Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Google Nexus One docs get leaked: $530 unsubsidized, $180 with plan

Picture 6

Further details about the Nexus One have emerged since we reported about its exclusivity with Google this morning. It will be apparently be sold by Google for $530 unsubsidized, and $180 with a T-Mobile plan. If you do sign up for a plan and cancel within 120 days of purchase, you’ll have to cough up the remainder of the total cost of the phone — $350, or return the phone to Google. The leaked docs also offer the following tidbits:

  • Yeah, it’s $530 unsubsidized. Google’s not going to be selling the phone at cost, like so many people considered. They’re not going to save us from the “making money off of hardware” culture we’ve got right now, so this is basically just another Android handset, albeit a really good one
  • If you want it subsidized, you’ll have to sign up for a 2 year mandatory contract
  • There’s only one rate plan: $39.99 Even More + Text + Web for $79.99 total
  • Existing customers cannot keep their plan if they want a subsidized phone; they have to change to the one plan, and this only applies to accounts with one single line
  • If that doesn’t fly with you, you have to buy the $530 unlocked version—this actually might save you money over two years if you already have a cheap plan
  • Family plans, Flexpay, SmartAccess and KidConnect subscribers must buy the phone unlocked and unsubsidized for $530
  • You can only buy five Nexus One phones per Google account
  • There is language in the agreement of shipping outside the US
  • Google will sell it at, which explains what they were doing with that page a few weeks ago
  • Google will still call it the Nexus One apparently, and not the Google Phone

Anyone getting excited yet for what Giz has essentially pegged as a DROID killer? Stay tuned next week for more details from Google’s official announcement at its Mountain View campus… We’ll be there live-blogging the event.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Day, Another Nexus One Video [Nexus One]

We don’t know how it happens, but the Nexus One appears to be landing in the hands of seemingly random users. How or why this phone comes into the possession of this guys escapes us, but we don’t really care. Today finds another 5 minutes of blurry and jittery arriving online. Is it that hard to get this phone in front of a steady camera with someone who knows how to put it through the proper paces? The sad part is, we sat through this entire video and would gladly watch another.

Take it from this guy – This is the best, best Android ever.

The PQI Cool Drive U366 USB 3.0 flash drive can transfer files at 5Gbps

Cool Drive U366 Photo

Get ready for the USB 3.0 flash drive enslaught. PQI has launched its first salvo and it looks mighty strong. The Cool Drive U366 comes equipped with a 64GB capacity and speeds up to 5Gbps. That’s ten times faster than USB 2.0, kiddies. Previously the only way to get that type of speed on a portable drive is to opt for an eSATA flash drive — if you can find one — and even then, most aren’t as fast as this drive from PQI.
Don’t worry if your rig isn’t USB 3.0 friendly yet, the interface is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. The drive will be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes, but the company hasn’t announced the release date or MSRPs just yet. You can bet though that it will cost a tad more than the average Newegg-special flash drive.

Cool Drive U366 specification:

  • Interface: USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0)
  • Transfer rate: Read up to 97MB/sec
  • Capacity: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
  • Dimension: 87 x 22 x12 mm


Behold the 24-port USB Hub [USB]


If you saw the post yesterday about the 10-port USB hub and thought to yourself, “We’re getting there but I still need MORE!” then here’s your answer. It’s a 24-port USB hub. If 24 ports isn’t enough for you then I give up.
This one’s a $70 affair, which seems like a lot for a USB hub until you remember that you’ve now got 24 ports to work with. It actually doesn’t look that insanely large, either.

[CrunchGear via USBfever via Red Ferret]

This is a $2.1 Million Robot Hummingbird and It Could Save Your Life [Robots]

This tiny, flying robot flaps its wings 30 times per second—just like a real hummingbird—and will one day save lives by searching for survivors in wreckage and spots not easily accessible by humans.
So far, the development of this hummingbird has cost $2.1 million and that number's growing. Japanese researchers are hoping to make the robot hover at a point in mid-air—just like the bird which inspired it—as they control it using infrared sensors. Once they manage that and add a tiny camera, they imagine that the robot will "be used to help rescue people trapped in destroyed buildings, search for criminals or even operate as a probe vehicle on Mars."
A space-exploring, human-saving, crime-stopping robot bird? Brilliant.
[Gizmodo via PhysOrg via Engadget]

Google announces press gathering on January 5th – Hello, Nexus One.


There have been whispers around the rumor mill for roughly a week now that Google was planning on throwing a press shindig right before CES - and sure enough, the invites just went out.

T-Mobile photo is rather small, we've BGR has broken down the text for you:
Google, with support from T-Mobile, is scheduled to launch a new Android device in early January. The Google Android phone will be sold directly by Google via the Web.
Support for the device including troubleshooting and exchanges will be managed by Google and HTC. T-Mobile will offer service support including billing, coverage, features, and rate plans. Additional details Streamline content regarding the launch of Google's Android phone will be coming in early January.
So… Google is simply selling the phone directly for now, as rumored, and T-Mobile will "officially" support it, even though they practically do the same for any unlocked handset on their network. Google and HTC will be fielding support calls from users.

Never buy an enclosure again: SATA to USB 3.0 adapter turns any HDD into an external


Now here is something I may just order right now. This straightforward adapter from Unitek will turn any hard drive with standard SATA and power connections into an external drive with no frills and no gimmicks. Plug in the one side, plug in the other, and boom, it’s there on your desktop.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a few raw hard drives laying around and the idea of them constantly spinning and heating up in my case doesn’t excite me. I mean, of course it doesn’t excite me, but it… let’s move on. This is handy for people who need lots of storage but don’t need to move or access it much. Backup for HD video, for instance — my friend, who shoots on a RED, needs tons of space to archive raw files, but likely will only access them once or twice the next year. So you buy some bulk 1TB OEM drives, load ‘em up, label with a Sharpie, and you’re laughing.

And the sweetest thing is that it supports USB 3.0. Not many of us are actually rocking that right now, but you better believe my next rig is going to. So this little doodad, which at $48 admittedly seems a bit expensive for a mere adapter, will last you for years. Don’t forget that SSDs use SATA as well.
[CrunchGear, or buy at Brando]

The True Odds of Airborne Terror Chart [Terror]

After the crotchbomb there has been a lot of noise about airplane security again—you can see how stupid the leaked new flight rules are here. But what's the actual risk of an airplane attack? Here's the definitive chart:

As you can see, the chances are very slim. As slim as the chances of the new security rules having any real effect in preventing any new attacks, sadly.

DirecTV to debut world's first 3D HDTV channel

DirecTV to debut world's first 3D HDTV channel
DirecTV's launching a new satellite tonight, giving them beaucoups bandwidth for the world's first all-HD 3D channel. The satellite provider plans to populate that channel with movies, sports and other 3D programs.

There's not much technical information about what kind of 3D they'll be satcasting, but the company does say its HDTV satellite receivers will be able to show 3D content after a firmware upgrade. More details will be forthcoming at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show on January 7.

Oops, there's one catch: To watch this stuff, you'll need to choose a brand-new 3D-capable HDTV from Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG or others — set to go on sale after their rollout next month. So what's the point of this 3D onslaught? Is it to bring us a richer viewing experience, or sell more TV sets? Our answer: It's a little of the former, and lots of the latter.

[DVICE via HD Guru]

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thought-to-Speech Machine Could Be the Beginning of Something Huge [Medicine]

The Neuralynx System translates thoughts into speech. It connects to the neurons, sending signals wirelessly to a laptop, which translates the brain activity into spoken English. It's not science fiction: They tried it with a paralyzed 26-year-old and it works.
According to the research paper, they inserted the electrodes into the patient's brain, installing signal amplifiers and transmitters under the scalp. The circuitry—powered by an induction electric supply—transmits the signals to a laptop via FM radio. The software then converts the analog signal to digital data that the neural decoder interprets these into speech commands, which are then sent to the synthesizer.
The whole process takes 50 milliseconds, which is the same amount of time it takes to any normal person to do the same process, using their nerves, vocal chords, and mouth. According to Neuralynx project leader Frank Guenther—from the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems and the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University—their system is going to get even better soon.
The results of our study show that a brain-machine interface (BMI) user can control sound output directly, rather than having to use a (relatively slow) typing process. Our immediate plans involve the implementation of a new synthesizer that can produce consonants as well as vowels but remains simple enough for a BMI user to control. We are also working on hardware that will greatly increase the number of neurons that are recorded. We expect to tap into at least 10 times as many neurons in the next implant recipient, which should lead to a dramatic improvement in performance.
Obviously, this is going to be a miraculous invention for people who can't talk because of nerve damage or any other reason. It could also mean the beginning of something bigger, perhaps enabling new kinds of communication. Imagine an implant that could do the same thing on reverse, basically enabling long distance telepathy. Or an jet fighter that can take mind commands in Russian!
Hmmm... on second thought, this may be the best worst idea ever created.
[Gizmodo via Physorg]

Chrome OS Netbook Specs Leaked: Multi-touch, SSD, and More [Rumor]

Google's Chrome OS netbook's rumored specs are out, and they're looking pretttty, pretttty, prettttty good.
According to IBTimes, the Google netbook will house an Nvidia Tegra platform with an ARM CPU. If the rumors hold up, it will also have a 10.1' multi-touch screen that supports HD, come with a 64GB SSD, 2GB of RAM, and other standards like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, a webcam, and so on. Not surprisingly, the netbook will run Chrome OS and come pre-installed with a suite of Google Apps.
The rumors also indicate that the netbook will be available by holiday season 2010 for a subsidized price of under $300, which is impressive for the type of hardware they're talking about. It would sold directly from Google's website, and they may partner with a network operator to sell it as a bundled 3G plan.
If these rumors turn out to be true—which at this point, who knows—that's a welcome step up from the current generation of netbooks.
[Gizmodo via IBTimes]

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Panasonic's Future High Power Lithium Ion Batteries Will Kick 20-30% Harder [Battery]

Great news: Panasonic not only started mass producing laptop type battery with a record setting rating of 3.1 amp hours this December, but in the next few years, will make these cells with up to 4.0 amps in 2013. Yowzer.
Part of the secret is to use nickel instead of carbon for the positive terminal in each cell. The previous record at Panasonic for type cells were 2.9 amp hours, and a quick search shows that most are in the 2.2 amp range.
Battery tech still remains one of the slowest developing sectors in technology, which is why Obama put billions of dollars in grant money towards its research. And why this is great news for all.
[Gizmodo via Panasonic]

e-book + netbook + android = entourage edge

You know that shiny new Nook or Kindle you just got for Christmas? Looks like it’s already time to upgrade to the next hot new gadget. The enTourage eDGe combines the best of e-Book readers and Netbook computers into a single package.
entourage edge android e-book netbook
The so-called “dualbook” gives you everything you’d expect from an e-Book reader, but includes a complete netbook computer, running on Android OS. The left-hand panel of the folding computer is a touchscreen e-Ink display, while the right side is a full-color LCD touchscreen. The e-Ink panel measures in at 9.7″ diagonal and 1200 x 825 resolution, while the LCD is 10.1″ diagonal, with 1024 x 600 resolution. When folded, the eDGe measures a compact, but pragmatic 8.25″ (h) x 10.75″ (w) x 1″ (d). At 2.75 pounds, it’s definitely not as lightweight as other e-Readers, but it’s comparable in heft to most netbooks. Battery life for the e-Ink side is rated at 16 hours, while you’ll only get about 6 hours of use with the LCD screen turned on.
entourage edge android e-book netbook
The netbook side includes a web browser, media recording and playback, e-mail, and contact management among other things. Initially, the eDGe will work only on WiFi networks, but you’ll be able to use it on 3G networks with and EVDO or HSDPA modem down the road. You can read books in ePub or PDF formats, watch videos in 3GP, MP4 or H.264 formats, or listen to audio in MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG and M4A among other formats. What I really like about the screens is that they also support pen-based input, making them great for quick note taking and doodles too.
entourage edge android e-book netbook
You can check out a web-based demo of the eDGe’s interface here, but the hands-on video from netbooknews below gives you a glimpse at a working prototype in action:

The enTourage eDGe ships in February 2010 with prices starting at $490 (USD), with a $40 upcharge for premium colors. They’re accepting pre-orders now over on the enTourage website. This is definitely one to watch.

The Fastest Train in the World [Trains]

The fastest commercial train in the world is now fully armed and operational.
Developed with Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom, the new train swooshes across the red land at 245mph (394km/h). The service covers 663 miles (1,068 kilometers) at an average of 217mph (350km/h), which means it's the fastest train in operation in the world according to China's railways ministry. It's part of the network of 42 high-speed lines that will be finished by 2012. If you have never tried these amazing trains in Europe or Japan, imagine going from New York to Chicago in just a bit over three hours, no absurd controls, no waits, no taxis needed.
The new Chinese high-speed lines will increase their total network from 53,437 miles to 74,564 miles. That's still smaller than the US railway system which, by contrast, only has one single 'high-speed' line, bridging the 456 miles that separate Boston with New York at a whooping 70mph average, totaling seven hours. Don't take that line, folks. It will liquify your brain.
[Gizmodo via Time of India]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Voyager Unveils the Mystery of the Interstellar Fluff from Hell [Space]

For years, astronomers have been puzzled by the fact that our solar system is crossing a cloud of interstellar hell. One that shouldn't be there at all. Intergalactic plot to keep us isolated or cosmic event? Voyager got the answer.
Using data from Voyager, we have discovered a strong magnetic field just outside the solar system. This magnetic field holds the interstellar cloud together—"The Fluff"—and solves the long-standing puzzle of how it can exist at all.
The Fluff is much more strongly magnetized than anyone had previously suspected. This magnetic field can provide the extra pressure required to resist destruction.
The Voyagers are not actually inside the Local Fluff. But they are getting close and can sense what the cloud is like as they approach it.
At least, that's what NASA's Heliophysics Guest Investigator from George Mason University Merav Opher says in the December 24 issue of Nature. I lean to the intergalactic plot to keep our primitive world from entering the Federation of Advanced Civilizations. That, or Ming of Mongo trying to crush our puny asses.
It's ironic how the whole thing works. Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere protects us from the Sun's magnetic field and radiation. Then, the Fluff is not destroying us thanks to the Sun's magnetic field and the solar winds, which is what form the 6.2-billion-mile-wide heliosphere. So my question is: Who protects the Fluff?
I will leave you with that. Go think, my little Earthlings, go.
[Gizmodo via NASA]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome Again to The 21st Century: Electroencephalography for At Home Entertainment

Emotiv Systems is finally releasing the much awaited Epoc headset brainwave controller. The available games and applications that the device can interface with are still scarce, so it seems to be geared toward developers and researchers that are thinking up new ways to utilize EEG. With a $300 starting price tag, this bodes well for a future where we'll be able to chow down on cheeseburgers while blowing up virtual goblins in Halo 12.

  • EEG display

  • FFT display 

  • Gyro display 

  • Data Packet display 

  • Data Recording and Playback

  • Product page: EPOC Headset...