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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Topio Dio: World’s first bartender robot

Robots are slowly taking place in our lives whether we like it or not. So far, we have seen several robots, some of them will work in space stations, while others will help us move heavy objects. Some robots are capable of simple things such as walking and running while others can do complex things such as playing the violin. We’ll have to admit that robots will become a huge part of our life someday, and this new robot is here to prove it. This new robot is 125 cm tall and it weights 45 kg. Besides that, it comes with 28 joints, three wheels, integrated camera sensor and with WiFi compatibility. So what can this robot do? Well, this robot works like a bartender and it will pour and serve you your favorite drink. We’ve seen many different robots but this is the first one that can serve drinks. There aren’t many details about this robot and only thing that we know is that is called Topio Dio and that it comes from Vietnam. We don’t know how this robot actually works but we are sure that Topio Dio isn’t cheap, so if you want your robotic bartender you better start saving money.
Overall, Topio Dio looks interesting because he’s the only robotic bartender on the world. Maybe Topio Dio will replace actual bartenders one day, but even if it looks cool with its shades Topio Dio won’t be able to chat with you, at least not yet.

Hands-on with iOS 4 update for iPhone, iPod Touch

At last, the latest major update for the iPhone and iPod Touch is available for download via iTunes, bringing with it such long-awaited features as multitasking, a unified e-mail inbox and home-screen app folders. Should you upgrade? Well, yeah, but don't expect all your apps to start working in the background just yet.

The iOS 4 update went live on iTunes at about 1 p.m. Eastern, and upgrading your iPhone or iPod Touch to the new OS is a simple matter of syncing your handset with the iTunes desktop application; you should be prompted to download and install the upgrade a few seconds after attaching your iPhone to the connector cable. The entire process should could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how long it takes to download the installation file (which is anywhere from about 290MB to more than 550MB in size, depending on the device you're updating), so be patient.

OK, so who should upgrade? Anyone with an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 3G, as well as the second- and third-generation iPod Touches. That's the good news. The bad news? Neither the iPhone 3G nor the second-gen iPod Touch will support iOS 4's multitasking features, although most other new features will be supported. And if you've got the original iPhone or the first-generation iPod Touch: Sorry, folks, you're out of luck.

All right, what should you expect the first time you fire up your upgraded iPhone or iPod Touch? Here are some of the highlights.

Home-screen wallpaper
Here's a feature you'll notice right away: When your home-screen app icons slide into place, you'll see your lock-screen wallpaper rather than a boring black background. Want to customize your wallpaper? Tap Settings, then Wallpaper, then tap once more to choose a wallpaper from your image gallery. You'll get the option to set a given image as your lock-screen wallpaper, your home-screen wallpaper or both. (Keep in mind, however, that a busy home screen background plus 16 app icons could make for some serious eye strain.) But if you're an iPhone 3G or second-gen iPod Touch user, bad news: The home-screen wallpaper has been disabled for your devices. Lame.

Integrated e-mail inbox & threaded messaging
iPhone users (including me) have been complaining for years that they haven't been able to get a unified view of their incoming e-mail, but that all changed today. Now, you can tap the All lnboxes inbox to see new messages from all your accounts at once—hallelujah (although I wish you could get a little icon telling you which account your various messages belong to). Also new is threaded messaging, which organizes your e-mail conversations into separate threads, a la Gmail. Don't like threaded messaging? You can turn it off by tapping "Settings," "Mail, Contacts, Calendars," and moving the "Organize by Thread" slider to "off."

The most anticipated iOS 4 feature of all, of course, is multitasking for third-party iPhone and iPod Touchapps, and the new multitasking interface couldn't be easier to use. When you've got an app running, just double-tap the Home button and the screen slides up, revealing a tray of any and all apps running in the background. Tap an icon, and the app that's currently running will twirl away, to be replaced by the app you just tapped. You can also tap and hold an app in the multitasking tray to close it for good once you're done using it.

Pretty nice, but there are a few caveats. No. 1: Just because iOS 4 supports multitasking doesn't mean all your apps can now run riot in the background. Apple already told us that only certain app functions — namely streaming music (such as Pandora), VoIP (think Skype) and location tracking (like Loopt) — will be allowed to work while you're using another app. Other apps will go into a "suspended" state, frozen in place so you can pick up exactly where you left off (via "fast app switching"). Why the limitations? So that apps in the background don't kill your battery and/or slow down your performance, according to Apple.

But here's the catch: A given app must be updated to work with iOS 4 before it'll multitask at all, even in a suspended state. (An app that isn't iOS-4-ready will just restart once you switch back to it.) For now, only a handful of apps have been updated. TechCrunch has listed a few of them, including Pandora, Evernote and the New York Times app. From what we've heard, the process of upgrading an app with iOS 4 multitasking support isn't difficult; it's just a matter of developers going ahead and adding the necessary code. Of course, Apple must also approve the update. Let's hope we start seeing an avalanche of iOS 4-ready apps in the AppStore within the next several days.

Home-screen app folders
The only problem with all those apps on your iPhone is keeping them organized. Personally, I've tried relegating games to one home screen, productivity apps to another, and so on, but it all gets pretty unwieldy. Now, thanks to iOS 4, we're getting home-screen folders, good for storing up to 12 apps. To create a folder, just tap and hold an icon until all your iPhone icons begin to shake; drag the icon onto another, and voila, you've created a folder. Tap the folder icon, and the screen will slide up, revealing all the apps inside. Nice, but I wish you could put more than 12 apps at a time inside a folder.

New camera/imaging features
Now you can tap to focus when shooting video or zoom in on subjects when you're shooting stills. Keep in mind, however, that as with other digital cameras, the iPhone's 5X digital zoom capability doesn't amount to much more than on-device cropping. Meanwhile, the iPhone's camera roll now supports the "Faces" and "Places" features in iPhone, meaning you can browse snapshots by who's in them or where they were taken. (Note: After upgrading your phone, notice that the snapshots in your photo albums look all blurry? Me too. Syncing your iPhone on iTunes again should sharpen your pictures right up — at least, it worked for me.)

Other iOS 4 features
Music lovers can now create playlists on the fly in the iPhone's native iPod app. Also new: support for Bluetooth-enabled keyboards, the ability to "gift" an iPhone app to someone else, a built-in dictionary for on-the-fly spellchecking, and an iBooks app for reading books on the iPhone. Two other important iOS 4 features won't be launching until later in the year: iAds (Apple's new mobile advertising platform, which goes live July 1) and Game Center, a new Xbox Live-style gaming network with support for friends, messaging and achievements (slated for fall).

My iPhone 3GS has always been a pretty peppy handset, and upgrading it to iOS 4.0 hasn't changed anything in that regard — the phone still screams, whether I'm swiping through home screens, firing up the e-mail app, or playing Chaos Rings. That said, some iPhone 3G users have reported painfully sluggish performance at first. But others claim the situation improves dramatically once you restart your handset, so if your 3G is having trouble, give it a try.

Still missing in iOS 4: notifications
Both Palm's WebOS and Google's Android OS feature somewhat evolved, elegant notification services, good for letting you know of incoming e-mail or text messages. In WebOS's case, a little window bubbles up at the bottom of the screen, letting you know who e-mailed/texted you and giving you reply/ignore options; on Android devices, the notifications appear in a bar at the top of the screen. With the iPhone, though, there's no way to quickly check who just e-mailed you without bailing out of an app, and SMS notifications appear as jarring pop-ups that interrupt whatever you're doing. Personally, I'm more than ready for the iPhone (and the iPod Touch too, of course) to get a notification system on the order of those on WebOS and Android handsets. But I guess we'll have to wait for iOS 5 before that happens.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toshiba Libretto, Now with Dual Screens

The Toshiba Libretto could easily pass for the first netbook, which debuted back in 1996 for around $2,000 - a bargain back then. This year marks Toshiba's 25th anniversary in the laptop business, and to celebrate, it's bringing back the Libretto for one more dance.
The Libretto W100 is basically an oversized Nintendo DS that runs on Windows 7 Home Premium. It's neither a netbook nor a tablet, but can be misconstrued as one or the other as it houses two 7-inch screens that fold into a clamshell. Frankly, I'm not sure where to place this device.

The concept of a dual-screen device has been attempted several times, but the W100 is easily one of the smallest. There's the top half, which serves as your primary screen, and then there's the bottom half, which is multipurpose: You could use it as a second screen, extend the primary screen, or type on it with Toshiba's home-brewed virtual keyboards.

The last part had to be the toughest, as Toshiba created a custom user interface from scratch. Bear in mind, the W100 doesn't have a physical keyboard or dedicated mouse buttons. The device is basically made up of two touch screens and three physical buttons—one for Power, a Home key, and a button that cycles through six different virtual keyboards. The screens use Haptic technology, which means there's force feedback with each virtual key pressed.

Toshiba included a basic QWERTY keyboard, which is laid out like the one on the Apple iPhone. The full version made it so that the keys are smaller than the basic one, but you have every key at your disposal. The split keyboard seemed the most user-friendly, since I'm accustomed to thumb-typing on my iPhone. And there are versions that emulate a phone and numeric keypad. Overall, I found the keyboard experience very difficult to grasp although, similar to my first iPhone experience, I'm sure it gets better with time.
For those who spend a lot of time Web surfing, the user interface also has a virtual touchpad and mouse buttons, which worked quite well during my time with the W100. When the virtual navigation tools are not in play, the split screens can be treated as one for very long pages, or used for two separate application windows. Though I didn't try it as one, the W100 seems like a slam dunk for e-book readers, since the device can be held like a book.
The W100 is ridiculously light, tipping the scales at 1.9 pounds. It's draped in brushed aluminum, which is colored in gun-metal gray. Each screen has a 1,024-by-600 resolution, as anything higher would have made them impossible to read. Toshiba did boast about the W100's lone USB port, which is clearly a knock against the Apple iPad. There's also a head phone jack for music listeners.
The Libretto W100 doesn't run on an Intel Atom processor or else pundits would have called it an overpriced netbook. Instead, a 1.2GHz Intel Pentium U5400 CPU or a next-generation ultra low voltage processor is what makes it tick. Memory is maxed out at 2GB, and the W100 can use either a spinning hard drive (320GB) or a solid state drive (62GB). It ships with an 8-cell battery, which Toshiba claims will last over five hours. The fan noises and extra heat coming from the top half indicate that all the processing parts are situated there.
At launch, Toshiba said that the Libretto W100 will be available in limited quantity, with a starting price of $1,099.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hard Drive

Buffalo is the 2nd company to announce a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 external hard drive. Although anyone can make the claim, we know the players who mean what they say. Buffalo always delivers so we are anxious to get the green light on purchasing…the DriveStation by Buffalo is the fastest USB hard drive on the market [or will be] with transfer speeds over 125MBs/second. WOW.

According to USB-IF, Buffalo HD-HXU3 will be powered by Fujitsu MB86C30A USB 3.0 to SATA IC. If Buffalo’s current DriveStation series is any indication, Buffalo will likely use the Fujitsu IC’s AES USB encryption engine, and ship with some version of Memeo’s AutoSync backup software. Also launched is a USB 3.0 card to take advantage of the new SuperSpeed USB mode. Buffalo will initially ship the USB 3.0 drive in 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB sizes and include the add-on card. You can expect the USB 3.0 hard drive from Buffalo to ship in Asia and UK markets by end of Q4 and the US by early 2010.

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Sexy Touch Activated USB LED Boob Lamp

Apparently, this gadget is specially made for lonely men who want some sexy touching of boobs while they’re sitting in front of the computer. It should serve as a great Father’s day gift for any lonely fathers. So here is the kicker, to make the LED turn on, you simply brush the nipple. To turn it off, brush the nipple again. Hmm, sounds about right. Features funny boob shape

1)Easy to use
2)Simply push the nipple to switch the LED light on or off.

3)Made of high quality plastic

4)Powered by USB, no external power supply needed.

5)Compatible with any laptop or desktop computer that has a USB input.

6)It is great to be a decor on your desk and it can also give you a warm and soft light at night.

7)A great gift for any men in your life

8)Size: 15 x 9.3cm

9)Weight: 0.28kg

Package Contains:

1 x USB LED Boob Lamp

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