Gadget News February 2009

Pocket-Sized Computer and More 
Hardware Secrets :: Saturday, February 21, 2009
“Today I will post selected ideas and questions brought by users thru the “comments” sections from my posts that I haven’t addressed yet, like the pocket-sized computer, built-in projectors, heat-pipes to cool down laptops, excessive functions and more.”

Hiyatek HY-HB-8700 USB-hub Review 
RB Mods :: Friday, February 20, 2009
Hiyatek is one of the many manufacturers of USB-peripherals. Their products range includes USB-hubs, USB-mobile racks, notebook coolers, thermal panels and other USB-related products. This time we got an opportunity to have a look at their 7-port USB hub.

Techware Labs :: Friday, February 20, 2009
With more and more people driving places, it is important for you to know where you are going. Today, RTM takes a look at the Nexus attempt to get you from point A to point B in style. Will RTM get where he wants to go, or will he end up 200 miles away in Georgia at five in the morning, unaware of how he got that far?

Universal Solar Charger Review
Hardware Bistro :: Friday, February 13, 2009
“We believe most of us have experience before where our mobile phone was running out of battery and caused a mess especially while you were having or waiting an important call. To solve this problem, most of us will get additional charger or car charger but today we will introduce you Universal Solar Charger which can be used to handle such emergency situation.”

GPS Black Box Logs Every Turn 
Mark’s Technology News :: Friday, February 13, 2009
Here’s a gadget that screams both trouble for unfaithful partners and excitement for amateur spies the world over. Called the Driving Activity Reporter, it monitors and logs all movement of a vehicle through its 16-channel GPS receiver. It can be attached covertly to the fuel tank (or any metal part) with the built-in magnet and all data is recorded to flash memory for rapid analysis via USB.

10 Weird and Wild USB Devices 
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
“You’ve no doubt connected your digital camera to your computer to download photos or have inserted a little black thumb drive to store or retrieve files. But rejoice – the USB port can be used for so much more, thanks to its ability to suck electricity through your computer, powering some of the world’s strangest devices. Following are ten of the cutest, silliest and most useless examples we could find. As a fun game at home, try playing along by suggesting your own examples: You’ll be amazed at mankind’s capacity for ridiculousness. Oh, how we cry for the poor children.”

Google Releases Android 1.1 SDK
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Google’s Android Alliance on Monday released the latest version of its software development kit. The Android 1.1 SDK release one is available now for download by developers.

AT&T Mobile Employees On Job Without Contract
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Unionized wireless employees at AT&T Inc turned up for work on Monday, even after their labor contract expired and talks stalled.

Mexico to Fingerprint Phone Users in Crime Fight
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Mexico will start a national register of mobile phone users that will include fingerprinting all customers in an effort to catch criminals who use the devices to extort money and negotiate kidnapping ransoms.

Google Launches Sync for iPhone, Windows Mobile
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Here’s something that’s been long overdue: Google has finally launched a way for iPhone and Windows Mobile smart device users to sync their Google Contacts and Google Calendar information over the air, using the iPhone’s built-in apps.

AT&T Quickfire
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The AT&T Quickfire is made for messaging, but its fend-for-yourself music playback options and stubborn touch screen are disappointments.

Spoiling the Smartphone Party
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The relentless march of smartphones may be stopped by the prices of wireless carriers’ data plans. Prices are coming down, but probably not fast enough.

Report: Microsoft to Launch Mobile Software Store
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Microsoft Corp is planning to offer new programs and services for mobile phones, including an “online bazaar” for software, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

HTC Touch Pro (Verizon)
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The HTC Touch Pro for Verizon is overly expensive, sluggish, and lacks the features of the AT&T and Sprint versions.

Comcast Kicks Off Commuter Rail Wi-Fi Trial in NJ
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Comcast will be providing Wi-Fi access to its customers at select New Jersey train stations, the cable company announced Monday.

Helio Ocean 2 (Virgin Mobile)
PC Magazine (PDAs) :: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Like Palm’s highly anticipated phone, Virgin Mobile’s Helio Ocean 2 is a master at messaging. But it’s the size and shape of a boat.

Valentine’s Day Tech and Gadget Gift Guide 
Digital Trends :: Monday, February 09, 2009
“Chocolates, roses and fancy dinners are played out. OK, well maybe not fancy dinners. The point is, just because Hallmark and company have convinced you to crack open your wallet on (or preferably before) Feb. 14, doesn’t mean you need to squander those dollars on something cheap, pink, and bound for the garbage in 24 hours. Take a chance to show your creative side and get your significant other something he she might really be able to use with some of our techie gift suggestions.”

Green Gadgets and Technology
Digital Trends :: Sunday, February 08, 2009
Following a few simple tips can help you save the earth, and money, at the same time.”

Popcorn Hour A-110 Network Media Device
Viper Lair :: Thursday, February 05, 2009
“As you can see, the Popcorn hour A-110 Network Media Tank aims to please. There is support for most Video / Audio containers and Codecs currently out. Of note, while you can find an “iTunesServer” on your local network, the PCH A-110 does not play DRM’d AAC audio, not that many things outside of iTunes and iPod’s can. Popcorn Hour also releases firmware updates to help keep abreast of current trends.”

Outdoor Gear and Adventure Technology Guide
Digital Trends :: Thursday, February 05, 2009
“There is a world beyond your office door, waiting to be explored. In this guide, we pick our favorite adventure and fitness technologies, apparel, and gear to help you get out there.”

Linksys Wireless Home Audio System
Digital Trends :: Tuesday, February 03, 2009
“Sonos, watch your back. Last year, Logitech released the Squeezebox Boom, one of the best media streamers we’ve tested for Multiroom music at a low overall cost with built-in speakers. Now, Linksys (er, “Linksys by Cisco” – a name-change only a marketer could love) has jumped into the pit. With the package price the same as the Sonos, and features that are remarkably similar, the Linksys Multiroom Home Audio System is easy to setup and use, performs well over 802.11n, and has a subtle, compact design that fits well in either an upscale Seattle apartment or a suburban bedroom. It’s a functional and well-designed product, but perhaps a little too geeky for some music fans.”

Linksys Media Hub NMH305 Review 
Digital Trends :: Tuesday, February 03, 2009
“Storage is a crucial part of the digital lifestyle: We all need a place to put our stuff, and we need a way to access those files easily. Linksys has tried a few storage products in the past, but the Media Hub is its most ambitious effort. While it’s not exactly a small business server that lets you set up user accounts – like the HP MediaSmart EX487 – and can’t compete with the robust RAID and back-up options on Netgear ReadyNAS devices or those by Buffalo Technology, it has one glowing attribute: it’s easy to use. Like most Apple products including the still viable Time Capsule, the Media Hub assumes you are not a certified Microsoft engineer or someone who carries USB key drives in your pocket 24×7. It’s a smart product that eases you into the deeper features, with only a few caveats.”

Top 10 Gadgets for Guys
Digital Trends :: Tuesday, February 03, 2009
News flash: The so-called “man cave” is no longer a place where guys gather to make fire and beat each other with sticks – unless, of course, that’s what you and your buddies are into. Rather, today, it’s a spot where grown-up kids of all ages can put their most favorite toys, keeping them out of harm’s way or (eek!) the wife’s field of vision. The great thing about this special area is that it’s no longer an empty room with a La-Z-Boy and an old TV; as of late, it’s actually become a pretty high-tech hangout. But while furnishings such as a video game console, beverage center, and poker and/or pool table could be considered a given, here are a few not-so-obvious additions sure to get any gadget freak’s testosterone flowing.”

Brando MP4 Watch and Video Camera
Bona Fide Reviews :: Monday, February 02, 2009
One of the cool things about this job is that I get a lot of email on an almost daily basis with press releases and review requests for all sorts of interesting products. Back in Decemeber I received one from a company called Brando, which we have covered products from before, and I instantly thought “I have to review that!”

AKAI ADPF10x LCD Digital Picture Frame
Video Review :: Monday, February 02, 2009
“AKAI’s ADPF10x 4:3 picture frame is not only that – it also has video playback support with sound through its two built-in 2 watt speakers. It is able to playback MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG3 and MPEG4 video codecs on its screen, which is capable of a workable but less than stellar 640 x 480 resolution. It will also playback your MP3s, but no other audio formats. As far as image support goes, only JPEG is supported.

On this side of the frame is the area where the unit gets it storage and connectivity. From the top we have a Compact Flash port, then it’s a USB “host” port for directly connecting USB pen drives. After that we have a mini USB “device” port for connecting the frame up to your PC to access images, video and sound files from memory cards that are installed in the frame flash ports. After that we have a multi-use port that accepts XD, Memory Stick, MMC and SD memory cards. We have no exact details on which memory cards are supported, but we did use a 16GB SD card in our testing and it worked without any problems.”

TomTom GO 730 GPS Navigator Review
Digital Trends :: Monday, February 02, 2009
“A rung below TomTom’s flagship GO 930, the GO 730 offers a ever-so-slightly shorter feature set, and purely superficial aesthetic color swap, in exchange for a $50 price cut. Buyers lose enhanced positioning technology and the ability to upgrade to handle traffic data (which the 930 can only do via Bluetooth with a cell phone and data plan, unless you spend another $50 for an RDS-TMC receiver). Other premium features, including a media player, FM transmitter, and even Bluetooth connectivity, all remain.”

TomTom GO 930 GPS Navigator 
Digital Trends :: Monday, February 02, 2009
“Don’t be fooled by the lofty model number on the GO 930: Despite its position on top of TomTom’s automotive navigation line, it carries a relatively modest price tag of $400, which is about half that of similar flagship products from companies like Garmin. Its lengthy list of features includes premium staples like a media player, FM transmitter, and even Bluetooth connectivity. But does it measure up?”

Super Bowl 2009 for Geeks Guide
i4u :: Sunday, February 01, 2009
“Super Bowl 43 is today 6pm EST. Especially this year Super Bowl is an event for geeks. Despite the economic crisis there will be plenty of cool and funny Super Bowl ads like every year, but additionally there are 3D commercials and lots of 2009 Sci-fi Movie ads. To prepare you for Super Bowl XLIII, we have put together a Super Bowl Guide for Geeks featuring our top 10 things you should keep in mind.”