In keeping with the role-playing theme of Coffee Talk #43, I wanted to see which Dungeons & Dragons alignment describes you best. Make a choice and if you have time, elaborate in the comments section. I’m going to have to give my answer some thought….
Michael Weston has uploaded a video of the Pandora handheld gaming system, which combines an open-source OS with a powerful ARM Cortex A-8 CPU and a PowerVR SGX GPU. While it’s not going to put a dent in Nintendo’s market share, it’s an interesting look at the potential future of handheld gaming. Pandora is a potent portable that also lets you tackle basic computing needs. Check out the video after the break!
Google has announced that its Chrome web browser is now available for Mac OS. I love Chrome on Windows and know that a few of you are total Macheads. Let me know what you think of Chrome for Mac OS when you have a chance.
Cooler than anything I’ve ever seen at Lush (and I love Lush) is DigitalSoaps’ NES controller-shaped soap. I’ve already filed it under “completely awesome”. It’s not just the retro-console coolness of this soap. The fact that it’s scented with Mountain Dew fragrance oil gives this soap major bonus points…mostly because I’m astounded that there’s such a thing as Mountain Dew fragrance oil.
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.
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….
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 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”.
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.”
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.