Gahh! I wish the data network here in America were as advanced as the ones in Japan. 3.6mb/s? That’s better than what I get on my cable modem at my home.
March 31st is going to bring some major changes when eMobile brings it’s unlimited high-speed (3.6mbps HSPDA) service for a flat monthly rate of ¥4980 ($43). The current mobile data leader Willcom offers a flat-rate service of 128kbps for ¥9000 ($77). As Gerhard points out, eMobiles service is 30 times the speed at half the price. Below is an exclusive look at eMobile’s EM-ONE PDA which will work with the new data service and has wi-fi, digital tv, a 4.1 inch Sharp display, a camera, and Windows Mobile 5.0.
YOu have to check the full article out, this is one hell of a phone.
Trends in Japan – Tokyo Blog » A look at eMobile, the EM-ONE, and the coming upheaval in Japan
I think I might have done the impossible, I found a review of the new Apple TV that was not written by a drooling Apple fanboy. Nice review, gives an honest opinion of the video quality of what was playing on the demo model. He does put forth an interesting idea on how one could go about turning the Apple TV into an automated bit torrent downloading monster capable of transcoding Xvid video to H264. Ooo.. I wants one…
Apple TV – gosh, I touched one.
I was reading my eWeek today and say this cool article talking about a way to teach programming to kids. The idea is that you have this rich visual 3D world that you program the objects in it to move and interact. I took a look at it and discovered just that, it talks about methods, objects, and other tenants of modern programming . Man, I wished I would have had this when I was a kid. It would have made learning BASIC a lot simpler.
Once the students get comfortable with the interface they will be producing animated movies in no time at all. They can draw from a library rich in 3D models like dragons, faeries, spaceships, buildings. There is also a way to import models from 3D Studio Max using a third party utility. There is also a collaboration with the popular game ‘The Sims‘ to add a much more fluid look and feel to the character animations. I hope that when this happens Alice will stay free to anyone that wants to download it. My kids are both fans of the Sims and I know that this would at least give them a clue as to what computer programming is like. Even if you don’t have kids but would like to know more of how all this software stuff works you should download it and give it a try. It’s written in Java so it will work on both PC and Mac.
Alice: Free, Easy, Interactive 3D Graphics for the WWW
This is just perfect! Using a Magna Doodle as an output device for a computer is just brilliant.
What do you get when you mix a 1970’s style analog chart recorder, an 8-bit microcontroller, and a Fisher-Price Doodle Pro? A truly 21st century toy: An analog PlotBot with e-paper display technology!
Our machine is based around a vintage analog X-Y data recorder. Its original purpose in life was to perform basic laboratory data collection, plotting two voltages against each other, and was one of the primary tools for that purpose right up until computers took over that job in the 1980’s. Because they were once so common and are now generally obsolete, it’s quite easy to get one of your own. There are usually several under $50 on eBay at any given time, and that’s where we got ours. …
The other major modification that we’ve made is that we’ve replaced the pen and paper with what seems like out of reach technology: an inexpensive and readily available e-paper display: the panel from a Doodle Pro. …
The Doodle Pro is a descendent of the Magna Doodle, a classic children’s toy dating to 1974. (I’m not sure what makes this a “Pro” anything, however.) It uses a simple magnetophoretic display, where ferromagnetic particles are suspended with near-neutral buoyancy in an opaque, viscous white liquid. Using a magnetic stylus, you can attract the black particles to the top surface, or with a magnetic “eraser” on the bottom side, pull the particles away, leaving only the white liquid visible.
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – An AVR-based Analog Plotbot with an E-Paper Display
Very nice, makes me want a Nintendo DS all the more. I wonder if the games are any good. It would be quite the thing to have a photo viewer on one. Keep a card with holiday snaps with you and pop it in when you want to show them off.
Home brew games and music on the move with your DS! With Games ‘n’ Music, you can put your Nintendo DS or DS Lite at the centre of your digital lifestyle. You can use it to launch home brew games written for the DS and readily available on the internet, listen to your happening sounds with the device’s integrated MP3 player or even watch videos. And you don’t need to modify your console to use it… Games ‘n’ Music comes with a 128MB Micro SD card for you to store your games and data, and if that’s not enough, just slip in a new card and expand its capacity to up to 2GB. It’s really easy to use too. Just fit the Micro SD card into the USB adapter (supplied), plug it into your computer and drag and drop your files onto the card. It’s that easy!
New Mass Market Homebrew Device for Nintendo DS
Today on Retro Thing I saw that there is a new on chip audio synthesizer on the market.
The Soundgin is a serially controlled Sound Synthesizer in a PIC.
It produces complex sound effects, synthesizer style music and English speech with an unlimited vocabulary.
For use in manufactured electronics and home projects. .
The Soundgin is an 18-Pin Microchip PIC18F1320 that has been programmed to generate complex sounds by incorporating six oscillators which can interact with each other in various ways. The oscillators are configured by sending short serial commands to the Soundgin via the RX pin. These configurations result in the Soundgin’s oscillators continuously generating sound. The Soundgin also contains presets that can be used to configure the oscillators to generate predefined sound such as a Gong, Steam Engine, Etc… The six are spit up into two identical units referred to as Sound Engines.
The sample on the page are quite good. I can see this as an easy to implement addition to a lot of DIY music projects or a speech synthesizer for robots.