Authors Posts by Raggy Jin

Raggy Jin


Battle of the Backup Batteries: Hands-on with Portable Power Chargers

With every generation of smartphone -- soon with quad-core superphones -- comes bigger screens, faster GPUs and speedier network connections. This quite often results in shorter battery life. Not to mention all the googling, random fact checking, and tweets we're punching out, battery life is a huge issue.

World’s first 3D, HD-recording binoculars set for release from Sony

The DEV 3D HD video recording binoculars from Sony record full 1080p HD video in either 2D or 3D, offering three hours of 2D recording time on a single charge. More impressive, though, is the stereo mic with audio input, two Exmor R CMOS sensors, dual f/1.8-3.4, 0.5-10x optical zoom lenses and Memory Stick Pro Duo and SDXC support.

Boeing UAVs copy insect swarms for reconnaissance missions

Boeing's newest "swarm” is inspired by the flight and teamwork of insects. Tests in eastern Oregon last month saw different types of UAVs — two Insitu-manufactured ScanEagles and one Procerus Unicorn from The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory — were working together using the swarm system to map out the terrain and create waypoints for teams on the ground.

New Kindle 3G replaces fees with ads

The new ad-sponsored Kindle 3G will be sold for about $90, with no data plan, contract or monthly fees. But I imagine it’s going to take a lot of ads to gain back the money they’ll be losing on 3G fees.

Coming soon to Starbucks: Free iOS “App of the Week” cards

Starbucks is going to start giving out free "App of the Week" cards, just like they did with the free "Song of the Week" cards. First up, is Shazam Encore, the $5.99 iOS app that helps you identify songs playing on the radio, in the pub — or in Starbucks.

RIM accidentally shows off HTC phone in Torch release party vid

In BlackBerry’s latest promotional video, the company accidentally showed off clips of their event guests sending messages on what looks like an HTC Incredible 2 — an Android phone. The company quickly pulled the video, but not before managed to download it to YouTube.

Google ups the ante by adding Weather to Maps

Google has upgraded their maps with a new layer: Weather. So not only do you know where you’re going or what landmarks to look for when you get there, but you’ll know how many layers to wear, and the cloud cover, wind speed, ocean surface currents and whether or not you’ll need an umbrella hat, too.

Ashton Kutcher’s 1,100 square-foot trailer redefines “excessive”

Ashton Kutcher's 1,100 square-foot semi “trailer” comes complete with seven flat-screen TVs, two levels, two bathrooms, granite countertops and a conference space, this behemoth needs hydraulic expansion and retraction areas to meet U.S. transportation laws’ size requirements while on the road.

Creepy singing robot head has long years of service ahead of...

Artificial Intelligence may not be contained to the manufacturing industries forever. In fact, it might not be long before human customer service workers and receptionists are a thing of the past. Chyi-Yeu Lin and colleagues at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology have built a singing, disembodied animatronic robot head that will someday put every last unskilled desk clerk and Walmart greeter in the unemployment line once and for all.

Kindle hits the cloud

Amazon’s new “Cloud Reader” web app is now available for use on Safari and Chrome, promising the look and feel of the Kindle reader on any internet connection.

Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from the EU

German courts have ruled in Apple’s favour in the California company’s latest lawsuit against Samsung. The ruling states that no Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets will be sold in the European Union (Netherlands excluded) due to alleged infringement of both patents and style. Any store who infringes on the ban and continues to sell the device will face either $350,000 fines or imprisonment of management.

Rectenna gleans electricity from radio, Wi-Fi waves

Two companies in Japan have created new lines of devices capable of powering small electronics using electricity from various radio and wireless signals in their environments. The first was developed cooperatively by Tokyo Electron Device and Powercast in the U.S., and can draw up to 2.5 milliamperes out of 800 MHz cell phone signals.

The skinny on the iPhone 5 design

With the release of the iPhone 5 around the corner, the rumours are ramping up once more. The latest: The Slim iPhone 5. Started by...

Enter: The world’s smallest battery

American researchers at the Rice University in Houston, Texas have created the world’s smallest battery, fabricated with an array of nanowires measuring only 150 nanometres wide — thousands of times smaller than a human hair.

The Tornado Hunters’ 6,300 kilo armored tank

Do you remember that scene in Twister where the man and lady tie themselves to a gas pipe with a leather belt and see the guts of a passing tornado? Me too. But apparently that was a tad unrealistic. In reality, you would need an American-built pickup truck, loaded down with 3,600 kilos (7,937 lbs) of steel armour — and one hell of a ballsy videographer.

Acoustic interface promises lossless recording of oldschool guitars

Fellow buskers: Would you pay $70 to be able to record your music with the same sound and body available to electric-wielders? If so, Alesis AcousticLink might what you're looking for. With a clamp-on acoustic pickup, Cubase LE software and integration with GarageBand, Protools or Studio One, Alesis’ new acoustic recording equipment also eliminates the need for costly and troublesome mic-ing trials.

Canadian researchers create surgery-less facial-reconstruction goo

Imagine leper colonies transformed: Noses for all. Pamela Anderson without scars. A Michael Jackson who died pretty. All of these things may soon become an affordable reality for future generations thanks to one team of Canucks’ new surgery-less facial-reconstruction goo.

3D hard on the eyes: Journal of Vision

Do 3D movies hurt your eyes? How about your 3DS' or 3D smartphone’s screen? If so, you may not be alone. According to a new study in the Journal of Vision, the small screens on mobile devices, as well as stereo-3D, can be very hard on the eyes, causing discomfort, fatigue and headaches.

MacBook Pro may soon resemble MacBook Air

We won’t know any time soon whether it’s true, but the rumour mill has already conjured up the newest edition to the MacBook lineup: MacBook Pros in MacBook Air bodies.

Apple’s new rules might kill in-app shopping

Gone are the days of in-app book and music purchases thanks to new rules from Apple. The scheme, which came into effect this month, deducts 30 per cent of each in-app sale – say, ebooks, mp3s or extra levels in game apps. The decision has led Amazon, Kobo, Rhapsody and various other companies to remove the ability to shop from within their apps. And it drove ebookstore and reader app iFlow out of business.

Mozilla enters the OS realm with its Boot to Gecko

Mozilla has announced a new project: Boot to Gecko, or B2G for short. The intent is to create an operating system based on the most basic hardware-related aspects of Android with web-standard technologies for everything else. Somewhere between iOS and Adobe AIR, the “Gecko” operating system will initially be used for smartphones and mobile devices – though it seems positioned to grow into Mozilla’s own Chrome OS equivalent.

Researchers predict gas prices will drive consumers to EVs

Texas-based research company Zpryme released a new report today predicting that oil instability in Libya and the Middle East, contrasted with the less-volatile electricity prices and federal initiatives, may drive consumers towards electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to replace their current vehicles over the coming years.

MacBook Air: Good enough to replace the MacBook?

Reviews are pouring in about the new MacBook Air, the notebook launched alongside Apple’s OS X Lion, positioned by the company to replace the popular, entry-level white plastic MacBook. And the reviews so far have been enthusiastic, to say the least. Even the 11” model is blowing minds.

Samsung poised to outshine Apple in smartphone sales

Since the release of the Galaxy S II in May, Samsung is estimated to have sold between 18 and 21 million smartphones globally, compared to Apple's 20.3 million iPhones, the report says.

Kristen Schaal Helps Vodafone UK Pre-sell Xperia Play phones

Vodafone UK is now selling pre-orders for the March 31 launch of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play, offering the phone, six pre-loaded games, Gingerbread and a “deck stand” all free if you order at least a two year, £35 monthly contract before April 1.

Phosphor Appear’s Crystal Display Not So Liquid

Phosphor’s new “Appear” watch takes LCD to a new level: Not Liquid Crystal Display, but Literally, Crystal Display. The face of the watch is blanketed by a downright kitschy amount of Swarovski crystals, some of which actually, physically flip to reveal a black, pink or red side in order to tell time.

NeuroFocus Pushes Advertisers From Brainstorming to Brain Scanning

Is it absolutely necessary for marketers to know how quickly and to exactly what degree each portion of your brain responds to their campaigns? NeuroFocus seems to think so.

Tascam Brings Both XY and AB Stereo Recording to New DR-07...

Tascam’s update to their popular DR-07 handheld portable recorder is bringing the two popular stereo mic configurations to a single device.

Dolby’s New 3D Glasses Lighter for Theatre-goers, Cheaper for Theatre Operators

In light of the upcoming CinemaCon 2011 conference next week, Dolby’s announcing their new, lighter, cheaper 3D glasses with the hopes of gaining market share from RealD and IMAX.

Northrop Grumman En Route to Unmanned Fighter Jets, Aerial Refuelling

The unmanned aircraft sector seems to be coming of age in the U.S. military: This year’s announcement of the tiny “Hummingbird,” a tailless flying machine capable of reconnaissance and espionage, is now being followed up by Northrop Grumman’s contract to build two X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System fighter crafts for the U.S. Navy.

LG Optimus Dubbed “Thrill 4G” on AT&T

The first 3D phone to hit the U.S. will be AT&T’s version of the LG Optimus 3D, dubbed the “Thrill 4G” for American markets. With dual cameras, a dual-core 1GHz processor and a 4.3” glasses-less 3D display, the phone will undoubtedly outshine the Windows Phone 7 HTC HD7S announced for release alongside.

iClooly Desktop Phone Dock for iPhone and Android a Good Call

The dock turns any model iPhone or Android phone into a stylish desktop phone, complete with handset receiver. This means you don't have to struggle to pull your phone from your pocket when it rings, but also frees up your screen during calls to check notes or websites while you're talking.

Soldiers in Afghanistan Will Be First to Receive Enemy Gunshot Radar

U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan will be getting a tech upgrade later this month as QinetiQ unrolls its Individual Gunshot Detectors (IDG). The device is worn on the shoulder and contains four acoustic sensors that act as an acoustic radar to locate the point of origin of enemy fire.

Hanfree Stand the Next Big Thing for Your iPad

While the iPad does a lot of useful things, a lot of the things it does – displaying cookbooks, giving guitar lessons, etc. – are used while your hands are busy doing something else. Plus, reading in bed or watching movies in a lot of positions can be tiresome as you have to hold up the half-kilo device for prolonged periods.

Pepsi to Make the Switch: 100% Plant-based Bottles

According to a recent announcement from Pepsi, the 100 per cent plant-based PET bottle has been achieved – they’ll be rolling out a test run of the new bottles in 2012.

Mp3 Trojan Successfully Hacks 2009 Car Computer

Teams at the UCSD and the University of Washington have managed to hack into an unspecified 2009 vehicle using a trojan virus hidden in an Mp3 disc inserted into the audio deck. The virus allegedly altered the car stereo’s firmware creating an entry point to other components of the vehicle.

SoundBite Dental Hearing Aid Approved

The idea of using bone conduction as a means of hearing for the deaf is nothing new. Beethoven was known to have cut the legs off of his piano and sitting naked on the floor while playing after he lost his hearing so the vibrations through his body would make up for the loss of hearing.

Google Adds Charging Stations to Maps

But until it does, Google is doing their part to make the stations easier to find. The company has added the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s database of about 7,000 alternative fuelling stations to Google Maps, making it easy to find a place to charge up either before you leave on a trip or on your smartphone while you’re out.

AT&T 4G A Network Of Lies

Since the International Telecommunications buckled under pressure from cell-phone companies and redefined their definition of 4G to include any technology faster than what they had in 2009, cellular providers across the U.S. have been taking advantage of pretty words and undeserved titles to class up what is in fact not 4G. And it's not just one or two companies.

Lasers May Be the Future of Solar Cell Production

Researchers at Purdue University have successfully implemented their ultrafast laser scribing technique for thin-film solar cells, a promising innovation that may bring down production costs and boost efficiency of photovoltaics.

Xoom Firmware Update Tonight Prepares for Flash 10.2 Release March 18

Tonight Motorola will be updating the firmware on their Xoom tablets, installing the “required enhancements” to make way for upcoming Flash 10.2. That doesn’t mean you Xoomers will have the promised Flash capabilities just yet, but the company has announced on its Facebook page that 10.2 will be available for download as of March 18.

EX Drill-Powered Electric Trike Unlike Anything Else. Period.

Growing up, I was always told to use the right tool for a job; a screwdriver isn’t a chisel, framing nails weren’t meant to hold up picture frames and Doritos weren’t meant to be firewood to roast marshmallows over.

Hands-on: Trident iPhone 4 Cyclops + iPad Kraken Cases Reviewed

Keeping to their mythical creature theme, Trident’s cases for smartphones and Apple products add both style and protection to a variety of devices including the iPad, iPhones, various HTC, Samsung and Droid phones, Kindle and Nook readers, among others.

Social TV Trend Hits Britain, U.S.

Watching TV is becoming a more social endeavour amongst British youth, according to a recent study by media consulting company Digital Clarity. Of 1,300 British mobile internet users below 25 years of age, eight of 10 responded that they use mobile devices to talk to friends about the show they’re watching.

Olivetti Releases Italy’s First Android Tablet: The OliPad

Olivetti's new OliPad Android 2.2 tablet was released this week, and it's the first Android tablet from the Italian manfuacturer.

Enzyme Found to Control Memory Retention in the Brain

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have located a molecule in the brain that can be manipulated to either restore or erase memories, according to a paper published in the journal Science.

Zioneyez HD Video Sun Glasses Have Style

They'll stand out from other glasses-cams - not by sheer ugliness -- as the tiny camera they're concealing to the right of the lenses records in full 1080p, capable of streaming your field of vision through your smartphone to Qik or LiveStream.

VeriFone To Bring NFC Payments From Pipe Dream To Mainstream

Payment solutions company VeriFone is announcing it will make the push towards smartphone-based NFC as a widely-accepted method of payment, and that the technology will be incorporated as standard into their next line of point-of-sale devices.

Rumor: iPhone 5 To Look More Like iPad 2

With the announcement of the iPad 2 behind us, the rumour mill is turning its sights on the upcoming iPhone 5. And I'll say I'm not surprised, but a tad disappointed with their speculations.

Toyota Customers Most Loyal When Considering EV Purchases

A report released by Zpryme Research and Consulting to shed some light on brand loyalty going into the age of electric vehicles shows that, despite a year of recalls and bad press, Toyota fans remain the most loyal customers of any brand.