Toshiba Cell Processor TV Available This Week

Toshiba Cell TV

Toshiba has been promising a Cell-based television for years and it’s finally set to deliver this week (in Japan) with the Cell Regza 55X1. Some people forget that the Cell processor is the product of a nefarious triumvirate joint venture between Sony, IBM, and Toshiba. While Sony uses Cell as the heart of its PlayStation 3 console and IBM has all sorts of Cell-based supercomputers, Toshiba hasn’t had anything to show for its investment. That changes on Thursday.

Here are some bullet points from Toshiba’s press release illustrating what Cell does for the 55X1:

  • CELL Platform Super Resolution Technology that builds on Toshiba’s current super resolution technology to offer unmatched picture quality.
  • Self-congruency, a dedicated process that improves image quality at the edge of the picture.
  • Enhanced color and brightness balance that improves picture color and definition.
  • LED backlight control system. In the CELL REGZA, the display is divided into 512 distinct areas, each with individually controlled lighting. Luminance is pushed to an industry high of 1250cd/m2, 2.5 times the level of typical TVs, and the dynamic contrast ratio is an astonishing 5,000,000:1.

In other words, this television will look better than yours. The Cell Regza 55X1 will be available in Japan this Thursday for around $11,000.

Scooter + Roller Luggage = Airport Lawsuit Waiting to Happen

Trolley Scooter

Micro Mobility’s scooter luggage seems like a good idea on paper. It combines carry-on luggage with a scooter that can help you zip through the airport. In reality, I think it’s a horrendous idea. I can easily picture a college fraternity kid knocking down an old lady at an airport or an old man overestimating his scooting prowess, throwing out a hip. While there are things this product can potentially help, I think its capacity for evil is much greater.

Then again, this thing might be useful at E3. I can store press kits in the luggage and perform hit-and-runs on company mascots I despise. Hmmm….


Vodka in a Pill?!?

Grey Goose vodka

I’m hoping this is a joke, but The Times of India has reported that a Russian scientist had discovered a way for vodka to be produced in capsule form. The site noted:

Russian professor Evgeny Moskalev of Saint Petersburg Technological University has evolved a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder and packing it in pills. The new technique can solidify any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer.

As a fan of vodka (and really any quality alcohol), I find this disturbing. I can see a bunch of idiots on spring break popping pills of booze instead of learning to appreciate smooth vodka, bourbon, whiskey, rum, etc. I would hate to see my beloved Grey Goose reduce to a capsule — totally kills the point of savoring each sip. (And yes, I know there are plenty of vodkas better than GG, but it’s really easy to find.)

Like I said at the top, I hope this is just a joke.


Google Reveals More Details on Chrome OS

Google has unveiled details on its upcoming Chrome operating system. This open-source, lightweight OS relies heavily on the Internet for functionality and is being designed for netbooks. Its narrow focus eliminates a lot of the headaches involved with a traditional operating system, but also limits its capabilities. A post on Google’s blog revealed:

It’s all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.

Second, because all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn’t trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer.

The concept behind Chrome OS sounds great and I could totally work with it. The bad news for Google is that there are a lot of people that can’t work with a cloud OS. The bad news for tech geeks like me is that Chrome OS won’t be out until “this time next year”.

Also, the guy narrating the video is a nob, but he’s not nearly as bad as the toolbox that Square Enix hired for its Final Fantasy XIII video. Anyway, let me know what you think of Chrome OS. Is it something you could use? Would you buy a Chrome OS netbook?


California Restricts Television Power Consumption

Samsung LED Backlit TV

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, lower power consumption, and maintain the state’s reputation as the hippiest in America, the California Energy Commission has set strict guidelines that would require televisions to use less power. According to SF Gate:

The new rules, adopted unanimously by the California Energy Commission, will require manufacturers to cut the power televisions use by one-third in two years and in half by 2013 by setting wattage ceilings.

Consumers are expected to save $8.1 billion in energy costs over a 10-year period as a result of the restrictions, without sacrificing high-definition pictures, the commission said. The panel also cited a study that showed the energy savings could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million metric tons a year — the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road — in part by eliminating the need for a new power plant.

While environmental groups are applauding the effort, consumer electronics advocates are not. Doug Johnson, senior director of technology for the Consumer Electronics Association said, “This is a constraint on innovation and on consumer choice. It’s unnecessary and unjustified.”

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Anti-Handshaking Movement Gets Pretentious Awareness Wristbands — Skip the Shake, Fight the Flu

Skip the Shake Fight the Flu

Ever since Lance Armstrong started pushing those LiveStrong rubber bracelets in 2004 to raise money and awareness for cancer research, every cause has gotten its own rubber wristband. Hundreds of great non-profit organizations used similar bands to spread their messages. Sadly, most of the ones churned out today are used to promote for-profit products. This makes most of them easy to ignore, but Skip the Shake’s got my attention.

Skip the Shake is selling its wristbands in order to get people to stop spreading germs by shaking hands. The bracelet reads, “Skip the Shake, Fight the Flu.” While the company does have a point about spreading germs, wearing a rubber band to show that you care enough not to shake hands is a little ridiculous…like something ridiculous enough for Larry David to do in Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s so silly that I might pick one up.

Source via TechCrunch

Ever Wonder What Google Does with All Your Info?

Well wonder no more, because Google Dashboard is here! In an effort to be more transparent, Google has unveiled a new product that gives you a better understanding of what it does with your 411 and convenient control over a breadth of Google products. The official Google Blog stated:

In an effort to provide you with greater transparency and control over their own data, we’ve built the Google Dashboard. Designed to be simple and useful, the Dashboard summarizes data for each product that you use (when signed in to your account) and provides you direct links to control your personal settings. Today, the Dashboard covers more than 20 products and services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts, Latitude and many more.

As a Google disciple, I love having a single destination that gives me an overview of all my Google usage. Check out the video below for more information on Google Dashboard. If you’ve had a chance to play around with it, I’d love to hear what you think.

Use Twitter to Help Save Honey Bees #HelpHoneyBees

Honey Bee

Sure, bees are pretty much bastards, but honey is pretty awesome. More importantly, it’s sad that honey bees have been disappearing at an alarming rate over the last few years. Bees are extremely important for pollenization; several specials of flora and numerous vital crops depend on bees. You can help save honey bees through a simple Twitter message. TechCrunch has reported:

Running through November 11, Häagen-Dazs will pay $1 for the first 500 people that tweet everyday with the hashtag #HelpHoneyBees. The money will go towards both a UC Davis research project to further look into Colony Collapse Disorder, as well as help fund the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, which aims to teach people about how to create their own honeybee farms.

I encourage everyone with a Twitter account to send a message that includes “#HelpHoneyBees”. The effort is minimal and you’d be helping a great cause.

Lastly, in the immortal words of Eddie Izzard, “I’m covered in bees!!!”


Google Wave Being Used for Pen-and-Paper RPGs

Google Wave role playing

Google Wave is being positioned as a revolutionary collaborative messaging tool with the potential to change how people communicate for business. It still has a long ways to get there, but for now it’s a fantastic geek toy. In addition to being a fine tool to make hilarious YouTube videos, Google Wave is being used for pen-and-paper role-playing games. Ars Tehnica’s Jon Stokes reported:

I wasn’t the least bit surprised to quickly discover a handful of Wave-based roleplaying games already in progress, and many more in various stages of planning. In the past few days, I’ve watched games from the sideline and talked to some Game Masters and gamers—there seems to be an emerging consensus that Google Wave has as much RPG potential as any platform since the venerable and proverbial tabletop.

This is just awesome, awesome stuff. I’m pretty sure that Google didn’t have epic Dungeons & Dragons sessions in mind when it came up with the idea for Google Wave. While I still think it has great potential as a business tool, I’m loving that it’s being used for things like D&D and recreating Pulp Fiction. Whenever you get your Google Wave invite, be sure to bust out your D20!


Sega Console Zippo Lighters Completely Rule!

Sega Genesis Lighter

Are you longing for the days when Sega was a major player in the console world? Do you also happen to need a lighter? Well you’re in luck! Andriasang has reported on two completely awesome Zippo lighters — one with a Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) design and the other shaped like a Sega Saturn!!! The site’s Anoop Gantayat wrote:

The lighters are officially known as the “Sega Memorial Hardware Zippo Lighter No.1 Mega Drive Model” and “Sega Memorial Hardware Zippo Lighter No. 2 Sega Saturn Model.” This seems to suggest that more variations are on the way.

You’re going to have to pay a bit to smoke so stylishly. Banpresto is charging ¥10,500 for each lighter. That’s the price of a later day Genesis, and you won’t get Sonic as a pack-in.

Even though these lighters cost over $100 each, I’m so tempted to pick one up. What’s cooler than lighting a girl’s cigarette and showing her how much you loved the 16-bit era? (Don’t answer that.)

Hit the break for a pic of the Sega Saturn lighter and lemme know what you think (please)!

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