Monday, December 18, 2006


Jumping Star Trampoline

We bought a large trampoline for the kids this summer from Jumping Star. It was not cheap at 240 euro (plus shipping) but it has been in constant use since we got it. This picture is of the 3.1m version which is small compared to the 4m version we got. It takes a lot of space in the garden but it is safer as the kids can jump together without bumping into each other.

I is certified for 100kg so I can have some fun, and get some exercise, as well :-)

The site is in German but the great customer support speaks English.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Monza Rally Show 2006 - 25-26 November

I did not manage to go to the Monza Rally last year and it looks like I cannot go to watch Valentino in action this weekend either at the 2006 Monza Rally:

It should be great fun though. Valentino Rossi just finished 11th in the New Zealand Rally with a one year old privately owned car. Impressive considering he has only driven one other rally before, the 2002 UK rally – which lasted just a few corners before he crashed out. With a cautious start he was only 28th after the first races but quickly mastered the car to finish in 11th place.

Video from 2005

Sunday, November 19, 2006


EICMA 2006

I went to EICMA 2006 yesterday with some friends and had a great time. The automatic ticketing system worked like a charm. Just hold the printed bar code in front of one of the many kiosks and it writes the personal ticket on the spot. I forgot to mention their Pocket PC application in my previous post; it downloads the entire catalog and map of all the stands offline. The only thing missing was a Bluetooth or wifi system that could be used for finding out where you were.

= Bikes =
There were loads of beautiful bikes. Too many to mention here. My favorites were two new Aprilias.

Aprilia 750 Shiver
I really like the looks of the bike and it is comfortable even for someone as big as me. It has a new 90° V2 that is extremely compact and capable of offering levels of power (95 CVs) that are comparable to the category’s 4-cylinder bikes. 

Aprilia 850 Mana
It is a good looking bike but the really cool stuff is the technology in the bike. It has a totally automatic transmission and a sequential shift with 7 gears and three separate mappings.


Suzuki B-King
The "Baddest" looking bike was the Suzuki B-King. It may well be the King of the road with its 1300cc engine but when it is too much it is just too much:


= Moto Live =
I tried the Yamaha MT-03 and quickly realized it has been almost two decades since I drove a motorbike with a manual shift. It was raining and the “track“ was wet and extremely slippery which did  not make it any better. I did not make a total fool of myself but it was not able to drive it like I wanted through the corners. Spoiled by using a scooter too long I guess.

I had a great time with the Goes Quads though. I am large enough to force it to go where it should go and slide it trough the corners on the dirt track. Great fun to drive on a dirt track but I cannot understand why people buy them to drive them in town…


NetFront 3.3 Internet Browser for Pocket PC

NetFront 3.3 won the Pocket PC Magazine 2006 award in the Browsers and Web Utilities category. It is no wonder considering the impressive feature list:

  • Smart Frame Operation
  • Web Data/Password Manager
  • Pop-up blocker
  • RSS and Atom Feed compatibility
  • Page translation
  • NetFront SMIL and SVG Player
  • Auto-Cruise function
  • Runs external applications
  • Internet Search bar
  • Smart-Fit Rendering with multiple browse modes (Full, Text, Simple, Rapid-Render).
  • Virtual Canvas for rendering on virtual screen sizes. Multi-window function (tab browser)
  • Java JV-Lite2, Macromedia Flash


Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Removing duplicate contacts in Microsoft Outlook

I recently started synchronizing all my devices (Pocket PC and mobile phones) with Microsoft Outlook. The good news is that I finally have all my contacts everywhere. The bad news is that I got tons of duplicate contacts as some contacts had the phone number while others had the e-mail. I was about to write my own "merge tool" when I found the free Contacts Scrubber™ for Outlook via Slipstick

The free version can merge up to 1.000 contacts. The registered version has several neat features:

  • Ability to process an unlimited number of items

  • Ability to create user-defined duplicate definitions

  • Auto-processing: scrub duplicates without user intervention

  • Ability to scrub across two Contacts folders

  • Special bonus: adds an Outlook menu option that lets you scrub open Contact items right from within Outlook!

Monday, November 13, 2006


glofiish X500: World's thinnest Pocket PC Phone, GPS and Wi-Fi

The glofiish X500 promises to be the world's thinnest Pocket PC Phone, GPS and Wi-Fi All-in-one device:

The x500 has a 400Mhz which should make it less sluggish than other entries in the ultra compact Pocket PC Phone edition marked.

Main features:

  • Windows Mobile 5.0™ software for Pocket PCs

  • GSM/EDGE Quad-band: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

  • GPRS/EGPRS Class B, Multi-slot Class 10

  • 240 x 320, 65,536 colors TFT-LCD

  • Built-in 2.0 mega pixels digital camera with flash light

  • 4x digital zoom

  • Video recording

  • Built-in Bluetooth® v2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)

  • Built-in Micro SD card slot for expansion memory and peripherals

  • Messaging functionality includes MMS, SMS, email and MSN Messenger

  • WiFi® IEEE802.11b certificated

It is significantly thinner (15.5 mm) than the M600 (22 mm) I used earlier this year which is great news. The only sad thing is that they have dropped the SD/MMC card slot in favor of Micro SD cards which costs more (and are easier to loose).


64th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milano 14-19 November

I really enjoyed the exhibition last year so I am going to the 64th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milano this weekend. The ticket queues were not bad last time but why risk when you can buy the tickets online.

Like last year there will be many races and exhibitions in the outdoor "MotoLive" area:

More info:

  • Tickets: Full price € 16,00 – Concessions € 10,00

  • Evening ticket – Friday 17th from 6.00 p.m. onwards - € 10,00 (Free entry for women on Friday 17th)

  • Go by motorcycle as the parking is free or take the underground. Car parking costs almost as much as the ticket (€ 14.10 for one day and € 9.90 for half a day)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


MotoGP Calendar 2007

There has ben some changes to the MotoGP calendar for 2007, this is the latest version (events in italic take place on Saturday):

  • March 10 Losail, Qatar    

  • March 25 Jerez, Spain    

  • April 22 Istanbul, Turkey 

  • May 6 Shanghai, China    

  • May 20 Le Mans, France

  • June 3 Mugello, Italy

  • June 10 Catalunya,  Spain

  • June 24 Donington,  Great Britain

  • June 30 Assen,  Holland

  • July 15 Sachsenring,  Germany

  • July 22 Laguna Seca, USA    

  • August 19 Brno, Czech Republic    

  • September 2 Misano, San Marino & Riviera di Rimini

  • September 16 Estoril, Portugal    

  • September 23 Motegi, Japan    

  • October 14 Phillip Island, Australia    

  • October 21 Sepang, Malaysia    

  • November 4 Ricardo Torma, Valencia

Two events “close“ to home. Cool Or What?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Kensington Notebook Universal DC Power Adapter

The Kensington Notebook Universal DC Power Adapter comes in different flavors (120 Watt, 70 Watt, 30 Watt) and packs a lot of power:

It it a lot slimmer than the standard power supply that comes with most laptops as it is just slightly larger than my external 3 1/2 external HD. But the really cool features are all the things that you do not get with a standard power supply:

  • it can charge a wide range of devices (including laptops, phones, PDAs, iPods, …) using SmartTips

  • it charges several devices at the same time

  • it lets you charge from a wall outlet as well as power outlets in cars and air plane

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Xoro Freeview DVD tablet

A must have gadget if you spend time on the road; the Freeview DVD tablet:

It is only slightly larger than a normal a DVD case but it comes with:

  • A super slim, portable mega multimedia machine, a DVD player and Freeview TV in one.

  • It can play DVD, VCD, SVCD, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 Video, MPEG-4 Video, AUDIO-CD, JPEG, and Kodak Picture CDs.

  • A DVB-T receiver module with an Automatic Channel Scan, Electronic Programme Guide and Teletext.

  • A Multi-Regional System.

  • An integrated card reader for SD, MMC and MS memories.

  • It can be used as a digital photo frame.

  • USB port connections which can be used for external devices such as MP3 players, hard drives and digital cameras.

  • Video In and Out cables.

  • An in-car charger to plug into your cigarette lighter.

The really cool feature is that it supports DVB-T. It has way better quality than the DBV-H signals you can watch on some mobile phones and a it is completely free :-)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Max Biaggi will be back on bike #3

Max Biaggi is back on bike #3, but this time in the World Superbike championship with team Alstare Suzuki

Max was stuck without a MotoGP team this year as he upset most of the bike manufacturers and teams. He has signed a 2 year contract with the team that won the championship in 2005. It will be interesting to see how it goes as no Italian has ever won the SBK World  Championship.


Hipi-2200: Windows Mobible 5.0 dual mode SIP and GSM

The hipi-2200 is the world’s first SIP-based Windows Mobile 5.0 dual-mode handset:

The hipi-2200 allows transparent transitions from WiFi networks to GSM and between WiFi Access Points. A great solution for companies as employees can make free internal VoIP calls to colleagues when they have WiFi coverage and use GSM otherwise.

The device has all the usual Windows Mobile 5.0 features as well as:

  • 2.0 mega pixel camera

  • Support for quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and Class-10 GPRS;

  • Support for 802.11g WLAN and comprehensive SIP-based VoIP functionality over WLAN;

  • Greater than 4 hour talk time, 3-4 hours for VoIP call and 6-7 hours for GSM;

  • Up to 100 hour standby time with both GSM and WLAN radios active;

  • Seamless WLAN AP-to-AP roaming in both active talking mode and idle mode;

  • Seamless handover between GSM and VoIP;

  • Always-on WLAN and support for seamless handover between WLAN and GPRS for data applications such as email and internet browsing;

  • Comprehensive security support such as VPN, VoIP over VPN, 802.1x, WPA and WEP; For example the hipi-2200 supports logging on to a corporate internal IP-PBX from a hotspot or home over VPN, essentially allowing users to take their company phone with them on the road with the same call features and number; 

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Mini Bluetooth Keyboard

The foldable Mini Bluetooth Keyboard keyboard is only 95x70x13mm when folded:

It works with most devices:

  • Pocket PC(Pocket PC 2003 / Windows Mobile 5.0)

  • Plam OS

  • Symbian 6.0/UIQ

  • Windows 2000/XP

Usefull but not as cool as the Bluetooth virtual keyboard

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Tea Cube & Space Cube

The Tea Cube  (left) is slightly smaller than its predecessor, the Space Cube (right):

The SEMC5701A (Tea Cube) has a 333Mhz CPU, 16MB of flash memory and 64MB of RAM. It is tiny: 52mm x 52mm x 45mm but it still manages to pack a lot of ports including 100Mbit Ethernet, USB 2.0, speaker, microphone and serial port. The video port supports up to 1208x1024 resolution with 65K colors.

Any smaller and you can start wearing your PC as jewelery.

Via Epic Empire

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Cool Tool: Foxit PDF Reader 2.0

The free Foxit Reader standard edition is small and fast and lets you annotate PDF documents. No annoying "Welcome" screen while the reader loads in the background. They also have a mobile edition for Windows Mobile/CE devices.

But the best feature of them all; it is stable. I have lost track of how many times Adobe Acrobat Reader has crashed on my PC bringing Internet Explorer down with it. Foxit Reader, on the other hand, is rock solid. I have used the 1.3 edition for a long time and I just upgraded to 2.0.

The pro pack ($39) is needed to save modified PDF files or convert the whole document to a simple text file.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Cool tool: Folder Marker

I have seen all sorts of workarounds in the past too mark which folders are important; renaming folders to start with underscore (_) so they show up first, using numbers or complex hierarchies. FolderMarker is so simple that it is just brilliant; it lets you change the Windows folder icons:

Use predefined icons like "High Priority", "Planned Work" or choose our own icons or colors. A Getting Things Done approach to the file system. Just right click on the folder to change the icon of any folder.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006


LaCie safe HD with finger print protection

The latest LaCie SAFE external hard disks support up to 10 fingerprints and five different with different privileges. A simple finger swipe locks and unlocks the drive.  In addition to the to biometric access control they come with an internal firmware called “Drive Lock” that prevents data from being accessed if removed from the case and plugged in to another machine. The high end Mobile Editions can also encrypts the data.


  • Protect confidential data from unauthorized use
  • Capacities of 40-120GB (Mobile Edition, with Encryption), 160-500GB (Desktop Edition)
  • Ideal for parental control and protecting intellectual property
  • Biometric access means only registered users can lock or unlock the drive
  • Internal drive lock prevents intruders from accessing data
  • External chain lock port allows owners to attach to a desk (chain sold separately)
  • Register and customize access for up to five users
  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hard drive for PC and/or Mac
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Comes with LaCie Backup Software for PC/Mac


Meet the all new iPods

Apple has just launched the latest members of the iPod family:

From left to right:

  • iPod: The fifth generation iPod is 30% thinner and the 60% brighter display gives album art, photos, and video extra oomph.

  • iPod Nano: Looks like the older version but it has a 40% brighter display and an impressive 24 hours battery life

  • iPod Shuffle:  The shuffle has been completely redesigned. The new version is built like a clip which makes it a snap to to carry.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006


Nazionale Piloti plays in Monza this evening

Today there will be a charity football match between the Nazionale Piloti and the Grande Fratello Team in Monza at 20:30. Max Biaggi will be there and other stars like Michael Schumacher normally play as well.

More info regarding the event and ticket prices at the Nazionale Piloti site

  • Grandstand 10,00 €

  • Corner 5,00 €

  • Kids up to 13 years 2,00 €

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Personal blimp

Join the birds for a quiet moment in the skies with your own Skyacht Personal Blimp:

Since early 2002 Skyacht Aircraft, Inc. has been developing a new type of aircraft called the Personal Blimp. The goal of this work is the creation an aircraft capable of silent, steerable, sustained, and affordable flight. No such craft exists today.
The Personal Blimp uses hot air (rather than Helium) for lift and virtually silent electric motors for propulsion. To put it another way: the Personal Blimp is a hot air balloon that can be maneuvered about in nearly perfect quiet. Passengers in a Personal Blimp have a serene experience of flight unavailable in any other type of aircraft.

It is not practical for getting to work but wouldn't it be great to hover at will? Most other ways of flying require either loud machinery or constant attention to ride the air currents. A blimp with quiet electrical motors sounds like the perfect anti-stress medicine after a long day at work.

Via Sci Fi Tech

Friday, August 25, 2006


9, 12, or 8 planets?

Pluto has always been controversial as a "planet". It has a strange orbit but it no longer meets the requirements of a planet according to IAU.

The decision at a conference of 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries was a dramatic shift from just a week ago, when the group's leaders floated a proposal that would have reaffirmed Pluto's planetary status and made planets of its largest moon and two other objects.

That plan proved highly unpopular, splitting astronomers into factions and triggering days of sometimes combative debate that led to Pluto's undoing

Now, two of the objects that at one point were cruising toward possible full-fledged planethood will join Pluto as dwarfs: the asteroid Ceres, which was a planet in the 1800s before it got demoted, and 2003 UB313, an icy object slightly larger than Pluto whose discoverer, Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology, has nicknamed Xena.

Pluto now belongs to a new Trans-Neptunian family of planets that still have to be named. Wikipedia impressed me again as it did not take long before all Pluto related articles were updated. A community effort like Wikipedia will always have problems with vandalism but the benefits compared to a normal bookshelf encyclopedia is enormous. Kids will continue to learn about Pluto The Planet for many years (decades?) to come.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Free Nokia firmware updates using your PC

Why pay to have the firmware of your mobile update at a service center when you can do it yourself with the free Nokia Software Update service?

The service is available for the following Nokia phones at the moment: Nokia 6131 (supports over-the-air updates), Nokia N70, Nokia N72, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, Nokia 6682.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Solar powered Bluetooth GPS

No reason to be a cable jockey and contstantly switch the 12V charger in the car between the GPS and the phone/PDA with the solar powered HBTGPSOL Bluetooth GPS receiver:

The solar cells can charge the device when it is off and they increase the normal operating time by 50% to an incredible 30 hours if the GPS is on the whole time.

The HBTGPSOL comes with:

  • GPS antenna

  • Quick Start Guide (English and Italian)

  • Cd-rom with utility and manual

  • USB cable

  • AC-DC power adapter (5V-500mA)

  • 12V DC car charger

  • Li-Ion rechargeable battery


IE 7.0 beta 3 works on Windows 2003

Not only does it install, but it works like a charm! I played around with the Windows Live Toolbar for a week but it is a major kludge compared to Internet Explorer 7. The upgrade from IE 6.0 went without a hitch and it kept all my favorites, saved passwords and cookies.

I have not used the RSS reader yet as it is unable to import the OPML file I exported from Bloglines but the other features have been worth the "risk" of upgrading to a beta;

  • Tabbed browsing with "quick tabs" preview

  • Microsoft finally fixed printing: IE7 automatically scales the web page so that it is not wider than the paper it will be printed on.

  • Page zoom


Friday, August 11, 2006


Mobiblu B153 = 153 hours of battery life!

The Mobiblu B153 (aka DAH-1900)  is not as small as the Mobiblu DAH-1500, but it has some impressive features:

  • 153 hours of playback on a single charge

  • World's first Podcast Ready ™ - enabled MP3 Player

  • Supports MP3, WMA, and “Protected” WMA (DRM)

  • Bright and easy to read OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display

  • FM Tuner with recording support

  • Voice Recording (Built-In Microphone)

  • Line-In Encoding (Direct Recording)

  • Clock (View Time) Display and Timer Functions.

  • Pivot Display (Rotate Display 180 degrees) only has the 512MB and 1GB versions but I hope they will get the 2GB version soon.


Belkin AC Anywhere for road warriors

The Belkin AC Anywhere is a great gadget if you spend your time on the road or go camping. It plugs into the standard 12-volt DC vehicle cigarette lighter socket in cars and campers and lets you power laptop computers, PDAs, and other AC appliances wherever you go. They come in different flavors depending on how much power you need:

  • 50W   : smaller devices such as electric shavers and PDAs.

  • 140W  : medium-size devices, such as laptops or CD players.

  • 300W  : laptop or printer, TV/VCR/DVD, video camera, or camping equipment.


  • Automatic overheat shut-off at 150F

  • Low-battery alarm at 10.6V and automatic shut-off feature at 10.6V

  • Overload protection

  • Replaceable fuse included

  • Power LED indicator

  • 3-Year Warranty

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Skype 2.5 supports SMS

I have not used Skype since last year after I moved to VoIP. My Skype credit was about to expire so I downloaded the latest client and was surprised to see that it supports sending SMS. The sender of the SMS can either be the skype id or any mobile phone you have verified with Skype.

Writing long messages with the keyboard in Skype sure beats entering it on a small keyboard on a mobile phone. Skype also lets you send the same message to multiple contacts. But the best feature of them all has to be the price; the messages are a lot cheaper. A quick comparison for the countries I sent most messages to:

  • Italy: Vodafone Italy 0.150 euro, Skype 0.102 euro
  • Norway: Vodafone 0.300 euro. Skype 0.086 euro

Since the sender appears with my mobile number it is transparent to the recipient that I sent them from Skype. Coolissimo!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006


SanDisk 4GB Secure Digital card

SanDisk recently announced a 4GB SD High Capacity card that comes with a MicroMate ™ USB 2.0 reader 


  • Speed performance rating: Class 2 (based on SD 2.00 Specification)

  • High Quality SDHC card backed by 5 year limited warranty

  • Built to last, with an operating shock rating of 2,000Gs, equivalent to a ten-foot drop

  • SanDisk SDHC 4GB card ships with Bonus MicroMate USB 2.0 SD/SDHC Reader, to ensure compatibility when downloading pictures or other digital content

Note: The card can only be read by devices that support the SDHC standard which allows up to 32GB to be stored on a single card.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


World eBook Fair: July 4th-August 4 2006

The World eBook Fair is on from July 4th to August 4 2006 to celebrate the 35th birthday of Project Gutenberg. There are 300.000 free eBooks in a lot of different categories.

This event is brought to you by the oldest and largest free eBook source on the Internet, Project Gutenberg, with the assistance of the World eBook Library, the providers of the largest collection, and a number of other eBook efforts around the world. The World eBook Library normally charges $8.95 per year for online access, and allows unlimited personal downloading. During The World eBook Fair all these books are available free of charge through a gateway at and


You are encouraged to participate in The World eBook Fair, by downloading any of the 1/3 million eBooks provided here for personal use. The World eBook fair is currently scheduled for the next few July and August periods as follows:

2007 1/2 Million eBooks
2008 3/4 Million eBooks
2009 One Million eBooks

The World eBook Fair, Project Gutenberg, and World eBook Library, along with our other participants, join together to encourage you to assist in bringing many entire libraries to the general public and to encourage ever increasing levels of literacy and reading.

We hope the invention of eBooks will advance the world as much as did the invention of The Gutenberg Press, and look forward to the Neo-Industrial Revolution following the advent of eBooks, just as the invention of The Gutenberg Press undoubtedly led to the first Industrial Revolution, and your participation can help bring this new revolution in reading and libraries to the world.


Astronomy Picture of the Day Wallpaper

The Astronomy Picture of the Day archive has some fantastic pictures. I used to check them on line when I had time but I recently moved to the APOD wallpaper program. It is a neat program that automatically updates the desktop with the latest APOD picture and explanation. Starting the day with a beauty like The Cat's Paw Nebula is a pleasure:

Astronomy Picture of the Day is a web site hosted by NASA and maintained by professional astronomers who pick a new exciting beautiful astronomy picture every day. Astronomy Picture of the Day has been active for more than 7 years, successfully sharing the beauty of the universe with us all. APOD brings it one step further, setting those beautiful astronomy pictures, optionally with their scientific explanation, as your desktop wallpaper

Thursday, July 6, 2006


Microsoft Ultimate Keyboard

The Microsoft Ultimate Keyboard looks pretty cool:

The ergonomic keyboard also has some pretty neat new features

  • Intelligent back light with proximity sensing that changes according to the ambient light

  • 30 feet Bluetooth range

Monday, June 26, 2006


Stay cool with a misting system

I was sold as soon as I saw Bordoni's post on the Outdoor Misting System:

I suffer in the Italian heat but an Outdoor Misting System should make life cooler as it promises to cool the air up to 20 degrees (~10 degrees Celsius) over a 3 meter range. Perfect for the porch in front of the bedrooms where the sun is beating the whole day. At 50$ it costs a lot less than an airconditioning system and it does not use any electricity:

Does your backyard go unused during the hottest days of the year? Enjoy the outdoors all year round with the Outdoor Misting System, an all-in-one kit designed to cool the air by as much as 20 degrees. This easy-to-install system uses a fine mist to cool any 10-foot outdoor area, from patios to decks to greenhouses to pet areas.

The Outdoor Misting System contains everything you'll need to feel cooler, and no electricity or batteries are required. Just attach the mist line to your patio, deck or any outdoor area. Connect the mist line to any standard garden hose. Adjust the nozzles to cool your favorite area, sit back and enjoy! You can even connect multiple kits to this one to cool larger areas, up to 100 feet.


Thursday, June 22, 2006


Watch the Football World Cup in ASCII

Watch the Football World Cup in ASCII live via telnet if you have a broadband or fast mobile connection. Connect via telnet to or and enjoy:

Servingo is working on a more "modern" interface that puts the end-user in control:

Key plays from the various games are provided in real-time as virtual 3-D reconstructions/re-enactments. The fan can view the reconstructed game play in potentially any desired form, at any chosen speed (i.e., real-time, slow-motion, etc.) and from any vantage point. This allows the viewer to assume any position on the field. The fan becomes the camera man, assumes the position of the driving player, the goalie or the trainer/coach, and experience the game through the new perspective. Additional information, either provided in advance (player descriptions, statistics, etc.) or calculable from the reconstructions (distances, movement radii and paths, flight path of ball, etc.), or even an automatic comparison of game plays, are all conceivable possibilities.

Via Bordoni


Motorola O ROKR Bluetooth glasses

The Motorola O ROKRs connects to Bluetooth enabled phones and music players to let you make calls and listen to music in complete freedom:


  • Buttons for controlling volume, answering/ending calls and controlling music

  • Absolute freedom with no wires or cords to dangle and tangle

  • Up to approximately 4 hours of listen/talk time and 100 hours of standby time

  • Two speakers for stereo music listening and for making calls easier to hear

  • Integrated speakers that adjust easily for a comfortable, precise fit

  • Oakley’s High Definition Optics (HDO®) for unbeatable clarity and performance

  • Lightweight O Matter frame material for all-day comfort and durability

Thursday, June 8, 2006


Getting everyone to smile with Group Shot

Microsoft Research Group Shot helps you create a perfect group photo out of a series of photos. Group Shot builds a composite image from your favorite parts in each photo:

“Taking group photographs can be frustrating, because capturing a single image in which everyone is smiling and has their eyes open is nearly impossible. Most photographers take a series of photographs, hoping to capture at least one satisfactory image of the group. However, this approach may never yield such an image. On the other hand, within the series of images, it is likely that at least one good image of each individual within the group will be captured. A group photograph could be created by combining the best portions of each individual image into a single composite image.”
There are many other things Group Shot either can do now or will be able to do as the application is extended:

  • Removing unwanted images from photo backgrounds.

  • Artistic shots with special lighting.

  • Extended depth of field

  • Aesthetically pleasing images that could never occur in reality: “You can get things that don’t exist,” Colburn says. “You can take a picture of a building against a sunset, but you want to have the sky looking blue—however you want to compose these things that might not exist in reality but might be how you remember them.”

You can download it here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006


Google Spreadsheets

Google takes on Ajax Excel with Google Spreadsheets

Unlike Ajax Excel it works with most browsers and comes with full editing features:

  • You can create new spreadsheets from scratch and perform all basic spreadsheet operations; change the number format, sort by columns and add formulas.

  • Upload existing spreadsheets from CSV or XLS format. All the formulas and formatting will come across intact.

  • You can share the online spreadsheets with the people you choose and edit the file with others in real time.

  • Online storage and auto-save mean you need not fear hard drive failures and power outages.

  • You can save your spreadsheets to your own computer in CSV, XLS and HTML formats.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Reading books with the thumb thing

The Thumbthing makes it a lot easier and comfortable to read books with one hand. Just put the Thumbthing onto your thumb and place into the spine of the book. The two wings will hold the pages open more easily:


It is available online and in several stores in different sizes.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Convert old LPs and casettes to MP3

I have a lot of old vinyl LPs that I never play anymore. That should no longer be a problem with the ION USB turntable as is finally possible to convert LPs and cassettes to MP3 at a decent price:

You can plug it into a stereo or plug the USB cable into your computer and convert your vinyl to WAV, WMV and MP3s with the provided software. You can even plug a tape deck into an auxiliary port and convert your old cassettes. This product is compatible with any software that supports USB audio input sound cards - simply plug it into a spare USB port - it requires no special drivers for Windows (98,2000,XP) or Mac (OS9 and above).

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Earth's ozone layer appears to be on the road to recovery

Cool news from NASA:

People were understandably alarmed, then, in the 1980s when scientists noticed that manmade chemicals in the atmosphere were destroying this layer. Governments quickly enacted an international treaty, called the Montreal Protocol, to ban ozone-destroying gases such as CFCs then found in aerosol cans and air conditioners.


While the ozone hole over Antarctica continues to open wide, the ozone layer around the rest of the planet seems to be on the mend. For the last 9 years, worldwide ozone has remained roughly constant, halting the decline first noticed in the 1980s.
Whatever the explanation, if the trend continues, the global ozone layer should be restored to 1980 levels sometime between 2030 and 2070. By then even the Antarctic ozone hole might close--for good.

Monday, May 22, 2006


May 25th: Towel Day

If you have seen the movie, watched the TV series or read the books, make sure you bring your towel on Thursday 25th of May:

To quote from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.


Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp  is a free and easy-to-learn 3D modeling program that lets you create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships.

You can add details, textures and glass to your models, design with dimensional accuracy, place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies.

  • Click on a shape and push or pull it to create your desired 3D geometry.

  • Experiment with color and texture directly on your model.

  • Real-time shadow casting lets you see exactly where the sun falls as you model.

  • Select from thousands of pre-drawn components to save time drawing.  

Friday, May 19, 2006


Piaggio MP3

The Piaggio MP3 looks pretty much the opposite of a Carver with its two front wheels and one back wheel:

The two front wheels give exceptional front end grip, great handling and 20% reduced braking distance. It uses 12" wheels with large tires: 120/70 in front and 130/7 rear. Together with the innovative parallelogram suspension it provides a tilt angle of up to 40 degrees!

A locking system in the front suspension makes it possible for the vehicle to stand upright without using the central stand.

The Piaggio MP3 is available in 125cc and 250cc models

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Gekkomat: climb walls like Spiderman

It looks a bit bulky but the Gekkomat lets you climb walls like Spiderman as the vacuum pads make it possible to "cling to the wall" like a Gecko:

From the very start, the aim of this project was to give humans the ability to traverse horizontal or overhanging walls and ceilings as a Gecko. This should be done as naturally as possible with little hindrance and independently from outside energy sources. The project started with technical-physical calculations, followed by ergonomical design studies, computer-aided planning and experiments.

Today, the "gekkomat" is a fully autonomous machine which enables a man to move about on various surfaces (horizontal and overhanging). The technique is based upon a combination of vacuum and friction principles. The "gekkomat" is comprised of a central energy unit which is worn on the back of the "gekkonaut" and four vacuum pads attached to his hands and feet. So now it is possible: "To Climb like a Gecko"!

Cool Or What?


Cool Tool: HDClone

HDClone lets you make identical copies of hard disks and other media. Great for data rescue, mass installations or moving your data to a new HD. The Free Edition of HDClone offers all necessary abilities to copy a complete hard disk onto another, larger hard disk. The Basic, Standard and Professional editions offer higher performance and support a wider range of hardware.

HDClone copies the complete contents of hard disks and other IDE/ATA/SATA, SCSI, and USB media on a physical level. This allows to create even backups or copies of complete operating system installations smoothly. In combination with the special 'SafeRescue' mode of HDClone, this technique is also perfect for rescuing data in case of defective hard disks. Furthermore, HDClone works independent of partition layout, file system and operating system (i.e. it works with FAT, FAT32, NTFS, etc.). Thus, it also works with proprietary data formats which could not be accessed otherwise. Besides copying complete drives, it is also possible to apply it to certain partitions only.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Change what someone dreams about

This is as cool as it is scary: you make a person dream on purpuse and change what a person is dreaming a about.

Studies show that you can bring about a dream in another person. One way is by holding an open bottle of perfume under the sleeper's nose. Another is by whistling. A third way is by blowing air across the sleeper's face with a fan. Someone else can also affect the content of a sleeper’s dream. For example, turning on a light produces happier dreams. And darkening an already bright room can induce nightmares

Making someone stop dreaming is very simple as you just wake up the person. Be careful though, as going days without dreaming has nasty side effects:

dream deprivation produces anxiety, irritability, an inability to concentrate, paranoia, a ravenous appetite, depression, and even suicidal thoughts

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Google Notebook

Save clippings of text, images and links directly from the web browser using the Google Notebook:

The notes are private but you can choose to share your Google Notebook with the rest of the world by making it public. The Google Notebook overview has more information on the features.

I usually save text notes in Outlook and synchronize with a Pocket PC but being able to save and share images as well is pretty neat.