Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

Logitech Squeezebox Duet

January 7, 2008

Improving upon their line of Squeezebox (& Transporter) music network devices, Logitech recently introduced the Squeezebox Duet.
The Squeezebox Duet sports a cool new remote controller with a full-color 2.4 inch LCD screen and a receiver that utilizes 802.11g WiFi. the Duet allows users to stream music from any computer to any room with an audio receiver, browse your music collection with full color album art, and even stream Internet radio stations. In addition to playing songs stored on your computer, you can also connect to online services such as Pandora and Rhapsody. Rich Tehrani came to me a couple of weeks ago looking for a device that streams Internet radio, and Pandora so he can work out and listen to music. At the time I couldn't think of anything, but the Squeezebox Duet sounds like it might fit the bill.

CopperGate Communications CG3210 HomePNA 3.1

January 7, 2008

Today at CES, CopperGate Communications, a provider of home networking technology for triple play IPTV and MDU access over existing wiring, announced its CopperStream CG3210, the highest speed solution for networking entertainment data over existing coax and telephone wires. The CG3210 is the latest of CopperGate's HomePNA 3.1 compatible solutions and supports data rates of 320 Megabits per second enabling distribution of digital content in buildings and homes driven by emerging applications from satellite and telco service providers such as multi-room IPTV PVRs. Wow, with 320 Megabits per second, who needs fiber-to-the-home (FTTH)? Scratch that, since this is an in-home networking solution. You still need a fat pipe to the home.

Amazing Rubber Band Planes

January 2, 2008

More 3D Avatars

December 20, 2007

3D animated avatars using either "cartoonish" or even realistic photos are nothing new. Gizmoz was one of the first to allow you to animate avatars that were based on real photos of yourself. The software would automatically detect and add facial movement, mouth movement, eyebrow movement, etc. when you spoke or moves certain facial features.

Creative InPerson Wi-Fi Videophone

December 20, 2007

Creative leaked the Creative InPerson Wi-Fi videophone via their FCC filing.

It features H.264 video with SIP support, high video quality (up to VGA resolution and 2 Mbps bit-rate) and claims to perform well under low light. It features a wide-angle lens, and dual microphones with acoustic echo cancellation and noise. It comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that will power the 7-inch, 16.7 million color LCD for about 2 hours.

Glow in the Dark Cats

December 14, 2007

South Korean scientists have cloned three Turkish Angora cats that have the ability to glow-in-the dark when exposed to ultraviolet light. They modified the gene by inserting a virus into the skin cells of a mother cat and placing those cells into the womb, thus proving that it was possible to clone an animal with a manipulated gene.

The stated goal is for a better understanding of human genetic diseases, but this is a very slippery slope if you ask me and for multiple reasons.

For instance, how long before the trendoids start asking their local breeders for glow-in-the-dark cats? "Can I get a orange kitty that glows blue and a white kitty that glows red?"

Well, that crazy ole cat lady down the street will certainly have the brightest house in the neighborhood.

[via NBC30]

The Grinch Discovers Top Trends in Networking for 2008

December 12, 2007

Steve Brown over at Network Observer has an interesting list of the top networking trends for 2008. One very notable "trend" is the "blurring of Business and Personal Application Demands on IT". Steve explains, "While the blurring of personal and business applications began with the Blackberry and iPod, the trend will accelerate as employees use new hybrid devices like the iPhone. Although some of these devices can be used in business, they can present new security risks and network use implications that will need to be considered."

As CTO for TMC in charge of our network, I definitely have seen a huge increase in the amount of bandwidth sucked up by non-business applications - not to mention the increased risk of virus exposure from devices brought into my beautiful pristine network.

You know what, I say ban the iPhone!

Toshiba SCiB Battery Breakthrough

December 12, 2007

Rich writes about a battery breakthrough from Toshiba called SCiB. Toshiba Corp.'s Super Charge ion Battery, or SCiB, can recharge to 90 percent of its full capacity in less than five minutes and has a life cycle of more than 10 years, Toshiba spokeswoman Hiroko Mochida said. Toshiba, said the new rechargeable lithium-ion battery will eventually be used in hybrid and electric cars.

Rich is practically giddy with this news since he is almost as much a gadget freak as I am. He's constantly carrying miscellaneous chargers, extra batteries, etc.

Lowering Screen Resolution = You're Getting Old

December 6, 2007

According to a recent study done by TPK Research, Inc., as computer users get older their near vision and ability to focus begins to decline, forcing computer users to change from their favorite higher screen resolutions to lower screen resolutions. The lower screen resolutions result in larger text and graphics that are easier to read and less strain on aging eyes.

Although I am far-sighted (not near sighted), lately even my near vision has gotten weaker. I recently downgraded my 21" flat screen monitor from 1600x1200 down to 1280x1024. Although I can see the text better at this resolution, I much prefer the 1600x1200 resolution because I typically have anywhere from 10-20 Firefox tabs open, 10-20 Avant Browser (uses Internet Explorer engine) tabs, Adobe Photoshop, Skype, various other IM/VoIP applications, and other apps open.

Lap-"topless" meetings - Good or Bad?

December 3, 2007

Somehow I never thought I'd used the words "lap" and "topless" in an article title due to the images they convey.  In any event, many businesses allow their employees to take their laptops and Blackberries into corporate meetings. There are pluses and minuses to allowing laptops and other communications devices in to meetings. The plus side is that the employee can multi-task.
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