Friday, July 27, 2007


AllOfMP3 is dead. Long live MP3Sparks

AllOfMP3 is dead but it looks like it has reincarnated as MP3Sparks. Different name, but the music is the same. Amazing prices compared to other online stores like iTunes. Songs typically cost $0.10 to $0.15 so you you can download a whole album for $1.99 (vs $9.99 iTunes) thanks to a loophole in Russian law.

They accept payment made by credit and debit cards via e-centru but gift cards are not available yet. Wonder how long it takes before it suffers the same faith as AllOfMP3...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Logitech MX Air Mouse

The Logitech MX Air Mouse has a really neat feature; you don't need a desk to use it. You can hold it in the air like a Wiimote and use gestures to move the mouse cursor.


  • Laser performance: On your desk, enjoy laser-precise tracking and instant response. 

  • Freespace™ motion sensing: In the air, use MX Air™ to browse and play your favorite media. The sensor transforms hand motions into natural, responsive cursor controls. Adjust volume by waving to the right or left; skip tracks with a flip of the wrist.

  • Scroll panel: Experience hyper-fast scrolling at the touch of a finger—on your desk or in the air.  


  • Easy control of PC-based entertainment: Take command of your PC-based media with intuitive wave-and-click control—an easier and more natural way to enjoy your favorite media.

  • Gesture controls: Control playback and volume with hand motions. Adjust volume by waving to the right or left; skip tracks with a flip of the wrist.


  • Li-ion battery: Recharges faster, lasts longer.

  • 2.4 GHz wireless: An operating range of 30 feet lets you navigate media from anywhere in the room.

The Logitech MX Air mouse demo by the Logitech product manager shows how it works.

$150 is quite expensive considering that you can accomplish pretty much the same with a Wiimote and the GlovePIE software. It may not be as accurate but it works well as you can see in this Windows Wiimote demo.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Ducati branded SanDisk storage

SanDisk and Ducati has just launched several new storage products. The SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition USB Flash Drive must be one of the coolest looking USB Flash drives around:

Ducatisti will love the Ducati Corse logo on top of the drive and the red tail light that illuminates whenever the drive is inserted into the USB port of a computer. It comes with a 4 gigabytes and the best performance of any SanDisk USB drive at 20 megabytes per second.

The SanDisk Extreme® Ducati Edition CompactFlash and the SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition SD™ Plus have the quickest read/write times of the SanDisk portfolio.

The line-up consists of 4- and 8-gigabyte (GB) capacities for the SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition CompactFlash card and 4GB for the SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition SD Plus card. The latter features a snap-open connector that enables the card to be plugged in directly to the USB port of a personal computer without requiring a cable or reader:

The products are available for pre-order on the SanDisk Ducati site

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


CarMD: Check the health of your car

CarMD uses the On Board Diagnostics feature of cars produced the last decade to help you diagnose problems with cars.

The ODB standard defines a set of standard codes that helps identifying the problem.

It is not a replacement for a skilled technician but it can give you peace of mind:

  • Examine a used car before buying: The green, yellow and red lights on the CarMD tester can tell you if the used car you're considering is jewel, a possible lemon, or a big red flag.  

  • Give your vehicle a clean bill of health before road trips : Again, watch the lights. Green = go, Yellow = proceed with caution, Red = consult your mechanic. 

  • Pre-”smog” test your car: Yellow or red lights mean you may not pass a state emissions test. Be sure to consult your mechanic. 

  • Get a second opinion on your mechanic's report: Take your diagnostic report to your mechanic to help ensure they have located the source of your car's pain and are planning to send you a fair bill.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


New uses for your mobile camera phone

Mike Elgan has several useful suggestions to get more out of cell phones with a camera. I use several of them myself:

  • Handheld scanner/screen capture: I frequently take picture of whiteboards and notes after meetings. I have a small notebook I use once in a while when thinking/design if I don't have access to a whiteboard, otherwise I run a completely paper free office. Documenting designs/desicions with a simple picture takes seconds but it is very, very useful.

  • Photographic memory/reminders: I usually stop 10 seconds to record or write down details but snapping a picture of your parking lot etc or things you have to do works just as well.

  • Contact enhancer: Many phones and contact organizers like Microsoft Outlook let you associate photos with contacts. It is a great way to jog your memory when someone calls.

Mike also has some more creative suggestions that I have not tried yet:

  • Personal "City Guide" creator: take pictures of your favorite shops/restaurants/hotels

  • Driving directions maker: I send links to or but Mike is right; directions with photos at critical points are a lot easier to follow than simple text instruction

  • Personal security device: I never had the need to take pictures of people harassing me but I can see how it would scare them off

  • Liability reducer: take pictures off everything in case of an accident or if something is broken when you rent it


Fly through water with the Dolphin and SeaBreacher

Innenspace has made a fantastic “boat” that fly through the water much like airplanes fly through the air.

Instead of taking in water to sink beneath the surface like submarines, the Dolphin uses its forward momentum and diving planes to fly beneath the surface. The distinction is much like the difference between an air ship (which uses a light weight gas to obtain lift) and an airplane (which uses its wings to achieve flight).

The Dolphin has full 3-axis control (pitch, roll and yaw) much like an airplane. This allows the Dolphin to perform numerous tricks, not possible with any other watercraft today. These tricks include:

  • Prolonged snorkel dives of 20 seconds at 20 mph

  • Dipping below the water and then jumping clear out of the water

  • Porpoising like a Dolphin

  • Barrel rolls and multiple roll overs

  • Mid air rolls with inverted landings

  • Pitching straight down and popping up backwards

  • Planing at 30 mph with the canopy fully open

  • Diving underneath a rubber raft or prop boat

The new two seater SeaBreacher should be out later this year what can take passengers for rides below the surface. It is 50% larger than the Dolphin and will be able to reach of surface speeds in excess of 40 mph.

A shame they are not for sale...

Monday, July 16, 2007


Esquad: jeans of steel

The ESQUAD® jeans are impressive. They look like normal denim jeans but they are made using Armalith, a fabric that is stronger than leather: 

Armalith is a mixed fabric produced from a fiber that is generally used for non-textile applications (for example in the defense, space or offshore sectors).  The fiber is reworked, treated and combined with a cotton thread, and is then woven using a special process -- the breaking limit of a trouser leg made of this material is greater than 10 tons! 

Esquad has basic jeans and a stronger version that has hip and knee impact reinforcement as well as a raised back protector:

Check out the video section that shows how the Esquad jeans compare to normal jeans and leather pants