Trigem’s Atom-based LLUON Mobbit crashes below the $500 UMPC sweet spot

You know what we could really use right now? A chunky slab of XP running on a device that is simultaneously too big for our pockets but less functional than a netbook. Oh, what’s that Trigem, you’ve got that? Suweet. Meet the LLUON Mobbit PS400, an Atom Z520-powered UMPC MID with a 4.8-inch (1,024 x 600) touchscreen LCD, 2 megapixel camera, 1GB memory, choice of 30GB hard disk or 16GB SSD, WiFi, and Korean WiMax (WiBro) and digital television (T-DMB). Here’s the interesting part: the price. According CNET, it will cost “around” $411 (600,000 won) when it ships in January — that’s a lot of kit for that price (the similarly-speced R50A from ASUS costs over $1,800). If true, then the Mobbit looks to have finally achieved the pricing goal set by Microsoft and Intel for these UMPC-class devices way back in early 2006. Add the RAM- and touch-friendly Windows 7 OS and we might finally be home… albeit 3-years (too?) late.

[Via Akihabara News and CNET]

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Trigem’s Atom-based LLUON Mobbit crashes below the $500 UMPC sweet spot originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 04 Dec 2008 01:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Logitech Celebrates Its One Billionth Mouse But The Party Might End Soon

Logione

At the dawn of the new era of user interfaces that is bound to end the reign of the mighty computer mouse, Logitech is celebrating the production of its one billionth mouse.

According to the company, the lucky legacy mouse was built a couple of weeks ago at one of the company plants in Suzhou, in western China.

Founded in 1981 in Switzerland, Logitech introduced its first mouse for retail four years later in 1985. It took the company 11 years to reach 100 million against heavy competition from IBM, Microsoft, and Apple, and almost just as long to multiply tenfold.

Matching that level of growth over the next eleven years will be much harder. If you look at where computer interfaces are headed over the next few years, it’s very likely that Logitech’s mice brigade might not make it.

As we mentioned in a story about the coming death of the mouse earlier this year, the increasing quality and accuracy of interactive UIs and motion detectors are poised to kick out the mouse out of the mainstream and into the Senior House of Gadgets over the next decade.

Among the other technologies that will emerge as viable computer input devices, we expect to see eye-tracking software, realistic force-feedback technology, voice commands, and everyone’s favorite, Minority Report-style gesture recognition.

But since it’s bad form to spoil a party, we should note that Logitech is building a nice little contest around their event. The company is giving out a $1,000 reward to whoever guesses where the billionth mouse ends up around the world, after tracking its whereabouts through its own blog and twit feed.

Facing its inevitable death sentence, you can’t blame the poor mouse for stealing this idea from the Mars Landing.

Check out the full line of Logitech mice over the years after the jump, or at the company’s Flickr page.

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Logi3

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Logitech Ships One Billionth Mouse [press release]

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Late 1800s Studley Tool Chest is Function and Form [Retromodo]

Sometimes, things as mundane as tool kits can look like great works of art. This piano repair box, perfected by Henry Studley, does a great job of fixing up instruments, but it’s careful placement of knicknacks also makes it beautiful.

Studley was an organ and piano maker, as well as a carpenter and mason, who worked for the Smith Organ Co. at the turn of the 20th century. His tool chest was loaned by his grandson to an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, until a private collector bought it.

When closed, it’s dimensions are roughly 39-inches x 20-inches x 9-inches. When opened though, it widens out to 40 x 40. [acriacao]


Mystery port on ‘Rock Band 2’ drum kit gets even more mysteriouser

You know the supposed Guitar Hero: World Tour keyboard that never materialized? If you were really looking forward to that, get ready to have your hopes dashed on another mystery instrument that will probably also never come to be. According to Harmonix, that extra port on the back of the updated drum kit — which previously was said to be for a second kicker — is actually for something that’s totally not a second kicker. What exactly will fill that port, though, the company isn’t saying. Speculation is rife about another nebulous keyboard peripheral, but if you ask us our money’s on a high hat, or maybe that other fundamental aspect of the drumming experience yet to be captured in the silly plastic instrument game genre: the triangle.

[Via N4G]

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Mystery port on ‘Rock Band 2’ drum kit gets even more mysteriouser originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 04 Dec 2008 01:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Japan Cellphone App Gives Fashion Advice Based on Your Face [Japan]

Japan cellphone app maker J-Magic has released a useful update to its celebrity look-a-like app, “Kao Cheki.” Called “Shoubu Co-de Cheki,” it offers fashion advice based on mobile snapshots of your face. Anyone want to make this for the iPhone?

“Shoubu” is a slang term for the type of clothing a woman wears to land a man. “Co-de” is the Japanization of the word coordinate, as in “what skirt would coordinate with what shirt.” The mobile program asks girls to send in pictures of their face and uses the same technology that determines their celebrity twins to dress them up.

Now the independent woman in me kind of gags at the thought of there being specific outfits to “catch” dudes. But the lazy, unfashionable tomboy in me is kind of like “Oh hey, it’s like taking the thinking out of dressing up. Awesome.” Especially since the app offers options like “sexy cute” or “natural cool.” The app is co-developed by Nissen, an online clothing shop. [Cscout Japan]


Mr. Blurrycam sneaks a peek at Windows 7’s new boot video

Sure, you’ll have to bide your time until at least January to get your hands on a proper beta of Windows 7, but why sweat out the wait for Redmond’s latest and greatest when you can get a taste of the experience in naughty, low-res web video today? Video after the break.

Continue reading Mr. Blurrycam sneaks a peek at Windows 7’s new boot video

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Mr. Blurrycam sneaks a peek at Windows 7’s new boot video originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 03 Dec 2008 23:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scosche vomits out reviveLITE “cordless” iPhone charger / nightlight combo

Look, we know haphazardly stapling an iPod dock onto nearly any product can cause almost-paralyzing fits of hyperbole amongst marketing personnel, but Scosche’s description of its sad little reviveLITE nightlight charger as “cordless” because it plugs directly into the wall might take the cake. Oh, wait — you know what actually takes the cake? It’s priced at a delightfully insulting $40. Yeah, we’ll stick with the monster under the bed, guys. At least it respects us.

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Scosche vomits out reviveLITE “cordless” iPhone charger / nightlight combo originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 03 Dec 2008 23:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Capturing a Hard Freeze with the Nokia 6650


Yesterday morning, we had frost covering everything. It was cold. Really cold. What a great time to visit Paynes Prairie.

Since I live in Florida, I’m not accustomed to cold weather, even though we get some chilly winter nights now and again. In spite of that, I love the freezes. A hard freeze brings with it ice crystals and a white sheet that covers everything – definitely a sight that is rarely seen around here. When this happens, it opens up a whole new realm of photographic subjects, which are a welcome change from the all-year earth tones that Florida experiences.

The overlook was absorbing the growing heat of the rising sun’s rays, quickly melting the frozen dew. I knew this golden photo opportunity was rapidly evaporating, so I hurried the kids out of the house and got them to school.

In the school parking lot, my youngest wanted to finish her snack and then go to class. As we sat in the car, I watched water droplets fall from the tall palm trees next to the road, indicating the fast onset of the brutal Florida sun.

Drip…drip…drip.

With the kids unloaded, I gunned it down US 441 hoping to get a good look at a frozen prairie. As the tree-lined road spilled out into the open prairie, I noticed that it wasn’t too late. Everything had a dusting of white frost. The overlook boardwalk was covered in ice as well, with some parts actually being dangerously slick when walked upon. Better yet, the sun had already melted the ice where it could shine, but anything in the shadows remained frozen, leaving a perfectly angular pattern. Look close at the deck and you can see the lighter frozen parts contrasting with the darker thawed parts.

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I left for work after chatting it up with a man on his way to work for a local courier, knowing that there might be more of this waiting for me tomorrow – dead brown foliage blanketed in bright white.

More photos of this adventure to Paynes Prairie can be seen at the Nokia Chronicles site. Photo taken with a Nokia 6650 (courtesy WOM World) and edited with Photoshop CS2 (level adjustments and minor sharpening to highlight the ice crystals).

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Sound Wave Harvesting Justifies Your Annoyingly Loud Phone Voice [Nanotechnology]

The surge of systems devised to re-capture bodily output continues, this time with a nano-piezo technology that could use sound waves to charge cellphones. But how long must you talk before you can… talk? Science Daily reports that Tahir Cagin, a professor in the chemical engineering department at Texas A&M, has merged the really old science of piezoelectrics with the very new science of nanotechnology to discover that a technique for harvesting energy actually gets way more efficient at the nano level. Specifically, when a piezoelectric film used to convert vibrations into energy is reduced to around 21 nanometers in thickness, it’s suddenly twice as good at converting the energy. There’s not a lot of detail on the uses for this technology just yet, and—like other vibration-power systems—the earliest uses would probably be in very low energy applications such as sensors. But the article does suggest this could have “potentially profound effects for low-powered electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, personal communicators and a host of other computer-related devices,” though I wonder if that wasn’t just thrown in to make people like me excited about it. It worked. I am. [Science Daily via TreeHugger]

Kogan intros world’s second Android phone: Agora / Agora Pro

We’ll be totally honest — we pretty much blew Ruslan Kogan off when he proclaimed that he was about to push out a $199 Android phone by the year’s end. And truthfully, the guy still hasn’t totally delivered, but you won’t find us kvetching about more Googlephones, regardless of MSRP. The Agora (AU$299; US$192) and Agora Pro (AU$399; US$256) are available for pre-order as we speak, though neither one is scheduled to ship out until the end of January. For those unfamiliar with Kogan, it’s an online-only enterprise that has wares built specifically to its dimensions in China, and so far as we can tell, it’s as legit as they come. As for specs, the Agora packs a 2.5-inch touchscreen (320 x 240), 3G networking, a backlit QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth 2.0 and a microSD card slot; the Pro adds in GPS, 2-megapixel camera and WiFi. So, with unsubsidized prices this low, are you willing to take a chance?

[Via iTWire]

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Kogan intros world’s second Android phone: Agora / Agora Pro originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 03 Dec 2008 22:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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