Things haven’t been looking so good for Chumby recently — in April, the company stopped hardware sales, and that was pretty much its bread and butter. Though the device may be well past its prime, at least it has some worth to the hackers among us. Take Huan Troung, who decided to use the Chumby as the starting point for making a temperature logger. To be fair, he ended up using the Insignia Infocast, a Chumby copycat, and while the device was a good fit for his project, he wanted more freedom than the Flash framework allowed him. So Huan decided to run WebKit on the Chumby-like gadget. The result is a more app-friendly interface with support for a wide range of coding languages. Check out the video below for a look at the device running the temperature app. by engadget
Monthly Archives: May 2012
You’d be more than forgiven for not knowing who Klas Tybrandt is. The doctoral student at Linköping University is hardly a household name, but his latest creation may garner him some serious attention. The Swedish scientist has combined special transistors he developed into an integrated circuit capable of transmitting positive and negative ions as well as biomolecules. The advantage here is that, instead of simply controlling electronics, the circuits carry chemicals which can have a variety of functions, such as acetylcholine which the human body uses to transmit signals between cells. Implantable circuits that traffic in neurotransmitters instead of electrical voltages could be a key step in taking making our cyborg dreams a reality. We’re already counting down the days till we’re more machine than man. by engadget
Round Rock just rolled out some new consumer machines this week, so it comes as no surprise that it’s doling out some fresh computing goodies to the enterprise as well. First up is the new Dell Latitude E series laptops that come with a variety of ports for your connecting pleasure: one eSATA/USB combo, two USB 3.0 ports, a serial connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, plus HDMI and Gigabit ethernet. All those sockets come embedded in a chassis made of magnesium alloy that’s been powder-coated on the bottom, giving it a lightweight, yet sturdy look and feel. In keeping with the tough-but-light theme, the top of these Latitudes are sheathed in aluminum, and the hinges are made of steel. Additionally, though it’s a new machine, it’s backwards compatible with many previous-gen Latitude docks and batteries by engadget
Lovefilm certainly seems to be on the charm offensive to secure those movie viewing eyes. Yesterday it was the announcement of an exclusive deal with NBCUniversal, and today it’s HD streaming for its “Instant” service. Subscribers in the UK and Germany can suck up full 1080p content when viewing on a Mac or PC, and 720p when watching via Xbox 360 or Smart TV (UK only) at no extra cost. The HD library is rolling out now, and currently includes only a selection of films and TV shows, but is set to expand over the coming months. So if you’re a paid up member, you can start browsing the library today, and hunt out those HD badges. by engadget
If your website lacks a little… je ne sais quois, it either needs something special, or that thing was lost in translation. If your managing different languages with Google’s Website Translator plugin, however, then a new feature could put a stop to odd or inaccurate interpretations of your text. It’s only in beta at the moment, but if you add a customization meta tag to a webpage, readers who know better can click on badly translated text and amend it (pending your approval). Likewise, you can fix up any broken translations yourself, and folk will see that version when using Chrome, or Google Toolbar to switch languages. Likewise, it looks like the official translate app for Android got a little spit and polish too, plus Esperanto support and new text to speech languages, so at least you can look a little more stylish while you order unknown items from the menu. Travel on over to the source links for the Rosetta stone. by engadget
Well hello there again, Gigabyte X11. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s leak, Gigabyte’s just made its 11.6-inch X11 laptop (or is that an Ultrabook?) official. At 975g (2.15 pounds) it claims the title of “lightest notebook on earth” — and weighs even less on Mars. Design-wise, you’re looking at a 16.5mm (0.65 inches) to 3mm (0.19 inches) thin Macbook Air-like body made of real carbon fiber (!) with an aluminum hinge. Under the hood you’ll find unspecified third generation Intel Core processors (read Ivy Bridge), 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Mobile Intel HM77 Express chipset with Intel HD Graphics 4000, a 128GB SSD, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
Ports include power, USB 2.0 and mini DisplayPort on the left side plus microSD, combo audio and USB 3.0 on the right. While the specs also mention gigabit Ethernet, there’s no sign of it anywhere in the press shots. The display is a 1366×768-pixel LED-backlit affair dotted with a 1.3 megapixel webcam. A chiclet keyboard, buttonless trackpad and 4730mAh 7.4V Li-ion polymer battery (likely sealed) complete the package. There’s no word on availability, but prices will range from $999 to $1299 with Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional in tow. Expect more information when we get our hands on this sexy beast at Computex next week.
Update: Our colleagues over at Engadget Chinese just got to spend some time with this svelte black slab. Take a look at the gallery below and hit the break for the hands-on video. by engadget
OmniVision has been on a bit of a tear introducing new mobile camera sensors this week, and its newest could well have the biggest impact on smartphones in the next year. The OV12830’s 12.7 megapixels don’t make it as dense as the 16-megapixel sensors we’ve seen, but it makes up for that with some mighty fast still photography. As long as the attached phone can handle it, the CMOS sensor can snap full-resolution photos at 24 frames per second, or the kind of relentless shooting speed that would make One X and Galaxy S III fans happy. The same briskness musters 1080p video at 60 fps, even with stabilization thrown in. Production won’t start until the fall and likely rules out a flood of 12.7-megapixel phones and tablets until 2013, but the OV12830’s dead-on match for the size of current 8-megapixel sensors gives it a good shot at becoming ubiquitous — and guarantees that phones won’t need a giant hump on the back for a higher resolution. by engadget