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Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

BenQ P50 smartphone is finally for sale


It’s been a long time coming. The BenQ P50 PDA phone was unveiled at last year’s CES, but is only hitting shelves now. Believe me, your patience will be rewarded, my young business-minded padwan. Powered by an Intel PXA272 416Mhz processor, 64MB of SDRAM, and 64MB of Flash ROM, this happy black smartphone packs quite a wallop. The interface is ...

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Nokia’s emergency response phone


Think of it as the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” phone but for muggees and kidnappees. Nokia has applied for a patent for a new mobile technology that would allow users to automatically summon emergency help by pushing two buttons on the sides of the phone. The handset would then automatically record pictures and sounds via the integrated ...

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Motorola goes for high-fidelity sound with JBL


With the proliferation of music phones, sound quality has become an important issue for buyers. Motorola recognizes this growing need and has thus teamed up with JBL to provide what they call “unmatched music and communications experiences.” JBL is a division of Harman International, which also includes such high-end names as Infinity, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson and Lexicon. Both home ...

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Robo-dogs not just a toy


Some people may scoff at robotic pets, like the Aibo, and say that these things made of plastic and batteries will never provide the same level of companionship as a flesh-and-blood golden retriever. Well, a recent study just might be proving these nay-sayers wrong. The veterinary school over at Purdue University looked into the interactions that children and teenagers have ...

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Ford tests Escape Hybrid with 85% ethanol


With gas prices soaring and the environment deteriorating, environmentalists and automakers alike have been discussing alternative fuels for quite some time. Ethanol-powered hybrids are receiving some attention from Ford Motor Company, and tests have begun on an E85 Escape Hybrid. This sport utility vehicle runs on a mixture of regular gasoline and up to 85% ethanol (hence, the E85), designed ...

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Toyota Camry now in NASCAR


The stereotype goes that NASCAR is reserved for rednecks to argue over which American manufacturer is best. The picture just got a touch more complex as Toyota announced that they will be entering a NASCAR’ed out Camry into the mix, joining in on the hundreds and hundreds of laps on Sundays. The NASCAR tracks have traditionally been the battlegrounds between ...

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USB flash drive with external LCD. Smart.


Everybody and their mother is releasing USB portable storage devices these days, so anything that can give you a leg up on the competition, particularly if it’s actually useful, is something you’d want to look into. Didigo’s offering includes an external LCD that’ll tell you a bunch of useful information, like amount of free space and the names of stored ...

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Voicebox helps your XM radio go hands-free


IBM has teamed up with VoiceBox and the result is an XM Satellite Radio that you can tell what to do. Implementing IBM’s speech recognition solution, you can now be cruising down the interstate and change radio stations with a simple voice command. You don’t even need to adhere to awkward scripted commands — you can almost pretend your radio ...

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New UTStarcom multimedia phone for Verizon


If you’re in the market for a cell phone with mobile music and video capabilities, Verizon Wireless has a new addition to its line compliments of UTStarcom that will address both of these desires. The shiny black CDM8945 Music Phone goes hand-in-hand with Verizon’s new V CAST Music service, allowing users to tap into the company’s EV-DO broadband network. Hook ...

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LGE shows 25% growth in 2005


LG Electronics, one of Korea’s biggest mobile phone makers, demonstrated significant growth last year, selling 55 million handsets worldwide. This is a full 25% more than the 44 million unit figure recorded for 2004. The rise in cell phone sales was particularly pronounced in the Q4 2005 where the company sold 16.2 million units worldwide. A large part of this ...

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Mercedes jumps into MP3 market?


Other auto manufacturers have already put their emblems and branding on a handful of multimedia devices, and Mercedes-Benz seems to be jumping all over the bandwagon. There’s no telling how legitimate this product is, and how much of an official endorsement it’s receiving, given that the only information available is from the product page… which happens to be completely in ...

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Nano clone goes golden, adds video


Sure, there’s already a wide selection of iPod wannabes out there, but this is the first time I’ve come across anything that sports 24-karat gold. The once bankrupt Jens of Sweden is launching a new multimedia player that, according to the company, comes in “nano format”. Like its Apple cousin, the Jens MP-500 does the standard audio and voice recorder ...

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Lindy locks down your USB port


Lindy has launched a USB Port lock that offers a simple, easy way to secure your USB port to prevent passive data theft. It’s not a software solution, so people can still steal files through your network. It won’t lock down your floppy drive or optical disc burner either, but hey, you can prevent someone from shoving their USB thumb ...

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A cool lap dance for your notebook


You’re desperately trying to get that term paper done, but your laptop is setting your thighs on fire? Cooler Master has just what the doctor ordered. Their line of all-aluminium Notepal coolers include those compatible with 15- and 17-inch laptops, as well as a set for your Apple widescreen. A pair of quiet 2.8-inch fans help cool down your notebook ...

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Acer imbeds more acronyms into Core Duo laptops


Just as Wi-Fi cards have become a thing of the past with integrated wireless-G these days, it was only a matter of time before laptops took the next step and started imbedding connectivity for other wireless standards. Sony has GPRS/EDGE-enabled units, and Lenovo has a HSDPA-equipped offering, but Acer is claiming to be the first to do all of the ...

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