Friday, November 30, 2007


Gizmo 4.0 beta

Gizmo 4.0 beta has just been released with a lot of interesting features:

  • Video Calling - Make free video calls, even if only one person has a webcam.

  • Completely Redesigned Interface - Even easier to use, with an enhanced contact list.

  • Meta-IM - Chat with AIM, Yahoo, Windows Live, GTalk, iChat and more.

  • Group Chat - Communicate as a group in real-time.

  • File Sharing - Instantly share files on your computer with family and friends.

  • Custom Avatars - Customize your Gizmo profile with a personal photo.

  • Tabbed Chat Interface - Organize all your live chats within one window.

  • Chat Logging - Record and save chat sessions you can read again later.

Thursday, November 29, 2007



The Wii is great fun, but it can be dangerous at times...
I guess that is why Nintendo is shipping free Wiidoms, aka Wii Jacket Accessories.

I received my free Wiidoms earlier this week and I fell a lot safer already...
The picture below shows the Wiidom, unprotected wiimote and the protected wiimote:


Santa/Babbo Natale: letters and chat

For once, a great service by the Italian postal system (I have a lot of bad things to say about them but I will save that for another time).

Last year the kids sent a letter to the “Italian“ Santa around this time, addressed to:
 Babbo Natale
 Polo Nord

A few weeks later we got a reply from Santa himself containing a personalized letter and a small gift. Needless to say; the kids loved it.

Note that you can chat with the “English“ Santa via Messenger by adding to your contacts. More info here.


Free ski pass in Livigno this winter!

You get a free ski pass in Livigno if you stay at least four nights at the start or end of the season:

This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy skiing in the Little Tibet of Italy, at 1816 m above sea level, with 115 km of perfectly prepared slopes,
modern mountain railways, one of the biggest snow park in Europe and, last but not least: the snow is always guaranteed!

Livigno has a lot to offer, for a wonderful winter holiday with your partner, your friends or your family: good snow, traditional Italian food and
a genuine atmosphere, surrounded by a breathtaking alpine landscape.

Skipass Free Family Special for kids age 3 to 12:  50% discount on the accommodation costs, booking a hotel which offers the programme

This is fantastic news. Especially considering that I am taking December off as I am changing jobs (which explains the sporadic posting the last few months). Livigno is too far away for day trips from Milano so this is the perfect excuse to go :-)

See you in the slopes!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Monza Rally show this weekend

The Monza Rally Show will take place this weekend. Valentino Rossi won last year. Let's see if he can repeat the success again this year on wet conditions.

The classic closing event of the agonistic season at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, where rally and track race aces challenge themselves along with show business and sport celebrities.

The event, as in the previous editions, will host rally and track race aces both with cars and bikes and show business and sport celebrities.

The program of “Monza Rally Show” includes, on Friday, the sport and technical analysis of the special tests, where the track is completely made by asphalt.

The first special tests of “Monza Rally Show” take place between Saturday and Sunday, when the last tests in program take place. At the end of the event, ion Sunday afternoon, there is the “Master Show”, the classic spectacular show which is divided into various heats with direct eliminations of the participants which takes place on a 1,500 long track on the central straight of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza to which take part the best teams of “Monza Rally Show”.  

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Valentino Rossi's heart helmet from Mugello 2007 could be yours

Dainese will be auctioning off on eBay the Agv helmet worn by Valentino Rossi to the benefit of the non-profit “Un sogno per il Gaslini Onlus” association (“A dream for Gaslini Children’s Hospital”), and the Doctor himself will present the autographed helmet to the generous bidder in person in early December.

The auction is scheduled to start at 12.00 PM on Thursday, November 22 and will end at the same time on Tuesday, November 27:

Proceeds from the on-line auction will be entirely devolved to the non-profit “Un sogno per il Gaslini Onlus” association for the completion of an accommodation structure to serve the over 50,000 children admitted to Genoa’s Giannina Gaslini Hospital, Italy’s largest children’s hospital.

In particular, a center with areas dedicated to play, distance learning, physical rehabilitation, and meetings with family members will be created inside San Gerolamo Abbey next door to the hospital.


The over 70 thousand Euros raised from the auction of the Doctor’s racing suit, boots, and gloves in 2006 were also dedicated to the “Un sogno per il Gaslini” Project.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Mouse with built in numeric keypad

My laptop does not have a numeric keypad which makes it difficult to enter data in Excel so this combined mouse/numeric keypad by EzKey should be very useful:

Via [The Raw Feed]

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Microsoft Live Labs Listas

Microsoft does a different kind of Google Base with Listas. From the technology preview, i.e. beta, release notes:

Listas is a tool for the creation, management and sharing of lists, notes, favorites, and more. It allows you to quickly and easily edit lists, share them with others for reading or wiki-style editing, and discover the public lists of other users.  We encourage you to try using it for meeting notes, bookmarks, shopping lists, to plan a night out, or whatever other creative ways you can think of.

In the Listas Community Section, you will find a number of highlights of the most popular and random items from around the community of public lists such as the most used tags, the hottest lists, and prolific contributors.   You can even add others’ lists (or any RSS feed) to your own Listas so you are always up to date.

The Listas Toolbar lets you grab contents from pages as you are browsing.


Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet

The Bamboo Fun Tablet comes with both a mouse and pen making it easy to touch up digital photos, draw by hand, create artwork and paintings, and even write in your own handwriting.

Bamboo Fun includes full editions of valuable creative software to help get your creative juices flowing. Edit photos with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements, create artwork with Corel® Painter™ Essentials, and apply photo effects with Nik® Color Efex™ Pro.


  • Works with new handwriting recognition, inking and pen features in Windows Vista (all editions but Home Basic) and Apple operating systems (OS X)

  • Supports widescreen displays and has a textured work surface for a natural pen-on-paper feel

  • Precise control and 512 levels of pressure sensitivity on the pen

  • Quick access to user-defined shortcuts with four Express Keys™

  • Easy scrolling and zooming with finger-sensitive Touch Ring

  • Patented, battery-free pen with customizable buttons for comfort and reliability

The tablet is available in a variety of colors and two sizes; small and medium.

Via [The Creative’s Corner]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Echocrome, an impossible game for the PSP and Playstation 3

Echocrome is an unusual game, very different from your normal kind of shoot-em-up. It a graphical puzzle in a Escher like world where you rotate the puzzle to change perspective and connect paths that would not be connected otherwise.

This video shows how the Object Locative Environment Coordinate System, that form the rules of the game, work:

Now that you know the rules, you are ready for the demo.

A shame there will be no version for my Wii, as it is created by Sony's Japan Studios...

Via [Impedance Mismatch]


Scott Adams virtual book signing October 30th

Scott Adams is doing a virtual book signing of his latest book: Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Ignores Helpful Advice in Second Life October 30th, at 9 pm EST.

My avatar will be handing out free Dilbert posters for your virtual homes in Second Life. Best yet, the system will be programmed so your avatar can kick my avatar in the crotch. (Really.) How fun is that? And in the Q&A session you can ask me any question your avatar isn’t embarrassed to utter.

Scott Adams Virtual Book Tour

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Vectrix electric sport motorbike

The Vectrix as we know it looks like a normal scooter:

But the new member of the Vectrix family looks just mean:

It will be officially presented at EICMA 2007 6-11 November in Milano so I will try to get some more details regarding the performance of the bike then. The standard Vectrix is not bad at (0-50 km/h - 3,6 seconds, 0-80 km/h - 6.8 seconds) but this “thing” looks a lot faster.


eStarling Wi-Fi Photo Frame

The eStarling is not your standard 8-inch LCD photo frame as it has a lot more to offer. In addition to displaying photos from a wide range of memory cards it can also connect to a wireless network and automatically display photos from e-mails, RSS etc in a slide show format. You can even send photos back to the web.


  • LCD Display: 8-Inch LCD screen (800 X 600 pixels) with built-in high speed JPEG decoder/rendering engine

  • Communications: Internal 802.11b/g (WEP64, WEP128, WPA1, WPA2)

  • Interface: MMC/SD/CF/MS card slot; USB 2.0 host and client port

  • Memory Size: On-board FLASH memory 128M


  • Photobucket Integration: Millions of users who have stored their photos with Photobucket can send photos directly from their Photobucket accounts to eStarling.

  • Immediate Direct Photo Emailing to Frame: Each frame has its own unique email address so that photos can be received from computers or mobile phones. A built-in email filter protects against unwanted photos. No setup is required for senders to send photos to the frame.

  • Group Frames: Users can set up a single email address that corresponds to multiple frames so that photos can be easily shared and displayed on those frames.

  • RSS Support: The eStarling frame supports all major RSS photo feeds now including Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, AOL, Smugmug, iPhoto, Gallery, etc. (More coming soon.)

  • Email-to-Frame / Web-to-Frame Messaging: Short messages can be sent directly to eStarling frames from user's Seeframe Live account and allowed email accounts and cell phones.

  • Smart Photo Play List: Users can choose photos to be displayed on an eStarling frame on specified dates, such as displaying selected photos on a user's birthday or anniversary.

  • Email Photos from Frame: A one-touch button allows users to send photos directly from their frames to a Web account and the email accounts of their family and friends.

  • Text Messaging to Frame: Short messages can be sent directly to eStarling frames from a user's Seeframe Live account, or from authorized email accounts and cell phones.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Dual touch screen

Most mobile devices use some sort of stylus to interact with the touch screen as it is simpler to implement and more accurate. “Big“ fingers cover small objects so they are hard to see and difficult to select. The LucidTouch prototype overcomes these limitations by letting the user touch the back of the device. Touching an object from behind the screen is difficult so the LucidTouch system lets you "see" your fingers through the screen:

The key to making this usable is what we call pseudo-transparency: by overlaying an image of the user’s hands onto the screen, we create the illusion of the mobile device itself being semitransparent. This pseudo-transparency allows users to accurately acquire targets while not occluding the screen with their fingers and hand. LucidTouch also supports multi-touch input, allowing users to operate the device simultaneously with all 10 fingers.

The demo can hardly be called mobile as it uses a web cam behind the device to see where the fingers are. But the idea is pretty cool and the video shows how some of the new ways a user can interact with a “transparent“ touch screen.

Via Technology Review

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Ninja text generator

Cool Or What?

Get your own Ninja text here.

Monday, August 27, 2007


IE7Pro - the features Microsoft forgot in Internet Explorer 7

IE7Pro is pretty neat as it adds a lot of FireFox like features that are missing in Internet Explorer 7:

IE7Pro is a must have add-on for Internet Explorer, which includes a lot of features and tweaks to make your IE friendlier, more useful, secure and customizable. IE7Pro includes Tabbed Browsing Management, Spell Check, Inline Search, Auto Fill Form, Super Drag Drop, Crash Recovery, Proxy Switcher, Mouse Gesture, Tab History Browser, Web Accelerator, User Agent Switcher, Webpage Capturer, AD Blocker, Flash Block, Greasemonkey like User Scripts platform, User Plug-ins and many more power packed features. You can customize not just Internet Explorer, but even your favorite website according to your need and taste using IE7Pro.

Via Greg's Cool [Insert Clever Name] of the Day


Windows Live for Nokia Series 60

The new Windows Live client for Nokia Series 60 (3rd edition) has more features than the client on my Windows Mobile 5.0 device...

  • Messenger: Share pictures and voice clips. Manage your Messenger contacts

  • Hotmail:  Create and synchronize mail. Contacts are integrated with the device's phone book

  • Spaces: Upload photos from the gallery or right after you shoot them.

  • Search: Fast and easy access to content on the web, on maps or local directories. Search results are seamlessly linked to the device's Phone, Map, Contacts and Browser applications.


A client for Series 40 should be out next year.

Via The Register

Friday, August 24, 2007


The father of sudoku makes Masyu

I solved a lot of Sudoku puzzles this winter when I went to Norway during my Christmas vacation. When it is cold and dark it is little else to do than play and eat… I am glad to see that Maki Kaji, the father of Sudoku, has invented Masyu so I don't get too fat next Christmas :-)

 The rules are simple but I don't think it will have the universal appeal of Sudoku as most people will find it more difficult:

  1. Make a single loop with lines passing through the centers of cells, horizontally or vertically. The loop never crosses itself, branches off, or goes through the same cell twice.

  2. Lines must pass through all cells with black and white circles.

  3. Lines passing through white circles must pass straight through its cell, and make a right-angled turn in the cell next to the white circle (left or right).

  4. Lines passing through black circles must make a right-angled turn in its cell, then it must go straight through the next cell (till the middle of the second cell) on both sides.

Example Puzzle



Thursday, August 23, 2007


Day trips for kids

Bugaboo has day trip suggestions for parents with small kids throughout the world. The example below is from London.

The maps and guides can be downloaded as PDFs which makes it easy to bring them along on the road.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Moller M200 flying saucer

The SkyCar may turn some heads but the M200 will make people call the Pentagon…

It looks like a UFO and flies like one as well as you can see in the video. It is certified to fly at 3 meters off the ground which lets it avoid regulation by the FAA. It flies higher in the demo though.

Cool Or What?

Via ICTblog

Monday, August 20, 2007


Cool tool: PPT Minimizer

I get a lot of big Power Point files at work. They contain large images/screen shots which has been resized to fit in the slides but Power Point stores the high quality image which occupies a lot of space.

PPTminimizer reduces PowerPoint presentations by up to 96% of their initial size in seconds by optimizing graphics and embedded objects.

My favorite feature is the Microsoft Outlook plugin that can automatically optimize Power Point attachments when you send mails.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Bio diesel in Italy?

The subject of bio diesel continues to confuse me. Rudolf Diesel made his engine to run on bio diesel: (from Wikipedia)

Biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic, and typically produces about 60% less net carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum-based diesel,[2] as it is itself produced from atmospheric carbon dioxide via photosynthesis in plants.

Can someone please explain me why we are still using fossil based diesel that is worse for the engine and pollutes more?

Some vehicle manufacturers are positive about the use of biodiesel, citing lower engine wear as one of the fuel's benefits. Biodiesel is a better solvent than standard diesel, as it 'cleans' the engine, removing deposits in the fuel lines.

Bio diesel came up in the Italian news last year when the gas prices sky rocketed. As expected the gas companies where quick to explain that bio diesel were bad, very bad, but what surprised me was that some consumer organizations also stated that consumers should not use bio diesel. If it really is so bad, how do you explain the success of Lovecraft?

Lovecraft Biofuels  has converted over 1400 vehicles to run on vegetable oil in the last five years. We specialize in a single tank system that allows you to mix new or waste vegetable oil, diesel and/or bio-diesel in any combination using the original fuel tank. We have Conversion Centers in Los Angeles, California and Portland, Oregon and have customers from around the world successfully running on our conversions.

I can't help it, I want it. Let me know if you know of any companies in southern Europe that does bio diesel conversions.

via Wired [082 July 2007] (PDF)


Nokia MoSh beta

MoSh as in Mobilize and Share: Your Stuff. Any Phone. Everywhere.


  • Create: Upload your games, applications, photos, video and more.

  • Collect:  Organize your favorites into collections

  • Share: Pass it on to your friends and other MOSH members around the globe

  • Mobilize: Leave the laptop at home — upload, share, browse all your favorite stuff right on your mobile phone

It is a “closed“ beta at the moment but you can get a peek behind the scenes here.


Maltese Falcon

The 289-foot Maltese Falcon is the biggest, riskiest, most technologically advanced sailing machine in the world:

The technology is just amazing:

The heart of the boat's technology is a novel rigging system called the DynaRig, designed by Dutch naval architect Gerald Dijkstra and based on a half-century-old German concept. The genius — and risk — of the DynaRig is its use of freestanding masts that rotate to adjust sail trim and tack the boat. There are practically no external ropes or wires, no traditional rigging of any sort to brace the spars or control the nearly 26,000 square feet of sail. The 15 sails deploy at the push of a button, rolling out from inside each hollow mast along recessed tracks on stationary horizontal yardarms.

Via Wired


Short range wireless transfers at 15 Gigabits per second

Forget about USB and Firewire with its cables. Georgia Tech is promising very high speed wireless peer-to-peer data transfers in a couple of years:

The research focuses on RF frequencies around 60 gigahertz (GHz), which are currently unlicensed—free for anyone to use—in the United States. GEDC researchers have already achieved wireless data-transfer rates of 15 gigabits per second (Gbps) at a distance of 1 meter, 10 Gbps at 2 meters and 5 Gbps at 5 meters.

I use Bluetooth for connecting to the internet via my mobile, synchronizing my PDA etc but Bluetooth is too slow for devices requiring high data transfer rates like hard disks, video cameras, streaming etc. Transfer rates of 15 Gbps means that it can replace cable in most cases.

I thought it would be outright dangerous to be close to a something transferring data via radio at 15Gbps but it looks like I am wrong:

Even when sitting on a user’s desk, Pinel stresses, a multi-gigabit wireless system would present no health concerns. For one thing, the transmitted power is extremely low, in the vicinity of 10 milliwatts or less. For another, the 60 GHz frequency is stopped by human skin and cannot penetrate the body.

Via Dr. Dobb's

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Take control of your windows with WinSplit and GridMove

WinSplit Revolution is a very simple to use window organizer. You can use Ctrl+Alt+(numpad) to move the selected window to the specified quadrant on the screen or use a handy little popup window if you prefer to use the mouse.

WinSplit also has several other functions:

  • Mosaic Ctrl+Alt+m : evaluates the best arrangement to show several windows at the same time.
  • Close All Ctrl+Alt+c : close all open windows.
  • Fusion Ctrl+Alt+f : WinSplit splits the screen in two with the last two active windows. By default each windows takes half of the screen but a window appears with a slider to change the ratio between the both windows.
  • Save the window position for a process so the application always opens at a certain place on the screen.

I found GridMove less intuitive to use initially but it is great when you get used to it. GridMove works using a set of pre-defined grid templates that you can use or edit. The default template works like this image shows

There are several ways of organizing the windows:

  • Left button drag: click close to the upper left hand corner of the window and drag to a grid
  • Middle button drag: this is the simplest option as you just click the title bar with the middle mouse button and drag the window to one of the grids
  • Edge Drag: Click and drag the title bar to one of the edges and keep it there for a short time until the grid to appears
  • Keyboard: WinKey + G shows the grids. Enter a number to move the current window to that grid. This is a great timesaver as you don't even have to take your hands of the keyboard to organize your windows. You can also press letters to perform other actions:

    • N: GridMove will switch to the next grid on it's list.
    • M: toggles the maximize state of the window
    • 0: minimizes the window

Which program is best for you depends on your needs. GridMove is your only option if you have multiple monitors, it is also the best choice if you have a set of grids you use. I currently use WinSplit Revolution as it lets me play around with the different layouts live. I had to modify the hotkeys as my laptop does not have a numeric keypad. For the moment I use WinKey + arrow keys to move left/right/up/down in combination with Shift+Ctrl.

I may move to GridMove in the future if I find that I always use the same layout (or if I am lucky enough to get a second monitor :-)

Via Coding Horror

Friday, August 10, 2007


Swim like a dolphin with Powerswim

DEKA has made the Powerswim device for DARPA. Normal swim fins are inefficient as they only convert about 10% of the energy to propulsion. The Department of Defense requirement was to increase the speed compared to normal swim fins by 50% and reduce by a factor of two the energy needed to maintain a speed of 1 knot. The project has been a success as the the swimmers can sustain speeds of more than 2 knots increasing energy efficiency from 10% to 85%!

The result reminds me of the SeaBreacher with a front wing and an oscillating foil:

Powerswim has been made for the DoD but I am sure it will arrive on the commercial market sooner or later.

More pictures at Ares. Via The Register and Wired.


Happy 75th birthday Lego!

Lego celebrates its 75-year anniversary today.

They started by making wooden toys in the 1930's before they introduced the LEGO brick in 1958:

LEGO is an abbreviation of the Danish words “LEG GODT” (play well).  What a fitting name. I grew up playing with Legos an have spent countless hours inventing new things to build. Legoland is also the most "family" friendly theme park I have been to. I went with my kids last year and we had a great time.

The camping in Legoland Village was just fantastic with lots of toys and made with kids in mind. It is the only camping I have been to with "family bathrooms” that has separate small showers for the kids.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Sharing many or large private files

A friend of mine asked how to share 160GB of photos and files with a friend?
(yes, that is 160 gigabytes not 160 megabytes). The main problem is that neither of the users are very skilled using computers so putting up a VPN is out of the question. Sending DVDs is not an option either as you need at least 40 DVDs to send so much data.

There are many file sharing/upload systems out there but nobody gives you 160GB of storage.

There are some private P2P networks  around but the only decent alternative I have found so far is Folder Share.

Please let me know if you know of any other alternatives.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Use your Nokia phone or Pocket PC as as a WebCam

wwigo (Webcam Wherever I Go) works on a wide range of Symbian based Nokia phones and lets you use your phone as a Web Cam in applications like Skype, yahoo! Messenger and Widows Live Messenger.

WebCamera plus from Ateksoft provides the same, and then some, features for the Pocket PC.

  • Transform your PDA or Smartphone to high-resolution web-camera. 

  • Works through any connection: USB ActiveSync, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, 3G, LAN

  • Compatible with almost all modern Smartphones and PDAs. 

  • Capture device screen and transmit video to Desktop PC. 

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Jott: Hands free note taking and messaging

I often use the voice recorder of my Pocket PC to take notes when I drive or when I walk but I have to transcribe them later. Jott solves the problem, and it works with any phone: just call and leave a message to yourself or anyone else. Jott analyses the message and sends a mail with the transcribed text and an audio attachment.

A great service but currently only available in USA and Canada.

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


Thursday, June 14, 2007


Safari 3 for Windows (beta)

Safari on Windows has pretty much the same look and feel like iTunes. The user experience should be similar to the Mac:

Internet Explorer 7 launches a lot faster than Safari on my PC, but once Safari is up and running it is pretty neat. According to Apple:

  • Blazing Performance: Safari is the fastest web browser on any platform.

  • Elegant User Interface: Safari’s clean look lets you focus on the web — not your browser.

  • Easy Bookmarks: Organize your bookmarks just like you organize music in iTunes.

  • Pop-up Blocking: Say goodbye to annoying pop-up ads and pop-under windows.

  • Inline Find: Search any text on any website with the integrated Find banner.

  • Tabbed Browsing: Open and switch between multiple web pages in a single window.

  • SnapBack: Instantly snap back to search results or the top level of a website.

  • Forms AutoFill: Let Safari complete online forms for you, automatically and securely.

  • Built-in RSS: RSS tells you when new content is added to your favorite sites.

  • Resizable Text Fields: Resize text fields on any website: Just grab the corner and drag.

  • Private Browsing: Keep your online activities private with a single click.

  • Security: Apple engineers designed Safari to be secure from day one.

It is still a beta and it shows as I got this error the first time I used it:

After re-installing I tracked the problem down to a problem with the proxy server.  Only to find that it is impossible to configure it:

Not very user friendly, or helpful, but at least it looks nice :-)

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Desktop Tower Defense

Desktop Tower Defense is a Flash game that has simple rules but is great fun and very addictive. The bad guys enter from the top and left and try to cross over the desk to the other side. You loose one of your twenty lives for each bad guy that makes it over.


My only complaint is that it does not work on the Wii

P.S. Use your resources to upgrade a few central pieces to the max firepower like in the example maze above.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Wii Nintendo Wi-Fi connection

Nintendo Wi-Fi connection is finally available for the Wii in Europe as well.

The only game so far that supports multi player games via Wi-Fi in Europe is Mario Strikers Charged Football. Not my kind of game, but more Wii Wi-Fi multi player games are on the way.

I am a bit disappointed that there are no Wi-Fi games available in the online store but I hope that will change. After all, a multi player game does not need to be large to be fun to play together.