Cassette USB Hub

Cassette USB Hub
If you feel like you’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the wonderful world of technology, now’s the time to show everyone that you still haven’t forgotten your old school analog roots — sort of. This is a four-port USB hub that looks like a cassette tape. So much so, in fact, that it’s the exact same dimensions as a regular cassette tape and it’ll fit in one of those old plastic cases.

So if you’ve lost LL Cool J’s Walking With a Panther tape like I have, you can safely house this hub inside the case.

But wait, there’s more! Apparently the cassette wheels do indeed spin round and round, except this time there’s no actual tape to get all tangled up. So you can stick a pencil in there and twist it for old times’ sake.

Just $24.95 at Vat19. “Just.” That’s actually a bit expensive, but can you really put a price on nostalgia? If you answered, “NO!” then perhaps you’ll buy this hub.

After having seen the classic cassette tape in the shape of a USB drive and MP3 player, you will now be able to take a walk down memory lane using it as a 4-port USB hub.

Now you can power up all your myriad of USB devices with a blast from the past. There may no longer be tape hanging randomly from telegraph poles around the country anymore, but the icon can live on on your desktop.


  • A 4 port USB 2.0 Hub in the shape of a classic cassette tape.
  •  Its retro styling looks so realistic you’ll have to stop yourself from trying it in your walkman.
  •  This is not a real cassette tape and attempts to play it in a cassette player could cause serious damage to your stereo and the hub.
  •  Size: 97 x 61cm
  •  The 4-port Cassette Tape USB Hub is available over at the I Want One Of Those website for £12.99 (about $23 USD).

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer Browser
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser is one of the most famous web browsers used by millions of internet surfers across the world every day. Recently Microsoft has released the version 8 for this famous web browser. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available for “Internet Explorer 8″. A number of improvements have been made to this new browser version, compared to the previous version, Internet Explorer 7.

Internet Explorer 8 is more standards-compliant as compared to previous versions of Microsoft’s web browsers. In addition, there are a number of cool new features designed to make the best browsing experience possible. Some of these features are as follows.

Suggested Sites
This feature is designed to suggest websites based on the site that is being currently browsed. Internet Explorer sends browser and session information, with a unique identifier to Microsoft. Microsoft has stated that this information is not stored and is only used to provide suggestions of related sites to the web browser.

InPrivate mode browsing
This is a new security mode of browsing and it consists of three sub-features – InPrivate Blocking, InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Subscription. InPrivate is basically a privacy protection mode. When using InPrivate mode, you can get notified about third-party content on web pages that are designed to track browsing history. In this mode, Internet Explorer does not save any browsing history, cookies are not stored, form data or passwords are not stored, and the browser cache is automatically cleared.

Originally called Activities during Internet Explorer beta, accelerators allow browser actions based on selections. Users can invoke an online service from any web page using only the mouse. Example, when you use Internet Explorer 8, and right click on a place name in a web page, you will find an accelerator called “Map with Live Search” which produces a map of the place name selected. Similarly, if you select the Translate with Live Search accelerator, you can get a translated version of the text you have selected in the web page. Thus, accelerators are designed to efficiently streamline the process of invoking web services with content found on web pages. Internet Explorer specifies an XML-based standard which allows any web application or web service to be invoked through an accelerator.

Web Slices

Web Slices are snippets or parts of a web page that a browser user can subscribe to. This unique feature of Internet Explorer allows self-updating content which can be viewed directly from the Favorites bar. Web page developers can mark certain areas of their web sites as web slices, using micro-formats specified by Microsoft. The web slices specification is open source, under Creative Commons license.

Address Bar features
The Address bar of Internet Explorer 8 shows the top-level domain in black and the other parts of the URL/address in gray. It supports pasting in multi-line URLs also.

SmartScreen Filter
This is a phishing filter designed to warn users about fake or spoofing sites. With the filter enabled in Internet Explorer, if you visit a site that has been labeled as harmful, then you will get a prompt that the site has been marked as harmful, and you can choose what you would like to do. This is helpful in dealing with phishing emails that send users to shady sites designed to extract usernames and passwords of bank accounts, credit card information, PayPal information, etc.

Crash recovery
Internet Explorer 8 has a crash recovery mechanism enabled. If the browser crashes due to any reason when viewing web pages, then all the current tabs can be recovered when the browser is restarted again.

Internet Explorer 8 allows zooming in and out of web page text better than previous versions. You can now remove horizontal scrollbars by making the text “re-flow”.

Performance and stability
Internet Explorer 8 has sound HTML parser, Javascript engine, CSS engine, as well as associated programming components. Memory leaks found in previous browser versions have been fixed, and users can achieve better stability and security when using Internet Explorer 8 for web browsing needs. The LCIE architecture (loosely coupled Internet Explorer) runs the browser frame and the browser tabs in separate Windows processes to improve security and performance.

Standards Mode
Internet Explorer 8 has a “Standards Mode” enabled by default, where the web page rendering engine renders content authored to web standards like HTML, Javascript and CSS. In this mode, Internet Explorer 8 passes the Acid2 Test ( For backward compatibility with Internet Explorer 7, web pages that display best with Internet Explorer 7 rendering engine can specify the following header, which when present, makes Internet Explorer use the previous version’s rendering engine for that site.

Standards Compliance
Internet Explorer 8 supports for the W3C CSS 2.1 specification, including the Paged media model. Internet Explorer 8 supports cross domain communication using the XDomainRequest object. Internet Explorer 8 also supports the ARIA specification (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) for accessibility in internet based applications.

Inline Search
Internet Explorer 8 has inline search feature where if you start typing in keyword to search for, the keyword is highlighted in the web page being viewed.

Search Bar
Internet Explorer 8 has an improved search bar at the right side of the address bar, so you can now choose a search provider as you type, and you can switch between different search providers like Google, Windows Live Search, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and more.

Tab Grouping
Internet Explorer 8 colors the tab titles for those tabs opened from the same source (like right click and opening new tab from a web page). Thus it becomes easier to differentiate between multiple tabs that are open at the same time.

Preserve Favorite Website Data
This new feature of Internet Explorer 8, in the “Delete Browsing History” dialog window, allows you to save the cookies necessary for your favorite websites so your user preferences can be saved across browser sessions, while all the other cookies of other sites get deleted.

As of April of 2009, Internet Explorer 8 is used by 4.13% of the worldwide browser population. Overall, Internet Explorer is the most predominantly used web browser on the Internet, with all its different versions commanding a total share of more than 65% of worldwide browser usage.

Internet Explorer is the most popular web browser on the Internet, and with the enhanced features super set available in the latest release of Internet Explorer 8, the new web browser is even better than ever before, being used by millions worldwide.


Opera Web Browser
In today’s world, with viruses, worms, and hackers all trying to get at our personal and sensitive data, it’s more important than ever to do whatever we can to protect ourselves. And despite the constant patches, fixes, and upgrades, Internet Explorer has shown itself to be too easy to become infected or hacked. So how do you protect yourself in this sort of environment? The answer is Opera.

Opera is the best internet browser on the market and was developed by the Opera Software Company and first released in 1996, so it’s not a newcomer to the industry. It’s also free to download and install and runs on gaming systems, Smartphones, and PDAs. Opera is known by its twenty million users as the fastest and safest internet browser on the market.

Opera has always been a leader in innovations and safety. For example, tabbed browsing, which allows the user to have a single window with multiple tabbed sub-windows was introduced in Opera in 2000, whereas Internet Explorer didn’t release it until version 7 in 2006. Another great advance in Opera is called mouse gestures. This feature combines mouse movements with on screen prompts to quickly operate many functions. For instance, to page back the user would hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse to the left. The mouse prompt would then change to a back arrow, and when the user releases the button, they would page back.

Opera also includes standard browser features such as page zooming – the ability to zoom a page to different sized for easy viewing. Its download manager allows the user to quickly manage file downloads from the internet. It has a built in email client that let’s the user handle daily email requirements without needing a standalone program or relying on some of the public, free email sites that are known for spam and virus problems.

Also unlike the OS dependent Internet Explorer, Opera operates on a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. In addition, versions of Opera are available for mobile phones and PDAs using the Symbian, Windows Mobile, or Java ME operating systems. About forty million mobile phones come shipped with Opera already installed and ready to go. It is also the only web browser compatible with the Nintendo DS and Wii gaming systems.

Independent speed tests have shown Opera to be faster than Firefox and Safari, and infinitely faster than Internet Explorer 7. One exciting feature that helps in the speed department is its Speed Dial function. This allows the user to add up to nine links that are displayed automatically on a page when a new tab is opened. This keeps your “favorites” even more accessible. As you know, there are truly a handful of pages you visit more than all others, so why not have them always at hand on your speed dial. Another handy feature is the Trash Can which allows you to instantly reopen closed tabs. Never go fumbling through a cumbersome “history” list again.

Opera also excels at computer accessibility features. As innovative as the mouse gestures are for people who prefer not to or are physically unable to easily use a keyboard, Opera also supports a full set of keyboard shortcuts. In fact, the user can control virtually every aspect of the program using only the keyboard if they desire. The page zooming feature allows easier viewing for the visually impaired, and IBM’s voice control technology is also built in.

Security is one of the main reasons for choosing a web browser and in this department, Opera also exceeds expectations. It has built in phishing and malware protection and superior encryption on secure web sites. Operations that are overly complicated on other browsers, such as deleting private information and cookies, are handled with the click of a button. Automatic site checking algorithms are built in to warn the user if they are visiting a black listed or dangerous site. Saving passwords, which is a convenient but dangerous practice is protected in Opera by using a master password. According to an independent computer security expert, average unpatched security flaws in Opera over the last year is .01 compared to 38 in Internet Explorer or 5.77 in Firefox.

If you move between different computers, say work and home, Opera has a feature called Opera Link that allows you to quickly synch up your bookmarks, Speed Dial, and other saved data between these devices, even with your mobile phone. And speaking of history, Opera doesn’t just remember what pages you have been to, it remembers the content. If you need to get back to a recent page that had some great piece of information, you no longer have to scroll through history trying to find it, just use Opera’s Quick Find feature.

RSS feeds are becoming more and more popular, but bookmarking or subscribing to a feed only to find it’s not what you are looking for is time consuming. Use Opera’s Feed Preview to see a feed before you subscribe. Searching is also improved in Opera. If you need to do a search for information, just start typing the address bar. No need to clutter up the menu with a separate search window and address window, Opera does both in one handy location.

Let’s face it, in today’s computing environment, the internet browser is the most important and often used piece of software we have. Rather than just accepting what came with the computer, shouldn’t you have the fastest, safest, most customizable browser with the most innovative features on the market? Download and install the best internet browser. Get Opera today and start surfing the net like it should be.


Chrome Web Browser
One of the newest and best internet browsers on the market is Google Chrome. It was first released in beta in September of 2008, and publicly released as a finished product in December of 2008. In a world filled with viruses, worms, and hackers a better browser than Internet Explorer is needed and who better to fill that need than Google, who has dominated the Internet search engine market for years.

Initially, Chrome is only released for Windows running version XP or later and is available in forty three languages. Mac and Linux versions are under development, and they have announced they will be ready by the middle of 2009. Like most internet browsers, Google Chrome is free to download and use.

As with all internet products, security is a main concern and Google Chrome is not taking these concerns lightly. The software periodically updates itself on known phishing and malware sites and writes those to its blacklist, preventing the browser, or at least warning the user, away from being taken to those sites that are known to be malicious. Like most modern browsers, Chrome uses a tabbed browsing environment, but it has taken this to a new level by preventing security problems in one tab to affect what is going on in another tab. It also has an innovative feature called Incognito, which, when turned on, prevents Chrome from storing any history or cookies from websites.

One of the main complaints of Internet Explorer users, especially in version 7, is a lack of speed. Improvements to the Java virtual machine and other internal operations seem to have paid off. In independent speed tests, Google Chrome outperformed all of the competition, including the new release of Internet Explorer, version 8.

While other browsers have combined the address bar with the search bar, Google Chrome takes it one step further with its “One box for everything”. Its address bar handles web addresses and searches, but also suggests websites and related queries as you type and drops down to show your recent history. It also features a one click bookmark feature in the same box.

Another great feature of Chrome’s tabbed interface is how it handles a new tab. Instead of just loading the default home page, a new tab comes pre-populated with links to your most visited websites, recently bookmarked pages, and recently closed tabs, so getting to places you go most often becomes even easier. It also keeps track of the search engines you use most often and displays search boxes for those sites. Google can be commended for not forcing its users to search only using Google search.

Google Chrome has really loaded those tabbed pages with new features. Each tab has an independent forward and back button so you can quickly revisit pages from within that tab. You can also easily rearrange and resize the tabs so the windows are displayed in an order that works for you. You can even drag a tab outside the window to create a whole new window if you need to keep things separate.

If you have a web program, such as an email application, that you use frequently and independently of normal internet browsing, you can create a shortcut for it and treat it like any other program. Clicking on this shortcut will open the site in a special Chrome window that doesn’t have all the normal browser bells and whistles like address bars, tabs, and buttons. This keeps these programs separate from your browser window and makes them easier to operate with more screen space.

Nothing is more frustrating in Internet Explorer than for a site to crash, bringing down every site you are on, and closing all tabs and windows. As with the security functions mentioned above, each tab operates independently of each other. This means that if you hit a site that causes a problem, only that tab will close, leaving the rest of your browser intact. There is also a task manager feature similar to that found in Windows. In this way, you can force a misbehaving tab to close without breaking out of the entire browser window.

As discussed in the “one box for everything” section, Google Chrome has improved the old standard bookmarking procedure. If you are on a site you want to bookmark, you no longer have to fumble through menus and take your focus away from what you are doing. Simply click the star in the address bar and it’s done. If you want, you can modify the name or location on the fly. Another cool feature is the ability to create a bookmark from a link on a page. Just drag it to the bookmark bar and it’s saved in your favourites. If you are upgrading from another browser, Chrome also allows you to import your existing bookmark list. While on that subject, you can also import your saved passwords, history, and other important settings from your current browser, making moving to Google Chrome that much easier.


Firefox Web Browser
There are many players in the internet browser war, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera among them. While Internet Explorer has been the dominant browser for years, Firefox is quickly gaining popularity and just recently, surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in Europe. With the release of version 3.0 late last June, Firefox has reached the level of being a legitimate web browser choice rather than just a cute little toy for alternative software hobbyists. So, what’s to love about Firefox 3.0? Plenty!

First off, and this is a big one, Firefox is built using the Mozilla developed Gecko layout engine. This engine is becoming wildly popular for browsers, email applications, and web authoring tools because of its well known stability and licensing. Gecko is free and open source software, leading the way in developing world wide standards for the Web. As these standards are being developed, Firefox is on the front lines adding new features and add-ons.

One of the most popular features of Firefox is their tabbed browsing. Individual websites can be opened in new tabs instead of the old method of new windows. Of course, those who prefer new windows still have that option, but tabbed browsing lends to a more efficient and seamless browsing experience. The tabs can be configured to change the order in which they are displayed, automatically switch to a new tab just opened, and warn when multiple tabs are being closed. Tabs can even be saved at the end of a session so that they are automatically opened at the start of a new session.

Like most browsers, Firefox has a “find” feature which allows users a way to search for specific text on a web page. But unlike the others, the Firefox “find” interface isn’t an annoying pop-up window that gets in the way of the page. Instead, it is a small search bar that appears at the bottom of the window. Firefox begins to scan with the very first letter entered into the dialogue box without actually scrolling down the window. And something else that’s really helpful: as a word is typed into the search box, the box remains white until a letter that doesn’t appear in that string is entered. At that point the box turns red and the user knows the text string can’t be found in the page. No need to go any further. How cool is that?

For those who work with web based applications, or the general user just typing comments into a text box, Firefox 3.0 includes an integrated spell checker. It works as you go so you’ll immediately know when a word is misspelled. The drag and drop element also makes working a bit easier, allowing you to drag text or links directly into the integrated search bar. Add to that the ability to add notes to web pages for future reference, and you have a browser that takes productivity to a new level.
Bookmarking is easy and intuitive, and the new bookmark organization tool is a vast improvement over previous versions. It now works just like a file manager with drag and drop, in-line editing, and sorting. Menus can be customized and organized with ease, bookmark names can be changed, and extra descriptions and details can be included. Some of the management features, like adding a new folder or deleting an unwanted, can even be done without opening the organization tool.

Fans of customization will be thrilled with the thousands of add-ons available for Firefox. Yes, there are plenty of skins and themes to apply to GUI, but the available add-ons go well beyond just that. There are RSS feeds, blogging tools, and weather applets. There are tools that make digital imaging and multimedia tasks easier and more intuitive, including a YouTube link that appears in search engine results. Clicking the link will play the video without having to open a new tab or window. Social networking is brought to the next level with add-ons that organize your networking locations into a single sidebar and allow customization of your Facebook page.

And the list goes on and on.

Worried about security? Firefox has that covered too with tools to protect against viruses, phishing, spyware, and malware. The standard pop-up blocker works flawlessly and allows for user customization of individual pop-ups. In addition, there’s a small icon on the left side of the location bar which can be clicked to instantly display security information about the current site. With the click of a mouse you can know whether or not you’re in a risky place. If you’re navigating to a site that’s already a well known risk, Firefox will display a security warning forcing you to choose to continue, a nice feature that helps users avoid security accidents.

Vulnerability to security threats is always a concern, but Mozilla works aggressively on that front too. According to a regular review by Symantec, Firefox’s vulnerabilities are patched, on average, within one day of the exploit code being made available. Internet Explorer on the other hand, has an average patch time of nine days. This gives Firefox a major advantage in security.

With all these features, and the dozens more not mentioned here, how is Firefox’s performance? Excellent. Its always been a fast and stable browser, but version 3.0 is the fastest of them all and it’s noticeable. Moving from page to page or between tabs goes quickly while at the same time being very intuitive and natural. The interface is clean and easy to navigate but can be customized to suit individual preferences. Private data can be cleared at the end of a session with a simple mouse click, so future users can’t follow where you’ve been.

Overall Firefox is a great browser worthy of consideration. It’s a free download available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and many Unix-like systems, so there’s no reason not to try it. Go get a copy…. you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

LG Scanner Mouse

I mentioned recently the new Microsoft Touch Mouse on show here at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. While it is a very exciting type of peripheral which lets you control your Windows through gestures there is another interesting new mouse on display here which it is well worth having a look at as well.

LG are the company who are trying to change our idea of how we use a mouse, and they are doing it by presenting to the world the Scanner Mouse, or to give if its full title the LG LSM-100. The first name I used kind of gives the game away, and if you like the idea of a mouse which doubles as a scanner then this could be a great little gadget for you. The underside of the mouse is transparent and has 5 LEDs, a mirror and a camera tucked away inside it. To scan something you just need to press the scan button and follow the onscreen display which shows you what the mouse is currently sitting on.

It has dual lasers on the bottom which let you twist and turn it anyway you want to. Of course, as it doubles as a conventional mouse you get a scroll wheel and the usual buttons. One neat trick is that is that whatever you scan can be edited very smoothly once it is on your computer. The software that comes with the Scanner Mouse lets you export files in formats such as PDF, PNG, JPEG and TIFF to social networking sites. Expect it to cost $120 when it goes on sale around May.

Could you see yourself using this scanning mouse to save space where your current scanner sits and also to make scanning a little bit more fun at the same time? Will people prefer a mouse that scans to a mouse that can be controlled by gestures?

CeBit 2010

CeBit 2010 threw open its doors today. And so far the computerfest hasn’t disappointed, with stacks of amazing new gadgets for us to coo over. We’re talking next-gen netbooks, iPad-baiting slates and convergence-mad satnavs.

So what’s been top of the pile at CeBit so far? Jump in now and we’ll give you the complete rundown.

All-new metal Eee PCs
A year after unleashing the first Asus Seashell in Hanover, the Taiwanese titan has once agin used CeBit to tout some awesome new Eee PCs. Top of the line is the 18mm thin Eee PC Prime 1018p, rocking USB 3.0 and a 10.1-inch screen in an aluminium bod’. Then there’s the Eee PC Diary 1016p which promises “long-lasting battery life”. And last up is the Eee PC Seashell 1015 with a screw-less design, new colours and a stonking 14 hours of battery.

Archos 8 Home Slate
More like a photo frame than a tablet, thanks to that hefty PC, the Archos 8 Home Slate has clearly got the iPad in its sights. It’s got Android inside, as well as 4GB of storage for photos and vids, all inside an impossibly thin 12mm frame. And if the 8-inch number is a tad too obese for your tastes, the French PMP maker is also rolling out a 7-inch version for the same £129 price. The latter also comes in an 8GB edition.

Acer Aspire One 532G
We already knew that this new slab of gadgetry would be wheeled out at CeBit, but it was officially confirmed as the first netbook to pack in NVIDIA’s Ion 2 graphics. That means it can handle video with aplomb and see off ageing efforts which were notorious for struggling with even the most basic of clips. This new model was seen hiding at Mobile World Congress, but now it’s been pushed out front for the masses.

Nokia C5
You’d have expected the Nokia C5 to take a bow at Mobile World Congress. But lo, the Finnish phone fanatics have chosen CeBit to unleash their cheap, but utterly brilliant new blower. Rocking standard candybar looks, it comes loaded with some awesome features including easy Facebook access, Wi-Fi, GPS and HSDPA, all for £122 minus a SIM. It shows Nokia doing what it does best: great basic mobiles.

Mio Moov V780
Sure CeBit is mostly about PC cobblers getting all competitive. But Mio, the satnav people, have rocked up in Germany with a PND that packs in some serious skills. Like HDMI, a WVGA screen and DivX support. The sizeable 7-inch panel also means you can hook it up to a dedicated keyboard dock, just like the one you get with the Apple iPad. It’s a novel move, but one that makes a lot of sense.

Acer Chrome OS gadgets

Acer Chrome OS gadgets launching in a fortnight
Acer will unveil its first Chrome OS netbooks or smart-books in just two weeks’ time, according to a new report. Read on to find out where and when they’ll begin to kick cloud computing into a new gear with Google’s new operating system. Silicon Valley blog VentureBeat reports that the first Acer Chrome OS devices will be unveiled at the Computex tradeshow, set to go down on the company’s home turf in Taipei, Taiwan in from 1 to 5 June, citing sources.

That sounds more than feasible, especially since Google has always said that Chrome OS, which uses a new, always connected web browser paradigm, would ship on new products this year. And Acer’s no stranger to Google’s software: it was the first big brand to launch a dual boot Android netbook, and we exclusively revealed it was working on a followup Aspire One D260 in March.

Acer Chrome OS tablet primed?
What’s not clear is what form Acer Chrome OS devices might take: they could adopt a traditional netbook form, but could use a low power ARM processor for extended battery life, or even ditch the keyboard entirely and crash the tablet party going down right now. We’d be prepared to bet that if Acer Chrome OS machines make their debut at the show, we might just see something similar from Taiwanese rival Asus. Got your eyes on an Aspire One or an Eee PC? You might want to hold off for two more weeks.

Android 3.0

Android 3.0 the latest software update for the popular mobile operating system owned by Google, is reportedly set to launch in January 2011. Phone and tablets running the operating system have experienced an enormous boom within the past years, leaving consumers and developers’ alike hungry for a new release of the Android operating system.

The newest version of the platform, which is code-named “Gingerbread,” is set to upgrade the existing OS in multiple ways, including new video capabilities and rumored features that incorporate Google TV.
The popular operating system is currently being run by mobile phones built by a variety of different companies, including Samsung, Acer, Motorola, and HTC. Furthermore, Android is now one of the most popular operating systems for new tablet devices. Presently, Google has yet to comment on its upcoming Gingerbread release, though the company has confirmed that the release will be occurring within the next few months. Many have speculated that such a release could be announced at the CES 2011 conference, at the beginning of January.

In spite of all the speculation, some of the features of the new version are widely known. One such addition is video chat, which will support the protocols used by Google Talk. Furthermore, the OS will have the ability to receive Google Talk calls over a Wi-Fi connection. Such features directly challenge similar features in the Apple iPhone 4.0, which was released this past summer. Additional video capabilities in the new generation of devices include the capability to link the mobile phone with Google TV products. The new operating system will reportedly allow users to control such products with their phone, which essentially operates as a remote control. These rich video and chat features are expected to continue the accelerating market share of Android devices.

Beyond the popular features recognized by casual users of Smartphones and tablets running Google’s operating system, the new Android release is expected to incorporate several features that translate into a faster end-user experience. For example, the new software is reported to have enhanced CPU performance, meaning shorter response times for users. In general, the OS is expected to experience a boost in overall speed, and should offer more power in the hardware department.

Dell 2011 Android phone

Famed US tech blog Engadget grabbed itself the MOTHER of all Android phone scoops last night, with images of no fewer than THREE classy new Android-powered Dell phones appearing overnight. They’re quite possibly nothing more than concept designs at this moment in time, so don’t embarrass yourself by phoning up Vodafone this morning and trying to pre-order one – they won’t be arriving before the very end of the year (Lighting) or 2011 (Smoke & Flash).

Pictured here we have the Dell Smoke and the Dell Flash, which look OK despite having a whiff of ‘Acer’ about them…and this is the Dell Thunder, with its 4.1″ screen making it rather reminiscent of Sony Ericsson’s X10. We don’t know where to begin when it comes to rewriting and interpreting the specs of this little lot, so head over to Engadget’s Dell Leak Mini Page and read up on the one that takes your fancy.

Interestingly, the late-2010 phone is planned to arrive running Android 2.1, with the 2011 models upgraded to FroYo. A sign that FroYo is further away than currently thought, or simple bluffing from an unaware Dell?

Sony PlayStation Phone

Just days after in the world with talk of Sony’s future in smartphones, tablets, and the PlayStation brand (all without confirming or denying the existence of a PlayStation phone), Chinese site IT168 has posted an in-depth review of the engineering version that they managed to get ahold of. Not only is the PSP Phone very real; from the looks of it, the device is almost ready for prime time.

Before delving into the details, here are the specifications and features that we are working with:

  • Qualcomm Adreno 205
  • 1GHz Snapdragon Processor
  • 1,500 mAh battery
  • 4" LCD display with 854 x 480 resolution
  • 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash (720p video recording unconfirmed)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 512 MB ROM
  • Micro SD slot
  • SIM Slot
  • Micro USB
  • Rear Mic for noise cancellation
  • Android 2.3

The design of the PlayStation Phone is comparable to the form factor of the PSP go, so avid mobile gamers can rest assured that the hardware controls will blow traditional touch screen controls out of the water in terms of precision. Sliding up the 4-inch screen reveals the familiar PlayStation control layout, with the classic segmented D-pad gracing the left side and PlayStation’s patented triangle-square-x-circle buttons on the right. The center of IT168‘s unit contained an unfinished dual joystick system for PSP fans to appreciate. Visible at the bottom are the usual start and select keys, as well as what appears to be a menu key to the left. Interestingly enough, the device does indeed contain Xperia branding instead of the proposed PlayStation branding. Apparently missing, however, are the left and right triggers that PSP owners have come to know and love.

Software and Performance
Sadly, because this is not a retail model, there was no way of testing out the gaming capabilities of the device. The gaming tray created for the phone is called "PlayStation Pocket," but was empty, so Android Market games had to suffice as tests of power and performance. Pitted against a Meizu M9, the PSP Phone lagged behind by 4 seconds when loading Dungeon Keeper; however, once loaded, it was smooth and responsive. The only issue seems to be that with the prototype model, the hardware controls do not function with Market games.

Do not question the device’s raw power, though. Neocore clocks the phone in at a solid 59.1 FPS, which comes out on top when stacked against a Nexus One and HTC Desire HD. Quadrant scores the device at an impressive 1733, putting it ahead of the pack in terms of CPU speed.
Be sure to check out the in-depth review over at IT168 for more details – if you can follow the Google translation, that is.

PlayStation Phone

It started with a couple of tantalizing leaks. Then the leaks kept on coming. Now...well, now this is getting almost farcical. No, Sony did not officially announce the PlayStation Phone at CES this week -- but that hasn't stopped Chinese site IT168 from obtaining yet another leaked unit, and what's more, reviewing it.

Well, putting it through "evaluation efforts," anyway, according to Google's translation of the website (via Engadget). But of particular note here is that we now have a lot more details about the technical specs of the phone, at least as far as this model goes (which, to be clear, is not necessarily the final version that'll go to market). According to IT168's write up, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU, along with a 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8255 processor. This evidently results in the phone producing a graphics benchmark of 59.1 frames per second.

More details include a 4-inch LCD screen, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, a microSD slot, SIM slot, and micro-USB connection. There's also, of course, a new wave of pictures and videos of the device provided, which also show off its menus (which are all in Chinese, naturally).

So, once again, all that's left now is for Sony to finally put their horse before their cart and announce the damn thing already. Maybe at GDC next month?

Tiny Laptop Mouse

Everybody who owns a laptop knows about touchpad, thing that was designed to replace mouse. However, when you need to work with big amounts of text, touchpad becomes very annoying. Of course, usual mouse can do this much better, but if there is no room for it to operate normally, you will remain with slow touchpad. There are different kinds of mice, even designed especially for laptop use. They can perfectly fit on your lap or on the laptop itself, and operate just like a normal mouse would. Because of their size they cannot be called very comfortable, but they are way much more comfortable than using touchpad, especially in games. One of those small mice, a very unusual one, is a hero of this review.

I-T Click Click looks very different from all the mice I've seen. It has oblong form, which resembles a stick, two buttons and a scroll wheel - all needed functions that you'll expect from normal mouse. However, this is where the differences begin. Because of its oblong form two buttons simply cannot fit on top of it. So the left button, or at least, the button which does the "Left Mouse Button" functions, is on top, while the "Right Mouse Button" is... no, not on the right side, but on the LEFT side of it.

Pretty unusual to click "Right Mouse Button" with a finger that is to the left of "Left Mouse Button". It may be confusing at first, but it is a matter of habit - after some time you will be operating with this mouse easily without even thinking about unusual button map. In case if this left-right swap is making you nervous, you can always change it in Mouse Settings afterwards. The scrolling wheel is placed near the front button; it has a comfortable size and position. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), it is not wireless, so you will be limited with a cord going right inside your laptop.

So, this tiny mouse will be useful for those who like originality, and for all that laptop users who often miss their tailed friend when taking laptop outside. It is already available at Germany and Spain for a tiny price of 12 Euros.

Flexible USB Laptop Speakers

If you have been complaining with regard to the sound quality that your computer produce then the JLab USB Laptop Speakers are for you. It produces a sound of high quality and of great performance. This speaker has two digital amplifiers with two full range output micro drivers to get a crystal clear sound and of great volume. This speaker is very easy to use, a plug and play device. This electronic device is powered by USB, so you just have to plug it in any USB port with no wires or batteries needed. It is best if you are on travel while listening to music, watching movies or playing games. And you can also use this during meetings or presentations for your business and even for educational purposes. This device has already been featured in NY Times, on ABC news and on some sites that features different kinds of gadgets. It is a great gadget for travel and business too.

Product Features and Specifications

  • It is a plug and play device for PC and Mac
  • Its USB powered device, no batteries nor wires needed.
  • It is best for travel; it is small, compact and easy to use.
  • It produces crystal clear sound with dual 1-watt digital amps and 2 high output full range micro drivers.
  • It has been featured in NY Times, on ABC News and even on WIRED magazine.
  • Its design is patented and flexible and it allows you to customize your listening experience byflexing the speaker into virtually any position.
  • Its available colors are black, white, silver and pink.
  • Its approximate product dimension is 5.2 x 2 x 7 inches
  • Its approximate shipping weight is 1 pound

Flexible USB Laptop Speakers Review

This product has more than a hundred of customer reviews. In fact, this gadget gained an overall four star rating. Many commented that it is certainly one of the best gadgets they have ever owned, it is even included in their “best items ever bought list”. They love the design since it is small and compact, very handy and it comes in a single unit and not in pair like what you have always expected. The product’s design makes it easier for them to carry and storage would not be much of an issue. They said that the sound is great compared to what they have expected it to be.

Many commented on how great this gadget is despite of the positive comments, this product gains its downside comments too. Somebody said that it did not work on his Dell computer. Someone said that it did not work; when it was plugged in it disabled his wireless mouse and gave up right after half an hour of trying to get the speaker to work. A few of them returned to the product because it won’t work and were sad because a part of their money is wasted since they can’t get a full refund not unless it’s replaced. Some even commented that it work in such a short period of time. The USB speaker is recommendable especially to those who love to travel and those who performs their business operations online.

Bamboo Pen Tablet

The Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet is designed for those individuals whose passion is to draw or sketch, paint and edit images or other documents. Bamboo pen is easy to use, all you need to do is plugged it into a USB port and install the drivers needed and you are good to go. This set comes in with a start up guide and a user’s manual which will help you through and to help you even more it also comes in with an interactive tutorial CD which will guide you in utilizing the Bamboo pen. As the matter of fact, it also comes in with Corel Painter Essentials 4 which is software known to let you do your own sketches and drawings and lets you input it into digital files. This gadget measures 9.8 inches by 0.2 inches which makes it easy to store and very handy in a way. It is compatible with operating systems like Windows and Mac.

Product Features and Specifications

  • It is an ergonomic pen with two programmable switches
  • It is a plug and play device, though you have to install drivers needed
  • It is compatible with operating systems like Windows 7,Vista, XP(service pack 2) and Mac OS X (10.48 or higher)
  • It is easy to use and powered by USB
  • This set comes in CD’s for installation, interactive tutorial, user’s manual, and start up guide and driver software.
  • To utilize this you need to have a USB driver, CD/DVD drive and a colored screen.
  • It is sleek and compact, easy to store when you are on travel.
  • Its approximate product dimensions is 9.8 x 6.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Its approximate shipping weight is 2 pounds

Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet Review

The Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet gained an overall average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars. With over a hundred customer reviews the rate given by the customers is very favorable. A lot commented that it is a great item and it felt natural, in fact their hand writing looks the same way as it would on paper. Many commented that it can be a great gift for someone who loves to paint, sketch and draw. All of them gave five stars for portability, its size makes it easy for them to carry and store it together with their laptops. It is often mentioned in their comments that it is a great product for its price and that they are satisfied with the product’s overall performance.

Overall satisfaction is what they often say, however there are customers whose expectation were not met. Someone commented that it lacks precision and can’t do a detailed work. And pens must be in the right angle or correct location for it to be recognized. And the drivers are sometimes hard to recognize too, they when it’s plugged in and can be read they need to unplug and re-plug for the screen to read it again.

Based from the customer reviews this product is recommendable especially to those who are interested to learn and has the passion for computer graphics.

Wireless USB

InFocus DisplayLink Wireless USB to Connect Projector and PC Wirelessly
We have seen the Wireless USB set (Cable Unlimited Wireless USB) that could transform most of corded USB gadgets into a wireless one and we have has seen another type of Wireless USB from IOGear (Wireless USB to VGA Kit) for converting corded VGA monitor into a wireless monitor last year. In this year, we have found another type that has been designed exclusively for pairing up Projector and PC, and it has supports resolution up to 2048 x 1152 and 720p HD video.

This is the InFocus DisplayLink Wireless System, the pair includes one USB transmitter and one USB receiver that you must plug to the both end (Projector and PC). The Wireless System also can be paired up with Mac system (iMac and Macbook) and it will be compatible with most InFocus Projectors.

There is no need of extra power for the devices to work. They will draw power just from a single USB port and it’s sufficient for them to contact each other to form a strong bond in the range of 30 feet. It also means that your PC and projector can now move far away instead of limited by the short VGA cable. Price starting at $159 a pop, you can find more detail at InFocus site if you are interested to get one.

Haunted USB Cable

Haunted USB Cable Will Piss Off the IT Guy
We know many people who like pranks and gags to play on their friends and coworkers. With the importance of computers today many people choose to play their pranks in some sort of digital form to make the computer user think something is wrong with their system. If you are the digital prankster type your latest prank is here and it's called the Haunted USB cable.

The cable itself is a dead ringer for that Hacked Flash drive we talked about a few weeks back. Rather than cramming some flash storage in the cable, the Haunted USB Cable adds software that that simulates a problem with the user's keyboard. The software adds random keystrokes at intervals between 30 seconds and 30 minutes. If the user looks at the back of the computer to see that everything is plugged in correctly, they will see nothing but a USB cable with a frayed end. We will say this, if you use this gag in your office the only person you are rally going to be pranking is the IT guy.If you really want to scare a coworker, just start using the body mouse.

USB Instant Messaging

USB Instant Messaging Man is Always Whacking
Sometimes we can go for days without getting an IM from someone on my buddy list, other times it seems like everyone we know wants to chat at the same time - typically when we am swamped. On a few occasions, we have felt like bopping ourselves on the head from the deluge. Systen has an odd little smiling man IM notification thingy that can bop its head with a hammer for me that reminds me a lot of the USB Bot minus the rabbit-like face.

The gadget has a long name for sure - i-Knock B01 Personal Instant Messaging Notifier. You can get the B01 in red or blue colors and it connects to your Pc via USB. It is compatible with Skype, MSN, Yahoo and other IM applications. You can set the device to whack itself on the head when you get an IM, email, or a user logs onto the network. You can also create customizable MP3 audible alerts to go along with more than 20 different emoticons. The B01 works with Windows 2000, XP and Vista. No Mac love so far. Video after the jump.

USB Bamboo Mini Fountain

Now this is truly refreshing, a USB water fountain, trickling water down the tops of three modeled bamboo plants. Just thinking about this has lowered my blood pressure a few points. Brando, our favorite Asian oddity importer is now carrying this tiny bamboo water fountain. Tranquility incarnate the tiny babbling brook is just what the doctor ordered to bring a calm serenity to your work place. No amount of downed servers or murderous conspiracies that sent you to jail for a crime you didn't commit can stress you out anymore.
The bamboo shoots are made of a durable polyresin and run off the excess negative energy stored in your PC or Mac converting it into pure love. Take a few minutes contemplate the void and mellow out. This would go perfect with a tiny bonsai tree and maybe, just maybe, get you back in touch with your inner child. Then again it might just get the new girl in accounting to stop by your cubicle more often. Whatever peace/piece you seek, may you find it.

USB RC Helicopter

USB RC Helicopter‏ Brings Too Much Fun to Your PC
If you were looking for the best possible way to guarantee that your kids NEVER use their laptops for studying the solution is here. The USB Rechargeable RC Helicopter newly available at Brando may just be too much fun to be safe around a computer. This dual propeller helicopter with gyro-stabilization should be capable of precision flying indoors and out. The multi-axis controller allows you movement in all directions and control of the two LEDs for night-flying or just calling more attention to yourself. There's probably only so much quality you can expect for a $39 flying machine but the metal construction should allow it to survive more than a few rough landings. Just don't fly it into your expensive monitor or let the kids fight for control.

2 AA batteries power the remote which seems to be able to provide another charging option for the helicopter as well. The included USB cable should provide enough power to quick charge the tiny toy in short order. There's no details on the run-time or the charge times by said USB cable but it is probably best not to expect too much. Another thing that might be fun and unpredictable is that the remote uses IR to communicate with the copter. This means that if you lose direct line of site to it or go out of range hilarity or calamity may ensue. Head to Brando if you must have fun at all costs.

GPS for iPhone via WiFi

iPhone 3G came with a very new and important feature, the GPS capability, which is integrated along with Google Maps. The GPS technology along with iPhone software, together would present a totally different mobile mapping interface.GPS means Global Positioning System. It uses information from earth-orbiting satellites to find your present location. A receiver estimates the distance to GPS satellites based on the time it takes for signals to reach it, then uses that information to identify its location. But there is more. iPhone 3G uses not only the GPS technology, but A-GPS , i.e, it tracks your location through the Wi-Fi signals and the information from cellular towers to determine a more accurate location. Thus, in a sense , the GPS technology helps us get a better location.

In iPhone 3G, if GPS is available, the iPhone displays a blue GPS indicator. But if you’re inside — without a clear line of sight to a GPS satellite — iPhone finds you via Wi-Fi. If you’re not in range of a Wi-Fi hot spot, iPhone finds you using cellular towers. And the size of a location circle tells you how accurately iPhone is able to calculate that location: The smaller the circle, the more accurate the location.

The GPS feature is also integrated with Google Maps, that means you may never be lost. You may find your location, get directions, and see traffic — all from your phone. Maps on iPhone 3G combined GPS, with the Multi-Touch interface , makes user experience wonderful. You can also search for locations, or places. Like if you need the nearest Pizzeria, just search Google Maps for Pizza and tap! you get the nearest one.

The GPS-powered location inputs can be used by applications to innovate and utilize through them. For example, Take a photo with the camera, and iPhone can geo tag it with GPS location information. That way, when you share photos online, friends and family can see where every snapshot was taken. And you can shop the App Store for GPS-enabled applications such as mobile friend finders or interactive city guides.


The Google Maps, are downloaded as and when you browse a location, and are not generally stored. Hence, data charges, might shoot out.

Though the Iphone, actively switches on and off the GPS chip, as used, still when active for a long time, it might be a big drain on the Battery. You might look out for Battery Extenders or Rechargeable battery.

The iPhone location feeds have been used in a lot of application and over 300 apps use the location look ups. Over 50 apps out of these, can be found in Navigation Category, so the GPS feature is being actively used. Still there is no TomTom for iPhone currently. TomTom says they have a working app but Maps by other 3rd party application developers are still not allowed it seems. Obviously, a TomTom app with GPS would be the icing on the cake for Apple.

So, some of the apps that have become really popular are GPS tracker, Traffic Info, Speedometer etc. Some other interesting apps include CamsAhoy and G-phone.

InstaMapper GPS Tracker: InstaMapper is a free real-time GPS tracking service. The object you track is a moving dot on the Google Map and positions are updated as often as every 5 seconds. It can store up to 100,000 positions per device — enough for several months of 24/7 tracking. You can map your positions and upload them to your Facebook too.

TrafficInfo: It gives normal traffic info using the ZIP code or you can find local traffic reports using Yahoo Traffic Services. From any incident on the Traffic Info app you can click and it will directly take you to the location in Google Map.

Speedometer: It is an entertainment app basically and uses GPS data to give you your Current Speed. You can also get average speeds for specific times etc.

G-phone: G-Map can show you the way wherever you go, even with no Wi-Fi connection or in dead zones up in the mountains, out on the ocean, or even in an airplane. G-Map is a stand-alone electronic map. So once it’s downloaded, you can freely search your location and get directions without an internet connection, anytime, anywhere, even when you’re on the move and can also provide detailed information of the searched location such as address and phone number.

The website says it will be available by mid December and pricing has not yet been disclosed. But this is one app you can use for all your traveling needs. On the negative is the, the massive Map database would take 700MB+ of space , so you can be out of space pretty soon.

The GPS capability of iPhone and can provide alerts when a photo enforcement device such as speed cameras or red lights cameras are approaching. This one is specifically amazing for Europe, which is swarmed with speed cameras and thus there are many databases documenting where they are down to the centimeter. Cams Ahoy comes pre-programmed with over 22,000 camera locations... Thus, with GPS apps tracking and mapping is made much more easier, and adds a new edge to iPhone experience!