"It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." - Chris Knight

Archive for the ‘Toys & Gadgets’ Category

Plastic Hamburger Phones Ahoy

January 27th, 2008 by iDunzo

What you see before you is a telephone. It is not a cellphone. It is not a VoIP phone. It does not have Skype or DECT or some other marketing-friendly electrical engineering designation. It is not even cordless.

Hamburger Phone

What it is, however, is a plastic hamburger. Why the sudden proliferation of cheap hamburgerphones? A movie, of course.

Source: Film Junk

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Macworld: The Stevenote By the Numbers

January 15th, 2008 by iDunzo

This morning’s Stevenote highlighted some impressive numbers for Apple. Here’s Steve Jobs’ keynote condensed down to the cold, hard figures.

Macworld Keynote facts:

  • Number of new hardware products announced: Two. The Time Capsule network backup device and the ultra-thin MacBook Air.
  • Number of product upgrades announced: Four. Apple TV, iPod Touch, iPhone, iTunes.
  • Number of failed product demos: One. Apple TV couldn’t load photos from Flickr’s servers.
  • Number of price drops: One. The AppleTV dropped from $300 to $230.

Read the rest of this entry »

tag Posted in Apple + Technology + Toys & Gadgets + Wireless | comment 1 Comment »

Custom Ringtone Voids iPhone Warranty?

January 10th, 2008 by iDunzo

Here’s one to scare all you iPhone fetishists: You don’t have to unlock, jailbreak or install unauthorized third-party software on your Magnifabrick to invalidate the warranty.

Doug Rodriquez was able to do so merely by setting up a custom ringtone using a well-documented iTunes workaround.

Rodriquez started getting SIM card error messages sometime thereafter and went looking for some customer support.

Apple basically told him to piss up a rope because they had “determined that (the iPhone) has been subjected to accidental damage or misuse, which is not covered by the warranty or an Apple service contract.”

According to Doug Rodriguez:

I’ve never dropped my iPhone, I’ve never exposed it to water. I’ve never put third-party apps on it or hacked it. It just stopped working and Apple apparently does not believe me…The only thing I’ve ever done is back in September putting one custom ringtone on my iPhone via the “manual transfer” method. Nothing Else.

No word yet on what kind of warranty love using the Apple-sanctioned GarageBand method for installing custom ringtones will get you.

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Barracuda Plans Broader Line Of Appliances

January 9th, 2008 by iDunzo

Barracuda Networks was founded six years ago as an anti-spam specialist. The company grew last year through acquisition and by selling appliances outside its sweet spot.

Look for Barracuda to expand its line further in 2008 and push deeper into international markets.

Barracuda has already transitioned from being a one-trick, spam-blocking pony to selling a variety of security appliances.

The next step, says president and CEO Dean Drako, is to offer an even wider range of appliances, including those support IT tasks beyond security.

Some possible examples:

  • Internet access
  • Bandwidth optimization
  • Fax archiving
  • Disk storage
  • Backup
  • Device monitoring
  • Anti-spyware
  • Packet filtering

Its flagship products are its spam firewall and Web filter. Barracuda also sells an IM firewall, load balancer, message archiver, Web application firewall, and application gateway.

While Barracuda’s products ship as appliances, Drako says Barracuda could almost be described as a software-as-a-services company, given the frequent updates that are pushed out to its hardware.

Last September, Barracuda acquired NetContinuum, a provider of application delivery controllers, which combine Web app security and traffic management.

Barracuda plans to push NetContinuum’s products down and out–to small and mid-size businesses and into overseas markets.

More acquisitions are likely. Drako won’t say whether Barracuda, a private company, plans to go public this year, but he acknowledges that capital fuels growth and an IPO is an obvious way to raise money.

If and when the company’s strategy calls for that kind of cash infusion, he says, “We will consider very strongly the public markets.” Sequoia Capital is an investor in Barracuda.

Make no mistake, Barracuda’s still got plenty of spam fighting to do.

According to the company’s end-of-year spam report, spam accounted for 90% to 95% of all e-mail in 2007, an increase from the 85% to 90% range in 2006.

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DVD Doomed?

December 27th, 2007 by iDunzo

DVD LogoVictory in the next-gen war is far from decided, but analysts are already predicting the extinction of the plain vanilla DVD format.

Michael Nathanson of Bernstein Research notes that sales of regular DVDs were down more than 4 percent in 2007, and he attributes the decline to competition from HD DVD and Blu-ray. Upshot is that retail shelf space devoted to regular DVDs will shrink to make room for next-gen discs.

But there’s less upside for participants than previous format changes, Nathanson says.

Unlike going from videotape to disc or vinyl to CD, the DVD to hi-def migration isn’t compelling enough to get consumers to re-buy movies they already own.

Source: Tech Trader Daily – CDs Are Dying. Are DVDs Next?

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Jet Toaster Browns Bread in 50 Seconds

December 24th, 2007 by iDunzo

This prototype toaster, designed for Heinz in the UK by student Oliver Newberry, is probably the best toaster the world has seen.

Heinz Turbo Toaster

Instead of relying on pansy radiation, the Turbo Toaster uses a fan to take the heat right to the toast, blasting air across a heating element.

Fittingly, given the popularity of Beans on Toast with the British student, Newberry designed the Turbo Toaster to deal with the problem of the beans going cold while the toast was cooking.

While I might suggest it would be simpler to just start the toaster earlier, I admire anyone who solves a problem in such an over the top manner.

Amazingly, this might actually see production next year.

Source: Daily Mail

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