Toshiba PDA/Phone Running 800×480 Res Screen

Akihabaranews has the low down and photos on the latest Toshiba bombshell, the G900 seen at 3GSM this week.

According to their short play test it’s running WM6, has a 3″ screen, a fingerprint reader that doubles as a sort of optical mouse according the spokesperson in the video below, 64MB mem, Wi-Fi, BT, 2M pix camera and more including a slideout qwerty keyboard and a whopping 800×480 resolution! Go check it out!

Bonus: MSMobiles has a video review (requires Flash) that you can watch here.

The Perfect Hippy Bag to Charge Your Gadgets

Voltaic Systems has some terrific bags. Bags with solar panels that is.

These things are basically mobile power generators designed to recharge devices while your traveling, biking, hiking, etc…

The panels use a standard car adapter to enable the gadgets to jack into the generator, you can pick up a wide variety of adapters from Voltaic as well for a myriad of device standards.

The panels that are embedded onto the outside of the book bags and laptop bags are waterproof and very flexible generators that can convert up to about 4 watts of power!

To top it off, the bags come with a Lithium Ion pack to store extra power that is not being used. So if you plug in your gadget and your sky ends up being a cloudy day, no worries, the device can charge up from the battery backup.

Word of the Day: Trivium

The word trivium comes from the Latin prefix tri meaning “three,” and the Latin root via meaning “way,” or “road.” The word literally means “the three-fold way or road.”

In medieval schools, the trivium was the beginning of the liberal arts since it consisted of the three subjects taught first: logic, grammer and rhetoric. The English word  of trivial derives from the fact that the trivium contained the least complicated studies.

Dual-core Smartphones ‘Real Soon Now’

I found this at LinuxDevices.

At the 3GSM event this week, Qualcomm announced expected delivery of dual-core smartphones this year.

Qualcomm expects to sample a low-cost, dual-core mobile phone processor that supports Linux and other third-party embedded OSes, in Q3 of this year. Smartphones based on the Mobile Station Modem MSM7225 will sell for less than $200, the company forecasts.

In its announcement of the MSM7225 at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, today, Qualcomm said the new device is aimed at making dual-processor smartphones more affordable so that they can move beyond enterprises, into the consumer consumer market.

You can read the full article here which includes more specs and features on the prospective phone.

Lenovo to release Windows Mobile devices

Found this on MSMobileNews. If you’re not familiar with Lenovo, they bought the rights to the Thinkpad notebooks from IBM and are now marketed under the Lenovo brand.

Well, it appears they’re now looking at releasing Windows Mobile Smartphone and PPCs as well. Note the Google ‘G’ circled in red on the PPC version below. Any guesses where the homepage defaults to? 😀

I’m still kind of partial to the candybar style smartphones like the one on the right, as opposed to the QWERTY versions (like Blackjack for instance). But the Lenovo candybar version below seems to have a very narrow screen, too small for my taste.

Another Step Closer to ‘A Robot in Every Home’

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft Robotics Studio, it can be used with a variety of robot platforms. It’s for academic, hobbyist and commercial developers to easily create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware. You can download the latest Microsoft Robotics Studio and Tutorials from this location.

Writing an application using the Microsoft Robotics Studio involves orchestrating input and output between a set of services. Services represent the interface to software or hardware and let you communicate between processes that perform specific functions. Learn the basics about the Microsoft Robotics Studio with several new tutorials.

The goal of the Microsoft Robotics Studio is to supply a software platform for the robotics community that can be used across a wide variety of hardware, applicable to a wide audience of users, and development of a wide variety of applications. As a platform, their intent is also to enable third parties to supply support for new hardware, technologies, and tools, just as Microsoft Windows provides a platform for others to bring their products and technologies to the community of PC users. So while they may populate the platform with some of their own contributions, those should not be considered exclusive to tools or libraries provided by other parties looking to provide interesting technologies for this platform.

From the Robotics Studio site:

The Microsoft Robotics Studio delivers three areas of software:

  1. A scalable, extensible runtime architecture that can span a wide variety of hardware and devices. The programming interface can be used to address robots using 8-bit or 16-bit processors as well as 32-bit systems with multi-core processors and devices from simple touch sensors to laser distance finding devices.
  2. A set of useful tools that make programming and debugging robot applications scenarios easier. These include a high quality visual simulation environment that uses the Ageia Technologies™ PhysX™ engine.
  3. A set of useful technology libraries services and samples to help developers get started with writing robot applications.

Our development environment runs on the platforms listed in the section “System Requirements”. It can be used to support robots that support these platforms as well as robots that can be remotely controlled from a PC running a supported platform. The remote control can for example be through a serial port, Bluetooth®, RF or Wi-Fi. We provide information that can be used by hardware or software vendors to make their products compatible with our development platform.

Additional references:

Readymech Paper Toys

readymech galleryHave you seen these really cool toys that you can generate from your own printer and download from Readymechs are free, flatpack toys for you to print and build and they’re designed for your standard 8.5″x11″ paper.

Below is a closeup of the Geisha, I’m assembling the Pirate right now…

Why People Probably Don’t Understand Probability

On NPR today, Robert Siegel talks with Columbia statistics professor Andrew Gelman. Gelman is the co-author of the book Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks, which includes an age-old statistics experiment that demonstrates how people misunderstand probability when it comes to the coin toss.

They also talk about the fact that the Superbowl coin flip has come up ‘Tails’ for 10 straight years now!

You can listen to the story on NPR from here.

Nokia Does Something Right

Nokia Aeon

Everyone’s getting fanatical about their cell phones these days. Especially if concept phones like Nokia’s very own Aeon ever make it into the mass consumer market. The Aeon will feature a full touchscreen surface that does away with the standard keypad, giving you an extremely sleek and sexy look that is guaranteed to turn heads each time you answer a call. One thing’s for sure though – unless Nokia knows how to perfect a material that does not attract fingerprints like ants to sugar, you’ll probably spend half your time wiping the Aeon.

And despite it good looks, it comes jam-packed with current technology, plus a few new ones – such as Nokia’s wireless concept, called “Wibree”.  Wibree is a prototype open technology offering connectivity between mobile devices or personal computers, and small, button cell battery power devices such as watches, wireless keyboards, toys, and sports sensors. The technology enables new use-cases and growth potential in this market segment.

So, sign me up!  I’d easily drop a few bennys for this slick unit.  I’ll monitor this phone’s development – even though it seems that Nokia might not actually release it as a consumer phone.  This is one rumor I hope is proven wrong in the months to come.

Quantum Physics Made Relatively Simple

Hans Bethe

Quantum theory is probably the most important discovery of the 20th century. It made it possible to understand atoms, then to understand chemistry (the chemistry bond is important to biology), particle physics and electronics.

Cornell University is hosting a series of video lectures on Quantum Mechanics presented by one of it’s principal architects – Hans Bethe.

They were taped in 1999 when he was 93 years old, 6 years before he passed away. Hans was a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1935, started up the Cornell Department of Physics into the top rank, became a key figure in the Manhattan project and eventually launched the United States into the field of high energy elementary particle physics.

These videos are suitable for experts and non-experts alike, they cover the basics of Quantum Theory as well as its historical perspectives, enjoy.

How do you dial 1-800-FLOWERS?

Mike Calligaro is a developer on the Windows Mobile team. He has a great article explaining some of the challenges that have arisen in the latest mobile phones with QWERTY keyboards and trying to dial some of those marketing phone numbers like 1-800-FLOWERS. In a standard 12 key type phone, there are groupings of letters that map to the a number like ABC assigned to the number 2 so T9 interprets the dialing appropriately. But now the QWERTY keyboards have the letters and mapped out to individual keys so you can’t simply dial 1-800-FLOWERS as you did before.

Read the backstory and details here.

Pixel City

In an effort to dredge up more cool stuff for you to ponder, I stumbled across this piece of eye-candy.  Although the artist is unknown, this panorama was reportedly drawn pixel-by-pixel.  If true, this image would have taken a great deal of time to create.  Being an entire pixelated city, give it time to load (took about two minutes on my 6mb d/l pipe), it’s gargantuan in size.

Pixel City

It kinda reminds me of those early adventure games I played, like “Syndicate”, or more conventional games like (ick) Pokemon.  Enjoy!

What Is This?

Okay, I’ll admit that last week’s image was a bit tough.  I’m trying to stress out those brain cells, and get the imagination burning!  At the very least, perhaps get people who didn’t know what it was to search out on the net and try to figure it out.  Well, this week is something a bit easier :)  Gratz to pjwhite for the closest guess – last week’s image is of an integrated circuit tester.

This week’s image:


As always, post your guesses in the comments area.  Have fun!

You Are Eaten By A Grue.

Older geeks will recognize this articles title as an unwanted encounter in a dark space!  For the neo-geeks out there, I present to you: Zork I: The Great Underground Empire.  The original classic, Zork I is arguably the most important computer game ever released as it completely changed the way that people viewed both computers and computer gaming.

 The Great Underground Empire

Instead of action games or shoot-em-ups, Zork I was an adventure game designed by adults for adults with incredibly descriptive prose and a parser that would accept and recognize full English sentences. While only a treasure-gathering game, Zork I paved the way for all future adventure games, and certainly must be played to see how the computer gaming industry truly began. While it doesn’t have much of a story beyond the hunt for twenty treasures, it needs to be recognized most for its contribution to the industry. Though it may seem unpolished or incomplete, this is due to the fact that the storage media of the era wasn’t capable of holding all three chapters of Zork, but shouldn’t stand in a way: this is still a classic game, and worthy of play today.

Ready for adventure the way it was meant to be?  Stab this link: Zork I

I love this game!

(D&D): Dungeonscape – A Refreshing New Take on Dungeon Adventures for DMs

Dungeonscape D&D book

Welcome to the Dungeon!

Since the dawn of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game, the dungeon has remained a place of mystery, excitement, and danger. Purple worms burrow through the earth, eager for their next meal. Savage orcs lurk within the darkness, ready to surge forth and lay waste to civilized lands. Strange cults, mutated monsters, and forgotten gods hide within the choking darkness of the dungeon’s halls. Nowhere else offers greater prospects for wealth, magic, and power. Yet the horrors that lurk beneath the world never give up their treasures without a fight….

This D&D supplement presents a refreshing new take on dungeon adventures. It shows Dungeon Masters how to inject excitement, innovation, and thrilling adventure into their dungeons. New rules for encounter traps allow DMs to build deadly snares to catch the unwary. For players, the journeyman class is a cunning wanderer, a jack-of-all-trades who can cope with anything the dungeon throws at him. New equipment, feats, and prestige classes give adventurers the tools they need to survive the dark beneath the earth.

Title: Dungeonscape (amazon)

MSRP: US$19.77

Availability: Feb 13 2007

Format: Hardcover

Visit Wizards for more information and their other books.

The CIA’s real Star Gate Program

A true story

If I told you this true story involved Saddam Hussein and nuclear weapons as just minor pieces to a bigger story you’d probably think this 2 decade long tale had something to do with the Gulf War or the Iraq War….it’s not.

This is about Star Gate, I’m not referring to the TV show ‘Stargate’. Instead, it’s about a little known CIA initiative that was declassified in the 1990’s as a part of Bill Clinton’s Executive Order #12958 April 17 1995 “Classified National Security Information”.

Well, the CIA has at least declassified portions of the project; some 270 pages of reports have been released out of the possible tens of thousands of documents created over the Star Gate project’s life which spanned from its inception in 1972 to 1995 when the program was made public. I should mention that we at least think the project has ended, at least according to the government, it’s over.

So what was ‘Star Gate’?

In essence, Star Gate was just one of the code names the CIA gave to a program that involved the U.S government’s reliance on a form of telekinesis called ‘Remote Viewing’. Other code names associated with off-shoots of the program included Sun Streak, Center Lane, Scan Gate and Grill Frame.

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