Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Asterisk + Talking Plants, Say what?

July 31, 2007

From the wild and wacky files, has developed an interesting application that leverages Asterisk to have plants call their plant caretakers if they are thirsty or hot or cold. For instance, when a plant gets thirsty it initiates a call over the Asterisk system and plays a message.

In the demonstration video the ivy plant calls the "scientist" and says, "Hi this is the ivy, I'm desperately in need of a drink. Do you think you can find it in your heart to maybe water me a little?"

You can even call your plant to show how much you care and the plant will tell you its status and a little bit about itself. Boy, people already have unhealthy relationships by spending way too much time with their gardens and plants.

Levitating Objects for your Desk

July 31, 2007

Harry Potter would be proud to witness you levitating objects on your desk. Potter calls it magic, I call it a strong magnetic field producing equal magnetic forces in opposite directions causing metallic objects to be perfectly suspended in the center. Of course Harry would counter he uses magic to generate magnetic fields  (ala Magneto from X-Men) to move objects.

But whether you believe in magic, supernatural forces, magnetism, or all of the above, this is one cool little trinket to add to your desk, making you the envy of all your co-workers! You can purchase and float various objects in the IFO 3000, including a color changing night light, a picture frame, a globe, a mini cooper, or even an LCD Alarm Clock that displays the date and temperature.

DigitalLife Is the Life

July 13, 2007

TiVo's new Buy on TV for Amazon Unbox

July 10, 2007

iPhone syncs with Exchange Server

June 29, 2007

Apple has stated that the iPhone can sync with Exchange Server using IMAP4. According to eWeek, Microsoft released Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Rollup 3 just in time for the Apple iPhone. Rollup 3 fixes several issues including issues that affect Apple Mac Mail when connecting to Exchange 2007. The issue supposedly fixes an incompatibility between IMAP version 4 and Exchange Server 2007 that affected Apple Mac Mail users and could affect iPhone users as well.

6GB and 8GB microSDHC memory

June 28, 2007

SanDisk announced 6GB and 8GB microSD High Capacity (microSDHC) flash memory cards one-upping their previous maximum capacity of 4 gigabytes announced in February.

SanDisk's Jeff Kost bragged, "any mobile phone with a compatible microSDHC slot will have just as much storage as the largest-capacity iPhone." The ironic thing is Rich Tehrani recently bought a 4GB microSDHC card for his Windows Mobile 5 phone (Verizon XV6700) and it only supports 2GB maximum, so he had to return it. So unfortunately, most existing phones won't support the new higher 6GB and 8GB capacities either. So buyers beware!

No Skype for Apple iPhone

June 27, 2007

With the Apple iPhone coming out Friday no doubt many people are wondering if you can install Skype or any other VoIP application on the iPhone. Well...

TomTom lets users share map updates

June 13, 2007

Out-of-date maps suck. As a huge GPS fan I've encountered my fair share of inaccurate GPS map data. But TomTom’s new Map Share software combines cartography with community features that allow users to update maps on the go and then later share the map data with other TomTom users. This still isn't direct P2P GPS functionality with automatic traffic data sharing, but it's a start.

So when is this useful?

Microsoft Surface - Cool!

May 30, 2007

Microsoft dropped a bombshell with their new Microsoft Surface touchscreen computer that is a touchscreen coffee table with "eyes" that can see what is placed on it blending the virtual and real worlds together. Microsoft thinks this technology developed under the top-secret codename 'Milan' will change the world and be used as a coffee table replacement in living rooms and family rooms. According to Popular Mechanics, here's how the screen works... A diffuser turns the Surface's acrylic tabletop into a large horizontal "multitouch" screen, capable of processing multiple inputs from multiple users. The Surface can also recognize objects by their shapes or by reading coded "domino" tags (i.e.

Silent Velcro replacement

May 18, 2007

Ah yes, who doesn't love velcro? With the beauty of velcro, now we don't even have to teach our kids how to tie shoe laces (seems like all kids shoes are velcro now). Yes, velcro makes life so much better and who doesn't love the cool ripping sound? Velcro is the successor to the zipper, but can there be a successor to velcro?

Well, Leonard Duffy managed to come up with “slidingly engaging fasteners” which consists of an interlocking grid of triangular and hexagonal pieces of flexible plastic that not only lasts longer, it can hold up to eight times more.

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