48Cake

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I like Rob Brennan’s cake. [flickr]

In future America, car stops you.

To wrap up our visit to its R&D lab in Palo Alto, Mercedes-Benz’s Gordon Peredo demonstrated “Smart Stop,” a wireless safety system that¬†stops cars automatically¬†when the driver fails to heed a red light. Continue reading

$9,995

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Etsy via Cult of Mac.

Crazy customer flashes gun at Apple store

From the Cincinatti Inquirer:

A clerk at the Apple Store in Kenwood Towne Centre kept a cool head when a customer reportedly took his frustration with his iPhone too far. Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies say Donald Goodrich, 38, took his phone into the store and told the clerk, “I’m so mad I could pop a 9mm at it. I could really do it right now, look!”

Play back the quote in your head, but with Christopher Walken’s voice.

iPhone frustration leads to arrest [Cincinatti.com]

The original IBM Thinkpad

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From Continous Lean, via Daring Fireball.

Cars! Mercedes’ future wireless entertainment tech

Dr. Kal Mos, Engineering Director for Mercedes-Benz R&D, North America, demonstrates future in-vehicle entertainment and information systems at the company’s Palo Alto lab.

In the fourth post from our visit to Mercedes’ North American research lab in Palo Alto (Disclosure: MB is a sponsor of BBG), we discover that COMAND’s next-gen media streaming user interface is uninviting (and unfinalized) but effective: think the 1990s web, but with modern features like high-def YouTube videos, Facebook or Twitter integration, and Google or Mapquest Maps. Continue reading

Ooma Telo: VoIP your wallet can believe in

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Ooma sells lifetime VOIP subscriptions for $250, including excellent hardware: a great deal if you are even remotely capable of financial planning. Its new model, the Telo, also includes a matching DECT 6.0 handset.

I prefer the blocky look of the original box, but this one is more fashionable. The VOIP deal changes, too, with some give and take: you get more free calling and cheaper premium features (down to $10 a month), but voicemail is now among the premium features. Just get a physical answerphone for $8 or set up Google Voice.

Caller ID, call waiting, and 911 are still free of charge. The handset has MP3 ringtones, BlueTooth and Google Voice hookups. With the subscription, you get free number porting, a second line, automatic blacklisting of telemarketers, and call forwarding.

Press release [Ooma]

HP offers 17TB Windows Home Server box

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HP’s latest mediasmart home server can stack up to 17TB of storage in a box the size of one of those little desktop fridges you can buy from Skymall.

Data. Beer. Your decision.

P.S. it has much-improved Mac admin software, and an enhanced media/video collection and conversion package, say the makers.

Datasheet

(PDF) [HP]

Google removes Pirate Bay from index

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The irony being that searching for “Pirate Bay” now brings up the infinitely shiftier piratebay.com. From the Google results:

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 4 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.

The DMCA complaint isn’t yet available at Chilling Effects. But plenty of real piratebay.org pages still show up; presumably the DMCA claim wasn’t well-formed enough to actually accomplish its objective.

PSPGo reviews nail Sony on pricing

Sony’s PSPGo, though a nice piece of hardware, is a raw deal for customers: the only way to buy games is online, from Sony, and the prices are jacked way up. Ars Techinca describes it in scathing terms.

Sony’s new portable is nothing but raw deal after raw deal. The complaints are numerous, the slights against consumers are many, and the hardware is flawed. On top of these issues is a price point that’s so high it seems like a sick joke … a terrible, terrible deal for everyone except Sony.

Wired gives it 6/10.

Sony is betting that you like “new and shiny” more than you like “money and savings.” … There’s a lot to like, but current-gen PSP owners looking to upgrade might feel Backdraft levels of burn. The PlayStation Store is the only way to get new games for the PSPgo, and your prized UMD collection can’t be converted or ported over. Since re-buying your entire library of games isn’t an option for most folks, you’ll just have to hold on to your old PSP if you want to play that old copy of Lumines.

It gets worse. With classic Sony perversity, the PSPgo abandons the PSP’s traditional mini-USB connector, so all of those accessories you’ve been collecting over the years will be useless with this new gadget.

CNET declines to rate it, offering instead a hand-wringing editors note. Make of it what you will. But CNET users give it two stars out of five:

Because we’ve yet to see what Sony will offer as far as PSP Minis or additional nongaming applications, it’s hard to pass final judgment on the Go at this time. For now it’s safe to say that this is a sexy gaming handheld that’s got potential but is overpriced at $250.

Engadget likes the hardware:

Sony has done some great work here. It’s a sturdy, classier game system … Long-term you’re still gonna be paying more for every retail game bought digitally instead of on disc. That last bit is something that should make first-time buyers take heed, as lack of legacy support on same-generation games and accessories isn’t our biggest gripe here

Kotaku sums it up well: a good machine sold with a bad attitude:

Until Sony comes up with some system to transfer over all of those purchased UMD games I can’t see current owners giving up their platform. The cost, both for the system and in terms of repurchasing games, is just too high. … If you’re new to the platform and don’t mind the price, than definitely pick one up.

IGN likes it, but…

By limiting accessibility, Sony has made the user experience dangerously inconsistent and makes the value of such a device questionable.

 

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