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Lorin Thwaits A geek says what? Gadgets Lotsa cool little stuff in the world, and here's info about some of it.
3D Camcorder, anyone?
If you have one of these, you can capture *amazing* full-color high definition 3D video: The general idea is: 1. Record a scene with two high definition camcorders running at the same time. Have them mounted on a board, pointed the same direction, and spaced about 1 foot apart. 2. Acquire the footage into a computer and edit the streams to synchronize them with each other to within 1/30 of a second. You now have two streams, one for the left eye and one for the right. 3. Use a filter to combine the ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:22 AM

Want to cut your electric bill by $300 a year?
Over a million Japanese homes have a cutting-edge appliance that I'll bet you (along with 95% of America) have never even heard of. No -- it's not a singing toilet seat with a remote control, butt warmer, and built-in bidet. Why... here's one of those gleeking now: So I bet that most of you have heard about -- and some out there even used -- that particular Japanese contraption. Instead, the contraption I speak of is a heat pump that you add on to your water heater. It saves about $350 a year on ......

Posted On Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:05 AM

Ever crack the screen of a favorite gadget?
Sometimes I'm a really early adopter. So early that I buy stuff in Japan the moment it becomes available. I've got a well-loved HDV camera that I got two and a half years ago that way. Hard to believe that I've had it around that long. It's now been on 3 continents, and has captured probably around 100 hours of really great content. Quite a few "battle scars" along the way though: One scratch in particular cut a little too deep. On the fold-out screen in the upper-left corner under "HDV 1080i" you'll ......

Posted On Thursday, February 14, 2008 7:00 AM

SideShow - It should come in watch form
Atomsk and Robert McLaws have been musing about the Zune becoming a wireless Vista SideShow appliance, and having a port on laptops where you can dock to charge it. Since SideShow requires very little power to get the job done, what about going the distance and making a SideShow-enabled watch? For awhile we were hearing about the PocketPC architecture miniaturizing into watch form, but I don't think we even need to have that much OS to have something very useful. Just having your calendar, weather ......

Posted On Monday, December 11, 2006 10:51 PM

Introducing the $1800 MacBook Air
At the MacWorld keynote this morning Steve Jobs saved the best for last. Of the 4 major things he spoke about, the final thing was the announcement of the crazy-small MacBook Air. This is the world's thinnest notebook, sporting an LED edge-lit screen, custom Penryn processor, and all that weighing only 3 lbs. Small enough to fit in an envelope: (Steve carried it out on stage in an envelope actually.) MacBook Air specs: A claimed 5 hours of battery life. The battery actually consumes about 2/3 of ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 15, 2008 6:33 AM

Sony displays the world's first OLED panel, the XEL-1
Demo unit on display this week at CEATEC Japan Commercial unit to be sold in December Finally, an OLED panel that's reliable enough to sell. Unlike backlit LCD, which uses the same amount of power all the time, OLED only uses power for the individual pixels that are lit, saving energy. It's not a technology that has to "shutter" light, so contrast is incredible. As well, viewing angle is 180 degrees, both horizontal and vertical. There's no angle that you would see any funny coloration, so it becomes ......

Posted On Monday, October 1, 2007 2:59 AM

My favorite dead amplifier came back to life as an amputee
I've got a receiver / amplifier that I bought like 15 years ago from a friend. Transistor-based, and only 120 watts per channel, but still it's got amazing sound. All discrete components. Cleaner than just about anything I've heard. Will drive down to a 4 ohm load very nicely. Or at least it _was_ nice... until about six months ago when an exposed speaker wire briefly made contact wth the FM antenna. Ouch. At the time I had some little 8 ohm bookshelf speakers cranked to around 90 decibels, kicking ......

Posted On Sunday, September 30, 2007 7:53 PM

Anyone else going to the Maker Faire in Austin?
I heard about the first Maker Faire, which was spring of last year, after it happened. And from all the great stuff I heard it made me determined to go with my oldest son out to the second Maker Faire. He's into gadgets, and I figured it would be great for him to see all that ingenuity on display. That was back in May of this year out in Silicon Valley. It was tremendous. Well worth going. Contraptions of all sorts were out on display. Ended up that I found cheap $70 round trip seats on a Southwest ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:23 AM

Time to buy an iPhone
Looks like the iPhone has been set free by the persistent guys at iPhoneDevWiki. No doubt the discovery will send the stock prices of Apple and T-Moble upwards. This post is aimed to those technical souls out there who want to give it a try. It's a concise look at all the steps necessary to get the job done and enjoy much cheaper iPhone service when traveling overseas. (Don't get stuck with a $12000 bill!) A quick look at the second phone ever unlocked in this way: George Hotz who worked closely ......

Posted On Saturday, August 25, 2007 3:53 AM

Two new contenders vying for sickest handheld PC
I've had one of the litte Sony UMPC machines for ten months now, and it has been great. All my apps right there in my pocket. (Granted that it has to be a fairly large pocket, and it's unnerving how many people ask if that's an ultra-mobile PC or if I was just glad to see them!) Anyway, it's nice and zippy when running XP, enough oomph to develop .NET code or C++ using the scaled-down Express products from Microsoft. They're all I really need when I code on the run, so no complaints. The video is ......

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 5:57 PM

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