Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chumby’s software could be used in other gizmos and gadgets

Chumby is a computer system designed to perform a few dedicated functions. It can provide access to Internet or an Intranet by using a Wi-Fi connection in order to run some software widgets with different purposes such as browsing pictures, playing streaming audio, working as an alarm clock, among others. Its software is a really interesting system that controls and allows to run all these functions.

Actually, this software is the component that Chumby Industries, Inc. (the company that makes the Chumby) would like to see included in other digital gadgets intended to be used in our houses.

Chumby Industries representatives are in conversations with major makers such as Samsung and Sony in order to define the terms of some agreements. Those agreements would allow to use Chumby’s software in different devices including TVs, audio systems, and portable players. In this way, the applications and features of the original Chumby would be present in those devices.

The Chumby maker have admitted that the company are not interested in developing new hardware lines. Instead, they want to be focused on making software applications, especially mini-applications and widgets, which nowadays have a growing demand from the consumer electronic industry. And honestly, Chumby Industries have demonstrated that it can be a good provider of useful and complementary applications (judging by the features and utility of its star product).

Apparently, a digital photo frame is the first product based on Chumby’s software that will be launched to the market. Some remarkable features of this new gadget would be: Data synchronization with social websites like Twitter or Facebook and an user-friendly way to access other online places (websites, directories, etc.) where the users have stored their photos. Other features include the possibility of enjoying online radio stations or getting weather and traffic reports. Definitely, it might be a very attractive photo frame! And, of course, we hope the original Chumby concept will be preserved: In that way, the users will be able to create and distribute their own applications to expand the features of the new gadgets that will be launched. That would be great! We’ll see.

Best digital camera and phone for fashionistas: Sony Ericsson Jalou

Sony Ericcson has unveiled another gadget in the mobile industry. Its most recent product is called Jalou, which is a mobile phone designed by the Italian luxury fashion house “Dolce & Gabbana” as part of an exclusive agreement.

The design of this phone is unconventional in a supreme manner. This gadget will be one of the most stylish items included in the Sony Ericsson catalog and, apparently, it is not intended to be just a simple phone: It looks like a fashion accessory.

Main features of the Sony Ericsson Jalou (clamshell) include:

* A built-in 3.2-megapixel camera
* Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity
* FM radio tuner
* A multimedia player
* 2-inch screen
* Tri-band HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) capability
* Quad band GSM
* Video recorder
* And, believe it or not, a built-in mirror

The earphones that comes with the Sony Ericsson Jalou have a beautiful design. They are a sample of the great style and good taste that Dolce & Gabbana owns. No doubt, this is a cool device for fashionistas.

At this time, there is not official information about the price of this phone, or when it will be available in the stores, or what countries will be the first ones where it will be launched. So, here in MyDDNetwork, we will be alert for news related to the upcoming launch.

Plasma and LCD TV reviews: TG Sambo introduces four Full HD 16:9 monitors

From time to time, we heard about new interesting products from some not very well-known brands. Although those brands are not popular, their products are designed to please the targeted public by having a great design, or a good performance, or features that make the life easier. Besides, usually those brands offer products with affordable prices and a good quality standard.

One of those brands that are not very promoted in the media (at least in some countries) is TG Sambo. Its products catalog has been updated by adding four new Full HD 16:9 monitors. The new items of the list are:

* TG 2300A, which is a 23-inch diagonal monitor.
* TG 2400A with 24 inches.
* TG 2250A with 21.6 inches
* And TG 2000A

All these items have a built-in digital TV tuner, 20000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, HDMI connector, 2ms response time, DVI connector, VGA output, and some menu presets to use the monitors in online mode (of course, the users can modify some configurations).

So far, there is not much information except that the TG 2400A (24-inch monitor) would have a price of approximately 236.90 euros (US$ 335.60), while the other models have not an established price yet (or at least a public price). So, we have to be patient and wait until the maker (TG Sambo) reveals some additional details.

Asus review - Moblin netbooks coming soon

When Asus inaugurated the boom of the netbooks by launching the Asus Eee PC, it was made with a computer equipped with a version of a Linux distribution. Later on, this distribution was gradually replaced by Windows XP because the public preferred to have this operating system as the pre-installed option.

Now, Linux could make a strong return to this market segment with Moblin, which is a distribution developed by Intel and targeted exclusively for mobile devices (such as netbooks) in order to improve their performance and speed the start-up time of these devices. In fact, the start-up time is one of the disadvantages of netbooks.

But in the coming years, it is probable that Moblin becomes just one of the Linux-based operating systems offered with the Asus netbooks, since the computer maker could also sell some netbooks with Chrome OS, a new operating system expected to be released next year. Of course, users preferences will dictate how the market will evolve.

It is not clear yet what kind of netbooks will come with the Moblin operating system, although some people suggest it would be very appropriate for the touch netbooks or for the Asus Seashell. Anyway, we hope the company will choose Moblin 2.0 as the initial version because it has an excellent interface and it would be great for users.

Nikon digital camera lens now also works as a projector lens - CoolPix S1000PJ

Nowadays, it seems that there is a strong trend to combine multiple functions in a single device. For example, cell phones have an extensive list of functions (radio receiver, digital camera, audio and video player, clock, alarm, organiser, etc.). And that list is growing more and more.

Nikon, the multinational corporation specializing in optics and imaging, has just announced the launch of its Nikon CoolPix S1000PJ: the first camera-projector (or projector-camera) that will be available soon in the stores. This new product, as can be supposed, will be able to work as a digital camera or a projector to display images and video clips on the go.

Surely, this gadget will open the doors for more developments in the imaging industry in order to produce more and better devices.

The Nikon CoolPix S1000PJ has a 2.7-inch screen with anti-reflection coating, 1/1.23-inch 12-megapixel CCD sensor, EXPEED digital image processing, Hybrid VR Image Stabilization, 5x Zoom-NIKKOR lens, approximately 36 MB of internal memory, a built-in LED projector with a brightness of up to 10 lumens, endurance (battery life) of about 1 hour (when using the projector), and SDHC support (Secure Digital High Capacity, SD 2.0). It also includes a remote control to manage the projector in a more convenient way.

The camera-projector will be available for sale in the coming months and will cost about US$ 430, which is an affordable price if we keep in mind its versatile functions.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harmony adapter for PlayStation 3 game

It has a compact and discreet design. The Harmony adapter can be perfectly integrated with your multimedia game console or, more exactly, with your PlayStation 3. This is a cool novelty because, until a few days ago, the Harmony remote control didn’t work for the Sony console since it was not able to “understand” the commands supported by the PlayStation 3 console. However, now it acknowledges the whole set of 51 PS3 commands. So, if you are one of the lucky gamers who are going to use this adapter, then you will be able to control DVD or Blu-Ray Disc movies, browse the XrossMediaBar (XMB) interface, and turn on / turn off the console without the need of using the switch included on it.

After connecting the Harmony device to the PlayStation 3 console, a wizard program will be started automatically. That wizard will guide users through a step-by-step process in order to configure the new element.

This device uses a Bluetooth wireless connection that allows an uninterrupted communication to be alert to and prepared for commands between the console and the remote control, even if the PS3 console is turned off. Also as an additional feature, the device can be connected with other different devices, since it has USB ports.

The retail price of the Harmony remote control is USD$ 59.99 (approximately 43 euros).

Zune MP3 player: New HD version confirmed for September 15

Today, after many rumors about the release date of Zune HD (some rumors claimed that it would be launched at the beginning of September), Microsoft stopped all these speculations. The Redmond company announced to the whole world the Zune HD would be available in United States on September 15, 2009. It is not a surprise because, anyway, September was always the expected month for this launch.

Recently, many blogs and news websites have been mentioning this interesting portable media player that has captured the interest of hundreds of people around the world, due to the expected features and design. In this way, the expectation caused a lot of rumors and even a picture of a display stand was leaked yesterday on a website without having official confirmation. So, apparently, there are a lot of potential buyers.

The cost per unit of the upcoming Zune HD will be about $220 for the version that can storage up to 16GB. On the other hand, the 32GB version will cost about $290. And some people think a 64GB version could be launched too, but there is no official word about that.

At the moment, these prices are confirmed only for United States. But, of course, there will be new announcements about the launch of this gadget (and its prices) in Europe and other regions around the world.

By the way, if you want to buy a multimedia player, then you can compare some features of different options in this Wikipedia page (it includes the upcoming Zune HD).