Revolutionary New Control Device

Every so often, you come across something that is simply jaw dropping. Most times, for me, these tend to be technology related.

Someone sent me a link to the above video a few months ago and I had completely forgotten about it until today as I was looking through some old links, one of which was this video. Is swear, this is something straight out of a futuristic movie!

Thalmic Labs has developed a wearable gesture control called MYO. You strap on the forearm band and voila! You’re ready to control everything from remote helicopters to your Mac and the latest military grade robot. Un…freakin…believable!!!

To say I’m blown away would be an understatement.

I’m sure there are more advanced devices and technology my brain can’t even comprehend, but this is a device ready for the masses at, get this, $149. I’m just amazed at what people are developing and making available to us common folk.

Now give that video one more gander and tell me that doesn’t bring out the giddy little kid in you.

Check out the ThalmicLabs site here: ThalmicLabs.com.

Bose SoundLink Mini Is The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

bose soundlink mini

Call me crazy, but up until recently, I really was not a fan of bluetooth speakers. Sure they’re convenient, look awesome with no cable clutter, and offer some great connection options for just about any device you can crank music from. But I always thought the sound quality was a little less than a wired connection.

Then I happened to be on a road trip with my son (our annual In N’ Out road trip) and we stopped at Fred Meyer store for a quick pit stop. We walked by the electronics department which just so happened to have a little Bose display set up. I played the sample music through the SoundLink Mini and was floored…absolutely floored…at how great it sounded.

How in the world were they getting such big, full sound out a tiny little package?! I guess good things really do come in small packages, size really doesn’t matter, and you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

I nearly bought one on the spot, but I resisted the impulse. That lasted for about a week until I finally broke down and picked one up locally.

I brought it home, connected my iPhone to it, and proceeded to demonstrate it for my wife. She’s not much of a technogeek, but even she was amazed. Now that’s saying a lot.

The Bose SoundLink Mini has some great features:

  • Internal, rechargeable battery
  • Handy charging base
  • Easy bluetooth setup
  • Auxiliary jack for connecting devices without bluetooth
  • Essential controls right on the top of the unit

I’ve always been a Bose fan. I know people will argue they’re overpriced and you’re paying for the name, but I’ve had great luck with their products. Plus I think they sound great. The SoundLink Mini is right in line with what I’d expect out of Bose.

If you haven’t listened to one of these, jump in the car and find a place with a display. Just be careful though. Browsing can easily turn into buying!

Portland Gets WiMAX

No matter where you live, it never seems like the latest and greatest technology actually ever hits your neck of the woods before the rest of the modern world has had a chance to get sick of it. Well chalk one up for this technology junkie because Portland, Oregon officially has WiMAX!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, WiMAX is in very simple terms an extremely fast Internet connection alternative to other wire-based services such as Cable, DSL and Verizon FioS Service and wireless services provided at hotspots like what Starbucks offers through AT&T. You can expect speeds of up 6 mbps at home and 4 mbps on mobile accounts. Home plans start at $20 a month with mobile plans starting at $30 a month. Very competitive in price and stated speed to other offerings.

WiMAX achieves these stellar speeds by connecting subscribers over a WiMAX modem. For those who think less is more, most mobile users for instance, WiMAX chips are already starting to show up in new laptops such as the Asus Eee PC. I would suspect that many manufacturers will be watching closely how widely accepted WiMAX is in the Portland area to gauge whether or not the new chips are worth considering for new hardware.

One very positive note is the WiMAX technology is much more robust than Wi-Fi and provides wireless signals that stretch for miles rather than the typical few dozen feet. This is accomplished through the use of federally licensed radio spectrum. This ups the ante on technological advances and quality of service, but it also ups the ante financially for Clearwire, the company behind WiMAX.

Not only is the federally licensed radio spectrum expensive, Clearwire must come into the Portland area and make a big splash rather quickly. It has to gain a significant subscriber base to bring in much needed capital to offset rollout costs. Accomplishing this in the midst of an economic downtime, not to mention stiff competition from other already entrenched providers could prove to be a daunting task.

The day Clearwire officially launched WiMAX in Portland, I was ready to sign up. One problem: Macs aren’t supported. Sweet mother! I decided to go to Plan B.

I’d already been considering a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet to play with. I figured I’d just buy the WiMAX enabled version. New problem: Everyone was out of them. However I found someone wanting to sell one on Craigslist. I’m Golden! New problem came up: Clearwire was saying it wasn’t compatible with Portland’s WiMAX service.

I started searching around and found that Nokia, that same day, had pulled the Nokia N810 WiMAX version from production. Not only that, they were asking retailers to return unsold units (I don’t think anyone had any to return) to Nokia. An interesting development.

After all that, I think I’m just going to sit on the sidelines of this latest and greatest event and see how things go. If some compelling device comes down the pipe or Clearwire decides to support Mac users before it goes belly up, maybe I’ll pony up and try the mobile service.

All in all, my big chance to actually be in on one of the latest, greatest and coolest things has met a very disappointing end……for now.

Mac Clone for only $399

Psystar, a company in Miami, Florida, has released a Mac clone they claim will run OS X Leopard. The Open Computer has great base specs (Core2Duo 2.2Ghz CPU, 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, 2GB DDR2 RAM) and a decent looking case for only $399 (not including Leopard OS). You can choose to provide your own copy of Leopard or they will pre-install it for you.

There are some potential pitfalls to using the Open Computer. The biggest being that they’re using the EFI Emulator to achieve a native install straight from a retail DVD with OS X Leopard on it. This could be problematic with OS updates and patches from Apple. Still dang interesting, especially given the hardware specs for the price.

Check out the full specs on Psystar’s site here. (http://www.psystar.com/shop/openmac.html)

Here’s an interesting post on ZDNet’s site about a potential Apple monopoly:

Psystar: Apple’s terms violate U.S. monopoly laws by ZDNet‘s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes — Psystar, a Miami-based OEM which is now offering OS X on generic PC hardware, claims that Apple’s restrictive licensing terms violates U.S. monopoly laws. Whoa, bold claim there. Better have some deep pockets if the company wants to take the fight to court.

Another Apple TV Composite Video Hack

appletv.jpg

Just started using my Apple TV again after months of it sitting in a drawer. I read over at Appletvhacks.net on how to get color display from composite video out on a non-HD display, but stumbled on a slightly different solution while doing this. From the Appletvhacks.net site, their solution says:

Here’s what he did:

  • Plug your composite-yellow in the green “slot” (this will give you an image, but BW)
  • head over to resolution and set it to 480i (not sure if this step is needed tho)
  • now STAND on 480p and unplug the composite-yellow, plug an HDMI-DVI adapter
  • press “ok” on the remote and count to 5
  • unplug the HDMI-DVI adapter and replug the composite-yellow, when the image comes back, it comes back full color!

What I did cuts out the 5 second remote trick and requires one other device many people probably already have in their bag – the Apple DVI-video out cable. I hooked mine up to the HDMI-DVI adapter as show here:

IMG_0025.JPG

Then I did the following:

  • Plug your composite-yellow in the green “slot” (this will give you an image, but BW)
  • head over to resolution and set it to 480i
  • plugged in the HDMI-DVI-Apple VIdeo Out cable
  • unplug the composite-yellow plug and plug it into the Apple Video composite port, wait about 5 seconds
  • unplug the composite-yellow plug from the Apple Video composite port and replug the composite-yellow, when the image comes back, it comes back full color!

Don’t know why this works this way, but it has worked great for me! As noted on the Appletvhacks.net site, you can also use the software solution found here.

 

How Apple Can Improve the iMac

I’ve come across what I think is not only a brilliant idea, but would come in darn handy. The Apple iMacs have beautiful screens. It would be awesome to have a way to use the built in monitor as an external monitor for, say, a laptop or desktop (Mac or PC). This would let you consolidate a multi-system environment saving the space you’d use for a monitor.

What would be even better would be a way to use the keyboard and mouse you have plugged into your iMac on your additional desktop or laptop. A built-in KVM switch of sorts.

I replace my monitors at work and home with iMacs. Extra systems always come in handy.

iPod Touch = iPod LOVE

iPod touchYou may be surprised to see another post about a new iPod after my recent post on the iPod Classic 160GB I picked up a few weeks ago. Even though my teenage daughter told me not to get one (strange as it may sound), I picked up an iPod touch. I must say, I’m in love anew with Apple’s latest iPod.

From the thin, sleek iPhone-like profile to the gorgeous, scratch resistant 3.5″ screen (check out the link below) to the ultra cool multi-touch interface, there’s a lot of touch to love. Continue reading “iPod Touch = iPod LOVE”

Nokia N800 Internet Tablet – A “niche” device

Nokia N800 Internet Tablet

Why I feel like I need another device to surf the Internet, I have no idea. I spend all day sitting in front of a computer on the Internet, yet I am constantly looking for devices that really do nothing more than provide Internet access in another form factor. I DID find one particular place this device comes in handy for reading blogs and catching up on news articles Continue reading “Nokia N800 Internet Tablet – A “niche” device”

SkyCaddie SG4 – Ultimate Golf Geekery

skycaddie1.jpgBack in the 17th century, golfers used to smack wooden balls around rough golf courses, walking every step of the way, lugging their crude bamboo clubs from hole to hole in full Sunday dress, and took your best guess as to how far you needed to hit the darn thing. We’ve come a long way baby.

Today not only do we have high-tech clubs and balls, power walk carts and heated drive carts, but if you really want to geek out on the golf course, you can dial up the nearest satelite and get your accurate distance information sent right to you. The SkyCaddie SG4 makes it all possible.

If you are a geek, and you like to golf, you owe it to youself to check this out. Continue reading “SkyCaddie SG4 – Ultimate Golf Geekery”