Quiet Week

I hope you are all enjoying the week between Christmas and New Year.

This is a very quiet week for gadgets so no new posts, we are getting ready for the CES Consumer Electronics show in Vegas next week; we will be reporting from the show and attending all the fun launch parties that companies have planned.

Happy New Year!

Ooh! Nice Toy!

Homemade Mecha

Alaska is a state where men are men and thermal underwear is required.

In Alaska there are a lot more men than women and as it takes more than muscles and a plaid shirt to attract the ladies, I can see where the inspiration for 26 year old Carlos Owens little project might have came from.

Carlos is building an 18 foor tall Mecha; an exoskeleton that he can climb into and take 8 foot long strides, crushing cars with it’s massive pincer hands.

All it needs now is the flamethrower.

More at Cnet

They Call It a Laptop…..

Dell Inspiron XPS

…. but I’m not sure if I would want it on my lap.

PC Magazine has reviewed the latest incarnation of the Dell Inspiron XPS “desktop replacement” laptop.

This 9.8lb (probably excluding battery) 14.1″ x 10.8″ x 2″ thick $4400 monster boasts a 3.4GHz Intel Pentuim 4 Extreme Edition processor, Mobility Radeon 9800 Pro graphics, and 256MB DDR2 memory.

Frankly I don’t get it, a ten pound laptop is too big to carry around, gets too hot to keep on your lap for long (and could benefit from the chillpak we mentioned recently), and despite it being plugged as an extreme gaming system it only managed a 3DMark05 score of 2300, a full 1500 points less (and $3500 more) than we got with a $649 Dell Desktop PC upgraded with a $200 graphics card.

If you absolutely have to have a large laptop for gaming this is a good choice, otherwise give it a miss.

Full review at PC magazine

Clone your Kitty

cloned kittens

“Genetic Savings & Clone”, a pet cloning company, has announced the first commercially produced clone, a kitten called Little Nicky that cost it’s new owner $50,000.

Little Nicky is a clone of (unsurprisingly) a cat called Nicky who died aged 17.

For your $50k “GSC will provide you with a video of the cloning process, birth of your clone, presentation party and dinner as a personal keepsake and remembrance. Your video will be provided in either VHS and DVD format.”

7 people have signed up so far at $50k each to get a clone of their cat, and it isn’t clear how many more have signed up for Genetic Savings & Clone’s storage service where for $295 to $1395 (plus $100 a year) you can get your pets DNA stored.

Oh, and if your pet dies suddenly they have instructions to put your pet in the refridgerator (don’t freeze it) and arrange for a biopsy immediately.

Hmm, we love our dog Buddy, but probably not to the extent of $50k, especially when there are so many good dogs and cats being euthanized every day in animal shelters. So if your pet dies don’t give 50k to Genetic Savings & Clone, donate some money to your local animal shelter and get a new pet that would otherwise be killed.

Genetic Savings & Clone (via slashdot)

Ajump Terabyte NAS Server

Ajump Terabyte NAS Server

There seem to be a lot of Network Attached Storage solutions coming out with a terabyte of storage, perfect for a home media server, and here’s another one.

The Ajump Impression P104S is interesting because it is custom configured, built, and tested, and comes at a good price ($1438 with 1TB of storage).

This Ajump NAS server has a RISC processor, 4 Serial ATA bays, gigabit ethernet, 256MB RAM, and hardware RAID levels 0, 1, and 5.

Is it just me, or does it look like a radio from the 1940s?

Ajump configuration page

(via ehomeupgrade)

Sexy Media Center PC

Oncinema Teatro D1 Media Center PC

Now this is one sexy piece of Italian design, the OnCinema Teatro D1 Media Center PC.

The OnCinema Teatro D1 is made of aluminum, comes in silver and black, prominently features a 1280×720 pixel touchscreen LCD, and costs a jaw-dropping 5000 euros ($6000).

There is no mention when you buy of what processor or memory you get with at (irrelevent details?), but you do get a dual layer DVD recorder, 500GB hard drive space, 802.11g wireless, USB 2.0, firewire, Dolby DTS 7.1, dual TV tuners, and a host of outputs including S-Video, component, DVI and lots more.

Foxy!, do you think it’s too late to call santa and change my wish list?

OnCinema home page (Italian) (via Gizmodo)

Sparkle GeForce 6600GT Review

Sparkle GeForce 6600GT Video Card

We bought a new Dell PC recently that was a great bargain, offered all the latest technology, but its gaming was very poor due to it coming with a basic Radeon X300 graphics card.

To replace the card we had two choices, spend $400+ on a top of the range Radeon X800/X850 or GeForce 6800 card, or keep the budget more sensible and get a mid-range card for around $200 such as a Radeon X600 or GeForce 6600 card.

We wanted a card that would handle the latest games like Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 at a good resolution (1280×1024) with high graphics settings, and after researching we bought a Sparkle GeForce 6600GT graphics card from Directron for $207.

How did the card perform, and how much did it improve over the 16377 Aquamark3 benchmark score we got with the old X300 card? Keep reading to find out……
Continue reading

X-Files Guy creates Gadget

chillpak

Dean Haglund (one of the 3 geeks from the X-Files that got his own TV series that was a flop) has become an inventor:

He has created a device that draws heat away from the CPU on your laptop.

No, not a little fan (Schulyer Wheeler invented the electric fan in 1886), the X-Files guy invented one of those gel pack things (like doctors and nurses use for reducing swelling instead of a bag of peas) but here’s the clever bit: it eliminates condensation, which for obvious reasons is a “good thing” as computers and water don’t mix.

One word of warning guys, don’t chill it too much then use it on your lap with your laptop: I imagine frostbitten balls are very unpleasant.

Probably coming to an infomercial near you soon (or alternatively available for $19.99 (via paypal) on chillpak.com.

Future of Space Ship One and Two

space ship one

Burt Rutan (of first private spaceship SpaceShipOne) fame has talked to the Palm Springs Desert Sun newspaper about the future of SpaceShipOne and his plans for it’s successor SpaceShipTwo (AKA Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise).

SpaceShipOne, despite receiving a lot of requests for flights and cargo runs, will be preserved in the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington DC and will not fly again.

SpaceShipTwo, which will carry 9 people higher than SpaceShipOne, should be flying in two and a half years and should be starting commercial flights in four years.

In the longer term he things that in twenty to twenty-five years people will be able to visit hotels in orbit.

Put me down for a weekend stay at the hotel to celebrate my 55th or 60th birthday.

Full Interview

Asus Spresso Barebones PC

Asus Spresso Barebones PC

Here’s a nice looking barebones small form factor PC from Asus: The S-presso SI-P111.

The Asus Spresso comes with the fancy looking case, LED panel, TV tuner, remote control, memory card reader, and a high-end Asus motherboard. All you do is add a hard drive, operating system of your choice (this would be great for Windows Media Center), DDR memory, socket 478 processor, and a graphics card (it has been tested with most recent high-power 8x AGP card, making it suitable for a gaming PC).

The Asus Spresso SI-P111 is 9.5″ x 7.1″ x 13″, and costs around $300.

More on the Spresso from Asus (via Slashdot)