Archive for March, 2013

The CODA One Bluetooth speakers/handset from bCODA

B-Coda Coda OneMost Bluetooth speakers that I have seen are usually designed for sitting on a desk or shelf, and bring forth music from a smartphone or other Bluetooth device.

The Coda One, designed by a company known as bCODA is quite different. The Coda One is smaller, and yet it can produce some pretty loud sound.

Of course, I say that about a lot of Bluetooth speakers that I review, probably every one, if you want to be honest. The Coda One is very cool as it can do hands-free phone calls. Yeah, a lot of Bluetooth speakers can do that, but this Coda One looks like a phone.

Yeah, the Coda One is quite cool, and features vocal command for answering and ignoring phone calls. You should be able to find the Coda One for about $99.99.

Posted by on March 31st, 2013 No Comments

Festo’s BionicOpter robot dragonfly

bionicptr9807adfk078dfasWhat you are seeing in this image is not a real dragonfly, but the BionicOpter by a German company called Festo. This is a drone, like the ones I wrote about last week like the Savior Aerial Robot and the others.

The BionicOpter is about one and a half feet long, and its wings are very much like a dragonfly. You can even watch it in slow motion after the jump, and it really looks like something from nature.

Festo can operate through a smartphone, and it should be available sometime in April. I have no idea what this will be used for, but I suppose if you have any dreams of flying armies of drones, the Festo could be the standard.

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Posted by on March 31st, 2013 No Comments

BlueAnt Q3 Bluetooth headset

BlueAnt Q3BlueAnt has been quite an influential player in the Bluetooth headset business, and I personally believe that every smartphone owner should own a Bluetooth headset just so I don’t see them behind the wheel with one hand glued to the ear.

The BlueAnt Q3 allows the user to have “true-to-life” conversations. As someone who has tried it out for myself, I will agree to this, and I see on the website that it has double the bandwith between the phone and the earpiece. It has a speaker driver and dual microphones, and the headset even had Wind Armour Technology for noise reduction and echo cancellation.

The Q3 also has a “conference mode” made into the earpiece, and there is a lot of one-button functionality. For example, you can push a button and say “check battery”, and it will tell you how much battery life is in the phone and the headset. Then there is the whole speaking “Answer” and “Ignore” when the phone rings.

One thing that I love about the Q3 is the shape. It has a very curvaceous nature to it that looks extremely futuristic and yet contemporary at the same time. Most Bluetooth headsets aren’t really into the aesthetic quality of craft, but this one took me by surprise.

You should be able to get the Q3 Premium Smartphone Earpiece on the BlueAnt site for about $99.99 here in regular and Platinum.

Posted by on March 31st, 2013 No Comments

Speculative Fiction Friday: The Hellboy films

film_hellboy6_pistole061511For some reason, I decided to have Hellboy week. Part of it was that I discovered the first movie on Netflix, and the found its sequel at the library. I once heard that studios did not want to touch a project called “Hellboy”, and I think the reasons are pretty obvious. Does anyone really want to see a film where a devil is the hero?

Well, if Christians avoid Hellboy movies for that reason,they shouldn’t. The movie story isn’t about a devil, per se. I have no idea if the comic book is any different, but it was created by a talented artist named Mike Mignola, who created some really cool art back in the eighties. I can’t speak for the comic book version, but the film Hellboy shows an escaped creature from a hellish “but not necessarily a literal hell” dimension, who grows up raised by a kind doctor named Trevor Bruttenholm, and works for the BRPD (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense).

Hellboy is kind of a mix of Men in Black mixed with Ghostbusters. That is, Hellboy hunts down harmful paranormal manifestations, but must always work in secret. Hellboy has two companions on his missions, one of them is an aquatic being named Abe Sapien, and the other is his girlfriend, Liz Sherman, who is pryokinetic (she can make fire at will).

I would have to say that I was not too impressed with the first Hellboy movie. I remember thinking that the plot was a little silly as it dealt with Grigori Rasputin trying to destroy the world by releasing the Ogdru Jahad or whatever. For some reason, I was more impressed with Hellboy 2, as it really showed how wide the world of the BRPD actually was. In that one, Hellboy met all kinds of creatures and the plot was due to a lost civilization who could not live in the world with humans. There was a lot of interesting stuff in that film, and yet it could still slow down so Hellboy and Abe can sing “I Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow.

Perhaps the saving grace of the Hellboy films is that the main character is “destined” to bring about the destruction of the world, and yet all Hellboy wants to do is just be an ordinary person, which his appearance always negates. I find there is something that I can relate to with that. The message of Christianity is that humans can be redeemed from their own destruction, and it is comforting to see something similar on screen.

I haven’t hear anything about a Hellboy 3 as yet, but I wonder if they are working on it.

Posted by on March 29th, 2013 No Comments

Egyptian Coast Guard Arrests Divers Cutting Undersea Internet Cable

egyptian-divers-cut-undersea-cableFor the past few days, people in Egypt have been experiencing some problems with the Internet. Apparently, the Egyptian coast guards found a fishing boat near Alexandria, and these divers were cutting through undersea Internet cables.

The cable is owned by Egypt Telecom, the country’s monopoly landline provider which is an important link in the Internet chain. So far, there is been no word on why anyone would want to cut this cable.

Personally, I can only assume that someone wanted to cause some serious chaos. I believe that there is a lot of business that is tied into the Internet, including my own. I honestly don’t know if there is a way to shut the Internet off, but I always thought it would be something that a James Bond villain would try in order to do…something.

Yeah, the motives don’t make sense here. I really hope this is the last that we hear about that, and someone isn’t trying to take the Internet down.

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Posted by on March 29th, 2013 No Comments

Lyric Duo 2-in-1 Bluetooth Speaker from Digital Treasures

lyrixYes, I have done a lot of reviews of Bluetooth Speakers, and after a while, I begin to forget what’s what. I find a lot of things unique with the Lyrix Duo Bluetooth speaker from Digital Treasures.

The Lyrix Duo speaker has a suction cup that will allow it to affix to some smooth surfaces. It has a range of about 33 feet of working wireless range, and has a battery range of 4 hours.

What really makes the Lyrix Duo awesome is how the wireless receiver can be separated from the speaker itself, and then used with any speaker set with a 3.5 mm plug.

The Lyrix Duo is available in shade of red and blue, for about $50.

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Posted by on March 29th, 2013 No Comments

Hands on with the SwingTIP

Swing TipI am not the type of person who is a golfer, but I know people that are. So I suppose I probably could have titled this article: “My friend’s review of the SwingTIP”.

The SwingTIP is a device that you clip on a golf club, and it will give you “Real-Time Golf Swing Analysis”. This is because the SwingTIP can sync to a an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth, and you can get some stats on your golf swing.

What kind of stats? Well, there is the Swing Review, to analyze all aspects of a swing. There is also Swing Path to compare a swing path and swing plane from multiple angles. Then there is the club speed, and the sweet spot. Then there is Face Angle and Swing Tempo.

In all honesty, I don’t really know what a lot of this means. Fortunately, I have a friend who is a PGA member, and I had him go over it. He told me that the Club Speed was accurate, but he stated that the Swing Review and Swing Path looked a little too inaccurate.

I suppose, in the final summary, I’m going to have to say that the SwingTIP is good at analyzing one’s game, provided it is spot-on accurate to begin with. You can get some serious stats on your game.

You should be able to get the SwingTIP Sensor Package for about $129.99 on the main site.

Posted by on March 28th, 2013 No Comments

Sun and Cloud Cameras charge with the sun and crank

sun-cloud-camera-xl1I think we all have come accustomed to a world where every device that we want to use has to be charged, either with USB or just plugging it into the wall. This Sun and Cloud camera could be the world’s self-sustaining camera.

The Sun and Cloud camera has a solar panel up on top, so you can rely on the power of the sun to power this camera. You can also use the hand crank to get a kinetic energy charge that will power it up. It looks a lot like an old-time movie camera from the silent-film era.

The camera comes with a 3 Megapixel sensor and it comes with 15 types of filters inside. It also has a LED light, and video is stored on a microSD card for up to 2GB or a micro SDHC for 16GB.

This is a pretty big camera at 6 x 6 x 8 inches, which is nothing compared to the one on your smartphone. Personally, I think we are getting to the point where stand-alone cameras are becoming a thing of the past. More on that one later, I think.

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Posted by on March 28th, 2013 No Comments

Savior Aerial robot, a quadrocopter that drops life preservers

svrrobopars11It seems like just yesterday that I was talking about all the wondrous things that drones such as quadrocopters can do. Oh wait, it was yesterday.

I wish that I could have talked about this yesterday, but this Savior Aerial Robot is a quadrocopter robot that can really save lives. Imagine if someone was drowning, and a quadrocopter hovered above them and dropped a life preserver on top of them. Hopefully, the drowning victim would have enough sense to grab it.

Yeah, this sounds cool. These Aerial robots would have GPS and would be at solar-powered charging stations when not in use.

Of course, this is concept tech, so who knows when this will be available. Seriously, anyone know? I suppose that if there is ever a need for an all-robot version of Baywatch, this particular robot will be the star.

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Posted by on March 28th, 2013 No Comments

Puzzle keyboard allows changing of key setup

keyboardI have contemplated that traditional QWERTY keyboards might not be the best way to learn to type, but since we all learned on them we have become accustomed to them.

I think the era of mobile typing may have changed that, and I have seen new typing methods like Minuum that will help usher in a new era. This Puzzle keyboard could also change things as well.

Designed by Wan Fu Chun, it simply allows the user to arrange the keys in ways that are most convenient to the user. Granted, most of us learned on a QWERTY, and it could take a while to relearn this method.

I have to admit that I don’t like the idea of relearning a system that I have been using for decades. If it could allow me to type faster, then yes, but how in the world am I going to figure out what form of the keys will make me type faster?

Well, this is a concept for now, and we’ll see how this works.

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Posted by on March 27th, 2013 No Comments