Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Qualcomm FLO TV retail box leaks out, launch imminent?


The Qualcomm FLO TV is slowly taking shape. First we saw early concept art, which was followed by our exlucisive shots of the interface. But just last week we saw a leaked photo and learned that it was manufactured by HTC. Today though, the retail packaging has been spotted. So…really the only thing left is the actual product announcement, which can’t be that far off. Hopefully.

Pioneer Churns Out the World's First 12x Blu-ray Burner [Blu-Ray]

The BDR-205 is pretty much like any other mainstream 5.25-inch internal Blu-ray writer, in terms of looks and features, except for the fact that it, get this, spins slightly faster than the current crop of 8x writers. Slightly!
I was tempted to try to find a late-90s press release for Pioneer's first 12x CD burner to see how closely the language matched this one—let's just assume "very"—but a) I couldn't find one, and b) I didn't want to diminish Pioneer's achievement here too much—any device that cuts into the atrociously long Blu-ray burn times we've become slowly and begrudgingly accustomed to is a categorically good thing. The BDR-205 is due in October for $250. [Gizmodo via Crunchgear]

Google Earth Will Track Cars and People In Real Time [Google Earth]

This is one of the awesomestest and scariestest technology demonstrations I've seen in a long while: Georgia Institute of Technology's students are using CCTV video to map actual vehicles and people into Google Earth. Why is this scary?
Right now, all the data displayed is anonymous, which makes up for a cool looking technology. You could see a football game in real time or the actual traffic in your route to work. Eventually, you will be able to see clouds moving, the weather changing, and even birds move in real time.
Now, put on your tin foil hat and imagine.
Imagine that someone is able to tag you in some way. In theory, it could be as easy as having access to one of the CCTV cameras and this system. You mark a car on the screen and, provided that you have enough cameras along the way, the technology would be able to follow the vehicle wherever it goes. In England, for example, this will be really easy to do, because there are CCTV cameras absolutely everywhere. And let's not talk about RFID tags.
Of course, I'm sure that no government agency will be interested in using this for controlling someone's movements. Why would they?
Now, excuse me while I go pack and move to an island in the Maldives.
[Gizmodo via PopSci]

Computer detects abuse before doctors

Victims of domestic abuse can hide the truth from doctors, but they leave clues in their medical records that a computer program has learned to follow.

Power Loader Exoskeleton Gives Superhuman Strength [Exoskeletons]

The Power Loader 'dual-arm power amplification robot' uses 18 electromagnetic motors that let the wearer lift 220lbs without blinking. It gets its name from the exoskeleton from Aliens (get away from her you bitch!), and even has force-feedback.

It's being developed by a Panasonic subsidiary called ActiveLink, who say they don't expect to see it being used for things like disaster relief efforts until around 2015. At the moment it has an aluminum-alloy frame weighing around 500lbs, so hopefully they can shrink it down a bit. Very cool, though. Check out the vid:

[Gizmodo via Mainichi (translated) via PinkTentacle]

C-motech Mangrove 7-inch WinMo Snapdragon MID wonder.

Here you are a dream come true, the goregous 7” (WVGA) Mangrove from C-Motech… Powered by the impressive 1GHZ Snapdragon CPU, and featuring all wireless wonders like WiFi, 3G and WiMAX, the Mangrove 7 is the ultimate Windows Mobile 6.5 Tablet or MID that we all ever dreamed off !

Not only C-Motech worked hard by offering an impressive design, but they also made sure that nothing was missing… Already impressed by the spec above? Well here you are some more for your, 3D Graphics with up to 22M Triangles/sec & 133M 3D pixels/s, High Performance multimode GPS and the choice of a 3200 or 4000mAh battery pack in just 190 x 120 x 19.5mm for 300g… What much too say? Well WHEN CAN I GET ONE !

 Full specification :
Mobile Internet Device with 7” wide display
Full touch feature with WM 6.5
CPU : 1GHz (Snapdragon Platform)
Memory : Nand 512MB / 256MB SDRAM Full web browse
Support for Converged Services(Wi-fi)
Messaging & e-mail : Yahoo, AOL, Windows Live
Music Capable - AAC, AAC+, MP3, Real Audio, AAC+V2, AMR & WMA
Cellular Video Capable - H.263/H.264, MPEG-4, Real Audio & WMV
Removable Memory : Micro SD Bluetooth Capable.

NASA Can Now Create Objects Using Electron Beams [Manufacturing]

Instead of using traditional 3D manufacturing, NASA has developed an electron beam fabrication system capable of creating any object. And hey, if it uses electron beams that means it's awesome, no matter what.

The new method, called Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication (EBF3), uses the electron beam to melt raw material inside a vacuum. The beam can create any mechanical part you want for a small fraction of the cost of previous methods:
Normally an aircraft builder might start with a 6,000-pound block of titanium and machine it down to a 300-pound part, leaving 5,700 pounds of material that needs to be recycled and using several thousand gallons of cutting fluid used in the process.
With EBF3 you can build up the same part using only 350 pounds of titanium and machine away just 50 pounds to get the part into its final configuration. And the EBF3 process uses much less electricity to create the same part.
NASA says that this method will not only help aircraft manufacturers on Earth, but also astronauts, who may one day use it to make replacing parts during missions in remote bases. [Gizmodo via NASA]

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Panasonic rolls out new Toughbooks with Windows 7 and 16 hours of battery life


Panasonic’s Let’s Note (aka Toughbook) series is the favorite choice among many Japanese hackers. And today the company announced [JP] two new notebooks from the series with Windows 7 on board. Panasonic says their 16 hours of battery life is unmatched in the industry.
The so-called N8 and S8 are the models Panasonic will market in Japan as “winter season computers”. The S8 has an internal super-multi drive, but otherwise the main specs are identical for both Toughbooks: Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 processor (2.53GHz), 250GB HDD, 12.1-inch WXGA LCD, 2GB RAM (max: 4GB RAM), Wi-Fi, WiMax, one SD slot, one HDMI interface and three USB 2.0 ports.
The S8 and N8 will go on sale in Japan on October 22 (prices: $2,400 for the S8 and $2,300 for the N8). No word yet on international sales plans from Panasonic.


GPU-Accelerated Flash Player Provides Smooth HD Video, Arrives Next Month [Flash]

At last, here's a GPU-accelerated Flash player. That means two things: One, my laptop won't melt every time I run freaking Hulu. Two, since almost every Nvidia GPU is supported, even smartphones will be able to play HD Flash video.
Nvidia has been demonstrating builds of the GPU-accelerated Flash player around, and it's making an announcement on October 5. According to those who have seen it, it provides ultra-smooth high definition video playback, even on portable Tegra platforms.
About time. [Gizmodo via via Hexus]

Google Docs OCR

Google Docs API tests a new feature that lets you perform OCR (optical character recognition) on an image. There's a live demo that illustrates this feature: you can upload a high-resolution JPG, GIF, or PNG image that has less than 10 MB and Google Docs extracts the text and converts it into a new document. Google mentions that 'the operation can currently take up to 40 seconds' and a small test showed that the service is not yet reliable: it's slow and it frequently returns errors.

The results are far from perfect and you'll find many errors, but the service is free and it's constantly improving. Here's the result of the OCR for this scanned document:

There aren't many free OCR services available, so an OCR service provided by Google would be very popular. ABBYY FineReader Online is one of the best online OCR services, but the free version is limited to 10 pages a day.

Google sponsors the development of an open-source OCR software called OCRopus, but it's not clear if the online service provided by Google Docs uses OCRopus.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Panasonic develops 50-inch full HD 3D plasma TV for Blu-ray movies

Panasonic has been toying with the idea of bringing 3D TVs to our homes for quite a while now, and today the company announced they will be showcasing a 50-inch full HD plasma TV [press release in English] that’s capable of producing high-quality 3D pictures. End consumers will have the chance to test the TV out during next week’s CEATEC 2009.
Panasonic says the TV is the result of tests they did with a 103-inch 3D TV prototype presented last year (it’s pictured above). The company also says it went for 50 inches because it expects this size to be the standard for TV screens in homes. You’ll need to get a Blu-ray player and discs that support the 3D format though. And shutter glasses are a must.
The 3D TVs from Panasonic will hit stores in the US, Europe and Japan as early as next year. [TechCrunch]

Samsung SCH-W880: The Digital Camera that Can Call [Digital Cameras]

You don't fool us, Samsung. With its camera mode dial and dedicated shutter button, your 12 megapixel Samsung SCH-W880 with HD video recording, and 3x optical zoom looks a lot more like a real compact camera than a phone.

Apart from its clearly camera design, the Samsung SCH-W880 comes loaded:
• 3.3-inch AMOLED WGA screen.
• UMTS/HSDPA connectivity.
• Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth
• Slot for microSD cards.
• HD video at 30fps
• Macro mode.
• Xenon flash.
We haven't tried yet, but this looks like the first cameraphone that can actually satisfy the photographer/Peeping Tom in us. [Gizmodo via Samung Hub via HDblog via Engadget]

Picsio: Victor JVC goes after the Flip with new 1080p camcorder

Victor JVC seems to finally have realized how well the Flip sells over in North America. The company has now announced the Picsio GC-FM1 [JP], a mini camcorder recording video at 2.03MP and shooting pictures at 8MP. The Picsio offers 1080p output at a 4:3 ratio (1,440×1080, 30fps). Alternatively, you can go for a 720p, VGA or QVGA mode.
Weighing just 95g, the device measures 53×97x17mm. It features a 2-inch LCD screen, an HDMI interface, USB 2.0, and 4xdigital zoom. Users can record video on SD or SDHC cards in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and upload them easily to YouTube or iTunes through a special “media browser”.
The GC-FM1 will go on sale in Japan within this week (street price: $220). There will be models in black, blue and purple. Victor JVC hasn’t said yet if the Picsio will ever be available outside Japan (which is highly likely).
[TechCrunch via AV Watch]

This is What the Thermaltake Level 10 Case Actually Looks Like [Case]

The image of the Level 10 we saw back in March looked fantastic. Glossy, stylish and oh so beautiful. But now? Now reality disappoints once again.
Maximum PC's hands on of the case shows that Thermaltake either swapped out the glossy surface in the prototype for a matted one in the finished version, or discovered that photoshopping a glossy surface onto something before you actually build one is a bad idea.

But, the basic gist is the same, and it's one of the first unique chassis we've seen come along in quite some time. [Gizmodo via Maximum PC]

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Acer A1 on pre-order

There was a rumor back in March about the Acer A1. It was due to be released this September…

Well it might be late but it will be here soon. it is available on pre-order on Expansys (France and Germany) with some specs:

  • Processor: Qualcomm 8250 768 MHz 
  • Operating System: Andro├»d 2.0 (Donut) 
  • Memory: ROM: 512 MB / RAM: 256 MB 
  • Display: 3.5-inch touch-sensitive screen with WVGA resolution 
  • Network: HSPA/WCDMA: 850, 1900, 2100 MHz – Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz (Band frequency and data speed are operator dependent)
  • GPS: Internal GPS antenna 
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
  • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • 3.5 mm audio jack 
  • Camera: 5.0 megapixel color camera with auto focus 
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • Capacity: 1350 mAh
  • Talk time: Up to 300 minutes
  • Standby time: Up to 400 hours
  • (The above are subject to network and phone usage)
  • Expansion Slot: microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible) 
  • Dimensions (LxWxT): 115 x 62.5 x 12.5 mm 
  • Weight: 135 grams with battery

Expansys is generally reliable, they don’t have any dates yet but a price: 389.99 euro, a very good price for a device without a contract. So, we are really going to get all these promised devices.


World's Largest Bridge to Stretch Over 13 Miles Long [Architecture]

Construction on what would become the world's longest marine causeway, connecting Qatar and Bahrain, is due to begin next year, and what a project it is: We're talking about a bridge more than 13 miles long, costing around $3 billion.
Somewhat adorably named the Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Causeway, this massive bridge is expected to take around 4.5 years to complete and cost somewhere between $2.3 and $3 billion, but should be a great help for travel between Qatar and Bahrain. The trip currently takes more than four hours and will be reduced to 30 minutes on the bridge, and those in charge expect 10,000 to 20,000 vehicles per day to use it.

For a sense of scale, here's a chart that compares the bridge to other very large things. Of course, I need a scale chart to tell how big a blue whale is, which sort of defeats the purpose of measuring this bridge in blue whales, but still: This is one large bridge. [Gizmodo via Mena Infrastructure via Reddit]

HTC TouchFLO 3D Exposed on Video, Looks Damn Hot [Htc]

Set to debut on the HTC Leo/HD2/whatever, we've seen screenshots of HTC's updated TouchFLO 3D but now we've got some video. PocketNow managed to install it onto a Touch Pro2, and despite that handset's lesser specs it looks nicely smooth.

The Touch Pro2 only has a last-gen Qualcomm chipset and TouchFLO 3D is still running buttery smooth, so we can only imagine how well it'll run with the Leo's 1GHz Snapdragon. The early build of the WinMo skin is available on XDA-Devs, if you want to give it a try. [Gizmodo via PocketNow via MobileTechWorld via Engadget]

Friday, September 25, 2009

TechTracker Scans Your Computer for Outdated Software [Downloads]

Windows: There's no reason to rely on individual applications to tell you when they need an update, when you've got a handy tool like TechTracker.
You'll need to create a free account or use Facebook connect to login to CNet and download the TechTracker application. Once downloaded and installed finding the out of date applications on your system is as simple as running the application. TechTracker compares the software versions of your applications to the vast database of applications at and shows you a list of which applications need to be updated and a link to or the publisher's site where you can download the update.
You can also tell TechTracker to email you when a new version of an application you have comes out, so you'll get an email update before the next scan even takes place. TechTracker is freeware and works wherever Windows does.

Phoenix trims BIOS startup time down to about a second

Gather ‘round, don’t be shy. Let’s all take a look at Windows 7 booting up in about ten seconds. How is this possible? Well, turn Aero off, strip out all the bloatware, and make sure you’re using an ultra fast solid state drive. That, and trim the BIOS start time down to a little over one second.
As you can see in the video embedded on LAPTOP’s post (skip ahead to about the one minute mark) the whole BIOS song and dance doesn’t even appear. The power button is pressed, and a second or two later we see the Windows 7 startup screen.
Then, we’re greeted with the desktop – all in less time than it takes to pour a non-foamy beer. This is all possible thanks to Phoenix’s new “Instant Boot Bios,” which is currently being offered to OEMs for use in future notebooks (it might be available as an upgrade, too).
According to LAPTOP:
“Enter Phoenix’s new Instant Boot BIOS. It cuts down the post time to roughly one second. Phoenix’s Chief Scientist Steve Jones explained that the new BIOS uses UEFI technology (a new kind of BIOS platform) to power on several system devices simultaneously and to run only those processes which are absolutely necessary to hand control over to the OS.
We had a chance to view Instant Boot in action on a Lenovo T400s, which was equipped with a high-speed SSD. About one second after hitting the power button, we saw the hard drive light flickering and noticed that Windows had already started loading. Because this system had a high-speed SSD and the Windows install didn’t have a lot of extra drivers or crapware, Windows 7 itself took only 10 seconds to get us to a desktop.”
The total time for the BIOS to do its thing was 1.37 seconds – that oughta shave precious moments off of just about any computer whether it’s got a highfalutin solid state drive or not.

Phoenix’s 1-Second Instant Boot Bios Really Works [LAPTOP]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

PS3 Motion Controller Officially Lands Next Spring: Updates for Current Games Planned [PS3]

The Motion Controller's Spring debut has just been made official over at the Tokyo Games Show. A motion-enhanced Resident Evil 5: Director's Cut is planned, and the wand will work with a number of new and existing games, including LittleBigPlanet.
A bunch of games will get motion control via a network update, including EyePet, Flower, High Velocity Bowling, PAIN, and Hustle King. And I really hope that's the norm when we hear what other game developer's plans are. Not every game can pull off a Director's Cut re-release (with motion control bonus) the way Res 5 might.
On stage, Sony showed Resident Evil 5 being played with a dual shock controller in one hand, and the motion controller in the other. And for LittleBigPlanet, one player controlled Sackboy with the dual shock, while another used the wand to move special levers. The motion controller's glowing sphere changes color in context with the game.
Finally hearing how the controller might boost 'real' games has me kind of psyched. What about you? [Kotaku | Image credit]
Upcoming Motion Control Games From Sony:
Ape Escape (Working Title)
Echochrome 2 (Working Title)
Eccentric Slider (Working Title)
Sing and Draw (Working Title)
Champions of Time (Working Title)
Motion Party (Working Title)
The Shoot (Working Title)
Tower (Working Title)

The Pink Phone Pictures Microsoft Doesn't Want You To See Yet [Exclusive]

Project Pink is Microsoft's secret new phone, their first major phone play since the iPhone. Here are the first pictures of Pink phones, Turtle and Pure.

These phones are going to be made by Sharp, who'll get to share branding with Microsoft. Sharp produced the Sidekick hardware for Danger, who was bought by Microsoft almost two years ago. Pink will be primarily aimed at the same market as the Sidekick, and the branding and identity for it is highly developed, pointing toward a later stage in the development cycle.
The prior relationship between Danger and Sharp is the only reason we can think of why Microsoft stuck with Sharp for the new phones, and perhaps why they look so much like remixed Sidekicks. (Kind of yucky, that is.) The youth bent is somewhat surprising, if Pink is going to be their big consumer phone play, building off the expertise of Danger and members of the Zune team.
The hardware design has a definite younger feeling: Turtle looks like a chunky child's version of a Palm Pre, while Pure seems like a standard slider, and both are clearly plastic, with an overall sense of roundedness, thanks to lots of soft angles and circular keys.
It's been reported elsewhere that Pink phones will include Zune services, and have its own app store, making it as close to the Zune phone as we may get. We'll see if it's close enough in the coming months, though these are the only facts our source will let us safely publish for now.

Honda U3-X: An Omnidirectional Segway-Style Unicycle That I Want Badly [Mobility Devices]

Jalopnik just posted this crazy Honda unicycle, the U3-X, with 'omni traction drive.' It's definitely the first personal mobility device that might help you fulfill your lifelong dream of re-enacting Jamiroquai's 'Virtual Insanity' video. Pics and details at [Gizmodo via Jalopnik]

DIY Ferrofluid Is the Prettiest Mess You Could Make Today [DIY]

Ferrofluid is a beautiful mess of iron particles suspended in oil, but the beauty comes at a price of $165 a liter ($624.59 a gallon, for you Standard folks). Let's take the DIY route to this, shall we?

Before you run off to grab the magnetic ink developer, ferric chloride, or recycled cassette tapes needed to make it, let's review what ferrofluid is and how it works:

Basically there are plenty of uses for the liquid, in engineering, electronics, optics, and most importantly: art. Due to the oil portion of ferrofluid following the iron particles, you can control the substance with some strong magnets and make it dance around like in the video.
Spiffy, purty, and that was just scientific enough to pass any damages you cause off as a 'learning experience.' Check out PopSci for the details on just how to make a DIY version of the stuff while I ignore any bets on how much of a mess I'll make while trying each approach. [Gizmodo via PopSci]

Water On The Moon

For all you space buffs who like to keep track of where the water is, it looks like you can add our very own moon to your list. Because according to a trio of papers appearing in the journal Science , the lunar surface is wetter than we realized. [More]

[Scientific American]

Intel Light Peak Optical Tech Achieves Insane 10Gb/s Speeds [Intel]

Today at IDF, Intel unveiled Light Peak technology, a plan for an extremely high-speed optical cable they hope will land on consumer products in 2010. Imagine transferring an entire Blu-Ray disk in 30 seconds. And that's just the beginning.
In Intel's words:
Existing electrical cable technology in mainstream computing devices is approaching practical limits for speed and length, due to electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and other issues. However, optical technology, used extensively in data centers and telecom communications, does not have these limitations since it transmits data using light instead of electricity. Light Peak brings this optical technology to mainstream computing and consumer electronic devices in a cost-effective manner.
Light Peak delivers 10Gb/s speeds right now, and could conceivably go as fast as 100Gb/s within a decade or so. Those kinds of speeds are even sustained over a 100-meter distance, which is really impressive. Intel is currently working with hardware manufacturers (computers, handhelds, etc) to try to get the optical tech onto devices sometime in 2010. [Gizmodo via Intel]

Bluetooth Headset Hides Super Ultra Secret microSD Reader [Headsets]

So you never grew up to hide lasers, explosives and gadgets in every known orifice like James Bond. But maybe you'd find a microSDHC reader in your Bluetooth headset to be handy. And that dream is only $40 away. [Gizmodo via Brando]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series Is First to Support DirectX 11, Drive 180 Inches of Monitors [Amd]

Do you remember that crazy, 6x30-inch monitor rig by AMD? Well their upcoming ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics cards are what drive the uber display.
The two new cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and the ATI Radeon HD 5850, are the first video cards in the industry to fully support DirectX 11. Beyond that tidbit, they're capable of producing 2.72 TeraFLOPS of computing power and are equipped with 1GB GDDR5 memory.
And yes, each is capable of driving six 30-inch monitors at once—what AMD refers to as "Eyefinity" technology.
Sadly, there's still no word specific on pricing or availability, but these obviously aren't bargain basement cards. [BusinessWire]


Toshiba Qosmio X500 Has Ferrari-Like Looks, Core i7 Speed [Laptops]

This big 18.4-incher with Windows 7 has plenty for gamers to drool over. A Core i7 mobile processor and 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M graphics should crunch out respectable framerates, and the Blu-ray drive and Harmon/Kardon speakers are nice, too.
Yep, that's Blu-ray on a Toshiba laptop. Don't be shocked, you knew it was coming. The X500 also has an HDMI-CEC port, Harmon/Kardon speakers, a multi-touch touchpad (two-finger pinch, swipe, rotate, scroll), and a LED-backlit keyboard with a 10-key numberpad.

Toshiba says you'll be able to tailor the processor and DDR3 memory (it's still deciding on specifics), opt for a 1080p or 720p-capable screen, and go with either a 7200rpm hard disk on its own, or combined with a solid-state drive. We'll know full specs and pricing sometime in mid-October.
Looks like a pretty decent addition to the Qosmio family, but you'll have to wait until Windows 7 arrives on October 22 to get your hands on one.


Help and learn from others as you browse the web: Google Sidewiki

As you browse the web, it's easy to forget how many people visit the same pages and look for the same information. Whether you're researching advice on heart disease prevention or looking for museums to visit in New York City, many others have done the same and could have added their knowledge along the way.

What if everyone, from a local expert to a renowned doctor, had an easy way of sharing their insights with you about any page on the web? What if you could add your own insights for others who are passing through?

Now you can. Today, we're launching Google Sidewiki, which allows you to contribute helpful information next to any webpage. Google Sidewiki appears as a browser sidebar, where you can read and write entries along the side of the page.

In developing Sidewiki, we wanted to make sure that you'll see the most relevant entries first. We worked hard from the beginning to figure out which ones should appear on top and how to best order them. So instead of displaying the most recent entries first, we rank Sidewiki entries using an algorithm that promotes the most useful, high-quality entries. It takes into account feedback from you and other users, previous entries made by the same author and many other signals we developed. If you're curious, you can read more on our Google Research Blog about the infrastructure we use for ranking all entries in real-time.

Under the hood, we have even more technology that will take your entry about the current page and show it next to webpages that contain the same snippet of text. For example, an entry on a speech by President Obama will appear on all webpages that include the same quote. We also bring in relevant posts from blogs and other sources that talk about the current page so that you can discover their insights more easily, right next to the page they refer to.

We're releasing Google Sidewiki as a feature of Google Toolbar (for Firefox and Internet Explorer) and we're working on making it available in Google Chrome and elsewhere too. We also have the first version of our API available today to let anyone work freely with the content that's created in Sidewiki.

We've been testing Sidewiki with several experts and news organizations for a while and are happy to hear their positive responses. We hope you'll try it for yourself, follow our Twitter feed, and let us know what you think!

If you're ready to start exploring the web with Google Sidewiki, visit to download Google Toolbar with Sidewiki and contribute your own entries alongside pages on the web.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management and Michal Cierniak, Engineering Lead for Google Sidewiki

[The Official Google Blog]

Mobilizy Proposes Open AR Markup Language

It’s been a big day for Augmented Reality news. On the heels of the announcement of Layar’s support for 3D objects, Mobilizy, maker of Wikitude World Browser, announced that it’s proposing an open Augmented Reality markup language (ARML).
ARML would be based on KML and “enriched with custom extensions.”
The basic idea behind this specification is that data that is prepared using this specification can be viewed on augmented reality browsers like Wikitude but also in Google Earth. Augmented reality browsers can include an open URL dialog where the user can enter an URL pointing to a valid ARML document. For instance such a document can contain all affiliates of a company. People can easily bookmark those URLs.
ReadWriteWeb notes that “such a step would remove one of the five barriers to AR that we recently wrote about: interoperability. Cross-platform, open development standards would allow users more ways to see more AR content. … It will also accelerate innovation and allow for more, better, and less expensive AR apps.”
This video from Mobilizy sums it up to the tune of a “Cinemax: After Dark” soundtrack:


Insyde Market – The First App Market Exclusively For Android Netbooks

Last week the doors officially opened up for AppsLib, the market designed for Android-based devices with larger screens. Timed with the Archos A5 announcement, it’s the first place to check if you are looking for apps optimized for screens at 800×480 resolution. Today sees another market opportunity for developers.
Insyde Market is sending out emails to developers letting them know their apps are being tested and readied for netbooks. The Insyde Market team wants to help adapt your app so that it works well with netbooks. According to their website, they will assist in getting your title readied for multi-touch, larger screens, and full-size keyboards.
The market for your Android applications is about to expand very quickly and very soon. Insyde Software, the leading mobile computer firmware provider is partnering with the world’s leading computer OEMs to bring the Google Android operating environment to the x86 netbook market.
In the coming months, we expect Acer and other netbook makers will introduce new products that leverage the open Google Android Platform. Here’s your chance to become an early access member of Insyde Market, the first Android application market exclusively for netbooks.
Congratulations! Your application, StatusToggle, has been tested by Insyde Market for netbooks. You don’t need to worry that the hardware is different from the normal Android phone. What you need to do is just register and upload your application. Here’s how you can take the first step to getting started in this ground-breaking Android application market: click on:!
No word yet on when the Insyde Market plans to open the doors, but we’re guessing it could be months. After all, we need netbooks that handle Android first. It will be interesting to see how things play out when Chrome starts shipping. Will Android netbooks be a non-starter?
Thanks to Paul for the tip and good luck with your app, StatusToggle!

8.1-inch iRex e-book reader will be sold at Best Buy, use Verizon network

Our own Nicholas Deleon is on his way to the official announcement this morning but here’s the latest on the iRex e-book reader that’s set to be launched in partnership with Barnes & Noble.
  • The screen: 8.1-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless downloads? Yes, via Verizon
  • Where can you buy it? Best Buy, starting next month sometime
  • How much? $399
  • Other features: content from Barnes & Noble digital catalog, over 1,100 periodicals served up by NewspaperDirect, compatibility with the ePub format
[CrunchGear via New York Times]

Japanese company sells solar-powered apartments

Japan has all kinds of solar-powered stuff: cell phones, cars, ships, and even carports and satellites. And now Tokyo-based Sekisui House plans to sell apartments fitted with sophisticated solar energy generation and control systems, which will not only power rooms but also allow residents to sell surplus electricity directly to utilities.
The electricity will be generated via solar panels on the buildings’ roofs, with each apartment having a meter to measure how much energy has been used and sold. Sekisui House claims the sun will provide enough energy for the solar buildings as a whole, but utilities will deliver conventional power in case of emergencies.
One solar power generation system installed in a four-apartment building costs a whopping $60,000 (but there are generous subsidies provided by the Japanese government for solar equipment). Sekisui House expects to sell around 300 of these systems by the end of January 2010 and sees about 30% of all apartments that it builds equipped with them in the future.
[CrunchGear via Nikkei (registration required, paid subscription)]

New Images of Samsung Galaxy Lite – Rumors of Delay

A pair of pictures have emerged which show a seemingly complete version of the upcoming Samsung i5700 (GalaxyLite) handset. It appears there are two color variations to this phone – white with emerald accent and black with red accent. There’s no mistaking these are Android phones. Check out the android prominently featured on the front and back of them!

With the pics come a more detailed list of specs. According to Dial a Phone, here’s the list so far:
  • 3.0″ WQVGA TFT Touchscreen
  • Android OS 1.5
  • Google Apps and Android Market
  • Bluetooth 2.0,
  • USB 2.0
  • WiFi
  • 3G – HSDPA
  • Edge – GPRS
  • Touchwiz
  • Accelerometer
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Memory 200MB internal and MicroSD card (up to 32G)
  • GPS

  • Android OS 1.5
Yeah, you see it… Touchwiz. Not sure what that means but the pics so far indicate vanilla Android with no customization. Maybe they’ll add something to it before release?


It’s not all good news today. We’re hearing the Galaxy Lite is getting pushed back until 2010 so the Galaxy (i7500) has some room to breathe first. Not the worst kind of news, but still somewhat of a bummer.

Future 2010 Cars