Big Bang

Written on Friday, March 28, 2008 by emde

Hope you do the game also. This would help all of us increase our page rank. Thanks, enjoy the game!

*Start Copy Here*


You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so are the rules.

1. Copy from *Start Copy Here* through *End Copy Here*

2. Add your site(s) to the list. Just be sure to post the "Big Bang" at each site you add.

3. Tag or don’t tag, your choice, however, the more tags you create the longer the list will grow.

4. Let me know your blog’s name and url by leaving me a comment HERE. I will add you to the master list. (If you would like a scroll box code, leave me your email address and I will email it to you.) Scroll Box Example. (I decided not to use the box for the Big Bang for ease of copying.)

5. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often. This process will allow late-comers to get as much link benefit as the first ones in. Once you are on the master list people who have participated earlier will update their bookmarks and help everyone lower than them out on the list.

1-Attitude, the Ultimate Power 2-Juliana's Site 3-Rusin Roundup 4-Grow Rich Along With Me 5-Comedy Plus 6-lynda's loft 7-Amel's Realm 8-MAX 9-Speedcat Hollydale 10-Mariuca 11-Complain Complain Complain 12-Mariuca's Perfume Gallery 13-Life Is A Roller Coaster 14-Sugar Queen's Dream 15-First Time Dad 16-Life 17-My Life 18-The Painted Veil 19-My Thoughts 20-DatCurious.com 21-Little Aussie Cynic 22-A Nice Place in the Sun 23-DatMoney.com 24-The Down Side OF Up 25-Ladyjava's Lounge 26-Cat Tales 27-moms.....check nyo 28-Colorado Baby 29-It's a Woman's World 30-ENLIGHTENED BITS 31-My View of "It" 32-My Reviews and Finds Along the Way 33-Our Hep Chat 34-Rantings of a Woman 35-The Callalily Space 36-Mom Knows Everything 37-Hazel 38-Chronicles and Tales Unlimited (RED) 39-From the Mouth of Jabber Jaws 40-Sunny Side Up Foodie & Lifestyle 41-Carmel Corn 42-Daily Stock Picks 43-The Whole New World 44-Wifespeak 45-Slavery Bliss 46-Rooms of My Heart 47-Unpredictable Life 48-My Life, My World 49-At Your Service 50-All About Ebay 51-Everything Amazon 52-Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out 53-My So-Called Site 54-New Wife Blog 55-Tendre Poison 323 56-Nick's Bytes 57-My Scratch Pad 58-Choc Mint Girl 59-Life Is Just Around the Corner... 60-Amori, poseia, art... virtuali by Hanna 61-Maryannaville 62-monaco - monaco's 63-Nyumix's Blog 64-read my mind - my keyboard monologues 65-Shower You Children With Love - The Right Way 66-Secret Agent Mama 67-Pinaymama's Diary 68-Answers to the Questions 69-Work of the Poet 70-A Total Blog 71-My life, my hope, my future 72-NORTE 73-A Window to Our World 74-Life as a Mom 75-FIELD OF DREAMS 76-lisgold 77-See Me for What You 78-Caught in The Stream 79-Pinay Mommy Online - My Home 80-foster me up 81-CRUEL VIRGIN 82-Garden of Moments in Blog 83-So Cute 84-Love Everlasting 85-WeLcOmE To My CriB 86-WELCOM TO PINAYSMILE'S JOURNEY 87-Ice's Icelog 88-Jenny's Wandering Thoughts 89-Hobbies and Such 90-Sweet Paradise 91-Mommy's Gibble Gabbles 92-Rusin Review's 93-My Small World 94-Little Peanut 95-Online Ramblings 96-My Mood My Feeling 97-BLOG it with ALLEN 98-Entertainment World 99-Let's Go Singapore 100-Firelynx 101-Catsy Carpe Diem 102-Every Beat Of My Heart 103-Always Da Fresh Princess 104-Listening.. 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Desktop 3D Scanner, ScanStudio CORE, AutoPositioner, PartGripper, PowederPen, PaintPens

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


Desktop 3D Scanner, ScanStudio CORE, AutoPositioner, PartGripper, PowederPen, PaintPens

We've heard of 3D scanners before, but never got to see one in action. Ex-CNET staff Veronica Belmont did. Lucky her. On one of her recent Mahalo Daily episodes, she hosted Dan Gustafson from Next Engine who gave her a demo of 3D scanning and its uses. Basically what the machine does is it triangulates the light against the sensors and measures the speed of light. We can't really make out the rest of the stuff, but the things that they showcased looked pretty awesome.

Just in case you think this is another one of those random, silly stuff that would never make it to the market, you are wrong. You can actually own the Desktop 3D Scanner at a cool US$2,495. Price includes the scanner, ScanStudio CORE, AutoPositioner, PartGripper, PowederPen, PaintPens and a one-year parts and labor warranty.

Hit the read more link for the video interview. They even have a 3D printer toward the end of the interview! Sweet.

Solar Hats, Solar-Powered Visor Radio

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


Solar Hats, Solar-Powered Visor Radio

Finally, the solar-powered fan hat has a mate. Let's have a round of applause for the Solar-Powered Visor Radio.

Like its counterpart, this is a functional piece of headgear that makes use of the sun's rays to impress your friends, but for entertainment purposes as well as protection from melanoma and heat stroke. The visor has a speaker on each side, Gearfuse says, piping in tunes from a built-in AM/FM tuner.

It just goes to show that being green is no guarantee of immunity from the dreaded Date Repellant Syndrome.

Roomba, The Robo Vacum

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


Roomba, The Robo Vacum

We don't know if the (mis)spelling is intentional, but here's the Robo Vacum, a desktop vacuum cleaner for your workspace. Though the picture somewhat suggests it, this cute little thing doesn't maneuver around your table by itself. You press its button found on the head, and move it to where you may have left crumbs from your Subway sandwich.

Not quite a Roomba, but that's all right since you wouldn't want something automated to fall off your table and make a mess on the carpet anyway. It's available from Wowzzers at US$18.99 and should make a cool novelty gift. Our only gripe: It uses two AA batteries and not the USB ports for power.

Emotiv's headset

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


Emotiv's headset

The idea is a blending of hardware and software: A headset that seems a little like the one from the James Cameron-written 1995 film, Strange Days, complete with a set of sensors that are built to read your brain waves.

The software then is designed to interpret those brain waves in such a way as to allow users to manipulate objects onscreen with nothing but their mind.

So that's why I've come to this office in downtown San Francisco, where I'm face-to-face with this little orange cube. It's kind of mocking me, daring me to make it disappear.

Here's how it works: The software has several choices for actions you can take. So, taking the disappearing cube as an example, once you're hooked up to the headset, you're directed to run a short, six-second test, where you concentrate on doing something, anything, with your mind--relax, focus, whatever.

Then, once you've completed the test, it's you against the cube. And the challenge is to see if you can reproduce what it was you were doing with your mind during the test; If so, the cube slowly disappears.

In my case, it disappeared, then came back, then disappeared again and then came back. Repeat.

They also ran me through another example, this time trying to pull the cube forward. This one was harder because the brain function I chose to do to synchronize with the challenge was more concentrated. It involved me sort of tensing up my head and imagining the act of pulling the cube forward. It didn't work very well.

But with the disappearing act, I simply relaxed my mind, with much better results.

Of course, there's no relationship at all between brain activity that is consciously trying to "pull" the cube forward and what happens. That is to say, it doesn't matter in any way what you're doing with your mind, so long as what you do during the six-second calibration matches what you do when you try to enact the action.

So really, the software is just looking for a pattern match. It's not all that complicated a concept, though I'm sure it's a pretty difficult engineering feat.

Emotiv has also built technology designed to read your facial expressions and emotions. So while there, I saw a demonstration where someone wearing the headset would smile, frown, smile again, and so forth. And a goofy-looking face on the monitor would repeat the expression.

For now, this is all still just in prototype phase. But Emotiv promised me that the headset would be available in time for Christmas this year, at a price of US$299. It'll come bundled with a game that is geared toward using the technology, and presumably, more games will follow. The success, I think, of this product, will be how easy it is for developers to build the technology into their games. And that, presumably, is why the product is being showcased during this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Emotiv also said that the company is working on a partnership with IBM to integrate the brain control interface technology with Big Blue's virtual worlds projects.

To be perfectly honest, I think this technology is a ways from being ready for any hard-core application. Based on what I saw, it's very interesting and even quite impressive. But I just don't know if it can improve fast enough to make a real difference in the market in the next year. Perhaps it can, and if so, that would be fantastic.

Nintendo's Wii and Guitar Hero have opened people's eyes to all-new interfaces, and I'm sure that this would fit into that category. But the things that have made the Wii and the Guitar Hero controller so successful is that they are easy and intuitive to use. Whether Emotiv's technology is as well is something I'd have to reserve judgment on.

Still, I was able to make that cube disappear without using my hands. And that's something.

Zenith's Defy Xtreme Zero-G Watch

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


Zenith's Defy Xtreme Zero-G Watch

If you thought only cockroaches, ants and bees would survive a nuclear holocaust, here's something else to add to the rarified list--Zenith's Defy Xtreme Zero-G Watch. Its makers have apparently imbued this timepiece with the powers of Superman since it not only defies gravity (being accurate even in extreme gravity), it's waterproof down to 1,000ft. You can read about the technology behind this feat at the Web site. Did we mention it's only US$500,000? Yes, that's five zeros. Nothing wrong with your eyes.

As for bodywork, it's armored in a blackened titanium body, with a titanium strap sporting Kevlar inserts, and 294 ultra-complicated parts. Unfortunately, even if this Zenith defies the worst that nature can throw at it, it's doubtful the wearer of this watch will be concerned by then about its timekeeping accuracy.

The Vivace Shadow Mirror and Neo-Forte

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


The Vivace Shadow Mirror and Neo-Forte

We don't know about the West, but here in the tropics where it's perpetually summer, airconditioners are doing a blazing (no pun intended) trade. Of course, as long as the aircon does its job, we're happy campers. But Samsung is intent on its crusade to educate uninformed folks like us that it's cooler to protect your health, too. So two new models of its bacteria-killing airconditioners, using Samsung's proprietary Micro Plasma Ion (MPI) technology, are finally make their way to Asia, after debuting last year in the US and Europe.

The Vivace Shadow Mirror (photo above) and Neo-Forte (photo below) pack enough tech firepower to zap those unwanted visitors. According to Samsung's Choi Donguk, MPI is capable of effectively eliminating 78 percent of fungus and 58 percent of bacteria in a 30-minute time frame, within an enclosed environment.

The MPI works in tandem with a carbon deodorizer that removes odors and bacteria, a Silver Nano evaporator and a Catechin filter developed from a green tea extract.

The manager for the Air Conditioning Overseas Sales & Marketing Group, Digital Appliance Division, assured that the MPI unit and evaporator are capable of lasting over a decade, with only the filter requiring regular replacement.

What's ultra cool here to frugal Asians, particularly in light of utility bills going north and north, is that one can sleep well knowing that the airconditioners now offer 30 percent energy savings. However, expect a small price premium, with Vivace now available in Singapore for S$799 to S$899 (with condenser, but no installation), and pricing for the more affordable Neo-Forte to be disclosed during its April launch. Both MPI airconditioners will be rolled out in Asia from now till mid-April.

Spy Gadget, Digital Photo Frame and Webcam

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


Spy Gadget, Digital Photo Frame and Webcam

If it weren't for the obvious lens, this would be an item we'd expect to have seen from a spy gadgets purveyor: A Webcam that watches you watching it, kind of like an Escher drawing come to life.

We can't help but think that this is one of those inventions that, years from now, will be laughable when everyone has a two-way video watch phone. In the meantime, this combo digital photo frame and Webcam is at least taking a step in that direction because Red Ferret says it's portable and small enough to stow in your pocket.

If you get replace your grandmother's Ceiva frame with one of these, however, be sure to warn her before calling to say you can see what she's looking at. Otherwise you might give her a coronary.

The New Animatronic Dinosaur Robot from Ugobe

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


The New Animatronic Dinosaur Robot from Ugobe

Can you love an animatronic dinosaur? There are lots of things we get first in Asia, but there are just as many things we don't. Pleo--the new animatronic dinosaur robot from Ugobe--is one fine example. We were told that this artificial but utterly charming lifeform is currently out of stock in the US. So imagine our surprise when a local Pleo enthusiast agreed to loan us one for a product review, when all we (okay, I) wanted was to play with it until the editors started screaming to get on with the review.

So what is Pleo anyway? First of all, it's a newborn Camarasaurus (cue to look up Wikipedia if you haven't paid attention in history class) that has a mind and a life of its own. It takes between 3 and 4 hours for the battery to be fully charged and Pleo will live for about 2.5 hours before it needs to be plugged in again. Our Pleo was a US set, so we had to use a step-down transformer with the battery cradle here in Asia. Otherwise, dear Pleo would truly face electronic extinction.

So far we've gotten it to respond to us when we scratch its chin, stroke its back and feed it. Strange that Pleo's choice of food is a plastic leaf with binary numbers and DNA strands printed on the stems. When it's not hungry, it plays tug-a-war with us, but not before chomping down on our finger. We also played some music for it to listen to and, apparently, it likes Love in the First Degree by Bananarama. I thought I saw it dancing, or was it moving awkwardly to the beat.

During the "birthing" process when Pleo was awakened for the first time, a smart ass colleague asked a question--is it a he or a she?--and attempted to turn the beloved Pleo on its back to check, which I stopped promptly. According to the Ugobe Web site, Pleo is a he. But like all the toys on my desk which seem to have received a fair bit of flak from my colleagues, I prefer to call Pleo a she. I think toys should take on a feminine form, unless you are talking about Optimus Prime. Indeed, with Pleo, I feel like a doting parent already.

As much as I'd like to see Pleo as a real pet, it's hard to forget that she's ultimately an AI robot. Whenever she moves, I can hear the mechanical motors whirring away. But Pleo's beauty is that she doesn't stop at just purring or responding to our stroking. There are third-party development kits available online, such as the one from MySkit, so users can customize her behavior. Put it this way. The animation scripts you can have are limited only by your imagination and time. Once you are satisfied with the script, you just need to copy the file to an SD card, which then goes into the memory slot under Pleo's belly.

So how does a toy like Pleo make all the right responses? Well, Pleo has over two dozen sensors all over her body that are sensitive to light, touch and sound. She even knows when to back off when she's at the edge of a table to avoid falling off. At the heart this dinosaur is a custom platform of tools and technologies dubbed the Life OS that gives Pleo her life-like behavior. She's still a 1.0 version, so while we can expect future developments, her rubber skin reminds us that she's a toy, like many others on the market right now. That said, we can see where the manufacturer is coming from. Pleo has to be able to withstand lots of hands-on play and yet not tear at the slightest stress.

My first few moments with Pleo already had me thinking that this (ironically) prehistoric gadget could be one of the coolest, most advanced gizmos ever. And at S$750, she had better be. Afterall, this isn't a pet any child can afford.

The purCushion, Bluetooth cushion for lazy callers

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


The purCushion, Bluetooth cushion for lazy callers

At first glance this might seem like ridiculous proposition, and for US$531 it probably is. But if you talk a lot and don't have a decent speakerphone or other way to have a comfortable hands-free conversation on your mobile phone, the purCushion might not seem as silly as it looks.

Except for taking photos, this Bluetooth cushion includes several basic phone functions, according to GeekAlerts, including volume control, muting, redialing, and other features, with 8 hours of talktime and 300 hours on standby per charge. And unlike most handsets, it's washable.

The LTK2000 Therapy Station

Written on Thursday, March 13, 2008 by emde


The LTK2000 Therapy Station

Look, smell and listen your way to relaxation. We've come across many devices aimed at helping people relax. Some of them make use of soothing sounds, some employ a combination of LED lights, while others are based on aromatherapy concepts. The LTK2000 Therapy Station, however, aims to soothe all three senses by incorporating a series of relaxing sounds, LED lights and herbal smells. Talk about trying to be everything. That's not all. The Therapy Station also comes with a built-in anion generator, which is said to help purify the surrounding air.

As with other relaxation devices, we remain skeptical about how useful something like this can be, not to mention how effective. But if you are curious to find out for yourself, the LTK2000 Therapy Station is retailing for about 378,000 won (US$391) and is currently on sale only in Korea.

Belkin travel powerstrip combines surge protection, USB charging

Written on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 by emde


Belkin travel powerstrip combines surge protection, USB charging

You'd think that the design for power strips and surge protectors would be pretty much played out, but Belkin has actually done some pretty interesting things with them in recent years: Clamp-on models, ones that hide all of the wall warts, and even the forthcoming Conserve, an eco-friendly model that truly shuts off connected devices at the touch of a wireless remote.

The company is taking that spirit of innovation on the road with its latest power product: The Belkin Mini Surge Protector. The travel-friendly model packs three grounded three-prong power outlets and two powered USB ports into its tiny frame, and plugs directly into the wall socket, so there's no dangling cord. A green LED confirms that connected devices are protected against surges, which Belkin backs with a US$75,000 warranty.

In other words, this one miniature power strip should be able to power and protect your laptop, iPod, and cellphone--and still have space left over for connecting two other AC-powered devices. Belkin even throws in a mini-USB cable, which will work with many brands of cellphones. Yes, laptop-toting travelers can usually use the spare ports on their computer to juice up various mobile devices. Considering that the device is slated to cost less than US$25, the Belkin Mini Surge Protector looks to be a worthwhile combination of the Monster Power Outlets To Go and Belkin's Dual USB Power Adapter.

Like that latter model, we wish Belkin would include more USB ports, since the list of USB-powered devices--phones, Blackberrys, iPods, the Nintendo DS, PSP, and Bluetooth headsets--is seemingly endless.

You might see the Belkin Mini Surge Protector already available for preorder on some online stores, but the company says that it should be widely available "in office superstores" by the end of April.