Sharp creates a see-through solar panel

Some of you might remember when I brought up the subject of wind farms, and how they are popping up all over the place. I believe that I hinted on the possibility that harnessing the natural wind power of the Earth could solve pretty much any energy crisis.

I also believe in an untapped resource of solar energy, and it is a shame that we don’t use it more often. Perhaps Sharp’s new technology could tip the balances in our favor.

This is a see-through solar energy panel, and it is designed for a power conversion efficiency of about 6.8 percent with a maximum output of 95 watts. This module acts as a heat shield, and each one is about 4.5 feet wide by 3.2 feet tall at only 0.37 inches thick.

Now, if we could somehow put one of these see-through panels on every window, could this help us save some on our energy bills? I would like to think that the answer to that question is yes, because, like a diet, I believe it is the little things that you give up that take off a lot of weight.


The Nest Protects Earbuds from Damaging Tangles

I think we all have problems with our earbuds that have something to do with their ability to get tangled. If you want to keep them from getting tangle damage, you should look into the Nest.

The Nest is an interesting silicone creation that works in a way that I will try to describe. It is something that is the size of a hockey puck, and you turn it inside out. You then insert the earbuds (the actual things you put in your ear holes), and then wind the cord around its spindle. When you are done winding, just turn the thing inside out again and the earbuds are safely tucked away. When you need to use the earbuds again, just gently yank on the connecting port and the earbuds just come right out.

Now here is the deal: it takes discipline to use this product. For me, I just shove the earbuds into the pocket of my backpack. I don’t think that tangles are healthy, so I want to adopt this, and you can do this wind-up thing with the Nest in seconds with a lot of practice.

As for me, I will develop a Nesting instinct. If you want this kind of protection, then head over to the Digital Innovations site and pay a price of $9.99.

Dealing with some Christian topics: RPGs

Normally, I like to have a picture here with some technology, and talk about it. However, there are some times where I honestly can’t find something to talk about. Today, I have decided to bring up a subject that has been on my mind for a while, the subject of Role-Playing Games.

During the eighties and nineties, there was a push by Christians to show that various role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons were evil. I look at this belief now and regret going along with it.

In all honesty, I played Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games. The reason why I game them up had nothing to do with me being born again. The truth of the matter is that I couldn’t find any friends to play them with, and that was about it. When church and Christian conservatives told me that these games were wrong, I threw them away, just like I throw away other toys that I no longer play with.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of role-playing games, these are games where there isn’t really a board. The players become essentially imagine themselves as other characters, and are thrown into a situation where they use their abilities to get through it. Dice is a big factor as characters often fight in these situations, and roll the dice to see if they hit the target.

The premise seems harmless enough, and most paper-and-pencil RPGs have become digital with MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like World of Warcraft and such. I heard very little from Christian Conservatives about the digital RPGs in the last decade, but maybe it is because I haven’t really been listening.

I’m not certain what happened that swayed Christians against RPGs. I remember hearing things like RPGs were some gateway drug to satanism. I must have quit playing RPGs before they tried to recruit me. I believe that some cases were people got carried away with RPGs, and I heard there was a case where a kid killed himself after his PC (Player Character) died. It is tough to prove whether or not that suicide would have happened without the presence of RPGs, but I honestly think that we as Christians sort of over-reacted.

I remember going to a convention one time and seeing Wil Wheaton discuss how gamers of all types have a community. Wil stated that there are many parents that condemn their kids for not doing well in sports, but none that will bring their kids down for not doing well on video games. People who play RPGs have a fellowship that I honestly think is better than those that play sports together. In sports, trash-talking is encouraged and physical prowess praised, but RPGs teach players to think and work together.

Yes, there are people who over-do the whole fantasy thing, just like people who overdo the whole sports thing. Some of you might remember the movie Mazes and Monsters, which showed Tom Hanks going delusional over an RPG game. I can’t help but wonder if parents and other Christians just thought that every RPG player was delusional, just like many Christians in the nineties just assumed that homosexuals had AIDS.

Yeah, I don’t know how Christians got this way, and in all honesty, both the world and Christian Conservatives probably need to be more open-minded about stuff.

Ghost Hunt: Exterminate the Haunts without a proton-pack or spiritual help

Some of you might remember the film Ghostbusters, which came out 28 years ago. In all honesty, I can’t say that as a Christian that I fully support the film. However, I don’t want to get all condemning on a film which I consider one of the funniest movies ever made, even though the DIY method doesn’t work to get rid of hostile supernatural forms.

In other words, you can’t shoot ghosts down with the proton-packs that were shown in the Ghostbusters movies. I don’t have any problem playing a video game where this method of “busting” works, and I loved the Ghostbusters game that came out a few years ago, which reunited the original cast.

Now, just in time for Halloween, there is Ghost Hunt. My Source does not have much to say about Ghost Hunt, but apparently, it projects ghosts on the wall, and the user can shoot them with a rechargeable gun. Apparently, the ghost even screams when it is hit.

I’m not why someone doesn’t put a Ghostbusters twist on this. I guess their method of busting the haunts is too complicated with the whole trap thing and all. You should be able to pre-order Ghost Hunt on the Firebox site for about $48.69.


Scuffgate and Foxconn riots: Get your iPhone 5 news here!

Now that the iPhone 5 has made a splash over the weekend, it is now time to report the downside.

The phone has had the fastest selling pre-order to date, but there has been reports that the new iPhone has been picking up scratches. Some have reported that there are scratches right out of the box, and some have reported that the iPhone 5 picked up more scratches over the weekend then downloaded apps.

The apparent cause of the scratches could be related to the anodized aluminum used for the iPhone 5 to make it lighter, and since it is softer, it is more prone to scratches.

Here we go again. Perhaps you might remember when the iPhone 4 came out, there was that whole Antennagate thing. Apparently, if you had an iPhone 4 back then, it would lose connectivity. This prompted a whole line of accessories and cases to prevent this, and I suppose that we are now entering “Scuffgate”.

In a related story, the Foxconn plant in China, which makes the iPhones, has just experienced a riot. For years, I have been hearing stories about conditions there, and they have not been good. After the riot, over 5,000 officers were dispatched to the scene.

Of course, people are concerns that the Foxconn riot will cause problems with the iPhone 5, which is out of stock in many locations already.

Source 1 and Source 2

Jarre Aeroskull, speakers in the shape of a skull

You know how Christmas seems to come earlier each year? Perhaps the same can be said for Halloween.

I mean, when you think Halloween, you think skull-shaped things and all that stuff. Now the Jarre Aeroskull is that, as it is a skull with sunglasses.

It has 15 Watt speakers as well as a 40 watt subwoofer. It does have that thing to connect older models of the iPhone, but you will need an adapter for that new iPhone 5.

You should be able to purchase the Jarre Aeroskull sometime in October for about £349 a pop from October onwards.


iMpulse is a Bluetooth Controller and keychain for the smartphone

As I peruse the blogs for potential stuff to write about, I am getting good at noticing what is a Kickstarter project.

For those who don’t know what Kickstarter is, it is where inventors post their wares online. You can give money for it, and the device will be given to you when it is eventually created and marketed.

So here is the first rule that it is a Kickstarter project: is it useful? In this case, it is the iMpulse Bluetooth controller, as it is a gaming controller from your iOS or Android device. Not only that, it works as a keychain, and you can use it to find your keys.

Seriously, it is very useful. This is how I knew it was a Kickstarter project, because no one technology company has put this out yet.

This is really too bad, isn’t it? Well, I am certain that someone is going to pick up on this. If you want to see this now, go to Kickstarter and donate $30.


Both Turtle Beach and Skullcandy have new gaming headphones

Every once in a while, I see some new pair of gaming headphones, like the GameCom 780 from Plantronics. It would appear that Turtle Beach is coming out with headphones for the Wii U.

Yeah, the Wii U is not out yet. What you will see is the Ear Force NLa, which has in-line volume control, microphone, and should be available for $35. Then there is the Ear Force N11 with 50mm speakers and cost about $50.

Then there is Skullcandy, who is putting out three new gaming headsets. First is the SLYR, an entry-level set which is wired and has a foldable boom mic for about $80. Then there is the PLYR 2 or the PLYR 1 with a rotating boom mic on the left earcup, and a right cup with a power button, EQ switch, mini-USB port and volume/mix/balance control.

Yeah this is all very cool. Can we get more stuff on this please?

Source 1 and Source 2

Tobii unveils an eye-tracking ibeam tablet

I think we all know that the tablet market is getting bigger with the iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Imagine a world where tablets use not only a touchscreen tablet, but eye-tracking. Yeah, just imagine opening an application just by looking at it. It has some embedded eye tracking from Tobii, and they are working with NTT DoCoMo to create this fun tablet.

The purpose is to create a tablet for the handicapped, but it is only a concept for now. However, I can see an entire fleet of eye-tracking gadgets. Now, is there a way to do eye-typing? I could get used to this.


The Toshiba Camileo BW20 camcorder, both durable and waterproof

It’s always good to have some portable cameras that are ready for the stress of life. and the newest would be the Toshiba Camileo BW20 camcorder.

The BW20 is waterproof up to 16 feet under water, and it is quite durable. It can stand a drop of five feet, and it is a step up from the BW10 released in the previous year.

As for other specs, the BW20 has a f/2.2 aperture lens, and it has video image stabilization, an HDMI output port, as well as full 1080p HD photo and video capability.

You should be able to get the Toshiba Camileo BW camcorder in red or black for $129.99.