Archive for the ‘ gadgets ’ Category

Seen in Macau: LED Billboards

Seen in Macau: LED Billboards, originally uploaded by mdelamerced.

Not too far from the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral is this LED
billboard.

Super sized Nintendo DSi

Nintendo announced a few days ago a new extra large DSi. It will be first released in Japan with other regions to follow in 2010. It is originally meant for “older” gamers who want a bigger screen to read and more space to use the stylus.

The DSi LL is about and inch larger than the current DSi. I guess the bigger screen also does not help with the battery life either as the the DS Lite still has the longest playtime for the handheld. Notice the bigger stylus. Now it really looks like a pen.

Judging from the screenshots, the bigger screen seem to have better graphics than it’s predecessor.

But I also know that the graphics are originally made for a specific resolution. Thus any graphical improvement if any is limited to the size of the displayed image and not from the image itself. In short, the bigger screen will not improve the quality of the graphics. Think of it like you just zoomed in an image and you’re seeing the bigger pixels.

Will I get one? I think not. If you already own the previous incarnations of the DS then there is no need to pick this one up. Unless you want to get your parents or grandparents a DS then this should be the right thing. But then there’s the issue of the cost. In Japan, the DSi LL will set you back Â¥ 20,000 ($220 USD, or Php 10,000++). This practically puts it in the same price range as the PSP Go which retails at Â¥ 26,800. Unless Nintendo phases out and drops the price on this thing I may even consider a purchase. But still, I’m still very happy with my battered DS Lite which I got a while back and the DSi doesn’t have anything that interests me right now.

I’ll wait until my current DS (knocks on wood) to die before I even think about picking this one up or if they release something so earthshaking on the DSi platform that I really must have. I think this is a safe step up for Nintendo by giving more of the same features as the original DS but incrementally adding features to keep a new crowd interested. Much like what Apple does with the iPod.

The Nintendo DS LL will be released on November 21 in Japan and early 2010 in North America and other territories.

The “Nook” is impressive


Barnes and Noble today launched their ebook competitor to Sony and Amazon called the “Nook”. And I’m impressed. The photo from Gizmodo in my rumor blog about it last week was the real thing.

Priced at $259, the same as the international edition of the Kindle 2 and the big things about it is the WiFi, color touchscreen and mini SD card support is great. They even provided a good comparison chart on how it stands against the Kindle.





It’s important to note that the Nook first creates an environment to enhance the book buying, bookstore and reading experience rather than trying to replace the dead tree books that we usually buy. You read through entire books while inside the actual Barnes and Noble bookstore which is something that you might do in real life. You can share your books with friends digitally which is something that you would do in real life.

The touch screen is a good addition but colored? I know we like to look at our book covers in color but is it really necessary? I would have preferred that the screen is colored. Particularly with books that have colored pictures to be digitally viewable in colored as well in the Nook.

For overseas users who want an ebook reader when we travel or when we live in other places outside the United States are out of luck. The Nook is just for the U.S. (for now I hope). You cannot purchase books via WiFi outside the US. The Nook uses AT&T’s 3G network so there may be hope for the rest of us living outside the US much like the Kindle.

The Nook only has 10 days of battery life compared to the Kindle’s 14. If Apple is indeed at work on a similar device it should either provide a strong argument why the battery doesn’t last for days or the technology behind it allows it to last for days.

The Nook supports various formats that you can put in a 16GB mini SD card including mp3s. It does not support text to audio like the Kindle which got Amazon into some trouble when it was released.

The Nook supports pdf, jpg, gif, png bmp, mpdf, ePub and PDB file formats. You do not have to email these documents for the provider to send it back to you for a nominal fee to be able to read it on the Nook. These can all be done by the user. Yay!

This might not be the perfect eReader out there. But it is a good first step in the right direction. Now I wish all the ebooks are published in a common format that will allow me to buy books from any digital storefront and get the book I want at the lowest price available. That would be something. Especially when we are given the opportunity to write our own books and publish it ourselves. Now that would be totally amazing.


The logo just looks a bit off for me. It looks more like a horseshoe at first glance. Very tempting to buy, but I’ll hold off until I see that device from Cupertino.

Let the eBook wars begin

Some details and pictures have leaked in Gizmodo.

Amazon has a reader. Sony has a reader and soon Barnes and Noble will have their own. The B&N device seems to overcome the shortcomings of the other two such as the inability to read under bright light and the difficulties of extended reading on a screen even though it’s been designed to look like paper.

This device seems like it will put up a good fight with the other two. Add to the fact that B&N has retail stores out there far more than Sony Style stores to sell these readers to the masses.

Now if only everyone could agree on a common format so we can buy books from anywhere we want or even support any files we put into it, then that would be an eBook dream. It’s still quite far away for me to think of giving up my dead tree books. But with all the competition heating up someone is bound to listen to the masses and finally bring out the reader that we all could live with.

The Kindle has books will now ship international

In case you haven’t heard, the Kindle will dropping prices to $259 and will now be available to international customers for purchase on October 19. Or is it really international?

Logging into the Amazon website will greet you with a special message from Jeff Bezos announcing the price reduction of the Kindle from $299 to $259 and the introduction of an international edition for $279.

I was so excited about the announcement and checked about the availability of the device in my part of the world and I came upon this. I wonder why they couldn’t price the device the same. Then I remembered that Sprint provides the US Whispernet coverage while AT & T will provide the international coverage. Technically the wireless capability of the two is vastly different from one another which results in the difference in price. I just wish they could source out both parts to be equally priced and offer it at the same price. I know it’s just twenty dollars but that’s a lot of money nowadays.

Moving on, Amazon seems a bit vague about the capability and network coverage in my area in their “helpful” guide to the international Kindle.


Assuming it’s still the same device as the current Kindle aside from the hardware of the whispernet, these devices are locked to specific carriers and not user servicable. Meaning if you do buy it for your region outside the US you cannot remove the AT & T sim card I’ll assume to place in your local provider. Which means the cost of sending the book over whispernet to you in an international location will cost the user an additional $1.99.

Is the $1.99 worth it for the Kindle? Well it depends on how many books do you intend on buying? There’s the issue of sales tax, duties and whatnot that greedy governments like the Philippines charge. Yes they tax books here and there was this whole fight about it. It turned out that the tax exemption for books only applied to the large bookstores and not the individual buyer of let’s say Amazon. To top it off, they will make you go through the arduous of filling out the forms and sending the forms to the appropriate government instutution just to get you tax refund.

So yes, in my opinion the $1.99 is worth paying just to avoid the troubles when claiming your books, you’ll have the instant gratification of having the book in minutes from almost anywhere, and to keep the government paws off your hard earned money when buying books that you want.

I love what the Kindle offers and I’m currently enjoying that through my iPod via the Kindle app from the iTunes App Store. I currently have five books on it and it has served me well. Sure the screen is a bit tiny for reading but it does the job for me at the moment.

Will I get the Kindle? Yes. But not until the price goes to $199 for the international edition. I think that is the sweet spot for many in buying the Kindle. Unless everyone is waiting for Apple to jump into the fray with their own tablet next year, then that’s something else entirely.

Goodbye Morgan, you will be missed

WebbAlert – Your Daily Tech Roundup

Posted on webbalert.com, Morgan Webb of Tech TV/ G4/ XPlay/ cover girl and gamer announced on her website that she will no longer continue with Webb Alert, the almost daily tech podcast. Also one of the few I listen to.

I looked forward to the Webbalert podcast to provide me with some tech news and such. I even remember her being a guest on Tekzilla on how she made the podcast.

I also found it amazing on how she made her podcast even while on the road while she went to the Tokyo Game Show among others.

It’s good in a way that she’s doing a lot more for G4 and X-Play being it’s top gaming show. But on the other hand, is it because she doesn’t have any sponsors for her show anymore. But at least she’s not off the air completely. I sure do hope that she will not forget this endeavor and in the future may decide to revive Webbalert.

Now all we have to follow is X-Play and G4. I wonder if we can follow her on twitter…

Other uses for your iPod Touch

iPod touch M110 sniper rifle: another reason to fear the Cult of Apple – Engadget

Posted over in Engadget, the iPod Touch was loaded with software that will help you with your marksmanship. Just fill in the blanks to know the changes that wind, weather and distance will make to your shots and fire away.

Now available in the iTunes App store so no jail breaking is required.