gaming teams, SteelSeries’ innovative gaming mouse provides gamers with new levels of precision, accuracy and stability to enhance performance CHICAGO – July 24, 2009 –SteelSeries, the leading manufacturer of gaming peripherals and accessories, today introduced the SteelSeries Xai Laser Mouse, SteelSeries Kinzu Optical Mouse and the SteelSeries 9HD hard plastic surface. The technology, shape, size, weight and feel of the SteelSeries Xai was designed with one purpose: to create an immediate advantage for gamers by enhancing a user’s performance during game play. “We spent three years methodically perfecting the SteelSeries Xai by researching mouse grips used by professional gaming teams such as Fnatic, SK Gaming and Evil Geniuses in order to create a level of performance that gamers have never experienced before,” said Bruce Hawver, CEO of SteelSeries. “The SteelSeries Xai’s High Definition sensor offers a huge improvement over the current highest-end gaming mice and it is designed with technical specifications that increase the level of performance results, especially during the most frantic and fast-paced games.” Research and development of the mouse was done in close cooperation with full-time professional gamers from the U.S., Europe and Asia to ensure that the SteelSeries Xai is a tool with a purpose – not just a gadget. The 10.8 megapixels/second sensor offers a huge improvement over the current generation of gaming mice by processing 12,000 frames/second at 5,001 CPI at movement speeds of 150 inches/second providing the user with High Definition tracking for unparalleled precision. Furthermore, the SteelSeries Xai offers unprecedented levels of personalization for the user, with unique SteelSeries sensor innovations like SteelSeries ExactAim, SteelSeries ExactRate, SteelSeries ExactSens, SteelSeries FreeMove and automatic lift distance calibration. SteelSeries Xai can be fully configured via a LCD menu system on the back of the mouse, where settings will be stored on the mouse thus eliminating the need for drivers and providing configuration capabilities on-the-go. Some of the features of the SteelSeries Xai include: Ambidextrous shape 7 Programmable macro buttons, 200 strokes per button Driverless plug-and-play, with 5 profiles Fully configurable via LCD menu system 100-5,001 counts/inch The SteelSeries 9HD surface was designed to fully support the enhanced tracking capabilities of next-generation High Definition gaming mice. The finely textured surface consists of tens-of-thousands of light reflecting microscopic points, enabling the user to perform exceptionally precise mouse operations, including minimal movements as well as high velocity “slingshots.” In addition to the SteelSeries Xai Laser Mouse, SteelSeries is also introducing the SteelSeries Kinzu Optical Mouse. Based on the same shape as the SteelSeries Xai, but 7% smaller in size, the SteelSeries Kinzu processes 9,375 frames/second at 3,200 CPI and is compact, lightweight, and is in a league of its own when it comes to reliability and stability. SteelSeries Xai, SteelSeries Kinzu and SteelSeries 9HD will be available August 2009. About SteelSeries SteelSeries is a leading manufacturer of gaming peripherals and accessories, including headsets, keyboards, mice, software and gaming surfaces, selling in more than 75 countries. SteelSeries has been on the forefront of professional gaming gear since its inception in 2001, thanks to continued innovation and product development in cooperation with leading professional gamers. All SteelSeries products are developed in co-operation with professional gamers to ensure optimum performance and durability. SteelSeries supports the growth of competitive gaming and electronic sports through professional team sponsorships and community support all over the world. For more information, please visit www.SteelSeries.com. [ SteelSeries ]

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SteelSeries Xai Gaming Mouse Is High Definition, Whatever That Means [Gaming]

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Dad Builds Imperial Walker Bed for Himself His Son [DIY]

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Ads, Art, dash, diy, Hd, Home Automation, Os, Rc, star, Star Wars, Ui, Via

So one father of the year built a Star Wars Imperial Walker for his son. The catch? That’s actually daddy kneeling to pose as Darth Vader in the shot—we’re betting. [ Instructables via Nowhere Else ]

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Dad Builds Imperial Walker Bed for Himself His Son [DIY]

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